Friday 29 December 2017

Giveaways, Prizes and Discounts!

We have giveaways! 

Everyone who registers will receive a unique code to that will add 24 credits to their ScotlandsPeople account

Everyone who registers will be placed into a draw for:

A premium subscription to Findmypast

One Artisan scrapbooking software to help preserve your family photos and stories

One Vivid-Pix RESTORE software to help restore your scanned photos, slides and digital photos


Global Genealogy is offering a 20% discount on Chris Paton's books

Moorshead Magazine is offering a 25% discount on annual subscriptions to any of their magazines

Strathclyde University's Genealogy Program is offering a 10% discount on their 8 week mini courses

Shop the Hound is offering a $10 discount on any order over $90 

To find out more about the Scottish ViC (virtual conference) or to register:

Thursday 28 December 2017

More Discounts for Scottish ViC Attendees!

The publishers of Internet Genealogy Magazine, Your Genealogy Today Magazine and History Magazine are offering a 25% discount for any orders placed during the Scottish ViC. They have created a unique discount code specifically for ViC attendees.

To learn more about the Scottish ViC or to register:

2017 Genealogy Year in Review

2017 was another busy genealogy year. In terms of travel, it was the busiest yet. Here's a look back:

January saw several webinars

February was RootsTech and of course, that is always a whirlwind of activity. This year I was a speaker, an exhibitor and an ambassador. New experiences included the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and riding in a Rickshaw!

March was nice and quiet and allowed time to prepare for three back to back tour groups in April and May 

April saw a great experience with the Highlands History and Research Tour. This was a one off and thoroughly enjoyable. We attended the Memorial Services at Culloden, visited archives in Skye, Inverness and Fort William, toured Sutherland and then traveled to Glasgow to meet up with the Glasgow Tour

Both the Highland Tour and the Glasgow Tour attended the annual conference of the Scottish Association of Family History Societies which was held in Fife. 

The Glasgow Tour was a whirlwind but another incredible experience. The group researched at the Mitchell and found a wealth of information at the Glasgow City Archives. Other research took place at the University of Glasgow Archives and the Glasgow and West of Scotland Family History Society. 

May saw the Edinburgh Tour. By this point I was hanging on by a thread having blown my knee and suffering a severe bladder infection. However, the tour enjoyed two guided historic tours - one of Victorian Edinburgh and the other of Greyfriar's Cemetery. Research took place at the ScotlandsPeople Centre, the National Archives, the National Library, the Scottish Genealogy Society and the Edinburgh City Archives. A small group went to the Glasgow City Archives and a couple went through to Kinross to research their ancestors. 

I was able to attend the Beltane Fire Festival, tour the Scottish Crannog Centre and spent a brilliant day in Fife. I also had the chance to visit loads of family and get caught up on their lives. 

After the tour, and once I was back on home turf, I had the pleasure of speaking for the Muskoka Parry Sound Genealogy Group.

June was Jamboree. Another fabulous event. So much fun. I was a speaker and an exhibitor. It was great to spend time with genealogy friends and to be able to wander around the expo hall. I was also privileged to give talks at the York OGS branch meeting as well as at MacDougall Cottage in Cambridge. 

July was Highland Game Season and I attended Cambridge Festival where I was also able to give a talk. Then it was down to Batavia to speak for the Genessee Genealogy Group. Thoroughly enjoy this group. 

August was another whirlwind with the very successful Scottish North American Leadership Conference followed by the Fergus Festival. Then it was off to Washington State for the Northwest Genealogy Conference. A great group of people. They do a super job of looking after their speakers. Following the conference I headed north to spend some much needed time rejuvenating with my cousins and aunt for a girls weekend in Qualicum BC. Beautiful countryside and tons of fun with family. 

September was back to Scotland. The first 10 days was spent on a private tour with friends who have ancestral ties to Orkney. We toured Dornoch, Badbea Clearance Village, and then spent three glorious days in Orkney where the tour participants were able to re-connect with family who still remain in Orkney. Then it was back to Edinburgh, over to Fife to see where the other side of the family had lived and all too soon, it was over. 

The September tour started out attending the monthly meeting of the Scottish Genealogy Society where we learned about Kirk Records. Research took place at the ScotlandsPeople Centre, the National Archives, the National Library, the Edinburgh City Archives and the Scottish Genealogy Society. One of the participants went through to the John Gray Centre. 

October was the finale of the Great Canadian Genealogy Summit in Halifax and the start of the winter webinar series. 

In between all of the traveling, I continued as editor for the quarterly newsletter for the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History, wrote all of the articles for the Tracing Your Scottish Ancestors magazine and contributed a few articles to the Heritage Travel Issue. I was able to host a few webinars and in getting ready for 2018 I was able to put a virtual conference together for anyone researching their Scottish ancestors!

2018 promises much less travel, which allows more time for writing, webinars and perhaps another virtual conference. 

Monday 25 December 2017

24 Credits for ScotlandsPeople

ScotlandsPeople are providing 24 free credits for everyone registered for the Scottish ViC! Each person who is registered for the virtual conference will receive a unique, one use code, which will give them 24 free credits added to their ScotlandsPeople account. 

Join us January 27th to the first virtual conference specifically for Scottish genealogy research. 

To learn more about the ViC and to register:

Friday 22 December 2017

Meet Scottish ViC Vendor, Marianna Curran of

Marianna Curran knows photos! As a Executive Ambassador for, Marianna knows the importance of preserving your photos, preserving and sharing your memories.

For those registered for the ViC, Marianna is offering a special bundle discount. Anyone who buys a conversion box (to have your precious photos scanned, digitized and preserved, or to convert your old home movies and vhs tapes to dvd) will get 20% off of any sized storage account to preserve those precious photos for the rest of your lifetime plus 100 years. 

AND as a way to share your precious photos with others, Marianna is giving away a FREE Artisan digital software program (an $80 value) 

To register for the ViC:

Friday 15 December 2017

Treat YOURSELF This Christmas

Christmas is just around the corner. It's likely that the tree is up and decorated, gifts have been purchased and perhaps wrapped, baking has started and preparations for the big day are underway. Why not take a few minutes and treat YOURSELF this holiday season? Reward yourself for making it this far. Register for the Scottish ViC virtual conference and learn about researching your Scottish ancestors. 

You will learn about resources for finding those elusive ancestors and about the wealth of information you can get from the Scottish documents. 

Connect with others researching their Scottish ancestors in our exclusive Facebook Group, a way to allow for the all important networking that takes place at all genealogy conferences.

Visit the virtual marketplace and see how our vendors are committed to helping you with your family history research. 

In addition to a great day immersed in genealogy, you might even win one of the great prizes that are being given away! 

Here's the link to register:

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Meet Scottish ViC Vendor Scottishindexes

If you are not using Scottishindexes, you should be! This site has a wealth of information about records that are not available online. Indexes for paternity cases, prison registers, mental health records. And best of all, if your ancestor isn't listed, the Maxwells will do the search for you, in person, to get you what you need to help you over your brick wall.

Scottishindexes is offering a special discount specifically for people attending the Scottish ViC! 

To register for the virtual conference (being held January 27th, 2018) simply click:

Saturday 9 December 2017

Meet Scottish ViC Vendor Shop the Hound

Meet Scottish ViC Vendor Shop the Hound

Shop the Hound is offering a discount code for orders placed during the ViC. As well, they are giving away a Vivid-Pix RESTORE to one lucky person attending the virtual conference. 

Do you have a product or offer a service that will support genealogy researchers? Are you interested in being a vendor or exhibitor in the virtual marketplace? Register HERE

Friday 8 December 2017

Meet Scottish ViC Vendor Global Genealogy

Global Genealogy is offering a 20% discount on any or all of their books authored by Chris Paton which are purchased during the Virtual Conference. Chris is one of the presenters at the ViC and will be helping us to find ancestors in various records prior to civil registration, which began in 1855. 

If  you are looking for Scottish ancestors who left Scotland prior to 1855, this presentation will be helpful to you. Register for the conference HERE

Do you have a product or offer a service that will assist the family history researcher? Consider registering to be a vendor or exhibitor in our Virtual Marketplace. Register HERE

Thursday 7 December 2017

Scottish ViC a Full Day of Learning

Chris Paton will be sharing the resources available for people looking for their ancestors who may have left Scotland prior to civil registration in 1855. Even ancestors who may have still been in Scotland but where you are seeking more information prior to what is available from 1855. Church records, court records, poor records, land records and so much more.

Margaret Fox will be sharing her vast knowledge of the Kirk's archives. Not just Kirk Session records but all of the various records held by the Kirk. Communion rolls, pew rents and everything in between.

Craig Statham will be showing us the incredible resources available from the National Library's vast maps collection. These date back to the 1500s

Chris Halliday and I will be helping you to learn more about the mass exodus from the Highlands of Scotland over several decades. Chris will be sharing his knowledge of the records that are available for researching your highland ancestors. He discusses the areas in Scotland where various surnames originated, clans and clan resources, local archives and online collections.

I will be helping you to see where your Highland ancestors may have come from prior to arriving in Canada. We look at various resources including ships, ports of departure, ports of entry, land grants and more.

Apart from listening to me, you get to be immersed in Scottish accents all day while learning!

Both Chris', Margaret and I will be available to answer questions. I can assist with questions on the maps and if I am stumped can get your questions to Craig for an answer.

Handouts will be emailed to registrants ahead of the conference so you can formulate your questions.  

Meet Scottish ViC Vendor Strathclyde University

Strathclyde University is offering a code to allow Virtual Conference attendees to get a 10% discount on the genealogy short courses. These are 8 week courses offered online. The courses start in April, 2018. 

Do you have a product or offer a service that will support genealogy researchers? Are you interested in being a vendor or exhibitor in the virtual marketplace? Register HERE

Wednesday 6 December 2017

Halifax Explosion 100 Years Later

Few events in history have scarred the psyche. The Halifax Explosion was one of those events. Even a century later, the Explosion marks a time when innocence was lost, families were ripped asunder and the face of a city, and indeed a country, were forever changed. 

Early on the morning of 6 December 1917, a cargo ship laden with high explosives collided with another ship in the “Narrows” The Narrows is, essentially, a strait which connects Halifax Harbour to Bedford Basin.  

A fire on board the cargo ship ignited the explosives on board causing an explosion that devastated the Richmond district of Halifax. It is estimated that 2,000 people were killed by the blast, the debris, the fires or the buildings that collapsed. Another 9,000 victims were injured. People were blinded, lost limbs, suffered burns.

The blast of the Halifax Explosion was the largest man-made explosion prior to the development of nuclear weapons. Nearly all structures within half-mile of the Narrows were obliterated, including the heart of the industrial area of Halifax. A tsunami created by the blast wiped out the community of Mi'kmaq First Nations people who had lived in the Tufts Cove area for generations.

As genealogists are wont to do, a wander around the cemeteries is a sobering experience. Fairview Lawn Cemetery, more famous for its Titanic Grave Site has a large area of seemingly untouched ground where remains of unknown victims of the Explosion are buried.

Mt Olivet, a Catholic Cemetery, has yellow surveyor sticks marking the graves of victims of the Explosion. Where no grave marker exists, the sticks stand in rows. Names are marked on the sticks marking the victims.

There is a permanent exhibit in the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic commemorating the devastation.

A full century later, the scars are still evident and the shock and pain still raw. The Explosion forever changed the face and the history of Halifax. 

Monday 4 December 2017

Meet the Scottish ViC Presenters!

Chris Paton

Ayrshire based genealogist Chris Paton is the author of several Scottish based research guide books, including Discover Scottish Land Records and Discover Scottish Church Records, available in North America from Global Genealogy Global is offering a 20% discount on Chris' books during the Scottish ViC!

Chris currently carries out research in Scotland ( and writes the daily British GENES blog

Margaret Fox

Margaret Fox graduated with an M.A. (Hons.) degree in History from Edinburgh University in 1975. From 1999 - 2011 she was an archivist in the National Archives of Scotland, working on wills and testaments, and the records of the Church of Scotland and High Court of Justiciary. In her 'retirement' Margaret's mission is to promote the value of these records to the family historian.

Craig Statham

Craig Statham is the Maps Reading Room manager at the National Library of Scotland. Educated at the universities of Edinburgh and St Andrews he has spent the past 16 years working in museums, archives, and libraries. He took up his current role four years ago, and has recently overseen the move of the Reading Room to a new venue.

Chris Halliday

Chris Halliday of is a family historian based in Edinburgh and the Scottish Highlands. A former Family History Leader with the Highland Archive in Inverness, he has also spoken at Who Do You Think You Are? Live events. With Highland and Lowland ancestry, Chris is familiar with many of the resources that can aid your search for your Scottish roots.

Christine Woodcock

When not organizing genealogy research tours to Scotland, Christine lectures on Scottish genealogy, hosts webinars, authors blogs and articles. She also writes and instructs courses on Scottish genealogy. Christine is the editor for British Connections, a quarterly newsletter for the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History. She authored Moorshead Magazine's Special, "Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry" Issue which was published in May 2017.

If you are ready to find your Scottish ancestors, join us for the Scottish ViC (virtual conference). Click HERE to register