Wednesday 26 December 2018


As 2018 comes to a close and 2019 begins to dawn, it is time to take a look back over the past year. Although it was less busy than 2017, I still managed to pack quite a bit in. 

January  was the first ever Scottish ViC. This was the first virtual conference dedicated to Scottish research and turned out to be an amazing day of learning. The day flew past and attendees were delighted with the amount of information that was shared. 

February  saw me #NotatRootsTech and before it was over, I had my hotel booked for 2019. It is a huge expense and a full week of non stop activity. But boy did I miss the chance to connect with my peeps. 

March was a fairly quiet month as I moved from my home of 24 years into a smaller place with less yard. However, I still managed to present to the Uxbridge Genealogy Group. What a great night with a great group of people. 

April was the start, for me, of the conference circuit as I headed to Washington DC for the Fairfax Genealogical Society's Conference. In addition to presenting 4 talks on Scottish research, I managed to re-connect with previous tour participants. 

May was the annual Genealogy Tour to Scotland, with two back to back tours. The first was in Edinburgh and the second was in Glasgow. I had repeat participants in each tour as well as three people who were in both tours. It was an amazing experience. 

June was the launch of the Virtual Genealogical Association, moderating three webinars a month. 

June and July saw me at home more, which allowed me to get back to my love of creating family memory books and helping others to do the same. 

August was another busy time with conferences. First up was the Celtic Connections Conference in Boston. This one was so much fun. I managed to get to Saugus Iron Works where many of the Scottish Prisoners of War from Dunbar were indentured. 

Immediately after the Celtic Connections Conference, I was off to Philadelphia for a "mini" institute. The ISBGFH partnered with the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to provide a week of genealogy learning. Each day saw a different topic: DNA, Scottish, Irish and English. This was my first time in Philly and I was completely taken with the history. 

September saw me off to Denver to deliver a Seminar for the WISE Colorado Group. Another fantastic group of people. 

The fall has been busy with webinars for the ISBGFH as well as helping others to create family memory books. I have enjoyed being home more but definitely missed not going back to Scotland with a fall tour. 

On top of the bigger activities and events, I edited newsletters, held webinars, wrote articles, blogged and planned future tours and webinar series. 

I am already looking forward to all of the amazing opportunities to share my passion for Scottish genealogy and preserving family history in 2019. 

Saturday 22 December 2018


Do You Have BORDERS Roots?

Last month, I sent out a poll asking people about specific localized regions that might be of interest for a future genealogy tour. In addition to the three choices I listed, people were invited to let me know where THEY might like to have a tour.

Based on the results of the poll, I will be seeking interest in three specific areas for a future tour. Like the Highland tour, these will likely be a one-off rather than ongoing.

The second place that came through with strong interest was the Borders. If I get enough interest, I will organize a tour for 2020.

The main archives are in Hawick where there is a ScotlandsPeople Hub. Accommodations in Hawick are somewhat limited so we would likely stay in Melrose as our base. The Borders Family History Society is located in Galashiels.

This research trip is specific to the Borders region – the counties of: Berwickshire, Peebleshire, Selkirkshire and Roxburghshire. It does NOT include Dumfries and Galloway or the Solway Coast.

In addition to research time, I would offer the opportunity to see the major points of interest in the Borders: Sir Walter Scott’s Courtroom and his home, Abbotsford, Melrose, Jedburgh or Dryburgh Abbies, The Textile Towerhouse. There would also be time to spend a day or half day wandering around the towns associated with the Borders – Kelso, Roxburgh, Melrose, Selkirk and Peebles.

The tour would likely be a week in length. Getting to and from Melrose would be the tour participant's responsibility.

If you have an interest in researching, or indeed just touring the Borders, let me know and if I get enough interest, I will begin the planning process. I would need about 12-14 people to make this work.

Monday 17 December 2018

Seeking Interest in a Genealogy Tour to Orkney

Do you have Orcadian roots?

Last month, I sent out a poll asking people about specific localized regions that might be of interest for a future genealogy tour. In addition to the three choices I listed, people were invited to let me know where THEY might like to have a tour.

Based on the results of the poll, I will be seeking interest in three specific areas for a future tour. Like the Highland tour, these will likely be a one-off rather than ongoing.

The first place that came through with strong interest was Orkney. If I get enough interest, I will organize a tour for May 2020.

The days are 18 hours long in Orkney in May, with several hours of twilight after sundown. The main archives are in Kirkwall, so that would be our base. The Orkney Family History Society is located within the Archives.

In addition to research time, I would offer the opportunity to see the major points of interest on Mainland Orkney: Skara Brae, Ring of Brodgar Standing Stones, Stenness Standing Stones and the Italian Chapel. There would also be time to spend a day or half day wandering along the streets of Stromness where the HBC ships recruited men to work at York Factory in Manitoba. And of course, plenty of time to visit Kirkwall where the magnificent St Magnus Cathedral is dominant.

The tour would likely be a week in length. Getting to and from Kirkwall would be the tour participant's responsibility.

If you have an interest in researching, or indeed just touring Orkney, let me know and if I get enough interest, I will begin the planning process. I would need about 10-12 people to make this work. 

Thursday 13 December 2018

Get the Full Conference Experience - From HOME

The Scottish ViC allows you to get the full conference experience from home.

There are presentations on a scheduled basis, live Q&A and the opportunity to engage with the speakers, a virtual marketplace, a syllabus and door prizes.

You can join the Scottish ViC Facebook group to connect with others who are attending.

As a bonus, you don't need to leave your home. You don't need to travel. That means  you don't have to pay for travel or hotel. You don't have to pay for meals. You aren't wasting time at the airport or train station.

There is the opportunity to break between presentations and a longer break for lunch. Unlike a conference where you attend in person, the presentations are available for several days afterwards, so you don't have to get up early, don't have to stay up late and won't miss out on the presentations! It's a win-win-win! 

Thursday 6 December 2018

Another New Resource for Scottish Research

In my  last post I alluded to more than one new resource. And here it is! Another new book about Scots who initially settled in along the Ottawa Valley in Ontario but then migrated to Utah after converting to Latter Day Saints. Their travel takes them through Nauvoo Illinois, Council Bluffs Iowa and then along the Mormon Trail. 

There are several surnames listed in the book's 32 page index as well as some 50 family tree charts contained within the book. 

Click here for the index showing the surnames listed within the book. 

And click the link to GlobalGenealogy  where the book can be purchased in either print or PDF formats. Global ships internationally. 

Scottish Settlers to Lanark County Ontario

I recently received the GlobalGenealogy newsletter and was thrilled to see new resources for those researching their Scottish ancestors. The first is a book about the Settlers of Lanark County Ontario, later known as the Lanark Settlers. This was a huge settlement of Scottish immigrants, primarily from the lowlands of Scotland. 

The book is entitled Narrative of a Voyage to Quebec and the Journey from Thence to New Lanark in Upper Canada 

Several ships brought these settlers into Ontario with the largest groups coming in 1821 and 1822. The book gives a first hand account by one John McDonald. Interestingly, I read a first hand account of the passage across the sea by the same John McDonald when I was in the National Records of Scotland in May of this year. 9 days of rough seas and seasickness. I honestly can't imagine. I suffered seasickness for 2 hours and was ready for the knackerman. 

McDonald gives a bit of a negative spin based on his own experiences, but given that his writings were contemporarily written, give a wonderful insight into the settlement scheme which allowed Scots to have land - something that never would have been a possibility had they remained in Scotland. The settlement itself was very successful and the book shows us the obstacles that the new settlers faced when they arrived in Ontario (then Upper Canada). 

The book is available in print or PDF download from GlobalGenealogy. Global ships internationally. 

Sunday 2 December 2018

Scottish ViC Schedule is Now Confirmed


The schedule of the presentations for the Scottish ViC is now confirmed.

The day will begin at 8:30 am and end at 5:30 pm. Times are eastern time.

8:30 am - Opening Keynote
                 Kevin James
The Highlander and the Lad O' Pairts: Patterns of Scottish Migration to Canada

9:40 am - Irene O'Brien, Sr Archivist, Glasgow City Archives will share the incredibly detailed information available within the Poor Law records. These records really help you to build the social story of the lives of your ancestors.

10:50 am - Margaret Fox, retired archivist, NRS, will show us the various records available within the High Court of Justiciary. The High Court records are also incredibly detailed in the information that they provide not only about your ancestor and their circumstances but also from witnesses.

Following the live Q&A with Margaret, there will be a break for you to get lunch and refresh for the afternoon sessions.

1:15 pm - Genealogist Emma Maxwell will share the amazing finds within the Sheriff Court Records, focusing on three specific subsets of these records. This presentation will make you feel as though you are privy to a personal WDYTYA episode when you see what is contained within these records.

2:10 pm - LivingDNA CoFounder David Nicholson will give a comprehensive overview of LivingDNA and how the test can not only show your ethnicity to Scotland but to specific regions of Scotland, helping you narrow down which McDonalds might actually be yours.

3:00 pm - NLS Enquiries Assistant Elaine Brown will show us how to make the skeleton of your ancestors' lives dance by supplementing the civil records with the vast Family History Resources within the NLS holdings. Again, the details contained within the records can be astounding.

4:15 pm - Genealogy Educator Christine Woodcock will share some Online Resources for Scottish Research including some of the less well known websites where you can learn more about your Scottish ancestors. We will look at websites for specific locations, occupations, social history and more.

The day will wrap up by 5:30 pm

Registration allows access to the presentations as they become available on Saturday January 26th. This access will continue until midnight (eastern) on Thursday January 31st, 2019.

Handouts are downloadable. They will be made available a week before the conference.

The Marketplace will open on the 26th and remain open until midnight on the 31st. Look for some amazing specials.

Tuesday 13 November 2018

And The Winner Is....

The winner of my 2019 RootsTech Pass Giveaway is Anne Farrar! Congratulations, Anne! I look forward to seeing you in Salt Lake City. We will have to meet up and take a photo of the two of us together. 

Didn't win? No worries. Here are some other giveaway contests to enter:

When you get to RootsTech, look for me in the RootsTech app and let's connect!

Monday 12 November 2018

The APP is Here

The RootsTech App is ready for download!

The app allows you to view the conference schedule, familiarize yourself with the speakers, make a list of vendors and exhibitors to visit in the Expo Hall. The app also allows you to connect with others who are attending the conference. 

The RootsTech mobile app is a great way for you to keep up to date with all that is happening before and during the conference. It will become your "go-to" to keep you organized and on schedule when you are at the conference. 

If you have a previous version of the app, you can simply update. If this is your first time, head to your app store for either iOS or Android and download. Play around and get familiar with the app before the conference. 

Look for me in the attendees list and let's connect!

See you in Salt Lake City for the largest family history conference, February 27th- Mar 2, 2019. 

Saturday 10 November 2018

Saroo Brierley at RootsTech 2019

The first celebrity keynote speaker for RootsTech has been announced. Friday's special speaker is Saroo Brierley. Many will know about Saroo from his book, A Long Way Home, or from the movie based on his book, Lion

At age 5, Saroo was sent from India to Australia where he was adopted. His adoptive mother helped to keep his memories alive and as he got older, Saroo used Google Earth to remember his homeland and other technology to eventually reunite with his birth family. 

This promises to be a talk that will require hankies and it is most likely that there won't be a dry eye in the house as we listen to Saroo's riveting story of finding his family of origin. Here is a sneak peak:

To register for RootsTech:

Friday 9 November 2018

Scottish ViC Line up

Scottish ViC (virtual conference) 
Saturday January 26th, 2019 
After having had the opportunity to attend several talks and conferences in Scotland with my tour participants, I made the realization that the topics presented over there are quite different to the topics those same speakers might offer in North America. Clearly, the needs of the researchers in Scotland is different, thus the different focus of the topics by the speakers. My tour participants have greatly benefitted from that level of learning and in a desire to offer that same level of learning to others in North America and Australasia. 

From this desire evolved the Scottish ViC. This is the only virtual conference dedicated to Scottish research, and to offer topics others would not normally have the chance to learn about.
The virtual conference starts at 8:00 am (Eastern) with presentations being delivered in pre-recorded webinar format. Presentations are made available on a scheduled basis, just like talks at an in-person conference. After one presentation ends, another becomes available. Immediately following each presentation, the presenters will be available in the closed Facebook group for the ViC for a live Q&A. Questions can also be emailed for those not comfortable with Facebook.
The presentations will remain available until midnight (eastern) on January 31st. This allows people in different time zones to be able to watch the presentations during normal waking hours.  In addition to the presentations, there is a virtual marketplace in which vendors offer special discounts on their products or services to the attendees which might enhance or benefit their genealogy research.
This year’s speakers and topics:

                      Keynote address: The Highlander and the Lad o' Pairts: 
                      Patterns of Scottish Migration to Canada 

presented by Dr Kevin James, Scottish History Professor of the University of Guelph’s Scottish Studies Program

Genealogy in the High Court of Justiciary 

presented by retired archivist Margaret Fox. Margaret formerly worked as an archivist at the National Records of Scotland and has an intimate knowledge of these records.

Using Sheriff Court Records for Genealogy Research 

presented by genealogist Emma Maxwell. Emma and her husband Graham have indexed thousands of records at the National Records of Scotland and made these indexes freely available on their website, Scottishindexes. Scottishindexes will be offering a discount to attendees of the ViC.

Genealogy Gems in Scottish Poor Law Records 

presented by Dr Irene O’Brien, senior archivist at the Glasgow City Archives. Glasgow has, perhaps, the richest collection of poor law records in the country and Dr O’Brien has an intimate knowledge of how these records can help reconstruct an ancestor’s life.

An Introduction to LivingDNA

by co-founder David Nicholson. LivingDNA differs from the other DNA companies in that they can pinpoint the region of Scotland in your DNA. LivingDNA will also be offering a discount on their kits.

Family History Resources Available at the National Library of Scotland 

presented by Enquiries Assistant Elaine Brown. Elaine has a rich knowledge of the resources that can help to build the social history of your ancestors and the wealth of resources available at the National Library of Scotland to assist you with your family history research.

Online Resources for Scottish Genealogy

presented by genealogy educator Christine Woodcock. The resources offered in this webinar are some of the lesser known websites and resources that will help to move your research forward.
 As with any conference, there will be a marketplace where vendors will offer products or services will assist family historians with their research. 
A list of vendors can be found at:

 The registration fees are just $99 canadian, which translates to about $65 usd.

Wednesday 31 October 2018


As an Ambassador for RootsTech in 2019, I get the honour of giving away a four day pass to the event!

As a prize winner, you will get a FREE 4 day pass allowing you access to:

  • over 300 sessions
  • Keynote and General Session
  • An AMAZING exhibition hall
  • evening events

All you have to do to win is enter the draw! Simply navigate over to the right hand side of this webpage and find the header ROOTSTECH PASS GIVEAWAY. Enter your name and email address and then cross your fingers! 

Prize will be drawn November 12, 2018. 

Saturday 20 October 2018

Cancellation Opens Space In Glasgow Tour

I received information yesterday that one of the people who had signed up for the Glasgow 2019 tour has to cancel, leaving one space open.

Tour dates are May 16-24th and includes three full days at the Mitchell Library where there is a hub for the ScotlandsPeople database, the Glasgow City Archives and the Special Collections department. Other research opportunities include a the Glasgow and West of Scotland Family History Society and the Lanarkshire Family History Society as well as the North Lanarkshire Archives.

Optional tours are a guided walking tour of the city's east end (Calton/Bridgeton) and a guided tour of the Glasgow Necropolis.

This is the last tour that is being scheduled for the forseeable future. And likely the last one for Glasgow.

If you have Lanarkshire roots, this is an ideal research trip for you. Tour fees are just $2495 cad ($1900usd)

For more information or to register:

The space will once again go on a first come, first serve basis.

Wednesday 17 October 2018

Why Is the Fee So High?

The Scottish ViC is the only virtual conference dedicated to Scottish genealogy. It can be attended from anywhere in the world. Access to the presentations remains open for 5 days to allow for time zone challenges so that people can watch during normal waking  hours. 

I started the ViC after attending several talks and conferences with my tour groups in Scotland. What I learned most from these presentations was that the information shared by the speakers was far different than the information shared, perhaps by those very same presenters, when they are in North America. Clearly the needs of the researchers are different. Thus the focus is different. 

However, most of the people who have been on a tour with me, especially those who have been repeat participants, need a different focus in their learning as well. And they are not alone. Loads of people researching their Scottish ancestors can benefit from the different focus. The most practical way to make that happen was to bring the presentations to them. Thus the birth of the ViC. 

I value my relationships with my colleagues in Scotland. Many have become friends. I am grateful that they are willing to help me to help others learn about researching their Scottish ancestors. I know what goes into a presentation. Hours of work. Writing, creating a powerpoint, finding just the right graphic, knowing how much information each slide should warrant, editing, practicing and promoting. It was a no-brainer for me that I would pay my colleagues for their willingness to share their knowledge, for their time and for their talents. 

We have become so used to everything being free in the genealogy world that we forget the work involved behind the scenes.  So many want to advance their research and their learning without having to pay for doing so. It's the only profession and one of the few hobbies where free is the expected norm. 

I am not a millionaire. And so, to be able to provide a high quality program, to recoup some of the payments made (for the presentations, for the handouts and for taking the time to be available for a live Q&A) and for a fraction of the cost of the webinar platform, I need to charge a fee. I see no shame in that. None. 

What I do find puzzling is why some people find it offensive to be asked to pay for a conference. They wouldn't balk for an in-person conference, so why do they balk at paying for a virtual conference? The presenters still have to work to put the presentations together. The benefit is that virtual conferences are an absolute bargain for anyone attending. No travel, no accommodation, no meals, no time away from family, work, or other obligations. Even on the day. If you need to leave for a couple of hours, you can pick the presentations up again when you get back. It's a win-win. I'd love to have you join us at the Scottish ViC!

Thursday 4 October 2018

Connecting Through Shared Memories

I love my cousins. And I sure have lots of them. So much of my childhood and early adulthood was spent in their company. Weekend visits, family birthdays, holiday dinners, vacations. My mum and two of her sisters lived close by. One aunt was a block away, the other about 20 minutes away. Rarely a day  went by when I didn't have cousins around. 

My mum's cousin lived an hour away. Those visits were extra special because we got the whole weekend together. Summers were spent together as aunts, uncles and Granny came from Scotland to visit. And then our week at the cottage. Mum and dad rented a cottage from our neighbours and EVERYONE showed up at some point. Sometimes for the duration. 

As we got older, we tended to go our separate ways. And with parents aging we have had the chance to re-connect. Two years ago, I reconnected with my cousins who moved out west. It was like we had never been apart. Spending time with them is my happy place. Mostly for the laughter and the shared memories. 

Two weeks ago, I was at a Celebration of Life for an uncle. And had a chance to re-connect with other cousins. Although the event was sad, the time together wasn't. We spent lots of time looking at old photos and recalling times spent together as kids. 

Really, once people leave our lives, all that we have left are the memories. I am so incredibly blessed to have shared memories with my cousins. I love my cousins.

Tuesday 2 October 2018

Away With the Fairies

While the saying "away with the fairies" actually refers to someone who is not quite right in the head, or off in La-La land, the belief in and fear of fairies has led to the Scots being one of the most superstitious group of people, perhaps on the planet. 

I always understood my dad's logic "if I see you do that again, I'll knock you into next week"  My mum's logic was far less rational and rife with superstitious beliefs. No real explanation was offered, just the fear of death if I didn't comply. 

No shoes on the table

Placing shoes on a table will bring bad luck. This belief stems from the days when, after a miner died, his boots would be placed on the table as a sign of respect. This sign of respect morphed into a fear that placing shoes of a living person on the table would result in the person's death or would invite death to visit the home.

Throwing salt over your shoulder

Spilled salt is considered to bring bad luck. It is thought that this belief stems from Judas spilling salt at the last supper - a subliminal sign of his upcoming betrayal. The bad luck is said to be remedied by throwing a pinch of salt over your right shoulder, and into the eye of the devil. 

First person over the threshold on New Year's Day had to be dark haired and dark complected

This is a key component of any hogmanay celebration. A dark haired man was thought to bring good luck. In fact, it is more likely that one didn't want a fair haired, fair skinned man walking through the door as that was a throw back to the days of the Viking invasions and one certainly didn't want a Viking coming through the door. 

Never give a wallet or piggy bank without placing a coin in it first

A gift of a wallet, purse or piggy bank was always to be accompanied by a coin to ensure that the receiver of the gift would not suffer money woes. An empty wallet might invite debt or loss of income.

Don't cross knives

Crossed knives were thought to once again be a signal of bad luck or death. This one stems back to the time of battle when crossed swords could be followed by serious injury or death of one of the embattled men. 

If you drop a glove, someone else must pick it up

I can't count the number of times I would be summoned to pick up a wayward glove in order to stave off any ill will. Again this harkens back to the days of battle. Many men wore a woman's glove in their helmets (their mother's or their wive's gloves). There was a belief as well that if a woman found a glove, her future partner would have the other glove and this would be sign of destiny that they were to be betrothed. 

Don't mix red and white flowers

This one nearly scarred me for life. It was believed that a bouquet of red and white flowers was a signal that death was imminent. The red signaling blood. I remember being quite young, perhaps 13 or 14 and being in Scotland. I had been to the market and bought my mum a bouquet of carnations. Red and White. When I took them home, there was a gasp. Mum was thankful at the thought, but stated that red and white flowers were a sign of death. My aunt, not wanting to crush my wee soul, said "It's ok, there are some pink ones in there as well" That night, my mum was hit by a car, in front of my Granny's house. Mum was taken to hospital. Gran and I were sitting in her living room. "It's they flooers" I was certain I had caused my mum to be hit by a car. 

The list of superstitious beliefs goes on and on. It really is a wonder I am not a full blown neurotic. 

Monday 1 October 2018

October is Family History Month

While Family History Month is no an event that is Nationally recognized (see Legal Genealogist, Judy Russell's post it does allow us to focus our thoughts and celebrations on our ancestors during the month of October. 

Family History month in Ontario coincides with Foster Family Recognition week. Which is all that is left of what used to be Family Awareness month. In the late 1980s, all of the 1990s and most of the first decade of the millennium, October was a month to celebrate families. Attractions offered special events, cities proclaimed the recognition for family awareness and many of their recreation departments offered events for families to attend together. The OACAS (Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies) declared a Foster Parent Recognition week during October to celebrate the special role that these families have in the raising of the province's children. That then evolved into Child Abuse Awareness Month.

Then along came Dalton McGuinty, Premiere of Ontario from 2003-2013. A number of groups were lobbying for a statutory holiday between Christmas and Easter, to break up the long, cold hibernation of Ontario winters. McGuinty caved in 2008 and in doing so, called the day "Family Day" That then stopped Family Awareness Week in October. The new stat holiday was set aside as a day for families to spend time together. Snow-tubing, skiing, or simply shovelling. 
While the focus on time spent as a family shifted from a full week in October to a single day in February, that hasn't stopped any of us from focusing on families or family history at other times during the year. 

In North America most family history/genealogy societies to continue to focus on family history during the month of October - after the relaxation and time spent with family in the summer, and before the rush of the Christmas season.
I will continue to do the same. 

In October in Canada, we have the added focus on Thanksgiving, a day in which families often come together. Time spent at fall fairs, visiting apple orchards and pumpkin patches or gathered around the dinner table. Unlike the US Thanksgiving, our holiday was created to celebrate and be thankful for the harvest. Not on the arrival of pilgrims. And since most Scots descend from farmers, this is also a fitting time for Canadians of Scots descent to celebrate and give thanks for their Scottish ancestor(s) grasping the opportunity to enjoy a better life in a new land. 

What about you? How are you honouring and celebrating your family - past and present - this month?

Thursday 27 September 2018

World Tourism Day

Today is #Worldtourismday. My news feed on  both Facebook and Twitter were full of wonderful posts honouring tour providers, historic sites and museums. 

Reflecting back on my 7 years in the Ancestral Tourism business I have been so blessed. Blessed to be able to share my homeland with others in the diaspora. Blessed to be able to facilitate them learning more of their own story by uncovering the stories of their Scottish ancestors. Blessed and humbled to hear and see the emotions evoked when people have visited homes, graves, churches of their ancestors. But most importantly, blessed to be able to facilitate a deep connection to and love of Scotland in other members of the Scots Diaspora. 

If  you have Scottish ancestry, consider giving yourself the gift of a lifetime, a gift of rootedness, a gift of feeling whole. Join me in Glasgow for a genealogy research tour with opportunities to research at the Mitchell Library, the Glasgow and West of Scotland Family History Society and the Lanarkshire Family History Society. 

For more information:

Friday 21 September 2018

Space Opens for Glasgow Tour 2019

I have had a person who had signed up for the Glasgow Tour write to say she has had to cancel because her granddaughter is getting married and the wedding date is during the time of the Glasgow Tour.

That now opens a space for Glasgow 2019. If you are interested in joining us, you may want to act quickly. This space will be assigned on a first come, first serve basis and likely won't last long.

For more info:

Thursday 20 September 2018

WOO HOO! RootsTech Registration is OPEN!

February will be here before we know it. And along with February comes....ROOTSTECH! I am thrilled to once again be both an Ambassador and Speaker at RootsTech. 

Although it still feels like it is months away, it really isn't. Before we know it, we will be giving thanks, celebrating Christmas and the new year will be upon us. Before the rush of the season begins, take time to look at the schedule and make your selection of classes to attend. 

Earlybird registration ends October 12th, so take advantage of the savings as well. 


Now start planning who to catch up with, what vendors to visit and what you are going to need to pack. 

Tuesday 4 September 2018

Anniversary of the Battle of Dunbar

The Battle of Dunbar took place on this date in 1650. 10,000 Scottish soldiers were captured. About 3,500 were released due to injury, illness or weakness. The remaining prisoners of the war were force marched down to Durham where they were to be imprisoned in the Cathedral. An additional 3,500 men died during the journey.

Roughly half of the men imprisoned in the Cathedral died in captivity. Two mass graves containing the bones of some of these men was uncovered in November 2013. More about these men can be found on here:

The rest of the prisoners were sold or transported to the colonies. The first 150 of these men were taken to London where they boarded the Unity and made their way to Boston Mass. 62 of the 150 men were indentured to the Saugus Iron Works.

These Scottish prisoners were instrumental in the birth of the Iron and Steel industries in North America. For the most part, they were well treated, being given housing, food, beer, clothing and tobacco. Most of the men worked as wood cutters. After the closing of the Iron Works, some of the men went north to Maine where they worked in saw mills.

Saturday 1 September 2018

Scottish ViC Registration OPEN

The 2019 Scottish ViC will be held on Saturday January 26th, 2019 from 8:30 am until 6:30 pm. There are seven presentations by seven presenters over the course of the day:

Plenary – Scottish Studies History Professor Kevin James will present The Highlander and the Lad O' Pairts: Patterns of Scottish Migration to Canada

Glasgow City Archives Senior Archivist Irene O’Brien will present on Poor Law Records.

Retired NRS Archivist Margaret Fox will present on High Court Records in her Genealogy In presentation the records of the High Court of Justiciary

Genealogist Emma Maxwell will present on Sheriff Court Records

LivingDNA Co-Founder David Nicholson will present An Introduction to LivingDNA

NLS Enquiries Assistant Elaine Brown will present on the wealth of Resources available at the National Library of Scotland for Family History Research.

Genealogy Educator Christine Woodcock will present Online Resources for Scottish Research

Seven presentation for $99. All presentations will be available from January 26th, when they are released on a timed schedule until January 31st at midnight (eastern) to allow for time zone challenges. 

Virtual presentations, live Q&A, handouts and virtual marketplace all for one low price.