Wednesday 30 May 2018


The Discounted Deposit Sale ends May 31. For just $100 usd you can reserve your cabin on the Celtic Genealogy Cruise. 

Come join us. Enjoy the rugged beauty of your ancestral homeland. Immerse yourself in the culture and rich history of Ireland and Scotland. Indulge your Inner Celt. Come visit your ancestral homeland by sea, much the way your ancestors did. Visit the ports they emigrated from. Deepen your sense of who you are as their descendant. 

To reserve your cabin:

Thursday 24 May 2018

Discounted Deposit for Celtic Genealogy Cruise!

Just in time for Summer!

Just in time for the May Two-Four weekend, or the Memorial Day weekend, Cruise Planners is offering a discounted deposit. For only $100 (usd), you can book your cabin for the Celtic Genealogy Cruise.

Visit your ancestral homeland much the way your ancestors did, by sea!

Ports of Call: 


The cruise begins and ends in Dublin. Arrive a day early and join us for a night of dinner, storytelling and folklore at Dublin's Oldest Pub. While in Dublin, there will be the opportunity to research at the Irish Family History Centre, to consult with experts from the Centre and to have a private tour of the Emigration Museum. Those who choose to research will get a goodie bag that includes free access to Findmypast. 


Because we arrive in Belfast on a Bank Holiday, we won't have an opportunity to research at the Ulster Historical Society but we will have the chance for consultations by the experts from the UHF. There will also be the opportunity to tour the Titanic Museum. 


We will dock in Greenock, the port many Scottish ancestors departed their homeland from. While in port, there will be the chance to research at the Mitchell Library, home of the Glasgow City Archives. Other research opportunities can also be arranged. For those not researching, Glasgow is an amazingly historic city. There are guided walking tours, including a guided tour of the Glasgow Necropolis, free social history museums like the People's Palace, the Police Museum or the Hunterian Museum 


Indulge in the rugged beauty of the Scottish highlands. Research opportunities will be available at the Highland Archives. History is in abundance at the Culloden Battlefield, the Clava Cairns or any number of castles. Enjoy a cruise on Loch Ness. or simply wander along the River Ness and enjoy the beauty of the heart of the highlands. 

Arguably the best city on the planet, Edinburgh is full of history, full of culture, and a great place to spend a day. Research opportunities will be at the ScotlandsPeople Centre, the National Library of Scotland or the Scottish Genealogy Society. History abounds all along the Royal Mile all the way from the Castle at the top of the hill to Holyrood Palace at the foot of the hill. Wander along historic Princes Street where there is shopping, beautiful gardens and all sorts of street entertainment. 


We leave Edinburgh and enjoy a day at sea before arriving in the channel islands of Guernsey. Visit the home of Victor Hugo (it was here that he wrote Les Miserable), or the underground German war tunnel. This little island has lots of history to enjoy. 


From Guernsey, we head to Southampton, another port where ancestors departed their homeland for shores unknown, full of the promise of new opportunities. The genealogy part of the cruise ends in Edinburgh but the history and beauty continues. 

Le Havre

From England, we venture across the Channel to Le Havre, France. This UNESCO heritage site was completely rebuilt after being bombed to bits in WWII. The apartment museum explains the impact on the city and the new build. Half an hour down the coast is Etreat where the natural arch bridge provides spectacular scenery. 


Our final port is Cobh Ireland. This of course, is most famous for being the place from where the ill fated Titanic launched. There will be a chance to tour the Titanic Experience in the former White Star Lines Ticket Office or learn more about the ship at the Cobh Heritage Centre. The Centre also explores Cobh's history as a major port where people sailed from during periods of mass emigration. 

Ready to immerse yourself in the history of your emigrant ancestors? Interested in having the chance to consult with genealogists while in port, or even having a chance to research in local records? Why not take advantage of the discounted deposit sale, happening between May 24 and May 31. Just $100 usd holds your cabin. 

Here's the link to register:

Tuesday 22 May 2018

Glasgow Genealogy Research

Once again, it has been a whirlwind of research. This time the focus has been on Glasgow ancestry with some additional research for those with ancestors from Lanarkshire or the West of Scotland. 

The tour began on Wednesday evening with a meet a greet. The Glasgow group is actually larger than the Edinburgh tour was. Nine of the 15 researchers are return participants and another three were also with me on the Edinburgh tour. 

Thursday was spent in the Mitchell Library, at the Glasgow City Archives or at the ScotlandsPeople hub. 

Friday we were off to Motherwell. The group was split in half with half of the group going to the North Lanarkshire Archives and the other half going to the Lanarkshire Family History Society. The groups swapped places in the afternoon. 

The weekend was free for those who wanted some time to explore. Most of the group joined me on Saturday for a tour of the Glasgow Women's Library followed by a heritage walking tour of the East End of Scotland. 

On Sunday, several of the participants enjoyed a guided tour of the Necropolis. 

On Monday, we were off to the Glasgow and West of Scotland Family History Society. 

Today the group was back at the Mitchell. Tomorrow is our last day together as a group. It is incredible how quickly the week has passed. Connections have been made. Pieces of the genealogy puzzle have fallen into place. We have a greater understanding of the lives of our ancestors and we are richer in our own heritage as a result of our research and learning this week. 

East End Heritage Tour

Our purpose in going to the Glasgow Women's Library was to take one of their heritage tours. We chose the East End Heritage Tour and were treated to a delightful afternoon of learning.

The lift was added during renovations and is
decorated with the titles of books on the
library's shelves

The beehive shows how industrious women in domestic economics could be

Templeton's Carpet Factory. Tragically 29 women and girls were
killed when a high wind caused a large section of the building
to collapse into a weaving shed. 

The Drying Green - part of Glasgow Green where the women
would bring their laundry to dry. 

Glasgow Women's Library

On Saturday afternoon, we headed over to the Glasgow Women's Library. What a treat this place was!

The library is in Bridgeton and is housed in a former Carnegie Library. The library is also a credited museum, dedicated to women's lives and women's history. 

We started out by having tea and sweets. 

Then we received an overview of the library, its history and its collections. 

We were treated to a behind the scenes tour. 

We enjoyed viewing the exhibit on travellers and gypsies. I was particularly looking forward to this because the outdoor site manager that I met at Auchindrain was instrumental in helping to put this display together. 

Friday 18 May 2018


"OMG, OMG, OMG" "This has been the BEST DAY EVER" are just a couple of the lines I have heard when I have asked people how their day of research has been. This time it was my turn. It's rare that I get a chance to do my own research when I am in Scotland. While in Edinburgh, I often spend time in the NRS researching topics that can be used for presentations. 

Today we spent the day in Motherwell. We had half a day at the Lanarkshire Family History Society and the other half day at the North Lanarkshire Archives. At the archives, I wanted to see the admission records for Hartwood Hospital, hoping that the Hugh Crawford who was in there was my brickwall - great grandpa Hugh. Not to be. This Hugh is related to me, but not my great granddad. I'm no further ahead on figuring out what happened to him. BUT, I decided to have a look at the lair records for the Kirk of Shotts where my family went to Kirk and where many are likely to be buried.
In 1914, my great uncle Tom purchased a lair to bury his infant daughter. Sadly, Uncle Tom and Aunty Mary buried four of their bairns in that same lair.

There are 4 others also buried in the lair. Sarah Costello, Papa's first wife who died in childbirth. Sarah and Harry's baby, Joseph, who died at the age of three months. And Granny Mack, mother of Tom and Harry. 
There is also a stillborn baby (gender not recorded). The parents were HARRY AND DORA!!!! No one else knew that information. WOW. The other children would have been too young to have been aware or to have remembered. So this baby was never talked about. Granny always said there were 22 bairns. We could only account for 21. She obviously continued to count the baby she lost but never talked about. We've learned about them know, Gran. And will always honour your baby's memory. It's safe with us.

Thursday 17 May 2018

In Search of My Haddows

So much of my time in Scotland gets spent on my maternal line, the Crawfords. And likely for good reason as we tend to outnumber most other families, so there is always something else to learn, to search for, to discover.

A few months ago, I was speaking with colleague Chris Halliday and made a casual comment about never having any success in finding out anything about Easterseat in Carluke. My 3x great grand uncle, from whom most of the Haddows descend, was the overseer of the estate. I have consulted maps, gazeteers, statistical accounts and never had any success with finding Easterseat. Within seconds - literally seconds - Chris sent me a link with a map!

I decided that on my way to meet my Glasgow group, I would detour and go see the farm. I was well on my way when I once again saw the sign for Kirknewton where my paternal granny's birth was registered. I decided to take a run through once again. Then I decide maybe I wanted to try to find the home she grew up in. Four or five generations of Haddows lived in this house over the years.

I knew instantly that it was the house, even before I heard "your destination is on the left" I felt an immediate connection. Maybe Maggie and her dad were drawing me to it.

I decided then that I wanted to see the Almond Valley Trust and learn more about the work my papa and great grandpa had made a living at. They were shale miners. The Trust is an interesting museum, but primarily geared as a day out for either primary school groups or mums and tots. I think I was the only adult apart from the teachers and parents. It could be a much richer experience if there were less of the soft play areas and more about the mining and other works in the area.

Then I headed to see Easterseat. What a treat. Really. What a treat. It was far more rural than I had imagined but I could suddenly envision the history of my Haddows. I stood on the roadway and stared for ages. 

The wide open space. The green fields. The sheep. And a wee burn running through it. 


John and Elizabeth and their gaggle of children had lived here. Not likely in the house that is there now. But the bairns had run free on the land. Maybe wandered to the barn to visit the cows or sheep. Guttled in the burn. They had been here. HERE.