Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Scottish Borders Genealogy Research Tour Itinerary


The itinerary for Scottish Borders Tour in September 2020 is now set:

SUNDAY SEPT 20 – Day of arrival. We will meet in the small meeting room of the hotel at 6:30 pm

MONDAY SEPT 21 – Today the full group will be going to the Borders Archives at the Heritage Hub in Hawick where we will receive an overview of the collections held at the archives as well as a talk about Family History. In addition, there will be the opportunity for five researchers to take advantage of the ScotlandsPeople computers available in the building. There will be a fee of £15 to use the ScotlandsPeople computers. The Centre closes at 3:15 pm

TUESDAY SEPT 22 – Today we will return to the Heritage Hub in Hawick for another full day of research. Again, there will be the opportunity for five researchers to take advantage of the ScotlandsPeople computers available onsite. The Centre is open until 7:15 pm. There is a café onsite.

WEDNESDAY SEPT 23 – Today we will travel to Galashiels for research at the Borders Family History Society. Half of the group will research in the morning and the other half in the afternoon since space is limited. Those not researching can spend time in Galashiels.

THURSDAY SEPT 24 – Today we will return to the Heritage Hub in Hawick for our final full day of research.  Anyone wishing to return to the Borders Family History Society instead may do so.

FRIDAY SEPT 25 – Today the group will be split in half. Half will remain in Melrose and can visit some historic sites (Abbotsford House, Melrose and Dryburgh Abbeys, Trimontium Museum. The other half of the group will be travelling to Moffat via Selkirk for a day of touring. We will stop in both towns.

SATURDAY SEPT 26 – Today the two groups will switch places with yesterday’s Melrose group going to Selkirk and Moffat and the other group remaining in Melrose.

SUNDAY SEPT 27 – The tour ends today when we check out of the hotel.

If you have roots in the Scottish Borders and wish to join us: 




Monday, 11 February 2019

Orkney Research Tour Itinerary


Here's the Itinerary the Genealogy Research Tour in Orkney 2020:

Sunday May 24 – day of arrival. We will meet in the hotel bar at 6:30 pm

Monday May 25 – Bank Holiday – the archives will be closed today, so this day will be given over to sightseeing. Half of the group will remain in Kirkwall while the other half travels to the eastern part of the mainland to see the Churchill Barrier, the Italian Chapel and the Orkney Fossil and Heritage Centre where there are archival documents for the island of Burray. The two groups will switch places in the afternoon.

Italian Chapel
Tuesday May 26 – Full group will attend the archives in the morning for an overview of the records and a behind the scenes tour. Full day of research for the group. Please note that volunteers from the Orkney Family History Society will be in the library from 2pm – 4:30 pm. Half of the group will be going to Maeshowe chambered cairn for the last tour of the day at 4 pm. We will leave Kirkwall at 3:20

Maeshowe

Wednesday May 27 – Half of the group will be going to the Archives today for a full day of research. Please note that the Orkney Family History Society will be in the library from 2pm – 4:30 pm

The other half of the group will take a trip to the Western mainland to see the Ring of Brodgar, Stones of Stenness, Skara Brae and Skaill House. Lunch will be at Orkney Brewery. Those who wish can take a tour. It lasts about 45 minutes and includes a flight of craft beers after the tour is over. Those not wishing to take the tour can hang out in the café. The tour is £7

Skara Brae

Thursday May 28 – Yesterday’s two groups will switch places today with half of the group going to the Archives today for a full day of research. Please note that the Orkney Family History Society will be in the library from 2pm – 4:30 pm. The other half of the group will take a trip to the Western mainland to see the Ring of Brodgar, Stones of Stenness, Skara Brae and Skaill House. Lunch will be at Orkney Brewery. Those who wish can take a tour. It lasts about 45 minutes and includes a flight of craft beers after the tour is over. Those not wishing to take the tour can hang out in the café. The tour is £7

Orkney Brewery 

Friday May 29 - Full group will attend the archives in the morning for an overview of the records and a behind the scenes tour. Full day of research for the group. Please note that volunteers from the Orkney Family History Society will be in the library from 2pm – 4:30 pm. Half of the group will be going to Maeshowe chambered cairn for the last tour of the day at 4 pm. We will leave Kirkwall at 3:20

Saturday May 30 – Today will be a day to take in the sights and history of Orkney. I will be taking people into Stromness while others remain in Kirkwall. Please note that the Orkney Family History Society is open ALL day today for anyone wishing to research. Their hours are 11 am – 4:30 pm

Stromness

To join the Orkney Genealogy Research Tour: 


Wednesday, 23 January 2019

SAVE THE GOVAN STONES




 The Govan Stones are an absolute gem of a discovery and give a fascinating glimpse into the depth of history of the Strathclyde area. During an excavation in the kirkyard, a number of ancient stones, dating back to between the 9th and 11th centuries, were uncovered. It is thought that these stones are so large and elaborate because they originally were carved to commemorate the lives of some of the more powerful kings and families in the ancient Kingdom of Strathclyde.



The church has done an amazing job of showcasing the 31 stones, which are displayed throughout the church, with storyboards explaining the carvings and thoughts behind their meaning. 


Perhaps the gem of the collection are the 5 ‘hogback’ stones. While they were named because of their resemblance to a hog’s back, they are also very much replicas of Viking ships which have been upturned. Another tangible piece of history of Strathclyde’s historic connection to Viking history.


And if the hogback stones are gems, then the crown jewel is most definitely the stone sarcophagus, uncovered 1855 and thought to have held the remains of St Constantine, son of Pictish King Kenneth MacAlpin, who died in 876.


Strathclyde was a powerful ancient kingdom of the Britons from the 5th to 8th centuries. The Kingdom was initially centred in Dumbarton and spread all along the Clyde river. The Kindgom stretched all the way to Cumbria in the south and then west over to Wales. The Govan Stones are tangible proof of this. As such they need to be not only maintained, preserved and conserved but also displayed in a way that the public can see them, enjoy them and learn from them. 

Two years ago, the Govan Stones were deemed “a wee gem of a museum” by Dig It – celebrating Scotland’s archaeology.


The stones are housed in Old Govan Parish Church. Surrounding the church is a very old, very historic graveyard – proven by the fact that these stones and the sarcophagus were once buried here. The church is an A-listed building. A building of national or international importance. It was recently slated to be closed, leaving access to the stones also closed. 

As a last minute effort to keep the church open and the stones and sarcophagus available to the public, the Govan Heritage Trust has managed to stop the closure. However, this is a short-term fix and money is desperately needed in order to keep the building open long term. The Govan Stones have launched an appeal for funding. To assist with this appeal, please visit The Govan Stones Appeal website. Please help to keep this historically significant collection open to the public.  



Tuesday, 15 January 2019

ONLY 3 SPACES LEFT FOR ORKNEY GENEALOGY RESEARCH TOUR 2020


Orkney Tour 50% Sold Out

Although newly on the market, the Orkney tour is already 50% sold out. As with all of my tours, they will fill on a first come, first serve basis and spaces can not be held without a deposit. 
For more information or to register:https://www.genealogytoursofscotland.ca/orkney-2020.html


Sunday, 13 January 2019

JOIN US FOR A GENEALOGY RESEARCH TOUR TO THE SCOTTISH BORDERS




The tour is scheduled for September 20-27, 2020. Arrival will be on the Sunday and check out on the following Sunday. This will give you a free day to just enjoy the area.

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.

The hotel is in historic Melrose. The Abbey is next door and Sir Walter Scott is buried there. Melrose Abbey is the burial place of Robert the Bruce's heart. Abbotsford House was the home of Sir Walter Scott. Trimontium Museum tells the story and history of Roman Scotland. They host guided walking tours of medieval Melrose for a nominal fee.

The tour fees are $2945 canadian. This includes: 
  • 7 nights hotel
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 3 days of research at Hawick Heritage Hub
  • 1 day of research at the Borders Family History Society
  • Transport to and from the research facilities
  • Pre-tour preparation and support
  • A day trip to some historic sites in the Scottish Borders 


** non-researching companions are most welcome to join us on this tour. A discount will be applied if sharing a room with a researcher.


Saturday, 12 January 2019

JOIN US FOR A GENEALOGY TOUR TO ORKNEY!


Join me for a genealogy research tour to Orkney. 


The tour is scheduled for May 24-31, 2020. We will be staying at the Shore Hotel

Arrival will be on the Sunday and check out on the following Sunday. This allows time to just enjoy Orkney.

We will be stationed in Kirkwall which has the magnificent St Magnus Cathedral and the Bishop's Palace.

The tour fees are $2995 canadian and include:

·         7 nights hotel
·        7 breakfasts
·         3 days of research
·         Day trip around the western half of Mainland Orkney
·         Day trip around the eastern side of Mainland Orkney
·         Ring of Brodgar and Stones of Stenness
·         Skara Brae & Skaill House
·         The Bishops Palace
·         Maes Howe
·         Churchill Barriers
·         Italian Chapel (additional £3)

I can take people into Stromness for a stroll. It is a lovely wee place, full of history. The buildings have historical plaques on them letting you know their history. The museum is small but well worth a visit. We can return via the round church in Orphir. If you would like to go to any of the smaller islands, I recommend you plan additional time in Orkney. 


** non researchers are welcome. If accompanying a researcher, there will be a discount. If you wish to see Orkney without researching, your fees will be the same as the researcher fees. 

Friday, 4 January 2019

SEEKING INTEREST IN A GENEALOGY TOUR TO STIRLING/PERTH

Are Your Roots in Central Scotland?



I recently sent out a poll asking people about specific localized regions that might be of interest for a future genealogy tour. Based on the results of the poll, I am 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 final place that came through with strong interest was the Stirling/Perth area. If I get enough interest, I will organize a tour.
 
There are archives at Stirling University, Council archives in both Stirling and Perth and the Central Scotland Family History Society in Stirling. Anyone who wishes to could manage a day trip to Dundee or Fife if your ancestors are from those areas.

In addition to research time, I would offer the opportunity to see the major points of interest Stirling: Stirling Castle, Bannockburn, Falkirk: the Kelpies, the Falkirk Wheel, Perth: Scone Palace

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

If you have an interest in researching ancestors in Central Scotland, let me know and I will add you to the list of those interested. I will need about 12-14 people to make this work.