Wednesday 23 January 2019





This is your LAST chance to register for the Scottish ViC. Registration closes at midnight (eastern) on Friday, January 25th.

For those out celebrating Burn's Night, registration allows you access to the presentations, handouts and vendor discounts until midnight (eastern) on Thursday, January 31st.

No access to the recordings, either individual presentations or the full slate of offerings, will be granted to anyone not registered for the ViC. 

To Register:


 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


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:

Sunday 13 January 2019


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 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. 



The Scottish ViC is just two weeks away! 7 great presentations, 7 speakers who are experts on their topics, handouts, a virtual marketplace with discounts on genealogy products and prizes to give away!

All the benefits of a conference without having to leave the comfort of your home.

The Scottish ViC is the ONLY virtual conference dedicated to Scottish genealogy research. All for just $99 cad ($74 usd)
Access to all presentations, handouts and vendors remains until January 31st at midnight, eastern. 

Friday 4 January 2019


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.

Wednesday 2 January 2019

Three Weeks Until the Scottish ViC

Timed to coincide with Rabbie Burn's Birthday, the Scottish ViC is the only virtual conference dedicated to Scottish genealogy. This year, we look at emigration, high court and sheriff court records, Glasgow poor law records, DNA, National Library family history resources and online resources for Scottish research.

There will be discounts for Moorshead Magazines (Internet Genealogy, Your Genealogy Today and History Magazines), Global Genealogy and LivingDNA. Scottish Indexes will have a special sale for attendees of the ViC who are looking for asylum, court or paternity cases.

There will also be draws for a one year Findmypast Subscription (we will cover the Scottish resources available on FMP in the Online Resources Presentation), a one year subscription to Internet Genealogy and a $25 gift certificate for Forever.

Access to the presentations, handouts and virtual marketplace will remain open until midnight on January 31st.

To register: