Monday 28 October 2019


As a lead up to the Scottish ViC, I will be offering a series of free webinars on Scottish research:

Thursday Nov 14, 2019 at 8 pm eastern

Thursday Nov 21, 2019 at 8 pm eastern

Thursday Nov 28, 2019 at 8 pm eastern

Tuesday 22 October 2019


At the request of several registrants, and given the timing of the ViC, access to the recordings is being extended to one month rather than just one week.

That means that when you register for the ViC, you will have access to the recordings of the presentations until February 25th, 2020.  

This allows you to attend your Burns Night Celebration without missing out on the learning that is being offered. 

Access will also be extended for the downloadable handouts as well. Ready to register?

Wednesday 9 October 2019

Join Us for the Scottish ViC

Scottish ViC 2020
Saturday January 25, 2020

The Scottish ViC is in its third year. The ViC is a virtual conference.  It is the ONLY virtual conference dedicated to assisting people researching Scottish ancestors. The ViC is enjoyed from the comfort of your own home. No travel necessary. We bring the learning to YOU.

There are a series of presentations throughout the day, on a timed basis, just like an in-person conference. The presentations are pre-recorded and cover topics not normally presented outwith Scotland. The presenters are all intimately familiar with the records they are discussing and understand the value of these records to the family historians.

Following the presentation, the presenter will be available answer your questions.

Your registration allows you to have access to the presentations for a full week so that you can go back and re-visit the topics that are of the most interest to you as a genealogy researcher.

7 Presentations:

Death & Cemetery Records
Prison Records
Asylum Records
Wills & Testaments
Glasgow’s Role in the Slave Trade
Canada: Land & Opportunity
Scots Emigration to Canada

Click to register:

Online learning is not the next best thing. It is the NOW best thing.

Saturday 5 October 2019


Last chance to research your Scottish ancestors in the records in Edinburgh. There is ONE space open for the Sept 2020 tour. Dates are Sept 13-19, 2020 directly ahead of the Borders Research Tour. 

The tour includes:

6 nights Hotel
6 Breakfasts
3 Full days of research at the ScotlandsPeople Centre/National Archives
A day of research at the National Library of Scotland
A day of research at the Scottish Genealogy Society
Optional evening events

For the full itinerary or to book:

First come, first served. There will be NO Edinburgh tour in 2021. 

Tuesday 1 October 2019

Just TWO Spaces Remain for Edinburgh Research Tour Sept 2020

There are just two spaces left for the Edinburgh research tour in Sept 2020. The dates are Sept 13-19, 2020 with research opportunities at:

ScotlandsPeople Centre/National Records of Scotland (3 full days)
National Library of Scotland
Scottish Genealogy Society

This is a fantastic opportunity to find your Scottish ancestors on the shelves of the Scottish libraries and archives. Edinburgh records cover the whole of Scotland.

As with all of the research tours, spaces will go on a first come first served basis. This will be the LAST Edinburgh tour for the forseeable future. Edinburgh will NOT be offered in 2021.

For more details about the tour or to book:

NEW Information About the Pilgrims Uncovered

This is a classic example of how important it is to revisit your documents/records once in a while. In preparing for next year's #Mayflower400 celebrations, Luke Skerritt of Boston Guildhall made a fascinating discovery. Here's the press release: 

New and exciting information has been uncovered in the lead up to the 2020 ‘Mayflower 400’ anniversary of the foundation of America that completely changes the story of the Pilgrims in Boston. 

Original archive documents and new research, now on display in Boston Guildhall, has revealed a story of illicit worship, intrigue and influence in the town with a Boston draper, Leonard Beetson, central to unravelling the threads that make the story so compelling. 

archival document that uncovered new details

Luke Skerritt of Boston Guildhall Museum knew of a document in Lincolnshire Archives that related to the arrest of the Pilgrims in Boston in 1607 and arranged to view it. It was this document and the leads it provided which proved to be the first step in uncovering the story. Instead of a brief relationship with Boston it was actually the case that the Pilgrims were in the town for three months before their arrest and that those arrested were incredibly influential individuals such as WIlliam Brewster, Richard Clyfton and Thomas Helwys as well as the Boston draper Leonard Beetson.  This showed a completely different relationship between the Pilgrims and Boston, accessing other archival documents and new research the story began to unravel. 

jail cells where pilgrims were held
Beetson, the Boston Draper, weaves two of Boston’s most influential American connections together… he is the thread between the Pilgrims and the foundation of Boston Massachusetts by the congregation of charismatic Boston vicar John Cotton.  Arrested alongside the famous Pilgrims he chose to stay in Boston and became a respected business man and eventually a town councillor. He kept his habit of not conforming to religious convention though and became a close friend of the charismatic and radical, puritan vicar of Boston, John Cotton who influenced 1 in every 10 Bostonians to leave for America and found Boston Massachusetts in 1630. 

Not only have these stories been revealed but further intrigue comes linking them with a hand written letter from Edward Winslow one of the most famous of the Pilgrims to a Clerk of the local Courts shining a new light on an unsuspected network between Boston and Scrooby, Nottinghamshire where many of the Pilgrims came from. 

The new exhibition on display at Boston Guildhall showcases these stories and features as it’s highlight the documents that have helped reveal them which are on public display together for the very first time.

new exhibit for the #mayflower400 commemoration

*with thanks to Boston Guildhall for the information