Monday 21 December 2020

Gift Yourself This Year


You have made your lists, shopped, wrapped, delivered at a distance. Christmas is going to look very different this year. We will be shuttering this year so that we can gather next year. Again and again. 

Since we are all in a holding pattern, waiting for a glimpse of normal to return as we see the vaccines roll out, self care is more important than ever. 

Gift YOURSELF this year. Join us for learning, for the chance to gather virtually and for something we love doing to take our mind off of the anxiety of the world around us. 

The January ViC is going to be fun. It is going to provide opportunities to learn about our Scottish ancestors. It is going to show us some of the struggles that they lived through. And it is going to show us new resources for researching them. 

Gift yourself. It's called self care. And it really is important right now that we do things that bring us joy, that fulfill us and that provide a distraction from the worry. 


Tuesday 15 December 2020

Meet the Speakers for the January 2021 ViC

The next Scottish ViC virtual genealogy conference is scheduled for January 22 & 23, 2021. We begin Friday afternoon with Anne Daly taking us on a virtual tour of the life of Mary, Queen of Scots. We reconvene Saturday morning for the rest of the presentations. Meet our speakers: 

Anne Daly of Mary's Meanders is passionate about Mary Queen of Scots and the drama that surrounded her throughout her life. Anne will take us on a virtual journey through the most turbulent years of Mary’s life by visiting the places that played a pivotal role in her story. Our journey begins in Mary's place of birth, Linlithgow. 

Andrew Armstrong is a Scottish genealogist based in the Scottish Borders. His specialization is family history in southern Scotland: Dumfries and Galloway, and the Borders. His interest in the Border Reivers is perhaps not surprising, given that he shares a surname with some of the most notorious Reivers who flourished in the 16th century. Andrew will be presenting on the Border Reivers. 

William Roulston has been Research Director of the Ulster Historical Foundation since 2006. He was awarded a PhD in Archaeology by Queen’s University Belfast in 2004. He has written and edited a number of publications on different aspects of Irish and in particular Ulster history. He is a Member of Council of the Presbyterian Historical Society of Ireland and is the Convener of the Reformed Presbyterian Church History Committee. William will be presenting on the Scots in Ulster 

Margaret Fox is the Archivist at Traquair House, Peeblesshire. Traquair House is Scotland's most southerly Jacobite stronghold and is also Scotland's oldest inhabited house. Prior to retirement, Margaret worked as an archivist at the National Records of Scotland. Margaret will give a fascinating presentation on the Scottish Borders Criminals in the High Court Records

Harvey Kaplan graduated MA in History at the University of Glasgow and is Director and co-founder (1987) of the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre. He has lectured locally, nationally and internationally and contributed numerous articles on Scottish Jewish history and genealogy to journals, magazines and books. The SJAC is located at Garnethill Synagogue in Glasgow. Harvey will present on the genealogical resources available through the Scottish Jewish Archives Centre 

Donna Moore has a Masters Degree in Community Learning and Development, a Masters in Gender Studies and is currently undertaking a PhD in creative writing. She facilitates creative writing workshops and GWL’s Drama Queens and loves women’s history, particularly the history of women’s suffrage. Donna will give a presentation on the Women's Suffrage Movement in Scotland and how these times might have impacted our ancestors. 

Wednesday 9 December 2020


The schedule for the January 2021 Scottish Virtual Conference is now confirmed


3:30 pm  We will have a virtual tour of the places associated with the life of Mary, Queen of Scots. These include, Linlithgow Palace, Holyrood Palace, Stirling Castle, Falkland Palace and Lochleven Palace. This will be done live and the tour will be led by Anne Daly of Mary's Meanders.

 SATURDAY  JANUARY 23                                              

9:00 am  Andrew Armstrong will teach us about the BORDER REIVERS and will give us some assistance in how to research our Border families          

10:15   William Roulston of the Ulster Historical Foundation will be presenting on the SCOTS IN ULSTER                                                        

11:30    LUNCH                           

12:15 pm  Margaret Fox will be sharing some of the stories she uncovered while researching in the High Court Records. She will share these stories of BORDERERS BEHAVING BADLY                                                   

1:45  Harvey Kaplan will be telling us about the history of the Jews in Scotland and the record collections available at the SCOTTISH JEWISH ARCHIVES. Because the ViC is on a Saturday, Harvey is unavailable to join us but has given his contact details for any questions that you would like him to address.                                                            

2:45  We round off the day with Donna Moore of Glasgow Women's Library will tell us about the WOMEN'S SUFFRAGE MOVEMENT IN SCOTLAND 

To Register: 

*All times are Eastern Time (North America)

Saturday 5 December 2020

Scottish Virtual Conference January 2021


The next virtual conference is on January 22-23, 2021. We will be starting on the Friday afternoon again with a virtual tour of the life of Mary, Queen of Scots with Anne Daly of Mary’s Meanders. Anne is a wonderful storyteller. The tour will take us to Linlithgow Palace, where Mary was born, to Holyrood House where Mary lived and her husband was killed, Edinburgh Castle where her son James was born and Lochleven Castle where Mary was imprisoned. In addition we visit her holiday home at Falkland Palace and Stirling Castle where she was ensconced until she was 5 years old. 

Talks on Saturday include: 

  • The Border Reivers – presented by Andrew Armstrong
  • The Scots in Ulster – presented by William Roulston (this is for those who have “Scots-Irish” ancestors)
  • Borderers in the High Court Records - presented by Margaret Fox
  • An Introduction to the Scottish Jewish Archives – presented by Harvey Kaplan
  • Women’s Suffrage in Scotland – presented by Donna Moore 

To register:


Wednesday 2 December 2020

Testomonies of Transitions: Voices From the Scottish Diaspora Audio Book

Following our virtual conference on the weekend, Professor Marjory Harper has sent me the information regarding her new audio book, Testimonies of Transitions: Voices From the Scottish Diaspora. A ‘teaser’ can be watched on her YouTube channel at: 

Hearing the emigration stories in the voices of the emigrants themselves is so incredibly evocative and so much of their stories mirrored my own emigration story. 

The audio book can be purchased from Amazon at: