Monday 29 August 2022

More About Glasgow 2023 Tour

The Glasgow 2023 tour is happening in April and is only 7 months away. Research spaces are limited to 10 so that we can safely be accommodated in the Family History Centres. Once the 10 spaces are filled, no more will be added. I am not planning a fall tour for 2023 and there will be no Edinburgh tours for the foreseeable future.  

While in Glasgow, we will be visiting the Mitchell Library, the Glasgow & West of Scotland FHS and the Lanarkshire FHS. The visits to the FHS are exclusive use with volunteers available to assist you. 

Non-researching companions are more than welcome, and the additional fee for the hotel should be covered in the estimated tour fees. Companions can accompany us in the evenings for meals and a guided walking tour. 

If you have ancestors from Lanarkshire, Renfrew, Glasgow, or the west of Scotland, this will be the only tour on offer. Those with ancestors outwith Glasgow can spend additional time at the Family History Centres and less at the Mitchell, although the Mitchell also has access to the ScotlandsPeople Database, which covers the whole of Scotland and offers access to documents to recent to be available publicly. 

For more details or to register:

I'm Nowhere Near Ready

I can't believe I fly to Scotland on Sunday. Honestly, the last 4 months, I have been a living testament to Murphy's law and that has robbed me of the joy I usually feel when getting ready to head home. 

Don't get me wrong. I am looking forward to going home, seeing family, meeting with the tour group in Orkney, visiting new places and spending time with friends and colleagues but the pre-trip hype, the excitement, the "ooooo, soon" is just not there. Maybe it will come as I start to put things into my case. Currently they are all stacked on my dresser. A hopeful sign. 

The two years of slumber seems to have taken the "oomph" out of me. I hope to get that back as I start to reconnect with my homeland and my heritage. 

Don't forget you can follow along through this blog. I will be posting daily so long as access to wifi is available. 

Sunday 28 August 2022

An Ancient Forest

Nature really is remarkable. A wander through Cathedral Grove is awe-inspiring. An ancient forest that has withstood not only the test of time, but also devastating fires. It has also survived logging, thankfully. 

Cathedral Grove houses the oldest and largest Douglas Fir trees in North America. They are over 80 ft tall and easily 16-18 inches across. They have survived for a 1000 years. Truly remarkable. 

Incredible root system

Nurse trees are trees that have fallen and as they begin to decay, provide important nutrients that spark new life and they become breeding/feeding grounds for new trees. The fallen trees act as both incubators and nurseries for the new trees

Wednesday 24 August 2022

A Glimpse Into the Past

While on Vancouver Island, I had the chance to visit Chemainus. Chemainus is a former logging town which started in 1858. By 1863, a saw mill was built and forestry became the major industry. Migrant workers from China came to work in the mills and help to mill the wood to be shipped worldwide by boat. 

The town thrived successfully until the forestry resources started to wane and eventually the town was at risk of becoming an abandoned ghost town. In the early 1980s, the town received a government grant to revitalize the downtown core, which it did, using art as a way of telling the story of Chemainus. Today, the town is a popular tourist destination and well known for its 53 murals. 

A visit to Chemainus provides a wonderful glimpse into this once thriving logging town.

Tuesday 23 August 2022

A Day Steeped in History

 With the lockdown and everything being placed on hold, I have been a bit remiss in blogging. Of course it is hard to have subject matter when every minute of every day of every month of .... is the same. 

In May, I flew to BC for a long overdue cousin reunion. Like everything else in 2020, this trip had been mothballed. Now being fully vaxxed, and with daily case numbers no longer being headline news, I was ready to head out. However, I didn't take my laptop so blogging remained on mothballs. 

I spent a whirlwind six days in BC. Three on Vancouver Island and three on the Mainland. 

Once back on the mainland, I had the chance to spend a day at Fort Langley. This was an incredible glimpse into history for me. I have spent a great deal of time reading about, researching, writing and speaking about the Hudson's Bay Company and to now get the chance to wander around an old HBC fort was just an unbelievable experience. 

Fort Langley was built in 1827 as an HBC outpost. It also set the pathway for BC becoming a Crown Colony (1858). 

Workers and traders arrived by canoe or HBC company boat. 

It was through this trade window that aboriginal trappers would hand in pelts, hide, and fresh fish in exchange for guns, spices and tobacco. 

The HBC outposts were relatively self-sufficient little communities. They had a store

a blacksmith

a cooperage 

and homes for the workers (the workers were known as 'servants') 

This shows the inside of a typical servant's home with the living area on the main floor and the bedrooms upstairs

The furs were pressed and packaged for shipment back to England where they would be sent to Europe and to be sold

The fish were salted and packed in barrels and then were also sent back to the UK for trade with Europe 

Fort Langley was just one small part of the HBC trading company and larger trading network. The company had posts right across Canada, and after the amalgamation with the North West Company, the posts extended into the US as well. 

The day was informative and helped bring so much life to my understanding of life in an HBC trading post. The day was also a fabulous day steeped in history. 

Wednesday 17 August 2022

Glasgow Research Tours are BACK!


While the NRS struggles to get its act together, Glasgow is open for researchers and ready to host a tour in 2023. 

I have organized a research tour for the spring of 2023. Unfortunately there were no hotels available in May, which is our usual month for a research tour. 

Tour dates are April 16-22, 2023.  Spaces are LIMITED


Tues, Wed and Thurs at the Mitchell

Monday at the GWSFHS for those who are interested

Friday at the LFHS for those who are interested with an option of research at the North Lanarkshire Archives 

Tour fees $2200 cdn


To register: