Welcome to Scottish Genealogy Tips And Tidbits

A wee bit of info to help you in your journey to discover your Scottish Ancestors and maybe even crack a brick wall or two!

Friday, 29 November 2013


Day 1: Today is a day of arrival. It is a bank holiday. Banks, post offices and other government buildings will be closed. Tourist attractions and museums are open. We will meet in the hotel meeting room in the evening. Ian Walker of Borders Journeys will join us for those who wish to finalize their trip details with him.   

Day 2: Following breakfast, we will be taken to Scotland’s People Centre. Here we will enjoy a Family History Event, which is not only an introduction to the facility but also a workshop on Scottish Research as well. Coffee and tea will be provided during this event. You are free to research for the remainder of the day. 

Day 3: For the next two days, the group will be split into two. One half of the group will return to ScotlandsPeople Centre for a full day of research. The other half of the group will make our way over to the Scottish Genealogy Society. Here, we will take part in a Family History event to learn about the resources available at the Society and to assist in moving forward in our Scottish research. The SGS has MIs, burial records, census indices and directories. 

Day 4:  Today will be a reverse of yesterday. The group that went to the Scottish Genealogy Society yesterday will enjoy a full day of research at ScotlandsPeople Centre. The other half of the group will make our way over to the Scottish Genealogy Society for a Family History Event and tour of the Society.

Tonight we will meet as a group for a Ghosts and Graveyards Tour through City of the Dead Tours. This tour explores the rich history of the old town, and includes a tour of the underground vaults as well as a late night tour of Greyfriars Graveyard. The Graveyard part of the tour takes us within the confines of the covenanters prison. This area of the graveyard is normally locked. This tour is optional. For those wishing to join us, the fees will be covered.

Day 5:  Following breakfast, we will walk over to the National Library. Here we will be shown a presentation on what the Library has to offer then given a quick tour. You will require a temporary library card in order to research here. The card is free.

The weekend is open for anyone wishing to travel to their ancestral part of Scotland, or simply just to  sightsee.  

Day 8: Arrangements can be made for you to attend the genealogy society in the area where your ancestors lived to provide you with the social history details you won't necessarily get elsewhere. If this is at a distance, you might want to also spend the weekend in the area to gain a better sense of who your ancestors were and then attend the local genealogy society on the Monday, prior to your return to Edinburgh. If you choose to stay locally, you can return to ScotlandsPeople Centre, the National Records of Scotland or the Scottish Genealogy Society. Or you can head to Glasgow to the Mitchell Library and the Glasgow Archives.

Day 9:  Following breakfast, we will return to ScotlandsPeople Centre for a full day of research. The evening will be spent at the Taste of Scotland Show

Day 10: Following breakfast, we will check out of the hotel so you can transfer back to Glasgow airport or move on to your next stop in Scotland.


Calling all those with names: DURIE, Dury, Duree, Durrie, Durry, DuRy, Duryea, Dourie, Dowrie.

The First Durie Gathering is to take place next year in Scotland and includes an exciting tour to span 4 days and 3 nights over the weekend 27th-30th June 2014. The aim is to bring Duries together from all over the world and to discover our roots by visiting Durie-related places.  For a brief note on the tour visit: http://www.duriefamily.co.uk/news/first-durie-gathering-2014 

For more information on the Durie Family Association please visit: www.duriefamily.co.uk or contact me secretary@duriefamily.co.uk



Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Historic Newspapers

I love old newspapers. The smell, the colour, the information contained within. One of my favourite moments when I travel to Scotland is visiting the National Library of Scotland and knowing the article I want has not yet been digitized. I wait with baited breath for the arrival of “the book”. A large, stuffy, oversized creation. It is bound in cloth and sealed with a knotted ribbon. Like a finely leaded crystal, it is carried in and laid upon its rest. I savour the opening. Carefully tugging on the ribbon, gently creaking back the cover, drinking in the scent and finally, finally, seeing the old pages. I scan, I read, I smile, I utter my amazement at my finds.   

Last year I was contacted by Tom Walker of Historic Newspapers. He was seekingassistance in promoting his company, Historic Newspapers. Would I be kind enough to view an historic newspaper and give a review? Our wires got crossed and a year later, Tom contacted me again. A short time later, an original 1888 copy of the North British Daily Mail arrived. All beautifully dressed in a red box. The paper is over-sized, discoloured with age (and wisdom?) yet not brittle. That wonderful scent of old ink is still there. It is even better than new car smell! The adventure could now begin.

I scanned. The price: One Penny! WOW. Just WOW.  

I can’t begin to tell you the genealogical gems contained within old newspapers. Information you could never imagine. Finding the information needs good detective skills, and what genealogist doesn’t have that? There are few sensational headlines the way we know them today. Major news stories are often enclosed in small hidden boxes on back pages or within the classifieds. But once found, the feeling of satisfaction is indescribable. And the knowledge of having another piece of the puzzle filled in helps chip away at those long standing concrete walls. 

In addition, the old newspapers give a first hand glimpse into the social history of our ancestors. We learn more about the times in which they lived. The important issues that concerned them on a daily basis. We see what their cost of living was. The items they coveted. What they did for entertainment. The laws of the times. The volume of information is almost endless. 

I encourage everyone who has not used an old newspaper as a genealogy resource to do so. You may not find your own ancestor, but the learning and depth of understanding you gain will be immeasurable. And if you decide to use Tom’s services, he is offering readers to Scottish Tips, Tricks and Tidbits a 15% discount. To get this discount, simply use the code 15TODAY when checking out. So, have a look: http://www.historic-newspapers.co.uk/
Make your purchase, save 15%  then sit with baited breath............



Saturday, 23 November 2013

New Publication of Death Notices from Moray & Nairn Family History Society

News of a new publication from Moray & Nairn Family History Society: Death Notices, Articles Concerning Deaths and Obituaries from the Forres Gazette, 1837-1855.   

The notices cover deaths in Forres, the near neighbourhood, the rest of the county, throughout the country and even overseas. Examples can be found of notices from Australia, Canada, India and other parts of what was to become the British Empire and also from the United States and more unexpected places such as Paris, Buenos Ayres, Gambia etc.
There are announcements of the death of the illustrious, the well-known and the humble. The shortest announcement may be one from December 1838 which simply states, “Died, at Elgin, last month, James Hay, Porter.” The longest announcement and obituary is probably that for the Rev Thomas Stark whose death is announced in the issue of February 1849 and whose obituary occupies many columns of the next issue on March 1849.

Here's the link to make a purchase: http://www.morayandnairnfhs.co.uk/news.asp

Friday, 22 November 2013

Call For Speakers - BIFHSGO Conference 2014

The British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa has issued a call for speakers for its 2014 conference. 2014 is also the 20th anniversary of the Society.

The theme for each year's conference rotates UK countries, with this current year's conference focusing on Irish Genealogical resources.

The 2014 themes are:

  • English Genealogcial Resources
  • Emigration from the UK Countries
  • Genetic Genealogy

If you are a genealogical speaker and feel that you have something to offer others on any of the themes listed above, here is the link regarding proposal submissions:

The deadline for proposal submissions is January 31, 2014.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Looking For the Archives From a Scottish Business?

If you are looking for the archives from a Scottish Business (banking, brewing, furniture making, distilling, textile making etc) then have a look at the University of Glasgow Archives:


Note that the catalogues are available in PDF format, but the archival records are not. You will need to contact the University Archivist or a genealogist based in Scotland.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Edinburgh University WWI Roll of Honour

TheGenealogist has information and photos for members of Edinburgh University  who served and fell during WWI. They also have a section on Orders, Decorations and Dispatches.