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!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Getting Ready for a Genealogy Research Trip to Scotland?

This year has been deemed Homecoming 2014. It is a year full of activities and events that will inspire the return of thousands of the descendants of the Scots Diaspora to return to their ancestral homeland.

Walking in the footsteps of your ancestors is awe-inspiring, humbling and deeply fulfilling. But traveling to the home of your ancestors takes planning. It is not enough to show up in the village, head to the local pub and start asking questions. You need to do some research ahead of time. Learn about what repositories are available, what archival materials they hold, who can access them and what identification is required to access the repositories. Here's a checklist of sorts to help you be better prepared:

Ø      Make sure that your Family Tree is up to date. Make it portable. Have it on a laptop, iPad, or tablet so that you can access the information in Scotland. If you want, you can print off Family Group Sheets or create a spreadsheet and write down what you are missing and hope to find when you are in Scotland. 

Ø      Make a list of all of the documents you already have copies or originals of. This will prevent you wasting time searching for information you already have. Remember, you will be able to see births newer than 100 years, marriage records newer than 75 years and death records newer than 50 years, so you will want to make a list of the more recent records you want to have a look at while you are in Edinburgh. 

Ø      Know what each repository has in its collections to assist you further with your research. 

Ø      Write out your brick walls and think about what you want to find out to help break those down. Do you need to look at parish records, voters rolls, apprentice records, maps, directories, newspapers? This will help to focus and guide your research time. 

Ø      Make sure that your passport is valid and up to date. If you are traveling from Canada, the US, or Australia, you do NOT require a visa. Your passport is all that you will need and it must not expire before you return to your country of origin.

Ø      Pack extra batteries, camera cards and other accessories that you might need for those pictures of old homesteads, churches, schools, village signs or headstones. 

Ø      Purchase adapters for the change in electrical currency in Scotland 

Ø      Pack power cords, USB sticks and other accessories you might need for your computer while you are in Scotland. Laptops can be taken into the repositories.  

Ø      Pack pencils. Pens are not allowed in the repositories.




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