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
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 . 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
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,
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. Australia
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
Ø Pack power cords, USB sticks and other accessories you might need for your computer while you are in
Laptops can be taken into the repositories. Scotland
Ø Pack pencils. Pens are not allowed in the repositories.