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, 21 February 2014

Ancestral Tourism and Homecoming 2014

Scotland has deemed 2014 to be Homecoming II. 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. In addition, there is a big impetus from Tourism Intelligence to create a more meaningful trip for the Diaspora by working with local businesses to assist them in meeting the needs of the Diaspora as they return to search their roots. While these businesses are not necessarily genealogy based, they have been versed in assisting you to know where you can go for assistance.   

If you are going to Scotland on an ancestral visit, make sure you take the opportunity to also learn the social history of your ancestors. There is so much more to understanding the lives of your ancestors than simply knowing the dates of the vital events in their lives. Take time to really understand the times in which they lived. How they lived. What they did for entertainment, where they worked, what the laws and social norms were. You can do this by:
•Visiting Museums
•Visiting Historic Sites
•Talking to Locals
Take City Tours
Reading, reading, reading
•Talk to the locals

Discover Your Own Scottish Heritage

One of the realities for the descendants of the Scots Diaspora who return to Scotland to research their roots is that they are neither visiting nor touring. They are returning HOME. So many of Scots heritage will tell you that the moment they set foot on Scottish soil, they had a sense of "coming home" Indulge yourself in your heritage. Take pride. Drink it in. Absorb it. Here's how:
•Visit Pubs
•Attend Festivals
•Take part in Highland Games, Clan Gatherings, Celebrations, Re-enactments

Planning ahead will help you to make the best use of your time in Scotland. And ultimately that will make your quest to discover your ancestors and your own Scottish heritage more fulfilling. 

If you wish to join an organized tour, please be aware that less than a handful of the Scottish-based Ancestral tour companies are run by genealogists. They are in fact travel companies, and while their tours may be a great way to see Scotland, you will not get the assistance you need in furthering your genealogy research. While you may get to the village or town where your ancestors lived, very few will take you to see your ancestral haunts (churches, schools, places of work, churches, graveyards). None of these companies include time in archival repositories. 

At Genealogy Tours of Scotland, http://www.genealogytoursofscotland.ca our tours provide protected time at the ScotlandsPeople Centre, the Scottish Genealogy Centre and the National Library of Scotland. These are all based in Edinburgh and while on the tour, you will receive personal assistance from the archivists in each location.

In addition to the repository visits, time is available to travel to the area of Scotland where your ancestors lived. I provide connections to ancestral tour companies, run by genealogists in Scotland, who will give you a personalised tour of your ancestors home area including graveyards, churches, streets, business and anything else you may wish to see that is still standing.  

If a visit to Scotland is on your bucket list, I guarantee as soon as you arrive, you will get the sense of "being home". If genealogy research is on  your to-do list while in Scotland, give me a shout and I can assist you to make the most of your ancestral visit. (genealogytoursofscotland@gmail.com) Either way, you won't be disappointed.






  1. If you're coming to Scotland as part of Homecoming, on an Ancestral Tour or just for a holiday, please do come and see us. We're especially pleased to see our members from North America and others whose ancestors came from south-east Scotland - we hardly ever meet you.
    Our public meetings are free to attend and from April 2014 we're expecting to have more space for research. See us on www.bordersfhs.org.uk