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!

Sunday, 27 April 2014

The Battle of Bannockburn: ”Scotland Then and Now” Symposium

The Battle of Bannockburn: ”Scotland Then and Now” Symposium    
21 June 2014
2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

 St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto:
Muzzo Family Alumni Hall – AH
121 St. Joseph Street
Toronto, ON, Canada


~Prof. Graeme Morton –  “The National Story Since Bannockburn”

~Brigadier General Julian Chapman –  “The Mechanics of War in 1314”

~Dr. Mairi Cowan - ” ‘The Saints of the Scottish Country Will Fight Today’”

~Prof. Andrew McDonald - “Bannockburn, Barbour’s ‘Bruce,’ & the Reign of Robert I”

~Prof. Barbara Murison - “Bannockburn: a Talisman for Scottish independence?”
Tickets: $20.00 In advance


20th Annual BIFHSGO Family History Conference

The 20th Annual BIFHSGO Family History Conference takes place September 19 - 21, 2014.

This year's conference will focus on three main topics:

 •English family history;
 •Immigration from the British Isles, including Home Children; and
 •Genetic genealogy.

 Conference Program: 

Review the highlights in the conference brochure to find topics and speakers of interest to you. http://www.bifhsgo.ca/upload/files/Conference%202014/2014%20Brochure_final.pdf


  • Dr. Lucille Campey - emigration historian, author of numerous books on British Isles emigration to Canada who will launch her latest book Ignored but not forgotten - Canada's English Immigrants at the conference.
  • Gail Dever - BIFHSGO webmaster, social media expert and blogger at Genealogy à la carte.
  • John Dickenson - a former professor at Liverpool University who now researches Canada’s Home Children, especially their involvement in the First World War.
  • Dr. Janet Few - freelance researcher and prize-winning author specializing in the south-west of England who will give a streamed-in presentation on North Devon immigrants to Canada.
  • Paul Jones - retired publisher, “Roots” columnist for Canada’s History magazine who speaks frequently on offbeat topics at family history events.
  • Debbie Kennett - an avid genetic genealogist, author of DNA and Social Networking (2011) and The Surnames Handbook (2012). Debbie is Honorary Research Associate in the Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment at University College London.
  • Paul Milner - an internationally recognized speaker specializing in British Isles research, author of Discover English Parish Records and Genealogy at a Glance: English Research.
  • Gary Schroder - long-time president of the Quebec Family History Society and a frequent guest on Quebec radio and television promoting family history research.
In addition, speakers at pre-conference seminars on September 19 will include, from Library and Archives Canada, Paul Marsden and Sylvie Tremblay.

Online registration is available at: http://www.bifhsgo.ca/cpage.php?pt=126

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Looking For Scottish Nursing Archives?

Nursing archives are held by the Royal College of Nursing Archives, Scottish Board. Their documents are not available online, but you can write to them at 42 South Oswald Road, Edinburgh EH9 2HH

Nursing records for Western General Hospital (Edinburgh) are at:
Centre for Research Collections
Edinburgh University Library
George Square Edinburgh

Royal Gartnavel Hospital (Glasgow): http://archiveshub.ac.uk/data/gb812-hb13
And other Glasgow based hospitals are at: http://www.archives.gla.ac.uk/gghb/collects/nursing.html

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Thank You Toronto!

What a great day yesterday! I was fortunate enough to be part of the Toronto Branch (OGS) Workshop "Scotland & Its People"

The day was very well organized and lots of information was offered and shared.

Dr Kevin James from the University of Guelph's Scottish Studies Program gave a condensed history of Scotland, helping to put our genealogy research into perspective. His second talk was a brilliant overview of reasons for Scots emigrating.

Sheena Tait made her maiden voyage to Canada to speak on Scottish History and it's impact on Genealogy Research (parish records, poor law records, estate records etc). Her second talk gave an overview of the Scottish agricultural labourer and provided some of the social history aspects for our farmer ancestors. And Sheena's final talk provided resources that would allow us to gain a better sense of being able to visualize what our ancestors' lives were like.

James FS Thomson from the Toronto branch gave two workshops. The first was on the website ScotlandsPlaces, the sister site to ScotlandsPeople, where documents other than statutory records are available - tax records, gazeteers, ordnance maps and so much more. His second talk was on conducting Scottish research from the GTA and the resources that are available locally.

Linda Reid, also from the Toronto Branch, gave a wonderful and fascinating talk on using Lair records to break through genealogical brick walls.

Krista Barclay gave us a fascinating look at Scots who had initially settled in Ontario and who subsequently migrated to North Dakota as a response to the Homesteaders Act.

Marian Press gave a very informative talk on resources for local history and social history to assist us in gaining a better understanding of our Scottish ancestors.

And I gave a talk to a very enthusiastic group on preparing for a genealogy research trip to Scotland.

It was a full day. Full of learning. Lots of chances to network and some great craic. Many of us  missed out on lunch because we didn't want to have to miss out on any of the talks to go out and grab a sandwich.

Thank You Toronto!

Thank You Fairfax!

The last weekend in March I had the great pleasure of speaking to the Fairfax Genealogical Society. What a great group of people!

The first talk was to their general membership meeting on the Thursday evening. We had a great time talking about Turning Family Trees into Family Treasures. We looked at creating family history books, family newsletters and other creative ways to share your research.

One woman commented that she is good at research and at organization, but not at writing the story. We were able to recognize that if she can find a new piece of the genealogical puzzle, and come to the meeting and explain to me how that has changed her understanding of her family history, or has filled in the details, then she is able to write the story. She simply needs to write as if she were speaking.

The four remaining talks were all on Scottish genealogy and were part of the Spring Conference. Basic Scottish Research, Lesser Known Databases for Scottish Research, Tracking Your Scots Emigrant Ancestor and Preparing for a Genealogy Research Trip to Scotland.

It was great to be able to share hints and tips, give away credits to ScotlandsPeople and to share stories with these wonderful Scots descendants.

Thank You Fairfax!

Tuesday, 1 April 2014