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, 31 January 2016

48 Hours to RootsTech!

In 48 short hours, I will be checking in at the airport, ready to head to Salt Lake City to attend RootsTech 2016! 

I have my week planned out. I am part of the Canadian Contingent and we are looking forward to interviews, meeting up with people we only know online. I am looking forward to re-connecting with genealogy friends I don't get to see often enough. I am looking forward to the vendors, the talks, the learning, and the networking. 

I am especially looking forward to time in the Family History Library to further my genealogy research. 

And as an added bonus, I am looking forward to seeing my McDonald cousin, my friend, Margaret. 

Roll on Tuesday!

From This Day Forward

January 31st is an anniversary day. The anniversary of my parents and the anniversary of my in-laws. 

Harry and Ada Woodcock married on January 31 1940 in Trinity Church in Brantford Ontario. Young Harry was just about to be shipped out on active duty as a gunner in WWII

Dot and Tommy McDonald were married on January 31, 1957 in Rosewell Kirk. 

Happy Heavenly anniversary Mom, Dad, Mum and Dad

A wedding anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity.  The order varies for any given year.  ~Paul Sweeney

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

RootsTech 2016 Live Streaming Schedule Announced!

I am so looking forward to RootsTech next week! For those of you not able to travel, you can still enjoy the learning experience offered by RootsTech through their live streaming of a number of sessions. 

All of the general/keynote sessions will be live streamed with the exception of the talk by Doris Kearns Goodwin. 

A number of smaller sessions are also being live streamed. 

Here is the list:

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

One Week Till RootsTech!

In one short week I will be on my way to Salt Lake City to take in the experience that is RootsTech. This will be my first time at RootsTech and I am so looking forward to it.

My time is booked to the max while I am in SLC but I am so grateful for all of the opportunities to meet up with genealogy colleagues that I really only know online. The days are packed with classes, interviews, and of course time in the HUGE Exhibition Hall. But the evenings are no time for slackers.

Tuesday night is the Commonwealth Meet Up for dinner. Tons of thanks to Jill Ball for orchestrating this gathering. 

Wednesday night is the Media Dinner where we get to meet some of the superstars of RootsTech 2016. Following that, I will be running over to the Olive Garden for the Next Generation Genealogy Network (NextGen) Meet Up. This one is being hosted by the Canadian Contingent: Mike Quackenbush, Kathryn Lake Hogan et Moi. I am looking forward to the energy and ideas that will be permeating through the room with all of these young, vibrant minds. 

Thursday night I will be making my way to the apart-hotel of the In-Depth Genealogist Team for a gathering with my fellow writers. This is such a great group and I am so looking forward to the fun. 

Friday night I will be making my way to dinner with the Family Tree University Team where I will be getting to meet up with fellow course instructors, course developers and webinar presenters. I am really looking forward to this one. There are some great learning opportunities available through FTU and I can't wait to hear all about them first hand. 

Saturday night, I and a gaggle of other Genealogy Bloggers will be making our way to the after party hosted by none other than Dear Myrtle. This will be a great opportunity to network with other bloggers and to enjoy the chance to meet in person rather than online. 

AND THEN Sunday morning, I need to arrive at the airport at.....wait for it.....4:30 am. AM. The good news is that the flight from SLC to Chicago is long enough that I hope to catch some shut eye. 

I will be blogging every day and look forward to sharing my experiences with you. Watch this space!

Friday, 22 January 2016


Thanks to the ever shrinking Canadian dollar, the Great Canadian Genealogy Summit (CANGEN) is a remarkable bargain for those coming across the border.

Our registration fees for the full weekend are only $159. At the current rate of exchange, that makes it $112usd! Crazy cheap. 

Your registration fees give you:

  • Opening Keynote on Friday night
  • Full Day of Concurrent Talks on Saturday
  • Two Talks on Sunday, including our Closing Plenary

Also included:

  • breakfast Saturday
  • full lunch Saturday
  • light breakfast Sunday
  • free access to Find My Past for the weekend

Our day of research at the Archives on Friday is only pennies more. 

Take advantage of the economy and register NOW: http://www.cangensummit.ca/

Remember every one who registers by Friday gets entered into a draw to have your registration fees reimbursed. Even cheaper!

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Just a Fortnight Until ROOTSTECH 2016

In two weeks I will be winging my way to RootsTech 2016. This will be my first time at RootsTech and I am looking forward to drinking in the experience. 

I have been chosen as an Ambassador, so my experience will be from that perspective. I will be spending most of my time in the Exhibition Hall. I will attend some classes, and all of the main events, of course. In addition, I will be attending the Media Dinner on Wednesday night. 

I am looking forward to visiting the Family History Library, attending the Next Generation Genealogy Network (NextGen) Meetup, hanging out with others who write for the In-Depth Genealogist Magazine, and spending time with other bloggers. 

The schedule is jam-packed. From 8 am until 10 pm every day. I am sure lots of it will fly by in a blur, but I am still really looking forward to the experience and to sharing my experience with you. 

I will be Blogging, Tweeting and posting to Facebook. I hope you join in on my journey!

Saturday, 16 January 2016



This webinar will provide a detailed look at the genealogical information contained within the libraries and archives across Scotland. 


JANUARY 23 10:30

This 90 minute webinar will get you well on your way to researching in the Scottish records, This webinar includes an in depth look at using the ScotlandsPeople website.  You will receive FREE credits to practice with. 


Friday, 15 January 2016

Vote on the Future of Inverness Castle!

©Dave Conner, Inverness, Scotland [CC BY 2.0
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

There has been some buzz on social media for the past couple of months regarding the future of Inverness Castle. The Council is now seeking the public's input regarding the potential uses for the Castle.

The  four main options are:

  • A Family History Room, Registrar's Office, Wedding venue and self-catering accommodations. 
  • A Museum and Gallery
  • A "Capital of the Highlands" Visitor Information Centre, Outlook Tower and self catering accommodations
  • A "Themed" visitor attraction and self catering accommodations

Also being considered is a library. 

You can vote for your top three choices by dragging and dropping into the second column in order of importance to you. Here is the link: 


My personal favourite is the Family History Room (which will include a hub for the ScotlandsPeople Centre and provide access to the same databases available in Edinburgh) and Registrar's office in the same location. This could attract large numbers of the diaspora returning to the area to research their Scottish roots. It looks as though accommodation is included in each option, so you can stay onsite where you research! Wouldn't it also be wonderful to have a library in the same building!

Please take the time to vote!

Monday, 11 January 2016

New Record Release - Stirling District Asylum

The NHS archivists at the University of Stirling have been busy cataloguing the records from the Stirling District Asylum. This 50 volume collection offers a fascinating read into the lives of 

The Stirling District Asylum opened in 1869 and housed some 9000 patients between then and 1918. Many of the patients were paupers (likely a fallout of their mental illness) and one fascinating little detail is that the patients were photographed by staff. These may be the only photographs of the residents since many would not have had access to a camera prior to their institutionalization. 

The records provide a fascinating look into the lives and minds of the inpatients at this Victorian institution. 

The records are accessible to the public by visiting the Stirling University library. 

Saturday, 2 January 2016

2016's Focus is Scotland and Scottish Heritage

A new year is upon us. Full of opportunity. 

I am so lucky to be living my dream. I never feel like I am working. I love teaching, writing, traveling, learning, connecting and I get to do all of these on a very regular basis. 

I set my own hours and apart from a handful of weeks a year when my schedule is governed by others (tours and conferences) I can choose how to spend my days. 

And in all of this, I get to share my love of my homeland, help others in their quest to learn more about their Scottish ancestors and their own Scottish heritage. 2016 is shaping up to be an amazing year - and the focus will be on Scotland and Scottish heritage. 

There will be the usual webinars and talks, articles to write, blogs to author, conferences to plan or attend, colleagues to collaborate with and two separate trips to Scotland to assist others in their quest to research their Scottish ancestors. 

I am so looking forward to the Scottish SIG Symposium in August  -  a full day of learning about Scottish genealogy. THEN it will just be a matter of weeks until the Great Canadian Genealogy Summit where 5 fantastic Canadian genealogists will share their specialized knowledge with others who are looking to learn more about their ancestors who were among the early settlers of Canada - French Canadians, Loyalists, Irish, English and Scots. 

One new project for me this year will also be done behind the scenes in planning for Canada to host the Scottish North American Leadership Conference in 2017 - to coincide with the 150th anniversary of this diverse nation. 

But first, time to get ready for RootsTech 2016!

Friday, 1 January 2016

Save 50 % on World Subscription to Find My Past

Now that Start Your Family History Week is over, Find My Past is offering a 50 % discount to their World subscription so you can get started with your research online. 

The sale is time limited until January 5, so don't delay. Use the promo code XMASOFF15. You can subscribe for one month or for 12 months. 

Happy searching!