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, 28 February 2016

Find My Past Sponsors the Great Canadian Genealogy Summit

Find My Past is sponsoring the Marketplace at the Great Canadian Genealogy Summit. In addition, they are providing free access to their databases for everyone who attends the conference. 

Saturday, 27 February 2016

International Tourism Management Survey

Graduate student  Jade Albert is currently studying International Tourism Management at Glasgow Caledonian University and is undertaking a dissertation project this year. Her dissertation is entitled "Measuring the satisfaction of genealogical tourists" which aims to look at what ancestral facilities Scotland has to offer, how we market these facilities to the tourist and how satisfied these tourists are. If you would like to participate in the study, the survey can be found at: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/2Q2P7BS

It takes about 5-10 minutes to complete and would be completely anonymous. The survey results will be made public upon completion of the project.

Carnegie Trust Student Archives

In 1901, Scots American millionaire Andrew Carnegie created the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland to help the “deserving and qualified youth of that country” to attend university. The main source of student funding until the introduction of government grants, the Trust has played an important role in increasing social mobility and educational attainment in Scotland. The original index cards showing the name of recipients, course details and the amount awards have been scanned and the Carnegie Trust team will happily dig into its records on behalf of former recipients or their descendants curious to know more about the support given to them. We also welcome information about our beneficiaries, summarising their achievements and life stories.

To learn more about our archive and request a search, please visit: http://www.carnegie-trust.org/alumni/archive-of-student-records.html

**with thanks to Diane Stewart

Friday, 19 February 2016

Scottish SIG Symposium Registration is OPEN

Symposium 2016 will be held Friday August 19th at the Courtyard Marriott in Brampton
The registration for the Scottish SIG Symposium is now open. We have another fantastic line up of speakers and topics for you:
Sierra Dye - speaking about Scottish women and witchcraft
Brian Anderson - speaking about his Selkirk Settlers who were pioneers of the Baldoon Settlement
Sandra Joyce - speaking about British Home Children in Scotland
Rory Sinclair - Rory will be our piper this year and will also discuss the history of bagpipes
Christine Woodcock - From the Highland Croft to Canada*
Early-Bird Registration Fees will be $60 for the day, including breakfast and lunch. Onsite registration fees will be $70
The hotel is offering discounted rooms for anyone staying at the hotel to attend the Symposium. The link to the hotel registration is on the SIG website

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Anglo-Scottish FHS Scottish Marriage Index

The Anglo-Scottish FHS has, over the years, built up the Scottish Marriage Index. This is a database of marriages of Scots born people who have married away from their home district, mainly overseas. All the data has been submitted by researchers about their own families. This Index is available to view at www.anglo-scots.mlfhs.org.uk   As you will appreciate this database provides a useful resource in tracking down ancestors who have emigrated.

Ulster Historical Foundation's North American Tour

North American lecture tour itinerary, 05–22 March 2016

Want to discover your Irish and Scots-Irish ancestors?

Many people believe that researching Irish ancestors is impossible because of the destruction of the Public Record Office in 1922. While many records were destroyed, others survived and large collections have come online in recent years.

Join experts Fintan Mullan and Gillian Hunt from the Foundation during their annual North American lecture tour to learn how to get the most out of Irish resources and records, gain strategies for breaking down brick walls, and grasp important historical context that may help fill in gaps in your research.

Whether you are just beginning your Irish research or have been at it for years, you won’t want to miss these workshops!

Saturday, 05 March         Toronto, ON
Host:                           The Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society and the Canadian Department,                 North York Central Library

Sunday, 06 March            Boston, MA
Host:                           New England Historic Genealogical Society

Tuesday, 08 March          Philadelphia, PA             
Host:                           The Genealogical Society of Pennsylvania (GSP)

Wednesday, 09 March  Leesburg VA
Host:                           Thomas Balch Library
Thursday, 10 March        Newberry, Chicago, IL
Host:                           The Newberry Library

Friday, 11 March              Salt Lake City, UT
Host:                           Heritage Journeys, SLC

Saturday, 12 March         Portland, OR
Host:                           Genealogical Forum of Oregon
Further details:       www.gfo.org/IrishSeminar_Mar2016.pdf

Sunday, 13 March            Portland, OR
Host:                           Genealogical Forum of Oregon
Further details:       www.gfo.org/IrishSeminar_Mar2016.pdf

Monday, 14 March          Chehalis, WA   
Host:                           Lewis County Genealogical Society
Further details:       www.walcgs.org/

Wednesday, 16 March  Fountaindale, IL
Host:                           The Plainfield Public Library and the Fountaindale Public Library

Thursday, 17 March        Memphis, TN   
Host:                           Tennessee Genealogical Society
Further details:       www.tngs.org/

Saturday, 19 March         Pittsburgh, PA
Host:                           Heinz History Center and the Westmoreland County Historical Society

Sunday, 20 March 16      York County, PA
Host:                           South Central Pennsylvania Genealogical Society
Further details:       www.scpgs.org/meetings/

Tuesday, 22 March          Halifax (Debert), Nova Scotia
Host:                           Genealogical Association of Nova Scotia

What better way to celebrate St Patrick’s Day itself, than by making a start on your Irish and Scots-Irish ancestral quest. Your Irish genealogy is waiting to be discovered.

With sixty years’ experience of serving Irish people everywhere, let the Ulster Historical Foundation help you discover your family’s story.

**with thanks to the UHF for sharing their tour information

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

1939 Register Now INCLUDED in Find My Past Subscription

Starting today, access to the 1939 Register, a substitute to the 1941 census (which wasn't taken as the world was at war) is INCLUDED in both the world subscription and the UK subscription at Find My Past. 

Happy Searching!

Monday, 15 February 2016

Scottish Genealogy Research 101 - Family Tree University


Beginning Monday, February 15th, I will be the instructor for Family Tree University's Scottish Genealogy Research 101's online course.

The course covers:
  • ·         Getting Started
  • ·         Navigating the ScotlandsPeople Website
  • ·         Digging Deeper with Scottish Libraries and Archives
  • ·         Emigration
    Each student will get 20 free credits to use on the ScotlandsPeople website to practice what they learn.

The course allows interaction between students and with the instructor. 

To register:

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Comparing RootsTech to Who Do You Think You Are? Live

Last year I had the pleasure of attending Who Do You Think You Are? Live in Birmingham. It was my first time and I attended as a consumer.

This year, I had the pleasure of attending RootsTech. It was my first year and I attended as an Ambassador.

While the ways I attended were quite different, so were the experiences.

Both events were well attended, although it is hard to beat the attendance at RootsTech. The marketplaces were abuzz at both events. However, at WDYTYA, the only presentations seemed to be on DNA. Demonstrations by the Big Three (Ancestry, Find My Past and FamilySearch) were undertaken quietly and on more on an individual basis. Whereas every major vendor at RootsTech was giving presentations or demonstrations. Even the smaller vendors were giving talks. It certainly added to the buzz and to the learning that was taking place.

RootsTech offered free WiFi and computer access to everyone in the hall. The NEC, the venue for WDYTYA provided free WiFi.

RootsTech had a cafe with seating and lots of spaces throughout where there were comfortable chairs for seating. WDYTYA only had seating for exhibitors or speakers, which required leaving the venue to get a seat.

WDYTYA had a few talks scheduled and these tended to be on the outskirts of the room. One issue was that two of the areas were literally back to back and the two speakers were competing to be heard over the other.

RootsTech had a plethora of talks and unfortunately this made some of the sessions barely attended. One speaker mentioned that is was the largest audience he had never spoken to. The very large rooms made the small audiences even more noticeable. Fewer choices would allow for better attendance. Longer breaks in between would allow more people to take advantage of all that the Expo Hall had to offer.

WDYTYA had an "Ask the Experts" which was very well received and was helpful in getting people started or helping them move past their stumbling point.

WDYTYA also had an area set up where people could take heirlooms or artifacts and have them looked at by experts who could give more background. This too was well received.

DSCF8129 DSCF8127

As an Ambassador, the RootsTech experience was unrivaled.  We were placed in what was referred to as the "Media Hub" where we had WiFi, charging stations, tables and access to interviews. There was the formal sound booth where we could book small segments of time to conduct interviews. There was the less formal sofa chats where a number of people could interview one person. There was an additional sofa where we could manage impromptu interviews. Lots of people were seated around the perimeter conducting interviews and of course, we were blogging, tweeting and posting to Facebook as often as we could. In reality, the time to blog was almost obsolete. There simply wasn't enough time. The shorter posts to social media were much more manageable.

IMG_0113        RootsTech Ambassadors

In addition to the talks and marketplace, there were sponsored lunches. These were a bit pricey but so very worth it. The meals were incomparable, we had time to get to know others and most of all, we had a special insight into the presenter's passions for their product or organization.

Added to the daytime events, the Ambassadors were treated to a host of after-hours functions. The media dinner, the Find My Past reception and the large MyHeritage after party. These were tremendous opportunities to speak one on one with the vendors or to socialize with the people we only get to communicate with online. While it left no down time, the experience was amazing and added to the overall buzz.

I am unlikely to attend another WDYTYA, especially as just an attendee. If I do, it will be for a half day. Before attending RootsTech, I held the same belief about attending a future event. However, by Day 2, I was already looking forward to next year!

The dates for RootsTech 2017 are Feb 8-11MARK THE DATES! I can't wait to see you in Salt Lake City!

Friday, 12 February 2016

10% Discount at Forever.com

As a special for our followers and friends, the CanGen Summit Team managed to secure a discount to Forever.com - just in time for Valentine's Day. 

The code cangen10 will give you a 10% discount on permanent cloud storage or on any other product or service you choose.

Code valid from today until March 31, 2016

Here's the video which describes Forever.com

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Ancestry's Announcement About Software Compatibility Changes

In early December, Ancestry made the announcement that they were retiring the sales of FamilyTree Maker Software. Mass panic ensued. The issue, of course, was not so much the retiring of the software as it was that the trees could no longer be synchronized with the online trees on Ancestry.

Last week, at RootsTech the announcement was made that FamilyTree Maker is alive and well once again, having been bought out by MacKiev. The company assures new functionality features. Simultaneous to that announcement came news that RootsMagic was now the software to have, since Ancestry will allow synchronization between RootsMagic and their online trees. 

Bad timing!

While I understand that major events like RootsTech are prime places for genealogy related companies to make major announcements, the unfortunate piece is that Christmas occurred in between the announcement from Ancestry that FamilyTree Maker was out and RootsTech where we learned that RootsMagic was in. 

In a panic, after the initial announcement, people turned to the genealogy bloggers and gurus and then added genealogy software to their Christmas lists. Bad news for the Ancestry users who didn't ask Santa for RootsMagic! 

Of course, for those of us who don't care about the synchronization or who can work around it with other software, there really is no issue. But Ancestry isn't catering to us. They are catering to the people who only know to click, click, click. And have likely caused even more anxiety by waiting to announce the transition. 

Think twice before making big announcements, Ancestry. It all comes down to customer satisfaction and you have truly missed the mark on this one. 

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Call for Presentations OGS Conference 2017 Closes MONDAY

The annual Ontario Genealogical Society Conference 2017 will be held in Ottawa on June 16-18, 2017 at Algonquin College. The theme of the conference is Our Canada – Your Family: Building a Nation

As 2017 will be the 150th anniversary of the birth of Canada, Ottawa Branch OGS will host the annual OGS conference and give the Conference a national flair, bringing together genealogists and family historians from all over Canada. We are looking for speakers and talks of interest to genealogists from all provinces.

In keeping with this theme, we invite proposals for presentations on: 
  • family history from every region and territory of Canada (e.g. Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario, the Prairies and British Columbia); 
  • migration to and from Canada and also within Canada and how this helped to not only build our families, but also Canada;
  • pre- and post-1867 research in Upper Canada; 
  • religious associations; 
  • military connections; 
  • the latest updates on computer, social media and genealogy database technology; 
  • the ever growing use of DNA testing for genealogy; 
  • skill-building for family historians (e.g. use of the genealogy proof standard, getting more out of online resources)  

Speakers from other related disciplines are welcome! Statisticians, demographers, archaeologists, researchers, archivists, librarians, geographers, cartographers, scientists, theologians, doctors, PhD candidates, software gurus, internet intellectuals, social media mavens, and historians of all kinds have information of interest to family historians and we would like to hear from you! 

Most sessions will be one hour long. Sessions may be streamed in or out of the Conference venue. Topics for interactive, hands-on workshops are also welcome (typically half-day sessions). Speakers will receive an honorarium, plus appropriate expenses and complimentary Conference registration. In early 2017, speakers will submit content for inclusion in a syllabus.

Please submit your proposals by e-mail. Include your full name, mailing address, telephone number, e-mail address, website address (if applicable) and biographical information including recent speaking credits. For each proposal, please provide a unique title, a summary of your presentation (250 words maximum), the intended audience (beginner, intermediate, advanced) and your A/V requirements. Multiple proposals are encouraged.


To submit proposals or ask questions, please contact the Conference 2017 Program Committee at: program.conference2017@ogs.on.ca

*with thanks to Jane Down

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

The Great Canadian Genealogy Summit Team Gets Interviewed

While at RootsTech, the CanGen Summit Team had the pleasure of being interviewed by the team at the In-Depth Genealogist. It was a great chat and the time went far too quickly!

Next Genealogy 101 Course Starts Monday


Beginning Monday, February 15, I will be the instructor for Family Tree University's Scottish Genealogy Research course.

The course covers:
  • ·         Getting Started
  • ·         Navigating the ScotlandsPeople Website
  • ·         Digging Deeper with Scottish Libraries and Archives
  • ·         Emigration

The course allows interaction between students and with the instructor. 

To register:

Monday, 8 February 2016

RootsTech Interview with Forever.com

What a great pleasure it was for the team at the Great Canadian Genealogy Summit to interview Glen Meakem of Forever.com 

We had so much fun learning about this fascinating new technology that allows long-term cloud storage where the person uploading to the cloud retains ownership! The upfront fees pay for the long term storage over many many years. This is the ONLY cloud storage that is guaranteed for the long term and guarantees you retain ownership. 

Thank you, Glen, for energizing us and for this unique way for family historians to preserve their family memories and ephemera long term. 

Kathryn Lake Hogan, Glen Meakem and Christine Woodcock

RootsTech Interview with Find My Past

The Great Canadian Genealogy Summit Team had the great pleasure of interviewing Gail Rivett (Chief Marketing Officer) and Ben Bennett (VP Operations) of Find My Past:

Ben's favourite record set is the newly released US Marriage Collection and the Passenger Lists. Gail's favourite record set is the 1939 Register

Coming down the pipes, and of great excitement to all of us, is that Find My Past is working with Library and Archives Canada to have the records in their collections to be digitized and made available through Find My Past. First up will be the Census records, so look for them coming online towards the end of 2016.

Special thanks to both Gail and Ben for taking the time to chat with us and to Jen Baldwin for setting the interview up. What an energizing start to RootsTech!

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Registering and Researching

RootsTech doesn't officially start until tomorrow. So, we decided to head over to the Family History Library today. But first, we went to the Salt Palace to register for RootsTech. 

Our Canadian Contingent selfie as Team CanGen poses in front of Salt Palace

Team CanGen: Christine Woodcock, 
Mike Quackenbush and Kathryn Lake Hogan

Salt Palace Convention Centre. Home of RootsTech

It was great running into a number of our genea-buddies today in the Salt Palace. Looking forward to spending more time with them over the week. 

After we registered and mingled, it was over to the Family History Centre to do some research. 

I decided to have a look at what was available for Scotland. I knew in advance that the FHL has some information on sasines. It turns out to be indexes. I chose the burgh of Lanarkshire where the majority of my ancestors were from. As happens, my eyes were drawn to the entries for Haddows. My paternal line. I know my Haddows had land back when. Easterseat, to be exact. In Carluke. John Haddow was a portioner of Carluke. I have looked high and low for information on Easterseat. Never any reference. I had all but given up. However.....TODAY.....

I found John Haddow, portioner of Easterseat in the Sasine Registers Index for Lanarkshire!!!

OH WOW!! What an amazing find. And what an amazing feeling! I was so excited I had to share. Thankful to the lovely volunteer in the British Isles Dept today who was nice enough to not only listen, but share my excitement!!

Now I can't wait to get to Edinburgh in May and get tucked into the Sasine records. I know exactly what ones I need to ask for, having found them today in the indexes!

Headed to RootsTech!!

The long awaited day finally arrived! Up and out the door at "still dark" o'clock. I loved watching the sun rise as I made my way to the airport. I made it to the airport with loads of time to spare so was able to enjoy a latte and muffin while getting caught up on messages and posts. 

 This is 4 year old Jake. He is a therapy dog and works at Buffalo International Airport. He likes getting petted by passengers waiting to board their planes because he knows it helps keep them calm. He also loves getting his photo taken.

The plane was likely one of the smallest I have been on. I was in a single-seat row and was able to get fantastic views of the lakeshore as we made our way to Chicago. 

Although the Expedia app said that our plane had arrived 8 minutes, early, it in fact landed 37 minutes late, We circled O'Hare for a good 40 minutes. By the time I got off the plane, I had exactly 12 minutes to run from one end of terminal 2 to the far end of terminal 1. United doesn't hold flights even though they were the reason we were running late and could clearly see on their computers that I had to run 17.5 miles to catch my next flight. 

I made it just as the doors were closing. Made it into my seat only to hear the announcement that the plane was going to wait for a few people who had to run to make the connection. WHAT?? That would have been nice 5 minutes earlier. REWIND.

Then, when the runners did arrive, they were told there were no assigned seats, just to sit where there was an available seat. Glad I paid an additional $62 for my seat!

Add to this that the very back of the plane was offered snacks/lunches to purchase and the three rows ahead of me, which were first class, were given a steak entree and home made chocolate chip cookies while we country bumpkins were given dried out pretzels and mouth full of soda. 

FINALLY we arrived in SLC. The mountains are spectacular. Absolutely spectacular. 

We had booked the Express Shuttle. What a cozy ride that was. 6 of us crammed into a minivan. I got the jumpseat - a seat I haven't fit into since I was 5. The suitcases were stacked to the roof and the walkers were strapped ONTO the roof! Fortunately we were the first ones to exit the shuttle. 

We had time to decompress, have a drink and then head out to California Pizza Kitchen to meet up with other genies from the Commonwealth. 

 My better than elixir Mai Tai

Table 2. Photo courtesy of Roger Moffat. 

A quick, brutally cold dash from there to the Radisson for a night cap with Thomas McEntee, Terri O'Connell, Shannon Combs Bennett and Jennifer Alford of the In-Depth Genealogist. Then back to our home away from home for a long awaited SLEEP. 

Already looking forward to the rest of the week at #RootsTech

Who Doesn't Love a Bargain?

I am honoured to be a writer for the In-Depth Genealogist Magazine. This eMagazine brings together genealogists from all over the globe and in doing so provides you, the reader with resources from some of the best in the biz. 

The In-Depth Genealogist is an eMagazine that is produced 12 times a year. It is jam packed with genealogical how-to information and provides a great learning opportunity each and every month. 

The In-Depth Genealogist eMagazine is the most inexpensive learning opportunity available for family historians and genealogists everywhere. At $35 for 12 issues, it is a bargain that simply can't be beat. 

Except NOW. Since many of the writers will be attending RootsTech, the amazing editorial team at In-Depth Genealogist have decided to reduce the subscription to just $25! That's just $2 per issue!

PLUS you get access to two years worth of back issues - FREE!

As a Scot, this is one bargain that CAN'T be beat. Don't wait, though. The sale ends February 10th. On check out, use the coupon code RootsTech16

Monday, 1 February 2016

Tomorrow! Tomorrow!

It's only a day away...

Tomorrow morning at "still dark" o'clock I will be on my way to the airport as I start the first leg of my journey to RootsTech. 

Many of my genea colleagues have already arrived and I can not wait to join them!

As an Ambassador for RootsTech, I will be blogging and tweeting about my experience. Follow along here or follow me on Twitter @genealogytours 


The Gypsy Genealogist, Karen Graf of Kingston Ontario has won a free registration to the CANGEN SUMMIT in October. 

Karen, who had registered to attend the Summit, was automatically entered into the draw to have her registration fees reimbursed.


All you have to do to enter the contest is to register for the Summit. Another registrant will be chosen near Easter to have their fees reimbursed. 

Register now at: http://www.cangensummit.ca/

For those of you outside Canada, the registration fees of $159 give you the full conference for $113 usd!!