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!

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Free Online Course from University of Strathclyde

The University of Strathclyde is running another free online course. This is a basic course in genealogy. The last course proved to be hugely popular. Here is the release from Strathclyde:

Genealogy: Researching Your Family Tree

This free online course offered by the University of Strathclyde and FutureLearn will help you develop an understanding of basic genealogy techniques and how to communicate your family history. Starts the 18th of July and runs for 6 weeks. The first course run attracted 26,000 students from around the world! Learn more and sign up at: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/genealogy

Tuesday, 28 June 2016


Findmypast celebrates 
Canada Day and
4th of July 
with free access to more than 1 billion records

·         From June 29th until July 6th 2016, over 1 billion UK, US and Irish records will be completely free to search and explore on Findmypast
·         This includes all 118 million “Travel and Migration” records, 116 million US marriages, and all UK, Irish and US censuses
·         Over 7 million new US Naturalisation records and over 1.7 million US Passport Applications have also  been released, marking the first phase of two brand new collections ideal for uncovering early immigrant ancestors

Salt Lake City, Utah, June 27th 2016
Leading family history website, Findmypast, has just announced that they will be granting 8 days of free access to over 1 billion records as part of a new campaign designed to help US family historians learn more about their family's path to red white and blue. This will include free access to their  entire collection of Travel and Migration records, all US, UK and Irish censuses and all US marriage records.
The campaign has been launched to coincide with this year’s 4th of July celebrations and will provide customers with exciting new opportunities to uncover the pioneering immigrant ancestors who started their family’s American story.
Researchers will be provided with daily getting started guides, expert insights and useful how to videos designed to help them trace their family’s roots back to their earliest American ancestors and beyond. A special webinar will be hosted by expert genealogist, Jen Baldwin, at 11:00 MDT, July 1st, in which she will be sharing essential tips and tricks for getting the most out of Naturalisation records.
The campaign also coincides with the release of two new record sets that will prove incredibly useful to those looking to explore their family’s pre-American roots. Over 2 million US Passport Applications & Indexes (1795-1925), and over 7 million US Naturalisation Petitions have just been released in the initial phases of two brand new collections that will allow family historians to learn more about the first members of their family to become US citizens.
Over 1.1 billion records  will be free to search and explore on Findmypast from June 29th until July 6th 2016. This will include free access to:

  • ·         Over 106,000 US passenger list records
  • ·         Over 116,000,000 US marriage records
  • ·         Over 690,000,000 US & Canada census records
  • ·         Over 265,000,000 UK & Irish census records
  • ·         Over 10 million new and existing Naturalisation records
  • ·         Over 1.7 million brand new US Passport applications
  • ·         Passenger Lists Leaving UK 1890-1960
  • ·         Over 827,000 convict transportation records
This vast collection of travel and migration records coupled with unique UK, Irish and US data, makes Findmypast the best place for tracing ancestors back across the Atlantic and uncovering their English, Welsh, Irish or Scottish roots. Findmypast is home to more than 78 million exclusive UK parish baptisms, banns, marriages and burials, the largest collection of Irish records available online (totalling more than 110 million), and over 100 million United States marriages including millions of records that can’t be found anywhere else online.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

The Argyle Patent 1738-1740

The Provincial Governor of New York Colony offered 1000 acres of land to every adult Scot, and five hundred acres to every child Scot who paid passage to emigrate to the new world. Between 1738 & 1740, 472 Scottish Presbyterians from Argyll emigrated based on this promise. Upon their arrival, they realized that the promise had not been kept. Undaunted, they petitioned the government and managed to successfully secure 47,450 acres. This became known as the Argyle Patent. A map of the settlement, complete with names of the landowners can be found at:http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nywashin/patentma.htm

Scottish Highlanders to Georgia

In 1735, instructions were sent to Lieutenant Hugh MacKay of Sutherland to procure men for settlement in the colony of Georgia. 

300 Highland Scots (150 men along with wives and children) were rounded up and shipped to Georgia. Here are the letters regarding the orders to have the men shipped out as well as the list of some of the men who were transported by Hugh MacKay: http://cranntara.scot/clear4.htm

For those whose Scottish ancestors first settled in Georgia, the ship's list for the Prince of Wales, which brought the first group of highland military men from Inverness, has been transcribed and is available online: http://immigrantships.net/…/1700…/princeofwales17341228.html

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Do You Have Orcadian Ancestors?

Ahead of this spring's Genealogy Tour of Scotland, I spent a few days in Orkney. What an incredible place! Phenomenal history, right back to Neolithic times. Of course, being a series of islands, much of Orkney's history is associated with the sea: Navy, whaling, fishing, ferrying, mastering the harbours. And of course there is the darker side to the sea: shipwrecks, piracy and drownings. 

Luckily for those of you with ancestral roots in Orkney, there are some amazing records to assist you with your research. 

Perhaps the best gem was finding the records that are available in the Stromness Museum. The archival information is amazing. They have records for men who were recruited to work in the HBC's inland factory at York, lists of men who were pressed into service with Peter's Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, lists of ferries, dingys and lifeboats and their workers and fate, men who served and fell in service for both world wars, the records of the Stromness Hearse Company, donated private collections, Orkney Shipwrecks, Pentland Firth Crossings that ran into trouble. 

Not to be outdone, the Orkney Library & Archive in Kirkwall also has a fantastic collection of archival records. Here you can find shipping registers, valuation and voters rolls, school records, police registers, newspapers, magazines, and a raft of personal papers left on deposit. You can view the whole listing here: 

Best of luck tracing your Orcadian ancestors!