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!

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Linlithgowshire Electoral Rolls Added to FindMyPast

The 1864- 1931 electoral rolls for Linlithgowshire, held by the British Library, have been added to the Findmypast databases. 

Hopefully we will begin to see more electoral rolls for Scotland get added over time. 

Monday, 18 July 2016

Online Access to New Record Sets

Two incredibly detailed records for researching your Scottish ancestors are the Kirk Session records, a record of discipline meted out by the Kirk Elders for such things as swearing, breaking sabbath, drunkenness, pre-nuptial fornication, and anything else that fit into loose morals or un-Christian living. These records have all been digitized and will be coming online later this year via the ScotlandsPeople website. 

The other record set that provides a detailed view into the lives of our ancestors were the Poor Law records. And Stirling Archives has taken the lead on indexing their Poor Law records and making the indexes fully searchable and available online. This is an incredible accomplishment. While the records need to be viewed in person in the archives, you can at least check to see whether the records in fact exist for your ancestors in Stirling. 

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Edinburgh's Bobby

Edinburgh's Bobby. In 1867, when it had been mandated that all dogs in Edinburgh must be licenced (to alleviate the number of strays) and that any unlicenced dogs would meet an early death, the city cried out since wee Bobby's master was dead, so could not purchase a licence. 

William Chambers, Lord Provost (Mayor) of Edinburgh, was also the Chairman of the SPCA. He paid for Bobby's licence, which reads "Greyfriar's Bobby from the Lord Provost 1867. Licenced" This essentially meant that wee Bobby now belonged to the City of Edinburgh and was free to remain at his master's grave, and wander onto the street to get his lunch at 1:00 when he heard the one o'clock gun fire from the Castle. 

Bobby's licence and bowl are on display at the Edinburgh Museum in the Cannongate area of the Royal Mile. The Museum is free and has a treasure trove of Edinburgh history on display.

The Witches Stone, Dornoch

In Dornoch, there is a rather unremarkable stone. It marks the spot where the last witch in Scotland was executed for witchcraft. The stone is actually in the back yard of a private home, but is well maintained and easily viewed from the street. Execution for practicing witchcraft was repealed 7 years after Janet Horne was executed.

If you believe your ancestor may have been accused of witchcraft, you can search the witch trials database at: http://webdb.ucs.ed.ac.uk/witches/

Memorial Cairn for Sir John A Macdonald's Grandparents

When I was in Scotland in late May, I wanted to visit the area affected by the Highland Clearances. I detoured slightly into Rogart. Sir John A Macdonald’s grandparents were from Rogart. They were part of the Clearances. I was struck by just how desolate Rogart was. However, I was able to find the memorial cairn erected on the sight of the former home of Sir John’s grandparents. The cairn was built using the stones that remained from the original home and was unveiled in 1968 when John Diefenbaker visited the area. 

John Diefenbaker’s maternal great grandfather was a Bannerman. The Bannermans were cleared from Kildonan and emigrated as Selkirk Settlers. They were to have been taken to York Factory, but ended up in Churchill and needed to make their way to the Red River Settlement from there. Diefenbaker’s great grandfather played the bagpipes along the way to help the Scots settlers keep their spirits up. Diefenbaker made an ancestral pilgrimage to Kildonan along with his brother in 1958 and returned in 1968.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Scottish Genealogy Research Course

Once again, I will be instructing the Scottish Genealogy Research Course being offered by Family Tree University.

The course is quite comprehensive and runs 4 weeks from July 18 - Aug 12. There is ample opportunity to receive instructor feedback and to ask questions about your research.

This course has been quite popular in the past. Don't miss out. You can register at:

I look forward to meeting you online and sharing in your genealogy learning.

Scottish Diaspora Tapestry Visits Toronto

The Diaspora Tapestry is coming to Toronto. It will be at St Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Scarborough. St Andrew's was founded by Scots. The tapestry will be on display from Sept 19 - Oct 1. Admission is FREE. Hours for viewing:
Weekdays: Noon – 8 p.m. Sat.
Sept. 24, 10:00 - 6:00
Sun. Sept. 25, 
2:00 - 6:00 Sat.
Oct., 1, 10:00 - 4:00