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, 15 September 2016

Fall and Winter Webinar Series

The fall and winter webinar series has now been scheduled  

Researching Your Scottish Ancestors (90 minutes)

Researching your Scottish ancestors is really quite rewarding. Knowing where to look is the key. This webinar will give you an in-depth look at how to get started researching your Scottish ancestors. This in-depth webinar will also give you some pointers on using the ScotlandsPeople website and resources to access once you have exhausted the documents on the ScotlandsPeople website
Cost: $17.95

Brick Wall Busters for Scottish Genealogy Research (60 minutes)

Scottish documents contain a wealth of information and can make researching so much easier when you really take a look at what the documents are telling you. It becomes important to really pay attention to the key words on the documents so that you know what records you need to look at next in order to break through brick walls and learn as much as you can about your Scottish ancestors.
Cost: $9.95

Using Poor Relief Records for Scottish Genealogy (60 minutes)

Poor relief in Scotland required a process of application and given that specific criteria needed to be met, not everyone who applied actually received poor relief. However, the applications are an absolute treasure trove of genealogical information and can give a fantastic "peek" into the lives of y our ancestors.
Cost: $9.95

The webinars will ONLY be available live. They will not be recorded for future viewing. If you cannot attend live, please do not purchase the webinar.
Here is the link: http://www.genealogytoursofscotland.ca/webinars.html

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Seeing (Genealogy) Stars

The Bronze, Silver and Gold awards for John Reid's annual Genealogy Rock Star Awards have been announced. And as always social media is a-buzz. This year the voting was a bit different in that everyone was required to use a Google account in order to vote. That may have turned some people off of voting but not enough to skew a healthy tabulation. And the winners in each geographic country are all in that actual geographic country. 

Geographically, the categories were: Ireland, England/Scotland/Wales, Australia/New Zealandthe USA and Canada. Un-linked to a specific geographic region were the Internationals and the Genetic Genealogists. 

A clean sweep across three separate categories (USA, Genetic, International) was none other than Judy G. Russell. Not surprising for anyone in the genea-sphere. Judy's schedule is nothing short of manic. She's in high demand, very unassuming in her star status and incredibly gracious in so many aspects of genealogy. In spite of being busier than the Energizer Bunny, Judy is always more than willing to stop and help. When we don't understand something - Judy will take the time to explain it and explain it in a way that allows us to understand better, and not feel like we are either in her way or being patronized. Judy gets the importance of working with colleagues in the community and is helpful whenever she can be. Thank you, Judy. You are a Superstar!

Bronze and Silver in the three categories Judy rocked are also superstars. Silver was awarded to CeCe Moore and Bronze was awarded to Blaine Bettinger. Both are as renowned in the genealogy and genetic genealogy world as Judy is. Both are gracious. Both are more than willing to help others with genealogy conundrums or to understand the more complex parts of genealogy. Congratulations CeCe and Blaine! Thank you for lighting the way for others. 

The three superstars who have swept the three categories remind me very much of the athletes that make sure the last fan standing gets an autograph, even if it delays the athlete's schedule. Sportsmanship in genealogy. 

Here is the rest of the line up:


Bronze was awarded to John Grenham and Silver was awarded to Claire Santry. What incredible "runners up" Knowledgeable, eager to share their knowledge and again, so unassuming about their star status within the genealogy world. Congratulations to you both!

Gold was awarded to none other than Maurice Gleeson. I had the pleasure of watching Maurice in action this past weekend at a conference. Like any superstar, he was never without people around him, seeking help. Registrants and colleagues alike. He was never too busy to stop and assist. Maurice genuinely was interested in the questions, the conundrums, the brickwalls. Perhaps the nicest part of Maurice is how quick he is to talk about the wonderful work of his colleagues. A true gentleman as well as a true Superstar. Congratulations, Maurice!


This group is an interesting one to me. First and foremost, they feel awkward about the awards. While they truly, truly appreciate the honour that others have bestowed on them by voting, they don't work hard to promote the awards. They don't like to be seen as competing against their colleagues. And while I have explained that they can vote for all of the colleagues on the ballot, they worry about those not nominated and don't want to take anything away from the work those colleagues have contributed to the genealogy world. 

Bronze for England/Wales/Scotland was awarded to Debbie Kennett. I don't know Debbie as well as I would like to but I do know that she has tremendous respect from her colleagues. That is always golden. Congratulations, Debbie!

Silver was awarded to Chris Paton. Another Superstar. Chris is always available to others for help, to answer questions, to share ideas and knowledge. Chris, too, will wait until the last person standing has had their questions answered. He has worked to bring the Scottish genealogy community together to share their expertise, to learn together and to support one another. You will always be golden in my books, Chris. Well done!

Gold for England/Wales/Scotland was awarded once again to Kirsty Gray. Congratulations, Kirsty!

Australia/New Zealand:

This produced a tie for Bronze! Bronze was awarded to both Helen V Smith of Australia and to Michelle Patient of New Zealand. Both women are well connected in the genealogy world. Unfortunately I don't know Michelle well. However I have been following Helen's recent travel to FGS, which seemed to take her most of the way across the world! Helen is part of the Unlock the Past team for both writing and genealogy cruises. I have been fortunate enough to currently be in a position of learning from Helen as she is authoring some articles for a newsletter I edit. Congratulations to you both, Ladies! 

Silver was awarded to Shauna Hicks. Currently, Shauna is a fellow writer for the In-Depth Genealogist but Shauna and I have been connected for a number of years on Google + Like Judy Russell in the US, Shauna always seems to be on the go and busy giving talks, writing books and articles and sailing the seas (making most of us incredibly envious). Congratulations, Shauna!

And Aussie's Golden Girl is none other than Aussie Granny, Jill Ball. Jill will be surprised by the honour of taking gold, but she is so deserving. Jill and I have been connected on Google + since the days when we, along with Shauna and Lorine Schulze, were part of the beta testing. Jill is a wealth of knowledge and more than happy to share her knowledge in order that others may also shine. Congratulations, Jill! You really are deserving. 

That brings us to the Canadian contingent. The ladies certainly shone this year in the Canadian Genealogy world. I took Bronze. I am honoured and thrilled to be sharing the podium with the silver and gold stars. 

The Silver star was awarded to Lorine McGinnis Schulze. Best known to most as the face behind Olivetree Genealogy. Lorine is a teacher by heart and has worked for years to provide free genealogy resources to others who are researching their family histories. My favourite posts of Lorine's are the ones where she lets her inner teacher shine. The ones where she walks us through, step-by-step, new record releases or new databases. This past year, Lorine provided a platform for teaching, mentoring and supporting new and fellow genealogy bloggers. Congratulations, Lorine! Well deserved. 

And Canada's Golden Girl is our very own Gail Dever. Gail is best known for her prolific blogging where she shares the genealogy (and historic) news of the day. Gail has also jumped into the sphere of genealogy speakers, her expertise being social media. I look forward to seeing more of what Gail is up to this coming year as demand for her speaking can only increase with this latest honour. Congratulations, Gail. Keep shining!

And perhaps the greatest star of all is John Reid. John, thank you for allowing the best of the genealogy world to be acknowledged. Thank you for providing a way for program chairs and committees to know who to contact in order to make their events a success. Thank you for providing a way for newsletter editors know who to contact for an article for their societies. John, for all of the work you put into the Rock Star awards, the nominations, the voting, the tabulating and the posting, you are our platinum award winner!

Monday, 12 September 2016

Knocked Down to Bronze

The second and third place results in the annual Genealogy Rock Star Awards have just been announced 

Last year, my first year in the running, I took second place, earning a silver medal in the Canadian category. This year I have been knocked down to third place, taking bronze. 

I am THRILLED that the genealogist that outshone me this year is also a Canadian. 

Congratulations to Lorine McGinnis Schulz, author of Olivetree Genealogy: http://www.olivetreegenealogy.com/index.shtml

Lorine has worked tirelessly for a number of years to provide free resources for genealogy research. Earlier this year, Lorine provided a platform to encourage and mentor new genealogy bloggers. 

Well deserved, Lorine! 

And thank you, John, for once again providing a way for those in the genealogy community to shine! 

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Canadian Descendants of the Ship Hector Passengers WANTED

BBC Scotland is on the lookout for Scottish-Canadians descendant from the ship the Hector. On September 15th 1773, the vessel landed at Brown’s Point in Pictou in Nova Scotia. The tired three-masted cargo vessel had almost not made it, overcoming terrible sickness and epic sea storms. The historic voyage was one of the earliest which marked the beginnings of a massive wave of immigration from Scotland that would shape the future of North America.

The BBC is keen to hear any personal stories from any Canadians or Americans descendant from those who boarded the ship in Scotland in 1773.

You can contact the programme’s researcher Nadine Lee by e-mail nadine.lee02@bbc.co.uk or by phone +0144 1224 384 816.

14th Annual BHC and Descendants Association Reunion

Saturday, September 10th. 2016. Bible Hill Junior High School, 741 College Road, Truro, Nova Scotia. Registration begins at 9:00 a.m. No registration fee. Lunch will be served. Guest speaker is Mr. Kenneth Bagnell, author of "The Little Immigrants: The Orphans Who Came To Canada". His web site - kennethbagnell.com. Deadline for submissions for the 2nd. Middlemore quilt will be on this date. For quilt details contact me or visit our Facebook page - British Home Children and Descendants Association (Nova Scotia) and look in "Files". 
~with thanks to GANS for sharing the information

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Join Me in Halifax!

I am thrilled to have been invited by the Genealogical Society of Nova Scotia to speak at a day long symposium. 

Join us on Saturday, October 15, 2016 at the William Spry Community Centre for a day of talks on Scottish genealogy research. 

Talks include: 

  • In Search of Your Scottish Ancestors (getting started on Scottish research)
  • Lesser Known Databases for Scottish Research (both online and offline)
  • Breaking Through Brick Walls (strategies for discovering "next steps")
  • They Came From Scotland (Tracking Your Scots Immigrant Ancestor)

GANS is going to feed you as well! Lunch and refreshments are provided to keep you energized. There will be publication sales and chances to purchase these resources during breaks.

The day is full of genealogy fun and learning and is open to everyone. To register, simply click this link. 

I'm looking forward to seeing you in Halifax in October!

Saturday, 3 September 2016

It's Time to Cast YOUR Vote

The voting for the Rock Star Genealogist Awards is now open. It's time for you to cast your vote for the person who you think deserves recognition for the work they do in the genealogy world. 

By voting, you let people who are looking for speakers for conferences, workshops, society meetings, or webinars know who to approach. Someone that the people who will be listening might enjoy learning from. 

You can vote for as many rock stars as you wish, but to make this fair, one vote for everyone really equals no votes for anyone. 

There is a change this year in the voting process in that you need to sign into your Google account in order to vote. If you don't have a Google account - why don't you? It's easy and it's free: https://accounts.google.com/signup