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, 11 April 2019

Reminder - FREE Webinar Tonight

You have spent years working on  your family history, gathering information, documents, photos and perhaps even videos. Now let's look at how you can ensure your hard work will be stored and preserved beyond the time when you are no longer able to manage caring for it. 

Join me for a FREE webinar:

Preserve Your Family History FOREVER
7:30 pm eastern

In this webinar, we will learn about:
• What makes FOREVER different from other cloud storage companies
• The FOREVER guarantee (your lifetime plus 100 years)
• Setting your legacy/preservation settings - assigning an account manager, future generations getting access to your family history documents, photos and videos.
• Creating and Nesting Albums
• Sharing your research
• Creating collaborative albums

Friday, 8 March 2019

Highland and Island Emigration Society Records FREELY Available Online

Having been immersed in the big announcements made at RootsTech last week, I nearly missed the big announcement from ScotlandsPeople on their new record release. The records of the Highlands and Islands Emigration Society have been digitized and made freely available on the ScotlandsPeople website. 

These records pertain to some 5,000 people who left the destitution of the highlands and western isles for a better life in Australia and who received assisted passage from the Highland and Island Emigration Society.

In addition to the records of those receiving assistance is a listing of all of the ships who took passengers to Australia as part of this emigration scheme. The most common port of departure was Liverpool, England, but a few also left from Campbelltown.

Saturday, 2 March 2019


Today was the last day of RootsTech. Saturday is always Family Day which means throngs of people. We Ambassadors outwardly dread the day but inwardly, we thrive on it. We love the buzz and the excitement that the day brings. 

I was late getting to the Convention Centre today, having stayed at the hotel to work on my final presentation. As soon as I walked in, I saw the kids getting their faces painted. 

Then it was past the main stage where I could here the ukulele playing. And on into the Expo Hall. WOW. The crowds!

Before I knew it, it was time for my presentation. This one was being recorded. It was the last time slot of the day, but people were engaged and interested and the questions were incredible. 

And just like that, the week was over....  

It has been an incredible week. I have connected, I have learned, I have shared. I have met new friends, enjoyed new experiences and although I am exhausted, it has been oddly exhilarating to have been here. Thank you, #RootsTech

#RootsTech Day 3

Yesterday went by in a whirlwind. It was hard to know what day it was or how far along we are in the conference. 

My day started at 5:30. I managed to get caught up on things that didn't get done the day before. I was in the Convention Centre by 7:30 and thoroughly enjoyed the power hour talk by Ancestry Pro Genealogists. We learned why it was important to consult a professional and at what points in our research it would be a benefit. We learned about the wonderful team that creates story books for all ages and stages of research and we learned about the wonderful opportunities available in the world of ancestral tourism.

The ancestral tours that Ancestry runs are not genealogy research tours. They are more geared to connecting you to your ancestral homeland than helping you further your research or breakdown brick walls. So, if you have Scottish roots, but don't know what part of Scotland your ancestors were from, you might want to consider taking their tour this October 

The general session keynote speaker was Saroo Brierley who shared his journey with us. 

From the talk, it was over to the media hub. I managed to connect with colleagues from Findmypast, Forever, Strathclyde University, dozens of bloggers and loads of genealogy speakers. 

The evening was rounded off with a Virtual Genealogical Association get together at Squatters. 

Friday, 1 March 2019

Day 2 at #RootsTech!

Day 2 was a full day, and for me, started at 8 am with a presentation by Findmypast The Ultimate Guide to Tracing British Isles Roots.This was a terrific overview of not only UK and Ireland but also working hard in America to be able to be ready to take your research overseas. 

Next up was the General Session with Keynote speaker Patricia Heaton who gave a heartwarming talk about the importance of family and family connections. Following her talk, Whitney Peterson of FamilySearch did a 'reveal' of research on Patricia's family history. 

In the afternoon, I attended a talk by Glen Meakem, CEO of Forever who talked about the Revolution in Multi-Generational Memory Keeping and Digital Rights. The personal stories that were shared by others were wonderful and so uplifting. 

In wandering around the Expo Hall, I was able to see and speak with a number of colleagues and once again recognized that THIS is my community. These are my people. THIS is where I belong. 

Thursday, 28 February 2019


Yesterday afternoon was the official kick-off for #RootsTech 2019 with the Opening Session. While the theme of this year's conference continues to be "Connect-Belong" there is a specific emphasis on healing. 

During the session, we were witness to a wonderful presentation by Michael Moore about the opening of the International African American Museum. This museum is going to be on the site of what was once Gadsden's Wharf where nearly half of all enslaved Africans entered America. 

The museum will provide a place for descendants of African slaves to gather, remember, learn more of their history and culture and celebrate the role that these enslaved men and women played in the history of America. 

Following Michael's moving presentation, David Elder Bednar, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, announced that the church was donating $2,000,000 to the museum for their Centre for Family History. Elder Bednar said, "We want to support the museum and the Centre for Family History because we both value the strength that comes from learning about our families. The museum will not only educate its patrons on the important contributions of Africans who came through Gadsden's Wharf and Charleston, it will also all who visit to discover and connect with ancestors whose stories previously may not have been known." What a powerful message of healing!

Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Breaking News from MyHeritage

Another big announcement from RootsTech, this one from MyHeritage who have just launched "The Theory of Family Relativity™" 

From their announcement: 

This technology fulfills a promise made by our CEO, Gilad Japhet, last year in RootsTech, and is the first of its kind. The Theory of Family Relativity™ traverses the worlds of family trees, historical records, and DNA testing by connecting billions of data points to craft a theory of how two DNA Matches on MyHeritage are related.
This theory is a game-changer in the world of genetic genealogy, and scans billions of family trees, historical records, and other databases to illuminate the relationships between DNA Matches. The Theory of Family Relativity™ is a prime example of MyHeritage’s passion for innovation, fusing the worlds of genealogy and DNA testing to help people break through genealogical brick walls.

Enjoy connecting in relative terms


One of the standards at any conference is the 'swag bag' 

Here are some of the specials inside:

LivingDNA and FamilyTreeDNA are selling kits for just $49

Apparently AncestryDNA didn't get the memo and are selling their kits for $59

RootsTech London is offering a 'Pre-Earlybird Sale price of £89 for the London Conference registration IF you register before RootsTech SLC is finished

But the BIG news comes from Findmypast! The 1921 English and Welsh census returns are COMING SOON!! The returns are being digitized as we speak, so look forward to that release

Media Dinner

Last night was the long awaited Media Dinner. This is a dinner where Ambassadors get to learn about the week ahead. And when we get to socialize with other Ambassadors. It is always a treat. 

Presentation is everything. But not everything on the plate is edible. Like the orchid, for instance. My tablemate, Dan Earl found that out the hard way. Oh my!

Some statistics for the week: 

13,000 paid registrations
All 50 states are represented by attendees
37 countries are represented by attendees

The goal is customer satisfaction. There are ASK staff in blue shirts throughout the venue to offer help, guidance and directions. There are RootsTech Crew members in bright pink shirts throughout the venue too to assist with anything you might need help with. There is wifi, there are 415 computers and there are lots of places to sit and chat or sit and research. 

Let's DO this!

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

It's Registration Day at #RootsTech

Today was the first day of RootsTech registration. Remembering what past years have been like, I decided to jump on the bandwagon as early as I could. I needn't have worried. RootsTech had this down to a science and it was not only incredibly seamless but also nicely lacking chaos of loooong lines. 

The whole process was so quick that I was able to sit and chat with other Ambassadors afterwards. A really relaxing experience. 

The Convention Centre is looking wonderful and ready for the onslaught of attendees. 

The new ASK team was everywhere and very helpful. As were the RootsTech Crew members. It was fun to see the hall before the masses arrive and the hall really can't be seen for the throngs of people. The promotions for RootsTech London are in place and ready for the BIG promo happening during #RootsTech. Stay tuned for that announcement tomorrow. 

It's also fun to see how involved the community is too:

Monday, 25 February 2019

Commonwealth Gathering

Many thanks once again to Jill Ball (Geniaus) and Sharn White for hosting the commonwealth gathering. This has become a signature pre-#RootsTech event with genealogists from the commonwealth countries gathering to chat and network in the excitement leading up to RootsTech. 

This year there were 29 delegates representing Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland, Canada, Wales and South Africa. With the sprinkling of a few guests thrown in. 

And I noticed on the way to the Blue Lemon that the RootsTech banner on the tower at the Convention Centre is now finished. All in a day's work. 

The Din is Growing!

This morning I headed to the Family History Library. On my way past the Convention Centre, I noticed that preparations are underway:

I hit the microfiche machines. Boy, the good old days...

It was amazing to see so many genea-friends in the library. 

I was alerted to the fact that Dear Myrt was underway with her Mondays with Myrt and they were "recruiting" for guests. I made my way to the third floor, but never did get to the sign up list, being easily sidetracked chatting with others who were waiting and watching. 

Then it was over to the cafeteria for a bite to eat. On my way out, I ran into the Dear Myrt table so stopped to chat. I took a stroll through Temple Square and then noticed that the RootsTech preparations had come a long way in just a morning. 

Tonight is the Commonwealth dinner at Blue Lemon. Another great chance to gather with genealogists. 

It's RootsTech Week in Salt Lake City

I've been waiting for a year. A full year. I have had my hotel booked since last year's RootsTech. Toward the end of last week, pre-travel preparations were underway. 

Conference nails done: 

List for the FHL made, dinner and lunch dates for this week booked, laundry done and just the packing left to do when Mother Nature decided to rear her ugly winter head once again. She was threatening sustained hurricane force winds and blowing snow. On the day I was supposed to be traveling to the airport. Determined not to have the weather interfere, it was time for a Plan B to be put into place. 

So, a day ahead of time, I made my way to a hotel near the airport. If the weather was manageable, I would only have a few blocks to travel. If the weather caused delays or cancellations, I was safely ensconced nearby. 

Yesterday morning it was raining but the mess that was predicted hadn't arrived. I checked the airport website and saw that most flights heading east or to the immediate west were cancelled. I watched and waited. No wind. No snow. And no change to my flight. 

Oh! An alert from the airline! Rather anticlimactic. A 10 minute delay. The winds had kicked up at home so I definitely made the right decision getting to the airport ahead of the storm. I made my way over to the airport. Still no further delay. And because of the cancellations, no line ups either! Not for the check in kiosk. Not for bag check. Not for security and not for customs. 

The incoming flight was delayed by about 10 minutes. In the end, we boarded about 20 minutes later than scheduled but all in all, we were doing well. Then came take off...

Oh those winds! Up. Down. Sideways. Up. Down. Up. I kept waiting for the announcement that we were going to abort the take off. But it didn't come. The first few minutes were tense and then finally we were above it all. 

And now, here I am safely in SLC and READY FOR ROOTSTECH! 

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Can't Get to RootsTech? Enjoy from Home

Can't get to RootsTech this year? No worries, you can still take part in the conference from home. 

Some of the classes as well as the general sessions will be live streamed so that you can enjoy the learning. Click here for the schedule.

In addition, other classes will be recorded and made available within a day or two of the live talk. Watch the RootsTech website for those recordings coming online. 

And NEW THIS YEAR is the Virtual Pass. For just $129 you can enjoy a further 18 classes. These will be available for 12 months so you can revisit them anytime.  

Download the APP and take advantage of the handouts that have been made available. 

Sit back, relax and enjoy the learning that RootsTech has to offer - all from the comfort of HOME. 

Saturday, 2 February 2019

RootsTech is Almost HERE!

In just three weeks, I will be flying to Salt Lake City to take part in the largest genealogy conference in North America. This is a great time to connect, re-connect and deepen my sense of my presence and place in the larger genealogy community. 

There will be learning, shopping, networking and interviewing. It will go by in a flash and the exhaustion will set in once I get on the plane to come
4 home. But that exhaustion will come with a wonderful sense of belonging, with a deeper understanding of what it means to be connected and a head full of new resources for genealogy research. 

Are YOU going to RootsTech? Here are some things you might find helpful: 

The RootsTech Survival Guide

Roads to RootsTech Video Series

RootsTech Mobile App 

Wednesday, 23 January 2019





This is your LAST chance to register for the Scottish ViC. Registration closes at midnight (eastern) on Friday, January 25th.

For those out celebrating Burn's Night, registration allows you access to the presentations, handouts and vendor discounts until midnight (eastern) on Thursday, January 31st.

No access to the recordings, either individual presentations or the full slate of offerings, will be granted to anyone not registered for the ViC. 

To Register: https://www.genealogyvic.com/

Saturday, 12 January 2019



The Scottish ViC is just two weeks away! 7 great presentations, 7 speakers who are experts on their topics, handouts, a virtual marketplace with discounts on genealogy products and prizes to give away!

All the benefits of a conference without having to leave the comfort of your home.

The Scottish ViC is the ONLY virtual conference dedicated to Scottish genealogy research. All for just $99 cad ($74 usd)
Access to all presentations, handouts and vendors remains until January 31st at midnight, eastern. 

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Three Weeks Until the Scottish ViC

Timed to coincide with Rabbie Burn's Birthday, the Scottish ViC is the only virtual conference dedicated to Scottish genealogy. This year, we look at emigration, high court and sheriff court records, Glasgow poor law records, DNA, National Library family history resources and online resources for Scottish research.

There will be discounts for Moorshead Magazines (Internet Genealogy, Your Genealogy Today and History Magazines), Global Genealogy and LivingDNA. Scottish Indexes will have a special sale for attendees of the ViC who are looking for asylum, court or paternity cases.

There will also be draws for a one year Findmypast Subscription (we will cover the Scottish resources available on FMP in the Online Resources Presentation), a one year subscription to Internet Genealogy and a $25 gift certificate for Forever.

Access to the presentations, handouts and virtual marketplace will remain open until midnight on January 31st.

To register: