Saturday, February 27, 2010

Fab 40

Family Tree Magazine has released its current top 40 genealogy/family history sites. Very interesting.
Top Scottish genealogy blog belongs to Chris Paton's Scottish Genealogy News and Events.  Very well deserved. I've been reading his blog for quite a while now. Always very informative.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


It's kind of hard to do on-line genealogy and watch the Olympics ski jumping at the same time :) Swiss guy (Simon Ammann) just made jumping history for his country. Woohoo :) Such an elegant looking sport.
ScotlandsPlaces. Interesting site to go to when you are researching places (which I am).  The blurb for the site reads "Bringing authentic information and images together to help you discover places in Scotland."
It's divided up into each shire (pre-1975) showing a map, description, with photographs and general information. I found an ariel photograph of my great-grandparents house :)
The shire I am researching also has information about Farm Horse Tax 1797-1798, Medical Officer of Health Reports 1891 and Land Ownership Commision 1872-3.
When you click on a photograph you will be taken to an individual page. The information there is variable. Some will be very basic, others will give you quite detailed information.
Photographs are copyrighted and cannot be used for anything other than personal or teaching tool use.

Monday, February 15, 2010

OWOH - Magic Carpet Ride - and the winner is ..........

Bev Coffaro #880

Congratulations to Bev. She has been notified and responded. She is a novice at genealogy so is looking forward to getting started.
Since a goodly number of you participated I have some other surprises in store but y'all are going to have to wait till another time to find out what that is all about :)

Friday, February 12, 2010

A fascination for all things Scottish

I've lived on this side of "the puddle" since 1987 and have rarely met a native that is NOT interested in Scotland and it's history. Many are fascinated by the clearances, Scots-Irish connections and the history of early Scots migration.
Myra Vanderpool Gormley wrote a good overview "Migration Patterns of Our Scottish Ancestors" for American Genealogy Magazine that was re-printed in  She writes of the whys, where from to where to, and the early Scots contribution to the fledgling nation. Interesting reading and a good jump off point for more in depth studies of various settlements.
Another interesting, and much longer article "Scotland's Mark on America" by George Fraser Black can be found at You need to take your time reading this one. Lots of information to sift through.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


I have mixed feelings about Poorhouse records. It's great that the places existed to provide relief for those that needed them but when I run across death entries e.g. my g-g grandfather in Glasgow,  I have to wonder why he was there and not living with a family member. His wife had died a year or two before and at that point he was working. He had children and grandchildren living in the area so I have had to ask myself if there had been a family rift or people had just lost contact with each other.
On the other hand I had ancestors who ran the poorhouse in Dundee and are well documented. When they died they were missed greatly by the local community and family.

A good site to visit for histories of Poorhouses/Workhouses in Scotland is

Just as an example - the East Poorhouse in Dundee, which was run by some of my ancestors gives maps, information about when it was built, photographs, 1881 census records.

The site also gives a good overview of the 1845 Scottish Poor Law Act and the differences between Scotland and England/Wales when administering relief. The drawing shows a Model Poorhouse Plan for Town Parishes, 1847.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

OWOH - Magic Carpet Ride - update

This  event is proving interesting. Lots of people to meet and interesting things to learn about. Lots of countries visited on my little supersonic carpet. I've even met someone from Scotland with the same surname as my grandmother :)
Our lovely crystal cookie jar - picked out specially for the occasion -  is filling up at a respectable rate. I will be announcing the winner of the drawing on 15th February. 10 HOURS OF GENEALOGY/FAMILY HISTORY ASSISTANCE.
The rest of the items in the photograph are just to make things more interesting to look at. The bonnie wee baby looking adoringly at her mother is MOI, aged about 1 month :) (That was taken a looooong time ago.) The tartan book in the background is entitled "Scottish Songs" and was a gift to my grandmother from her sister-in-law in 1917. The double photo frame shows (we think) two different images of my great grandmother with her mother and grandmother.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Writing a short story and Who Do You Think You Are?

Okay so it's February and many people's thoughts turn to romance.
Do you know how your parents met? Has it been written down?
It's a great way to start of your family history and guess who might like to read this "tale of romance" ....... your kids (if you have any) :)
If you have children have you told them yet how you and your spouse met ?
When I asked my mother how my grandparents met I was somewhat shocked to discover that she had no idea. She had asked but they did not tell ...... just grinned at each other :)
My dad's parents met through her sister and his best friend dating each other.

If you like to scrap book you can "pretty up" the story with items that date from the time they met.

"Who Do You Think You Are?" which is mighty popular in the old homeland hits the tiny screens here in March. It'll be interesting to see if it an exact replica or if a US twist is done to it. If this gets to our local channels I am going to be one happy camper and we have TIVO if it is aired at a silly time :)