23 Jun 2014

Free Scottish Research Webinars

Free Scottish Research Webinars

Free Scottish Research Webinars are being offered this week by the Family History Library. These are part of a series of webinars that will be made available on a monthly basis throughout the rest of the year. The Family History Library will announce future webinars on the FamilySearch blog.

Of the series this week, the Family History Library writes, “Research in Scotland classes will be presented by various Accredited Genealogists at the Family History Library. Learn how to use Scotland Census, Church, and Civil Registration and other records to document the lives of your ancestors. Learn where to find these records, how to use them and what information can be found in these valuable historical records.”

Meeting Name: British Isles Research Series

Invited By: Raymon Naisbitt

Class: Scotland Maps and Gazetteers
When: June 23, 2014 […]

31 Dec 2013

Happy New Year from My Viking Ancestors

Happy New Year from my Viking ancestors (and their descendants) to all my readers. Hogmanay celebrations are underway with a torchlight procession through the center of Edinburgh to kick off three days of celebration. Hogmanay is the Scots word for the last day of the year and one of these years I’m going to be there celebrating too. And here’s a bit familiar to genealogists: Hogmanay has 16 other possible spellings!

Of the New Year celebrations, Wikipedia states:

There are many customs, both national and local, associated with Hogmanay. The most widespread national custom is the practice of first-footing, which starts immediately after midnight. This involves being the first person to cross the threshold of a friend or neighbour and often involves the giving of symbolic gifts such as salt (less common today), coalshortbreadwhisky, and black bun (a rich fruit cake) intended […]

13 Apr 2013 – Free Searches of UK and Republic of Ireland Burial Records

deceasedonlineI had a great time today at the San Diego Genealogical Society’s monthly meeting, seeing old friends and making new ones.

Just a quick note about the new (to me) database I mentioned this morning. It’s – Free Searches of UK and Republic of Ireland Burial Records (, a centralized database for burials and cremations in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

Similar to ScotlandsPeople, you can search for free, but downloading actual records costs a certain number of credits. Available records include:

  • Digital scans of cremation and burial registers
  • Digital scans of books of remembrance
  • Photographs of graves and memorials
  • Cemetery maps showing grave locations
  • Other occupants in the same grave

My Scots line in Aberdeenshire is well represented in this database, so I have a lot of great new information for deaths and burials. Old Parish Registers in Scotland are very spotty for death […]

6 Apr 2013

Ross from Ross-shire (and National Tartan Day)

Happy National Tartan Day, a national holiday for all Scottish-Americans and the date on which the Declaration of Arbroath was signed in 1320. I’m celebrating the Clan Ross from Ross-shire. If you are interested in seeing what your clan’s tartan looks like, visit the official Tartan Register.

I think I’ll take myself out to lunch (no haggis!) to celebrate, but first a bit on Clan Ross, a Highland Scottish clan I belong to courtesy of my Aberdeenshire grandfather, William Watson Ross. He and I are descendants of a long line of Rosses who married other Rosses…in Ross-shire. And yes, I have several heather walls where I can’t distinguish my Rosses from the others living in the same place.