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!

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Are Large Genealogy Conferences Going the Way of Microfiche?

There has been quite a bit of chatter on Facebook the last few days about the low attendance at the recent FGS Conference. I recall the same sort of chatter last May following the NGS Conference. While low attendance is certainly a concern for the exhibitors and vendors, I have to wonder if large conferences are going the way of microfiche.

People get so much online - even the opportunity to network. So much of this connection is now done  through FaceBook groups. In terms of the learning, webinars and online courses are more convenient and less costly for learners because there are no travel or hotel costs, and that also means that the travel time, time away from work or family is significantly diminished as well.

Certainly RootsTech seems to still be successful in attracting large numbers, but RootsTech skews the bigger picture. Rootstech has large numbers because of the free passes that are given to Ambassadors to give away. We all see the blogs and posts for weeks with free passes to be claimed. RootsTech has large numbers because of the Family Day on Saturday when busloads of people show up. All for free. Those people aren't traveling long distances. Those people aren't paying registration fees. Those people aren't paying for accommodation or meals. Those people aren’t really interested in attending a genealogy conference. The classes they take are all geared for the LDS and when they get to the Exhibition Hall, they are not interested in small vendors or in spending money. They are there to get access to the free databases from the large corporations and to grab whatever freebies the other exhibitors and vendors are giving away. A number of smaller businesses have stated that they won’t be returning to RootsTech because RootsTech is not small-business friendly and the smaller vendors and exhibitors are not even coming close to breaking even on their investment to attend RootsTech. 

The smaller, more regional conferences seem to continue to attract decent numbers. What’s the difference? Fewer people traveling long distances? Less frequency (some are every other year rather than every year)? Lower expectations from the vendors and the attendees, perhaps? Organizers being more grateful for any level of support, including small business vendors or society exhibitors?

I recently hosted a very successful (yes, small) conference for the Scottish Diaspora. The theme of this year’s conference was “Engaging Our Youth”  In recognizing that we are all getting older, have worked tirelessly and don’t want all of our years of blood, sweat and tears to be for naught, we need to look at ways to get younger generations as passionate about our organizations as we are. Fair enough.

One woman was quite incensed that their Society's Facebook page’s followers were referring to themselves as members. It was in that moment that I realized that part of what needs to happen is that we need to adjust our thinking. Just as we have gone from thinking that the only way to do genealogy research was by writing letters, scouring microfiche and transcribing directories to being comfortable with researching online databases, we need to readjust our understanding of what constitutes membership. Those people do feel that they belong. That they are members. Even if they haven’t paid a fee or attended a meeting. This group is their tribe. We can’t overlook that.

Similarly, we need to change the way we look at genealogy conferences. The interest in taking several days away from our lives, traveling long distances, paying for accommodation and meals is waning. We can’t overlook that. 

Thursday, 1 June 2017

FREE Online Course From Strathclyde University

Genealogy: Researching Your Family Tree Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)

Once again, Strathclyde University will be offering a FREE 6-week online course with our partner FutureLearn which will help you develop an understanding of basic genealogical techniques. 

You’ll consider how to effectively find and analyse sources and explore the potential of DNA testing. We help you add historical context to your family history and discuss how to record and communicate research findings clearly. There is no particular focus on one country’s records so that the course is useful to people worldwide. 

The course runs from the 3rd of July 2017, 

go to https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/genealogy to register your interest in upcoming course runs.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Canada Gets Separate Search Facility on Findmypast!

There was a lot of complaining last year when Canadian documents were lumped in with American documents leading the search results to return documents that weren't relevant to the search for Canadian records. The good news is that this has changed! You can now search Canadian and US records separately. However, not all results are strictly Canadian. 

So, it looks like we are one step closer to having relevant results returned when we are looking for ancestors in CANADA. 

Give it a try: Findmypast

Monday, 22 May 2017

The University of Strathclyde’s Genealogical Studies Programme by Distance Learning

The University of Strathclyde’s Genealogical Studies Programme by Distance Learning

The online Genealogical Studies programme represents a major advance in the process of academic certification of Genealogy and related studies. This programme was the first in the field to place the various genealogical disciplines within a rigorous academic framework while carrying credit at a postgraduate level from a UK university. The Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and MSc are awarded at SCQF Level 11 (this is the Scottish master’s degree level). The Programme is now in its 10th year and has over 325 alumni located across the world.

What are the aims, objectives and course content of the programme?

We feel that all genealogists and researchers in archives must acquire a common body of knowledge and a standard of practice in order to work effectively.  Irrespective of the particular environment the student will be entering (for example, as a professional genealogist, to work at archives or libraries or for personal interest), the principles and practices of genealogical and archival research must be fully understood in order to be effectively applied, and common standards adhered to (e.g. levels of “proof”, recording and reporting, citations and referencing).

Thus the programme provides a thorough grounding in the theory and practice of genealogical research. Our main focus is on students gaining expertise in searching, recording and presenting results.

The Programme is broken into 3 steps which together form the total MSc degree:
·         The Postgraduate Certificate step deals primarily with English and Scottish records with an introduction to Irish records. The Certificate also provides a firm grounding in genealogical practice, genetic genealogy, heraldry and palaeography (the study of handwriting). The Certificate is where most students begin. Direct entry to PG Diploma is possible but requires the student to hold an equivalent of our PG Certificate.

·         The Postgraduate Diploma step extends the geographical focus and adds American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, British Empire, Jewish, European and more advanced Irish sources. A series of written etudes on such topics as a house history and a client study brings a more academic slant to the Diploma level which is capped by the submission of a 5,000 word research project.

·         The part time MSc step requires student to complete a research dissertation (12,000-16,000 words) on a topic chosen by the student with input from tutors.

Programme Delivery
The Programme can be taken part or full time or in a modular version:
       PG Certificate is available part time over 1-year which requires around 20 hrs per week; this 1-year version starts in October. The modular version runs over 2 years and requires around 14 hours per week; modules can be started in October, January or April.
       PG Diploma is available part time over 1-year which requires around 20 hrs per week; this 1-year version starts in October. The modular version runs over 2 years and requires around 14 hours per week; modules can be started in October and March.
       MSc level by dissertation is part time over 1-year and hours vary depending on the student and research project. The part time MSc begins in October with the 12,000-16,000 word dissertation due in late June.
This means the part time programme takes 3-5 years to complete an MSc.
We also offer a full time MSc which combines the materials from the PG Certificate, Diploma and is capped by the dissertation of 12,000-16,000 words.

Learning and Teaching
       The programme is delivered entirely online on the University’s virtual learning environment.
       Teaching materials include written lectures and multimedia presentations along with discussion forums and chat sessions.
       Students are assigned a tutor who provides feedback and support.
       There are no exams; assessment is largely practical in nature with academic research projects on the PG Diploma and MSc levels.

Student IT requirements
You’ll need:
      Access to a reliable computer – PC or PC compatible from home with a good Internet connection. Students can use a Mac but we don’t provide support.
      The ability to run applications such as Adobe Connect, Adobe Reader and a Media Player
      Ability to subscribe to certain online databases (though we normally arrange some free access for PG Cert students).
      Willingness to use genealogical software; Family Tree Maker is the course standard.

Entry requirements
       For the part time courses, normally we require an undergraduate degree (the area/field does not matter) or similar evidence of study skills, however non-standard educational or professional qualifications will be considered. Training through work could very well qualify.
       Some experience in genealogical (or other relevant) research is required. We look for a range of sources used and a level of comfort with communicating results.
       For the fulltime MSc, an undergraduate degree in any field is required along with some experience in genealogical research. This version is quite intensive and we have found that students without the experience of degree level study are at a real disadvantage.

For more information on the Programme

·         Visit our webpage at: http://www.strath.ac.uk/studywithus/centreforlifelonglearning/genealogy/ where we have FAQs and course timetables.
·         E-mail us at: scosh@strath.ac.uk.

Other aspects of the Genealogical Studies Programme

Bannockburn Genetic Genealogy Research Project

Genetic genealogy is becoming more and more important as a tool for genealogical research and the Bannockburn Genetic Genealogy Project aims to show the power of genetic genealogy by revealing living descendants of combatants in the Battle of Bannockburn whose 700th anniversary was marked in 2014. Having identified several male line descendants of combatants using documentary sources, we invited them to take a DNA test, and then attempted to find another individual who closely matched each testee. If successful, this would show that the second individual was descended from the same combatant, despite having no supporting documentary evidence. 

The Project was successful in this regard and you can view the results to date at: http://www.strathgenealogy.org.uk/projects/bannockburn-genetic-genealogy-project/

Monday, 15 May 2017


A new course has been launched today! The course, Using DNA for Genealogy is being instructed by well known genealogist, Dr Maurice Gleeson. The course is set as a six week course with a new lesson being made available each week. This allows you time to process the information you are learning. The first lesson is available now. 

Topics for the six weeks include: 

  • A general introductory to DNA for genealogy
  • Using Y DNA to research surnames
  • The benefits of surname projects
  • Using autosomal DNA for genealogy
  • Tackling brick walls such as illegitimacy and adoption using DNA
  • Seeking consultation to interpret your results
Dr Gleeson will be available for an online chat twice during the first six weeks. Registered students will receive notification of these dates.

Although the course is scheduled to be completed in six weeks, there is no rush. Once all of the lessons have been made available you can take as long as you need to complete the course. Your access to it will not expire in six weeks.

As an introductory offer, you can use the code DNA10 to receive 10% off of your registration, The code expires on May 19th. To register:

Saturday, 13 May 2017

New DNA eCourse Begins Monday

Need help to understand genetic genealogy?

DNA eCourse Starts Monday

The instructor for the new DNA eCourse is Dr Maurice Gleeson. Dr Gleeson is a genetic genealogist and is the administrator for the Gleason/Gleeson, Spearin, Farrell, Irish Caribbean DNA and WW1 Missing Legacy projects.

He has organised the DNA Lectures for "Genetic Genealogy Ireland" in Dublin and "Who Do You Think You Are" in the UK since 2012, as well as given talks all over Ireland and internationally.

His YouTube videos on genetic genealogy are very popular and he was voted "Genetic Genealogist of the Year 2015” by the SurnameDNA Journal.

eCourse Includes TWO LIVE CHATS with Dr Gleeson

Live chats will be scheduled twice during the course. The first will be about halfway through the course and will allow you to get clarification on things you don't understand to that point. The other chat will be scheduled at the end of the course. Email reminders will be sent ahead of each talk to ensure you have the chance to adjust your schedules. 


From now until midnight tomorrow you can get a 10% discount by using the code DNA10 at check out when you register for the course.


Wednesday, 3 May 2017

The Edinburgh Research Begins

The Edinburgh group spent their first day of research at the ScotlandsPeople Centre. 

The day began with an overview of the records and the computer system by Centre Manager, Iain Ferguson. 

After the talk, we were down to the computers and the digging for ancestors began. 

Sunday, 30 April 2017

SCOTSMAN Newspaper Archives Added to Findmypast!

Great news for those researching their Scottish Ancestors! The Scotsman Archives have been added to Findmypast and are available as part of your Premium subscription. 

The Scotsman was founded in 1817 as a weekly newspaper. In 1850, it became a daily newspaper, becoming Scotland's National Newspaper in 1873. 

The Scotsman has had a digital archive online for quite some time. But there has been a fairly hefty subscription fee. The addition of the Scotsman to the British Newspaper Archive is a welcome one for those of us researching our Scottish ancestry. 

What are you waiting for? Log in and start searching!


Updates to the ScotlandsPeople Website

Since the launch of the new website, ScotlandsPeople has been fraught with challenges and outages that have caused a great deal of anxiety. Work behind the scenes continues to make changes that have been identified as challenging or ineffective. ScotlandsPeople keeps their consumers up to date with alerts and updates about what they have been working on. Here's the latest: 


We continue to be promised that the Kirk Session records will be coming online. Long overdue as many of us have been waiting in excess of five years for them to finally be launched. 

The website says "other court records" which will be a wonderful addition to family history researchers. Hopefully the wait for them will be far less than the wait for Kirk Session Records.

What would be really, really nice would be the launch of the 1939 Register so that those with Scottish ancestors can be as fortunate as those with ancestors in other parts of Great Britain and be able to access the Register online

They say "good things come to those who wait" Hopefully the wait will be in our lifetimes and won't be our descendants looking for us.

Friday, 7 April 2017


I have launched a new online course for Scottish genealogy learning. These eCourses use a combination of text and video to enhance your learning experience. 

BOOT CAMP is a three week, intensive learning course that covers:

  • Getting Started
  • Using the ScotlandsPeople's Website
  • Legitimacy
  • Scottish Marriages
  • Scottish Naming Pattern
  • Filling Your Scottish Genealogy Toolbox
  • Digging Deeper
  • Beyond ScotlandsPeople
  • Brick Wall Busters
  • Researching in Local Archives
  • Resources at the National Archives of Scotland
  • Resources at the National Library of Scotland
  • Court Records
  • Asylum Records
  • Poor Law Records
  • Preparing for a Genealogy Research Trip to Scotland

You do not need to have any prior experience researching Scottish ancestors, but should know what part of Scotland your ancestors were from. 

To register for this course, the Beginner's Course or the Digging Deeper course, visit the website at:


Wednesday, 29 March 2017

NEW! Tracing Your Scottish Ancestors Magazine

I have been working behind the scenes to create a special issue for Moorshead Magazines (Internet Genealogy, Your Genealogy Today) on Scottish Genealogy Research. The issue will be on its way to the printer this week and will be available on May 1. You can pre-order the issue and have it delivered to your email inbox (PDF format) or your home mail box (hard copy issue) for May 1.

The issue includes articles on Getting Started, Researching in Scottish Archives, Breaking Through Brick Walls, the Scottish Naming Pattern, Researching Scottish Occupations, Scottish Emigration Resources and much more.

The PDF is just $8.50 and the hard copy issue is just $9.95 (plus shipping)

Here is the link to pre-order YOUR copy:

Monday, 13 March 2017

What Qualifies as a Genealogy Specialty?

Some colleagues and I were discussing areas of specialty. It came about as a result of the article in the APGQ about having a genealogy niche.  My area of specialty is very much a niche. Not only is my base limited to Scottish genealogy but within that, I have niched again into Ancestral Tourism. My niche is about helping others locate their Scottish ancestors while researching using the records IN Scotland.

I give talks and webinars about the different records that are available both online and off. Mostly off. This limits me when being chosen for Conferences. The topics - while plentiful - are limited in scope and don't appeal to the larger audience. Sure I can add in the usual talks on Google, Social Media and even Getting Started but so can hundreds of other genealogists. So I stay limited. If I don't get picked, I don't get picked. Sometimes I'm dismayed but mostly I decide to attend the conference any way, but to attend as an exhibitor/vendor and allow those who are interested to find me.

I am a teacher. I understand the adult learner. I am relaxed and generally very dynamic - unless this is talk 4 or 5 on the same day. Then I know that my audience is just as worn as I am so I keep it short and sweet.  Who doesn't like being dismissed early? And I've yet to hear anyone feeling short changed.

So, what qualifies someone as being a specialist in a specific area of genealogy? Here are my thoughts

1.) The most critical, of course, is a knowledge of the record sets. An intimate knowledge.  What is available? Where it is available? Is it accessible? And what benefit it will be for a family history researcher?

2.) If you are a specialist in any given country, it really is important for you to know the history of the country. That allows you to know what records certain events generated and whether those records might still exist. It lets you know what genealogical value the records might contain.

3.) If you are a specialist who also does client research - that is, researching other people's family history - then you also need to know the basics of methodology, the genealogical proof standard, source citation, and effective report writing. I don't do client research. For a whole lot of reasons. Mostly to do with wanting to teach rather than research. So I would never offer to give talks or webinars on any of the requirements listed above. Ever. Yes, I know them. Yes, I use them in my own research. But I don't even begin to pretend to be as qualified in any aspect of client research as my colleagues who are. I don't want to take away from their expertise nor do I want to provide a less than stellar product to people who are paying good money for my work. I am honoured to be connected to some amazing genealogists who do client work and I am only too happy to pass people along to them. It shows the client that I care enough about them to want them to get expert input and it allows my colleagues to enjoy doing what they do. It is a win-win for all of us.

So, being in a niche, how do I keep from going stale? I am constantly looking at new presentations. But I keep them aligned with my niche. 
  • ·      Is the presentation about Scottish research?
  • ·      Does the presentation showcase Scottish records?
  • ·      Will the presentation assist people who are researching their Scottish ancestry? 

What do I stay away from? Pretty much everything else. 
  • ·       My husband's family were from England. I rocked that research but my knowledge generally is limited to the area where his ancestors lived. So I don't talk on English records. I defer to colleagues who do.  
  • ·       My husband's parents were first generation Canadian. I also rocked that research but don't use the records enough to present on Canadian records. I do share where people can find things that may assist them finding their Scottish ancestors who have emigrated to Canada, but those are the basic records. Beyond that, I pass them off to the teachings of my colleagues who specialize in the Canadian records.

I    If I'm constantly having to ask my colleagues about their area of expertise in order to put a presentation together, then I need to concede it is not my area and I need to pass the presentation off to them. Similarly with client work. If I don't know the history of the country, the records that are available, where those records are available or what genealogically relevant information they contain, I need to pass that off to someone who does know. 

I'm interested to hear from my colleagues who have a specialty or niche on what they think qualifies someone to claim the specialist status. Post your comments below.

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Join Me At Jamboree!

I'm thrilled to be speaking at the Southern California Genealogy Jamboree later this year. I am part of the Jamboree's British Isles and Ireland track and will be giving three talks:

Breaking Through Brick Walls

Step Away From the Computer

Underused Databases for Scottish Genealogy

I will also be in the Exhibitor Hall when I am not speaking and would love to have you drop by to say hello. 

The Jamboree runs June 8-11 and is being held at the Los Angeles Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel. 

Click HERE to register

Sunday, 19 February 2017

New eCourses Launched!

After two years in the making, I have finally created and launched two online eCourses for Scottish genealogy research. These courses will allow you to learn about researching your Scottish ancestors from the comfort of your home or office. 


In this beginner level course, you will learn:
  • places to reach out to others researching your ancestors
  • using the ScotlandsPeople website
  • citing your sources
  • legitimacy, irregular marriages and the Scottish naming pattern
  • building a genealogy toolbox for Scottish research

The first 25 people who register for this course can receive a 10% discount by using the coupon code "getstarted10" at checkout. 


In this second level course, you will learn:
  • strategies for breaking through brick walls
  • records available in Scottish libraries and archives
  • court records
  • asylum records
  • poor law records
Both courses use a combination of text and video for a well rounded learning experience. 

MyHertiage After Party at RootsTech

One of the highlights of RootsTech for the past two years has been the After Party that is sponsored by MyHeritage. This takes place on the Friday night and is a fantastic way for the Ambassadors, Sponsors and Vendors/Exhibitors to unwind. There are glow sticks, photo booths, party games, appetizers, drinks and best of all Karaoke. It amazes me how galvanizing the Karaoke stage is for the attendees. 

Thanks to Daniel Horowitz and his team for another fantastic night of fun and friendship. Already looking forward to next year's After Party!

Check out the video!

Saturday, 18 February 2017

A Conversation with FindMyPast

While at RootsTech, I had the pleasure of attending as a RootsTech Ambassador. This allows me access to the Keynote speakers and the top level executive for the major sponsors where I can arrange interviews with them. 

On the Friday afternoon, Kathryn Lake Hogan and I had the chance to catch up with Gail Rivett (Chief Marketing Officer) and Ben Bennett (Executive VP, North America and International) of FindMyPast. We interviewed Gail and Ben last year and were thrilled to be able to catch up with them again this year. We chatted for nearly an hour! 

Kathryn Lake Hogan, Gail Rivett, Ben Bennett, Christine Woodcock
The big news that was announced at RootsTech this year was the release of the Immigration to a New Country records, which are actually from the Treasury Records at the National Archives in London. 

Another big announcement from FMP at RootsTech was the addition of the Catholic Heritage Records from the Archdiocese of New York, Philadelphia and Boston. More records will be added over time.

From my conversations with Audrey Collins at the Commonwealth Dinner, I learned that FindMyPast has also digitized the Treasury Records for the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745. Ben tells me that these will be available on FMP later this year. How exciting is that?

We had some interesting discussion about the search interface on the FMP website. And the categorization of the records to countries. There has been lots of upset in Canada with the Canadian records all being lumped under North America. Ben tells me that FMP is well aware of the issues and that there is a large investment in time and resources this year to fix the problems. When FMP was set up, it was set up in the UK. Initially all of the records available were UK records. Then FMP crept into the US market and a new category of records was added "North America" With expansion of acquisition of records from other countries, the records are basically in three categories "UK", "North America" (which currently includes Canada, but not Mexico) and "The Rest of the World" Changes are coming to better differentiate between the various countries, with the larger contributors of records getting their own categories. Another change coming is the search interface itself which will allow searching using additional fields like "Maiden Name" or others in the household. I can't wait to see the changes as they happen.

*Disclaimer: I am an Ambassador for FMP. This allows me a free subscription in exchange for opinions about the website, record sets and subscriptions. All opinions are my own and are not reflective of either FMP or of my relationship with FMP. My opinions do not imply endorsement by FMP.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

FREE February Webinar for Scottish Research

Step Away From the Computer 
Feb 20, 2017 7:00 PM EST 
Your Scottish ancestors are waiting for you to find them. But in order to do that, you need to step away from your computer. There are thousands of records available in Scottish repositories that can enhance your Scottish Genealogy research. Few of these are digitized or available online, but all of them can give you a much clearer understanding of the lives of your ancestors. This talk will assist you in understanding the types of records that exist, where they are located and how to access them

The Week That Was

Where HAS the week gone? One minute we were getting ready for all that RootsTech had to offer and all of a sudden I was on a plane, returning home!

RootsTech really is a whirlwind of activity. And this year, adding an exhibitor to my roles at the conference meant absolutely no spare time. But what an awesome experience!

Tuesday night was the media dinner. The five semi finalists for the Innovator Showdown were announced.

Wednesday was set up day in the Expo Hall. The booth was empty when we arrived - no tables, no chairs, nothing. We had quite a long wait to get everything we needed to in the end this set our schedules back by quite a bit.

On Wednesday afternoon, I had the pleasure of speaking on Underused Databases for Scottish Genealogy Research. The room was quite full and the talk went well, with lots of great questions.

Because of where we were positioned in the Expo Hall, it was good that I had had the chance to speak. It let people know I was in the Expo Hall and they then made the effort to come and find the booth.

Wednesday evening was the Welcome Party. It was great to see everyone that I only get to see in person once a year.

Thursday started off with the Opening Keynote with Steve Rockwood, CEO of FamilySearch. Steve's talk was about food and the memories that food evokes. Following Steve, we had the great pleasure of listening to the Property Brothers, Drew & Jonathan Scott. The duo spoke of family relationships and their pride in their Scottish heritage.

After the talk, I was one of 10 Ambassadors that had the opportunity to interview the brothers. This was a bit chaotic and far less informative than previous interviews where there were only a handful of people and we actually had the chance to interact with the guests.

After the conference was over for the day, I had the chance to enjoy a special get together sponsored by FindMyPast as a thank you to their Ambassadors. 

Thursday evening was the most wonderful experience. We had the immense pleasure of listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing Rogers and Hammerstein. 

Friday was a bit of a whirlwind with Ambassador interviews. I had the chance to join my business partner, Kathryn Lake Hogan for an interview with Anna Broome and Tara Claborn of Forever.com. This was followed by a sponsored luncheon where Glen Meakem, Founder and CEO of Forever, was the speaker. Then it was on to another interview with Kathryn. We managed to get caught up with Ben Bennett and Gail Rivett of FindMyPast. 

Friday night was the much anticipated After Party, sponsored by MyHeritage. This is always such a fun night. And a great way to wrap up a really busy week. 

Saturday was BUSY. SO BUSY. It was Family Discovery Day, where an estimated 30,000 people descended on the Salt Palace Convention Centre. There wasn't one second of down time to breathe or even to take a bathroom break. 

And then it was all over! Just like that. 

We are already planning for next year and although beyond exhausted, we are all deeply satisfied at everything we saw, heard, learned and for all of the connections that were made. 

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

RootsTech Is Off To A Great Start

This week is one that genealogists look forward to all year. This week is RootsTech. The largest genealogy conference in the world, when thousands of genealogists from across the globe gather in Salt Lake City to learn, share, network and enjoy. 

Salt Palace lit up at night

The week started off in fine form tonight with the Media Dinner. This dinner is sponsored by Family Search and serves as both  welcome and a thank you from FamilySearch to the RootsTech Ambassadors. Those of us who have been fortunate enough to be chosen to use our social media channels to share our experiences with the genealogy community. 

Signs lead the way

Well over 100 RootsTech Ambassadors, Media and FamilySearch staff and volunteers gathered at the Salt Palace for an incredible meal, a chance to connect and celebrate and to get an overview of the week ahead. 

Thomas McEntee, Christine Woodcock, Dave Lambert

Team CanGen Summit - Christine Woodcock & Kathryn Lake Hogan

The In-Depth Genealogist team. 

Me and my genealogy twin

Here's to the week ahead. It will be full of opportunity, full of learning, full of networking and most of all, full of fun and celebration.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

Researching Scottish Inmate Ancestors Webinar on YouTube

A webinar held a couple of weeks ago on researching Scottish inmate ancestors, Criminals, Lunatics and Paupers, is now available on my YouTube channel. I have not monetized the channel so make no royalties or commission from any ads associated with the videos you view.

Here is the webinar:

Monday, 30 January 2017

RootsTech is Next Week! Wait! WHAT?

One week today I will be flying out to Salt Lake City to enjoy all that RootsTech has to offer. The camaraderie, the learning, the networking, the researching, the food, the shopping and yes, even the chaos. 

Although the planning has been in the works for sometime, suddenly it seems surreal that the time is actually here. NOW. I've been making my list for some time, but now I need to check it twice and make sure everything is ready for next Monday - bright and early. 

  1. Valid Passport - ⇃
  2. E-ticket - ⇃
  3. Hotel Reservation information ⇃
  4. Presentation ⇃
  5. Lots of Goodies to hand out in the Expo Hall ⇃
  6. RIBBONS ⇃
  7. Packing Cubes ready to be filled ⇃
  8. App downloaded ⇃
  9. Schedule - besides go, go and GO! this one is a bit fluid
  10. Tartan - being shipped - fingers crossed
  11. Chargers, cords, camera and cards ⇃
  12. Flexibility and a sense of adventure ⇃⇃⇃
As an Ambassador, I will be blogging from RootsTech and look forward to sharing the frenzy of the week with you. 

First up will be to meet up with my twin genealogy sister and head to the hotel to await the rest of our roommates. Monday night is our annual Commonwealth Dinner, organized by Jill Ball. Can't wait to see everyone! 

Friday, 27 January 2017

RootsTech Live Streaming Schedule Announced

The long awaited announcement for the live streaming schedule for this year's RootsTech has been made. This allows people who can't make the trip to Salt Lake City to benefit from some of the talks.

Here's where you can find the line-up of talks and add them into your schedule for the week of February 8 - 11th. 


Sunday, 22 January 2017

Lots to DISCOVER at RootsTech

Traditionally, the Saturday of RootsTech has been Family Discovery Day. This day allows free admission to introduce families to the world of Family History. It is also the day where hundreds of LDS families descend on the Salt Palace Convention Centre to learn as much as they can about researching their family history, one of the tenets of their faith.

The Expo Hall is a buzz of activity. The classes are full of people, full of energy and full of excitement. Many of the classes on Saturday are geared specifically for the LDS families. Line ups are long. Crowds are heavy and yet the air is full of energy, fun and excited anticipation.

New this year to RootsTech is the opportunity for families - well anyone really - to enjoy the new DISCOVERY Centre at the Family History Library. The new display is on the main floor of the library. As an Ambassador, I will get to enjoy a VIP tour prior to the official opening. From the RootsTech website:

"With touch screen monitors and computers, individuals and families can learn about their unique identity, create their personal story, and explore family roots in exciting, interactive ways."

This really does bring Roots and Tech together in an innovative and engaging way.

If you are planning to attend RootsTech next month, be sure to schedule some time to research in the Family History Library and to take in the new Discovery Centre on the main floor.