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!

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Monday, 24 October 2016

Family History Month - Using Poor Law Records Webinar

Using Poor Law Records for Scottish Genealogy Webinar
Mon, Dec 5, 2016 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM EST

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.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

Family History Month - Working to Preserve History

There is a big crowd-sourcing project underway to assist with preserving the names of local towns, villages, estates, farms and streets of 1900 Scotland. And best of all, it is incredibly easy to use. Here's a walk through:

Warning: this project can be highly addictive!

Click on: http://gb1900.org/

Click "Login"

Scroll down the page and click on "Sign Up"

Fill in your email address, create a password, fill in your name and you are ready to go. 

Return to the home page

Read through the tutorial. It is not lengthy and is really easy to follow. 

Return to the home page. Scroll to the bottom and enter the area of Scotland where your ancestors lived. Even if they didn't live there in 1900. 

Wait for the map to load

Zoom in

Click transcribe at the top of the page. 

Click on any word on the map. Then in the pop up box, type the word that is visible on the map. The transcription program is case sensitive, so pay attention. Then click "done" You will see a brown location balloon appear.

If you see a green location balloon on the map, it means someone has already transcribed the word and that transcription needs verification. If you click on that green balloon and then type in what you see, the program will check to ensure your typing matches the other person's typing, and the green balloon will then turn purple. 

Purple balloons mean that the word on the map has been transcribed AND verified. The transcription is complete. 

If your area is all completed, find a new area to transcribe. 

Well, what are you waiting for? Enjoy your new black hole of genealogy fun!

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Help with Old Handwriting

Old handwriting can be difficult to read (although studies show that those of us who spend hours pouring over old documents trying to decipher what has been written are better at memory retention than those who don't). Penmanship was only available to the educated - clergy or teachers, usually. And in those days, uniformity was more important than legibility. Don't despair. Here are a couple of websites to assist with "cracking the code" on Scottish Handwriting.http://www.scottishhandwriting.com/

Friday, 21 October 2016

Family History Month - Selkirk Settlers

In July 1803, three ships, the Dykes, the Polly, and the Oughton sailed to Canada with eight hundred former highland crofters and headed to Prince Edward Island. The Polly arrived in the harbour of Orwell Bay, Prince Edward Island on Sunday, August 7th, 1803, carrying 250 adults and 150 children. Most of these passengers were from Skye. The Dykes, which also brought Lord Selkirk, arrived in Charlottetown two days after the Polly. Most of the passengers on the Polly were from Mull. The Oughton arrived on August 27th, 1803, carrying another 40 or 50 passengers, this time from Uist.

The land given to these new settlers consisted primarily of evergreen forest. Each family was given between 50 and 150 acres for a nominal fee. The lots were laid out so that four or five families were grouped together. The new immigrants quickly cleared their lands, built their houses, and settled into their new lives. Being able to working the land once again became somewhat of a tonic for them. They were a self sufficient community within a year of the first settlers arriving. Later generations moved to the Bruce County area of Ontario, setting up communities along the Saugeen River near Paisley as well as along the coast of Lake Huron from Southampton to Kincardine.  Yet others moved to Assiniboia, Saskatchewan and founded settlements in that area.

Having used his land on the southwest shore of PEI for the initial settlers, Selkirk was eager to continue to pursue his original desire to find land in Upper Canada. He was eventually able to purchase land in Southern Ontario, near the junction of Lake St. Clair and the Detroit River, in what is now Wallaceburg.

Selkirk was able to purchase 116,000 square miles in the Red River Valley and along the Assiniboine River in Manitoba and what is now Northern Dakota – an area five times the size of the whole of Scotland. Selkirk purchased this land at a cost of 10/s ($26.50 in today’s currency).

If you have ancestors who were Selkirk Settlers, here are some resources to assist you in your genealogy research:

Passenger List reconstruction for ship Polly:

Passenger List reconstruction for ship Dykes:

Passenger List reconstruction for ship Oughton:

Passenger List reconstruction for ship Spencer:

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Brick Wall Busters for Scottish Genealogy Research
Mon, Nov 7, 2016 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM EST

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.

Family History Month - Scottish Highland Soldiers

As North America was still forming, Highland men were specifically recruited to assist with keeping the new settlements safe.

The first such recruitment in 1734 was a group of Highlanders from Inverness and surrounding areas who were recruited by General James Edward Oglethorpe to protect the settlement of Savannah, Georgia. They traveled on the Prince of Wales and the passenger list has been transcribed by the Immigrant Ship's Transcription Guild. The list is available at:

From 1775-1784, 2000 Scots highlanders were recruited to the 84th Regiment of Foot  which defended the lands in the 13 colonies and then fought on the side of the British government in the American Revolutionary War. These men had military experience in the Seven Years War. The 84th Regiment of Foot was divided into two companies. The muster and pay lists for both companies can be found here:

After the Revolutionary War, the 84th Regiment of Foot disbanded and the men settled in Nova Scotia as United Empire Loyalists. They were given land grants of between 100 acres (for privates) and 500 acres (for Officers).  To search the indexes for these early land grants, consult: http://novascotia.ca/archives/virtual/?Search=THlan&List=all

Wednesday, 19 October 2016


GUELPH ONTARIO -  Clans and Scottish Societies of Canada (CASSOC) is pleased to announce that they will be hosting the Scottish North American Leadership Conference in 2017 to commemorate the 150th birthday of both Canada and Ontario.

The Conference will be held August 10—12, 2017 at the University of Guelph and will tie into the Fergus Scottish Festival,  one of the largest and oldest Scottish Festivals in Canada.

This three-day event in Ontario will celebrate the long history and rich heritage of the Scots who shaped the fabric of our great nations.

The goal of this celebratory event will be to bring together the Scottish Diaspora to jointly explore the nature of Scottish History and Heritage in North America, to
examine the value of the diverse contributions of these groups, and to develop ways to pass this rich history, culture, and these traditions onto our youth.

The event is open to all persons with an interest in Scottish heritage, history or
culture regardless of age, gender or ability.

We look forward to having you join us in Ontario in 2017!