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Sunday, 19 June 2016

The Argyle Patent 1738-1740



The Provincial Governor of New York Colony offered 1000 acres of land to every adult Scot, and five hundred acres to every child Scot who paid passage to emigrate to the new world. Between 1738 & 1740, 472 Scottish Presbyterians from Argyll emigrated based on this promise. Upon their arrival, they realized that the promise had not been kept. Undaunted, they petitioned the government and managed to successfully secure 47,450 acres. This became known as the Argyle Patent. A map of the settlement, complete with names of the landowners can be found at:http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~nywashin/patentma.htm

Scottish Highlanders to Georgia

In 1735, instructions were sent to Lieutenant Hugh MacKay of Sutherland to procure men for settlement in the colony of Georgia. 

300 Highland Scots (150 men along with wives and children) were rounded up and shipped to Georgia. Here are the letters regarding the orders to have the men shipped out as well as the list of some of the men who were transported by Hugh MacKay: http://cranntara.scot/clear4.htm

For those whose Scottish ancestors first settled in Georgia, the ship's list for the Prince of Wales, which brought the first group of highland military men from Inverness, has been transcribed and is available online: http://immigrantships.net/…/1700…/princeofwales17341228.html


Sunday, 12 June 2016

Do You Have Orcadian Ancestors?

Ahead of this spring's Genealogy Tour of Scotland, I spent a few days in Orkney. What an incredible place! Phenomenal history, right back to Neolithic times. Of course, being a series of islands, much of Orkney's history is associated with the sea: Navy, whaling, fishing, ferrying, mastering the harbours. And of course there is the darker side to the sea: shipwrecks, piracy and drownings. 

Luckily for those of you with ancestral roots in Orkney, there are some amazing records to assist you with your research. 

Perhaps the best gem was finding the records that are available in the Stromness Museum. The archival information is amazing. They have records for men who were recruited to work in the HBC's inland factory at York, lists of men who were pressed into service with Peter's Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, lists of ferries, dingys and lifeboats and their workers and fate, men who served and fell in service for both world wars, the records of the Stromness Hearse Company, donated private collections, Orkney Shipwrecks, Pentland Firth Crossings that ran into trouble. 

Not to be outdone, the Orkney Library & Archive in Kirkwall also has a fantastic collection of archival records. Here you can find shipping registers, valuation and voters rolls, school records, police registers, newspapers, magazines, and a raft of personal papers left on deposit. You can view the whole listing here: 
http://www.orkneylibrary.org.uk/assets/OrkneyArchives%20Guide%2022Mar2013.pdf

Best of luck tracing your Orcadian ancestors!




Saturday, 7 May 2016

Poor Turn Out at NGS 2016

The setting seemed ideal for those of us struggling to find an end to winter. However, for genealogy enthusiasts, it wasn't much of a draw. 




The NGS Conference in Ft Lauderdale had a very poor showing this year. Apart from opening day, the Exhibition Hall was empty most of the time. I can't imagine many of the vendors were able to break even on costs, when considering booth rental, flights, hotel, shipping, meals. Unfortunately poor turnouts make them think twice about attending the following year. 

The consensus among those I spoke with - and believe me we had plenty of time to ponder - was that the new fad of live-streaming the talks makes it less desirable for people to want to attend in person. Sure they don't get to network, but much of that is compensated for on social media. And they don't get to visit the Exhibitors. Bit the savings on travel, hotel, conference fees and even the money they would spend at the vendor booths seems to be enough of a draw to simply sit back in their comfy clothes, with coffee in hand and attend from their favourite armchair, bed, deck chair. Its a win for the attendees and a huge loss for the vendors. It will also be a loss for the organizers who have the expense of venue rental, shuttle bus rental, speaker fees, speaker expenses. 

Are we doing ourselves a disfavour by allowing so many talks to be live-streamed? Or is this simply the way of the future for genealogy conferences? Perhaps they will all become virtual, with RootsTech perhaps being the exception, and vendors will simply pay to have advertising and links on the conference website. Goods can be shipped in a matter of a couple of day and subscriptions can be instantaneous. What the attendee misses out on, of course, is seeking advice from those in the know who can be easily accessed in the marketplace. 

It will be interesting to see how it all plays out. 

Are You Interested in Evidence Based Analysis?

Are You Interested in Evidence Based Analysis? If so, the University of Strathclyde wants to hear from you. A post graduate student is looking for input from genealogists regarding the Research Process Map created by Elizabeth Shown Mills.

The post grad student is looking for genealogists to share their understanding of and experiences using Evidence Explained as a standard for source citation.

There are 9 questions to the survey. All survey responses are anonymous. Deadline for submission is May 15. To take part in the survey, simply click: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JQV5SVQ


Friday, 6 May 2016

Reactivate Your Expired ScotlandsPeople Credits

Starting today, you have two weeks to reactivate any expired credits in your ScotlandsPeople account.

To reactivate your expired credits, use the voucher code spring2016. The code is case sensitive, so make sure your Caps Lock button is off. You have until May 22 to activate the expired credits, but once activated, they are good for a full year.

What are you waiting for? Start searching: http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/


The credit amnesty will run from 00:01 (BST) on Friday 6 May 2016 to 23.59 (BST) on Sunday 22 May 2016.

Summer Institute of Genealogical Studies

One of the best and most popular ways to learn about genealogy is through Institutes. Those in North America will be very familiar with value of genealogy Institutes. A full week of intense learning by specialists in the field. And a side order of great networking with others researching in the areas you are interested in.

The University of Strathclyde, the Scottish University that started the post graduate degree in Scottish genealogy, is hosting its second annual Summer Institute from June 27 - July 1, 2016.

The topics and instructors for this year are:


  • British Military Research with Simon Fowler
  • Irish Resources and Research Techniques with William Roulston and Gillian Hunter of the Ulster Historical Foundation
  • Practical Applications of Genetic Genealogy with Alasdair Macdonald, Debbie Kennet and John Cleary


Each course runs for the full five days, however, you can mix and match if you are struggling with narrowing down choices. 

For more information or to register, the website for the Institute is: http://www.strath.ac.uk/cll/cpd/genealogicalstudies/summerinstitute/