This evening, I am focusing on a key aspect of my private tours which is those that focus on Scottish ancestry. In North America today there are at least 10M people (double the current population of Scotland) who are descended from Scottish emigrants. Many of my guests have ancestors from Scotland and it is my role to enable the visitors to ‘connect’ to a greater or lesser extent with their Scottish heritage. This may entail in-depth research and tracking down former homes and burial places whereas others are satisfied with just visiting a place ( e.g.Isle of Skye) where an ancestor has known to have originated from. Right now I am helping two separate guests with tours which connect them with ancestors who originated from Paisley in the west of Scotland.

Many of the emigrants were impoverished and hence leave only scant clues to follow. A large number of Scots left under the infamous Highland Clearances whereby landowners ruthlessly cleared their tenants to facilitate sheep farming and the dispossessed were effectively deported. Many Scots went to the Carolinas and to Canada. When recently on the Isle of Lewis (Hebrides) I noticed a record of a Government inspired migration of large numbers to Canada as recently as the 1920s. This particular group spoke only Gaelic which added another dimension to their re-settlement. 

The image below was taken earlier this year of a group tracing an eminent ancestor (a doctor) in Kingussie, Highlands.

Personally, I enjoy helping guests with their research, even to extent of tracking down old dwellings and grave markers.  In parallel with these tours I run a  separate Glasgow Ancestry themed blog with factual information on family history (from grave markers)  in Glasgow and Paisley.

Ancestry Tours Scotland

Family History Research, Scotland

Elswehere today, I have been arranging accommodation for a couple of upcoming tours. Also learned that a two day tour for a large of about 45 persons is very much “live” and may be firmed up in January.

The key (only?) news topic here at present is the appalling arctic weather conditions which have shut Heathrow and many other airports for periods , not to speak of disruption to road and rail transport. This is the fiercest December winter since records began in 1910. Tonight temperature is predicted to be minus 9 C in Glasgow.

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