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Pride!

It is quiet in the office here at the moment and I have been browsing on the internet. I put our postcode into ‘Google Streetview’ and find that the property coming up is a bungalow which has been lying empty for several months and consequently shabby looking. Our home is a couple of hundred yards north of that spot but there are no other houses around and we share the same postcode. I find myself wanting to let you know that the house you see is not mine! Pride I think -but a good lesson in not jumping to quick conclusions about what we see be it advertisements or that tantalising ancestry.com connection we have emailed to us!

Rose bush at our garden gate

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My husband, Peter,  has been mumbling to himself in the kitchen. Well that’s not new!

He is reading out  text from a small book written a hundred years ago by an ancestor of his about his family.  The book was given by the author, Thomas Helm, to his niece (?) Peter’s mother when she was a lot younger and she is now 92.  The question mark about their relationship is hers.

The text Peter is reading out is:- ‘my mother Euphemia Helm nee Hunter’.  At the same time Peter is leafing through his family history records with a computer screen open in front of him.  You probably know the sort of thing…..  Mumble, mumble, ‘Euphemia Helm nee Hunter’ . Then he announced ‘something’s wrong – someone’s given me wrong information’.  Ahhaa yes, well that is what happens – go to the original records yourself and don’t just take people words for it – the mind plays tricks and when we write down the precious memories of relatives they may well have names and the generations mixed.

Or then there is the typing error.

Caroline Makein, of ‘Fife Rootsearch’,  a professional Scottish genealogist once told me of something which happened to her.  When searching for information about one of her own ancestors she came across dates which were quite wrong.  When she unearthed where the wrong information had come from she found it was from a typing error she had made herself.  Of course the erroneous information was already out there in the ether getting itself quoted and copied into other peoples records.  No doubt someone,  somewhere, is mumbling to themselves in their kitchen ‘someone’s given me wrong information’.  Check your original sources seems to be the byword for family history research.

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The idea of putting ‘genealogy’ into a group tour itinerary seemed difficult but we have cracked it! We have come up with an entirely new concept of using an actor to portray a fictional character to illustrate how his life is recorded through his major life events.

While enjoying a tour of central and southern Scotland you get an occasional chance to ‘meet’ our character who tells you personally of what has been happening to him and how these events are recorded in the Scottish records stored in Edinburgh.

You see the tour on page 19 of their spring brouchure. http://www.brightwaterholidays.com/docs/AUTUMN-SPRING-2010.pdf

For more information contact Brightwater Holidays. http://www.brightwaterholidays.com

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A great package has just been launched with Channings in Edinburgh a member of the The Townhouse Collection of hotels. Take a look at this page: http://www.townhousecompany.com/channings/offers/scottishancestraltrail.aspx

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I am just back from a really terrific tour north – I love showing people Scotland even when they know it well – and in this case it was two Scots now living in England.  One of whom shares ancestral homelands with Peter my husband.  We visited places which they had never seen before and frankly places which a visitor would never see on the general tourist routes! We stopped  just as any visitor would to see interesting and unusual attractions but we also went right off the beaten track to reach the areas which were cleared of  the crofting people in Strathnaver in the far north. We went up lanes and across moors – sometimes on foot sometimes in a car.  It’s great to share the excitement of someone discovering a part of Scotland with which they are intimately connected with but have never seen before. We visited the small graveyards and the villages of Reay, Kirkton and others in Caithness and Bettyhill a real treat.  In this case there was not a specific address to visit just parishes – much changed sometimes deserted – but none the less magnetic in the power they hold.  It is a strange feeling – but not spooky – to visit remote graveyards which are now devoid of surrounding houses – where lots of the gravestones carry your own last name.

It was a great trip with sightings of golden eagles, kites and lots more and a first visit for me to the Castle of Mey which is a house owned bought by the late Queen Mother and now visited regularly by her grandson Prince Charles.

Thank goodness for the camera we have lots of photos and had loads of  laughter.

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Don’t you just hate it when you discover your £5.00 voucher for the supermarket is out of date …. grrrrr!  Or the free tester of face cream had to be redeemed by  ……………..   last week.  I’ve hoarded little piles of vouchers to redeem but then the moment has passed and instead of the anticipated treat I just have some scrap paper.  Tesco offered me free delivery and £5.00 off my grocery order one week and the next week offered me something different and I then spend too much time deciding which is the best offer to take up by which time neither offer can be used.  Is it procrastination or poor management or just a cheap marketing ploy.  I don’t know.

However there is a really good offer available now – in fact the news has just come in to my email box.  The Scotlands People Centre are allowing us to re-activate our unused search credits if we have let them lapse.  This is wonderful news.  I am sure that we have plenty!

So you can re-set the credit expiry to 90 days in your account and can use this voucher any time until 1.00 p.m. on Thursday 17th June, 2010.

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This news is just in ……..

Homecoming Scotland results published
Independent research published today sets out the positive impact of Scotland’s first ever year of celebration, with Homecoming delivering a string of benefits to the country and bolstering Scottish tourism during one of the toughest economic downturns.The key findings in the report from EKOS, a leading economic and social development consultancy, include that:

  • £53.7 million of additional tourism revenue was generated for Scotland, representing a return on investment of nearly 1:10 and 22% above the target set for the year.
  • 95,000 visitors to Scotland were influenced to travel to Scotland as a result of Homecoming.  72,000 were exclusively drawn by the celebrations, with a further 23,000 citing the year as a factor in making their decision to visit in 2009.
  • £154 million of positive global media coverage for Homecoming and Scotland was generated by the multi-award winning PR campaign.

The First Minister also announced today that Scotland will build on the outstanding success of the Year of Homecoming by staging a second formal celebration in 2014.

Click here Scotland Tours to link to Scottish Ancestral Trail

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