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Rogue website!

We have retired from the business but I have realised that there is a website with our old business name I suppose purporting to be us!

The web page is just a shell and there is no one to contact at the end of it.  It appears to draw visitors to a golfing site.  I don’t know how that works!

But should you want to contact me my email address is: lesley@tinkers-view.co.uk 

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Since starting Scottish Ancestral Trail I have been very aware of the different countries so closely associated with Scotland. The visitors we have had from overseas have made the world a much smaller place.

I heard this morning from Cairns in Australia as they wait for the cyclone to reach them. They are well prepared and waiting…… It stops me complaining about our weather in Moffat.

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History is recorded in place names round the world.

We visited New Zealand several years ago and as we travelled we recognised the names or Scottish towns and villages. Names cropped up in almost every township or farm name. It is a strange but comforting feeling of being at home while actually being far from home. I can sympathise with the desire to take your familiar and familial names from Scotland when you move thousands of miles away.

I read yesterday that the second biggest town in Liberia is called Buchanan.which is a very kent name to me as my mother was a Buchanan. To my knowledge Buchanan is not a place name here, just a family name.

Today I have been writing some Christmas cards and that has really brought it home to me. I was writting to relatives who have built a home in the Barossa Valley in Australia which they have called – Abbotsford – named after a Crescent in Edinburgh from which they emmigrated and also the name of the home of Sir Walter Scott in the Scottish Borders. Another cousin who lived outside Johanesburgh and was descended from Scottish Border farmers was himself known as Tweed which is the name of the River which flows through the family farm in Scotland and the farm fields in Johanesburgh were named after the Border towns in Scotland.

Maybe it would be fun to come to Scotland to see the place where your town name originated!

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Treasure Hunting!

I think that to a enthusiastic family history researcher the act of searching through census records for a ‘name’ is as addictive as hunting for gold coins with a metal detector.

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Throughout the evolution of Scotland’s history her people have moved in search of work and prosperity. Sometimes they moved through choice and sometimes they were moved by the owner on whose land they lived. It is often thought that what is know as the ‘Clearances’ occurred only in the Highlands when in fact the land in the south of Scotland actually lost more people than the north.

I am doing homework on this period in Scotland’s history.

On Sunday morning a BBC Radio 4 programme mentioned the ‘Clearances’ in the north and you can listen to it here.  The relevant piece comes in after 1 hour 10 minutes if you want to fast forward!  http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00t5ybg

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Empty Landscapes

We took guests to Helmsdale in Sutherland.  A village on the north east coast and a point  from which many emigrants left Scotland for the new world.  In the case of our guest her ancestors went south to Invernessshire.  Apart from the famous statue commemorating the emigrations , there is also a super museum, Timespan,  – complete with it’s own archivist – and a good cafe which does home made soup.  It was from 1770 right up until as late as 1870 that people were making way for sheep grazing in this part of the Highlands.  I don’t know what economic climate is affecting the area at present but the landscape is beautiful but devoid of any stock.  As an ex-farmers wife – but not a farmers ex-wife – it seems strange to have so much grazing lying empty – that is unless all the stock in Caithness were in pens having their feet trimmed or being shorn!

My husband has told me since writing this that these are now sporting estates, and where people once gave way to stock now stock has given way to the more lucrative business of stalking and shooting.

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I really am a communication person.  I love people – with all our differences we make the world go round.  We are the social whirl and I love communicating!  But am I doing just a bit too much?

Though the range of modern media makes communication so easy and so fast there is a down-side!  The speed with which I can contact you or you can contact me – the immediate response we  make to one another can all happen within the blink of an eye and just maybe the speed with which it is done gives us too little time to consider our reactions properly.  So our unconsidered response may be dangerous as well as helpful.

An email comes in and I have to force myself to think about my reply carefully before dashing something off.  A quick  text message means that you don’t need to commit to a long conversation when you only have a quick question but your  brusque reply may sound brutally sharp and then a Skype call can take some stopping!  –  On balance I love them all but we need to learn delicate techniques to use them successfully and without stress.

Several years ago I was lucky enough to sail to the island of St. Kilda far off the west coast of Scotland.   There was no mobile phone communication and it seemed blissfully restful – maybe every so often we all need to take ourselves to those out of the way places when no one can get at us electronically,  even for a brief text question and the intimately spoken word comes into its own.

I can find you just the right places to go to in Scotland where you too can be out of the way of intrusive modern communication.

Click here Scotland Tours to link to Scottish Ancestral Trail

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