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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

At Accreditation from Better Business Bureau

Announcement: My business has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating, the highest rating available.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Congratulations to Colonel Wayne Joseph Morgan, new Armiger

Colonel Morgan is the head of the Sept of Mackenzie's Morgans, recognized by the Chief of Clan Mackenzie, and now an Armiger recognized by the Lord Lyon King of Arms of Scotland. Colonel Morgan is entitled to wear two feathers in his bonnet, and we look forward to seeing him wear said bonnet at the many Scottish Games!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Find a Grave website

The website FindaGrave.com is a great place to search for your cemetery records, in part because there may already be a biography on your ancestor on that page, possibly placed there by a relative you can now connect with (and might not have known you had). You can add people, ask for photos to be taken, upload photographs you have taken, and share information with other researchers. It has a cooperative spirit, which is a big plus.

One feature which I particularly like is the ability to edit the links to other persons in other cemeteries, so that families who have migrated from one state to another can be linked.

For example, I can search for the surname McReynolds in the states of Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and Texas, where our family tradition states that they lived over a 200+ year period. Our research has given us the names of family burying grounds and a cemetery or two. Various genealogical societies have transcribed some of these records over time.

Now I can enter all this data on FindaGrave.com and link to other persons in the same or other cemeteries, and ask for volunteers to photograph the cemetery sites and tombstones.

I can then add biographical material, and using the Edit Feature I can enter the Memorial i.d. number of Person A who was already in the database on the new memorial page I'm creating for Person B, thereby linking them. Once they are linked, I can show parents, spouse(s) and children, and connect people from our family in every state where they lived ... a very fine service, indeed.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Scottish Catholic Archives go online

For many researching their Scottish ancestry, it may come as a surprise to learn that the database we've been so happy using for the last few years, http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/ does not contain everyone's data. 
In particular, up until now, there were no sacramental registers for Catholics (records of baptism, confirmation, marriage and death). 
The records which have been available represent the main branch of the Church of Scotland.
The Scottish Catholic Archives, under the auspices of the Bishops' Conference of Scotland, and in partnership with the Office of the Registrar General and Keeper of the Records of the National Archives, has launched the baptismal portion of these records by adding them to the Scotlands People database. 
This is roughly a half million records. Additional records will follow later this year.
As is true with the Protestant records, not all parishes are fully represented, and dates for search can therefore be misleading. Check the catalogs carefully before assuming that a search has been definitive -- one parish may have records back to 1703, another back to 1538.
Baptisms, marriages, censuses, death records and wills should be compared to other records to complete the search for your family.
To visit the website for the Scottish Catholic Archives, go to http://www.scottishcatholicarchives.org.uk/Archives/tabid/67/Default.aspx

Photo: Carol, Mary, Rosemary, Vinny, Audrey at the Scottish Catholic Archives, Sept 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

USS NY leaves Louisiana for namesake home port


Ok, this isn't genealogy. However, as a native New Yorker, with family in Louisiana who survived Hurricanes Katrina & Rita, this is one more thing to make me both proud and teary. Thank you to the fine people in Louisiana for building this ship to safeguard our Nation. Thank you to the fine men and women who serve our country. God bless you all.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Recommended Author: Sharyn McCrumb

Sharyn is a superb writer, whom I had the pleasure of meeting a few years back at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games.
She writes books with tremendous insight into the Scottish-American culture, the wisdom of the people in Applachian communities, and a delightful wit.
So far I've read everything she's written, and she has just come out with a new book.
My favorites are Highland Laddie Gone, Songcatcher and Rosewood Casket (soon to be a movie).
For info visit her website http://www.sharynmccrumb.com/.

Friday, October 2, 2009

As some of my longer-term friends know, Harlan Whatley made a film called the Tartan Apple about Scottish-Americans in New York, and invited me to be part of it. It was a fun project, he did something that  was important for the community at large, and his film won several awards. It's available online at https://www.createspace.com/205040 and to learn about his other projects check out the Internet Movie Database listing at http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1146507/

Carol at Wallace Monument, Stirling Castle in background

A windy day at the Wallace Monument with Mary, Jan and Rosemary

Deborah found an ancestor

Bob at Stirling Castle

Nancy at ScotlandsPeople Centre

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Edinburgh, Scotland Sept 2009

Just got back from a research trip to visit the National Archives of Scotland, the ScotlandsPeople Centre at the General Register Office, and the Scottish Catholic Archives. The support we received from the staff was just great. Our guest speakers included David Sellar, Lord Lyon King of Arms and Ken Nesbitt of the Scottish Genealogy Society. The program included day trips to Rosslyn Chapel, the Wallace Monument, Bannockburn and Stirling Castle. I gave two lectures and lots of consultations to fellow members of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. Next stop for me is Stone Mountain Highland Games in Georgia back in the US of A. Pictured are Rosemary, Paul, Cornelia, Deborah. Special thanks to  McLean Scotland