Thursday, September 1, 2011


Pat's father was born in Scotland and her family believed they were Scottish through and through, but there were many surprises in store as she began her Scottish research.

The Scots are a tenacious lot, vitally interested in, and knowledgeable about their ancestral lines. Scotland was one of the first countries to recognize and embrace the importance of good, affordable Internet resources. To that end there are many, many helpful websites to access knowledge as well as trusted records. We will be examining these websites, along with some instruction as to how to use the sites to your best advantage. Some of the sites (that offer actual documents) are pay for view, but the costs are low, and well worth it. And there is no commitment required from students to purchase anything. It is entirely up to each individual.

Of course, the very basics of Scottish research will also be taught. Things like civil registrations, censuses, Statutory Records of births/marriages/deaths, OPRs, and wills and testaments are documents we need, and have easy access to online. If you want to see a digitized copy of an entry it will likely cost you a couple bucks.

As everywhere, the availability of records will depend on the timeframe and administrative division within Scotland that you need. But, rest assured, Scotland is easily the nicest country to research in! Their records are phenomenal, and the amount of information is spectacular. For instance, did you know (after 1855) from a birth registration you can find: the baby's name, address/place of birth, date and time of birth (hour and minute), the name and occupation of the father, the MAIDEN surname of the mother, as well as the location and date of the parents marriage? Isn't that incredible? AND you can obtain all that information for about two Canadian dollars as well as getting a copy of the original entry made in a book that long ago! When Pat purchased her father's birth registration, waaaaaay back before the Internet, it cost her $35.00 .... quite a difference to the $2.00 of today! AND today every search and result is instant, on your computer, and not waiting for months for snailmail. Instant gratification is awesome and saving dosh ain't bad either!!(grin)

So we will be going on a journey into Scottish records for sure. One thing that is almost always missed in Scottish courses is the history - not necessarily the history of the country, but the history of the people. Why did they have that occupation? Why did they relocate? Why did they do many of the things they did? And what aboot (yes, I wrote aboot not about) the language? It is impossible to understand some of the wordings on old documents unless you understand the language(s) as there were many languages in various parts of the bonny old country. And what about their names? We find nicknames, name translations, name changes, variant or interchangeable names, "to" names, maiden names, naming patterns, name spelling variations, name abbreviations and two or more people of the same name. Yikes! And if you don't type the name exactly as it's entered in a computer database, you may never find your ancestor. So we will also take a journey through the people's history and you will come to understand how religions, politics, geographies, wars, traditions, and the policies of the 'famous' affected each and every one of our ancestors. And by examining the way people lived their daily lives, we come across ideas or suggestions of record types we may never have considered using!

This is a very comprehensive course that covers much of Scottish history. As we learn the history, and find those elusive records, we can marry the two (history with records). This helps us begin to understand what life was like when our Scottish ancestors lived at various stages throughout history. How history affected them AND how *they* affected history! It's an amazing journey and Pat looks forward to working with each of you on the trip of a lifetime.

You can register, or inquire about the course by emailing or phoning 695-2241. There are people from various provinces already registered so don't wait too long as Pat keeps numbers low in this course to allow her time to work with individuals.

This is a totally online course, delivered through emailed lessons and assignments. The nice thing with online courses is that you can do them at your leisure so if life gets in the way, you can work on the course when YOU have time and not miss anything.

The lessons will be emailed Oct. 18, 25, Nov. 01, Nov. 8th. $160.00

No comments:

Post a Comment