I started this blog in August of 2010, although I have had my Sensible Hat on at my other blog for my business, Scottish Genealogist, for just short of a year and have been working as a professional Scottish genealogist for many years. I wanted to write about my personal research, photos and stories – in fact, I love to write, and thought a personal blog was the ideal way to satisfy all those needs. I know which one I am enjoying more!
I have made so many new friends world-wide through these two blogs and have found the Genea-Blogging community to be extremely supportive and friendly. I now appreciate (some of!) the differences in various nations’ vital records and this has given me a much better idea of the information clients might be able to give me when they want me to find information in Scottish records. Through reading others’ posts, I have many new friends who I can approach for advice about the details contained in records from different countries. Genealogists tend to work on their own, and it has been a lovely surprise to make contact with others who are so willing to share their knowledge of the records of their particular geographical area. It’s also hugely satisfying to be able to return the compliment and help people with advice on Scottish records.
Through this blog, I’ve also loved being able to “let loose” and chat casually about my own family photos, stories and mementoes and I will continue this and hopefully make contact with distant cousins and share information. As a blogger newbie, I have mainly taken part in Memes for inspiration, with the odd additional post :-) If anyone has any advice about adding useful widgets to this blog, or sees something which could be improved, I’d really appreciate it – I need all the blogging advice I can get!
This year has seen a lot of changes for me – not in my business activities, as I have been carrying out Scottish family history research for clients, as usual, but more in a “personal development” sort of a way. Late in 2009, I was approached by a travel company who were looking for a Scottish genealogist to give one- and two-day courses in Edinburgh to family history enthusiasts who were visiting Scotland, but needed a “leg up” to get going on their research during their visit.
This was a big challenge to me, as I didn’t consider myself to be a natural public speaker, however I accepted the challenge, the details were ironed out and I put together a morning talk and presentation and we successfully ran courses throughout the year.
I met so many lovely genealogy beginners and enthusiasts and it was very gratifying to be able to help them to further their research – we usually ended up in the pub for a de-briefing session afterwards! We even had a lady starting her research at the age of 94 who gathered a ton of information on her family in one day (Happy New Year, Winnie).
Midway through the year I was approached by Dougie MacLean‘s Perthshire Amber management team to do a presentation on Scottish genealogy at the Pitlochry Festival Theatre. Dougie is a well-known Scottish singer/songwriter and is extremely enthusiastic about genealogy and has carried out a lot of his own research – many of his songs are based on his Scottish ancestry and his love of Scotland. I had meetings with Dougie and he provided me with the information I needed to prepare a presentation to introduce people to genealogy, based on the steps that he had already taken to trace his ancestors. Everything went perfectly according to plan, and what’s more – I enjoyed myself doing something I had no idea I could do!
So, in 2011, I hope to continue presenting genealogy courses, meeting other enthusiasts and doing further talks, as well as undertaking research in the Scottish records on behalf of clients. I will also carry on posting blogs as and when I think I have something interesting to say. Hopefully, there will also be further opportunities to speak on my Pet Subject and help get others going on researching their ancestry, which is where the fun is. As you all already know :-)
Happy New Year, blogging friends!