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Ancestral Tourism in Scotland

An estimated 40 million people across the world have Scottish roots. This is hardly surprising, given that in the 19th century an estimated 2 million people left Scotland for new lives in North America, Australia or Canada. Ancestral tourism is all about finding your roots back in the places your ancestors would have known and visited - and really is a holiday with a difference.


Many people wishing to visit Scotland and explore their roots do all of the genealogical work themselves, and have a rough idea about what they'd like to do, but this isn't always the case and that's why hiring an on the ground professional, who isn't just a genealogy expert but a native Scot too, makes a lot of sense.




I recently worked with a lovely couple from the US, whose ancestor had emigrated to the United States from west central Scotland in the 1920s. The project started with the usual genealogical sources - looking at census returns to gather addresses of where the family were living, obtaining birth certificates, finding out what churches were in the town at the time. where the children of the family might have gone to school. I fed all of this information back to the clients with a map showing all of the points identified, many of which were in close proximity to each other.


A few months later, my clients had booked their flights to Scotland. We agreed to meet for a day's exploration, looking around the places their ancestor would have known before their emigration. It's one thing looking at places on a map, quite another being on the ground in the town, walking the distance from home to school, school to church, church to another family member's house. There's no better way of getting the layout of the area. Having someone familiar with the area, its history and connections to other parts of Scotland gives the opportunity to ask loads of questions too.


This sort of bespoke genealogy can also be perfectly tailored to your party's requirements in terms of what you want to see and how long you want to spend seeing it. Local knowledge allows recommendations of the best places to stay, eat and the hidden gems that we locals prefer to keep to ourselves. If you're planning to visit Scotland to explore your roots then please get in touch for a no-obligation chat about how I might be able to help.


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