May 14, Sunny, Science, Art,History

Today it was predicted overcast and light rain and it was sunny instead.What a great last day! We took the red on-off bus and got off at the Science Center (Amardillo Building). We walked over the bridge and went to the Glasgow Science Center located right on the Clyde River. Great views from there. We were able to take in a planetarium show and talk to the astronomers and planetarium staff there. We grabbed a quick lunch and boarded the bus for the Kelvingrove Art Gallery where we viewed a number of galleries including the Burrell Collection. Tea and cake afterward as we sat and enjoyed the daily organ concert for 45 minutes. What a great gift to be there! If you look at the images, the coffee shop is to the lower right and the pipes of the organ are on the third floor. It is awesome to be in that space with that sound. My favorite was Flower Duet from Lakme by Leo Delibes. If you heard it you would recognize it.

I was tired of stairs so opted to return to the hotel to rest and write the blog but Donna continued on to the Tenement Museum up the hill. I had been to the one in NYC which is great.  Donna said she put 3 miles on her fit bit today and the last was going up a hill and over and up another hill and up stairs at the Tenement. She said it was only 4 rooms but she was impressed with the bath, old sink and bathtub bigger than a bed. She got a tour from one of the docents.


All done touring now. We’re tired! We should sleep well tonight for the trip tomorrow.

See you at home!

May 14 Happy Mother’s Day!

“Mothering Sunday” in the United Kingdom is March 26th. Here is an article about what happened for 2017 here. It is an American tradition but sometimes it translates “across the pond.” France has a similar recognition day. Here are some traditions and history of Mother’s Day.

What is the difference between United Kingdom and Britain and the British Isles/ Our travel guide,Ian Walker, made sure we knew: Great Britain or Britain is a landmass. It is all of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Rarely do people say “England”here. They just say Britain.  Here is a map to explain:

This morning, Donna and I will take the on/off bus around Glasgow and see last minute sites we have not seen yet. We are ready to travel home and get back to our routines. It has been a great adventure. We are grateful to the wonderful people we met on the trip, to our guides in Edinburgh and in the Borders and all the people who were so kind along the way. We enjoyed the music, culture, history, scenery and  we were lucky to have the great weather we had on our tours. See you at home!





May 13, Traquair House, A Stuart residence 1491-2017

Traquair House is a Stuart residence, continuously lived in by Stuarts since 1491. Bonnie Prince Charlie was here as well as 27 Kings visited. Mary Queen of Scots spent her last day in Scotland here. It was a royal hunting lodge in 1107 and has been transformed since that time with several large construction projects including moving the river away from the foundation of the house.

It was raining today but fortunately the rain stopped while we were at Traquair. The air was fresh and clean and we enjoyed our lunch in the little restaurant there. We tasted the ale at the brewery. The Jacobite Ale and the Spring Ale were both favorites. You can order the Jacobite Ale from The Brewers Association in Boulder, Colorado, (303)447-0816 736 Pearl St. zip code 80302.

Tomorrow: On-off bus Glasgow. Monday fly home by 10:30 am. Arrive home about 6pm.



May 11-12, Castles and Abby ruins years:1036 and 1136

Quickly because this internet goes in and out, we walked 2-4 miles in and out of castles and Abby ruins in the Borders areas of Scotland where Donna and I have ancestral lands. Yesterday also included Sir Walter Scott’s home. All have audio tours that are charming. We have been to Craigmiller Castle, Jedburgh Abby, Melrose Abby, Kelso Abby ruins and Floors Castle and Gardens, Abbotsford,  the home of Sir Walter Scott and the small town of Lauder plus Mary Queen of Scots house in Jedburgh.  Unique all of them . Each one adding a glimpse of what daily life was long ago. Tomorrow Traquair House.

Great adventures! Lots of history, beautiful gardens and spectacular scenery. Such a contrast to Edinburgh. Glad we got this experience.

May 10, Firth of Forth

Donna had a great idea to go on the “Maid of the Forth” sightseeing tour of the Firth of Forth. I tried to figure out how to get the 30 minute ride over to the area. By train or Bus? Fortunately, Christine Woodcock, our genealogist leader was walking by me in the lobby and asked what we were doing today. She suggested taking the 3 Bridge Tour Bus instead because it takes you directly there! Wow! So that is what we did and it worked perfectly. We got down to Waverly Bridge where all the tour buses meet. We grabbed the “3 Bridge” bus and off we went. We got the tour of Edinburgh and ended up at the correct pier. Today, the Princess Cruse ship was in so we had to go to a smaller pier to board. It was a great day on the water. There was lots to see and learn. Of particular interest to me was watching  three tug boats push a huge oil tanker up to the pier where it would dock and off load all its oil “blend” from the oil platforms in the North Sea. There are pictures below. The three tug boats were pushing the tanker sideways up to the dock.

We saw the three bridges from 3 different centuries: 19th, 20th and 21 centuries.

We were also able to see 2 little Puffins swimming in the Forth just ahead of our boat. I did not recognize them at first because when they swim, they look black. It was only when one of them “took off” that I saw it’s white chest and its light yellow beak, I didn’t recognize it until our boat captain said, that was one. They don’t look like their National Geographic pictures. The tour “talk” said this area is a breeding ground for them and there are many of them hanging out now in that area. Puffins are little. Only about a foot long. Seagulls are bigger. When I first saw them I thought they were a type of black seagull. Their beaks don’t look that bright either. They fly fast and they don’t stay around long. I was glad I saw the two we did see. The rest of the islands were all seagulls or at least it looks like that. I am sure the Puffins are there, but nesting.

I am glad we did this last Bridge Tour. It was a nice day and I learned a lot about the bridges, history, wildlife, puffins and the Firth of Forth. It was a great end to our genealogy tour in Edinburgh.  I am glad Donna suggested it. Tomorrow, Ian Walker picks us up and we are “In the Borders” for the next days. I don’t know when or if I can get on the blog again. Will try daily, but it just depends on the quality of the Wifi. If not, I will fill you in when I can. We are back soon anyway, May 15th. See you soon!

May 9, National Registers/Ceilidh

This was our last day in Scotland’s People otherwise known as the National Registers. I was able to get information I had been requesting for 10 days. They copied the information for me today. In the meantime, Donna and I sat down at the computers and I worked to see if I could find a marriage record from 1820 she had been searching for. After “tweaking” and putting less and less in the search fields and just searching “general” areas, it finally came up. We were both excited about the results. The actual document was there! It was great to have success. It what we all hope for in genealogy. Others working in the room were even more successful. They had worked for 10 days and really found a lot of documents. I am so happy for them. This is one of the most successful groups I have seen. They were able to pull up lots of records! My ancestors left Scotland in 1651 so for me, those records are spotty. I tried to find them again, but was running over the same ground as 2 years ago, so at least I know there have been no new “finds.”

Tonight, we go to our last celebration. The Ceilidh (kay-lee) Traditional Scottish fare and entertainment. I went last time and it is fun. The bagpipers are really good and I don’t like bagpipes unless they are outside and far away. Yes, I have had lots of Haggis on this trip and I love it. It is “gourmet” now and delicious.

May 8 Genealogy Blog Hints

While I was researching stuff on line I found Amy Johnson Crow’s blog. She had this 31 days to better genealogy you can sign up to receive. A sample is below. She used to do a lot of blogs but has pulled back and now just does one. Her 31 days is a good guide for those “newbies” and there are suggestions for those of us who like to review.  Enjoy.

31 Days to Better Genealogy – Day 2

Day 2 – Review Your Sources

When I say “review your sources,” I don’t mean to look at the format of the citation. At this point, the important part isn’t where you put a comma or whether you put something in italics or quotation marks. Consider what source that citation is referring to.

Let’s say that for your great-grandmother Alice Kennedy, you have the following sources:

  • Alice Kennedy birth record, Montgomery County, Ohio Probate Court, Birth volume 3, page 198.
  • 1900 census, Jackson Township, Montgomery County, Ohio. Image viewed on
  • Lulie Davis, Abstract of Wills of Washington County, Indiana 1808-1902, (no publishing info), p. 175.
  • Indiana, Marriage Index, 1800-1941, used on
  • Online family tree, viewed on

A source is wherever you got the information. Not all sources are created equal. If a source is created from other sources or it just references another source, you should work back to the original. The original could have additional information. Also, you never know when an error might have crept in, such as a typo in a date or a name that was left out.

In this case, the birth record is as far back as you can go for that source. You looked at the birth record in the probate court. It isn’t something that was derived from something else.

The same is true for that image of the 1900 census. You saw the image of the census record itself.

The book Abstracts of Wills of Washington County, however, is not as close as you can get to the original. The information in that book was taken from other sources (the wills). The author took what she considered to be the important information and put it in the book. However, she didn’t transcribe the wills word-for-word. (Even if she did, did she get everything 100% correct?)

While you probably got good information from that book, your research could progress when you take the next step and look at the will itself.

What about the Indiana Marriage Index? An index is not the record itself. It merely points to the record, just like the index of a book points to things within the book. An index might give you basic information, but you should always follow up and get the record.

The same is true for that image of the 1900 census. You saw the image of the census record itself.

Note: This isn’t to say that we shouldn’t use books or indices or even online family trees. My point is that we shouldn’t stop our research with those. (By the way, this also isn’t to say that the information we find is reliable, just that we need to get back as close as possible to the original source.)

Your To-Do
Look at the events and other facts that you have listed for a person. (Maybe the person that you asked a question about yesterday in Day 1.) Where did that information come from? Were any of those sources compiled from other sources (like the Abstracts of Wills)? Do any of them point to other sources (like the “Indiana Marriage Index”)? Make a list of the new sources that you need to look for.

Until tomorrow, (sign up for her blog below)

Another great person to follow is DNA expert CeCe Moore