I have just had 10 wonderful days researching in Edinburgh. If you have done research in Scotland, you will know about www.scotlandspeople.gov. uk. This is a pay-to-view site, but the information available there is just so comprehensive and, per item, reasonably priced. The cost to view an extract – the original page in the register – is five credits, which cost around $NZ2.50. You can save or print the image.
The purchase of Scotland’s People’s credits gives access to pre-1855 parish registers, civil registration (1855 onwards with privacy restrictions to some information), and census from 1841-1901. The payment of £10 for a day’s researching gives you this access, and for 50p per printout and £1 per image saved to a flash drive (or type straight into your computer or make a note of the information), you can look at dozens of images. If you are a first-time visitor, there is a free two-hour ‘taster’ session.
I concentrated on my Millikin family and finding living descendants. I traced those born around 1920, finding those who had died and then looking for their children, the children’s marriages, and searching for deaths to find the latest known addresses. I found around 20 people who could still be alive – though they may have immigrated and died outside Scotland. I checked phone books looking for current addresses and learnt that using online phone books was not as good as looking at the actual printed books, because there is usually only one initial in the online phone books. I used www.infobel.com, www. ukphonebook.co.uk and www.192.com – there is a living people search on www. findmypast.co.uk.
Next stop was to check Genes Reunited (www. genesreunited.com) – and there was my newly found third cousin! Great excitement as we compared notes and promised to exchange information.
Visiting National Archives of Scotland (www.nas.gov. uk), National Library (www. nls.uk), the Genealogy Society (www.scotsgenealogy.com) and the National Map Library (www.nls.uk/collections/ maps/index.html – wonderful collection of old, detailed large scale maps, and not only for Scotland) is also worthwhile.
Remember the Family History Fair? July 17th & 18th, Kingsgate Hotel, Hamilton (www.nzfamilyhistoryfair. org.nz). I can report that there will be free access to Scotland’s People at the Fair! Come with your information, so that the experienced user on duty will be able to look for your events – maybe help you go back three or four generations!
There will also be free access (on a number of computers) to www.FindMyPast.co.uk (one of the special sponsors), www.thegenealogist.co.uk, www.originsnetwork.com, www.footnote.com, www. ancestry.com.au and more.
Many government departments will be there – even igovt! Libraries, museums, specialised help for ‘home’ countries and regions of NZ; beginner’s packs; seminars too. You can get help in choosing genealogy computer programs and filing systems, plus there are help desks for getting started and keeping going. Come for the weekend or for a day!