Welcome, fellow genealogists! My blog will teach you about U.S. land records and United Kingdom research. My family has roots in Niagara County, New York; Norfolk, England; and northeast Germany.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wisdom Wednesday: Scottish Games and Festivals

Last weekend, I went to my local highland games. I am still humming the tune played by all of the pipe bands in the competition. While I didn’t spend a lot of time doing genealogy, I could have.

These games featured a tent with genealogists from the Mormon Church who were doing individual counseling. They did two workshops during the day, one “Basics of Genealogy” and the other “Genealogy and Your Scottish Records.” Not all games will have this element, but if you are headed to one, check the schedule on their website before you leave home. Only pack your genealogy notes and questions, if you can consult with a genealogist.
On the other hand, every Scottish festival has clan tents or booths. These are almost always together and separate from the vendors and food purveyors. Most of the booths have some info for family researchers, if only a map* and list of septs (branch families). I saw some pedigree charts Saturday so some genealogy was taking place. I did observe that visitors had to talk to the clans people and not wait for them to begin the conversation.

As my program said, in that combination of English and Scottish perhaps spoken or written only in North America:
“Search for a bit o’ yer ancestry ‘neath ane o’ the mony clan tents.”

For information about the larger highland games that might be near you, consult the website of the Association of Scottish Games and Festivals: www.asgf.org. Next year’s Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival will be in Look Park, Northampton, Massachusetts Saturday, 18 July 2015, www.glasgowlands.org.
* To find where your surname is most prevalent in Scotland, consult the Great Britain surname project, University College, London, at www.gbnames.publicprofiler.org