Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Interview with Christine Woodcock of Genealogy Tours of Scotland

We have such a great group of sponsors and so we wanted everyone to get to know them better. In the following interview we talk to Christine Woodcock of Genealogy Tours of Scotland about genealogy, research, and of course Scottish food.

Gena and Jean: How did you get interested in genealogy?

Christine: My grandfather fathered 21 children. (Yes, and raised them!) My grandmother, his second wife raised all of them and was the only granny any of the grandchildren knew. My mum and gran were the story tellers of the family. Every summer we had tons of company from Scotland. And every time someone arrived, we would all gather and hear the stories over and over and over. It was boring old news then. But my mum and gran died within 8 months of each other and suddenly something fired up inside me and it became my mission to preserve those stories for my kids and all of the other grandkids. So with the help of my aunt, I put together a family history book. A record of my grandpa's descendants. I gave a copy to each of his offspring. It has become a treasured heirloom.

Gena and Jean: What made you want to pursue it as a career?

Christine: As I was speaking to groups and writing articles, it dawned on me that I was unique. Not only did I have Scottish ancestry, but I had a deep familiarity with all things Scottish and knew the country well. Others long to see their homeland. So, I decided to put together genealogy research trips to Scotland to allow those with Scottish ancestry the change to get to know their homeland. Time is provided for the participants to go to the area of Scotland that their ancestors were from. I have colleagues who will personalise an ancestral tour to the graves, homes, villages etc for the participants.

Gena and Jean: In your work you lead tours of Scotland and help researchers learn more about their ancestors. What two tips do you have for someone who is considering traveling to Scotland to research?

Christine: PLAN AHEAD. I spend almost a full year preparing my tour participants for their research time in Scotland. The second would do some research online about what to expect from each of the archival repositories.

Gena and Jean: What is the biggest mistake or misconception you see with Scottish research?

Christine: People rely so heavily on Ancestry, Find My Past or FamilySearch but they only have transcriptions. The Scottish documents are such a treasure trove of genealogical information that so much is missed out on by not viewing the original documents. They are only available on Scotlands People the website for the General Registrar's Office.

Gena and Jean: What's your favorite Scottish repository and why?

Christine: ScotlandsPeople Centre in Edinburgh is the best. All of their documents are digitized and available onsite. The National Archives are housed upstairs and that is the gateway to even more records.

Gena and Jean: So, I have to ask....what's your favorite thing to eat in Scotland?

Christine: I was raised on Scottish food, so love most of it. Yes! even haggis. But the first thing I run for when I get home is a Scotch Pie. The original take out food!

Gena and Jean: Where can our readers read more of your writings and more about your tours?

Christine: For more information about my tours, they can visit my websiteI also blog at: http://scottishgenealogytipsntricks.blogspot.ca/ and I am a regular columnist for the In-Depth Genealogist.

Friday, March 20, 2015

2015 Tour Sponsor: Rich Roots Genealogy

We want to welcome our newest sponsor of the Gena and Jean Genealogy Tour, Rich Roots Genealogy.

Rich says:

I started on my family's genealogy after my maternal grandmother's death - I found a family history she'd been working on, and I was hooked! My ancestry is 75% Italian, so I have strong roots in Italia - but I am also a typical European mutt, with my (maternal) grandmother's roots reaching to Ireland, Wales, England, Germany (Prussia), Canada, and elsewhere.

Both of my parents are teachers, as is my brother - and both my dad and brother are history professors - so it seems that a love of history runs in my blood!

I've worked full-time as a professional genealogist since 2014 but have been researching for 12 years. In the past, I've also worked as an actor, in PR & Marketing, and in the study abroad field. I lived in Dublin for a while and have traveled extensively in Europe. I love to travel, and recently returned from six weeks in Italy (and seven weeks in Salt Lake!). Something fun is that I worked as one of the researchers for Season 2 of PBS' Genealogy Roadshow and had a blast!

Rich Roots Genealogy http://www.richroots.net/

Rich has an impressive list of services and repositories that he frequents spanning New Jersey, Philadelphia and beyond! Check out his services on his website.

If you're interested in learning more about obtaining Italian Dual Citizenship, Rich can help you with that as well. Check out his website for more details.

Friday, March 6, 2015

The Opportunity is Sailing Away....

You know that the Gena and Jean tour is setting sale in July 2015. Word has just come down from our travel agent that the prices for the cabins will go up after March 10th so if you want to get in on the deal, make your reservations NOW!

Yes, you can still book a cabin for the tour after March 10th but you'll pay a little extra. We are going to have a great time so don't miss out! Let's talk genealogy on the high seas! (Well, at least on the stretch of ocean from Southern California to Mexico.)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Join Jean at RootsTech!

Going to RootsTech/ FGS 2015? See Jean present on three topics:

  • Fun with . . . Citing Sources! 

  • It’s NOT Your Grandma’s Genealogy: Making the Switch from Paper to Electronic Record-Keeping

  • The 2 Sides of Interviewing: Using Tech Tools to be an Effective Interviewer

You can read more about these presentations on the RootsTech website.

Learn more about attending RootsTech or participating from home by reading Gena's article, "Come Join GenealogyBank at RootsTech 2015! (Conference Tips for Those Attending—and Those Watching Online)" available on the GenealogyBank blog.

See you at the conference!

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Time is Running Out...Join Gena and Jean

The holidays are over, January flew by, and Valentine's Day is almost here. Why not give a gift to yourself and join us as we take to the sea! What could be better? Genealogy presentations, 1:1 research help, the exciting company of Gena and Jean, and of course all you can eat buffets!

See below for registration phone number and email. There are a few cabins left, so sign-up today!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

2015 Tour Sponsor: Claudia C. Breland

We LOVE books and are excited to share two books authored by one of our sponsors, Claudia C. Breland.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Join Gena and Jean: SCGS Webinar Series

You have to love a webinar. You can watch some great education from the comfort of your home. Throw on the comfy slippers, play some background music, order a pizza and sit back and learn!

Gena and Jean love a webinar too and so we hope you'll join us for the 2015 SCGS Jamboree Extension  Series.

The Jamboree folks say of this year's webinars, "We have speakers from New Zealand and Canada, as well as various locations throughout the US. We have new faces giving presentations as well as several members of the SCGS / Jamboree family returning for 2015."

Gena will be presenting on Finding Your Female Ancestor's Story in the Newspaper on January 21st. Click here to sign-up.

Jean will be presenting on October 21st, The Devil is in the Details: Overlooking Minutiae can Create Lineage Limbo. To sign-up click here.

Sign-up now for all the webinars, they look fantastic!

See you online!