Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A Bevy of Scottish Websites

Daniel Boone Cabin, Museum of Appalachia. Norris, TN
I spent the past week in Knoxville, TN attending the annual conference of the Federation of Genealogical Societies. My grandmother grew up in Knoxville, so it was nice to be able to spend time there. They also arranged a field trip to the Museum of Appalachia - great place, I highly recommend it.

The conference was interesting - there were talks on how to use different types of documents, on migration patterns, new technology and research methods. While most of the talks were informative and taught me something about Tennessee, estate papers, technology (inc. blogs), and land records; there was, I am sorry to report, some VERY BAD history presented. One presenter cited Wikipedia in his handout - I won't even let my students do that. People seem to be especially confused about the Ulster-Scots, particularly about how they ended up in Ulster in the first place. And, I swear, if I heard about "cheap Scots" or "fighting Scots" one more time I was going to behave in an undignified matter.

One of the best presentations I heard, and the most pertinent to this blog, was Paul Milner's, "Websites for Scottish Research." He provided a list of websites he has found useful in his research in a handout and spoke in detail about a handful of them. {The talk was recorded and is, in theory, available for purchase from JAMB, INC.. Search for Federation of Genealogical Societies 2010. Single CDs cost $12 plus S&H.}

Many of the websites he included were ones I knew about and have used, others I hadn't visited, others I'd never heard of.  At any rate, he inspired me to add to the links sections on this page (see below right).  I also added a couple of sites I tripped across while testing the links. Adding these websites had been on my list of things to do all summer; but I never got around to it.  So, thank you Mr. Milner!

Three of these sites cost money: Ancestry, Scotland's People, and Find My Past.  The rest, as far as I can tell, are free to use.  One useful tip he gave was to read the website directions and FAQ as this will help you maximize your search results.

These sites are useful for the genealogist and the historian, especially those specializing in the Scottish Diaspora.  I used Family Search extensively while doing my dissertation research (in addition to examining microfilm from the LDS collections at a local family history center).  It was convenient and cost effective.  Of course, the new online databases provided by Ancestry and similar sites would have made my research even easier.  Of course, I would probably have been tempted to check for just one more thing...


Dr. Bill (William L.) Smith said...

Thanks for the cabin photo, here!
Welcome to the Geneabloggers family. Hope you find the association fruitful; I sure do. I have found it most stimulating, especially some of the Daily Themes.

May you keep sharing your ancestor stories!

Dr. Bill ;-)
Author of "Back to the Homeplace"
and "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories"

Amanda E. Epperson said...

Thanks Dr. Smith, I am glad to be a part of the Geneabloggers family. I think there are more stories than I could ever tell, but I'll give it a try.

Paul Milner said...

Thank you Amanda for your kind words. That is always a fun lecture to do for you have to explore what's new and at the same time see if the case studies from the past still work. The lecture was recorded and should be available when JAMB put the conference up online, which should be soon.

I wish you had introduced yourself, I would have liked to have met you. I had heard about your research when I was lecturing in Ohio and I look forward to reading the published product since my understanding is that you have it in the editing / expansion stage. I look forward to reviewing it.

Thank your mam, Patty, for pointing me towards your blog.

Amanda E. Epperson said...

Hi Paul, sorry about not introducing myself. I'm very bad at that sort of thing. Luckily, my mother is good at promoting my blog and my work. And you understand correctly, I am (finally) in the editing and expansion stage. Amanda


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