Journey of a lifetime …

As I sit here in a pub at JFK awaiting my flight to Edinburgh, Scotland, I ponder the why. Why I am going? What brought me to venture out by myself? And finally, what will be revealed.

I came to be at this point simply by being in the right place at the right time. Never dreamed I’d be going back this year. It all came about by going to Halifax for a genealogy conference that involved my Newman family and meeting an author who knows the Home Children from Birmingham inside and out. That was my purpose for that trip fresh from having knee replacement surgery. Never did I think I’d meet new friends and while chatting get the lowdown on an Edinburgh trip that would be most beneficial. I know from experience that to go with the pros. Learn from someone who knows the ins and outs of where you want to research! Well I learned that Christine Woodcock of “Genealogy Tours of Scotland” had an opening for her Edinburgh trip but the Glasgow one to follow was full ( I’m booked for next year tho, lol) Well, one thing led to another, and heh once you’ve spent the airfare you might as well yet your moneys worth, right?

Hence my month long journey into my Scottish roots. I’m going on the cheap as they say. I’ll be driving a manual very small car for me, I’m used to my Escape SUV. Yeah that’ll be different. Who’s shifted on the opposite side? I’ll tell ya how that goes, lol.

I’m staying in BnB’s and even a youth hostel that caters to all ages. I’m looking forward to meeting lots of peeps out there. Hoping to meet some family members I have no clue about and generally have a great time. Planning on attending church in the local villages where my family attended.

Can’t wait to get to Arbroath, my first stop tomorrow. I plan on getting photos of all the monuments there. Vividly remember the trip in 2005 with my mum, sister Cherie and daughter Allison. Gave them names and sent them off to discover. Many happy memories.

This trip Mom is going with me, so I’m really not alone. A small amount of her ashes are in my blue necklace I’m wearing along with some to scatter to the winds wherever I find the Right place. I have many possible leads there. There are a few villages around the area I’ll also hit. All of this is due to my past research, never know what’ll turn up. Plan on hitting some bookstores and castles along the way.

My mother’s parents were both born in Scotland. One in Dundee and the other in Glasgow. Of course the rest of the story is these ancestors populated all over the Northeast of Scotland, central Scotland and the Kingdom of Fife. I have them back to the mid 1500’s on some lines, others not so far. My research is pretty solid but there is always room for improvement as a cousin in Scotland found.

We use the Old Parochial Parish records which sometimes leaves much to be desired. Some clerks for the baptism of s child just gives the father’s name but says nothing of the mother. So wrong! This leaves us with a blank for further research.

This was written last night before I flew out of JFK New York. A truly great flight, had my row to myself and was able to stretch out lol. Spoke to my seat mate across the aisle, she was from Alabama and spending 3 weeks with a group, knowing no one. We bonded. The guy behind her was born in Detroit, married and moved to the Fife area but had just come back from his mother’s funeral in Fort Myers, Florida. Small world, it was nice to chat with folks that were real. The upgrade didn’t hurt any either. More room all around. I’ll do that again.

So I picked up my car, they gave me an automatic since, as the guy who went over the car with me said, I probably was used to that instead. Good thing! I’ll give you the rest of the tale of day one tomorrow! Castles, cemeteries, cliffs, and more. Stay tuned!

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