25 November 2012

Scotland and genealogy tourism: I'll volunteer

The Scotsman.com from Edinburgh, Scotland carried an article today titled "Scotland Urged to Refocus on Genealogy Tourism."

WHOEVER they think they are they deserve the red carpet treatment for a new study estimates people searching for their roots will be worth ­­­£2.4 billion to Scotland over the next five years.

The potential of so-called ancestral tourism has been outlined in a report by consultants TNS, which estimates a potential market of 50 million people of Scottish ancestry.

But services need to be improved if Scotland is to cash in, including promoting existing research facilities, specialist tour operators and the creation of budget “genealogy packages”."

Here's my offer: I will volunteer to be a test research tourist for this effort. My Stuart, Grant, and Forbes connections are from the area of Strathdon in Aberdeen. Robert and Mary (Grant) Stuart are my great great great grandparents. Their son James born about 1815 in that area and was later a jailer in several places in Angus. He married Helenor Edwards and had children in several places there including Arbroath. The Edwards tie into Allardyce, Leighton, and other families. Then James and Helenor came to Wisconsin with their children and descendants ended up in Minnesota, Illinois, Kansas, California, Colorado, Florida, and other places. I really need to visit both counties in Scotland and the National Archives in Edinburgh.

I need to consult some original records to make up for gaps in microfilmed records, need to visit the old "home towns" and take pictures to share, and figure out where my Stuart ancestors originated. 

Just think of all the publicity I could help them with here in the United States. I could mention my trip everywhere I lecture, in my blog, in articles in genealogy publications, on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter, in the popular press, and to my fellow family historians. I would distribute brochures every place I went. All I would require is the plane and train tickets, hotels, and of course, a guide in all the places. It could be a Christmas present to me. I am sure it will happen. Right?

Now, back to reality.

To read the full article, click here.

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