The First Week

So, now we’ve decided we’re going to go to Shetland, we needed to figure out the details; when, where, what, why and how! We both have a bit of an idea from family stories and details, but now, we need to figure out the logistics.

I’ve dipped my toe in genealogy before, I’ve found out a few things and had a look around. I know some birthdays and locations, but for this adventure I want to find out the stories. I want to see where our ancestors lived, walk the streets they walked, find the churches they were baptised in and also make the most of the amazing scenery and get to know the people. It would be great to find out the answers to some family mysteries as well.

I figured the best thing to do would be to ask the experts, so obviously I turned to Twitter. I followed accounts on genealogy, Shetland and Scotland, and then asked “where would you start?” The wise people of the internet pointed me to 3 websites, Bayanne, Scotland’s People and Shetland Family History Society , I also renewed my account info on Ancestry .

I found out a lot of facts and dates from Bayanne, spent a lot of credit on Scotland’s People and joined the Shetland Family History Society, (SFHS). From joining this society I got talking to a man called Tony, he emailed to confirm the account was set up and enquired about what I was looking for. I explained my grandmothers history and the names I was interested in, (Scollay and Henderson). He knew the names, where they lived and even offered to walk us to the site! 24 hours in and I already have so many leads and everyone has been so friendly, which makes this whole thing even more interesting. I’m so happy that we are doing this, it has already proved to be so much more exciting than I anticipated.

Thanks to Tony’s advice, we also have a probable date for our trip. He has recommended May as the best time to go to Shetland and my mum thinks this would be good to, hopefully not to wet! I spoke to her on the phone and asked her when she would want to go and if she definitely still wanted to go. She said yes, the more we speak about it, the more she felt it was now or never and that she was feeling excited about the trip. I’m seeing her next week so we’re going to start some planning then.

I look forward to sharing our journey with you. Any other beginners out there get in touch, especially if you’re looking into ancestors in Shetland, and any tips you experienced genealogy researchers can give me I’d be so grateful.

Til the the next post,

Ali xx