Tag archives for Scottish

Back in January, I tracked down my great-great-great grandfather at the ScotlandsPeople Centre. This month, I traveled to the other side of Scotland and saw the land of my maternal ancestors. I walked the same streets of Glasgow that they walked, went to their church of Paisley Abbey (check out the view), visited their last…

It too me thirteen years to travel back to Knoydart, but took less than thirteen seconds for me to fall in love with the place all over again. I owe my entire discovery of this rare corner of Scotland to Jackie Robertson who picked me up hitchhiking so long ago and showed me the loch…

The Storm

Nobody is more weather-obsessed than the islanders of the Outer Hebrides—of this I am certain. From the moment I first landed in Barra, every person I have met has first shook my hand, then told me their name and delivered a 48-hour forecast. “We’re in for a wee blow tomorrow,” said one man in a…

I am always drawn to islands—the more windswept and remote, the better. Thus I always dreamt of visiting Na h-Eileanan Siar, or the Western Isles of Scotland (also known as the Outer Hebrides). Thanks to travel brochures and back issues of our very own National Geographic, I imagined the isles were a separate world of…

All libraries smell the same—the smell of very old paper and canvas, old carpet, old air. It’s the smell of old milk and the scent of history and like a hound sniffing the air, I followed the trail to the domed research room inside Scotland’s National Archives. Genealogy is nothing more than serious detective work.…

I’m not the kind of person who can see a town called Moose Factory on a map and then not go, especially if the town across the river is called Moosonee and the river is also called Moose and it flows into Ontario’s only saltwater coastline, which is practically Arctic. How can anyone resist such…