Just imagine, having your family ancestry researched and then taking a tour with RobbieMac to ‘Walk in the Footsteps of Your Ancestors’. RobbieMac has now integrated her tour guiding and clan expertise with her long-term hobby of genealogy: https://www.robbiemactours.co.uk/ancestry-introduction/ancestry-research-tours/
“We had noticed an emerging trend where colonial visitors have asked if we could find their ancestral homes - in the midst of planning a tour!”
It is not always possible at short notice to establish the details and find places connected to family - unless of course they have connections or links to a major clan. Even then, that can still lack the personal family events and locations people yearn for. With the benefit of research, we can find and prove unique data and facts and then blend them into a personalised tour.
Scotland holds many stories close to its heart. It is a complex land with a complex history. So we decided to do something more positive about that to enhance future visitor experiences. Hence the formal integration of ancestry services into our tour guiding business.
After all, I am a part of the Scots Diaspora myself and had been down that same path on our first trip to Scotland forty years ago. While I grew up in Australia, I was brought up with the old traditions and culture in a Scottish family. However twenty years ago, the pull of Scotland became too hard to ignore and we stayed.
So RobbieMac services have been redesigned around the requests by fellow colonials, the Scots Diaspora, coming back ‘to the auld country, to walk in the footsteps of their ancestors’!
My specialty is ancestry research, so ask us to complete the research, and then design you a personalised tour to bring your family and the dream to life! I’ll work with you to research your family beforehand, and then prepare a special personalised tour to enable you to ‘Walk in the Footsteps of Your Ancestors’ when you visit Scotland.
The trip I design is elementally a home coming, so we work together online before your trip, to plan a personalised tour just for you (or a family group if you bring them with you). That tour is a choice of a full day or multi days in length– the number of days choice is yours, however it determines just how much you get to see and experience in the given timeframe. Perhaps even find the great grannie you never knew, or meet up with long lost relatives – just as I did!
Your itineraries may include houses they once lived in; or ruins of cottages and farm steadings; churches where they were baptised or married; cemeteries where they lay buried; schools they once attended; fields they once worked by hand et al……. just imagine, holding an old door knob the family used for generations, or of walking in the footsteps of their daily routines!
Our specialty is in locating where your ancestors or the clan connection once lived, loved and worked.
Not everyone is necessarily connected to a clan. However, if you are interested in the Highland clans, then we have a broad knowledge of the major players and can develop a family or clan tour, for example: Sinclair, Gunn, Mackay, Ross, Cameron, Chisholm, MacDonald, MacPherson & Grant.
Recently I was invited to give a presentation on ‘Genealogy in Scotland (Research and Tours)’ on a world-wide travel trade zoom forum run by Adams & Butler - Hallmark of Luxury Travel Trade. On request I featured a previous tour about the dominant local Clan Sinclair and traced the Caithness Scotland connection back from the Sinclairs to Vikings circa from the 11th century and brought it forward to the current day by taking in the local castles, ruins, churches, fields of battle and the estates relative to the Sinclairs through time.
However, not all tours are like this ….. quite often we find they were impoverished hard working crofters with a few animals and that wee croft now in ruins on a remote hillside. In addition we often come across tumble down walls, and old foot paths worn down over the centuries - some left during the Highland Clearances or others following the Battle of Culloden.
The sight of the ruins and the knowledge of the harsh life they lived, makes it a much more tangible and traumatic history to deal with.
A worn old flagstone in a doorway might send shivers up your spine when you stand on it; or a rusty battered old door knob takes on very magical experience when you grasp it.
Make memories. People comment on how much appreciated it is that I bring flowers for them to place on graves or in significant places!
I’ve seen grown men shed a tear when they come face to face with the harsh life many of their ancestors lived. Our tours cover the fundamentals of life in their time, their beliefs and practices and bring it to reality - albeit sometimes it can be a rather harsh reality. We ensure that we help visitors get the photos they need by ensuring they are in those photos, and that we are taking them at their best. Memories are memories, but a collection of once only photos is also hard to beat!
With family tree research, the combination of organising a Family Reunion or Gathering is an optional extra. Various family events have been successfully delivered in Australia and here in Scotland. We are happy to discuss your needs and to assist with the planning of those events, gatherings and family tours tailored to your family tree and ancestry research.
For longer projects, such as researching the life of an ancestor, tracing a lineage, building a family tree and reporting, or organising reunions or ancestry tours, the fees are tailored to suit each assignment. Bear in mind that many families may be traced back to about the mid-1700s with data that we can access, but some are more difficult for various personal reasons and prove quite challenging. But there is always something you can find about your family, and that can be built on when designing your tour.
This quarter RobbieMac was thrilled to also introduce ‘Ancestry Online for Beginners’ into the ancestry services. This is a set of online sessions designed to get you kick-started with basic family and ancestry research. It has been a staged rollout to ensure that any newcomers to ancestry know not only the actual research processes but are given a toolkit of tips ‘n tricks. This will assist you to understand the protocols, legals and responsibilities behind data collection, storage and sharing.
Without a doubt the genealogy journey through your family, its history and ancestry could be one of the most frustrating, fascinating or fulfilling journeys you’ll ever take!
The covid challenges in 2020/2021 are still with us, but RobbieMac has Visit Scotland ‘Good-to-Go’ certification and ‘Safe Travels’ worldwide accreditation. We look forward to welcoming our guests back to Scotland soon.
RobbieMac Tours & Ancestry
Tel: +44 1955611542 / +44 7854638268
Email: [email protected]
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