Whether you’re just starting out, want to take your research further, or long to see the places your ancestors lived, you’ve come to the right place. Services offered include
Starting Out Special: Always wanted to know your family history, but don’t know where to start? Let Kathy do it for you. Our starter package offers 12 hours of dedicated research time finding out what you think you know and searching genealogical records, up to 10 copies of official documents such as birth, marriage, death, census, valuation rolls, wills, or other official documents, and a report of findings. $549
Make Sense of My DNA: You took a DNA test, but have no idea who any of these supposed cousins are or whether the suggested connections are correct. Let Kathy dig into it for you and provide a report of findings and maybe a few new cousins, too: Hourly rate plus official document ordering costs where applicable.
Continue My Research/Help! Please sort out my mess: If you’ve started a family tree but have given up, unsure whether your research was correct or bogged down in piles of disorganized documents, Kathy will investigate and sort it out for you. Hourly rate plus document official document ordering costs where applicable.
Brick Wall Busting
Every family historian has a brick wall they’ve never been able to get past. Some of these are impenetrable with available information, but many simply need a fresh approach and a new set of eyes to solve. Kathy’s brick wall busting service includes confirming details that led to the brick wall and attempting to knock it down or prove that it’s truly a dead end for now with a report of findings. Hourly rate plus official document ordering costs where applicable.
Bespoke Scottish Trips
(On hold until after the pandemic.) Join Kathy in Scotland or travel on your own with her trip plan to walk in the footsteps of your ancestors. These trips are customized to your needs and preferences, and can include
- pre-trip family history research
- full trip planned for you based on your preferences
- Kathy’s help doing your own pre-trip and on-site research at Scotland’s People and other archives in Scotland
- visits to locations where your ancestors lived and worked
- a collection of Kathy’s photos from your trip
- a dedicated car and driver OR self-drive instructions OR other preferred transportation such as trains and buses
- encounters with local tour guides to offer local insight to add detail to your family stories.
- cemetery visits
- visits to cultural and historical sites
- good food, good company
Contact Kathy to start planning your trip today.
Identification of Unknown People
Kathy can help identify unknown people such as birth parents, heirs, or others using a combination of DNA and traditional genealogy methods.
Why hire Kathy?
Kathy holds a masters degree in family and local history from the University of Dundee, has completed a course in Forensic Genealogy, and is a member of the Register of Qualified Genealogists.
She cares deeply about doing things right: well-supported genealogical research, effective communication, caring about your family stories, and being well-organized and thoughtful in all aspects of her work, whether it’s helping you start your tree or planning the ancestry trip of a lifetime.
Kathy’s passion for genealogy comes from the same place as her passion for writing: the joys of discovering people’s stories and falling down research rabbit holes. She has a lot of Scottish background, and has is well-versed in the Scottish records, as well as some the English, Welsh, Canadian and American ones. For her, it’s always great to find new ancestors, whether hers or someone else’s, but even more exciting to find out about them and the lives they led. Our ancestors were people, not just dates on documents, and they have their own stories to tell. Kathy will help you find those stories.
I connected with Kathy to find some information related to my grandfather. Due to my father’s adoption, I was unable to find any genealogical information at all. Kathy’s knowledge of how to access both online records and government and local databases has made all the difference. We’re still awaiting information we ordered to arrive, but with her support and knowledge, I know I’ll get there and that she’ll be with me every step of the way. Kim S.
In 2019, I asked Kathy to help plan a three week driving holiday for my husband and me through the Scottish Highlands and Islands to explore locations important to our family history and allow time for my husband’s professional photography. Kathy’s suggested route managed to include all of my “must sees” as well as spectacular scenic destinations for photography, while minimizing how long we needed to travel each day to accomplish our goals. Because of Kathy’s detailed research into our family tree, we were able to visit the homes of grandparents and great grandparents, visit the castle where my grandfather was a gardener and many other meaningful sites we would never have found without her help. She was able to explain the history of the people involved which made it all come to life. The list of potential accommodations Kathy suggested turned out to be excellent. She found everything from small village inns to Manor House hotels, all of them great. We encountered an unexpected change of plans at one point which required a sudden change of ferry and accommodation reservations. Kathy handled the changes seamlessly. Being in our seventies, we were not confident driving in Scotland and made arrangements for Kathy to accompany us and do the driving. She drove us over 1,800 miles through our planned route. Kathy’s knowledge and attention to detail made our trip unforgettable. W&G, Canada
Kathy’s helped me understand my DNA results and knew exactly where to begin searching for the ancestors and relatives closest to me. She not only saved me time, but almost instantly found me family I didn’t know I had! Kat T.
I reached out to Kathy after a genealogy conference for ways to add more information to my family tree. Thanks to her, I was able to “pad” my tree with more documents, photographs, newspaper clippings, etc., than I ever knew existed. Thanks, Kathy!
- New DigsWelcome to my website. I’ve left some of my very old blog posts here for continuity, but all the non-blog information on these pages is current and up-to-date. As I… Continue reading New Digs
- Longevity #52AncestorsI’m finally up-to-date with the 52 Ancestors prompts. Woohoo! I’ll celebrate this minor success while it lasts. 🙂 This week’s topic is longevity. I happen to a lot of longevity… Continue reading Longevity #52Ancestors
- Favourite Photo #52AncestorsThere are so many family photos I love, but for this exercise I picked this one, which I love so much I included it on my home page. It’s Christmas… Continue reading Favourite Photo #52Ancestors
- The #52Ancestors ChallengeWith school and life, working on my own ancestry has taken a back seat. To stay connected with it through this busy year, I’ve decided to give Amy Johnson Crow’s… Continue reading The #52Ancestors Challenge
- Scotland’s People CentreDuring my recent trip to Scotland, I got to spend 3 1/2 days researching at the Scotland’s People Centre/Register House. For those of us researching Scottish roots, this place is… Continue reading Scotland’s People Centre
- FalklandFalkland is one of my favourite places in Fife. It’s a gorgeous little village, for one thing, and the people in it are lovely. Every single local Ive ever met… Continue reading Falkland
- Hello from ScotlandBy this time of night, my body still reminds me that it started the wake-up process at 4am thanks to minor lingering jet lag, so this will just be a… Continue reading Hello from Scotland
- Ancestry DNA ExperienceA few weeks ago, I received the results of my Ancestry DNA test. The experience of using the test and sending it in was pretty straightforward. Prepare to spit a… Continue reading Ancestry DNA Experience
- Scotland PhotosA few people have been asking me to see photos of my trip to Scotland in May. I flew to Edinburgh, and from there worked my way up to Elgin,… Continue reading Scotland Photos