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The most distinctive feature of Scotland's history, nationally and internationally, is probably that of the Scottish clans. Scotland's clan system is unique, reflecting the richness and variety of our nation's cultural make-up as well as the turbulence of its past. At heart, it is a tribal system, typical of all Celtic peoples, but one which was modified over time.
The original Scottish clans worked like an extended family (clan is Gaelic for "children") in which the chief was the patriarchal figure. The ties of kinship were strengthened within the clan, they could even offer protection to some groups who were not part of their immediate kin. This included smaller clans, known as septs.
For every single Scot here in our native land, there are thought to be at least five more overseas who can claim Scottish ancestry - that's many millions spread around the globe.
Researching your family tree is a pilgrimage of discovery. Full of intrigue, unusual names and fascinating histories. It is a hobby that rewards time and again. But those who simply trace their family tree from the comfort of their armchair are missing out on the authentic story of their heritage. For the true picture you need to visit the place names you discover. That means a holiday in Scotland, to retrace the footsteps of your Scottish ancestors.
We are very lucky here in Scotland to have a fairly good system of records for those wishing to trace their family histories. Compulsory registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages was introduced in 1855 and these records are accessible and held by the General Register Office for Scotland. They also hold parish registers before that (the earliest is Errol in Perthshire, which goes back to 1553, but most are rather later than this).
To make a start on your journey of discovery, the family surname is often enough, or a place-name remembered through the generations. Get in touch and we can create a tour of Scotland to take you back to the areas your ancestors called home.
For further information and bookings please contact us
Tel: +44 (0)1592 752990
Fax: +44 (0)1592 331680
Toll Free: 1-888 678 1567 USA/Canada
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9 Day Quest For The Throne Escorted Coach Tour
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Scottish and Welsh Evenings with Local Foods and Music; Taylor's Three Rock Pub; Hampton Court Palace; York Minster; Giant's Causeway; Kiss The Blarney Stone; Roman Baths; Stonehenge.