speaking in Omaha, Nebraska
The workshop presenter was Paul Milner, a professional genealogist and lecturer. He has specialized in British Isles genealogical research for more than 30 years.
I have no Scottish ancestors (that I'm aware of) and the ancestors from England go back to the Mayflower and have been pretty well researched already. As a result, I knew very little about research in these countries. Always an eager learner, I took away a lot of new information from his workshops. He did reference some Irish immigration, so that was definitely of interest and use for my research.
Milner discussed the Push-Pull influences - factors that were pushing people out of Scotland. Pull influences were what brought many Scots to America. It was no surprise that the Push influences were based on a poor economy, lack of housing and lack of food. Pull influences included the possibility of obtaining land, and letters from family encouraging the folks back home to join them in America.
Favorite "sound bites" from the workshop:
- You cannot assume that if your emigrant was part of the migration [1725-27] that they automatically came from the north of Ireland.
- Assumptions are fatal in genealogy.
- Follow the minister if you can't find your ancestor - Quite often, the minister decided to move on and much of his congregation followed.
Just a few of Milner's recommended books and web sites:
- Findmypask.co.uk - for outbound shipping lists
- Ancestry.co.uk - for inbound UK shipping lists
- Tracing Your Scots Irish Ancestors by William Roulston
- Tracing Your Scottish Ancestors by Ian Maxwell
- Discover Scottish Church Records - Chris Paton
- Phillmore Atlas and Index of Parish Records - Cecil Humphery-Smith
It was definitely an educational - and fun - day! I enjoyed reconnecting with several of the genealogists who I've met over the last couple years. I still haven't quite adjusted to people introducing themselves and telling me that they heard me speak somewhere. But I guess I can get used to that!
I definitely give Paul Milner five stars (out of five!) as a genealogy speaker!