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  1. #21
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    Looking at your route there is some overlap on the out & back. Suprised you didn't look at doing Fife are 5hen crossing to Perth via Dundee. Historic part of Scotland that you're missing there...
    Last edited by Allan Thomson; 12th April 19 at 01:03 PM.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jock Scot View Post
    I can't resist a comment, here. My wife & daughter make a similar run, twice a day (Santa Cruz Mountains). A good day, about 1600ft climb, in 9-10 minutes. Behind a motorhome, bus, fuel tanker, Prius (quite often passing, inverted ones), or the usual Costco truck, 40+ minutes. When the fools are let out, they run the Old Highway. Longer, windier, slower, with many of the fools about them.

    To get back to the subject.......Jock, what would be considered a better time of year for such a trip? Or, for a general trip to the Highlands?
    "I can draw a mouse with a pencil, but I can't draw a pencil with a mouse"

  3. #23
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    6th July 07
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baeau View Post
    I can't resist a comment, here. My wife & daughter make a similar run, twice a day (Santa Cruz Mountains). A good day, about 1600ft climb, in 9-10 minutes. Behind a motorhome, bus, fuel tanker, Prius (quite often passing, inverted ones), or the usual Costco truck, 40+ minutes. When the fools are let out, they run the Old Highway. Longer, windier, slower, with many of the fools about them.

    To get back to the subject.......Jock, what would be considered a better time of year for such a trip? Or, for a general trip to the Highlands?
    Good question! Firstly avoid all UK/Scottish public holidays, after that I think my choices would be, mid April to the first week of June and mid September to the end of October. There is absolutely no guarantee at any time of the year with the weather but the spring and autumn colours do make Scotland an even more beautiful place and as an added bonus, it is less crowded..... for now.
    Last edited by Jock Scot; 12th April 19 at 01:59 PM.
    " Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the adherence of idle minds and minor tyrants". Field Marshal Lord Slim.

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    tpa

  5. #24
    Join Date
    15th January 17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Allan Thomson View Post
    Looking at your route there is some overlap on the out & back. Suprised you didn't look at doing Fife are 5hen crossing to Perth via Dundee. Historic part of Scotland that you're missing there...
    Allan,
    Below is the route of the Clan Dunbar tour. Being a lowland noble family who held the Earldom's of Dunbar and March, and later Earldom of Moray, the Clan doesn't normally tour the western part of the country. Our plan is to see Iona and the western highlands and some of the Inner Hebrides. We are making a zip through Moray so my kids can see where our family came from. Most recent Scot ancestor was captured at the Battle of Dunbar in 1650 and shipped to the colonies as an indentured servant. Big-Y DNA has him descending from David Dunbar of Durris, the 5th son of Sir Alexander Dunbar, hereditary Sheriff of Moray. So we are missing about 3 generations of paper trail that the Clan Genealogist is working on. On the last Clan tour in 2014 they traveled extensively in Moray.

    After going to Moray we are going to Edinburgh via Dunkeld. Our oldest known ancestor was Crinan, Thane of Dunkeld and Moramer of Atholl. He was born in 975 and married Malcolm II's daughter Bethoc. Older son Duncan the 1st was murdered by Macbeth. Crinan and younger son Maldred King of Cumbria (my ancestor) died in battle seeking revenge. His son Gospatric became Earl of Northumberland and after turning against the conqueror fell back to Scotland where his 1st cousin Malcolm Canmore gave him much of Lothian and the borders. Gospatric died in 1130 and we will see his headstone at Durham Cathedral. You might have seen the incredible find at Durham Cathedral by the Archeology department of Durham University of the skeletons of Scot prisoners from the Battle of Dunbar. My ancestor Robert Dunbar of Moray likely survived the battle and the death march to Durham. Some 3000 Scots were herded into the Cathedral building (post reformation so not used at the time) but few came out alive. The mass grave represents a small percentage of the Scots whose mass graves lie under buildings constructed in the ensuing centuries.

    Robert wound up in the Iron works in Braintree south of Boston and within a few years paid the second highest tax in the Township of Hingham. He owned hundreds of acres and ran a farm so either his wife came from Scotland with money or his family sent him money. Either way he never returned to Scotland. Being the 2nd or 3rd son of a 2nd or 3rd son, even in a titled landed family, his lot was better in the colonies than at home.
    Sorry about the out of place history lesson. I'm the current Chieftain of Clan Dunbar and President of the Scottish Prisoners of War Society. So a typical overzealous American of Scot descent. You see below where we go to Durham and Bamburgh Castle, Gospatric's stronghold via his mother's family. We also go to Mochrum. Our Chief of Name, Sir James Dunbar 14th Bt. of Mochrum will be with us on the tour. He is paper trailed all the way to Crinan and descends from the older brother of David of Durris.


  6. #25
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    I can relate to Steve's statement about an area being viewed romantically instead of realistically. My wife's parents co-founded the William Faulkner conference here in Oxford, Mississippi and the attendees expect a different environment than they get in sweltering August heat and humidity. The stark perspectives are noted in the exit polling comments.

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  8. #26
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    15th January 17
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    Yes that leads to the congestion that Jock has to deal with and that I will be dealing with myself. I am a history nut. The scenic western part of our tour is not family related but I am familiar with the history of the area. I am almost done reading Sir Walter Scott's entire works, available for about $8 USD on Kindle. I read them on my cell phone kindle app. I previously read all of Nigel Tranter's historical novels, early Before 1286 . Middle. Between 1286 and 1603 and late After 1603



  9. #27
    Join Date
    21st January 17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baeau View Post
    What would be considered a better time of year for such a trip? Or, for a general trip to the Highlands?
    Personally May and June can provide great weather, of course it is a little cooler, but there are less midgies and these months tend to be drier, on average than July and August which can be very wet if you are unlucky.

    I took the wife on a highlands and Skye trip in June 2 years ago, roughly every third day had some light rain, the roads were pretty clear. Popular attractions had some queues, but they were small and the temperature was cool but not cold, which means you can see much further as there is no heat haze, midgies a few but only in very sheltered and boggy areas like Glenfinnan viaduct visitors centre. Oh and before I forget days are long at this time of year, watching the sun set a 1 am on the Cullin mountains is fantastic.

    An alternative to me, would go in late September or early October for the same reasons above.

    Pretty much echoes the good advice from Jock, just garnished with a bit more useful/useless blurb.

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  11. #28
    Join Date
    15th January 17
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    Now Genetic Genealogy

    Quote Originally Posted by EdinSteve View Post
    Itís amazing what you can do with DNA these days, isnít it? A friend even had her dogís DNA tested would you believe? Turns out it is a mixture of three strains of terrier.
    I must get into that some day as my mother was convinced she was descended from a long line of kings and queens which always made us smile too. Amazing really. Who knows? They do say if you go back far enough nearly everyone is related to William the Conqueror although I would prefer Robert the Bruce myself.
    So can you specify who you are descended from or do they tell you after the (no doubt expensive) test? There used to be those people who could print off an impressive family tree certificate while you waited once you gave them your name so I suppose this DNA thing is the latest version of that.
    Steve, It is two sciences melded into one. Genetic Genealogy. There is a lot of interpretation involved and you always have a model that is the current best interpretation. The model changes becoming more refined with more individual tests added and more markers added to the individual tests. There are a few top labs and many commercial ventures built around those labs. I am an assistant admin for the Dunbar DNA project and the Scottish Prisoners of War DNA project. The admin of the SPOW is also one of the admin's for the Scotland DNA project, John Cleary. He lives in Edinburgh and works at the University. He has some great video's online on the subject. He does a lot of Irish genetic genealogy but the science is the same. Clan Dunbar has genealogists and a DNA project director. They work together to try to piece together the puzzle. My father knew his paternal line back 5 generations. Our former Clan Genealogist, Ann Chaplin, was writing a book titled, The Descendants of Robert Dunbar of Hingham Massachusetts. She knew the other 5 generations and corresponding with my father, completed his paternal line back to Robert b. 1634. Dad joined the DNA project with a test from FT-DNA, Family Tree DNA based in Houston. We think they are the best lab and organization. They won't flake out like Ancestry and let their database expire, permanently deleting all the data not downloaded by their respective testers. Dad's test was Y-111 which is 111 markers. Y DNA follows the paternal line from son to father to father to father and so on. It is extremely accurate and can go back a long way. Then he upgraded to the Big-Y test which examines thousands of known branch markers as well as millions of places where there may be new branch markers.

    Sir James also did Big-Y as did another Dunbar Baronet, who recently passed away. Both have peerage paper trails back to Crinan b. 975. My father's test matched theirs enough to know that he descends from Sir Alexander Dunbar of Moray. 1422-1497 Then we had Craig Victor Dunbar, living in Leeds UK, upgrade his test to Big-Y. The Big-Y data is not easily read like the other Y tests from 37 to 111 markers. We send the test results to Peter M. Op den Velde Boots and the R-Z18 Project. He has software and proprietary methods to interpret the comparisons. Craig's test put Robert of Hingham as descending from Sir Alexander's 5th son David Dunbar of Durris. c. 1455 d. 1521. Craig is listed in Burke's Peerage with a paper trail also back to Crinan. Now hundreds of descendants of Robert of Hingham across the US have a chance at finding his complete line. Without DNA we would have never gotten close. David of Durris died in 1521 and Robert of Hingham was born in 1634 so we are looking at 3 or possibly 4 generations on unknown males. The Parish records of Forres started recording baptisms in 1635 so we are looking for other paper work. Our genealogist has her hunch of who Robert's father is. She thinks it's John Dunbar of Durris brother to the Laird Mark Dunbar. There is a Clair Constant where Mark gives his brother's Alexander and John the right to live on his lands of Kintessack after he dies. It was witnessed by Mark's son Ninian. Robert was 16 years old in 1650 at the Battle of Dunbar in East Lothian. There is a good argument that Robert was not at the Battle of Dunbar. The Covenant Army was largely levied in the Southeast but it is possible that he joined a unit. It would be an incredible coincidence if he got to the Boston area at the same time as the prisoners arriving on the Ship Unity who survived the battle, death march and confinement in Durham Cathedral. He was the right age to have fought in the battle but there are many who think that he was involved in commerce in London and wound up working for the proprietors of the Iron works in the colonies. He was likely literate and could most likely speak some Gaelic, lowland Scots and English. He would have been very useful in dealing with the 62 prisoners purchased for the Iron Works of the 150 on board the Unity. I have to believe he was also a prisoner until we find documents disproving that. Robert's son Peter, my ancestor, married Sarah Thaxter who was a very prominent puritan descending from multiple Mayflower families. Robert owned a large farm in Hingham within a few years of his arrival and purchased land in Cohasset alongside some of the most influential persons in the colonies. So either he was a prisoner and had his family send money or he was coincidentally in the Colonies in commerce at 16 years old. That is very possible but will have to be proven.

    I digress to the ninth degree but the main story is that Genetic Genealogy is going to break down a lot of brick walls in family tree's.

  12. #29
    Join Date
    6th July 07
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    I have enough relatives, past and present, already. I really donít feel the need to know any more!
    " Rules are for the guidance of wise men and the adherence of idle minds and minor tyrants". Field Marshal Lord Slim.

  13. #30
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    10th January 19
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    Not a miracle ... just statistics

    Quote Originally Posted by EdinSteve View Post
    And arenít you amazed at how many have miraculously discovered their latent aristocratic roots?
    There isn't any miracle involved. It's just a matter of large numbers, statistical probabilities, and people focusing on the most famous/infamous/interesting ancestors.

    Let's assume that there's about 3 or 4 generations per 100 years. If I were looking at my ancestors from the 1600s, there would be approximately 10 to 14 generations. If you look 10 generations back, I should have about 1,000 ancestors (2^10 = 1,024) depending on the amount of inbreeding in my family tree. If you look 14 generations back, I should have about 16,000 ancestors (2^14 = 16,384).

    It's not that miraculous to think that 1 in 1,000 (or 10,000) people might be a bit noteworthy. If I were to look back another 200 years, I would be in the 16 to 22 generation range. So I might be looking at 65,000 to 4.2 million ancestors. So at the high end, you might be exceeding the combined populations of Scotland, England, Ireland and Wales. At that point, it's actually more miraculous to not be related to aristocracy.

    Noteworthy ancestors:
    If I'm going to talk about some of my ancestors, whom would seem more interesting ... the generations of farmers and laborers whose lives were so unremarkable that their primary life events were births, deaths, marriages, childbirths, and baptisms? Or would you be more interested in my ancestors who were hung as witches ... whom have books, movies and miniseries (both fictional and non-fictional) written about them?
    Trying to look good on a budget.

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