This post is prepared for Genea Bloggers Weekly Genealogy Prompt Week #5: Talk about your genealogy adventures while on vacation. Doesn’t everyone plan a little genealogy visit during vacation? Take your readers along for the ride.
From my diary on 9th July 2004: "Big find of the afternoon was the death of Robert's 5xgrandmother Janet Sibbald."
We had paid a visit to East Lothian Local History Centre in the town of Haddington, Scotland "where the staff, who work in the most incredibly basic conditions, were hugely helpful." It was here that we found an obituary for the death of Janet Gowans nee Sibbald who died on 24 February 1814. We were thrilled to find that she was interred in a local church, St. Mary's, Haddington so we set off in search of the grave. The staff at the Local History Centre were very professional in their approach and tuned in to our needs; they went out of their way to make our visit the success that it was.
"We cannot find the Gowans grave, but meet a helpful old Scot, Ewan, who is indexing the historic cemetery. He gives us his 'phone number and promises to look in his records at home to see if he has any info for us." After returning from dinner to our hotel in Edinburgh that evening we gave Ewan a call. "We are given the news that we were very close to Janet's grave this afternoon and that there are five other persons in the grave including Robert's 5xgrandfather John Gowans." The next morning we returned to St. Mary's and took a number of photos of the grave and graveyard.
Ewan's act of kindness created one of the highlight's of our family history trip to Scotland. It is pleasing to see that the results of Ewan's work are published on the church website.
The information on the Gowans headstone gave us many leads for further research. We now need another trip to Scotland to follow them up!