Monday, 23 September 2019

My new blog - The Gaelic Genealogist

And now for something completely different... 😀

For some time now I have been trying to learn Scottish Gaelic (GĂ idhlig). I started to learn it initially in Bristol some twenty years ago, after buying a Runrig album and wondering why the Irish was so different in the lyrics (!) - until that point, being a Northern Irish born madman, I had never heard of Scottish Gaelic. Since then I've had all sorts of fun with it, including working for a short stint in the BBC's Gaelic department in Glasgow, but the reality is that living in Largs, there are not a lot of opportunities for me to try to use the language, with it's current heartland being more in the Western Isles. I'm at the point where I am seriously beginning to forget more than I can remember.

One of the most useful things I ever did when I started to learn Gaelic was to keep a diary for a couple of years as a very desperate learner, to try to improve my fluency. I've decided to try to revive that idea now in blog form, by writing about something I know a bit about in a language that I want to increase my proficiency in.

This is not a blog about genealogy in the Western Isles - I have absolutely no ancestral connections that I am aware of to the Hebrides, and Gaelic is a language that should know no boundaries, geographical or otherwise. Instead, it will be a blog about Scottish genealogy, maybe even a little Irish genealogy, based on my own experience with connections to Perthshire, Inverness and Glasgow, where I will try to share a few stories and tips.

I have absolutely no idea if it is a sustainable idea, but God loves a trier - that highest apple has yet to be reached...!

The first post on The Gaelic Genealogist is therefore now live at If you have an interest in the language, please feel free to follow and comment. All I ask is if that if I have made a dog's dinner of something in the way I have written it, please do drop me a note, or make a comment, about how it should be phrased better. In return, I will try to share what I know about ancestor hunting!

And if you are learning Gaelic, and fancy sharing a story or two, you will find a welcome home on the blog also!


Order Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet (2nd ed) at My next Scottish Research Online course starts 2 September 2019 - see Further news published daily on The GENES Blog Facebook page, and on Twitter @genesblog.

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