Susie Douglas - MLitt. QG. Qualified Professional Genealogist, Local Historian & Writer
I have a postgraduate MLitt with distinction in Family and Local History from the University of Dundee. My Dissertation 'Food for Thought' which challenged long held beliefs in connection with the Battle of Flodden in 1513, achieved the highest mark possible and won the Paul Duller Prize.
My relationship with family history began at an early age when I was given a beautifully handwritten copy of our family tree in my early teens. It was compiled by George Aynsley Smith, my gt grandfather's brother, and Deputy Steward to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners in Durham. Well, I was hooked! As soon as I could drive I was off rummaging in archives and wandering around cemeteries in all weathers in search of details of far-flung and distant relatives as yet undiscovered and undocumented in our tree. It is truly amazing the stories that have emerged from a family with its roots on Tweedside!
Family history continues to be a passion more than thirty years later and in 2012 my opportunity came to turn my passion into a business helping others discover their ancestral ties to the Borderlands. In January 2013 "Borders Ancestry" was born and since then we have exhibited at WDYTYA Live twice, are regularly published in family history magazines and have helped many clients with their ancestral research. I am also an ardent proponent of Ancestral Tourism and for several years was a member of the Scottish Borders Ancestral Tourism Committee. There really is nothing quite like the experience of walking in the steps of your ancestors! However, many overseas visitors just don't know where to begin. Britain has so much to offer the Ancestral Tourist if you just know where to look! Ancestral Britain, which is coming soon for 2020, intends to set this to rights, so keep your eyes peeled for its new dedicated website. Our aim is to make your ancestral journey however large or small, accessible, affordable, engaging and fun!
Of course many people enjoy researching their ancestral heritage themselves and don't require the full blown services of a genealogist, but every now and then may have a question or require a few pointers. It was for this very reason I also launched #AncestryHour in 2013 as a place where amatuer and professional genealogists could come together informally and for free, to discuss all manner of topics relating to family history. Six years on, the team behind #AncestryHour has swelled to 8 and we have now been voted the 'most valuable #hashtag on the internet for #familyhistory & #genealogy'! Everyone is made welcome, so do join us, we meet every Tuesday on Twitter from 7 - 8pm GMT. If you are unable to make the live chat this is not a problem, simply ask your question on Twitter using the hashtag #AncestryHour to reach out to in excess of 5,000 of our followers! You can read more about #AncestryHour on its dedicated page with links to its own website
Crack the Code - Family Tree Live 2019
Continuing the theme of providing informative help and support for the ancestral research community myself and Helen Tovey, editor of Family Tree Magazine, came together and created 'Crack the Code', 'the stand with nothing to sell but inspiration!' for the first Family Tree Live event at Alexandra Palace. We were most ably assisted by many of the #AncestryHour team and it was a great success! I am also delighted to say my palaeography workshops were sold out and very well received. Perhaps we shall see you there next year - we are quite easy to spot!
So that's a little snippet of my background and what Borders Ancestry is up to! If you haven't found what you are looking for yet then take a look at our services, tours talks and workshops, records for consultation, search our blogs or, contact us with your specific request. We would love to hear from you and are here to help!