Case study: Ancestor tour helps trace American's family roots
An American was visiting Scotland for the first time with his wife in October 2018. As part of his visit, he asked Highland Tours Perthshire to help find the roots of his great, great, great Grandfather, who was a Minister at Wee Free Church in Aberfeldy in the 19th century.
After a bit of research, we discovered that Wee Free Church is now owned by The Church of Scotland and is situated on Tay Street, Aberfeldy. We learned that, until recently, there had been a plaque installed inside the church in memory of his ancestor, which had sadly been damaged irreparably during renovation work.
Further digging, traced us back to the Old Manse, where the Minister had lived during his time in the ministry and we learned that this was also the place of his passing. He was buried in Kenmore Church Yard, which we visited ahead of the couple’s visit to Perthshire.
We met the couple at Birnam & Dunkeld train station, where introductions were made and itinerary outlined for the day ahead. We started the tour with a trip to Aberfeldy via the scenic Crieff Road, where the couple were shown the waterfalls at The Rumbling Bridge, before heading on to the Old Manse in Aberfeldy. We then moved on to see the house where the late Minister lived with his wife and family.
We visited the Church in Aberfeldy where the Minister had worked for over 40 years and by chance, we were invited in and shown around. The couple were delighted to stand in the pulpit, where his great, great, great grandfather had preached; a special moment for them both!
Our next stop, en-route to Kenmore Church, was the Croft Moraig Standing Stones, which we walked around and touched. These ancient stones are older than Stonehenge - circa 5000 years old.
On arriving at Kenmore Church, we took the couple straight to the large memorial of the late Minister and his wife and gave the couple some time and space to capture the moment. Interestingly, next to the memorial was another memorial with the family name of the Minister’s late wife (more research leads!).
We then had a lovely drive back to Aberfeldy along the A827, which the River Tay runs alongside and took in some of Perthshire’s signature landscapes. Stopping off at the village of Weem, we took part in a Tour of Castle Menzies, a spectacular sixteenth century Scottish Castle which lies on the outskirts of Aberfeldy.
To complete the tour, we visited The Watermill café and bookshop in the centre of Aberfeldy, before meandering the streets, that would have been all too familiar with the American’s great, great, great grandfather.
An emotional experience
An emotional and poignant experience, this American couple were delighted with their trip and appreciated the additional research Highland Tours Perthshire had put in to make their trip an experience to remember.
Highland Tours Perthshire runs bespoke ancestor tours for all. All we need is a family name and little bit of background information and we’ll do the rest. We’ll carry out some research and map out a tour specifically for you, capturing what we can of your family history.
If you would like us to help you walk in the footsteps of your ancestors, please get in touch with us today.