Blairgowrie and Genealogy

Trip Start Sep 03, 2007
Trip End Sep 14, 2007

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Where I stayed
Garfield House Bed & Breakfast

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Saturday, September 8, 2007

   Ah . . . best night of sleep yet.  It was very dark and very quiet, and I didn't have to get up early or anything.  In bed by 10, woke up at 8.  Guess what - time for another Scottish breakfast!  I spoke with another older man who was staying in the same B&B, and he is up looking for apartments for he and his wife.  They live in Dubai, have a home on Cypress, and they are looking for a "vacation" apartment here in central Scotland.  Must be nice.  I labor through a plate of delicious fixin's and head down to the library where I am meeting someone from the Blairgowrie Genealogy Centre.  He was nice enough to come in on his day off to help me - his name is Jimmy and he is an older gentleman with a passion for ancestry.  They have a large cache of microfiche of births, deaths, etc. from the area, as well as a free hookup with  I am extremely lucky because in his other profession he worked with a potato farm going all over Scotland.  He knows every town, locale, and also the history of what seems like everywhere in the country.  It is a great history lesson on its own, but I am able to trace back as far as 1782 with some of my ancestors.  It is a very cool feeling - he is able to tell me exactly where in the towns they lived (even if the address is no longer there) and what they did for work.

   After that history lesson I walked down to the Tourist Information Centre and asked about views of town.  They told me about a short walk to get to a nearby "seat" or hill that gave a good view.  It took me along the River Ericht, which divides the towns of Blairgowrie and Rattray.  Along the river, there is a site commemorating Cargill's Leap.  Cargill was a pastor of a local church who was wanted by the government for treason against the Church.  At one point, the soldiers had him, but he jumped across the rocks over the river and escaped.  It unfortunately only delayed the inevitable, as later he was captured and executed.

   Along the path there were a couple of abandoned homes that were a bit creepy as I was the only human in about two miles, and it was a little dark (see pics) - they did put a little more pep in the step and I made my way along.  Got to the top after about an hour of walking (short walk???) and got a couple of good views, but trees mainly got in the way.  I went back down into town and drove over to the Blairgowrie Golf Club.  They have two courses there - the Rosemount (which is the better of the two) and the Landsdowne (which is not as popular or as good).  I was able to play only on the Landsdowne as the other was booked up.  I wasn't complaining however, as golf in Scotland is better than golf in wherever else.  There was little wind and it was very tree-lined, but I played well.  I hit the ball better and played in less than 3 hours.  What was interesting was that there were no water hazards at all.  None.  I ended up shooting 77 (yes, first time I mention a score.  The others I can't seem to remember . . . ).  I finished and had to decide whether to drive 2-3 hours to either Inverness or Aberdeen, or stay another night in Blairgowrie.  My yawns made my decision easy, and I found a different B&B to stay in, and had dinner again in town.  The Belhaven went down smooth and the dessert was Bailey's Irish Cream Cheesecake, with of course an Irish Coffee.  Sleep came easy once again.  See you tomorrow.
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