Betty, Renae & Becky’s Ancestral Journey to Ettrick

Renae, Betty & Becky at Kirkhope CemeteryBetty, Renae and Becky were visiting Scotland to research their Scott ancestry in Ettrick and asked Borders Journeys to design an ancestral tour for them. The three ladies were also joined by their cousin Joan and friend Alice.

On Day One of their visit Ian gave the ladies a guided tour of Edinburgh visiting the New & Old Towns, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Calton Hill and Grassmarket.

Day Two began with a visit to Rosslyn Chapel which dates from 1446 and often described as an “Architectural Wonder” and a “Library in Stone”. In 2003, Dan Brown’s detective-murder story The Da Vinci Code set the chapel at the heart of a grand religious conspiracy; the chapel was also used as part of the set for the 2006 Hollywood ‘blockbuster’ film of the book. The ladies were privileged as William the chapel cat agreed to grant them an audience; this isn’t something granted to all visitors!

Leaving Rosslyn Chapel we travelled through the Tweed and Yarrow Valleys before arriving in the land of the ladies’ Scott ancestors, the Ettrick Valley. The ladies were fortunate to have in their possession a copy of Betty’s great grandmother’s diary, from this they had highlighted family homes that they’d like to visit. Ahead of their visit Renae had worked with Ian to plan the visit and from his local knowledge he knew exactly where their ancestors had lived. The ladies were delighted to visit two homes associated with their ancestors along with Ettrick Kirk. Unfortunately we were unable to find any family headstones, however the ladies were delighted to have visited the church where her ancestors once worshipped.

Betty, Renae & Becky’s Ancestral Journey 1

Rosslyn Chapel, Traquair House and Ettrick Kirkyard

If Day Two proved to be exciting, it was nothing compared to what was about to unfold on Day Three! Back in the Ettrick Valley we visited West Deloraine Farm which had been the Scott family farm for several generations and where Betty’s grandfather had been born. While taking photographs of the farm house, the current farmers Lily Bernard and her son Iain invited the ladies to tour the house and farm. Betty, Renae and Becky were giddy with excitement to visit the house where their ancestors had lived. After a tour of the house, Lily offered us tea and biscuits. Sitting around the kitchen table in the house where their ancestors had lived was something that the ladies never imagined would happen – it was the highlight of their holiday.

A huge thank you is extended to Lily and Iain for their kindness during our visit to West Deloraine Farm. The hospitality and generosity shown to the ladies was very much appreciated and made their tour more memorable.

Leaving the farm, Ian had a surprise ‘up his arm’ – a visit to Kirkhope Cemetery at Ettrickbridge. In the cemetery we found not one but two of Betty’s family lines – three headstones for two sets of great and great, great grandparents. The photos testify how happy Betty, Renae & Becky were to locate the final resting places of their ancestors
Following a delicious lunch at the Cross Keys Inn at Ettrickbridge, the ladies visited Melrose and Selkirk.

Betty, Renae & Becky’s Ancestral Journey 2

Visit to Muckle Moothed Meg, Eildon Hills, Ettrick Valley and West Deloraine Farm

It was an absolute privilege to organise such a wonderful ancestral tour for Betty, Renae & Becky and be part of their journey home to the Ettrick Valley. Armed with their findings from the tour, they can now progress their ancestral research further.

More photographs of Betty, Renae & Becky’s ancestral tour can be found on Borders Journeys’ Facebook.

Following the tour, Renae left a lovely TripAdvisor review:

”Expert Guide through the Scottish Borders – I contacted Borders Journeys for a private tour of the Scotland Borders about a year prior in preparation for our visit in September of this year. Borders Journeys handled every detail expertly and gave expert input into what would be the most important landmarks and locations to visit in our 3 day effort to connect with our Scottish heritage and walk the footsteps of our ancestors who lived in this area so long ago.
Ian provided us with a wonderful experience and helped to make special memories that will last a lifetime for us. We had a wonderful tour of Edinburgh that included a walking tour and a visit to the Palace where we arrived at the perfect time to take unobstructed photos of the Palace. The next two days we spent out in the country visiting the Rosslyn Chapel, and then we travelled through the Tweed and Yarrow Valleys before going to the site of our Scott ancestors in the Ettrick Valley. We were able to visit three homes associated with our ancestors. We visited Kirkhope cemetery and found three headstones for two sets of great and great, great grandparents. 
Ian’s knowledge of the area and his warm hospitality helped to make this trip the dream come true we had hoped for. It was an amazing trip and one we will be talking about the rest of our lives.”

If you would like us to create an ancestral tour for you, we will be happy to offer you our advice and plan the tour around your requirements so that we can build the perfect tour for you. We recognise that for many of you this may be a once in a lifetime opportunity and our emphasis is upon making your time in Scotland an experience you’ll always remember.

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