During the later part of my working life I was employed by a small computer company in Aberdeen, Scotland in the role of Computer Help-desk. They in turn hired me out as a contractor to an International Oil Company in that role. In May 2008, after over 10 years in that position the oil company had no further use for my services and laid me off, after a further month my employer, who had moved abroad, ceased communication and left me high and dry.
I was only a couple of years away from retirement age and the job market was saturated with I. T. personnel so I retired by default. The big problem was that I had always intended to 'die in harness' so I was totally unprepared for retirement. With nothing to do and all the time in the world to do it I soon lapsed into apathy and I could see myself following my father into an early death due to lack of interest so after about a year or so I finally got off my backside and looked around for something to do.
The first thing that I realised was that I had a head stuffed full of computer knowledge that must be of use to somebody. My first thought therefore was to see if any voluntary organisation needed my services, so I contacted VSA (formerly Voluntary Service Aberdeen), one of whose services was to place volunteers. They put me in touch with Silver City Surfers (S.C.S.), who teach over 55s how to use computers and I joined their pool of helpers, a job I am still doing.
You may me asking where I'm going with this but having realised that I wasn't completely on the scrap heap I looked round for other voluntary organisations to help.
As part of my duties with S.C.S. I teach at two 'Outreach' sites which involves traveling to other parts of the city.
One day when I took a different route to one of the 'Outreach' sites and passed the premises of the Aberdeen & North East Family History Society (A.N.E.F.H.S.). I decided find out more about them as a preliminary to asking them if they could use my services. Later in the week I dropped in the research centre and led them to believe I was interested in researching my family history. This ploy backfired on me as I was welcomed in, given a tour of the premises and advice on starting my research. Among the items I was given was a blank Family Tree form, I was told to go away, fill in as much as I could and then return for the next step.
Arriving home I started to fill in the tree and immediately realised I didn't know enough about my family to be useful, both my parents and all my grandparents were dead so I contacted my brother and sister for more information. My brother told me that his daughter, Jacqui, had been researching the family about 10 years previously and had collaborated with my mother before her death.
My niece, Jacqui, graciously passed her data on our family on to me as she was returning to work and wouldn't have time for further research. After reading her documents my interest was further aroused, not least because as a family the Scotts had never really been close. My brother and and I were sent to boarding school early on, then my brother went to Uni. and on to work, I returned home but then became a bit of rolling stone, working in various parts of the country, so I had never really talked to my parents about their lives or their family's history.
On my next visit to A.N.E.F.H.S. I joined the society and I was well and truly