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In search of Jock Tamson

FEW can doubt the enormous potential benefits of ancestral tourism.

More than 50 million people across the globe claim some kind of Scottish kinship, yet only about 213,000 visit Scotland each year to conduct ancestral research, spending around £100m.

There is therefore much scope for growth - surveys have suggested that the market could grow nearly five-fold over the rest of this decade, bringing in around £2.4 billion.

Anything that helps that process along is obviously welcome, so it is gratifying that the world's largest genealogy showcase is coming to Scotland for the first time for Homecoming 2014, the country's big year of culture, sport and heritage.

Organisers have managed to revive a plan - shelved last year - to stage the BBC spin-off Who Do You Think You Are? Live in Glasgow this August, after successful negotiations between the Scottish Government and the show's producers. Up to 18,000 people are expected to take part.

We may all be Jock Tamson's bairns, but we are fortunate that so many, from all parts of the UK and from overseas, want to research that lineage to great-grandparents and beyond.

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