Saturday, 27 March 2010

New free MI site for Kirkcudbright

I have just come across this fantastic website: It has the Monumental Inscription transcriptions for the parishes of Borgue, Buittle, Colvend, Parton, Rerrick, Tongland and Twynholm. More than just the inscriptions though the site has photos for each gravestone! The site also has links to google street view to which is great if you live a long way from the Scotland. The best thing is this resource is free which is always nice. I have just had a quick look but I’m sure I will be using this resource often in researching my own family.

Our own projects are continuing well this week, we will have new books available within a few days and our newsletter will be going out soon too. If you have not subscribed yet go to our website and subscribe today, it’s free!!

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Imbecility, see Idiocy

I have been researching in the Harmsworth Encyclopaedia of 1906 and I remembered the wonderful entries under Imbecility, Idiocy, Lunacy and Insanity. All terms that are not exactly PC in today’s modern world! The thing is, though, at some point we do come across these terms in historical documents such as the census. The incredible thing is though that as coarse as these terms may seem to us now, in the nineteenth century and the early part of the twentieth these terms had their own definitions and denoted different medical conditions. If read carefully these entries can help us understand what was meant by these terms and therefore have an idea of the modern equivalent term and therefore learn more about our ancestors and their lives (not that I’m suggesting my readers have any idiots for ancestors!!)

Under the term “Imbecility”, it simply says “see Idiocy” – hence the title of this blog post!

Idiocy page 1

Idiocy page 2

Lunacy page 1

Lunacy page 2

Insanity page 1

Insanity page 2

Insanity page 3

P.S. The images are huge but I thought it would be better that way so you can save them.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Jedburgh prison indexing under way again

Well Graham is staying with the parish of Jedburgh but is now indexing the prison records. He has already indexed volume one (1843-1848) and it is available on our website. Today he has started work on volume two (1848-1869). Sadly as he’s going through it even wee are being surprised by the number of children and the type of crimes that people have been imprisoned for.

As I write Graham has come across an 11-year-old boy. The date is the 18th of November 1848; his name is Joseph Wilson and he is from Hawick. He has been imprisoned for 60 days, so what was his offence? Theft of tobacco. The entry though tells more information that we would be unlikely to find anywhere else. For example the register tells us he was in good health, he was five feet tall, his weight on admission was 74 pounds (79 pounds on release), his complexion was fresh, his eyes blue and his hair brown. His occupation was a spinner, religion was Protestant and he could read and write (a little). He was tried on the 20th of December 1848. The register also tells us his conduct in prison was good so that’s good news if he’s an ancestor of yours!!

Our hope is to link entries like this to our census database. See what we have done for this example:




Sunday, 14 March 2010

Jedburgh census finally mapped and uploaded

I know it has taken a long time but it’s finally uploaded: The Jedburgh census of 1841, 1851 and 1861 has been linked to Google maps and the National Archives of Scotland’s digital map library.

Search the census now!

A quick history and geography lesson from Graham:

First things first, until 1857 the parish of Jedburgh was in three detached parts, the large part containing the town and Royal Burgh of Jedburgh, and two smaller “islands” situated south of the town sandwiched between the parishes of Southdean and Oxnam.

In 1857 these two “islands” were joined together, along with small sections of Southdean and Oxnam parishes between and around them, to form the parish of Edgerston.

This means that for any give address in this area, that in the 1841 and 1851 census the address could be listed in Jedburgh parish but in the 1861 census you would find it in Edgerston parish. You may suppose this person has moved but actually they have stayed still and the parish boundaries have moved. Also if you are looking for a child born in the parish of Edgerston they may be difficult to locate unless you are aware of the boundary changes!

Anyway, I hope this makes sense and proves useful to somebody. As a matter of interest we have also indexed some of the Jedburgh prison indexes, details are on our website at:

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Oxnam finished – Jedburgh in progress

Sorry it has been so long since I posted an update about our census mapping project. Oxnam is mapped and uploaded so you can search the census for 1841,1851 and 1861 and link directly to maps. Jedburgh is now in progress although as you would expect it is taking some time.

I’ll let you know when it’s online!

And here's a photo of the inside of Jedburgh Jail in the meantime!