Monday, 23 November 2009

We have a new office!

Sorry it has been so long since my last blog, we have been moving into a new larger office so it’s all been rather hectic here. We have now settled in though and Graham has even managed to get some census mapping done. Roxburghshire is progressing with Eckford, Stichill & Ednam all being mapped and Sprouston well under way. So search away and remember to let me know what you think as all ideas are greatly appreciated.

With the increased amount of information on the internet more and more people form around the world have been able to research their family tree over here in Scotland. I see the followers I have are from Texas, Edinburgh, California and others. Isn’t it amazing what the Internet has been able to accomplish. Still though if you are not following me in Scotland sometimes there are records you can’t get to. Or perhaps you live in Scotland but have hit a brick wall. We go to Edinburgh every week or so and are well positioned to search archives in the South of Scotland as well is the North of England. We are very experienced in researching family histories in Scotland, our rates are very reasonable, we always give a free quote so you know what you’re getting into and you can pay in any currency as we accept paypal.

Visit our website for details or email me:

P.S. The photo is Branxholm Braes near Hawick; I just added it because I like the photo! Here is the house in the 1841 census if you’re curious.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Crailing Parish is mapped!

Ok here are today’s updates for the Roxburghshire census mapping project. Crailing parish, including Crailing village and Nisbet linked to Google maps and NLS website. Now starting work on Eckford parish. By the way If there is a particular place that you would like mapped just let know and I shall see what I can do.

Search our census transcription now!

Here are some statistics from our 1851 census (following on from my last post).

4886 people listed as a pauper

4973 people with a birthplace of Ireland

8002 people with a birthplace of England

Just thought somebody might find it interesting, I think I’ll move onto the 1861 next time but if there are any statistics you would like to know just ask and I’ll do my best to find out.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

26% of our census mapping project is now complete!

Our census mapping project is storming ahead. We are really making much faster progress than we ever thought possible. The parishes of Minto and Roxburgh are now mapped and for 1841, 1851 and 1861. Remember you can still buy the census in books from our website.

Just for fun here are some statistics from the 1851 census database, which covers:

Berwickshire, Dumfriesshire, Peeblesshire, Roxburghshire & Selkirkshire together with parts of Kirkcudbrightshire, Lanarkshire and Midlothian.

Total number of names 208527

Total numbers of households 43023 (average of 4.84 people per house!)

Total number of men 100559

Total number of women 107968

The median age is 21

The average age is 25.8 years

The average age of the men is 24.9 years

The average age of the women is 26.7 years

There are 5749 people over the age of 70 years 3278 of them being women

Only 553 people under the age of 21 were married which is only 2.3% of the total number of married persons

Only 30 people under the age of 18 were married

There are 58970 married persons in total in the database

More statistics next time; in the meantime go to to see if any of the 208527 people where your ancestors!

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Do you have a few moments to take my survey?

I have created a survey with Basically it’s a way for you to tell me what you think about our new census search service. ( There are only 10 questions so if you have used our census search since it went online on September the 9th please take a few minutes to complete my survey.

It will hep us improve the site for everybody, thank you in anticipation.

Click here to take my survey

Roxburgh mapping continues!

Ok so that’s Makerstoun and Ancrum mapped and uploaded now. Graham has started Minto now. It’s funny because I fully transcribed Minto and although I have done proofreading on other parishes, Minto is the only parish I fully transcribed. Anyway I’m sure I’ll be getting blamed for any mistakes that he finds as he goes along so here’s hoping there are none to be found!

I’ll let you know how it goes …

Saturday, 24 October 2009

2 more parishes completed!

Hello everybody here are the recent updates to

We have now finished St. Boswells parish, also the whole of Maxton and Smailholm parishes. We have now started work on Makerstoun parish.

We have mapped about a third of Holywood parish.

By the way don’t forget you can also search the census by address so even if your ancestors didn’t live in the house in the time period covered by our census just search by address and you can still link to the maps. If you still can’t find it though just email me and I’ll see what we can do to help.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Bowden and Lilliesleaf census mapping complete!

I’m pleased to tell you that the parishes of Bowden and Lilliesleaf in Roxburghshire are now finished and online. St. Boswells is also well along, just the village to map.

Some people have been wondering how accurate the pointers are in Google maps. Do they just point to a parish or are the on a precise house? Well unless it says “General location” the pointers are to the exact house.

So for example this entry for George and Margaret Alexander in the 1841 census gives a general location.

On the other hand this entry for John and Helen Dobson in the 1841 census gives a precise location.

Now obviously we are human so we may have got some wrong, and if you find one please let me know so that we can rectify any mistakes immediately. We have compared many maps though and various census years so I hope the mistakes are few and far between. Also if you do know the exact location for a house that we only have a general location for please let us know so that people can find it too.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Disagreement in Lilliesleaf!!


Graham has been working hard on Bowden and Lilliesleaf parish but we came across these wonderful remarks at the beginning of the Lilliesleaf census book. It was supposed to be just a description of the boundaries and a summary of the inhabitants of the parish. However on this occasion there seems to be a little dispute that amused us so we thought we would share it with you!

Enumeration book No. 3 is where it gets interesting!!


Enumeration Book No. 1:

Village of Lilliesleaf bounded by Mr. Gourlays farm on the East, the South Crofts on the South, Dunstine farm on the West and Northcrofts, on the North.

71 inhabited houses; 3 uninhabited houses; 1 house building.

Population: 175 males; 180 females; Total 355

Enumeration Book No. 2:

Comprehending Linthill South Lodge, Linthill Offices, Chapel, Bewliehill, Bewlie, Bewliemains, Greenhouse, Welrig, Raperlaw, Netherrow, Childknow, Hillhead, Craggs – being bounded by Bowden Parish on the North, Ancrum Parish on the East and South and by the Rest of Lilliesleaf Parish on the West.

35 inhabited houses; 4 uninhabited houses.

Population: 74 males; 69 females; Total 143

Enumeration Book No. 3:

Comprehending Riddell South Lodge, Newhouse, Dunstan height, Hermiston, Satchels, Bewliemuir, Chapel muir, Cotfield, Harelaw, Firth, Catshaw hill, Eastern Middles, Western Middles, and Lilliesleaf Loan – being bounded on the South by Minto Parish, on the West by Ashkirk Parish and on the North and East by the rest of Lilliesleaf Parish.

Persons not included in enumeration book but resident in the parish on census night and included in totals: In barn – 3 females.

31 inhabited houses; 1 uninhabited house.

Population: 82 males; 81 females; Total 163

Enumeration Book No. 4:

Comprehending Riddell mill, Riddell, Riddell West Lodge, Boose Mill, Greatlaws, Clerklands, Riddellshiel, Nag house, West Riddell, Friarshaw, Friarshaw Muir, or New Jerusalem, Riddell Eastern Lodge – being bounded by the Parish of Ashkirk and Selkirk on the West by the Parish of Bowden on the North and East and by the rest of Lilliesleaf Parish on the South.

21 inhabited houses; 1 uninhabited house; 1 house building.

Population: 54 males; 56 females; Total 110

Schoolmaster’s Remarks:

1. On the night of the 6th of June, there were 20 absent from the Parish, namely ten Males & ten females.

2. There were none at sea, or in mines, or pits, or in the open air – & only 3 females in a barn (vid. Schedule No. 3)

3. There were 6 who slept in lodging houses, who are included in Schedule No. 1.

4. There were none who emigrated to the colonies, or any foreign parts, within the last 6 months.

5. Friarshaw Muir, or new Jerusalem, is generally reckoned to be in Bowden parish, & the minister of this parish never began to speak of it as belonging to Lilliesleaf parish till about 3 years ago. Mr. Sprot, the proprietor, considers it as being in Bowden parish, & the tenant pays road money to that parish. The occupier made his return for the census to the parish of Bowden, & refused to return it to the Enumerator here.

6. The Easter Lodge of Riddell is likewise claimed by Bowden parish, & the occupier returned his Schedule both to this Parish & that of Bowden. Mr. Sprot also reckons it to belong to Bowden parish. The minister never spoke of the Lodge at the census of 1821 – and I disclaim all blame as to its being withdrawn from our parish in 1831, & annexed to that of Bowden – and Friarshaw Muir or New Jerusalem, was never proposed by the minister to be included in the census of this parish in 1831.

7. Mr. Baxter is in error as to the two hinds’ houses being on the grounds of Greatlaws – they are on Clerklands grounds, as in the Schedule. He is likewise in error as to the name of Jas. Haldane’s house – it is called Riddell Mill, as in the Schedule, & not Lilliesleaf Mill. Geo. Scott, Schoolmaster

Sheriff’s Remarks in Book 4:

The Sheriff Substitute has expunged the Entries on page 5 of this Schedule, – the persons who reside at Riddell East Lodge, being included in the Schedule for Bowden parish. [N.B. The struck out entry on page 5 of this book was later struck out from Bowden parish and entered again on page 6 of this book.]

Minister’s Remarks:

Conform to the Act of Parliament for taking the Census 1841, I David Baxter, Minister of the Parish of Lilliesleaf, as a duty to all concerned, state the following Corrections & observations on the Enumerator’s Schedules, viz.

No. 2 Boundary on the South omitted, viz. Minto Parish.

No. 3 Boundary on the West omitted, viz. Wilton Parish.

No. 4 Boundary on the North omitted, viz. Selkirk Parish.

No. 4 page 1 Instead of Riddell Mill it ought to have been Lilliesleaf Mill.

No. 4 page 3 four lines from bottom, the word “Clarklands” is erroneous, it ought to have been “Greatlaws,” and the first 5 lines of No. 4 page 4 also Greatlaws, said Houses being situated on the Lands of Greatlaws.

Friarshaw Muir, is omitted, & its Inmates 2 males & 2 females; which place, & its Inmates are undoubtedly in Lilliesleaf Parish.

In withdrawing Riddell East Lodge from Lilliesleaf Parish in Census 1831 on an opinion of ignorant persons given in to the then Sheriff Substitute, in a clandestine like manner, without any intimation to the Minister of Lilliesleaf, my attention was forthwith directed to the subject, & found, on due research, that not only said Lodge, but Friarshaw Muir are situated in Lilliesleaf Parish; & that these errors appeared to me to have been caused, per incuriam, of the Schoolmaster of Lilliesleaf. Said two places are now claimed to be restored to said Parish in the present Census, conform to information thereanent transmitted to the Sheriff Substitute. David Baxter, Minr.

Minister’s Letter:

Lilliesleaf Manse by Selkirk, 6th Augt. 1841

Sir, I am just favored with your Letter of 4th currt, & though the Commissioners do not enter into the dispute relative to Friarshaw, yet it is satisfactory to know that “proper notice shall be taken of it in the forthcoming report to Parliament.” As it has been my care to expedite as much as possible an accurate Census of this Parish, I trust the Honble. Commissioners will see the propriety of my reserving the Rights of the Parish of Lilliesleaf, by adding the following to the printed form of Receipt “reserving however the Rights of all concerned in Lilliesleaf Parish as to Riddell East Lodge, & Friarshaw Muir, being situated on the Lands of Friarshaw, wholly in the Parish of Lilliesleaf, conform to my Corrections, &c Schedule No. 4 “This appearing to me indispensibly necessary to preserve the integrity of the Parish, & reasonable in the circumstances, will, I trust be satisfactory to the Honble. Commissioners; & that not a moment may be lost, I shall send off by the same Post, to the Sheriff Substitute, the printed form of Receipt, filled up, of this date, as above.

I remain, Sir, respectfully, your very ob. Servt. David Baxter

Population Total for entire Parish: 771

© 1841 Census Data — General Register Office for Scotland. Crown copyright. Reproduced with the permission of the Controller of the HMSO and Queen’s Printer for Scotland .Published 2006 by Graham Maxwell Ancestry Cleughside, Kirkpatrick Fleming, Lockerbie, Dumfriesshire, DG11 3NG

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Roxburghshire updates

Hello all,

Progress a bit slow today on due to other projects but here's what we've mapped today:

Roxburghshire - Teviothead - whole parish
Bowden - Bowden village and surrounding area

By the way I'm also updating the links page at the moment so if you have a related site let me know and we can add a link.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

14th October 2009 update

Ok so here are the updates to


Melrose parish completed, also part of Teviothead parish.


Part of Bunkle and Preston parish.

Remember it’s easy to search by address even if it’s not mapped just click address search.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

My first blog

Well hello, whoever you are. I must admit to being slightly, well very, apprehensive about “blogging”. This is a completely new experience so please bear with me as I get used to this phenomenon that has taken over the world. A friend has encouraged me to “blog” about our business for some time, he thinks it’s a good way to keep everybody up-to-date with our new projects.

I think I should start by explaining what we do. We are genealogists who particularly focus on Scotland. We can trace either an entire family tree or just help you with a specific problem area so you can carry on your research yourself. Our major project over the last few years has been to transcribe and index the census for the Scottish Borders and Dumfriesshire. We sell the census in book form and they start at just £3.99 so it’s a very cost effective way to trace your family tree.

One of the main requests we receive is to locate the house mentioned in the census on either modern day or historical maps. This can be time consuming if you are only looking for one house at a time. The reason for this is because enumerators did not always go round the parish in order or in the same order from year to year. Streets where very rarely numbered even when they where numbered in the census they are not necessarily the same numbers as they have today. The solution? We are mapping the whole census that we have transcribed.

The purpose of this blog is to keep you up-to-date with the project as it progresses and if you have any questions or requests to map a house that we have not got to yet then just add a comment and I shall see what I can do.

So far mapped is:

1841, 1851 & 1861



Roxburghshire parishes of Roberton, Ashkirk & Ladhope (The town of Galashiels is complete, both the Selkirkshire and the Roxburghshire part)

Also, parts of 1851 Lanarkshire.