Wednesday, 24 November 2010 is back to normal again

We just wanted to let you know that is back up and running again. We don’t know why it was down but the important thing is that it’s working now so you can get back to using the free census search.

I don’t have any other website updates for you at the moment as I’m working my way through the first volume of the Kelso dispensary records but I’ll post a sample once it’s ready. The disease column has been slowing me down but as many of the diseases repeat themselves the transcribing is starting to pick up speed now.

Our website is down!!

I have just gone online to use our census search and I have discovered the website is down and also our emails are not coming through (I thought is was very quiet). I have contacted 1and1 who host our website so hopefully we’ll be up and running again soon.

I’ll let you know when we’re online again. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Txt spk 4u from 1777

Don’t worry I’ve not gone crazy, well no more than usual. I have started work on transcribing the Kelso Dispensary records which we told you about a few months ago. They are very neat but full of abbreviations and it struck me that despite the slightly highbrow opinion that shortening words to squeeze more into a text message is a terrible thing to do, the same kind of thing was done two centuries ago, and ultimately for the same reason.

Stop and think for a moment, you are running an institution back in 1777, paper is expensive, you need to record certain information; how will you organize your page? The later records, post industrialisation, have one page dedicated to each patient. Back in 1777, however paper was much more expensive, and these records cram about 24 people to each page with almost the same amount of information included. They have managed to do this by not wasting space on the pages just as their modern counterparts don’t waste text messages.

There is less blank space but also many abbreviations: for example: Tho – Thomas, Recovd – recovered and Apr  – April. So next time you receive a message from a text abbreviation user don’t be so quick to complain but remind yourselves that they are following in the footsteps of your frugal ancestors.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Transcribing your old documents

Having now transcribed such a volume and range of documents Graham and I now have a vast amount of experience transcribing and now feel confident to offer a transcription service. There are so many documents that are hard to read, it could be a will, an old parish register entry, a legal document, old letters or a census page.

When you come across one of these documents get in touch and see what we can do. Obviously each document is very different and will take a different amount of time to transcribe for you. This is why we will offer a free transcription quote service. Just send us a copy of the document you wish to be transcribed and we will let you know how much we will charge. You will be under no obligation to proceed with the service once you have the price but you could be surprised how inexpensive it can be.

Why not email me today for more information

Monday, 15 November 2010

Chirnside Burials 1817-1854

I just wanted to tell you about a new book we have transcribed and which is now available in our bookshop. This book contains a transcription of the registers of deaths or burials for Chirnside parish, Berwickshire which are to be found amongst the Kirk Session records for Chirnside parish held by the National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh.

The main register, Volume 7, commences in January 1817, and the last burial entry in this volume is from August 1841. Another burial register is contained in Volume 8, which commences in August 1841, and we have transcribed until the year 1855, when civil registration of deaths commenced in Scotland.

These entries are not to be found in the Old Parish Registers of Chirnside parish kept by the General Register Office (Scotland) at New Register House in Edinburgh (the burials for Chirnside in the Old Parish Register end in 1815), and it is believed they have not been transcribed or indexed before.

To help you out here is a list of surnames found within the book:

Aitchison; Aitkin; Alexander; Allan; Anderson; Angus; Atchison; Atkin; Ballantine; Balsillie; Begbie; Bell; Bertram; Bird; Black; Blackadder; Blackhall; Blackie; Blair; Bogue; Bonar; Bone; Bowmaker; Broomfield; Brown; Bruce; Brunton; Burns; Cairns; Cameron; Carr; Carse; Carter; Chambers; Clazey; Cleghorn; Clinkscale; Cochran; Cockburn; Cooper; Cossar; Cow; Cowe; Cowie; Cowper; Craig; Cranston; Crawford; Crichton; Crosbie; Crow; Cryghton; Dally; Darling; Davidson; Dawson; Denham; Dickison; Dickson; Dodds; Donald; Donaldson; Dougal; Douglas; Downie; Dryden; Dun; Dunbar; Duncan; Edgar; Edgely; Elder; Elliot; Elliott; Ewart; Ewert; Ferguson; Foord; Ford; Forman; Fortune; Foster; Fuller; Fulton; Galbreath; Geggie; Gibson; Gilbreath; Gillie; Gillies; Gilmour; Girvan; Gray; Grey; Grieve; Gullon; Gutridge; Hailstones; Haliday; Halliday; Hastie; Hately; Hay; Henderson; Hermiston; Heugh; Hewit; Hill; Hills; Hilston; Hogg; Home; Hood; Houliston; Hudson; Hume; Hunter; Hutson; Jamieson; Jeffrey; Johnson; Johnston; Jordan; Kerr; Kinghorn; Kirkaldy; Knox; Laidlaw; Landells; Landreth; Lathem; Lauder; Laurie; Learmont; Leslie; Liddel; Liddle; Lidgate; Lillie; Lindores; Litster; Lockhart; Logan; Lorrain; Lorrains; Luggate; Lunham; Lyal; Macdougal; Mack; Maclaren; Manderson; Mark; Marshall; Martin; Mason; Mather; Maul; McCulloch; McDougle; McGechan; McIndoe; McKay; Mclean; McQueen; Melrose; Middlemis; Miller; Mills; Mitchell; Molle; Neilson; Nelson; Nesbit; Nicholson; Orkney; Ormiston; Palmer; Paterson; Patterson; Paxton; Peacock; Philip; Pilmour; Platt; Polwarth; Ponton; Porteous; Porter; Pringle; Punton; Purves; Ramage; Ramsey; Ray; Redpath; Reid; Renton; Richardson; Robertson; Romanes; Ross; Russel; Russell; Rutherford; Sanson; Scott; Selby; Sett; Shepherd; Sheriff; Shiel; Simpson; Sinton; Smart; Smeaton; Smith; Spark; Spears; Stark; Steel; Steele; Sunderland; Sutherland; Swordy; Taylor; Temple; Third; Thompson; Tod; Todd; Torry; Trotter; Turnbull; Utterson; Valentine; Veitch; Vertue; Vineycomb; Virtue; Voy; Waddel; Wait; Waldie; Ward; Watherston; Watson; Watt; Waugh; Wedderburn; Weir; White; Wilkie; Wilson; Winter; Wood; Wright; Youl; Youls

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Hawick has been mapped!!

Finally the mapping of Hawick has been finished. That means we have linked over 20,000 individual records to Google maps and of course the National Library of Scotland. It’s been a while since we have updated the database and we have been busy with other things too, which I will tell you about in separate blogs.

The last update not only added the Hawick map links but also some map links for Duns and varies other household links and notes that we have been collecting while we have been researching in the Borders.

So here is the link too our free census search away, I hope you all find it useful!!

Friday, 24 September 2010

Pigeons faster than broadband!

Whilst many of us now enjoy very fast broadband I know from our website survey that many of our customers are not quite as fortunate. This article on the BBC news website amused me:

It may seem funny to those of us on high speed broadband but perhaps a little too close to home if you are trying to download images from Scotland’s people, Ancestry or even our own website with a poor internet connection. For this reason all our free resources are available at a very low cost on CD. So if you are struggling to download some of our material send me an email and I will do my best to help you out.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Free surname lists added to Parish Records and Prison indexes

It’s not exactly an index however it is an indication. We have added lists of the surnames found in each of our parish and prison books. This will hopefully make it a little clearer as to whether or not your ancestors will be recorded in the book.

Just go to the county page and click on the title of the book to see the list. Here is the Roxburghshire county page.

I hope this will make finding those illusive Scottish ancestors easier but remember if you still have a brick wall and need some guidance please email me, we can often solve genealogy mysteries quite easily with the resources we have on hand as well as our years of experience.

Bunkle & Preston Baptisms and Marriages 1684-1690 - £6.99

This book contains a transcription of the registers of baptisms and marriages for Bunkle & Preston Parish, Berwickshire, Scotland. The original records are held by the National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh.
The entries in the register are taken from Volume 3 of the Kirk Session records. The surviving entries in this register are for baptisms and marriages from October 1684 to June 1690. It is clear that earlier leaves from this register have been removed, both from the page numbering, and the remains visible stuck in the binding.
These entries are not to be found in the Old Parish Registers of Bunkle and Preston parish kept by the General Register Office (Scotland) at New Register House in Edinburgh, which does not commence until 1704.

Monday, 6 September 2010

New Lanark’s people – The early years

I am pleased to announce that we are now selling the CD “New Lanark’s people – The early years” compiled by A.E. Laurie & Nicholas Young. This CD is a first attempt to bring together in one convenient place all the surviving records applicable to the people who lived and worked in New Lanark.

It is a monumental piece of research resulting in a truly fantastic resource for anybody with ancestors who lived in New Lanark. Here is just a few of the records you will find on the CD:

Birth, Marriages and Deaths
New Lanark Wills index
School registers
Kirk session minutes
Prison register index
An 1818 petition to the house of Lords naming over 500 local inhabitants
Lanark Sheriff court extracts…
…and much much more!

For a full list of contents, more information or to purchase the CD visit our website:

New Scottish Ancestry ebay shop

To celebrate the opening of my new ebay shop we are listing auctions for some of our books with a starting price of just £3.99!! This means possible savings of up to £9!

So keep checking or new ebay shop for the books you are looking for!!

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Sir Walter Scott

I was in Edinburgh the other day looking at Selkirkshire Sheriff Court papers. Obviously it could be a bit of a blow if you discover your ancestor committed a terrible crime, however, in Selkirkshire it could be softened by the fact that Sir Walter Scott could have signed some of the papers!

Graham is working on indexing the Selkirk Prison registers now, so if you see they were tried at the Sheriff Court it would be worth looking at the trial papers, you never know what you might find!

Family History Links page updated

I have just updated our family history links page. Take a look you never know you may find something really useful.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

The Tormaukin Hotel Glendevon

We have been on holiday in Dollar for the last few days and found a great wee pub and restaurant, the Tormaukin Hotel. The reason why I am writing about them in my blog is because they have on display their guest books going back to the 1930’s. It’s a really fantastic idea and as some addresses are included it could be a great source of information on our grandparents or even parents!!

The thing is though there must be a great multitude of guest books in hotels up and down the country and although they wouldn’t give genealogical information they could be quiet interesting and you never know could reaveal a lot about a family depending who was with them on holiday.

I am uploading a photo of the book and I would definitely recommend a visit to the Tormaukin Hotel if you are in the area.

Are you available on the 28th of August?

I have just been reading the Border’s Family history society’s blog. They are looking for volunteers to help transcribe the Coldingham Priory gravestones and the next opportunity is Saturday the 28th of August 2010.

The work being done by groups up and down the country is really commendable, many of the stones are wearing away and the sooner they are transcribed the less information is lost: See the Aberdeen Family History Societies website.

So if you will be in Berwickshire this weekend take a look at the Borders Family History Society’s blog for detail of how to help out. It doesn’t have to be a whole day just an hour or two will assist the volunteers greatly.

Monday, 9 August 2010

The Kelso Dispensary

I was looking at the records of the Kelso Dispensary (held by the National Archives of Scotland) the other day. These are fascinating records and an amazing number of people seem to have gone through their doors. The Kelso Dispensary was founded in 1777 and people from all over the Scottish Borders and Northumberland were treated there and for quite a surprising number of different diseases. There are a number of records remaining; the most interesting being the admission registers. The earliest of these (commencing in 1777) gives the name, parish, date of admission, age, disease and “event” of their cases. As time goes on more details are recorded, and a page per person allowed for more details, having said that as with many records they exact details vary from person to person. The “event” of their cases column generally tells us whether a person was cured, relieved or died, as these are pre-1855 this could be another source of death records when other records do not exist.

Accounts books also survive which could give an insight into an ancestor’s financial circumstances, however most of the funds seem to have come from a few wealthy patrons and not the individual patients.

I’m not sure whether these will be records we will transcribe or index at the moment, however we can easily look at them on an individual basis if you are interested.

Friday, 6 August 2010

New book - Applegarth Parish Register

Applegarth (Dumfriesshire) Baptisms, Marriages and Burials 1694-1719 - £8.99
This book contains baptisms, marriages and burials which are to be found in the Kirk Session records of Applegarth Parish, Dumfriesshire, Scotland. These records are held by the National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh.
The entries in the register are taken from two Kirk Session volumes: Volume 1 contains baptisms and marriages from 1694-1703; as well as four death entries from 1697-1702, and four baptism entries from 1763. Volume 2 contains baptisms from 1703-1719; marriages from 1703-1712; and a few mortcloth records from 1704-1715, as well as nine baptism entries from 1765-1766 and a marriage from 1763.
These entries are not to be found in the Old Parish Registers of Applegarth parish kept by the General Register Office (Scotland) at New Register House in Edinburgh, which does not commence until 1749, and it is believed they have not been transcribed or indexed before.

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Greenlaw Prison Index, Volume 2 1848-1862 - £9.99

This index contains details of the crime the prisoner was accused or convicted of. The index also contains the birthplace, residence, occupation and approximate birth year of prisoners, enabling you to identify individuals in the much more detailed original records held at the National Archives of Scotland, for which we can provide full transcriptions/copies for a small fee. The Greenlaw Prison Index, Volume 2 is available for £9.99, with our usual bulk discounts and postage rates for publications applying.

Chirnside Burials 1817-1854 - £8.99

This book contains a transcription of the registers of deaths or burials for Chirnside parish, Berwickshire which are to be found amongst the Kirk Session records for Chirnside parish held by the National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh.

The main register, Volume 7, commences in January 1817, and the last burial entry in this volume is from August 1841. Another burial register is contained in Volume 8, which commences in August 1841, and we have transcribed until the year 1855, when civil registration of deaths commenced in Scotland.
These entries are not to be found in the Old Parish Registers of Chirnside parish kept by the General Register Office (Scotland) at New Register House in Edinburgh (the burials for Chirnside in the Old Parish Register end in 1815), and it is believed they have not been transcribed or indexed before.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

New Monumental Inscriptions for Duns, Berwickshire

Just to let you know the Borders family history society have published another MI CD. This one has photos of the gravestones too! They have quite a number of interesting publications and seem to have released quite a number of new titles this year so it’s worth keeping up-to-date with their website.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

1841 and 1861 Fala and Soutra census now online

Just to let you know we have uploaded the 1841 and 1861 census of Fala and Soutra to We have also added notes and household links. We have been sent research by various people which we try to verify and as soon as possible.

The website is still under review and we have received some great feedback but if you have not been in touch yet but have some suggestions please let us know as we want to make it as easy as possible to use.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

New book - Westerkirk Burials and Irregular Marriages

Just a note to let you know about our newest book: Westerkirk Burials 1706-1719, 1768-1854 and Irregular Marriages 1768-1824 on sale now for £8.99 in our bookshop.

Buy now

More information about this book

This book contains transcriptions of registers of deaths or burials for Westerkirk parish, Dumfriesshire, presented along with a transcription of irregular marriages for which fines were paid and recorded in the parish accounts.

The main register, Volume 7, is from 1805-1854, however an apparent duplicate register, running from 1842-1854 is found in Volume 16 of the Kirk Session records for Glencairn parish, Dumfriesshire. This record is slightly different in some entries, and includes some individuals not in the other record, so it has also been included here in full. From comparing the entries it would also appear that the second register records the date of death rather than the date of burial.

Prior to 1805, we rely on the mortcloth entries found in the accounts of Westerkirk Kirk Session. The mortcloth entries appear in Volume 4, from 1706-1719; and Volume 5, from 1768 onwards. There are a few mortcloth entries recorded in the accounts after the separate burial register was commenced in 1805 – if the entry does not appear in the burial records, we have transcribed it. If there are entries in both registers, and the mortcloth entry adds something, a footnote is added in the transcription of the burial register accordingly. It is important to note that it is not always obvious who the person named in the mortcloth is, as it may be the name of the deceased or the name of the relative or person who paid the funeral expenses. Additionally, some entries we have included are for money expended by the parish to bury or cover the funeral expenses of poor parishioners.

These entries are separate from and supplement the Church of Scotland Old Parish Registers kept by the General Register Office (Scotland) at New Register House in Edinburgh, and it is believed they have not been transcribed or indexed before. The entries in this transcription are not to be found in any Old Parish Registers as far as we can tell.

Buy now

Monday, 12 July 2010

Kelso Relief Church Baptisms 1813-1819 - £6.99

This book contains baptisms found in the volumes of the Kirk Session records of the Relief Church Congregation of Kelso, Roxburghshire, for the period 1813-1819. These records are held by the National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh.

These entries are separate from and supplement the Church of Scotland Old Parish Registers kept by the General Register Office (Scotland) at New Register House in Edinburgh, and it is believed they have not been transcribed or indexed before. Many entries in this register are not to be found in the Old Parish Registers.

We have included all the baptism entries from the register that survive. A later, or “new” register is referred to on the last page of this register, but its present whereabouts, if it has survived, is unknown.

Buy your copy now!

New Monumental Inscriptions volume for Innerleithen, Peeblesshire

This is a new resource, not from us but from the Borders Family history society. I wanted to mention it though as it dovetails with what we do so I thought you may be interested. You can read all about it on their blog.

Remember they give a list of surnames in each volume, which is very helpful. If you are considering buying a few books it’s worth joining the society as Society members get a discount of £1 per volume not to mention all the other benefits of joining the society.

Visit the Borders family history society now!

Greenlaw Prison Index, Volume 1 1840-1848

That's Greenlaw Prison index ready for sale. It contains 623 entries and is just £7.99 including postage and packaging. Here’s a list of surnames found in the book:

Airne; Aitchison; Aitken; Alexander; Allan; Anderson; Anges; Armstrong; Baillie; Baird; Ballantyne; Balmer; Barclay; Barcley; Barnes; Barrett; Bartram; Bartrem; Beattie; Bell; Bertram; Biggs; Black; Blythe; Bolton; Bond; Bone; Bookless; Boston; Boyd; Boyle; Bradley; Braedy; Bralton; Brenan; Brodie; Brooks; Broomfield; Brown; Bruce; Bryce; Bryson; Buchanan; Burgan; ; Burgeon; Burns; Butler; Calay; Campbell; Cannon; Carland; Carlisle; Carse; Carter; Cassells; Cerse; Chalmers; Chisholm; Clark; Clerk; Cleugh; Clinkscales; Coates; Coats; Cockburn; Colfield; Collin; Collins; Comerford; Connel; Connelly; Connor; Copley; Cowsey; Craig; Crammond; Cramsay; Cribbes; Cribbis; Crow; Cunningham; Curle; Currie; Dailley; Dalry; Dalrymple; Dalton; Darling; ; Davit; Dawson; Deans; Denholm; Dick; Dickinson; Dickson; Dividson; Divine; Dobson; Docherty; Dodds; Dods; Donnochy; Dooly; Dougal; Dougherty; Douglas; Druin; Drummond; Dryden; Dudgeon; Duncan; Dunn; Easton; Elder; Ellis; Erskine; Fairbairn; Fairel; Ferrie; Ferry; Fisher; Fitzsimmons; Flanigan; Fleming; Fletcher; Forrest; Fraser; Frier; Fulton; Fyfe; Galagan; Gartie; ; Gibson; Gilbert; Gilchrist; Gill; Gillan; Gillie; Gillies; Gilmartin; Gilmore; Gilshar; Good; Gordon; Graham; Grahame; Gray; Guthrie; Haggarty; Haggerty; Hall; Hamell; Hamilton; Hanney; Hardie; Hardy; Harebarine; Harkin; Harold; Hart; Hastie; Hay; Henderson; Higginbottom; Hill; Hislop; Hodgson; Hogarth; Hollins; Hood; Hope; Hornby; Hume; Hunter; Inglis; Innes; ; Irving; Jaffrey; Johnston; Kay; Kellie; Kelly; Kemp; Kennedy; Ker; Kerr; Kerson; Kid; Killock; King; Knox; Koyle; Kyle; Laidlaw; Laing; Lane; Laney; Le Roux; Leadbetter; Lee; Leonard; Lewis; Linn; Lockie; Longstaff; Lough; Lowry; Lumsden; Lyall; Lynch; Mabon; MacAffarty; MacBride; Macdonald; Macfarlane; Mackay; MacKinnon; Mackintosh; Malay; Malone; ; Marran; Marshall; Martin; Maxwell; Mcarravey; McAvay; McBride; McCankie; McCarthey; McChrystal; McCulloch; McDarmount; McDicken; McDonald; McDougal; McDougall; McEwen; McFarlane; McGanel; McGinnes; McGraw; McGuire; McIntyre; McKay; McKenna; McKinlay; McKinne; McKinnon; McLachlan; McLaren; McLean; McLeish; McLeod; McMann; McMarran; McNichol; McQuillin; Mercer; Mickle; Miller; Mitchell; Moffat; Molley; Monsie; ; Montgomery; Moor; Moore; Morris; Morrison; Morton; Mowat; Mulholland; Mullen; Mullin; Mullins; Mundell; Munro; Murphy; Murray; Nairn; Neil; Newlands; Nichol; Nicholson; Nories; O'Brien; O'Connor; Oliver; Ormiston; Ovington; Patterson; Paxton; Peacock; Pearson; Phillips; Piercy; Porter; Purves; Quin; Quinn; Rea; Reid; Rennie; Renton; Ribbon; Richardson; Riddle; Ridle; ; Rinnie; Ritchie; Robertson; Rodger; Rogers; Ross; Rowt; Savage; Scott; Scougall; Shannon; Sharp; Shaw; Shearer; Sheerlaw; Sheridan; Shiel; Simmons; Simpson; Smith; Sterling; Stewart; Stoddart; Storie; Stuart; Swan; Tait; Tayler; Taylor; Thompson; Tocher; Towal; Trainer; Trotter; Turnbull; Turner; Vallance; Vallence; Wait; Waite; Walker; Ward; Watson; Watt; ; Weatherston; Weddell; White; Whitelaw; Wight; Wilkie; Williams; Willis; Willock; Wilson; Windram; Winter; Wright; Young;

Could one of them be yours???

Find out today – Click here!!!

Census database updated – Can you advertise it?

We have updated the database again; this time we have added 1841 & 1861 Fala & Soutra. We have also continued to add household links and notes to our database so hopefully some of our research will prove helpful to somebody.

Remember this is still a relatively new census database and many people still do not know it exists. It is different from many others; here are a few things we believe set us apart:

1. It is the only website, that we are aware of, that links the census with maps.

2. We have added notes from our own research, for example dates of death, marriage and birth and also notes about imprisonments.

3. We have transcribed the 1841, 1851 and 1861 census for Berwickshire, Scotland (as well as many other counties) and we offer this full transcription free on our website - we are the only website that offers this complete county without charge.

4. Our transcriptions are done by expert local genealogists; therefore ensuring a high standard of transcription.

5. Maiden names are commonly used throughout married life in Scotland (this can cause confusion in the census) therefore we have endeavoured to add married and maiden names to our database.

So if you agree that our free census search is helpful please help us advertise it. Can you post links? Can you email friends? Can you tell your local family history society or research group? If you can, more people will visit the site, then more people will click on adverts giving us revenue or buy some of our other products and services. This will enable us to keep updating the census and other records therefore helping everybody.

Thank you for your support,


Thursday, 8 July 2010

Applegarth (Dumfriesshire) Parish List 1697

Ok this is new! It’s a bit like an early census… let me explain.

This list is entitled "A list of examinable persons within this parish", and is to be found inserted in the Kirk Session records of Applegarth & Sibbaldbie Parish, Dumfriesshire, Scotland, following the entry for July 25th, 1703. This list has not been dated, but, by comparing the handwriting and a close comparison of the list with the parish register, the list seems likely to have been compiled in the year 1697, certainly between the summer of 1696 and the summer of 1698. The original record is held at the National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh.

The list seems remarkably comprehensive. As in the case of all older Scottish records, married women and widows appear under their maiden surnames. The comparison with parish records which survive for the period suggests that this list may well be a list of all inhabitants aged about 12 years or over. The original writer has placed a short line underneath each household, which enables us to clearly see the households separately, invaluable in distinguishing family groups.

Buy the Applegarth Parish List 1697 from our website it is on sale for just £5.99 including free postage anywhere in the world!!

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Applegarth Baptisms, Marriages and Burials 1694-1719 - £8.99

Well here is another new book for you: just made available this evening on

This book contains baptisms, marriages and burials which are to be found in the Kirk Session records of Applegarth Parish, Dumfriesshire, Scotland. These records are held by the National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh.

The entries in the register are taken from two Kirk Session volumes: Volume 1 contains baptisms and marriages from 1694-1703; as well as four death entries from 1697-1702, and four baptism entries from 1763. Volume 2 contains baptisms from 1703-1719; marriages from 1703-1712; and a few mortcloth records from 1704-1715, as well as nine baptism entries from 1765-1766 and a marriage from 1763.

These entries are not to be found in the Old Parish Registers of Applegarth parish kept by the General Register Office (Scotland) at New Register House in Edinburgh, which does not commence until 1749, and it is believed they have not been transcribed or indexed before.

Friday, 2 July 2010

The Scottish Genealogy Society’s new website

The Scottish Genealogy Society has had a face lift this week and launched their lovely new website. I have to say it is much less cluttered and easier to use now, everything is clear and simple and let’s face it that’s always a good thing.

The Society Offers...

  • Advice and support from experienced volunteers
  • Monumental Inscriptions – the largest collection in Scotland
  • Old Parish Registers – the original in microfilm for every parish in Scotland with indexes to baptisms and marriages on microfiche
  • Internet access including a world subscription to ''
  • Bookshop with publications from every Scottish family history society and many other sources
  • The Library, with over 4000 books and comprehensive CD-ROM collection on family and local history in Scotland for members to consult
  • Family History Index - Collection of donated family histories, pedigrees and research notes held by the Society
  • Census information held on microfilm
  • Scottish family history societies’ journals
  • Photocopying, microfiche and microfilm printing available

This is a wonderful society to be member of if you live nearby or a thousand miles away. They are always ready and willing to help when you visit and offer services for their members further afield too. They have so much combined experience and such a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips that you are always sure to learn something new. So if you are not a member yet click here and find out more. Societies like these rely on membership to keep their projects going, projects which we all benefit from.

Parish register – all on one page

As with our prison indexes we now have all our parish registers listed on one page of our website. I have also included extra information about each so you will know exactly what you’re getting.

As new records become available I will add them to the existing county pages in our standard bookshop and to the standalone Parish Registers page.

This I hope will answer the questions people have about these less familiar parish registers.

Visit our new parish registers page now!

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Where have all the records gone?

Genealogy can be very rewarding and enjoyable, not to mention interesting and yes, at times a little frustrating! One major reason for frustration is missing records. There is an endless list of reasons some records have never made it into the appropriate archive. Some have been burnt, others lost at sea, some just deteriorated to such an extent they can no longer be read. Some however are just missing, with no real explanation, it is as if they never existed.

Whilst researching in the National Archives yesterday however I came across a wee note in baptism register. It was a post 1855 register and the note is dated January 1918. It read:

“Mr. Pollock is using the old Church Records for reference at the present these will follow.

Any extracts can be got from the same at any time.

But for Mr. Pollock’s illness he would have had finished with said books.”

From what I can tell the earlier registers from this parish have been returned, Mr. Pollock was obviously a reliable man. The question it raises however is this: Just how many books were borrowed and never returned?

Various books continue to turn up even now so if your ancestors are in a missing register don’t despair, they may still be returned.

Monday, 28 June 2010

Can you help me find old photos of Coatsgate Quarry near Moffat?

We would really like to see some old photos of Coatsgate Quarry near Moffat, in particular we are looking for photos of the café that used to be there. A relative used to work there and we can’t find any photos of the café or work buildings. Can anybody help us?

If you can please email me:

Thank you in advance.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Very interesting Edinburgh Documents

On the website there are some very useful documents I came across a few months ago and have just remembered about today.

The one that caught my eye was the Registers of Aliens. The specific origins of the registers lie in the declaration of war by the French Republic against Great Britain in 1793 and the unease felt by the authorities about the impact on radical elements within the country. They cover the period 1798-1825.

The other interesting document is the St Cuthbert’s Parochial Board, Paupers’ Claims volume, 1850-1852.

More information is online if you follow the website.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Census update – Whithorn 1851 now online

Graham has just now uploaded the Wigtownshire parish of Whithorn to our free online census database. This brings the total number of entries in our 1851 database to 219683! I think we may have to have a celebration when we get to the quarter million mark.

Search the census now!

Touching up old photos

One of the services we provide is to touch up old photos. I personally tend not to go overboard when I’m doing it as I don’t like them to look too manufactured. It is nice however to get rid of the scratches and as in the example below we can remove the sticky tape that my Granny used to keep it in the album.

If you have a report done with us we do not charge for this service but will touch up a few old photos for you. This is just another thing that makes our genealogy research a little bit more special.

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Reopening of the Annandale Distillery

I have been following the Annandale Distillery project with great interest over the last few years. We were asked to research the history of the distillery in 2007. It was a very interesting project, one reason being that although I grew up in Annan and still live nearby I had no idea there had ever been a distillery in Annan. To be fair on me it has been a long time since whisky has been produced around these parts. It is now about 90 years since Johnny Walker’s closed the Annandale distillery.

Since 2007 plans have been underway to restore the historic buildings and start producing the wonderful golden liquid once more. Planning permission has taken time and an archaeological dig has also taken place. Building work should be underway by the autumn and they hope to be producing whisky by 2011, although of course it will take a few years before it will be for sale.

The Annandale Distillery website is very interesting and even includes an interactive archaeological site map with video clips explaining what they have found and what they are planning for the future.

Visit the Annandale Distillery site

Do you live in an old Scottish house and would like to find out more about its past? We can help you with your research, just email me the details and I will have a look into it for you.

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Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Did people travel much 200 years ago?

Well perhaps surprisingly the answer is yes! I know this is a shock to many people but the travel factor may also be the answer to your missing ancestors.

There were various motivations for people to travel in years gone by, just as there are today. Stop and think for a moment, do you just move house because you can? Is it simply because you can hire a lorry to move your belongings that makes you move? Of course not. Yes, modern transportation makes moving easier to a degree however the motivation is to be closer to family, to find employment, to live in a nicer house or area and things like these.

Why was it any different in years gone by? It wasn’t really, the motivations were much the same as they are today. There certainly was an issue with transport though and of course transport costs, but here are a few reasons and means of people getting from A to B.

How could they afford to emigrate to America? Could they really save for the passage?

Recently I was researching in a Register of the Poor persons admitted on the roll of the Parish of Castleton 1846-56 (NAS reference number HR/75/11/2) and came across an interesting entry for Bella Kyle. Bella had been in receipt of poor relief from September 1847 (she was a window) then in May 1852 she received money from the poor board to travel to America with her children. It states she has family willing to “keep the children”. I’m sure Bella’s descendants are now numerous in America and some may wonder how this poor widow was able to travel such a distance to be with family but the Register of the Poor answers that question for us.

My ancestors seem to move house all the time, why is this?

Obviously there could be various reasons but one was the way hiring for labourers was conducted. Many homes came with the work on the land as part of the wages. It was traditional (and still occurs in Scotland) that hiring took place on May 25th (Whitsunday) and November 11th (Martinmas). A lease would run from one date to the other, obviously some would be renewed each time but it was not unusual for families to move home and employment every 6 months. This is quite common right through until the twentieth century. A relatives identity card from the second world war shows the address change several times through the period and always in May and November. Due to the need to find the best work possible families may move quite considerable distances although it would be perhaps more common for people to stay within the county.

Why did my ancestors travel so far to have a child baptized?

One reason it can be difficult to find a baptism record is that during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries various churches broke away from the Church of Scotland, and then these denominations again spit and combined in vaious ways. Religious issues mattered greatly to many ordinary people at the time, and they felt very strongly about which church they belonged to. If you lived in a rural area though it may be the closest “Free Church”, for example, was some distance away but those who felt strongly would travel to the nearest location to have their child baptized by the minister of the church of their choice. The Church of Scotland remained as having the responsibility of recording all marriages and births in the parish. However, as we have noted in earlier posts to this blog, not all clerks did this properly, and this one important reason why many baptisms do not appear in the Church of Scotland’s records or OPR’s as we call most of these records prior to 1855.

So if your family was a member of the Free Church, the Relief Church, Reformed Presbyterian Church, United Presbyterian Church, Burger Old light, Burger New Light, Anti-Burger New Light or even the Anti-Burger Old Light denominations you may find your relatives travelled further than you may expect. And that’s just some of the Presbyterian denominations, we haven’t even started on Episcopalians, Congregationalists, Quakers, Roman Catholics, or others!

If you can’t find a church record check the National Archives of Scotland for the area and see what other churches existed.

We’ll track down all those relatives eventually.

Are you planning a visit to Scotland?

If you are planning a visit to Scotland to trace your family tree do you know what you will do when you get here? Do you have a clear plan? Do you know where your ancestors lived? Do you know where the records you will need to trace your family tree are held?

All too often I meet people in Edinburgh who have made a special trip from the US, Canada, Australia etc. to trace their Ancestry but find that by the time they get over here, work out how to see the records and trace a little of their family tree it’s time to go home. It’s such a shame, they run out of time to explore their ancestor’s community and locate their ancestral home and all too often don’t actually trace much of their family tree.

Our Genealogy books can be designed as a guide to your Scottish Ancestry as you travel around Scotland. It will be like a “who do you think you are?” of your very own!

We start by researching your family, as we would for anybody, but if you wish we can ensure it’s full of maps so you can find the home of your ancestors, visit their place of work and see where they went to school.

This ensures you have a wonderful vacation in Scotland, see the beautiful countryside and learn all about your ancestors. We can also make arrangements for you to visit various archives and se original documents if you wish or even meet you and show you the documents so it takes away the stress of finding them yourself but you will still have the experience of seeing the ancient records.

Visit to see our wonderful books

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Yetholm Burgher (New Light) Parish Register 1824-1855

The Yetholm Burgher (New Light) Parish Register 1824-1855 is another publication now available from Maxwell Ancestry and is on sale for just £6.99. It contains both baptisms and marriages. If you live outside the UK there is still no postage and Paypal take care of the currency exchange. £6.99 works out to be only about 10 or 11 U.S. dollars.

If you are not sure if you really need this or any of our other publications please email me as we are here to help and know what it’s like to waste money on records that don’t help you with your research.

One other thing to remember is that as this is a register is from a non-conformist church people travelled from all around to be have their children baptised in this church so it may be of use to you if your ancestors were from outside Yetholm parish itself. A substantial amount of the entries are actually for children born in Northumberland as Yetholm was so close to the Scotland/England border, there are also entries from the surrounding area on the Scottish side of the border.

Visit our bookshop or contact me for more information

Parish Register update – Dumfries Buccleuch Street U.P. Church Baptisms 1846-1856

We have again published baptisms not found in the OPR’s and therefore when you search Scotland’s People and the IGI you are not searching these records.

Do you have Dumfriesshire relatives but can’t find their birth record? This is the book for you. Here a couple of examples from 1848:

Name of Child - Margaret Corrie

Sex – F

Father - William Corrie, Farm Servant

Mother - Mary Anne Jardine

Date and Place of Birth - Feb. 13, Glenhowan, Caerlaverock

Date of baptism and by whom - March 2nd, Marshall N. Goold

Name of Child - William Mills (illegitimate)

Sex – M

Father - Robert McBurnie, Servant

Mother - Margaret Marchbank

Date and Place of Birth - Jan. 22, Annan, Queensberry Arms Inn

Date of baptism and by whom - Nov. 6, Marshall N. Goold

© Kirk Session records — National Archives of Scotland references CH3/83/10 © Transcription and indexes — Copyright Graham Maxwell Ancestry 2010.

Published by Graham Maxwell Ancestry - Cleughside, Kirkpatrick Fleming, Lockerbie, Dumfriesshire, DG11 3NG

Because this is a record of the United Presbyterian Church, people from outside Dumfries would have brought their children to be baptised. Here are some questions and answers about the register.

Where have these records been found?

The transcription below is of baptisms found amongst the Kirk Session records of the Buccleuch Street United Presbyterian Church, Dumfries, Scotland, for the period 1846-1856. These Kirk Session records are held by the National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh.

These entries are separate from and supplement the Church of Scotland Old Parish Registers kept by the General Register Office (Scotland) at New Register House in Edinburgh, and it is believed they have not been transcribed or indexed before.

What entries have been included?

We have included all the baptism entries from the beginning of the register until 1856, just following the introduction of civil registration in Scotland in the year 1855.

How can I see the original entry for a person I have found in this publication?

The original records are to be found at the National Archives of Scotland, HM General Register House, 2 Princes Street, Edinburgh EH1 3YY, and can be consulted there under the reference CH3/83/10. At this time these records are not available on-line, but if you wish to contact us we would be pleased to help you obtain copies.

Visit our bookshop and buy your copy now

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Forgot to say: we have updated the site again

It has been so busy this week I forgot to mention the Census database was on Monday (31st May 2010). This update has added 1851 Glasserton, Wigtownshire.

Glasserton had a population of 1487 people in 1851 bringing the total number of entries in our 1851 census database to 215,630!

Family tree charts

In an ongoing survey on our website we have found that when asked the question: How would you like your family tree presented? 50% of people said in a family tree chart.

We noticed this trend when we first launched the survey, it seems a family tree chart is a great visual way to display your family tree.

Full packages are available on our website but if you have already done some of your own research but would just like a bit of help to present what you have found then contact me and I will see if we can help.

Of course for a really luxurious feel I don’t think it possible to beat our luxury books. Lovingly reassessed and traditionally hand bound they are really a piece of art. Again if you have worked for years on your ancestry and would like some help to present it in a beautiful book I’m sure we will be able to give you some assistance.

Monday, 31 May 2010

Changes to our website

We added the census search facility in a bit of a rush last September; just before a family history fair. At that time we did not know whether or not we would be keeping it online. Because it was done this way the search has no help buttons or explanation and the notes column can be a bit confusing, especially if you are new to genealogy. For this reason we have decided it’s time to update the site a bit.

Anyway we’ll be working on it for a few weeks but if you have any ideas please let us know, or take our survey and let us know what you think that way: Click here to take survey

From coast to coast

Graham has now embarked on the transcribing of the 1851 Wigtownshire census. Once Wigtownshire and Kirkcudbrightshire are complete we will go from coast to coast!

The online census database was updated on Sunday by the way. The update has added 1851 Carmunnock, Lanarkshire and part of 1851 Hamilton, Lanarkshire, as well some more household links and notes.

Graham’s working on loads of things at the moment so we’ll let you know when our next publications are available.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Looking for a piece of Scotland?

It seems that once people start to learn about their Scottish family they want a wee bit of Scotland to come to them, no matter where they are in the world. All to often, though, it pains me to see for sale objects that although perhaps presented in tartan really have no relation to Scotland, or no genuine connection anyway. To be honest if your ancestors lived in southern Scotland in the 1800’s they were very unlikely to have ever worn a kilt! Sorry if this changes your perception of Scotland.

It is possible to have something that is genuinely Scottish though, something with a real connection. There is a lovely wee shop in Innerleithen, Peeblesshire that was recently featured on the BBC’s “Antiques Road Trip”. It is called Keepsakes and features many Scottish items, particularly pottery and postcards. Have a wee browse around the Keepsakes internet shop and see if you can find a little piece of Scotland to sit in your house and remind you where you came from.

Keepsakes Shop


Scottish items

Another reason to use our census search

Some people wonder why we continue to transcribe and publish census books when there are other commercial sites also transcribing and indexing the census for the whole of Scotland. Are these large scale projects not better?

Well there is no doubt that there is some advantage in being able to search the entire country but is this really as complete a search as you think? There are a number of occasions when one ore more entries are unreadable on the microfilms. The are various reasons for this. Sometimes two pages may have been turned accidently during filming or for some reason entries are difficult to read with faint or faded writing.

Graham has just been transcribing the 1851 census for Carmunnock, Lanarkshire. It would appear that some years ago (in less enlightened days perhaps) a rough repair was done on enumeration book 3. Some tape was used on the page and then when the book was filmed it appears as a white space. To ensure a high quality transcription Graham asked to see the original book while he was in Edinburgh and was able to see through the tape against the light and transcribe the entry correctly.

This is the entry:

Margaret Whyte – Head – Unmarried – 26 – Laundress – born Carmunnock, Lanarkshire

This entry will appear in the published transcription once we have proofread the book but in the meantime if you have a few moments check for yourself and see if any of the other major commercial census sites have made the effort to look at the original book and provide a full and accurate transcription.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Uses for the prison indexes

So we have spoken a lot about the prison indexes adding colour to your family tree but they may add even more than that. I came across this post on

Quiet a familiar situation, born Ireland no further information. Where do you start? Is this the end of the line? Well as you can see from the post I made our prison index gives a County in Ireland. Now the family will have a chance of tracing their Irish ancestors.

So if you have Irish ancestors living in Scotland have a look at our prison indexes and see if we can unlock your little mysteries.

Visit our bookshop now

Friday, 21 May 2010

Peebles Prison Index now on sale

Well we spent two days researching in Edinburgh this week but I did manage to take a few minutes to sit in Princes Street Gardens and enjoy the sunshine. It has been such a long winter it’s wonderful to have some warmth. The census database has been updated again; update has added 1861 Stow, Midlothian, as well some minor corrections and more household links and notes.

Peebles prison index is now finished and should be available on the website shortly:

Monday, 17 May 2010

Special Offer – Edinburgh Archives research –This week only

Graham and I will be at various archives around Edinburgh this week and have a bit of spare time; if you need some research we are charging just ten pounds per hour (about 15 US dollars).

See our website for more information or just get in touch directly.



Outside the UK: +44 1461 800383

From the UK: 01461 800 383


Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Use of Maiden Surname in Scotland

I came across this question today on

“Can someone please clarify something for me?

When a woman married in Scotland, did she always retain her m.s. name?”

I thought the answer might be of use to everybody who reads this blog so here it is:

Yes, this can be a little confusing but also helpful when you understand what’s going on.

In Scotland a married woman can legally be known by both her maiden name and her husband’s name. In fact on gravestones it is usually a woman’s maiden name that will appear and it will say something like “wife of John Smith”. This still happens to this day.

In the census it is a little more haphazard, usually she will be listed with her married name but it is not unusual to see a maiden name. The 1841 census can therefore be confusing as there are no relationships listed but then again in most families it is quite obvious.

In our own census indexing project we have indexed these women under both married and maiden name (when it is obvious) to save confusion. We have added an alternative surname column too.

So if you do come across the maiden name in the census it will make it much easier to find a marriage.

Another thing to remember is that if the woman is a widow the chances of her being listed under her maiden name increases dramatically and if you don’t know what to look for these widows can be hard to find. I usually look for her children in the hope she is living with one of them.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

1841 census of Glencairn now on sale

We have completed another parish in our census transcription project. This time it the Dumfriesshire parish of Glencairn (which includes Moniaive). The full transcription of this parish is on sale in our bookshop at just £8.99 and remember if you pay by Paypal you will receive free postage!

Buy this census book today!

Friday, 30 April 2010

Carnwath 1851 census added to site

We have added the 1851 census for Carnwath to our free Scottish census search, this is a new publication which we have just produced. We are not planning to complete all of Lanarkshire by any means, however, that does bring the total of Lanarkshire parishes transcribed by us to eleven. This means that if you are looking for people in rural Lanarkshire our free census search is worth a shot although not as complete as it is for other counties.

Buy the book on-line today!

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Galashiels parish registers ready for sale

Just wanted to let everybody know that the Galashiels Marriage Register 1845-54 and Relief Church Baptisms 1838-55 is now transcribed, indexed and has been proof-read; it is now ready for sale. Click to visit our bookshop!

Now that is finished Graham has returned to work on the prison registers: Peebles, Selkirk and Greenlaw are coming up.

The parish of Wilton has now been mapped in our census mapping project and Hawick has been commenced.

There are a few census books being transcribed at the moment here they are: 1861 Stow, 1851 Carnwath, 1841 Glencairn and 1841 Gretna.

I’ll let you know when we make the next updates to

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Parish Records available form Maxwell Ancestry

Records which are not available on Scotland’s People or the IGI

I have just realized through all my blogs about the prison and census projects I have forgotten to tell you about the parish registers that we have been publishing.

Why have we been publishing parish registers I hear you ask?

Are these not available on Scotland’s People and is not the index to many available free on the IGI? Well the answer is that most are, but not all! The IGI and Scotland’s People are mainly based on the OPR’s which should be all we need. However, how often do you search and search to no avail? The OPR’s are excellent but by no means complete and this can be a real source of frustration. There are, however, some other places to look for births, marriages and deaths before 1855!

Some (but by no means all) Kirk sessions contain birth, marriage, and death entries in various forms. The Kirk Session records are not at present on Scotland’s People and by and large this information does not appear on the IGI, therefore is inaccessible to many. The Kirk Session records for much of Scotland are kept at the National Archives of Scotland in Edinburgh, although some are held in local archives up and down the country.

Graham thought it may be useful to transcribe and index some of these records. The Castleton Parish register (Roxburghshire) has been for sale on our website for a while now and more are coming. Closeburn (Dumfriesshire) was added last week and one for Galashiels has just been completed. Here is a wee summary for you:

Castleton Parish Register 1707-10 and the Castleton Parish Hearth Tax 1695 £7.99

Parish Register of Closeburn, Dumfriesshire, 1726-1754 £8.99

And soon to be released:

Galashiels Parish Registers: Proclamation Register 1845-1854 and Relief Church Baptisms 1838-1855 £7.99

Our hope is that these will help fill in some of those missing blanks and hopefully help you locate your ancestors.

Here is and excerpt from the Closeburn book to whet your appetite:

19 April 1726

James Kirkpatrick and Agnes Mccaig in Newtown Mains a Son John.

1 June 1726

Archbald Frazer and Janet Kirkpatrick in Auchenleck a Son Daniel.

16 June 1726

James Hainen and Helen Nivison in Kirkland a Daughter Helen.

26 June 1726

Thos. Gibson & Grissel Mcmurdo in Townhead a Daughter Janet.

7 July 1726

Samuel Kirkpatrick & Janet Pagan in Crukup a Daughter Henerata presented by the Mother because of the father's ignorance.

© Kirk Session records — National Archives of Scotland reference CH2/1233/6.

© Transcription and indexes — Copyright Graham Maxwell Ancestry 2010.

Published by Graham Maxwell Ancestry

Cleughside, Kirkpatrick Fleming, Lockerbie, Dumfriesshire, DG11 3NG

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Census mapping update

Graham and I have been so busy over the last few months that we thought we would have a review of how far we have come with the census mapping project. If you have been following this blog for a while you will know we started with just Peeblesshire mapped back in September. We have come a long way since then!

Our 1841 census database is now 51% mapped, the 1851 is 31% mapped and the 1861 census is 53% mapped.

Graham is working on Hawick and Wilton at the moment and they should both be updated shortly. He’s doing these parishes as a pair because the town of Hawick is split between two parishes and as the town is the hardest area to map he thought it would be better to do them together. Graham has actually just told me that Wilton Parish is complete and uploading now.

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Kelso prison finished now too

Kelso Races, 26 April 1897

Well what a day, that’s Kelso prison finished now too. It’s a wee bit smaller so only £7.99. At this rate we’ll be finished the Borders prisons in no time.

Visit to order your copy today.

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

Jedburgh prison index now available

After weeks of hard work Graham has finished indexing Volume 2 of the Jedburgh prison registers. We really hope this will add a bit of interest to your family trees and they are also very useful. For example, if your ancestors come to the Borders from Ireland and ended up in Jedburgh Prison it’s just possible you can get a place of birth from the prison register that you will not get anywhere else. The book is available to purchase on our website; here is a little information about it:

Jedburgh Prison Index, Volume 2 1848-1869 - This index is in the same format as our previous prison indices, and contains details of the crime the prisoner was accused or convicted of. It is a large volume, running to 4,061 entries. Many of the people of the Scottish Borders and beyond are recorded. The Jedburgh Prison Index, Volume 2 is available for £12.99, with our usual bulk discounts and postage rates for publications applying.

Visit our website to buy the volume and add some colour to your family tree!

Obtain a full register entry

If you find an entry or entries in one of our prison indexes for which you would like to see a full transcription, please e-mail us. You can see a sample prison transcription by clicking here. For a fee of £5.00 per entry, the transcriptions will be sent to you promptly via e-mail. The fee also includes a free copy of the transcription together with a free copy of the original register pages covering your entry mailed to you anywhere worldwide.

Visit our website now for more information and to order your ancestors records

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

1851 census for Kells now online

We have been making great progress with Various new records are now online and more will be coming shortly as well as new books, some of which will be ready in the next day or two.

The big census update is 1851 Kells, Kirkcudbrightshire; this is now in the database and also available from our bookshop. We have also added more household links, general notes and prison links to the database.

Regarding the prison indexing project, Graham has now indexed the second Jedburgh volume and is proof-reading it now so it should be on sale within a couple of weeks. He has now also started work on the next Scottish Borders prison, which is Kelso. Although various links will appear in the census database from now this is not by any means a search of the prison registers themselves. In fact less than 1% of the prison entries have any link with the census records at present. Therefore if your ancestors are from the Borders area it is best to check in the actual prison index. If you do not already have a copy they are available from our bookshop.

The mapping is also continuing, Hawick and Wilton parishes are next, these may take some time though! Big towns always seem to slow up the census mapping project!

I’ll let you know when the new Jedburgh prison book is ready.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Looking for the perfect gift? I have the thing just for you!

Graham and I have been researching other people’s genealogies for years now and we have combined that expertise with beauty and luxury to create a perfect gift package. We research the genealogy, collate the documents, photographs and stories we have gathered along the way and write a personal family history book. Then we have it hand bound in beautiful fabric, or even in leather. We also create a beautiful chart, which is a great visual way to experience your family tree.

These bespoke family tree packages start at £500 and each one is customized to suit the family we create it for. Have a look at our new website and see for yourself what wonderful items these books really are.

New parishes online from our Valuation Roll

As promised I have updated our website with some more parishes from our Dumfriesshire Valuation Roll. We now have Annan, Applegarth, Caerlaverock, Canonbie, Closeburn, Cummertrees, Dalton, Dornock, Dryfesdale, Dumfries, Dunscore and Durisdeer all online. One thing to note though: both Dumfries and Annan are the landward parts of the parish only, the burgh sections were in a separate volume.

The last time we were in the National Archives I was discussing just how valuable these valuation rolls are. I love them, and the National Archives have been doing a lot of work digitizing the volumes to make them even easier and faster to search. Most of the local archives or libraries in Scotland also tend to have the volumes for their area so if you are in Scotland but not near Edinburgh they are still accessible. I know I have used the volumes at the Ewart library in Dumfries a number of times both to research the history of a house and genealogy.

If you are not familiar with this great resource have a look at the National Archives website or look at the volume we have online to see for yourselves what a great resource they are. They can really help to fill in the blanks between the census and also there is no 100 year closure are very helpful from 1901/1911 right up to 1989!

I mentioned digitizing these volumes, although volumes exist for every year from 1855 onwards, they have so far been indexed only every tenth year, but at intervals half-way between each census year, from 1855-56 up to 1915-16. These digital images are only available in the National Archives at present, which is quite a shame for those of you not living in Scotland.

We can search them for you and offer very reasonable prices for all our research in Edinburgh or other local libraries. We have details on our website or just email me with the details of what you are looking for and I will give you a price.