Monday, 31 January 2011

Report and State of the Kelso Dispensary

When I was in the National archives the other day I came across some leaflets entitled Report and State of The Kelso Dispensary. I found it useful to help me understand the daily running of the dispensary. Here is a transcription of the front page of the leaflet:

Report and State
The Kelso Dispensary

77th Year of the Institution

The Physicians and Surgeons connected with the Institution attend the Dispensary every Sunday before Divine Service, and every Friday form nine to eleven o’clock, to give their advice, and to direct the Apothecary of the Dispensary (who also attends on these days), to dispense such Medicines as are proper for the Patients recommended. In cases of acute, and occasionally in chronic disease, when Patients cannot be brought to the Dispensary, the Surgeons of the Institution are allowed, at the recommendation of a Subscriber, to visit them in the country at the expense of the Charity, in terms of the following rule of the Institution, viz., “That no one be visited in the country who can be brought by any conveyance to the Dispensary without personal hazard; that when in cases of sickness or accident it becomes necessary for the Surgeons to visit a Patient in the country, the visit shall not be repeated at the Surgeon’s discretion for a longer period than till the first ordinary Meeting of Physicians, Surgeons, and other Office-bearers; at which Meeting it shall be incumbent on the Visiting Surgeon to report the case, and after consultation it will be in the power of he Meeting either to order a continuation of visits for a limited time, or a notification to be made to the Patient that he must be brought to the Dispensary in Kelso–it being always kept in view that the expense of these visits, to be borne by the Institution shall not exceed triple the sum subscribed by the recommender.” Patients in the town of Kelso may be visited in their own homes by the Apothecary to the Institution, upon an order from the Physicians or Surgeons to do so. All recommendatory letters to be addressed, “To the Apothecary of the Kelso Dispensary,” who is appointed to deliver the same to the Surgeons in rotation.

No Patient will be visited in the country at the expense of the Institution, unless a visit is solicited by a Subscriber, or ordered by the Physicians. The other regulations under which the dispensary is managed, and the rules by which proper objects of charity are recommended are entitled to the benefit of the Institution, will be furnished by the secretary. 

There is a record kept of the Patients, their ages, diseases, the event of their case, the names id the Subscribers, and the parishes to which they belong. There have been 715 admitted for the year from the 1st October 1853, to the 1st October, 1854.


There is one Bath kept exclusively for the Patients of the Dispensary; another, handsomely fitted up with marble for the accommodation of the Public. Baths may be had at one hour’s notice, on application to the Housekeeper, for payment of 1s. Hot Bath, and 6d. Cold and Shower Bath, which sums go toward the support of the Charity.

© Kelso dispensary data - Crown copyright. National Archives of Scotland reference HH71/5.
© Transcription — Copyright Graham Maxwell Ancestry 2011.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Free Castleton Poor Roll Index

We have just uploaded another PDF to our website, the Index to Castleton Poor Roll 1846-1864. Although quite interesting itself the index is a key to further information.

The full record has lists of children of the recipient as well as details relating to emigration, employment and education. The columns in the original book are as follows:

  1. Name of Pauper
  2. Present residence
  3. Married or single, widow, or widower. If child, orphan, deserted or bastard.
  4. Name of each dependant living with Pauper
  5. Age – Years
  6. Place of birth
  7. Trade or occupation
  8. If wholly or partially disabled
  9. Description of disablement
  10. Means and resources of Pauper besides Parochial relief
  11. Names and weekly earnings of Parents
  12. Names, ages, and earnings of children not living with Pauper, and whether marries, and number of children.
  13. Date when admitted on Roll.
  14. Amount of relief in money.
  15. Amount of relief in food, clothing, fuel, lodging, or of any other kind.
  16. Date and cause of removal from Roll.
  17. Remarks

So as you can see the form was quite detailed, sadly not all entries have every column filled in but all the entries are of interest if they are related to you!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Street view now enabled

For some time, as you may know, Google’s Street View has been available in the Scottish Borders and Dumfriesshire, however it was not available on the mapping through our website. We have now updated the format and it’s now available on

Search our census for free, like you always have, either by address or name: click “Display Map” next to Current Map/Satellite and you can view as a map, satellite, hybrid, terrain or street view.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Kelso Dispensary Year One PDF

Well I have another treat for everybody today: a full transcription of year one of the Kelso Dispensary patient records is online and FREE. These records are fantastic! They can link families back to the early 1700’s and beyond in some cases, as well as giving some colour to your family tree. What was your ancestor really like? See, for example Agnes Fairbairn of Smailholm, born about 1747 recorded in the register with a case of Hystericks. Alternatively you could be related to Christian Burn who had Flatulent Pains!

From a more genealogical point of view, there are also some dates of death recorded which may well not be recorded elsewhere. A bit of Google searching may be necessary for identify some of the archaic names for diseases.

I hope you find this register as fascinating as we have, once we finish the first volume we’ll make it available in our bookshop. We’re not sure on the cost yet but we’ll keep you all informed.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

What’s New at Maxwell Ancestry?

We have added to our website today an index to our prison database. This will hopefully make it easier for you to find which book you need or purchase or enable you to order a full transcription of the prison record directly.

Why buy the book?

The prison books that have been available in our bookshop for some time have all the information that is online and in addition they also list the crime (the thing we all want to know) that the prisoner committed. If you see more than one record relating to your family this is a cheaper way of finding out what crimes were being committed.

Why buy the full record?

The original entries are very informative and cost just five pounds. Typically in any record after 1840 you would expect to find at least the following:
Date of admission; By whom committed; Name; Sex; Age; Birthplace; Residence; Where spent greater part of their life; Height; Hair colour; Eye colour;
Distinguishing marks etc.; Precise offence (often including article stolen etc.); Clean/dirty; Drunk/sober; Direct from arrest or from another prison,
if so which one; Occupation; Previous imprisonments with entry numbers for such; Liberated without trial – when and by whose authority; Tried – when
and by whom; Convicted or acquitted; Sentence; Liberated or removed after conviction – when, by whose authority, to what place; Number of days in
prison; Conduct during confinement; Whether able to read and write.

So whichever way you buy further information we hope that this new database will prove useful to all. Search it at: