Welcome to Scottish Genealogy Tips And Tidbits

A wee bit of info to help you in your journey to discover your Scottish Ancestors and maybe even crack a brick wall or two!

Friday, 20 January 2012

The 1833 Death of Tom Williams, Edinburgh's Hangman

A great piece of social history from the National Library of Scotland on the death of Edinburgh's hangman, Tom Williams. Tom had been in the job for 12 years. His body is interred in Greyfriar's Church Yard cemetery.

Happy Reading!

Decesased Online Has Added Scottish Records

From GeneaPress comes news that Deceased Online has added records for Scottish Burial sites. The recent ones are mainly from the Highlands. Deceased Online's news on the addition states that there are 4500 photographs of headstones and over 12,500 monumental inscriptions from 15 cemeteries throughout the highlands. These records date back to the 1600s.

The transcriptions and photographs are from the following cemeteries:
  • Banchor, Newtonmore and Ballidbeg Churchyards, Inverness-shire
  • Cille Choirill Churchyard, Lagan, Fort William
  • Clachan Duich Burial Ground (Kilduich), Invershiel, Ross-shire
  • Glenelg Cemetery, Glenelg, Inverness-shire
  • Grantown Cemetery, Grantown-on-Spey , Morayshire
  • Kilcuimen Churchyard, Fort Augustus, Ross-shire
  • Kilmonivaig and Gairlochy Churchyard, Nr Spean Bridge, Ross-shire
  • Kingussie Churchyard and Burial Grounds, Kingussie, Inverness-shire
  • Kirton and Lochalsh Cemetery, Kyle
  • Plockton Churchyard, Plockton, Inverness-shire
  • Rothiemurchus St John's Churchyard, Aviemore, Inverness-shire
  • Tenandy Old Churchyard, Killiecrankie, Perthshire
Happy Searching!

1881 Scottish Census Now Available on FindMyPast

News from FindMyPast yesterday was the release of the 1881 Scottish Census. Thanks to Mick Southwick for the heads up on the release. Mick's blog post from Bi-Gen can be read here

Like the other Scottish census records on FindMyPast, this is a transcription. Also like the other there is a wealth of information in the transcriptions.

This is the "print view"

The census transcription can be viewed on a pay-per-view basis. Each view is 5 credits. 60 credits are good for 90 days at a cost of £6.95 ($11). 280 credits are good for a full year at a cost of £24.95 ($39)

Happy searching!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Korean War Casualties - British Soldiers

If you have a Scottish soldier who served and was injured in the Korean War, you can access information through

A search of the records will provide you with:
  • Surname:
  • First and Middle Initials: 
  • Rank:
  • Force:
  • Event: (Missing, injured, killed, captured)
  • Newspaper where you can glean more information 
Happy Searching!

Ancestors On Board - UK Passenger List Database

From FindMyPast, news of their Ships List Database Ancestors On Board, which lists all outgoing U.K. passenger lists from 1890-1960. Initial searches are free but access to the actual transcription and images are based on a pay-per-view credit system. However, the transcriptions and images are included in a full subscription to FindMyPast. 
Search fields include:

  • Surname
  • First name
  • Port of Departure
  • Year of Departure (a range)
  • Name of Ship
  • Destination Country
  • Others also travelling
You do not need to fill all of the search fields. Often the less information, the better the results since not all fields are included in the transcription. 

Once you get to the transcription, you will see information such as date of departure, port of departure, date and port of arrival, occupation, marital status, age, approximate year of birth, name of ship, ship master, shipping line, ship's tonnage, ship's square footage and number of passengers on board.

You can also view the original document. This can then be downloaded to your computer for future reference and sourcing.
 Happy Searching!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

How Much Was That Money Worth?

My Great grandfather had a penchant for signing up with the military. He registered twice, once at age 17 and once at age 19. The story has it that he also signed up when he was 30, but I haven't found those records yet.

Each time that Hugh signed up, he was given £10. His first stint in the army was with the Highland Light Infantry. He lasted 43 days. Hugh's second stint with the Army was with the Kings Own Scottish Borderers (KOSB's). This time, he lasted 258 days and was dressed in his gear long enough to have his picture taken.

I have felt that the reason for Hugh signing up was purely a financial decision. My guess was that £10 in 1887 and again in 1889 would have been worth a small fortune. But I really wasn't sure how much. Then I came across this wonderful currency converter on the National Archives website. It will convert old money and let you know the value of that money in 2005. The converter will convert money from as far back as 1270.

So, I decided to give it a try. It turns out, I was right. £10 in 1887 would have been the equivalent to $598 in 2005. That is still a while ago, so I wasn't totally satisfied with that answer. Then I found this website that will convert money values from as far back as 1980 and tell you what they would be worth in 2011. The £10 signing up fee for Hugh would have been the equivalent of $695 in today's markets. That's nearly $1400 since he signed on twice. Not a bad wage. Especially when he didn't have to actually work for it.