Welcome to Scottish Genealogy Tips, Tricks & 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, 13 April 2012

Scottish Nurses Archives

A little known resource for those with nurses in their ancestral lines is the Royal College of Nursing Archives Scottish Board. Their documents are not available online, but you can write to them at 42 South Oswald Road, Edinburgh EH9 2HH . I will be visiting these archives next month. Can't wait to see what I come up with.

Good luck with your Scottish research!

Saturday, 7 April 2012

I've Made My Lists - Now I'm Checking Them Twice

In just 4 short weeks, I will be in Glasgow as I get ready for the research tour. I am looking forward to my guided tour of the Necropolis at 2 pm. And I’m looking forward to my short time in Glasgow. I’m usually in Edinburgh when I am home, and although in the Glasgow “area”, really spend very little time in Glasgow itself. And I’m looking forward to introducing people to the rugged beauty and rich heritage of my homeland.  

In preparation for the research, I have made my lists and now it’s a matter of checking them twice to make sure I get the most out of my time at the repositories. For the most part, I have the BMDs and census records. My lists are a bit different this time. Records that will help to re-build the story of my ancestors and less about the dates and places that the BMDs, OPRs and Census records provide. This time I am in search of rounding out some of the stories and of gathering records from some of the more obscure archives.  

I want to spend some time trolling the Kirk Session records and the OPRs of course. But I also want to get into the Nursing Archives in Edinburgh, and to the Archives at the University of Glasgow for the NHS records. Getting these records will provide some of the missing gaps of the social history parts of my family history.

I am looking forward to spending time with my older aunties and getting their perspective and recollection of the stories that have been passed down over the generations.  

And I'm looking forward to sharing my research with you while I am in Scotland. Check my Genealogy Tours of Scotland blog for the details of the trip: http://genealogytoursofscotland.blogspot.ca/








Thursday, 5 April 2012

Titanic Records Now On FindMyPast

Find My Past has launched new record sets for those searching for ancestors who were passengers on the titanic. One record set is the White  Star Line's Officer's Books. These are the official employment records of the commanders and officers onboard. The second set are the maritime BMDs. These, of course, are not limited to the Titanic, but list the BMD records for anyone with a maritime occupation as well as the passengers who died at sea. If you do not have a subscription to FindMyPast, it will cost you 5 credits to view the transcriptions of the BMD records and another 5 to view the image. For the Officer's Books, it will cost 5 credits to view the transcription and 10 credits to view the image. You can purchase 60 credits for £6.95 ($11). These are good for 90 days. You can also purchase 280 credits for £24.95 ($40) and these are good for a year.

Tartan Day 2012

April 6th is Tartan Day. 40 million Americans can claim Scottish Ancestry. There are a number of Scots-American Associations in the US, many sponsoring events this weekend. Events are planned in Washington DC, San Diego, Denver, Cincinnati and Nashville NC. But the biggest US event for Tartan Day is taking place at Ellis Island. This event is sponsored by Clan Currie Society. The event is held annually to honour the half million Scots immigrants who passed through Ellis Island on their way to build a better life for their families and in the process to help build and shape the country.

In Canada, there are a number of Tartan Day Events happening as well. One is sponsored by the Scottish Studies Foundation and is held at Toronto's Casa Loma. And there will be a Ceildh at the Royal York at 7:30. In the Nation's Capital, the Sons of Scotland Pipe Band will be celebrating on Parliament Hill at noon.   

In New Brunswick, the Scottish Cultural Association is involved with Tartan Day Events in Fredericton, Moncton and St John 

Wherever you are, show your pride. Wear your ancestral tartan and celebrate your Scots heritage.

BIFHSGO Conference 2012

The British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa is gearing up for their fall conference. The dates are September 15 & 16 at Library and Archives Canada, 395 Wellington St, Ottawa. This year, the topic for the presentations is Scotland. The final details are being ironed out, but we do know that Chris Paton will be the keynote speaker. There will be pre-conference sessions on Friday, September 14. For those details, check John Reid's blog Anglo-Celtic Connections.

Hope to see you at the Conference!

Monday, 2 April 2012

A Sense of Community

As mentioned in an earlier psot, On March 28, the 1915 Valuation Rolls for Scotland were made public through the Scotlands People website. These were assessment records that were taken on an annual basis. They list the heads of each household , a brief description of what is on the property in terms of buildings out outbuildings, and occupation of the tenants and proprietors of each property. If a property was valued at a rate of less than £4, then they were not listed in the valuation rolls. I found the  Valuation Roll for Forrestfield, Shotts which lists my grandfather, Harry Crawford. He is listed as a tenant of a house and shed, valued at £4.10. He very nearly didn't make it into the Valuation Rolls! I guess that shed helped put him on the registers and has helped me to track him after the 1911 census!


The rolls also show an interesting view of life during the early part of WWI. And they give a sense of the community. As you can see here, Harry lived down the road from the school which lists the proprietor of the land as a Major William B Rankin of 3 Coates Crescent in Edinburgh. The water, drainage and electric were the responsibility of the Shotts School Board which had apparently leased the land from Major Rankin for the purposes of building a school in Forrestfield. Directly next to Harry, heading towards the school, is a home owned by the Lothians Quarry Company of Lower Gilmore Place. The home is unoccupied. Further along the road and to the other side of Harry, two doors down, is a Smithy shop. Thomas Dewar was the Smithy at the time. Next to the Smithy is an Inn & Grocery owned by Jessie McKerrscher. Jessie is listed as being a widow. The Grocer shop and Inn have been assessed has having an annual rental value of only £19 for the buildings but £25 for the value of the land. Next to the Inn are open grassy fields followed by the Old Toll House and the larger farm cottage and farm land. The farm and land have been valued at £28 for the year.

Really studying a document helps to provide some of the social history for our ancetor's lives.

Happy Searching!