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!



Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Declaration of James Stuart Proclaming Charles Stuart as Regent 1743

Another stunning document to view yesterday from the University of Guelph's Scottish Collection is the 1743 Proclamation of James Francis Edward Stuart making his son, Charles Edward (Bonnie Prince Charlie) King Regent. The issue being, of course, that James was not recognized as the current King, his father having been deposed by William of Orange. 
 
James, in his continuing attempt to restore the name of Stuart to the throne, proclaimed that his charismatic son, Charles, was now to be the King of Scotland, England and Ireland. It was Charles who led the failed Jacobite uprising of 1745, when 1500 of his men were slaughtered within 15 minutes at Culloden.
 

The Proclamation reads:  

"Whereas We have a near prospect of  being restored to the Throne of Our Ancestors, by the good Inclinations of Our Subjects towards Us; and whereas, on Account of the present Situation of this Country, it will be absolutely impossible for Us to be in Person at the first setting up of Our Royal Standard, and even sometime after; We therefore esteem it for Our Service, and the Good of Our Kingdoms and Dominions, to nominate and appoint, as We hereby nominate, constitute and appoint Our dearest Son CHARLES, Prince of Wales, to be sole Regent of Our Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and of all other Our Dominions, during Our Absence. It is Our Will and Intention That Our said dearest Son should enjoy and exercise all that Power and Authority, which according to the ancient Constitution of Our Kingdoms, has been enjoyed and exercised by former Regents. Requiring all Our faithful Subjects to give all due submission and Obedience to Our Regent aforesaid, as immediately representing Our Royal Person, and acting by Our Authority. And We do hereby revoke all Commissions of Regency, granted to any Person or Persons whatsoever. And Lastly, We hereby dispense with all formalities, and other Omissions that may be herein contained; declaring this Our Commission to be as firm and valid to all Intents and Purposes. as if it had passed Our Great Seals, and as if it were according to the usual Stile and Forms. Given under Our Sign Manual and Privy Signer, at Our Court at Rome, the 23d Day of December 1743, in the Forty third Year of Our Reign. J.R."

Of course, the Kingdoms were not James' to grant to his son or to anyone else for that matter. The rest, as they say, is history.

1332 Charter for Granting of Land to Robert Menzies from David de Strathbogie



What a treat yesterday to be able to visit the Scottish Collection in the Archives at the University of Guelph. The University has the largest collection of Scottish documents outwith Scotland. This is a charter for feudal land from 1332. It delineates who the land has transferred to. The charter is for the land, not the landowner. The document is written in Latin. The owner of the land at the time of this charter was David de Strathbogie, born 1309. He was the son of David de Strathbogie who had been the constable of Scotland but lost his title when he switched allegiance to the English. Had he not done so, he would have been the Earl of Atholl. The lands that the charter covers are: "Cranachcrochin, Achmore, Kinknock, the two Rothrolges and Achnethrosck" The witnesses are a "who's who" of Scottish peerage and include Thomas Randolph, Earl of Moray, Robert The Steward and Patrick de Dunbar. These feudal thanages were later translated to Royal Baronies.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Thank You Niagara Celtic

I was honoured once again to be asked to speak at the Niagara Celtic Festival. This festival takes place at Krull Park in beautiful Olcott, New York. The park is on the south shore of Lake Ontario and has lots of room for all of the activities, vendors, speakers and performers. This is one of the best Celtic festivals going and always very well organized.

In addition to the heavy events and clan tents, there is a Celtic College where speakers can share storytelling, teach family history or show people how to play celtic instruments. There are food vendors, performers and artisans,. There are dog shows and pony rides. There is, quite literally, something for everyone at the Niagara Celtic Festival. I am already looking forward to next year!

The Genealogy Season of Meetings is Off to a Great Start

The season of genealogy and historical society meetings has started once again and this year it has started off with a bang.

I was honoured to be first on deck at both the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa on September 13th and again at the Kingston OGS Branch on September 20th.

The first talk at the BIFHSGO meeting was on Tracking Your Scottish Ancestors who emigrated. Unfortunately we ran out of time before the break. Next up was learning about preparing for a Genealogy Research Trip to Scotland. Both talks were loads of fun and the attendees provided great craic. Perhaps the best part of the weekend was the opportunity to spend time with Sue Davis, the Communications Director who has become a dear friend. It's always so good to catch up.



The Kingston talk was on Basic Scottish Research. The weekend was amazing. On Friday evening, the Executive treated me to a meal at Sir John's Public House. This building was once Sir John's law office. The hotel was located right on the water and provided a constantly changing canvas. And, best of all, genealogy serendipity kicked in and I was reunited with a neighbour from my childhood days! Not only great neighbours but also great friends of the family.



How has your season started? I hope you are learning lots of new strategies to try to find those elusive ancestors.

1875 Valuation Rolls Released on ScotlandsPeople

Yesterday saw the launch of the 1875 Valuation  Rolls on ScotlandsPeople. These will assist you in locating your ancestors between the 1871 and 1881 census years. As an introduction, viewing the index pages will be free until the end of the year (December 31). To view the record itself will cost 2 credits.

Here's the link: http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/content/help/index.aspx?r=554&2080

Immigration and Settlement Records on Ancestry

If you look under the Immigration and Settlement Correspondence section on Ancestry, you can now find  a collection of letters from individuals requesting information or assistance to emigrate to Canada. These records date back to 1817 when soldiers began returning from the Napoleonic Wars. They were returning to a work force that was already over taxed due to displaced highlanders as well as the shift of need for worker skills due to the industrial revolution. This caused many people to look to the new world for a chance to change their circumstances and perhaps better their prospects for the future of their families.

Here is the link:  http://search.ancestry.ca/search/db.aspx?dbid=3709

Thursday, 18 September 2014

History Will Be Made Today in Scotland

The world will be watching Scotland today to see what will happen in the referendum for separation. Regardless of today's outcome,  it really is a privilege (not afforded to many countries) to watch democracy in action. Today Is Referendum Day - Decision Day - A Momentous in Scotland's History

For the first time ever, the people will undertake the democratic process and vote for the future of their country. Regardless of what side you stand on, take a moment and recognize the importance of being a witness to history in the making. Think about it. All of the emotions of this referendum vote are the same that your ancestors also felt at various times in Scottish history. Or American History. Or Canadian History. However, for them, their fate was to be decided by war and the physical abilities of their men. THEY stood the chance of not only losing their way of life, but also their husbands, fathers, sons, brothers. Think about their raw fear. Just like the fear of the NO camp in this referendum. Think about the men's excitement for change and a new way of life that propelled them forward knowing they were fighting for what they believed in so passionately. Just like the excitement of the YES camp in this referendum. Change WILL occur regardless of which camp wins today. If it is a YES vote, the future will finally be in the hands of the Scottish people. If it is a NO vote, notice has been sent to Westminster that their ways of governing will no longer be tolerated by the Scottish constituency. 

The Scots are a hail and hearty lot. They will survive whatever the outcome. In time they will all adjust. But as descendants, we need to really drink in the historic importance of the referendum. And, as with all of the other life altering world events we have lived through, (JFKs death, Princess Diana's death, 9/11, Iraq/Afghanistan wars, Hurricanes, Earthquakes, Tsunamis....) it is important that we document our thoughts, feelings, fears, excitement, not on social media where it becomes lost in the fervour, but in our journals, in letters, in diaries so that OUR descendants may know how this historic moment affected us on a personal level.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Scottish Genealogy Research Talk in Kingston

If you have Scottish ancestors and want to learn more about doing Scottish genealogy research, come along to the Kingston Frontenac Public Library, 130 Johnson Street, at 10:00 a.m on Saturday.

We will learn about online resources to use, various records sets that will be helpful, naming patterns and much much more.

I am looking forward to the day. If you are out and at the meeting, be sure to come up and say hello!

Belonging - British Home Child Book Release!

Author Sandra Joyce (The Street Arab) has written a sequel to her story about her father, Robert James who was a British Home Child. In this second book, Belonging, Sandra documents her father's struggles to fit into the world of adulthood following a childhood of indenture.


Belonging is being released on September 28th, British Home Child Day in Canada. The release will take place at the British Home Child Event at Black Creek Pioneer Village, where Sandra will also be present.

The book retails for $23.95 and covers an important piece of Canadian history.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS)

Looking for photos of buildings or monument that used to exist or that have changed over time? Wondering why a monument was erected in the first place? Here is a terrific resource:

http://www.rcahms.gov.uk/what-we-hold.html

Planning A Genealogy Research Trip to Scotland? Prepare a Research Plan

If you are at the point where you think a trip to Scotland might be the best way to further your Scottish genealogy research, it is important to create both a research plan and an itinerary in order to have a successful trip.  

Traveling to the home of your ancestors takes planning. It is not enough to show up in the village where  your ancestors lived, head to the local pub and start asking questions. You need to do some research ahead of time. Learn about what repositories are available, what archival materials they hold, who can access them and what identification is required to access the repositories. Remember many archival records are held offsite, so plan for retrieval times as well.  

Here is an example of a genealogy research plan for use in preparing for your genealogy research trip to Scotland:




Remember, the more preparation you do at home before you go, the greater your chances of successful research in Scotland

Friday, 5 September 2014

They Came From Scotland

One of the key issues in tracking your Scottish ancestor often involves the gap between finding them in the Canadian records (BMD-Census) and being able to locate them in the Scottish records. While this may seem like a daunting task, it is often less of a challenge and more of a reward if you understand what brought them here in the first place. To do that, we need to understand a little bit of Scottish history. Not back to the beginning of time, just back to the beginning of emigration to the Americas.

Penal Transportation: 

Following the Battle of Dunbar in 1650, over 4000 Scots had been captured and imprisoned. Needless to say this presented a problem for the English in terms of the resources required to house and feed them, so a decision was made that the prisoners should be sold. Some were sold to coalmines, some were sold as weavers, some to the linen trades. However, these numbers were relatively small compared to the enormous number of men captured. Soon people began petitioning to have the men transported to the colonies. In fairly short order, 150 of the healthiest men were gathered, taken to London and then shipped on the Unity to New England, arriving in Massachusetts. For a list of Scottish Prisoners of War from the Battle of Dunbar and subsequent listing of men who were transported, this website is incredibly helpful: http://scottishprisonersofwar.com/unity-prisoners/ 

Several weeks after the sailing of the Unity, another 270 were led aboard the “John & Sara” and set sail for Boston. The ship’s list of the John & Sara has been transcribed and can be found at: http://www.us-roots.org/colonialamerica/main/john&sara.html

Monday, 1 September 2014

New Records Added to Hebrides People Website

The website Hebrides People has added Lochs Parish to their main data-base. The database now includes Lochs and Stornoway parishes (basically the whole eastern side of Lewis) as well as Harris. This brings the database's the total number of ...entries to sixty-three thousand!

Most emigrants from Lewis ended up settling in Eastern Townships of Quebec, near the border with the USA, moving onto to Bruce County, Ontario (Kincardine to Goderich)

http://www.hebridespeople.com/

St Andrews Society of Montreal Archives

For those with Scots ancestors first settled in Montreal, the records of the Montreal St Andrew's Society, who assisted more than 60,000 Scots immigrants, can be found here:

http://standrews.qc.ca/sas/docs/RegisterofEmigrants.pdf