Thursday, 31 January 2008

Stirling Family History Conference 2009 - update

Just a quick update on the Stirling Family History Conference planned for 19th – 21st June 2009 by Stirling Council Library and Archives Department, and to be held at The Albert Halls, Dumbarton Road, Stirling. The conference title has been slightly amended, and is now to be named 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor: Routes to your Stirling roots'.


Issue 61 of Your Family Tree now on sale

Issue 61 of Your Family Tree is now on sale (£4.99), and has been given a new freshened look. Yours truly has contributed a couple of articles on census records and the expense of Irish records, and other content this month includes an amusing news story about Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie, who may never show his face in Scotland again, a review of the new Dundee Family History Centre, and excellent articles on jewellers, military photographs, and 10 very useful sets of records you may have overlooked, as well as a focus on Pembrokeshire.


UK outbound passenger records 1940-1949 has just added another decade to its listings for outbound passenger lists from the UK. This now brings the total to over 20 million names and 137,00 passenger lists, covering 1890 to 1949.

For more information visit their dedicated website at


Royal Naval Division Casualties of the Great War

Ancestry has just placed a new database online, recording the deaths of those who fought for the British Royal Naval Division from 1914 to 1924. It was compiled from original service records and all other sources listing RND casualties, and the information contained within it includes name of serviceman, service branch, unit, date of death, cause of death, service history, and burial information.

For more information, see


Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Boat burning in Lerwick!

The BBC have uploaded some photos from the recent Up Hell Aa celebrations at

Love it...!


Reduced seating capacity at the National Archives in Kew

The National Archives have announced that due to ongoing major building works at the site, seating capacity has now been temporarily reduced until late spring 2008. They advise that due to ongoing noise problems and disruption to services, it may be worth postponing a visit until the work is completed. As seating is now restricted, the facility to order up documents prior to a visit has also been temporarily withdrawn, though bulk ordering of documents is still possible.

In addition, the complete closure of the Family Records Centre from March 15th has also been confirmed, with all services moving to the National Archives, as previously announced. The services previously offered at the FRC should resume on March 25th at Kew.

For more information, visit


Sunday, 27 January 2008

Ulster Historical Foundation

The Ulster Historical Foundation has written to me, astonishingly, to tell me that they have arranged an American based lecture tour in two months time, but would like my help in securing additional speaking engagements as they seem to be a bit underbooked. They have the following locations booked:

Saturday, 8 March 2008, Pennsylvania
Thursday, 13 March 2008, Washington, DC
Friday & Saturday, 14-15 March 2008, Fairfax, VA

In the words of their organisation's operational manager, Allan Leonard, "The Ulster Historical Foundation is heading to America for a series of lecture presentations in March 2008. We are writing to ask for your assistance in providing us some suggestions and support for additional speaking engagements in your local area. We are looking to speak to additional audiences anytime from Sunday, 9 March, to Wednesday, 12 March. We are also available on Sunday, 16 March."

So if you can help them justify the expense of their tickets, please feel free to call them.

It should be noted that Scotland's Greatest Story strongly advocates boycotting the society's online access to their BDM records via their Ancestry Ireland website, until they can bring their prices into line with those available throughout the rest of the UK, or until the Irish records are digitised and made available at cheaper rate (as with the 1911 Census, available for free). In particular, we believe that the design of their search interface on their website makes it impossible to narrow down the correct record prior to paying for it, and that this, plus their high costs, is pricing people of Northern Irish descent from being able to access their own heritage. To put it into context, for the price of one transcription of a BDM event on the UHF website, you can buy five facsimiles of original Scottish BDM documents through Scotland's People. The situation is replicated on similar sites run by the Irish Family History Foundation, which we equally believe should be boycotted.

So whilst £6 per transcription can help fund expensive flights to America, it is perhaps not so helpful in allowing people to do their own genealogical research, which is surely what it should be about?


PS: For those researching Ulster ancestors, the indexes to Northern Irish births from 1922 to 1983 are available at New Register House in Edinburgh, on a terminal in the Dundas Room. They do not hold similar indexes for marriages or deaths. Using these indexes, you can then order the appropriate certificates from the GRO in Belfast.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Shetland Hamefarin 2010

Not having any Shetland blood in myself, there are times when I really wish I had - where else in Scotland can you set fire to boats and get away with it?!!!!

Shetland plans a real hooley for expats at the 2010 Shetland Hamefarin (Homecoming). For more information visit the event's website at

And if you plan to come over, and fancy digging into your family history before you come, at Scotland's Greatest Story we would be only to happy to help!


Forthcoming Scottish lectures and events - February

The following lectures and events will be taking place in February within Scotland:

Histories of Old Angus Families by Jack Blair
5th Feb 2008, 6.00pm – Tay Valley FHS - Waterstones Bookshop, 35 Commercial Street, Dundee.
Tel: 01382 461845 E-mail: Web:

German-Jewish Ancestry by Jeanette Rosenberg

5th Feb 2008, 6.30pm - University of Strathclyde Genealogy Lecture Series - Ground Floor (Level 2), Graham Hills Building, 40 George Street, Glasgow, G1 1QE.
Tel: 0141 5484147 Web:

Speaker: Robin Urquhart – Online Resources Archivist, The National Archives of Scotland (SCAN)
5 FEB 2008, 7.00pm – West Lothian FHS - West Lothian Library Headquarters, Connolly House, Blackburn.
E-mail: Web:

Thomas Davidson - the Scottish Probationer, by Ken Fotheringham.
Sun, 10 February 2008, 2.30 pm – Borders FHS – Corn Exchange & Ormiston Institute, Market Square, Melrose. Free.

Soldiers & Sailors Names on the Internet by Alison Rosie
Tues, 12th Feb 2008, 7.00pm – Fife FHS –. Buckhaven Theatre, Lawrence Street, Buckhaven.
E-mail: Web:

19th Century Heidies by Sheila Dinwoodie
Tues, 12th Feb 2008, 7.30pm – Largs and North Ayrshire FHS – Community Room, Largs Library, Allanpark Street, Largs.

Speaker: Ben Macgregor (subject not advertised)
Wed, 13th Feb 2008 – Caithness FHS –– Miller Academy, Thurso.
E-Mail: Web:

Alluring Architects, by Sarah Fairclough.
Wed, 13th Feb 2008, 7:30pm – CSFHS – Smith Museum and Art Gallery, Dumbarton Road, Stirling.

Digital Ancestors (Glasgow Mitchell Library) by Elizabeth Carmichael
Thurs, 14th Feb 2008, 7.30pm – East Ayrshire FHS – Gateway Centre, Foregate Square, Kilmarnock.
E-mail: Web:

History in Scottish Catholic Records
Thurs, 14th Feb 2008 – Lanarkshire FHS – GLO Centre, Muir Street, Motherwell, from 7pm until 9pm approx.
E-mail: or Web:

Heraldry by Gordon Casely
Sat, 16th Feb 2008, 2.30pm – Aberdeen and North East Scotland FHS –– Queen Street Church Hall, 79 Queen Street, Aberdeen.
E-mail: Web:

Dissent and Diversity: pre 1855 Non-conformist Churches in Scotland by Andrew Muirhead
Mon, 18th Feb 2008, 7.30pm – Glasgow & West of Scotland FHS – Lecture Theatre No. 1, Boyd Orr Building, Glasgow University, University Avenue, Hillhead, Glasgow.

AGM - followed by ‘Prized Family History Objects’
Mon, 18th Feb 2008, 7.30pm – The Scottish Genealogy Society - Augustine Church, 41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh.
Tel/Fax: 0131 220 3677 E-mail: Web:

The Glasgow Necropolis by Ian Kennedy
19th Feb 2008 – Troon @ Ayrshire FHS – time and venue not advertised.
E-mail: Web:

The Smugglers who Saved a Language by John Millar
Thurs, 21st Feb 2008 – Alloway & South Ayrshire FHS – Alloway Parish Church Halls, Auld Nick's View, Alloway, KA7 4RT.
E-mail: Web:

The Arms of a Danish Crown Princess and her father Prof John Donaldson by Peter Kurrild-Klitgaard (Provisonal)
Sat, 23rd Feb 2008 – The Heraldry Society of Scotland – Venue TBA.
E-mail: Web:

Redcastle - a Black Isle Estate over the Centuries by Graham Clark
Tues, 26th Feb 2008, 7.30pm – Highland FHS – Netley Centre, Highland Hospice, Bishop’s Road, Inverness, IV3 5SB.
E-mail: Web:

Paisley Canals by Donald McKinnon
Tues, 26th Feb 2008, 7.30pm – Renfrewshire FHS - Waterfront Campus, James Watt College, Greenock.

Speaker: Margaret Barbour
28th Feb 2008, 7.30pm – North Perthshire FHS - The Tryst Hall (behind the Church), West Moulin Road, Pitlochry.

FindMyPast puts the Great Western Railway Shareholders Index online

Find My Past, in conjunction with the Society of Genealogists, has just announced that it has put the Great Western Railway Shareholders Index online.

This new online resource contains the details of over 290,000 people including 77,000 shareholders in the railway company along with related parties, such as executors or spouses. Records date from when the GWR was created in 1835 and the series continues through to 1932. This first online release covers the ledgers for the period 1835 to 1910. The indexes to the registers for the period 1911 to 1932 will follow in due course.

The Great Western Railway, also known affectionately as "God's Wonderful Railway", was built to link London to the West Country, South Wales and the South West of England. In almost all entries, the name of the shareholder is given together with an address, the names of the other parties (executors or legatees for deaths; husbands for marriages) and dates of death, probate, marriage or other event. Some 90% of the events recorded are deaths, since the purpose of these registers was to record change of ownership of the shares, and the death of the original shareholder was the most likely reason for this to happen.

Each of the original volumes held at the Society contains between 450 and 600 individual entries, which may relate to an event occurring up to 20 years earlier than the making of the entry. Visitors to the findmypast website will be able to search the index to these records by entering the name of their ancestor, which will produce a free list of results showing the full name, year and place of the event.

For more information, visit .


Friday, 25 January 2008

Digging Up Your Roots - Perthshire Axe Murders and Ragged Schools!

Yours truly makes an appearance on this Sunday's "Digging Up Your Roots" episode on BBC Radio Scotland. My three times great grandmother was brutally murdered in Forgandenny in 1866, and in the programme we examine how the murder left a devastating legacy for her brother, in whose farm her body was found.

Also featured is Kennneth MacAulay on his journey to find more about his grandfather's time in the Edinburgh "Ragged School".

The episode is previewed at and will be broadcast Sun 27th January 11.00.



Wednesday, 23 January 2008

1821 Census for Forkhill, Co. Armagh, now online

Emerald Ancestors have just placed the 1821 Census online for Forkhill Parish, Co. Armagh, with some 6500 names included.

The townlands covered are Aughenduff, Ballykeel, Carrickasticken, Carrickildreen, Carricknagavanagh, Carriff, Cashel, Clarkill, Cloughwhinny, Doctors Quarter, Latbirged, Levelamore, Lisnalee, Longfield, Moffoner, Mullaghbawn, Shanrow, Shean, Sleavegullion, Tiffcrum, Tullymacrieve.

For more information, visit


Scotland Online acquires Find My Past

Scotland Online, the parent company of Scotland's people, has bought the Find My Past website (formerly This is the official announcement:


Scotland Online, the ISP and IT solutions provider, today announced it has acquired, the leading independent UK-based family history website, from Title Research Group as part of its plans to establish a world-class online network of family history resources.
The merger will see Scotland Online's current online genealogy service, ScotlandsPeople, working closely with to create a dynamic family history resource to serve millions of family history enthusiasts worldwide.

The amalgamation will enable a wider audience to access the most complete suite of family history records available online in the UK and will benefit the genealogy industry by enabling genealogists and amateur family history enthusiasts to access hundreds of millions of records in one place. Scotland Online recently won the tender for the 1911 England and Wales census records, which will be available during 2009. will also continue to add data and functionality to its website, further consolidating the company's long-term commitment to the family history market. established itself as an innovative genealogical service with a commitment to customers and quality that have made it the number one destination website for family history researchers. It was the first company in the world to put the complete Birth, Marriage and Death indexes for England and Wales online, later adding its census and unique passenger list records.

Continued improvement in's functionality and user experience will remain a key objective for the business, and customer access to both and ScotlandsPeople's online resources will be unaffected by the merger. will continue to be based in London.

Chris van der Kuyl, Chief Executive of Scotland Online, said; "We are delighted to welcome the findmypast team to Scotland Online and look forward to working very closely with them on building a wonderful family history resource. Family history enthusiasts the world over will benefit from our experience in developing customer facing services and combining our existing skills within Scotland Online with those of findmypast will be of great benefit to the family history community".

Tom Curran, Chief Executive of Title Research Group, the parent company of, commented: "This transaction will bring together two established and successful genealogy resources to create a world-class network of family history records. I am delighted Scotland Online shares's dedication to making more genealogy resources available to both genealogists and family history enthusiasts and that they share our passion for excellence and commitment to customers."


Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Major Scotland's People update - modern birth and death indexes

Scotland's People have just announced the major, and very welcome, addition of the modern indexes up to 2006 for both births and deaths (marriages will follow soon). Whilst the images themselves will not be made available online, these index additions will now make it considerably easier to order copies of births after 1907 and deaths after 1957, bringing Scotland into line with the rest of Britain. Only time will tell if Northern Ireland wants to join the party!

The Scotland's People announcement can be found at , with a particularly useful section on mother's maiden names worth consulting at

A huge congratulations to Scotland's people for taking this step!


Sunday, 20 January 2008

Dunfermline Journal 1851 - 1931 goes online

More good news has been announced from the newsroom for those with Fife roots...


Scots can now tap into nearly a century of local history with the online launch by of the Dunfermline Journal Collection, 1851-1931.

Articles digitised from millions of pages of Dunfermline’s oldest newspaper will allow family history researchers to delve into the history of the area at the touch of a button. The collection consists of more than 45,000 quality images digitised from the newspaper’s long history and dating from 1851 to 1931.

The result is a collection rich with details of births, deaths, retirals, wedding anniversaries, personal achievements and personal tragedies, as well as a wealth of information on historical events, probate and legal notices, business advertisements and local news.

Historical events of note include the death of Dunfermline’s most famous resident, industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1919, whose legacy lives on in the town at Carnegie Hall and the Carnegie Birthplace museum.

The journal also closely reports major events in the history of local team Dunfermline FC, from it’s founding in 1874 to the historic 1910/11 season when Dunfermline won both the Fife cup and the Scottish League.

Users can search the collection by date and edition and browse selected articles that appear across the century, opening up a wealth of local history. It will also help family history researchers to track down individuals whose names have made the papers, and provide crucial details of the life and times of many local residents.

The collection follows the launch in recent months of the Perth & Fife Newspaper Index cards, which provide further detail on news and historical events across the county, offering Scots a unique opportunity to research their origins. Managing Director Simon Harper comments: “Newspapers contain a vast wealth of information, with many details not found in official records. This collection is a great resource for anyone with a connection to Dunfermline and is delighted to be able to offer Scottish history enthusiasts online access to it in order to preserve the stories behind the town for generations to come.

NB: It should be noted that the coverage for the Journal is incomplete, with the years 1863-1871, 1890, 1916 and 1922 not included in this release, and that the papers are searchable only by date.
Ancestry's online newspaper indexes for Fife does not cover the Journal, but is a useful starting point, should events have also been covered in other areas of the county.


Thursday, 17 January 2008 to host Archive CD Books collection

Some excellent news just released by Ancestry: in the aftermath of the closure of Archive CD Books, following on from the retirement of the company's founder Rod Neeps a few months ago, Ancestry has just announced it will be hosting the entire digitised book collection on its site.

The following is the full press release from Ancestry:

Leading UK family history website has reached an agreement with Archive CD Books to host many of its records as it has now ceased to trade in the UK following the decision by its founder Rod Neep to retire from the business.

More than 1300 Archive CD Books collections will now be hosted on including one of the largest collections of county and city directories going back hundreds of years, a variety of 18th, 19th and 20th Century military records, parish registers from 1500s and Gazetteers and Pedigrees from across the UK. Managing Director Simon Harper comments: “Rod has built up an impressive and genuinely useful collection at Archive CD Books over the past seven years which Ancestry is delighted to host and make available to its members.

“As a great deal of work goes into digitising historical records, Ancestry is always keen to talk with those who have already taken the time to do so and who may wish to host theme on our website.”

Rod Neep started Archive CD Books in the UK in March 2000 with the aim of making reproductions of old books, maps and documents available on CD and working with libraries, museums and record offices to renovate old books in their collections.

Rod Neep comments: “I am extremely pleased that my work in Archive CD Books will continue to be made available to the widest possible audience through Following my retirement this is the ideal solution for everyone.”

Archive CD Books has expanded internationally over the years and will continue to operate in Ireland, The Netherlands, Canada, U.S.A. and Australia.


Monday, 14 January 2008

Financial lifeline for the Lead Mining Museum at Wanlockhead

From this week's Rampant Scotland newsletter:

"The Museum of Scottish Lead Mining, at Wanlockhead in South Lanarkshire, is off the main tourist routes and has sometimes struggled to remain viable, with little financial help from central funding. It was recently rescued from threatened closure by a £37,000 government rescue package and has now been awarded a further £40,000 to develop the miners' library. Such institutions were important aids in providing education for miners and their families and often made the difference which allowed some to go on to further education and avoid having to follow in their father's footsteps down the mines."


New British and Irish Passenger Records from 1890 - Origins

Over 93,130 additional names are now available for searching within the British and Irish Passenger lists from 1890, on The Origins Network.

The passenger records are abstracts of 1890 passenger lists from British & Irish ports with US and Canadian destinations, compiled by Peter Coldham directly from the original lists held at The National Archives, London. The names of over 193,130 passengers are included, and it is believed that these original lists have never been indexed, making them exclusive to The Origins Network. The records include date of sailing; ship's name, departure port, destination port. For each passenger, the full name is given, occupation, nationality, age, and marital status. Three extra destination ports have been added to the existing 11 previously on Origins Network, which are: Galveston, Vancouver & West Indies.

For more information, visit:


Saturday, 12 January 2008

SAFHS - 20th Annual Conference 2009

The Scottish Association of Family History Societies will be holding their 20th Annual Conference on Saturday, April 25th, 2009 at King's College Conference Centre, hosted by Aberdeen & NE Scotland Family History Society. The programme has yet to be confirmed.

For more information, or to offer help, please visit the website of the ANEFHS at , or contact the Society at Conference Committee, ANESFHS, 158-164 King Street, Aberdeen AB24 5BD, Tel: (01224) 646323


Thursday, 10 January 2008

Royal Navy wills 1786-1882

Royal Navy wills are now online at the National Archives (Kew) from 1786-1882.

For more, visit


Newspaper index for Greenock and Inverclyde

The Watt Library in Greenock has announced a new series of BMD indexes drawn from local newspapers. the following is from their wesbite:

"The Watt Library Index of Births, Marriages and Deaths is compiled from the announcements made in local newspapers from the early nineteenth century to around 1913. It is part of a series of indices that contain over 100,000 references to people, places, ships and events that have appeared in local newspapers over the last two hundred years. The transcription of the index is not yet complete but work is ongoing and a substantial part of the first draft of the index is now available. As a first draft it may contain the odd typographical error. These will be removed in the final version. New downloads will be added to this page as the material becomes available. The index has been split into a set of downloads to make it easier to access. These files are primarily designed for computer searching. If you decide to print them out please remember they are very large and will require a lot of paper and ink cartridges."

For more info, please visit


Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Plea for return of stolen remains

For several months Scotland's Greatest Story has been researching the family history of an American client called Maureen Marella. During our investigation we made a horrific discovery involving two of Maureen's cousins and Edinburgh University. In 1911, John and William Higgins, aged 4 and 7 respectively, were drowned by their father at Hopetoun Quarry near Linlithgow, a crime for which he eventually hanged. To make matters worse, a pathologist called Sir Sidney Smith stole some of the children's well preserved remains for research purposes at the university, without the family's consent. Maureen is now asking for her cousins' remains to be returned to the family for burial. The full story can be read at the BBC Scotland news website, at


UPDATE: The story has also been picked up by Edinburgh Evening News at

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

The Times online

The Times newspaper has been released online by American genealogy site Footnote at For a free week long sign up, you can access all editions of the London newspaper from 1785 to 1820, after which there is a monthly membership of $7.95, or an annual subscription at $59.95. It should be noted that this is an excellent rate if you also wish to search their many thousands of additonal documents, mainly American and military.

However, if you merely wish to access the Times, there is a much easier way, and it is free! Bedfordshire Libraries Virtual Library at has every issue from 1785 to 1985 online, as well as access to many editions of recent newspapers through InfoTrac. Simply register, and then start surfing!


Family Tree Maker patch

Handy piece of news from this month's Your Family Tree magazine - there is a patch now available for the appalling Family Tree Maker 2008, which reintroduces some features that used to be present on earlier versions of the programme, such as hourglass and vertical ancestry charts. In my opinion, even with these, the programme is seriously deficient on many fronts compared to its predecessor, but anything that helps improve it shouldn't be knocked!

The patch is available to download at


Sunday, 6 January 2008

Family tree charts

Christine Welch is a graphic designer based in the English Midlands who runs a family tree printing company called Golden Memories that is thoroughly recommended. Throughout the design process Christine will consult with you at every stage, and will regularly send PDF files showing the evolution of the chart until you are happy for it to be printed. Charts can be printed on paper and canvas, and at various sizes. Christine designed a chart for me about five months ago, which I asked her to print at A0 size, and which I then had framed as a present for my father in Crete. Pictures of this can be viewed at the Scotland's Greatest Story Additional Services page.

Finally, the February issue of Your Family Tree magazine goes on sale tomorrow, in which I have contributed a beginners' article on constructing a family tree chart - enjoy!


Saturday, 5 January 2008

Scotland's People Centre

Wondering what is happening at the General Register Office and the National Archives in Edinburgh? Have a peak at the changes underway within the two buildings at

The new Scotland's People Centre is set to open at the end of April, though a formal opening date has yet to be confirmed. If you are based in Glasgow, you can attend a talk about the new centre by Dee Williams on 21st January at the Glasgow and West of Scotland FHS - details in the Forthcoming Lectures in Scotland for January post (posted at the end of December 2007).


Oral History Conference - the NHS (July 2008)

Marking 60 years of the National Health Service

4th - 5th July 2008

Oral History Society Annual Conference, in association with the Centre for the History of Medicine, University of Birmingham, to be held at the University of Birmingham.
Abstracts (200 words) should be submitted by 18 January 2008 to:
Belinda Waterman, Department of History, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester CO4
3SQ. Email:

NB: For more information, it's worth keeping an eye on the Oral History Society's website at


New toy from Ancestry!

Ancestry works great as an online respository for records - now they're letting us have a bit of fun! A new feature, Family Facts, allows you to check out some information regarding your surname, such as place of origin, meaning of the name, occupations in the 1881 census etc. For example, keying in my surname and asking for a breakdown of occupations worked at, as recorded in the 1881 census, revelaed the astonishing "fact" that 4% of the British Patons worked as miners, with another 4% as farmers. None of this will take account of surname variants etc, but nevertheless, it is actually quite fun to potter about with it!

See for more information.

Also of note, Australian records will now be included in Ancestry's world subscription package.


Friday, 4 January 2008

Ancestry update

This week's Ancestry updates include New York Passenger Lists from 1820 to 1957, including many records from both Castle Garden and Ellis Island immigration processing centres. The names found in the index are linked to actual images of the passenger lists, copied from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) microfilm, M237, rolls 1-675 and T715, rolls 1-8892.

Also available is a new database on US passport applications, containing applications from 1795-1925, including emergency passport applications (passports issued abroad) from 1877-1907. It also contains passport application registers for 1810-1817, 1830-1831, and 1834-1906. Passport applications often include information regarding an applicant's family status, date and place of birth, residence, naturalization (if foreign-born), and other biographical information. Twentieth-century applications often include marriage and family information as well as dates, places, and names of ships used for travel.


New book on post-war Oscar Marzaroli photos

A new book by Oscar Marzaroli, famous for his iconic images of Glasgow's Gorbals community in the 1960s, is to be released. See


Stirling Family History Conference 2009

2009 – The Year of Homecoming

‘Routes to Your Stirling Roots’ : 3-day Family History Conference run by Stirling Council Library and Archives Department

Dates: Friday 19th – Sunday 21st June

Friday 19th June: Routes to Your Stirling Roots

Venue: The Albert Halls, Dumbarton Road, Stirling

Today’s lectures will focus on locally-held resources, those in the morning being given by members of staff in the Registrar’s Office, the Cemetery Office, the Reference Library, and the Archives. The afternoon speakers will discuss resources held by the Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum, the University of Stirling Special Collections Department, and the Museum of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders.

Saturday 20th June: ‘Tinker, tailor, soldier, sailor…’
Venue: The Albert Halls, Dumbarton Road, Stirling

Saturday’s lectures will examine Stirling’s less well-known records but also will show the way for those with forebears in similar occupations elsewhere.

Saturday 20th June (evening)
Venue: Stirling Smith Art Gallery and Museum
Buffet supper with ‘Travellers’ Tales and Song’.

Sunday 21st June: ‘A Fine and Private Place…’
Venue: The Albert Halls, Dumbarton Road, Stirling

The final day of the Conference will examine the importance of graveyards to the family historian, culminating in guided walks through the Old Town Cemetery in the afternoon.

For further details please contact:
Elma Lindsay
Local History Officer
Central Library
Corn Exchange Road

Tel: 01786 432107

Please note: for the moment, this is a provisional programme. In the event of any speaker being unable to come every effort will be made to provide an alternative speaker of a similar quality.

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Online Index to the Statistics of the Annexed Estates 1755-56

Gordon Johnson has just uploaded an index to the people listed in "Statistics of the Annexed Estates, 1755/1756". As as result of the 1745 rebellion, some major landowners had their estates confiscated by the crown, with agents sent in to establish the facts, and this ended up (in part) in a collection of data relating to each estate, the baronies within, and the farms, etc. Much of the area was in Perthshire, so is worth perusing for relatives.

Gordon's index, along with others of genealogical interest, can be accessed at .


Scotlands Family

A useful resource for Scottish researchers is the Scotlands Family portal at which acts as a gateway to many sites of genealogical interest. Highlights include the collated list of birth, marriage and death records, the pages listing Scottish maps and gazetteers, and the various Scots language resources. Well worth a visit!


Digging Up Your Roots - Jan 6th 2008

The first of six new editions of Digging Up Your Roots, presented by Claire White, begins on BBC Radio Scotland on Sunday 6th January 2008 at 11.05am, concluding at 12.00.

The series website is at

There is a listen again facility through the website, and also through the BBC iPlayer (on the home page, "Listen to shows you've missed").


Inverness to London flights stopped

If you are planning a trip from the Highlands to visit the many archives based in London, life is about to get a little harder, with BMI cancelling the only flight between Inverness and Heathrow after March 29th 2008.

For more, see


Tuesday, 1 January 2008

The Ruhleben Story - update

In the last week I have added the names of approximately 250 British civilian prisoners of war, known to have been held in the First World War civilian POW camp at Ruhleben in Germany, to The Ruhleben Story website at This brings the total to well over 1700, out of approximately 5500 internees believed to have been held in the camp, almost a third.

Also, Matthew Stibbe's long awaited book "British Civilian Internees in Germany: The Ruhleben Camp, 1914-1918" is due to be published by Manchester University Press on May 1st 2008. The hardback edition of this book can be pre-ordered through at a price of £55, and the paperback edition for £14.24.