Sunday, 20 February 2011

We're Gearing Up for Fall

It is still 7 months until the tour, but the anticipation is building. There is so much happening in the area of Scottish Genealogy Research that I, for one, can't wait to get there and get started!

First, there are the changes to the Mitchell Library in Glasgow - it is almost a "one stop shop" for the researcher. The Genealogy Centre at Park Circus, is transferring to the Mitchell Library's Family History Centre on Level 3. This means that within the one building you can access the GROS system in Edinburgh (for a daily fee) for national BMDs, censuses, OPRs etc complete with links to digitised original documents, the Poor Law records for Glasgow and some surrounding counties, access to Ancestry Library Edition for UK and US records, and a host of additional records, some of which you'll be unlikely to find under the one roof anywhere else on earth.

For example, Poor Law Records are computer indexed up to about 1920, so you can narrow the field to individuals likely to be of interest. and get the appropriate references. Thereafter, you're looking at the original inspector's report and getting info that is generally unavailable anywhere else. These records shed light on living conditions, family relationships etc and, while they often tell a harrowing tale, you will learn about the lives of the people you research and often identify family relationships which you hadn't been aware of before. It's a genealogist's treasure trove. The Poor Law records are held in the City Archives on Level 2 of the Mitchell, which connects by internal staircase directly with the Family History Department on Level 3. I believe some of the surrounding counties have taken their Poor Relief Records back into their own care (parts of Dumbartonshire are involved I think), but the Mitchell can certainly clarify this for you. The staff in the Mitchell are very knowledgeable, helpful, friendly and obliging, so I can tell you you'll enjoy your time there.

And, of course, there are the changes to Scotland's People as well. Now, instead of purchasing 30 credits for £6, you will pay £7 BUT you now get a full year to use your credits, rather than being on a 90 day ticker. Credits can be purchased more cheaply in the Scottish Libraries, something we can take advantage of once we are there.

And of course, the National Archives are now being amalgamated into the Scotland's People Centre which means access to more records while only visiting one site.

Lastly, the 1911 Scottish Census will be released on April 5th, so you can get closer to your ancestors who are just beyond your living memory.

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