Monday 26 September 2011

Clergy Lists 1896

For those with ancestors who were clergy for the Scottish Episcopal Church in 1896, FindMyPast has the Clergy list in their database. The list is free to search, but for those who do not have a subscrption, it will cost 5 credits to view the record. The record is a directory and provides the name of the clergy, the parish they serve in and the date they were appointed to that parish.

Sunday 25 September 2011

Crew Lists

If you have ancestors who were on British Merchant Ships, you can now have a look at the indexes to the Crew Lists from FindMyPast.  For those of you who do not have a FindMyPast subscription, it will cost you 5 credits to view a single crew member and another 15 to view the crew list.

From these indexes, you will get enough information to search other respositories where the original documents can be found. Minimally, you will get the Official Vessel Number from the crew lists. You will need this number to access the original record. Most of the records are available at the Maritime History Archive. The records detail the employment of each member of the crew. This includes deck hands, stewards, maids, nurses and engine staff. These were updated every six months.

Happy Searching!

Tuesday 20 September 2011

Do You Have a Convict Ancestor?

Between 1788 and 1868, more than 162,000 convicts were transported to Australia and New Zealand from England, Ireland and Scotland. The convict records and sentencing reports can often contain a rich source of information about your ancestor.  Here’s a link to get you on your way to discovering more on your convict ancestor:

Happy Searching!

Monday 19 September 2011

Ancestors from British India

The Families In British India Society website has a great deal of information, including:

Military Passages, Ships Passenger Lists, Cemetery records, Census records, Civil Service Records, Directories, Maps, School and Orphanges records and much, much more.

Happy Searching!

Looking for Scottish Directories?

Internet Archive is a great resource, and best of all, it's free!! the directories are in PDF format and range from 1905-1910.

Happy Searching!

Wednesday 14 September 2011

Musician's Union Archive

From the University of Stirling comes news of the Archives held by the Musician's Union. The archived documents include:
  • records of the Union and it's predecessors The Amalgamated Musician's Union and the National Orchestral Union of Professional Musicians. These records are for the Central & District Offices (across Scotland, England & Wales)
  • accounts
  • annual and monthly reports
  • minute books
  • election papers
  • membership material
  • concert programs
  • conference papers
  • minute books
  • photographs
  • press clippings
  • strike material
  • papers relating to campaigns led by or supported by the Union(s)
There is also a collection of cartoons from The Musician's Journal dating from 1921-1931.

Tuesday 13 September 2011

The Haddows

I only ever knew my paternal grandmother by her name "Maggie Haddow." Maggie died when I was 18 months old. I never really knew her, but I knew all about her and I fell in love with her name. "Maggie Haddow" always sounded important to me. Someone wordly. I remember thinking Maggie Haddow's name should be on a building. Have a lasting legacy. Something permanent to honour her name. Maggie Haddow.

Certainly the stories I heard from my dad, and even from my mum, who knew her briefly, didn't quite fit with the image that I had ascribed to her name.

Maggie was a teacher. My dad always thought teachers had some sort of built in radar. He would skip school and go to play in the river. Although he would return home with his siblings at the end of the school day, Maggie would instantly know he had skipped school. Dad was convinced there was some sort of "teacher intelligence program" that had informed her of his waywardness. Some sort of gossip chain that ran through the village - teacher to teacher (this in the days before phones were commonplace). It wasn't until years later that his mum told him how she knew. Being a small boy, he was oblivious to the fact that the carpet factory run off ran into the same river. So, if the carpets were being dyed blue that week, he came home with a blue tinge to his skin. If the carpets were being dyed orange, he came home jaundiced.
Maggie gave up teaching full time once she had a family. She then turned to teaching Sunday School.

All of Maggie's children were musical and the family gathered on Friday or Saturday nights for their own ceilidh. Others in the extended family or neighbours from the street would all gather for a night of music and laughter.

It wasn't until I started doing family history that I learned more about Maggie. Maggie was the daughter of Walter Haddow and Mary McCabe. This is where the real challenge of the Scottish Naming Pattern first came to light. Almost every generation back, we descend from a Walter Haddow (never the brother!) Fortunately their wives did not share the same names as each other.
Walter and Maggie had 6 daughters. Maggie was the second eldest. My cousin, on a trip to Scotland, managed to find this photo:

Seated are Walter on the left and his wife Mary on the right. Maggie is standing behind her mother. The other girls are: (Left to right)  Elizabeth & Mary in the back row; Jeannie & Kate in the middle row and an unknown little girl holding a basket. I always wondered about that little girl. I could never place her with any of the family. Never that is until the 1911 census became available. I am of the belief that this photo was taken just prior to Maggie's wedding to my grandfather, Archie. Maggie's eldest sister, Jessie is absent from the photo.

Earlier this year, I went looking for my dad's eldest sister's birth certificate. Mary was born in 1910 - two years before Maggie & Archie married. Not terribly astounding back then.

I had a difficult time finding my aunt Mary's birth certificate. She was not listed in Tarbrax where I knew my grandparents were living in the early part of their marriage. Nor was she listed living in Kirknewton where I knew Maggie Haddow had been raised. Stumped. So, I decided that rather than waste credits on Scotland's people, I would use them for the 1911 census records.

Jackpot! There on the last line was my aunt Mary: Mary McDonald, granddaughter, aged 1
I then went back to the birth records. I knew from previous searches that she was not listed in Kirknewton as Mary McDonald, but when I searched for Mary Haddow, I found her:

Mary was known as Mary McDonald all her life. My grandfather is listed on her birth registration as her father, yet her birth was registered under the maiden name of her mother because the couple were not as yet married. Suddenly, I realized that Mary is the young girl holding the basket in the family photo above. She would have been 18 months of age when her parents married.

Further inspection of the birth register shows an interesting find in the box on the left hand side of the ledger. It reads: "Re-registered in the District of East Calder on 23rd March, 1964." This would have coincided with Mary's first trip to Canada to visit with us and she would have needed a passport. She would have needed a birth certificate to get her passport. And her birth was originally registered, not as McDonald, but as Haddow. It is also quite likely that until she received her birth certificate (in order to apply for her passport) she was unaware that her birth had not been registered as McDonald. Mary kept the name Haddow as a second middle name.

Monday 12 September 2011

Ancestors from Aberdeen?

Aberdeen City Libraries has a new portal for researching records. There are thousands of historic photographs for those curious about where their ancestors live. There is also a section called Local Studies Index which "contains almost 50,000 entries from various sources including Obituaries, Marriages, Pauper Lists, Periodicals and Newspapers".
Here's the link for you to get started:

Thanks to Chris Paton at Scottish GENES for the  heads up on this one!

Happy Searching!

Saturday 10 September 2011

Technology Tuesday Preserving Family Photos with Digital Scrapbooking

Almost simultaneous to beginning my venture into genealogy and family history, I began scrapbooking. I love the idea of preserving memories and, for me, scrapbooking provides the perfect way to preserve old photos for future generations. As well, the books themselves become treasures and heirlooms. It is so much nicer to look through a scrapbook than it is to wade your way through shoeboxes or drawers of family memories. 
In this digital world, I ventured into digital scrapbooking. The costs of the product I wanted to produce were astronomical, so I turned to digital photobooks. While these are relatively simple to do, they lack the lustre and "wow" factor of scrapbooks. I have recently found myself wishing I could find a program that was affordable, and allowed me not just to drop photos into a digital book, but that would allow me to embellish MY way, and to journal the story as I go. 
Then, Divine Intervention. MyMemories was running a promotion. They offered me a discount if I tried their product and agreed to review it. I must admit I thought it was a spam e-mail, but something nagged at me to find out more. I am so glad that I did! The promotion was not spam, but was a genuine offer for me to review their latest product. How could I resist?
For some time now, I have wanted to do something with the old photos from the Fowler branch. Jean & Henry are how all of us with Fowler connections descend. They are my great great grandparents. I have a huge affinity with Jean, having never known her of course, but I bonded with her the moment I discovered the story of the tragic death of her father and brother who died together in a mine. Her brother was 18 at the time.
I have been fortunate to receive photos of Henry, Jean and six of their 12 children. Now to use my newly found digital scrapbooking software and see what I could produce. I have been astounded by the results.
The wonderful thing about MyMemories is that I can use their pre-designed templates or I can make my own pages. I often find pre-designed doesn't fit  with what I had in mind, so I love the flexibility of being able to create my own pages.
MyMemories also allows me to journal as much or as little as I want

The embellishments are definitely the thing that gave me that WOW factor. The brads, ribbons and bows come pre-loaded in Suite2 and the frames and florals were included in a kit that I purchased.

The kits are less than $5.00 us. The kit I purchased was $4 and included 11 pages of vintage  background "paper".

 I then purchased add-on packs of embellishments for the words, flowers and other finishing  touches. Some are FREE, but most run about $2.

I made this entire 11 page digital scrapbook for $55. This includes the software which is $39.95. The good news is that I now have all of this downloaded to my computer and can make 100 more books using the same paper and embellishments without spending another cent! How cool is that?
I read an article today that said that the past decade is the most digitally documented in history but because no one is printing photos anymore, it stands to be the least documented period of history for future generations looking back. Knowing how much we treasure old photos and the memories they evoke, that thought is alarming to me. So, the final product of my digital scrapbooking has to be something tangible. 

  MyMemories allows you to save your album as JPEG pages on your computer (this way you can post separate pages to Facebook, blog about them or e-mail them), print calendars, create a dvd or download them to your iPod. To make the dvd or iPod download, I can add music and narration, making MyMemories a two-in-one software program. That still doesn't resolve the tangible thing for me, but I do think they are great options that I haven't seen with other digital scrapbooking programs. And YES, I can create a photo book from MyMemories. The photo books start at $19.99 for 20 pages. The one I would use (a larger size) is $39.99. Still comparable to other photo book makers.

Now here's the fun part. I have been soooo thrilled with this product (really) that I want to be able to share it with you. MyMemories has given me a "promo" code that friends, family and even strangers can use to get $10 off the Suite2 software. That makes the software just $29.95 and you download it so you can start playing with it right away.
Here's the promo code:
STMMMS29295 (copy & paste into the promo code box at check out)
Once you register, you will get a welcome e-mail that will offer you $10 in free paper, embellishments or whatever else you want to use. One tip though, use it all at once. It is a coupon, not a credit, so what you don't use, you lose.

BUT before you do that, I have one free software to GIVE AWAY. You need to visit the site and then add a comment to this blog, letting me know why YOU deserve to be the winner of the freebie. That's it! That simple.
Ready?.....Set?.....GO!! Let's start preserving those memories!!!

I want to see what you make (it really is incredibly simple to use. I did this book in half a day), so send me a link to your photos if you upload them anywhere.

Thursday 8 September 2011

New Publication from the Fife Family History Society

From the Fife Family History Society comes the announcement of a new CD containing Fife Monumental Inscriptions and Burials as well as Kirkcaldy Burials. This is a compilation of previously printed publications which are now available on one CD which is fully searchable. The cost for the CD is £11.50 for those ordering in the UK or £12.50 for overseas orders. The cost includes postage.
Orders can be placed by sending an e-mail to:

Happy researching!

Wednesday 7 September 2011

Stray Marriages

Came across an interesting website for Stray Marriages.
Scroll down. The stray marriages are about half way down on the page. The records are in PDF format, showing surname, first name, birth date, birth place, parents, spouse, marriage place/county, marriage date and source number. Wonderful information!

Happy Searching!

Monday 5 September 2011

Findmypast Launches Merchant Navy Seamen Records

From the Findmypast Website comes this announcement:

"We have just published 1 million 20th century Merchant Navy Seamen records on This is the first time ever that these records have been made available online and we are working in association with The National Archives to give you access to your merchant navy ancestors.

The records are index cards which the Registrar General of Shipping and Seaman used between the two world wars to produce a centralised index of merchant seamen serving on British merchant navy vessels. They cover the period 1918-1941.

The merchant navy consists of all seagoing UK vessels with commercial interests and their crews. Research that conducted has shown that a shocking 54% of the UK population have no idea who or what the merchant navy is.

The front of a card gives the basic biographical information about each seaman, for example, their name, their year and place of birth and their rank or rating. Initials were sometimes given rather than first names and sometimes a physical description is provided.

The front of a card may also give other information, such as discharge number, health insurance number, address of kin and so on.

The reverse of the card may be blank, or may contain a list of official vessel numbers and signing-on dates, and/or a photograph and/or signature of the seamen. Sometimes a photograph is not on the reverse of the card but on a separate attached card.

It is possible to find a photograph of your ancestor within these records. These rarely seen photos of the mariners mean you can see what your seafaring ancestor looked like for the first time – a real achievement for any family historian."

The Importance of Journaling

Almost simultaneous to beginning my venture into genealogy and family history, I began scrapbooking. I love the idea of preserving memories and for me, the scrapbook has never been so much about how pretty the page looks as it has been about sharing the story, or the journey. I have long been a proponent of the importance of journaling and of preserving stories. Thus the foray into producing family books.
I recently came across this wonderful video from FamilySearch on the importance of keeping a journal.
Enjoy the show!

Lord Selkirk Settlers

Many Scots came to Canada as part of Lord Selkirk's Settlers. These were highland crofters who were being displaced off their lands in the highlands of Scotland. Lord Selkirk came across some of these displaced farmers while studying at the University of Edinburgh and was eager to find a way to help them make a new life and a new beginning in the Colonies. Thomas Selkirk was the youngest of five sons. He had never anticipated becoming “Lord” Selkirk. However, his four elder brothers died (two of TB and two of yellow fever), leaving him the heir to the Selkirk estate. Thomas Douglas then became the 5th Earl of Selkirk and used his inheritance and his political connections to purchase land in Canada where the displaced crofters could emigrate. Lord Selkirk ended up with a number of land grants: the Red River Valley in Manitoba, Assiniboia Saskatchewan, the Hudson's Bay watershed area between Rainy River and Lake Winnipeg, and Belfast, Prince Edward Island.

It is estimated that 800 Scottish settlers arrived with Thomas Douglas, fifth Earl of Selkirk, in 1803 aboard the ships Polly, Dykes and Oughton
and settled in PEI, providing a strong Scottish tradition on PEI.  The Selkirk Settlement in PEI was designated a National Heritage Event.

Many of the settlers moved west and settled in the Hudson Bay Watershed, and Bruce County Ontario. Some moved further west to the Red River Valley in Manitoba and Assiniboia Saskatchewan.

For more info on the Manitoba Settlers: