Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Travel Tuesday - A Trip To Scotland to Access Ancestral Records

When I was in Scotland, I was able to access records not available online. I wanted to really focus on the Haddow side of my family - my father's maternal side. I have the Haddows documented back to 1680, and it was the more recent records I was interested in. The ones of my grandmother and her siblings, all of whom have died within the last 60 years. Records as new as 50 years are not available online.

In the course of accessing these records, I decided to have a look one more time at the Old Parish Registers. What a treasure. Certainly, the information in the OPRs is scant by comparison to the Statutory Records, but they are spectacular to see just as a piece of documented history. I love the old penmanship, even though it can sometimes create a challenge when trying to decipher what it actually says.

However, depending on the registrar, the information can be informative. Here is an example:

This is the registration of the baptism of my gt gt gt grandfather, Walter Haddow, who was christened in 1783!

The Parish Register for December 1783 reads:

Haddow: John Haddow & Mary Creighton Westmuir had their 8th child born 22nd, Bapt 28th Named Walter. James & George Creighton Witnesses.

Baby Walter was the last child born to John & Mary. He married Sibby McLachlan on January 8, 1809:

The Parish Register for January 1809 reads: 

Haddow /8/ Walter Haddow Coalier Westmuir & Sibby McLachlan residing in Camlachie.

Different registrar, less information. But when compared to other sources, I am able to know that this is the correct couple. (the #8 was the date in January, not Walter's age!)

A trip to your  ancestral homeland is awe-inspiring. It provides you with such a deep seated feeling of reverence knowing you stand in the same place your ancestors walked. The sights, some of the landmarks and the sounds may have changed. But the deep emotion of knowing your great great anything once stood in the same spot you are now standing in, worshipped in the same church you are visiting is incomparable. It helps you put the dates, names and places into perspective. It breathes life into the documents. And as always, it makes you want to know more.

1 comment:

  1. How lovely you were able to experience that feeling, Christine. Lovely posting.