Sunday 30 April 2017

SCOTSMAN Newspaper Archives Added to Findmypast!

Great news for those researching their Scottish Ancestors! The Scotsman Archives have been added to Findmypast and are available as part of your Premium subscription. 

The Scotsman was founded in 1817 as a weekly newspaper. In 1850, it became a daily newspaper, becoming Scotland's National Newspaper in 1873. 

The Scotsman has had a digital archive online for quite some time. But there has been a fairly hefty subscription fee. The addition of the Scotsman to the British Newspaper Archive is a welcome one for those of us researching our Scottish ancestry. 

What are you waiting for? Log in and start searching!

Updates to the ScotlandsPeople Website

Since the launch of the new website, ScotlandsPeople has been fraught with challenges and outages that have caused a great deal of anxiety. Work behind the scenes continues to make changes that have been identified as challenging or ineffective. ScotlandsPeople keeps their consumers up to date with alerts and updates about what they have been working on. Here's the latest:

We continue to be promised that the Kirk Session records will be coming online. Long overdue as many of us have been waiting in excess of five years for them to finally be launched. 

The website says "other court records" which will be a wonderful addition to family history researchers. Hopefully the wait for them will be far less than the wait for Kirk Session Records.

What would be really, really nice would be the launch of the 1939 Register so that those with Scottish ancestors can be as fortunate as those with ancestors in other parts of Great Britain and be able to access the Register online

They say "good things come to those who wait" Hopefully the wait will be in our lifetimes and won't be our descendants looking for us.

Saturday 29 April 2017

Edinburgh Medical School's Museum of Anatomy

Fantastic visit to the Museum of Anatomy this afternoon. Part of the Medical School it is an absolutely fascinating place to visit. Photos are not allowed throughout most of the museum - including the skulls of Robert Burns, William Burke - the death masks or the skeletal remains. But we were able to photograph the dissection theatre where people would pay to watch autopsies. They received drinks and snacks upon arrival and if they didn't like the lecture that went along with the dissection, they threw peanuts at the surgeon.

Beautiful ceiling in the entryway to the medical school's arch

Lecture theatre where dissections used to take place

Looking up from the dissection theatre
This door now leads to equipment storage
but in the days of the dissections,
this was the door that the bodies were brought into the theatre
 by after they were retrieved from the freezer

The ceiling was once glazed glass, allowing direct light into the room 
and onto the dissection table

Painting depicting a dissection

This skull collection on the main floor is open to photography. The skull on the top right is the skull of Robert Burns and is marked with his surname

Thursday 27 April 2017

Genealogy Is All About Connecting

One of the wonderful things that happens on a Genealogy Tour is that people connect. They are with their kind of people for a week or ten days and can share their genealogy finds, their stories, their brick walls and wonderful friendships develop as a result. 

The Glasgow Group have taken to dining together and routinely turn a table for 6 in the hotel restaurant into a table for 9. 

Tonight we had a group member who we thought had company coming to join her at the table behind. When we realized she was on her own, we prepared to shift over and make room for her to join us. A man sitting at the table in front of her offered to join her instead! The genealogy chatter was a buzz at both tables as she filled him in on the purpose of her week in Glasgow!

Wednesday 26 April 2017

The Records Keep on Giving

The Glasgow Research Tour is halfway through their week! How can that be? 

The group have had two full days of research in the Glasgow City Archives, the Family History Centre or in the Mitchell's Special Collections Department. We have been in awe and are so amazed at the remarkable history and memories that the Glasgow City Archives have been able to preserve and share. Ancestor have been found, stories uncovered and life has been breathed into the lives of our ancestors. So much of the understanding comes from understanding their life circumstances as well. 

The Glasgow Group have also visited and consulted the collections of the Glasgow University Archives. Photos have been uncovered, death and burial records consulted and again we have been amazed at the sheer wealth of original records available for genealogy research. 


From here we have time at the Glasgow and West of Scotland Family History Society and then a final day at the Mitchell. 

Friendships have been cemented. Research has been shared. Ancestral streets, homes, churches and neighbourhoods have been visited. And best of all, we have all reconnected with our own Scottish roots. 

Monday 24 April 2017

The Research Begins!

The Glasgow Research Group had their first day at the Glasgow City Archives today. What a treat! Many were amazed at the information that they were able to gather on their Glasgow ancestors and lots of unknowns were answered today. As always, the Poor Relief records provided a wealth of information.

Poor Law records, Kirk Session records, Burial records, School records, and Merchant records were all consulted today. Being able to handle, read and understand the genealogy gems within the original documents made the participants feel like they were experiencing their own Who Do You Think You Are episode!

Sunday 23 April 2017

Glasgow Necropolis

This morning the those who were still with us from the Highland History and Research Tour and new group with the Glasgow Tour had the morning free. Some slept in. Some walked and others went to church. Several of us met up at the breakfast table then we gathered at 1:00 to make our way over to the Glasgow Necropolis for a guided tour of the cemetery. Our tour guide, Jannis, was wonderful and shared some lovely stories about not only those interred but also some of their descendants who have come to pay homage.

The Merchant's House was an influential body in Glasgow in the 1700s. They were responsible for benevolence and as such, they founded the Glasgow Necropolis. A garden cemetery where anyone could be buried regardless of social stature or religion.

These gates were originally built by T Edington & Sons and a few years ago, a descendant of T Edington visited the Necropolis and donated the money to have the gates restored to their original glory.

The Glasgow Crest represents St Mungo's 4 miracles: 

Here is the bird that never flew (Mungo restored life to a Robin that had been killed by some of his classmates
Here is the tree that never grew  (Mungo had been left to tend a fire. He fell asleep and the fire died out. Mungo took a branch of a Hazel tree and restarted the fire)
Here is the bell that never rang (Mungo brought a bell from Rome that was used in services and to mourn the dead)
Here is the fish that never swam (The Queen of Strathclyde lost her ring in the river. Mungo sent a man to fish in the river and upon opening the fish, discovered the Queen's ring)

The Superintendent's Home is just inside the gates of the Cemetery. No longer in use, it has fallen into disrepair

Listening attentively to Jannis

 Crossing the Bridge of Sighs - leaving the World of the Living and Entering the World of the Dead
Bridge of Sighs

The Monteath Mausoleum is the latest restoration project of the Friends of the Glasgow Necropolis

 Inverted lit torches are a symbol of death - lighting the afterlife
 A draped urn - a common symbol. A long drape is meant to mean a long life although that wasn't always the case
Inverted Laurel Leaves another symbol of death

 An hour glass with wings symbolizes that Time Has Run Out

A cracked plinth symbolizes a broken life - a life broken by death

 These incomplete pillars are symbolic of lives that have been cut short

Part of the restoration is the addition of colour on the iron gates to some of the mausoluems. These show that the Victorians did not live in a black and white world, but were actually quite colourful. 

The Jewish Cemetery within the Necropolis

Grave of Corlinda Lee, Queen of the Gypsies

Visitors have left coins on Corlinda's tombstone as a way to show they have paid their respect