Sunday, 16 February 2020

ANNOUNCING GENEALOGY RESEARCH TOURS FOR 2021

I can now confirm tours for 2021. Although I had stated that there would be no Edinburgh tour in 2021, I have changed that up. The reason being that I have moved the timing of the tour to April so that the group can also attend the annual conference for the SAFHS which is being held in Dundee on April 24th. I know a couple of you were eager to get to Dundee and this may well be your golden opportunity. 
TWO TOURS: 
EDINBURGH - APRIL 18-23 2021
GLASGOW - APRIL 25 - MAY 1 2021
The Edinburgh tour will begin April 18th which, as always, is the day of arrival. Research will take place at the ScotlandsPeople Centre/NRS for three full days. There will be a chance to research at both the Scottish Genealogy Society and the NLS but the timing will depend on group size. You may have to choose just one of these places.

If you wish to attend the SAFHS conference, you can either:
 
  1. Leave Edinburgh Friday evening and take a train to Dundee (train fees are not included) which will get you into Dundee ahead of the conference. We have rooms reserved at the Best Western in Dundee.  You can stay Friday and/or Saturday.
  2. Remain in Edinburgh Friday night and take the train up to Dundee Saturday morning. The conference usually begins about 10 am. You can stay at the hotel in Dundee on the Saturday evening. 
  3. Remain in Edinburgh throughout and take the train up Saturday, returning to Edinburgh following the close of the conference without staying in Dundee at all and without needing to move your luggage. 
For those staying in Dundee, you may wish to stay in Dundee for a few extra days and do some research locally. If that is the case, let me know and I will see if the hotel has availability.

If you have ancestors from the Aberdeen area, you may wish to attend the conference so that you can speak to the Aberdeen and North East Scotland FHS.  You may then wish to travel to Aberdeen from Dundee to spend a couple of days locally. The train ride is about an hour or the bus is about 90 minutes. Any travel to Aberdeen will be at your own planning and expense.

There will be a Glasgow tour following the SAFHS conference, beginning April 25th, as the day of arrival. If you wish to attend the SAFHS conference ahead of Glasgow research, you can arrive in Dundee on Friday the 23rd and stay in Dundee at the Best Western. You can then head to Glasgow on the Sunday. Train travel from Dundee to Glasgow is not included in the fees.

The Glasgow tour will run from April 25th until May 1st. Research will take place at the Mitchell Library and at both the Lanarkshire FHS and the Glasgow and West of Scotland FHS.

The registration for the 2021 tours is slightly different given that there are options not normally included, namely the opportunity to attend the SAFHS conference. You will notice that rather than just paying your deposit, you will need to fill out a form. This will help ME in keeping track of who is going where. When you click on the registration button, you will be taken to the Scottish ViC site to fill out the registration form and pay the deposit.

For more information and to register:
https://www.genealogytoursofscotland.ca/home.html

 
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Friday, 14 February 2020

North Lanarkshire Poor Law Records Added to Ancestry


In August 2019 many - but by no means all - of North Lanarkshire’s Poor Law records were made available in digitised form on Ancestry.com. This article provides an overview of which records you will be able to find and how you can use them for your family history research.  You can read an extended version of this article on: https://blogs.ancestry.co.uk/ancestry/2019/08/16/making-discoveries-in-the-north-lanarkshire-poor-law-records/

What are Poor Law records?
Poor Law records are records which were created under the Poor Law (Scotland) Act 1845 which established a secular system of distributing poor relief.  The main records of interest to family history researchers are those kept by the official appointed in each parish to investigate cases of poverty and to pay out relief, the Inspector of Poor.  These are the Registers of Poor and the Record of Applications for Relief.
North Lanarkshire Archives’ Poor Law records originate from civil parishes which existed within the former County of Lanark between 1845 and 1930.  On Ancestry you will find the digitised registers of the following parishes: Bothwell, Cambusnethan (Wishaw area), Dalziel (Motherwell area) and Shotts.

Why are these records of interest to family history researchers?
As the application and registration system involved a type of means testing which required detailed information about the person applying for relief and about their family, the resulting records can contain details of your ancestor you would not find together on one page anywhere else.  Poor Law records therefore can help take your research further at any stage of your family history journey.

 

Registers of Poor / later General Registers of Poor
Initially, each parish maintained a Register of Poor (General Register of Poor from 1865).  In this example from a General Register of Poor from Dalziel Parish (below) you can see why these are such a fascinating resource.  The example regards Mary Doyle or Slamin who first applied for poor relief when her husband was ill and then stayed in the system for several years after he passed away.  The document shows at the top her circumstances at the time of her acceptance into the system and in the bottom part what happened to her and her children while she received money from the parish.


Registers of Poor/General Registers of Poor digitised:
CO1/23 Bothwell Parish
Bothwell Parish Council. Register of poorhouse inmates. 1905 – 1909
Bothwell Parish Council. Children's separate register. 1909-1915
Bothwell Parish Council. Register of guardians. 1909-1915
Bothwell Parish Council. Register of other parish poor. 1912-1914
Bothwell Parish Council. General Register of Poor. 1894-1915
Bothwell Parochial Board. General Register of Poor. 1862-1888
Bothwell Parochial Board. Account, charge and discharge, and list of registered poor. 1892-1896
CO1/26 Cambusnethan Parish
Cambusnethan Parochial Board. Register of Poor. 1863 - 1864
Cambusnethan Parish Council. Register of other parish poor. 1885 - 1915
CO1/37 Dalziel Parish
Dalziel Parish Council. Registered poor pay roll. 1893-1912
Dalziel Parish Council. General Register of Poor. 1883-1892 and 1900-1916
CO1/54 Shotts Parish
Shotts Parochial Board. Register of Poor. 1846-1865 and 1871-1879
Shotts Parish Council. General Registers of Poor. 1870-1911

Applications for Relief
Application Registers contain more entries per year than the Registers of Poor as multiple applications from individual paupers are recorded as well as details of the so called 'casual poor', i.e. persons who received a one-off payment from the inspector without a decision by the board and therefore were not recorded on the poor roll.
The applications for poor relief recorded the main information the Inspector of Poor required to make a decision on the applicant.  These included:
·       Age
·       Religion (Prot. – R.C.)
·       Occupation
·       Average Value of Earnings per week
·       Names of Dependants and Children living with Applicant, and Ages and Earnings
·       Names of Children not living with Applicant (Ages – Residences – and Earnings)
·       Country of Birth (English, Irish, Foreign – or Parish if Scotland)
·       Condition (Married – Single – Widow – Widower – Orphan – Deserted – Separated)
·       Cause of Disablement, whether Wholly or Partially
·       Wholly or Partially Destitute
·       Name of Parents and circumstances if alive
·       Length of Residence in present House and of previous Residences (Settlement – Parishes claimed against &c.)

Application registers digitised:
CO1/23 Bothwell Parish
Bothwell index to registers of applications. 1900-1914
CO1/26 Cambusnethan Parish
Cambusnethan applications for relief. 1855-1916
CO1/37 Dalziel Parish
Dalziel application registers. 1865-1875 and 1877-1917

Poorhouse records
Only one item specifically dealing with poorhouse residents has been digitised which is the New Monkland Parish Poorhouse register of inmates, 1849 – 1862 (CO1/50/24).
There were several other poorhouses in North Lanarkshire whose specific registers have not survived.  However, you may find that your ancestor was sent to the poorhouse (indoor relief), rather than receiving outdoor relief, from their entries in the Application Registers and General Registers of Poor.

(with thanks to NL Archivist Wiebke McGhee)

Please contact HeritageCentre@culturenl.co.uk if you have any questions about the above and if you are interested in records which have not been digitised.




Wednesday, 12 February 2020

MyHeritage Colourization Tool - GAME CHANGER

In what is probably the biggest genealogical breakthrough since DNA, MyHeritage announced yesterday, their new Colorization Tool, MyHeritage in Color

As the keeper of the family memories, I have hundreds of photos. The tool is quick and easy to use and I must say the transformation from black and white to "living colour" is impactful. It hits you right in the feels. 

MyHeritage allows you to play with the program for free. On about 10-12 photos. Then you are taken to a payment page to subscribe. The subscription that allows unlimited colorization is the Premium Plus Complete Plan which was $269 cad. 

You can upload photos one at a time while in the MyHeritage in Color tool or you can upload several at a time to your photo album and then colourize them from there. The original B&W is retained. You can share your "new" photos on social media, copy a link to email the album or download individually to your computer. I found that on the first night, I was also limited in the number I could download and that was quite frustrating. The only way I could get them to my computer was to view the full image and "save as". The problem with that was they were all in JFIF format. None were shareable. I had to then download an extension to Chrome, email them to myself and then they were all automatically converted to JPEG upon download. Very cumbersome. However, that may have been a result of overuse of the site because today, there was no problem saving the photos directly from the colourization tool. And all in JPEG. 



The tool still needs some tweaking. It doesn't work well with blue and red, often giving a grey or mottled colour pattern, as seen on my dad's shirt. I can guarantee my dad never owned a camouflage shirt! 



Similarly, it appears colour blind between green and red, in one case turning a green and white striped shirt to red and white. And it doesn't recognize environmental factors such as shade/shadowing, as is seen here in my grandpa's seemingly diseased arm which is in fact in the shade. 



That said, these glitches are not enough for me not to recommend the tool. It is fun, addictive and very much a game changer when it comes to preserving family memories. As my cousin said, "it makes the photos look like they were just taken yesterday" and in so many ways brings the people and the places in the photos back to living memory. 








Photos evoke memories long suppressed. Seeing the black and white photos come to life with the colourization tool deepens and strengthens those memories and all of the warm feelings of love, belonging and connection that the memories hold. Without a doubt, the MyHeritage in Color tool is the new big thing in genealogy and family history. Well done to the MyHeritage team.