Sunday, October 2, 2011

Survey of Scottish Witchcraft

Following up on the talk about the witch trials of the Borders by Mary Craig, I’ve learned that the University of Edinburgh have a Survey of Scottish Witchcraft database that can be searched for all persons known to be connected to witchcraft between 1563 and 1736, not just those convicted or tried, but also for witnesses and prosecutors. The information is taken from an impressive list of both civil and church records, but is probably not exhaustive.

The database is searchable both by name and place. It doesn’t mention my grandmother's ancestor, the White Witch of Inverness, but if granny was right, she was born about 1790 and thus won’t be in the survey. For those with Microsoft Access on their computers, the database and the accompanying database structure description can be downloaded for further study.

For example, I’ve found that there were almost 300 people resident in the Borders accused of witchcraft of whom 80% were female. 42% were from Berwickshire, 31% from Peeblesshire, 20% from Roxburghshire, and the rest (7%) from Selkirkshire.

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