Saturday, June 30, 2012

Borders FHS Braw Lads Video on S1 Galashiels

This weekend sees the culmination of the Galashiels Braw Lads celebration.

It was with some surprise that I saw our video was on their Get set to go for Galashiels' Braw Lads 2012 article.

I wonder whether someone saw my Excerpts from the Braw Lads Procession blog, or whether they just found the video on YouTube. There's two more videos on my blog.

Friday, June 29, 2012

East India Company Bonds and Covenants

The huge and powerful British East India Company was originally formed to trade with the East Indies but at different times traded not only in India and Sri Lanka (Ceylon), but also in Hong Kong, Burma, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore. Its main trade was in cotton, dyes, opium, silk, tobacco, salt, saltpetre and tea but it also carried manufactured goods from Britain to sell.

Company employees, soldiers and sailors frequently took (against Company rules) small quantities of goods to trade as well. The Company eventually came to rule large areas of India and other places with its own private army and navy exercising military power and assuming administrative functions which lasted until 1858. It issued coinage in India and Malaysia.

Until 1833, people who wanted to visit India and the Company's other territories were required to observe their rules and to deposit a Bond guaranteeing their good behaviour. Traders had to sign a covenant agreeing not to undertake unapproved business. Bonds were usually to the value of £200 for a visitor and £500 or more for traders.  Each bond applicant had to be recommended by two 'Sureties'  (essentially referees). In the 18th and early 19th centuries, joining the East India Company was a likely route to wealth, if you survived.

The Families In British India Society have indexed the important information in some of the bonds and covenants in the British Library. There are over 3,000 bonds from 1607 to 1770 and 12,500 bonds and other documents from 1814 to 1865. It’s worth looking at this source, if there were members of your family who went to India in these periods. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Glen House Garden, Innerleithen, Open on 1st July

Gardens Open

Glen House

This coming Sunday, 1st. July, for the first time for more than 50 years the gardens at  Glen House, Innerleithen, Peeblesshire, will be open to the public. This is part of the Gardens Open Day and a must for all with an interest in gardens or stately homes.
The gardens are open  from 1.30 pm until 5 pm. Admission is £4 (children free).
Homemade tea, coffee, sandwiches, cakes, scones etc. will be there to enjoy and the catering is being organized by Society Secretary, Davina Smart who did such a fine job arranging catering at our conference in 2101 and at the Jedburgh Coffee morning last week. A percentage of the profits from the catering  will accrue to the Society; so we hope you will support.
In recent months the Society has been very much involved in recording and indexing the estate records at the Glen. These records date back to the 18th. century and the then owner Alexander Allan and comprise such things as wage books, estate accounts, hiring books, payments to staff, receipts from local tradesmen, details of works and those employed. Until now been lying more or less forgotten in a basement storeroom. The work is being carried out by Society member Gwen Stein assisted by Evelyn Baird under the guidance of Scottish Borders Archives, the Heritage Hub in Hawick.
In all the records give an fascinating account of life on an estate and also 'below stairs' and are a treasure house for any whose ancestor might have had a connection with the estate. The present owners hope in due course to create an archive room to which the public will be able to gain access by arrangement.
While there is evidence of a property on the site of the present house as far back as 1296 when Sarra of the Glen swore allegiance to King Edward 1 of England, the estate was later split up and in the 18th. century comprised the two estates of Easter and Wester Glen.
In 1796 the two were reunited under the ownership of Edinburgh banker Alexander Allan and in 1829 his son William Allan who was Lord Provost of Edinburgh commissioned the renowned architect William Henry Playfair to embellish the house existing on the site at that time. The current Scots Baronial mansion was built in 1855 to David Bryce’s design.


Friday, June 22, 2012

Scotland's People in the Borders

Scotland's People which is not just a web site but a collaboration between the National Records of Scotland - itself a recent amalgamation of the National Archives of Scotland and the General Register Office for Scotland and the Court of the Lord Lyon to make all the Scottish Records of interest to family historians available in one place. As well as the Scotland's People web site they have the Scotland's People Centre in Princes Street, Edinburgh.  Now they are rolling out a scheme to make the digital images, that are all that are accessible for many documents, at the Centre in Edinburgh available at local record offices.  The first place to benefit from this is the Heritage Hub at Hawick and last Monday the scheme was launched by Fiona Hyslop, Scottish Government Secretary for Culture and the George MacKenzie, Keeper of the Records of Scotland.  I was invited as Chairman of the  Borders FHS and Elma Fleming and Gwen Stein plus some of her family were there as regular users.  Anne Turnbull was at the Hub do do some research so we were well represented and Gwen was interviewed for a radio report about the event.  I was going on holiday that afternoon so didn't have a chance to establish what the charges for this new service were going to be or what, if anything, would be available that wasn't accessible on the Scotland's People website.

Railway Stations Quiz Results

Entries for our prize quiz of jumbled up railway station names closed last Saturday.

There were just 21 entries from as far away as Ballindalloch and Otterburn but only 9 were completely correct.

Several people gave non-existent places as stations, others, stations that haven't existed for over 60 years.

Many, including I, thought it was a hard quiz. Comments included "That was very difficult but passed 3 damp evenings in a caravan in Bellingham ! Thanks !", "Sorry, stations don't seem to be my forte but I have tried. Hope your quiz has been a big success."

We feel our quiz was a big success, and our thanks go to Barbara Scott, our Secretary's sister, who devised the quiz, to all those who sold quiz entry forms for us, including Dean & Simpson, Hawick; From Me to You, Jedburgh; Taylors, the newsagents, Jedburgh; McCuddens, the newsagents, Selkirk; Lunch Box in Newtown St Boswells.

The winner lives in Selkirk, and will get £10.

Those who provided an SAE will get the answers in the post, but for everybody else, you can download the quiz answers.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Recording Gravestone Inscriptions at Jedburgh Castlewood Road Cemetery

There’s still time to volunteer for recording gravestone inscriptions at Jedburgh, from 1pm to 4pm on both 9th and 10th June. If you have not been to a previous transcribing session - don't worry, you will be made very welcome and full training will be given. Bring along a picnic, notebook and pen/pencil, a kneeling pad, a light brush, gloves and some chalk (optional). It's wonderful if you can manage the whole day, but if that's too long for you, no problems at all - all assistance on the day is very welcome. We’re looking forward to catching up with you and meeting some new faces.

Come to our Coffee Morning in Jedburgh on Saturday

Just a reminder that our first fundraising event for next year's SAFHS Conference is this Saturday, 9th June in Jedburgh at the British Legion Hall in the High Street opposite the Bank of Scotland. As well as a local selection of our own publications there will be a cake stall, a tombola, a raffle, and second-hand books. There’s lots of easy parking nearby. We hope to see as many of you as possible. The doors will be open at 10am and we’ll close at 12 noon in order to prepare for recording gravestone inscriptions at Jedburgh Castlewood Road Cemetery in the afternoon. We also have an interesting prize quiz of jumbled railway station names. Entries cost £1, and forms can be obtained on the day.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

R SMAIL & SONS: From the Archive

R SMAIL & SONS: From the Archive:

Recently Peter Munro and I met staff from the Heritage Hub.  A conversation about a World War I schools project got me looking in the archive at Robert Smail's Printing Works with the result you can see if you follow the link to Smail's Blog..

'via Blog this'