Sunday, April 29, 2012

Heavy Traffic Possible at Peebles - Allow Extra Travel Time

Our meeting today is at 2.30 pm at the Drill Hall, Peebles Community Centre, Walkershaugh, Peebles, EH45 8AU, when Jim Lyon will be talking to us about Adam Clark who supervised the construction of the Széchenyi Chain Bridge over the Danube between Buda and Pest (Budapest), Hungary.

I've recently discovered that Peebles Rugby Sevens is on the same day - kickoff at 1.30 pm at The Gytes, which is just at the entrance to Peebles on the road from the Galashiels and Innerleithen direction.

Traffic may be heavy and queues long so it might be prudent to allow extra travel time.

If you're not familiar with Peebles, here's a map.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Kelso Rosebank Cemetery Book Out of Print

We've recently sold out of our stock of Kelso Rosebank Cemetery books.

They were large and needed a lot of storage space and were comparatively costly at £21 plus postage. We're not planning a reprint.

The Kelso Rosebank Cemetery CD (see image) is still available, has the same content as the book, and is a bargain at £10 plus postage. It's also a lot cheaper to post a CD than an A4 book.

It contains all the usual things that we put in our Monumental Inscriptions publications like a Militia list as well as the monumental inscriptions/gravestone inscriptions from the 2454 gravestones in the cemetery except that there's no Hearth Tax list, no War Memorial inscriptions, and no list of kirk ministers. It covers stones installed between 1870 and 2002 in the Rosebank Cemetery, Kelso, Roxburghshire. There is an index to the surnames and you can search the index of surnames.

The other Monumental Inscriptions publication for Kelso, Roxburghshire is Kelso Abbey, Old Churchyard & St Andrew’s CD which also costs £10 plus postage.
This contains details and photographs of 460 monumental (gravestone) inscriptions for Kelso Old Churchyard, Purvis Aisle, Kelso Abbey, and St Andrew’s Episcopal Church and the inscriptions on 199 stones lost in 1979 when the surrounding wall was removed from the churchyard and new paths were laid allowing direct access from the Knowes car park to the town centre.
We’ve also included the inscriptions on the Kelso War Memorial, the war memorials in St Andrew’s Church, St Mary’s Church, and Kelso High School. It includes a list of ministers, the landowners and tenants on the Hearth Tax assessment in the parish of Kelso in 1690, the men on the Militia list from 1797 to 1801, a plan of Kelso dated 1854, a plan of the churchyard and an index to the surnames included in the inscriptions.

Additionally, there’s a list of funerals and dates in Kelso 1798 to 1813. This is particularly useful because many of Kelso’s inhabitants were buried without a marker, visitors to the parish were sometimes buried without their name being known. Several regiments were stationed in the town, together with French Prisoners of War and their burials are recorded here.

See our full range of Monumental Inscriptions publications.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Postal Costs Rise on 30th April 2012

UK postage cost will rise significantly on 30th April; the 2nd class stamp increases by 39% to 50p, the cost of a letter to Europe goes up from £1.49 to £2.70 and for the rest of the world from £2.07 to £3.30.

So, get your orders for publications in before 30th April.

Here's our sales list.

You can email your order and credit card details via our Contacts page or better still, give our Sales Convenor, Mary Thomson, a ring on 01896 756 798 (+44 1896 756 798 from abroad).

Scottish Marriage Index

Just catching up after Saturday’s SAFHS Conference, looking through some of the leaflets I picked up.

The Scottish Marriage Index, a unique and really useful database, is made available by the Anglo-Scottish Family History Society and can be viewed online at  It lists Scots who married away from Scotland. 

Searching the database is easy. It’s another source of information on Scots, to help you break through those brick walls and maybe solve some family mysteries. Contributions are always welcome.

One of my Scotts – a 3-greats uncle moved away to England and married there and I haven’t been able to track him down yet.  This database is a great place to start searching and will surely grow as more people contribute their Strays – and hopefully, one day, I’ll track down my Scott.  

Sunday, April 22, 2012

SAFHS Conference 2012

Elma Fleming and I spent yesterday at the Annual Conference and Exhibition of the Scottish Association of Family History Societies in Dundee.  The lectures and exhibition were in two different buildings albeit quite close together but the parking was scattered all over the University Campus.  Not surprising perhaps with a city centre university.  It was all quite peaceful whilst the lectures were on but it became quite busy over the lunch break.  There were a few sales but primarily it was a chance to meet people and answer their questions.  The most interesting visitor was talking about a family bible which was in the USA but had originated in the Borders.  It wasn't the current keeper’s family bible and she would like to return it to Scotland.  I’ve been promised more information by email and I’ll post the details when I get them.

The exhibition was never busy and when I went over to the lecture theatre to publicise next year’s meeting in Gala it was far from full.  There were a number of things which I think we will do differently and the day was full of learinig points for SAFHS 2013.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Harts Army List (1808 to 1945) Available Online

Thanks to a link (repeated from Chris Paton's blog) I saw in the Anglo-Celtic Connections blog, which I find is a good source of information about Canadian family history, I’ve been looking at the National Library of Scotland’s own page on the Internet Archive. On their page there are links to 201 issues of Harts Army List from 1808 to World War II. These lists contain all the officers in the army, a summary of their service record and often their date of birth, major decorations, and whether they were promoted from the ranks. You can view these online or download them (the list for January 1940 is huge - 107 megabytes).

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Adam Clark, Bridge Constructor, Budapest

Our next talk is on Sunday, 29th April, in the Drill Hall, Peebles Community Centre, EH45 8AU, when Jim Lyon will be talking to us about Adam Clark who supervised the construction of the Széchenyi Chain Bridge over the Danube between Buda and Pest, Hungary.

Jim Lyon, a well-travelled civil engineer born in the Scottish Borders, will give us an insight into the amazing life of Adam Clark. The presentation will cover Adam’s early years in the Scottish Borders, his apprenticeship as a millwright and the building of the first bridge over the Danube since Roman Times linking Buda and Pest. Whilst Adam Clark is immortalised in Hungary and the iconic bridge, opened in 1849, is still in use today, Adam Clark is barely known in Scotland.

I warmly invite you to attend the talk whether you are a member or not.
The doors will be open at 2pm; the talk begins at 2.30pm.
It’s free, so we hope to see lots of you there.
We'll have a range of family history publications available to buy.

As usual there’ll be tea, coffee, and biscuits available after the talk.
We’ll also be making the monthly 50-50 draw at the meeting.
If you have a problem with your family history, please discuss it (no charge) with one of our volunteers.

If you're not familiar with Peebles, here's a map.

Our latest volume, Coldingham Monumental Inscriptions is available.

Read our Kith & Kin column every week in the Border Telegraph and Peeblesshire News newspapers.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Struck Iceberg ... Sinking Fast

100 years ago tonight, the Titanic sank after hitting an iceberg.

More than 1500 people (men, women and children) died as a result; most within minutes of hypothermia in icy water.

The English National Archives is offering a Titanic chat session each day from 2pm to 4pm (British Summer Time) on 17th, 18th, 19th April.

It's worth looking at their Titanic exhibition where there is a free search, too;

at their Titanic Image Showcase of related images

and listening to a 37 minute podcast about the Titanic.

The Library and Archives Canada have a Titanic image gallery on Flickr.

More info on Wikipedia's Titanic article as well as many other sites.

Our latest volume, Coldingham Monumental Inscriptions has been published.

Read our Kith & Kin column every week in the Border Telegraph and Peeblesshire News newspapers.

Crops, Cod, Cloth 'n Coals - Saturday 21st April, Bonar Halls, University of Dundee

More news on next week's SAFHS conference in Dundee with confirmation of the societies, archives and genealogy experts who’ll be there. As usual, there is a great range of societies covering Scotland and abroad, all of them with a tremendous range of knowledge and resources.
Come along and meet Aberdeen & N E Scotland Ancestral Tourism Partnership, Aberdeen & N E Scotland FHS, Anglo Scottish FHS, ASGRA, Borders FHS, Central Scotland FHS, Clan Moffat UK, Deceased Online, Dumfries and Galloway FHS, Dundee City / Abertay Archives, Dundee Weavers, Family Search International, Family Tree Books &, Glasgow & W of Scotland FHS, Guild of One Name Studies, Highland FHS, J & B Bishop Publishing, Lanarkshire FHS, Lothians FHS, Moray & Nairn FHS, Perth City Archives, Renfrewshire FHS, SAFHS, Scotland's People, Scottish Catholic Archives, Scottish Monumental Inscriptions, The British Newspaper Archive, The Scottish Genealogy Society, Troon & Ayrshire FHS, University of Strathclyde PG and of course, our hosts Tay Valley FHS and Fife FHS. 
And, there are the talks on the Agriculture, Fishing, Weaving and Mining industries and an open forum in the afternoon as well.
Doors open at 8.30 and the first talk starts at 10.00am.
Look forward to seeing you there.

Monday, April 9, 2012

More on Florado Helios Muybridge

Further to the earlier piece about the Changing Names of Eadweard Muybridge, in which I mentioned Florado; thanks to Ancestry's free access offer, I've found Florado H Muybridge as a nurseryman in the O'Brien Nursery in the 1934 Sacramento city directory, and a gardener in later directories.
In the 1940 directory, his entry reads 'h rear 914 27th'. Rear 914 27th is his address, but what does the 'h' mean ?

Our latest volume, Coldingham Monumental Inscriptions has been published.

Read our Kith & Kin column every week in the Border Telegraph and Peeblesshire News newspapers.

The Changing Names of Eadweard Muybridge

Google's Eadweard Muybridge doodle today was in commemoration of Eadweard J. Muybridge's 182nd birthday.

He was an iconic English photographer and a pioneer in animated images in photography (and a writer) who spent much of his working life in the United States of America, but also visited Canada, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Britain, central and South America and Russia to take photos.

There's no connection to the Borders that I can see, but his life is an excellent example of changing spellings of surnames.

I've consulted the
Another interesting site is Eadweard Muybridge: Defining Modernities / bringing together the international collections of Eadweard Muybridge's work.

He was born 9 April 1830 at Kingston upon Thames, England with the name Edward James Muggeridge.

Wikipedia says he first changed his forenames to Eduardo Santiago (in Spanish, Santiago means St James).

In 1847, his brother, John, died; having changed his name to Wybridge.

In 1850, his name was Muggridge; in April or May 1856, Muygridge; in November 1865, Muybridge.

On 20 May 1871, using the name Edward J. Muybridge (aged 41) he married Flora E. Downs (she was aged 20 !).

Around 15 April 1874 their child, Florado (or Floredo) Helios Muybridge, was born in San Francisco, but Edward then discovered Major Harry Larkyns was Flora's lover, suspected that Larkyns was the real father, and on 17 October shot him dead.

I'm rather confused by the Compleat Chronology because Florado seems also to have been named George Down Muybridge.

On 14 December, his wife, Flora, filed for divorce and alimony claiming extreme cruelty. The trial of Muybridge for killing Larkyns acquitted him on 18 February 1875 on the grounds that the killing was justified because Larkyns had seduced his wife.

Flora's application for alimony was granted on 30 April 1875 at $50 per month; Muybridge at that time earning $300 or more per month, however, on 18 July, Flora died, still married.

Sometime in February or March, his first name changed to Eadweard.

On 8 May 1904 he died. Wikipedia says that on his gravestone, he was named as Eadweard Maybridge. The Compleat Chronology says the crematorium register called him Eudweard Muybridge.

According to Family Search, Florato H Muybridge is in the 1930 census in Sacramento, California, United States of America, birth year 1874, and his mother was born in France. The California death index shows his name as Florado and that he died on 1 Feb 1944. Family Search also lists Florado H Maybridge in the 1900 census in the household of George Tilson. The last 2 records show his birth as January 1874, but that might be because only 1874 was recorded.

If you found his birth record as Muggeridge, you might look for Muggridge, but you would be lucky to think of Muygridge and luckier still to find Muybridge or Maybridge. Even worse, if you were looking for John Muggeridge, I'm sure you wouldn't think of Wybridge.

Our latest volume, Coldingham Monumental Inscriptions has been published.

Read our Kith & Kin column every week in the Border Telegraph and Peeblesshire News newspapers.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

More Cataloguing of Flodden Finds

Another fun day, today, cataloguing finds from fieldwalking fields (part of the Flodden 500 project) around Flodden, the previous cataloguing finds day being St Patrick's Day.

We have, I think, finished field 18, and made a start on field 19.

There was less of interest to me today, musket balls, some buckled lead sheet, a clay marble, bits of 19th century window glass, fragments of clay tobacco pipes, bits of glass bottles, two pins, medieval pottery and some coins – a couple of just recognisable Charles II copper Scottish turners (also known as bodles) worth two pence each.

The young lady sitting next to me asked me about a corroded coin and I suggested she brush it, not really expecting that would do much good. How wrong I was, very quickly Britannia was recognisable with a blank exergue. As it was penny sized, I knew it must be 1806 or 1807. After some more brushing, George III's head was visible, and the date, 1806, was just discernible. Perhaps she's an archaeologist or a numismatist in the making.

Old Gala House Research Room

Old Gala House, and our Research Room there, has reopened for the summer season.

Our volunteers will be there every Thursday (10am to 3.45pm) to help you with your research, whether you need a bit of help to break through a brick wall or if you're just not sure where to start with your family history.

The Research Room is small so it might be better to book in advance via the Contacts facility on our website. You can also visit on Tuesdays and Fridays but by appointment only. Resources include Monumental Inscriptions, Censuses, Old Parish Registers, Poor Law and Police Records, some school records, Family Trees and many books and journals for researching family and local history.

The Old Gala Club have a new exhibition in Old Gala House (open Tue - Sat from Apr to Oct, Mon - Sun in Jul & Aug) with a great selection of photographs of people who lived and worked in Gala including the Police and Fire service. And there's a coffee shop and free parking as well.

You can find us at Old Gala House, Scott Crescent, Galashiels, TD1 3JS.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

1915 Valuation Rolls online

Have you had at look at the 1915 Valuation Rolls on the Scotlands People website yet? It’s another option when you are searching for people especially if you can’t get to the local archive.

You still have to use your credits but there is an introductory reduced rate of 2 credits to view each image. The 1911 Census was made available last year and now, we have 1915 owners, tenants and occupiers of properties so you can see where the head of the family was living at the beginning of WWI and between censuses.

I’ve only looked for 2 of my great grandfathers so far – one of them was where I expected him to be but my Dumfriesshire great grandfather was living in a cottage that I didn’t have recorded. I think that’s 8 houses - so far - that grandpa Henry lived in.

The Valuation Rolls are available online at Scotlands People and at the Scotlands People centre.

If you are looking for Borders residents, the original Valuation Roll books are also available at the Scottish Borders Archive and Local History Centre in Hawick and for East Lothian residents, they are available on microfilm, or microfiche, at the East Lothian Archive in Haddington.

Free Access to Ancestry's US Records till 10th/11th April

Ancestry are providing free access to more than 1 billion United States of America birth, marriage, death and military records from the 1940s, plus United States City Directories and the 1930 United States Census.

Access ends at midnight ET, which isn't a reference to extra-terrestrials or aliens, I think it corresponds to 5am Scottish Borders time on 11th April.

As is normal, with Ancestry's offers, you'll need to register if you haven't already done so.

Search the United States records.

Monday, April 2, 2012

April Fools Day

Yesterday (1st April) was April Fools Day, an especially significant day in our family; my grandparents, parents, and siblings loved making April Fools of each other and our friends and neighbours.

I was always apprehensive for several weeks before April Fools Day and I was into my teens before I was successful in not getting fooled.

Of course I played my part in fooling others.

Nowadays, April Fools seems to be barely observed, except in the media.

This year we had the Prime Minister asking Shaun Ryder to advise on class and help to detox Tories, the new Thermal Reduction Initiative (Champagne) to add 9% duty to all chilled champagne sold in public places, bagpipe music arousing the Edinburgh zoo pandas, and Google's new Click-to-Teleport Extensions for websites allowing potential customers to instantly teleport to the website's business location directly from a search ad. I would particularly welcome such an innovation. It's often said that the best part of a holiday is the journey but that's rarely true for me; perhaps I'm going to the wrong places.

Did you catch these ?

I found these Australian April Fools interesting.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

East Lothian Archives & Local History Centre

Some of your ancestors may have moved from Haddingtonshire (new name, East Lothian) into Berwickshire, or the other way round.

You might be interested in visiting the delightful East Lothian's new archives and local history centre which opened on Friday 30th March 2012 within the John Gray Centre in Haddington. Map. The centre which was previously housed within a cramped upper floor room in the old Library premises is now spacious and accessible to all and open to the public as follows :-

  • Monday    09.30 – 17.00
  • Tuesday    09.30 – 20.45
  • Wednesday    closed
  • Thursday    11.00 – 17.00
  • Friday        09.30 – 17.00
  • Saturday    10.00 – 13.45
  • Sunday        closed

More details of East Lothian Archives & Local History Centre  (caution, site not yet tested by Site Advisor).