Saturday, August 31, 2013

East Lothian Family History Day - Saturday, 31st August

Saturday, 31st August: Come and see us at East Lothian Family History Day in Haddington.

Friday, August 30, 2013

ScotlandsPlaces’ Transcription Project Workshop

A couple of weeks ago, I went to a workshop about ScotlandsPlaces’ new transcription project.

ScotlandsPlaces is a website that allows you to get information about a Scottish place (a village, a town, a bridge, etc) from different collections.

Currently this includes the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, the National Records of Scotland, and the National Library of Scotland, and together they have a huge range of tax records, name books for the Ordnance Survey maps, as well as maps and plans.

The tax records include the hearth tax (many of which we’ve already transcribed and published in our monumental inscriptions books and CDs), tax rolls for the mid-18th century window tax, the late-18th century taxes on carriages, carts, clocks, dogs, domestic servants, horses, shops and watches as well as land taxes from 1645 to 1831. Eventually, you’ll be able to find out who in Galashiels (or anywhere else in Scotland) owned which of the above items that were considered luxuries at the time, how many of each they had and how much tax they paid, and the name of their house or farm.

You can see any content that has been transcribed (if any) without a subscription by scrolling down past the images.

The transcription project permits anyone with internet access to help by looking at a record image and transcribing detail from one or more pages. The advantage to you is that you get free access to the images as well as lots of other information; if you want to see the images without transcribing, there’s a hefty subscription of £15 for 3 months. Why do I mention this in apparent competition to our own transcription projects ?

On the ScotlandsPlaces’transcription project, they’ve built the website to support you, there’s transcription guides, handwriting guides, you can do as little as you have time for and when you come back the system reminds you where you stopped and there’s a forum for support.  On the other hand, there’s no credit for your support. On our projects, your name will be included in the list of contributors, and you’ll get a copy of the publication that you can show to your family and friends and say “I did that”.
If you would like to volunteer for our projects, please contact Elma Fleming on our Contacts page using the contact type 'Offers of Help'.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Flodden Lectures

With the 500th. anniversary of the Battle of Flodden fast approaching (9th. September) much is happening to mark the occasion. For more information on these events and for more details and background on the battle itself  and on the Flodden 1513 Ecomuseum see -

Members might be interested in two talks being given by Paul Brough, archivist at the Heritage Hub at Hawick on 11th. of  September one in Coldstream in the afternoon and the same talk in Eyemouth in the evening. Details below;

Free Access to UK Censuses until Midnight on Monday

Ancestry UK is offering free access to their UK Census records until midnight on Monday.

That comprises Scotland censuses 1841-1901, England & Wales censuses 1841-1911, Channel Islands censuses 1841, 1851, 1881, 1891, 1911, Isle of Man censuses 1881, 1901, 1911, so you'd better give the beach a miss, and get busy on family history.

Of course, the lucky people who can get to the Scottish Borders or Edinburgh can use Ancestry in the libraries for free.

As usual, you'll need to register or log in.

Thanks to Marjorie Gavin for spotting this.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Scotland's Places Transcription Project

For about a year, access to the useful content on the Scotland's Places website has been by subscription only, even the content that was previously available and free.

Quite why we have to pay as taxpayers for their work and also pay a subscription has not been explained.

They've been running a transcription project for various resources (including clock and watch tax rolls, farm horse tax rolls, carriage tax rolls, cart tax rolls, servants tax rolls, hearth tax records and Ordnance Survey name books), the transcribers being volunteers.

Volunteers get a free subscription to Scotland's Places.

They're running 2 workshops for transcribers on Wednesday, 21st August at the Heritage Hub, Hawick.
The workshops are at 10am and 2pm.

There's also a talk about the project at 7pm.

If you'd like to take part, phone the Hub on 01450 360 699.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Transcribing at Chirnside

A very successful week-end transcribing at Peebles a few weeks back. Blessed with good weather substantial progress was made.

Next week-end (17th. and 18th. August) we turn our attention to Chirnside and shall be transcribing there on the Saturday from 10 to 4 and on Sunday from 1 to 4

Chirnside is another cemetery which offers considerable challenge with many old stones going back to the 18th. century and accordingly now quite worn and difficult, indeed in some cases, impossible to read.

The graveyard is more or less adjacent to the estate of Ninewells where David Hume spent his boyhood years  and when transcribing an interesting reflection that the great philosopher would probably have known quite a number of these people.

It is also quite a sizeable graveyard  and we are according looking for as much support as we can muster and we hope that as many members and friends might manage along on either (or both) of the two days, even if only for a couple of hours.

Chirnside Church and graveyard are situated to the south of the Town, off the A6105 Duns to Berwick Road. Approaching Chirnside from Duns rather than proceeding into the Town keep on the Berwick Road and after about half a mile turn left at the Chirnside Inn (still known to most as The Waterloo Inn - why can't old names be preserved?) and the Church  is immediately on the right hand side - there is plenty of parking.

If coming along bring a notebook and pen/pencil  and a soft brush also preferably chalk and water and a kneeling pad - not of course forgetting a picnic - as ever a chance to meet and converse with fellow members  

While no problems to anyone just turning up if you are going to manage it can be helpful with organizing if you could contact me, Ronald Morrison beforehand on, using the contact type Gravestone Recording. - or telephone 01361 882166

Lets hope once again we are blessed with fine weather -a pleasant way to spend a summer's day as witness the attached of our membership secretary who has been doing quite a bit of preparatory work