Friday, June 27, 2014


In 1879 a young girl embroidered a sampler bearing the inscription “ Boast not thyself of Tomorrow, Isabella Kennedy aged 12 1879 Ettrick Bridge”.  See our February 2104 Newsletter.

At some point the sampler came into the possession of Sue Sendall residing in Canada. Her family history research failed to produce any connection at all with the family of Isabella Kennedy.

Sue contacted us and asked if we might be able to trace a descendant of the young embroiderer and Society member, Alan Turnbull, did some quite extensive research on the family which he passed on but could find no living relatives.

He suggested in the circumstances the sampler might be donated to the local school at Kirkhope which Sue was  more than pleased to do.

The sampler was duly sent from Canada and having been framed by Alan was presented to the school today, the last day of the summer term. This raised considerable interest from the children but perhaps in some ways more so from their parents and teachers.

All thanks to Susan for a most thoughtful donation and to Alan for all his research  and facilitating.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Be in the Audience for Digging Up Your Roots on 29th July

As announced in the blog in March, there will be a special programme of Radio Scotland's Digging Up Your Roots to look at the Scottish Diaspora.

The family history programme will be recorded at BBC at the Quay in Glasgow on 29th July from 12 noon to 1pm.  Presenter Bill Whiteford will be joined by a panel of special guests including expert genealogist, Professor Bruce Durie and Professor Marjory Harper.

You can be in the audience with free tickets but their website says
registration for tickets closes on Monday 16 June at 4pm.

Good luck !

Sunday, June 8, 2014

D Day Commemoration

Prince Charles says a few words at  Bayeux (Queen seated center, the Princess of Wales to her left and Prince Philip extreme right)

Just back from Normandy and the 70th. anniversary of the D-Day landings. What an absolutely amazing and unforgettable few days.

Being possibly the last official commemoration and with so many world leaders attending had expected large crowds but not the enthusiasm of the welcome.  Every building was bedecked with flags, so much was happening and the veterans in particular, and so rightly, were feted everywhere they went.

Was fortunate to be able to get into the veterans’ enclosure for the British ceremony at Bayeux Cemetery attended by the Queen and various members of the Royal Family as well as cabinet ministers and various political leaders. Afterwards able to mingle freely with all (although the Queen left promptly) and the Prince and Princess of Wales in particular seemed determined to shake hands with absolutely everybody.

In the afternoon at Sword Beach again in a good vantage point to see all the world leaders (29 in all). The Queen and President Obama particularly wildly applauded although the reception to President Putin somewhat more mooted and so revealing to watch the body language (everything shown on a very large screen on the beach).

All sorts of fly pasts, parachute drops and re-enactments but for me perhaps the most poignant moment to hear to hear the skirl of the pipes above the noise of battle particularly perhaps the portrayal (by a French piper) of  Bill Millin, Lord Lovat’s piper piping the Scottish troops onto the beaches under heavy gunfire. May the  pipes long continue to be associated with the British army.

The real highlight though was speaking with all the veterans and hearing their tales. No book or film could so bring history alive. From a genealogy point of view so often have I heard it said “if only I had spoken with some of the older generation”. The lesson to me was don’t let the opportunity pass.

Everything though in perspective.  At one point as the television cameras scanned someone near me said “smile the whole world is watching”; only for one very esteemed veteran from Hawick to retort. ”not in Hawick they won’t -  it’s the Common Riding!”

Galloway Family History Fair at Broughton House, Kirkcudbright on 14 June

Galloway Family History Fair takes place at Broughton House and Garden, 12 High Street, Kirkcudbright, DG6 4JX from 12 noon to 4pm on Saturday, 14 June 2014. Map.

We'll be offering family history advice and we'll have publications for sale.

If there's anything you particularly want, let us know on our Contacts page selecting 'Contact the Chairman'.

The house opens 12 noon – admission to fair is £1 – refundable against purchases in their shop.
Other exhibitors:
  • Broughton House and Garden Archives
  • Dumfries and Galloway Family History Society
  • Dumfries and Galloway Libraries and Archives
  • Lanarkshire Family History Society

Help with your family history queries by Erica Johnston, Dumfries and Galloway Council Family History Officer, in the Research Room.
Talks: £2 each, limited seating available – please book by telephoning 0844 493 2246 or email: broughtonhouse AT

  1.  12.30pm Graham Roberts, Dumfries and Galloway Archivist: Theme - ‘How Council Archives and Libraries can help with Family History Research’
  2.  1.30pm David Devereux, Curator (retired) Stewartry Museum: Theme ‘Hornel and the History of Emigration from Galloway’
  3.  2.30pm Chris Paton, Genealogist, author and blogger: ‘Instantly Buckled for Life - Researching Scottish Marriage
  4. 3.30pm Ian Riches, National Trust for Scotland Archivist: Title – ‘The Archives of the NTS - What We Found Under the Stairs and in Cupboards…’
Broughton House was the home of Edward A Hornel, who lived from 1864 to 1933.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Website Up and Running

Less than an hour after I posted that the website was down, the website was up and running.

Just after I managed to post the fact on Facebook, the ISP that supplies my internet connection halted service and that prevented me posting here.

The Borders Family History Society website is now up and running.
You may need to clear your cache or delete 'recent history'.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Website Not Working

Due to some, only partly, understood problem at our ISP, our
Borders Family History Society website is down and can't be used.
We are waiting for them to resolve it.