The 1658 Names of Scots Witches – Posted at Ancestry.com

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It has been estimated that somewhere between 3,000 & 5,000 women were accused of witchcraft in 16th and 17th Century Scotland. Now, Ancestry.com has published, and indexed a volume of the names of some of these woman from the year 1658.

See the Ancestry.com database.

See an interesting article about the book posted October 28, 2016 at the BBC website.

Deaths of Seamen & Other British Marine Returns of Deaths Go Online

The following news release is from the ScotlandsPeople website:

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A complete record of the deaths of Scottish seafarers from late Victorian times until 1974 is being made available online for the first time through ScotlandsPeople.

Among the 14,000 new records available through ScotlandsPeople are monthly returns of the Deaths of Seamen, which list Scots along with other crew members of all nationalities who were serving on British-registered vessels between 1897-1974.

The records were compiled by the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen. Only the Scots can be searched for by name.

Other Marine Returns released online are the Returns of Deaths at Sea, 1902-1905. All the Marine Returns can be searched within the statutory registers by using the “Marine Returns” option under Minor Records.

Read more about the Minor Records available.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said:

“Scotland is a maritime nation with fascinating stories and an important seafaring history and these new online registers will provide wider access to this heritage. I welcome the addition of this new resource that NRS is making available, which is part of the story of Scotland and will encourage people from across the world and at home to find out more about Scotland’s seafaring heritage”.

Tim Ellis, Registrar General and Keeper of the Records of Scotland, said:

“The Returns of Deaths of Seamen and Deaths at Sea open a window into the lives of Scots seafarers in the first half of the twentieth century. They reveal the dangers experienced by seamen and passengers alike, and provide useful information for anyone wishing to discover more about their ancestors. Our commitment at National Records of Scotland is to continue to extend digital access to the key records that researchers want.”

Find out more about William M Murdoch, First Officer on the fateful HMS Titanic, and the crew on The Lusitania. Also discover other fascinating entries uncovered in the Returns of Deaths at Sea.

Statutory B, M & D Indexes for 2014 Now Available to Search at ScotlandsPeople.

The following is from ScotlandsPeople:

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You can now view the updated indexes for statutory records until the end of 2014, and in addition to this, images for births until 1914, marriages until 1939 and deaths until 1964.

You can also purchase an Extract, a fully certified copy of a birth, marriage or death certificate, for 12GBP. For more information on purchasing an official Extract, please read more.

Search the Birth Marriage and Death Records.

President James Monroe Was Descended from a Scottish Highland Clan Chief

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The following excerpt is from an article posted at deadlinenews.co.uk:

DNA research has proved that one of the Founding Fathers of the United States was descended from a Highland clan chief.

Scholars have long disputed the origins of James Monroe, the fifth President of the US, who was in office from 1817 to 1825.

Now a project has found a direct link between Monroe and 16th Century Scottish clan chief, Robert Munro of Foulis.

Researchers tracked down a second cousin five times removed of the President and found they shared the same “uncommon Y chromosome DNA signature”.

Read the full article.

Celebrate the Scotch-Irish on St. Patrick’s Day!

The following teaser is from an excellent article posted March 16, 2015 on the Deseret News website.

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Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with the invisible Irish, the Scotch-Irish. These are Scots who moved to Ireland four centuries ago, their offspring later immigrating to this country during the colonial period.

Once on these shores, the Scotch-Irish all but disappeared as a distinct group, dispersing and intermixing with other immigrant groups as they pushed westward and southward to the frontier.

Conversely, the Irish Catholic immigration was later, larger and more focused in urban areas, allowing them to retain a more distinct identity as Irish-Americans. But given that the American population was 15 percent Scotch-Irish at the time of the Revolution, there’s a good chance you may be a bit Scotch-Irish — and not even know it.

Read the full article.

Scots-Irish Genealogy Research Bundle of 2 Quick Reference items at 20% Off + a FREE eBook Download!

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Scots-Irish research is extremely popular in the United States. It should be, considering that there’s a good chance that if we have colonial ancestry, we may very well have Scots-Irish ancestry. These two quick reference guides – one being Scots-Irish Genealogy Research Genealogy at a glance, and the other Dollarhide’s Colonial Wagon Roads to 1750 Genealogist’s Insta-Guide are just the thing for getting started or advancing your research on your Scots-Irish ancestors. And yes – most colonial wagon roads were heavily traveled and influenced by the Scots-Irish.

We are also making a FREE immediate PDF download of the Colonial Wagon Roads to 1790 Genealogists’ Insta-Guide available with the bundle.

Click here to purchase the Scots-Irish quick reference bundle at 20% off, plus the FREE download. In the USA, the bundle ships by USPS first-class mail, costing just $4.50 for the two items. A $20.89 value. On sale for $13.52 (plus $5.50 1st class p&h).

The bundle is made up of the following (use your “back arrow” to return to this page to order):

Click here to purchase the Scots-Irish quick reference bundle at 20% off, plus the FREE download. A $20.89 value. On sale for $13.52 (plus $5.50 USPS first-class p&h).

ScotlandsPeople Adds the 1925 Valuation Rolls

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The folks at ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk have announced that the Valuation Rolls for 1925 have just been added to the ScotlandsPeople website.

The following is from their announcement:

The new records, which are FREE to search, comprise 2,103,648 indexed names and 76,512 digital images. The Rolls cover every kind of property in Scotland that was assessed in 1925 as having a rateable value, and provide a fascinating snapshot of Scotland in the aftermath of the First World War.

Check it out at ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk.

1861 Census Enumeration Book Pages for Milton and Glasgow Posted at ScotlandsPeople

Scotlands People

The following was received from ScotlandsPeople:

Release of further 1861 Census enumeration book, and updated index for all census years!
A further 1861 Census enumeration book has been indexed and is now available to search on ScotlandsPeople! 15 pages for the Milton, Glasgow area have been made available for the first time. If you are looking for ancestors around Glasgow, then be sure to search these new entries!

You can also browse the entire new 1861 book using the advanced search function with the advanced search query rdno:644 && rdsuffix:7 && enumdist:8.

For more information on using the advanced search function, please follow this link.

We’ve also updated over 44,000 indexes for all census years. So if you’ve had trouble locating an ancestor in the census and believe their name may have been miss-recorded, then you can try searching the new refreshed index.

New PDF feature for viewing multiple page documents
We’ve also added a new feature for viewing multi-page records (Wills & Testaments, Soldiers’ Wills, and Coats of Arms), to allow you to download all pages as a PDF document.

This great new tool means that larger documents, particularly the Wills & Testaments, which can be up to 40 pages, can be viewed, saved and printed as a single document. To download a multi-page document as a PDF, click the blue ‘Download as PDF’ button at the top right of the image viewer.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Burial Records Added at DeceasedOnline.com

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According to an announcement published in the DonsidePiper.co.uk website today, Aberdeenshire Council’s burial records have been added to website www.deceasedonline.com. The website is a pay-per-view, and now subscription website specializing in burial and cremations registers for the UK and the Republic of Ireland.

Following is a teaser from the article.

Aberdeenshire Council’s burial records have been added to the specialist family history website www.deceasedonline.com.

The local authority manages in excess of 200 burial grounds and cemeteries across the area and has carried out the work to make burial records more easily available and accessible to the general public.

Included in the 200,000 records now available are the burial details of John Brown, Queen Victoria’s famous favourite, who is buried at Crathie Kirk, Balmoral.

The earliest records date from 1615 and give users an opportunity to carry out research into the history of those buried in the area.

Read the full article.

The following is from the “About” portion of the deaceasedonline.com website.

Deceased Online is the first central database of statutory burial and cremation registers for the UK and Republic of Ireland — a unique resource for family history researchers and professional genealogists.

Until now, to search these records you had to approach about 3,000 burial authorities and over 250 crematoria in the UK alone, each independently holding their own registers, mostly as old fragile books. No official central repository exists.

Deceased Online is changing this. We are making it possible for burial and cremation authorities around the country to convert their register records, maps and photographs into digital form and bring them together into a central searchable collection.

Our growing database, holding records mainly from the 1850s onwards, can provide invaluable information for researching family trees, and can reveal previously unknown family links from other interments recorded in the same grave.

The site was launched in July 2008, and over the coming months and years we will be building a substantial database of tens of millions of burial and cremation records. We are continually adding data from all over the UK as new burial authorities and crematoria join, so keep checking. We have provided a page here where you can see easily whose data was added and when, and what information is available in each case.

Searching is FREE, and can be restricted as required to country, region, county, or individual burial authority or crematorium. If you register with Deceased Online here, you will be able to purchase vouchers online, which you can spend to access further information associated with any of the found records.

Depending on what has been provided by the originating authority, the further information might include:

burial and cremation register entries in computerised form*
digital scans of register pages*
grave details and other interments in a grave (key to making new family links)
pictures of graves and memorials
maps showing the exact locations of graves and memorials.
Some contributing authorities have completely or partially transcribed their registers into computer readable form, while others have done neither. Where registers have not been transcribed, they will have been scanned and indexed, offering a picture of the original page containing the entry of interest. In some cases you will have the option of viewing both computerised register entry and page scan.

The majority of historical burial records in the UK are still in paper form. We are initiating a drive therefore, and providing all the required services, to get all these registers scanned, indexed and stored on computer. As well as preserving fragile documents, this is a major step towards making them publicly accessible on the Internet.

In addition to our normal burials and cremations register searching, we have introduced a new kind of dataset called a collection. Collections are typically records, and possibly images, that have not been indexed to the same extent as our standard records, and are often best searched by browsing through them. Options are given to purchase access to the whole collection, or just those records within it containing the surname searched for. Where collections are of memorial images with transcribed inscriptions, the inscriptions are searchable on names, dates, and any other words appearing. Collections are usually contributed to Deceased Online by private collectors or independent organisations, and typically include items such as photographs of grave headstones, often with searchable transcripts of inscriptions, or old parish registers.

BBC Scotland has created an Online Database of 21,740 Scots Who Died During WWII

The following excerpt is from an article posted at the May 7, 2014 BBC website.

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To mark the 69th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day BBC Scotland has created an ONLINE DATABASE of 21,740 of the 57,000 Scots who died during World War Two.

Etched into sun-seared stone, the names of hundreds of Scots can be read on the seemingly endless rows of headstones criss-crossing the small cemetery in northern Egypt.

Names like Bruce, Cameron, McCallum, and Stewart appear alien in a landscape so different to that of their homeland.

El Alamein is now the final resting place for 7,240 soldiers – approximately 498 of them Scottish – who lost their lives fighting the Axis forces in North Africa during World War Two.

Read the full article.

Thanks to ResearchBuzz for the heads-up.

Scottish Pensioner United with Siblings After 70 Years

The following excerpt is from an article posted in the April 9, 2014 edition of scotsman.com:
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A Scottish pensioner has been reunited with his long-lost brother and sister for the first time in 70 years.

Grandfather William Rae, of Clochan in Moray, grew up with a foster family and spent decades trying to trace his roots.

Now Mr Rae, 72, has met younger brother Ian, 69, who lives in Bristol, and sister Jean, 67, from Falkirk, for the first time in their adult lives.

The former marine, who has eight nieces and nephews he never knew about, said yesterday: “It’s wonderful. It has taken many years, but we’ve finally made it.”

William’s luck changed after his stepdaughter, Christine, researched the ancestry of the family. She achieved impressive results with the help of an Aberdeen-based amateur genealogist, who used his birth certificate to start a web search for his long-lost family.

Read the full article.

Wills of Scottish Soldiers Killed in WWI to Go Online

The following excerpt is from an article in the February 24, 2014 edition of NewsNetScotland.com:

The wills of 26,000 Scottish soldiers who died in the Great War are to be made available online for the first time as part of centenary commemorations marking the outbreak of WWI, the First Minister Alex Salmond announced today (Monday, February 24).

Among the 26,000 individual wills are 2,584 from the Gordon Highlanders, including those of Privates Alexander Craig and John Wood from Portlethen, just two of about 9,500 men who died during the conflict.

During WW1, when a will was processed by military authorities it was sent to the Commissary Office in Edinburgh to be preserved in the National Records of Scotland. During 2014, the last wishes of 26,000 fallen Scottish First World War soldiers will be made available online by the National Records of Scotland.

Read the full article.

Scotland’s Valuation Rolls 1885 Posted Online

Property records containing the names and addresses of more than 1.4 million people living in Scotland in 1885 were released on ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk, the government’s family history website, a few days ago.

The following News Release is from Scotland’s People:
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Historical Property Records Go Online

The Valuation Rolls of 1885 offer genealogists and other history researchers a fascinating picture of Victorian Scottish society, including figures ranging from William McGonagall to Dr Sophia Jex-Blake…

Called Valuation Rolls, the new records comprise over 77,000 digital images taken from 144 volumes, and cover every type of property which was assessed as having a rateable value in 1885. As the records include details of owners, tenants and occupiers of property, they offer historians and genealogists an excellent online resource for researching Scottish society in the late Victorian age.

Visitors to the website will be able to search the 1885 Valuation Rolls by name and address, with the records listing the names of owners, tenants and occupiers of each property – in many cases occupations are also included. Since the Rolls list every type of rateable property in Scotland, these new records include people from all the social classes.

Some famous episodes in Scottish history can be traced using the Rolls. As the 1880s witnessed mass protests by crofters in the Highlands and Islands, ScotlandsPeople researchers looked at Rolls that contain the names and addresses of people who were imprisoned following the ‘Battle of the Braes’ on Skye in 1883.

Dr Sophia Jex-Blake, one of the first female medical students of Edinburgh University, was running her pioneering medical practice in Bruntsfield, Edinburgh, for the benefit of women and children, and the Rolls reveal that she owned the house in Grove Street that was rented by her out-patient clinic, the Edinburgh Provident Dispensary for Women and Children.

Elsewhere in the Capital tenants were moving into Well Court in the Dean Village, a new housing development for the working class paid for by John Ritchie Findlay, proprietor of The Scotsman. Meanwhile his more famous project of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Queen Street was still under construction, and was valued at only £40.

Perhaps the only person who is listed in the Rolls as a ‘poet’ is William McGonagall, living in humble rented accommodation in Dundee, where he eked out a precarious livelihood performing his work and working as a weaver. Elsewhere in the town William Arrol, the famous engineer, was supervising the building of the replacement Tay Bridge, following the destruction of the first bridge in 1879. He had moved temporarily from Glasgow during the contract.

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs in the Scottish Government, said:

“ScotlandsPeople is a superb digital resource for those who to wish explore their family pasts, both for Scots who live here now and for those whose ancestors left Scotland as part of the Diaspora. I hope that researching these new online records will inspire people to visit Scotland to see the places where their ancestors lived and worked, making their own journey of discovery in this year of Homecoming.”

Tim Ellis, Registrar General and Keeper of the Records of Scotland, said:

“The Valuation Rolls of 1885 are a wonderful quarry for people wanting to find out more about the lives and homes of their Victorian ancestors – or for those who are interested in the rich stories and characters of that period. The National Records of Scotland is committed to continuously improving and enhancing its services, and I’m delighted that we’ve now been able to make these fascinating records available online through our ScotlandsPeople website.”

Annelies van den Belt, the CEO of DC Thomson Family History, who enable the ScotlandsPeople website on behalf of the National Records of Scotland, said:

“We’re extremely pleased to add this new set of historical property records to the ScotlandsPeople website. We’ve now released five sets of Valuation Rolls, covering the years 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915 and 1920. With this new release we’ve again chosen a mid-point between censuses, as we believe this will help family historians to find out more about those ancestors who moved address and/or changed jobs between census years.”

The 1885 Valuation Rolls will be available on the ScotlandsPeople website, at the ScotlandsPeople Centre in Edinburgh, and at local family history centres in Glasgow, Kilmarnock, Hawick and Inverness.

“Who Do You Think You? Live” is Going to Glasgow Scotland in August

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The following teaser is from an article written by Miriam Evans, and posted at visitscotland.com:

If you have ever seen Who Do You Think You Are? on the TV, then if you’re anything like me, you’ve probably wondered what family secrets would be revealed if there was a whole team on-hand to help you research your family history. Well, you too can get advice from the experts!

Building on the success of the popular BBC series in which celebrities trace their family history, Who Do You Think Your Are? Live is coming to Scotland for the first time this year. Packed with genealogy experts, free workshops, a celebrity theatre and specialist exhibitors, the show will take place at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre in Glasgow from 29 August – 31 August, 2014. More information and tickets will be available later in the year.

Read the full article.

Read the news release at Dick Eastman’s blog.

The Scottish Valuation Rolls for 1885

The following is from Scotlands People:

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We’re delighted to announce that the Valuation Rolls (VRs) for 1885 have just been added to the ScotlandsPeople website.

The new records comprise 1,441,484 indexed names/addresses and 77,238 digital images (taken from 144 volumes), and cover every kind of property that was assessed in 1885 as having a rateable value. With the addition of these latest records, ScotlandsPeople now has Valuation Rolls for 1885, 1895, 1905, 1915 and 1920.

What do the 1885 Valuation Rolls contain?
Published yearly on Whitsunday from 1855 to 1955, the VRs include the names of owners, tenants and occupiers of each property. The named person in the VR is usually the head of the household and, in many cases, occupations are also listed. Since the Rolls list every type of rateable property in Scotland, the records include people from all social classes.

Rather than being a sudden snapshot of the population taken on one nominated day (as in a census record), the details for the VRs were gathered by the assessors over several months prior to publication.

What can I find out from the 1885 Valuation Rolls?
You can learn who was living at a specific address, and whether they rented or owned the property. You can also see the rent that was paid for the house or flat, as well as the yearly rateable value of the property. The Rolls are fully searchable by name and address.

Valuation Rolls – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
If you have any questions about Valuation Rolls, visit the dedicated FAQs page that we’ve created to help explain what the VRs are all about.