Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Scottish Handwriting

I have just started the Palaeography course at the National Archives of Scotland and one of the web sites recommended is This site run by the Scottish Archive Network (SCAN) has a range of material to dip into from a coaching manual and letter recognition to a weekly poser to test your progress. Have a go at writing your name in the Secretary Hand of the 1500-1700s. All good fun and learning at the same time. Also examples of early Scottish documents : testaments,deeds,letters.

Monday, 28 September 2009

Fife Family History Fair

The Fife Family History Society is holding it's fair on
3rd October at Rothes Hall,Rothes Square,Glenrothes.There is an impressive list of speakers and topics

Home And Away: Scots on the Move The speakers are :

  • Billy Kay on The Scottish World
  • Dr Norman Reid on Fife Families Abroad
  • David Webster Military and Commercial Scots in Northern Europe
  • Linda Fitzpatrick Scottish Fishing Communities on the Move
  • Jennie Calder The Scottish Impact of the American Frontier
  • Dr Marjory Harper Adventure and Exile: Snapshots of Scottish Emigration

Sunday, 27 September 2009


Following on from an earlier blog on Annandale which mentioned the Border riding families of Johnstone and Maxwell,here are some other links with information about the Border Reivers. These have useful background social and historical reasons why this way of life was prevalent on both sides of the Border.

The Elliott DNA project has results for many Border surnames and reveals a melting pot of Scots,Angles,Norse,Norman and perhaps even some Roman have left their genes in Border families.

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Scottish Kirkyards

The Scottish kirkyard has been vastly underated as a place of historical importance,offering a wealth of information to the genealogist and local historian.
Dane Love,a teacher from Ayrshire will be giving a lecture on 'Kirkyards' at the Dumfries and Galloway Family History Society. This will be held on Wednesday 30 Sept at the Cumberland Street Day Centre,Dumfries.

Dane has written several books about Ayrshire,kirkyards,Jacobites and Covenanters. His list of publications can be viewed at

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Scottish Place-Name Society

The Scottish Place-Name Society is holding its autumn conference in Glasgow University on Saturday 7 November.
Topics covered are Gaelic placenames,Pictish Phonology and Shetland Placenames.
For more details please view

Scotland's Global Impact

As part of the Year of Homecoming a three day conference is being held in Inverness from 22-24 Oct.Opened by Alex Salmond there are well renowned speakers talking about how one small nation changed the world!
Information on the programme is available at

Sunday, 13 September 2009

The Annandale Way

Just spent a beautiful autumnal day walking part of the new Annandale Way in Dumfriesshire. Saturday 12 September was the opening day for this new long distance walk from Moffat to Annan on the Solway Firth following the course of the River Annan from its source to the sea.

It is 55 miles from the high hills above the Devil's Beef Tub passing near the towns of Moffat,Lockerbie,Lochmaben and Annan. Passing through the area long associated with the Border Reiving families of Moffat,Johnstone,Halliday,Irving,Jardine,Graham,Bell and Carlyle this is the perfect walk to become familiar with your ancestral home.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

Introduction to Scottish Genealogy

A new course run at the University of Edinburgh is due to start on 30th September. Dr Bruce Durie is the tutor and the course is held on Wednesdays over ten weeks.

For course times,enrolment and course summary,please contact the University of Edinburgh.

New Highland Archive and Registration Centre

The purpose built Highland Council Archive in Inverness, will open it's new search room on Monday 26 Oct 2009. The archive holds the records for the former county councils of Inverness-shire,Nairnshire,Sutherland,Ross and Cromarty and the eleven burghs within these former counties.