Sunday, 20 June 2010

Genealogy Research in Wigtownshire

Here is a great site for those researching family history in Wigtownshire, this often neglected county in the south west of Scotland.
There are descriptions of the parishes in the county and databases for BMD  from the Wigtownshire newspapers. Also lists from 1684 taxes,Military records of Chelsea pensioners,monumental inscriptions,Wigtownshire strays and testament index from the Commissariot of Wigtownshire 1700-1800 plus much more. Worth a look.

      Thanks to the Dumfries and Galloway Family History Society Newsletter July 2010.

Scottish DNA Project Launched

Strathclyde University has launched the Scottish DNA Project :

Gathering results in conjunction with Familytree DNA and other companies to compile a database of individuals who have a  Scottish lineage in their own direct paternal or maternal line of descent. The data base will be administered by Ali MacDonald a graduate of the Diploma in Genealogy run by the University of Strathclyde.Regular updates will also be made at their blog :

Monday, 14 June 2010

Shetland Islands Hamefarin 2010

The Shetland Islands are holding an event which only occurs every 25 years. The Hamefarin or Homecoming was first held in 1960 and then 1985 with one planned for 2010.The exception was a special in 2000 for the Millenium. It is expected that about 500 visitors with Shetland roots will travel 'home' during the festival 14-26 June. Genealogy plays a prominent part in the activities. For more information please visit the official site at:

and the Shetland Family History Society

Sunday, 13 June 2010

Scottish Missionaries Exhibition

The National Library of Scotland currently has an exhibition until June 30 about overseas missionaries of the Scottish Presbyterian Churches. Journals,letters and photographs relating to the selection of missionaries from the 19th and 20th centuries. Mary Slessor,Robert Law and Alexander Duff are perhaps the better known amongst many more.These records are taken from the NLS collection of the Church of Scotland World Missions Council Archive. The National Archives of Scotland also house missionary records for other denominations: Free Church of Scotland,Episcopalian and Wesleyen Methodist amongst references CH3,CH9 and GD. There are also comments about Popish missionaries active in Braemar before the 1715 Jacobite rebellion and later rival Roman Catholic missionaries in Africa.

Friday, 11 June 2010

National Library of Scotland Launches iPod/iPhone Application

The National Library of Scotland has launched an application for the iPod touch and iPhone. It allows users to view some of the library's most prized letters,manuscripts and documents,featuring Charles Darwin,Jane Austen,Sir Walter Scott,Lord Byron and David Livingstone.The free of charge app provides access to the library's John Murray Archive,which is home to 150,000 papers of the famous John Murray publishing firm.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Edinburgh Historic Graveyards to be Saved

Five of Edinburgh's historic graveyards which were added to a list of the 100 most endangered monuments in the world are now getting help. Heritage watchdogs and city council officials have formed an Historic Graveyard Trust to improve security,provide visitor trails and interpretation boards. The burial grounds within the city's World Heritage Site are said to be at risk of crumbling into disrepair. The Greyfriars,Canongate,Old and New Calton and St Cuthbert's graveyards are the final resting places of a number of world famous figures including economist Adam Smith,philospher David Hume, and poet Robert Fergusson. Fortunately many have already been transcribed by Scottish genealogists and family historians but their architectural and artistic value are equally worth preservation. 

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Improving Your Genealogy Search Parameters

I came across these two web sites which I think are useful if researching databases and surnames. The first 'Google for Genealogy' by Mark Howells is an overview of using the Google toolbar.

The second is a short tutorial  explaining Boolean operators in your search AND,OR,NOT.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Scottish Clan and Family DNA Projects

There are plans in the near future to co-ordinate the numerous DNA projects which have a relevance to Scottish surnames. By sharing results and identifying common origins a better picture will emerge of our historical and prehistorical origins. I have compiled an index of current Scottish clan and surname DNA projects and hope they may be of some help to researchers. Grateful for information on any new additions.



Saturday, 5 June 2010

Poppies from the Heart of Strathspey

A new publication by Peter Anderson,the book explores the effect that World War 1 had on Strathspey,Morayshire and the memories they left behind. Working from the local war memorials,Peter has recorded the military details,date,place of death,photographs of their homes and graves,newspaper clippings etc to complete a very useful publication for those with family history links to Grantown-on-Spey and the surrounding Strathspey villages.