Welcome to Scottish Genealogy Tips And Tidbits

A wee bit of info to help you in your journey to discover your Scottish Ancestors and maybe even crack a brick wall or two!



Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Scottish Covenanters

At the Battle of Bothwell Bridge in 1679, over 1200 covenanters were taken prisoner and taken to Edinburgh. Approximately 400 of these prisoners were held in the Covenanters Prison in Greyfriars Churchyard. 


Here they were kept out in the open, exposed to the elements for the winter months. They were kept under guard by tyrant George "Bluidy" MacKenzie. 


The prisoners were given 4 ounces of bread and water each day. Those that died under these conditions were buried in the part of the kirkyard reserved for criminals. Those that survived the winter were either executed come spring, or shipped off to Barbados as slaves.  Of those who were executed, some 100 were burned and their ashes buried under the Martyrs Memorial. 


Although quite weathered, the inscription reads:

Halt passenger take heed what thou dost see
This tomb doth shew for what some men did die
Here lies interr'd the dust of these who stood
Gainst perjury resisting unto blood
Adhering to the Covenants and Laws
Establishing the same which was the Cause
Then their lives were sacrificed unto the Lust
Or Prelatist's abjur'd though here their dust
Lies mixt with murders and other crew
Whom justice did justly to death pursue
But as for this in them no cause was found
Worthy of death but only they were found
Constant and steadfast zealous witnessing
For the prerogatives of CHRIST their king
Which truths were feared by famous Guthrie's head
And all along to Mr Ranwick's blood
They did endure the wrath of enemies
Reproaches torments deaths and injuries
But yet they're these who from such troubles came
And now triumph in glory with the LAMB

From May 27th 1661 that the noble Marquess of Argyle suffered to the 17th of Febr 1688 that Mr James Ranwick suffr'd were executed at Edinburgh about an hundred of Noblemen Gentlemen Ministers & others noble martyrs for JESUS CHRIST. The most part of them lies here.


This Tomb was erected anno 1706.

If you have covenanter ancestors:

http://search.ancestry.ca/search/db.aspx?dbid=7021

Thursday, 16 October 2014

1798-1799 Consolidated Tax Schedules Now Available

National Records of Scotland have released the Consolidated Tax Schedules for 1798-1799. These are available on the ScotlandsPlaces  website.

From 1798 onwards taxpayers were no longer taxed individually for taxable items. Rather all of the taxes were consolidated into one payment.  

Unfortunately, only the consolidated schedules counties which begin with the letters A-M survive. There are no schedules available for Nairnshire, Orkney, Peebles-shire, Perthshire, Renfrewshire, Ross-shire  and Wigtownshire.

Here's the link:


Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Declaration of James Stuart Proclaming Charles Stuart as Regent 1743

Another stunning document to view yesterday from the University of Guelph's Scottish Collection is the 1743 Proclamation of James Francis Edward Stuart making his son, Charles Edward (Bonnie Prince Charlie) King Regent. The issue being, of course, that James was not recognized as the current King, his father having been deposed by William of Orange. 
 
James, in his continuing attempt to restore the name of Stuart to the throne, proclaimed that his charismatic son, Charles, was now to be the King of Scotland, England and Ireland. It was Charles who led the failed Jacobite uprising of 1745, when 1500 of his men were slaughtered within 15 minutes at Culloden.
 

The Proclamation reads:  

"Whereas We have a near prospect of  being restored to the Throne of Our Ancestors, by the good Inclinations of Our Subjects towards Us; and whereas, on Account of the present Situation of this Country, it will be absolutely impossible for Us to be in Person at the first setting up of Our Royal Standard, and even sometime after; We therefore esteem it for Our Service, and the Good of Our Kingdoms and Dominions, to nominate and appoint, as We hereby nominate, constitute and appoint Our dearest Son CHARLES, Prince of Wales, to be sole Regent of Our Kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and of all other Our Dominions, during Our Absence. It is Our Will and Intention That Our said dearest Son should enjoy and exercise all that Power and Authority, which according to the ancient Constitution of Our Kingdoms, has been enjoyed and exercised by former Regents. Requiring all Our faithful Subjects to give all due submission and Obedience to Our Regent aforesaid, as immediately representing Our Royal Person, and acting by Our Authority. And We do hereby revoke all Commissions of Regency, granted to any Person or Persons whatsoever. And Lastly, We hereby dispense with all formalities, and other Omissions that may be herein contained; declaring this Our Commission to be as firm and valid to all Intents and Purposes. as if it had passed Our Great Seals, and as if it were according to the usual Stile and Forms. Given under Our Sign Manual and Privy Signer, at Our Court at Rome, the 23d Day of December 1743, in the Forty third Year of Our Reign. J.R."

Of course, the Kingdoms were not James' to grant to his son or to anyone else for that matter. The rest, as they say, is history.

1332 Charter for Granting of Land to Robert Menzies from David de Strathbogie



What a treat yesterday to be able to visit the Scottish Collection in the Archives at the University of Guelph. The University has the largest collection of Scottish documents outwith Scotland. This is a charter for feudal land from 1332. It delineates who the land has transferred to. The charter is for the land, not the landowner. The document is written in Latin. The owner of the land at the time of this charter was David de Strathbogie, born 1309. He was the son of David de Strathbogie who had been the constable of Scotland but lost his title when he switched allegiance to the English. Had he not done so, he would have been the Earl of Atholl. The lands that the charter covers are: "Cranachcrochin, Achmore, Kinknock, the two Rothrolges and Achnethrosck" The witnesses are a "who's who" of Scottish peerage and include Thomas Randolph, Earl of Moray, Robert The Steward and Patrick de Dunbar. These feudal thanages were later translated to Royal Baronies.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Thank You Niagara Celtic

I was honoured once again to be asked to speak at the Niagara Celtic Festival. This festival takes place at Krull Park in beautiful Olcott, New York. The park is on the south shore of Lake Ontario and has lots of room for all of the activities, vendors, speakers and performers. This is one of the best Celtic festivals going and always very well organized.

In addition to the heavy events and clan tents, there is a Celtic College where speakers can share storytelling, teach family history or show people how to play celtic instruments. There are food vendors, performers and artisans,. There are dog shows and pony rides. There is, quite literally, something for everyone at the Niagara Celtic Festival. I am already looking forward to next year!

The Genealogy Season of Meetings is Off to a Great Start

The season of genealogy and historical society meetings has started once again and this year it has started off with a bang.

I was honoured to be first on deck at both the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa on September 13th and again at the Kingston OGS Branch on September 20th.

The first talk at the BIFHSGO meeting was on Tracking Your Scottish Ancestors who emigrated. Unfortunately we ran out of time before the break. Next up was learning about preparing for a Genealogy Research Trip to Scotland. Both talks were loads of fun and the attendees provided great craic. Perhaps the best part of the weekend was the opportunity to spend time with Sue Davis, the Communications Director who has become a dear friend. It's always so good to catch up.



The Kingston talk was on Basic Scottish Research. The weekend was amazing. On Friday evening, the Executive treated me to a meal at Sir John's Public House. This building was once Sir John's law office. The hotel was located right on the water and provided a constantly changing canvas. And, best of all, genealogy serendipity kicked in and I was reunited with a neighbour from my childhood days! Not only great neighbours but also great friends of the family.



How has your season started? I hope you are learning lots of new strategies to try to find those elusive ancestors.

1875 Valuation Rolls Released on ScotlandsPeople

Yesterday saw the launch of the 1875 Valuation  Rolls on ScotlandsPeople. These will assist you in locating your ancestors between the 1871 and 1881 census years. As an introduction, viewing the index pages will be free until the end of the year (December 31). To view the record itself will cost 2 credits.

Here's the link: http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/content/help/index.aspx?r=554&2080