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The ScotlandsPeople December 2013 Newsletter



December 2013

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Dear ScotlandsPeople Customer,

Scotland in 2014
With Christmas, Hogmanay and New Year now on the horizon, we're looking ahead to what will be an exciting year for Scotland. As you've likely heard, the Ryder Cup, the Commonwealth Games, the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn and, last but not least, the independence referendum, are all taking place here in 2014 - so it promises to be an eventful year.

Release of the New Year's images on ScotlandsPeople – birth images for 1913, marriage images for 1938 and death images for 1963
new year imagesThe arrival of 2014 also means that the New Year's images will be made available on the ScotlandsPeople website. So just after you've seen in the bells at midnight on the 1st of January, you'll be able to view the images of the statutory records for births in 1913, marriages in 1938 and deaths in 1963.

The total number of BMD images that will be released on the website on 1 January is 94,537, comprising 46,109 birth images, 23,310 marriage images and 25,118 death images. We've been looking at some of the BMD records that will be published on New Year's Day, and have uncovered some terrific personal stories behind the documents. Some highlights - and some fascinating statistics - from the New Year images will be featured in our January 2014 newsletter.

'Homecoming Scotland 2014' - twelve months, hundreds of events
homecoming logo2014 also marks the year of 'Homecoming Scotland', with twelve months of exciting events taking place across the whole country. There are certainly some great events taking place as part of 'Homecoming Scotland 2014', such as the 'Big Burns Supper' in Dumfries from 24 to 26 January.

From an ancestral viewpoint, the Conference & Fair organised by the Scottish Association of Family History Society (SAFHS) in Dunfermline on 26 April will be of special interest, as will the various clan gatherings that are taking place throughout the year. 'Bannockburn Live', a re-enactment of one of the most dramatic events in Scotland's history, is being held in June and promises to be a colourful spectacle. The organisers of 'Homecoming 2014' also say they will be announcing news about another big genealogy event taking place in 2014, so watch this space.

In short, 'Homecoming 2014' is an open invitation for Scottish Diaspora exiles to return to explore their roots, their clan heritage and discover more about how and where their Scottish forebears lived. You can find out more about 'Homecoming 2014' on the VisitScotland website.

Further examples from the 1920 Valuation Rolls - Sir William Burrell and Samuel Peploe
As the Valuation Roll records (for 1895, 1905, 1915 and 1920) on the ScotlandsPeople website continue to attract interest, we thought we'd highlight some more examples from the 1920 Rolls.

In this first example, you can view two records for Sir William Burrell's Hutton Castle Estate in Berwickshire. In these records, you can see the names and job titles of the people who worked on the estate, and also the yearly rateable value of their homes. To find out more about these VR records for Burrell, follow this link.

peploeIn the second example, we can follow the Edinburgh whereabouts of the artist, Samuel Peploe. Through the three records highlighted, we can see that he had a studio on the third floor of 54 Shandwick Place, and that he was living at 13 India Street. Indeed, the current set of Valuation Rolls on ScotlandsPeople (from 1895 to 1920) let us follow Peploe's flits from various studios in Edinburgh, as he moved from Albert Buildings at 6 Shandwick Place to 7 Devon Place (near Haymarket) and then to 32 York Place. We can also see who Peploe's neighbours were in 1920 and also what their occupations were. To find out more and to view the three 1920 VRs for Peploe, follow this link.

N.B. when viewing the large size images of the Valuation Rolls on the website, just click on an image to enlarge it further.

Self-portrait of Samuel Peploe courtesy and copyright of the National Galleries of Scotland.

ScotlandsPlaces publishes 1,700 Ordnance Survey Name Books from the Victorian era
scotlandsplaces launch news storyIn our November newsletter, we mentioned that ScotlandsPlaces were working on a project to publish Ordnance Survey Name Books on their website, and we also highlighted two of these new records. These records, comprising 1,700 books and covering the period from the 1840s until 1878, have just been published on the ScotlandsPlaces website, and we thought people would like to read the BBC news story about the launch.

Your ScotlandsPeople stories – "Searching for an Artist's Model"
We're always interested to hear your research stories – especially when they're a tad mysterious and are not fully resolved.

scotlandspeople storyJust recently, Grace Darney of Langley, British Columbia, dropped us a line to tell us about her quest to discover more about the miniatures painted by her great aunt, Lilian Dalzell Darney (1870-1966). Grace is actually writing a book about Lilian and her art, but is still looking for information about her great aunt and is also hoping to contact the descendants of the artist's models.

If the name Darney rings a bell for folk from Fife, it's because Lilian's father, John Darney, was born in Kinghorn, where his family owned and operated the Darney Glueworks. Lilian's mother, Mary Greig Buchanan, was born in Marylebone in London. An interesting aside is that Lilian's maternal grandfather, Alexander Dalzell Abernethy, was the first printer of The Scotsman newspaper.

Grace has kindly written a fascinating article about her research of Lilian Dalzell Darney, and you can read this article on the ScotlandsPeople website. Oh, and if you are a descendant of one of the Scottish models who sat for the artist (the full list of models appears below her article), then Grace would love to hear from you – Grace's email address is listed at the end of her article.

Exhibition on the Tay Bridge Disaster – the Wellgate Library, Dundee
tay bridge displayIf you're interested in the Tay Bridge Disaster and are going to be in Dundee between now and Saturday 4 January 2014, then you might like to visit the city's Wellgate Library to see a fascinating display of documents about the tragedy. This free display consists of official records, photographs and historical newspapers - especially interesting and poignant are the documents that record the belongings of the passengers that were recovered.

You can also view some official records - including the 'Terrible accident on Bridge...' telegram that was sent by the Station Master at Dundee - that we published in our December 2011 newsletter.

Big family history dates for your 2014 diary

Some interesting family history talks in January 2014


News stories we liked this month

  • A BBC news article about the 'herring girls' of Scotland;
  • John McDouall Stuart - the explorer's 150-year-old pocket watch sells for £48k;
  • 'Lost' bagpipe tunes of the First World War are to be researched;
  • McBlare, the robot that can play the bagpipes, goes on display in Edinburgh (the McBlares are a sept of Clan MacLoud);
  • The Forth Bridge Photographic Competition - gallery of the winning and highly commended photos;
  • Robert Burns' pocket watch sells for £40,000;
  • The Merseyside Maritime Museum in Liverpool looks to contact descendants of travellers who sailed on the 'Lusitania' on its fateful voyage in 1915.


Christmas and New Year holiday dates for The ScotlandsPeople Centre in Edinburgh and the HelpDesk

register house displayThe ScotlandsPeople Centre and the Historical and Legal search rooms will be closed on the following dates: Wednesday 25 December, Thursday 26 December , Wednesday 1 January and Thursday 2 January. And on Tuesday 24 December and Tuesday 31 December, the Centre and the search rooms will close at 1pm.

The ScotlandsPeople internet Helpdesk will close at 1pm on Christmas Eve, and will be closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day – it will reopen at 9am on Friday 27th December. For the New Year, the HelpDesk will close at 5pm on Hogmanay, and will be closed on New Year's Day and also on the 2nd of January – it will reopen at 9am on Friday 3rd January. During this time we will keep you informed of the website status via the normal online message system.

Christmas and New Year and New Year Greetings from the ScotlandsPeople team
As this is the final ScotlandsPeople newsletter of 2013, we'd like to wish you a Merry Christmas, and best wishes for Hogmanay and the New Year! We hope Hogmanay/New Year brings you a kind stranger bearing a lump of coal, and we look forward to e-first-footing you with our next newsletter in January 2014.


All the Best,
The ScotlandsPeople Team




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