ScotlandsPeople is 10 years old!

Part of my family tree extends into Scotland and when I first set out researching the family I very quickly found the really useful family history website, ScotlandsPeople.gov.uk.

Officially launched in mid-September 2002, it celebrates its tenth birthday in September 2012 as one of the first genealogy sites to arrive on the web.

Back when I began I was favourably impressed with the data available to me from ScotlandsPeople, such as being able to dowload images from the Old Parish Records at a time when no English parish registers were online. The site now contains over 90 million digital records and corresponding images, and adds new sets of fully-searchable historical records on a regular basis.

With over one million registered users from across the world, the website remains the biggest online resource for Scottish census, birth, marriage and death records. The website has evolved through a decade of huge technological growth and in a time where interest in genealogy has soared.

Chris van der Kuyl, the CEO of brightsolid, the company that enables ScotlandsPeople for the National Records of Scotland, said:
‘ScotlandsPeople was our first ever family history website, and our partnership with the National Records of  Scotland has undoubtedly enabled brightsolid to expand our business to become one of the world’s leading publishers of online genealogy.

‘When the Scotlandspeople website was launched back in 2002, we were truly leading the way, offering a unique online product for family historians. We are immensely proud of how ScotlandsPeople has evolved over the last decade. We continue to add exciting new data sets and innovative search techniques to the site, making family history research easier and more accessible around the globe.’

George MacKenzie, Registrar General and the Keeper at the National Records of Scotland, said:

‘ScotlandsPeople has gone from strength to strength since its launch ten years ago. I am delighted that in our special birthday year we’ll be enhancing this very popular resource for Scottish family history by adding hundreds of thousands of new wills from 1902 to 1925.’

As well as the website, that can be accessed worldwide, if you visit Edinburgh then you will have the chance to visit the ScotlandsPeople Centre which is Scotland’s largest family history centre. It can be found at the east end of Princes Street opposite the Balmoral Hotel.

Opening hours are 09:00 to 16:30 on weekdays for £15 per day or free non-bookable two hour introductory sessions from 10:00 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 16:00.

Over the years brightsolid, the company behind the ScotlandsPeople website has expanded and now also owns Genes Reunited and Find My Past.

 

 

The websites that I am using the most at the moment are Find My Past and The Genealogist.co.uk. To take your family history further I highly recommend that you too consider a subscription to these websites. Take a look now and see what great data sets they have to offer:

 

The Genealogist - UK census, BMDs and more online


Disclosure: The Links in the above are Compensated Affiliate links. If you click on them then I may be rewarded by Findmypast.co.uk or The Genealogist.co.uk should you sign up for their subscriptions.

 

Send to Kindle

Revist Your Family Tree Brick Walls!

Devon County Record Office
Devon County Record Office

This week I have been musing upon one of my to-do-lists! I am keen to get back a generation of Thorn’s from Devon, but as yet I do not have enough information to make the break through as to who were my 5x great-grandparents and when and where were my 3x great-grandparents, John and Sara, born?

As more and more datasets are released on the various online subscription sites, however, I periodically revisit this brick wall of mine.

 

John Thorn married Sarah Branton on the 12th January 1794 at Charles Church in Plymouth. The bride was of that parish and the groom was a “mariner” with no mention of which parish he was from. I have wondered if this meant that both bride and groom were of the same parish, or did the vicar simply omit to record where John Thorn sailed in from in a busy maritime city such as Plymouth. I have no evidence either way, all I know is that they married after banns had been called and in the Parish Register for Charles Plymouth in the year 1794 and their marriage entry is No: 60.

On the 28 September 1794, however, their first born son John Branton Thorn was baptised at St.Saviours Dartmouth (IGI C050791) which suggests that they moved to this Devon coastal town just after they got married. Was this a case of returning to the groom’s town to live? Or was it where his job took him?

Working back a generation I would now like to identify John’s baptism and then his parents marriage and baptisms. First I need to know John’s age as this information is not given in the marriage register. That is a typical state of affairs for an English Parish Register where very sparse amounts of detail are given. The exception is for the entries to be found in a Dade or Barrington style Church Records, which are named after the clergymen who tried to introduce more fulsome registers, having some success in Yorkshire for a period.

 

Back to the subject of  John and Sarah Thorn in Devon. By searching in the microfiche records of church registers for Dartmouth, at the Devon County Record Office at Moor Hall in Exeter, I have now discovered the burial of one Sarah Thorn of Townstal (the name given to the Parish of St Clement in Dartmouth and the mother church of St Saviours) on June the 21st in 1818 at the age of 50 in the St Saviours register for 1818, entry No:190.

I went back through the registers and the Bishop’s Transcripts for 1811 for Townstal and I then found one John Thorne buried on May the 19th 1811.

I also found a John Thorn buried in St Saviours in 1810 (page 19) who was born in 1769. Could any of these be my ancestors?

Looking at baptisms for any John Thorn around the time of 1768/9 or so I see that Find My Past has some Devon Church Records that can be usefully accessed on line. There is none for the date in question at Dartmouth, but one in Dorset may be a possibility.

My next thought is to check to see if I can find the banns book for Charles in Plymouth and also the one for Dartmouth to see if this provides me with any more clues about where John and Sarah came from and to also check now for baptisms using the microfiche at the County Record office in Exeter.

 

It is a good idea that you periodically revisit any brick walls that you have as new data may have become available and your skills in family history may have improved since the last time you dusted off the problem. In the next few weeks I am planning a visit the County Record Office to see if I am able to push my tree back another generation.

Watch this space!

 

The family history websites that I find really useful are Find My Past and The Genealogist.co.uk. To take your family history further I recommend that you to consider a subscription to these websites. Take a look now and see what great data sets they have to offer

 

 

The Genealogist - UK census, BMDs and more online

 


Disclosure: The Links in the above are Compensated Affiliate links. If you click on them then I may be rewarded by Findmypast.co.uk or The Genealogist.co.uk should you sign up for their subscriptions.

 

Send to Kindle