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    Super Moderator Lesley Robertson's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Sources: The Places Where They Lived

    Now that you’ve found some ancestors, you should also have discovered where they were living, at least at the time that record was made. Do not underestimate the distances that people moved (after all, some of them ended up in the New World!). The move might have been work-related - for example, unless they found a very good farm with a farmer they got on with, ag. labs.could move every year. Ministers went where they were sent, schoolmasters went where they could find work, and the servants from the Big House travelled with their employers.

    One of the best places to go to find out what’s available about a given area is GENUKI. The information is divided among the countries of the UK&I, and then among the counties. Depending on whether or not someone is currently caring for a county, the amount of information available varies, but there’s always descriptions, lists of parishes, etc. Among the best is Berwickshire, where Viv Dunstan has created a gazetteer showing the locations of individual farms and settlements. There’s also more general inforation including contact information for the assorted archives and Family History Societies.

    The National Library of Scotland has put a great deal of its map collection on line for free download here . Mapping techniques have changed over the years, and some maps are more accurate than others, but they’re all informative and because of the time-span covered, you can see how places developed.

    One of my favourite sources of information about places is the Statistical Account of Scotland (SA). There are three editions, two of which are available on a site belonging to Ediburgh University Ignore the login areas for subscribers - at the end of the list is a hotlink for non-subscribers which will allow you to read the text as you would on a printed page. The third (20th century) edition is still in copyright, but fairly easily found in 2nd hand bookshops. In the late 18th century, Sir John Sinclair sent out lists of questions to every Parish Minister in Scotland. As the answers came back, he published them whenever he had enough to make up a volume. This was the first SA. The chapters are fascinating, although you do often have to wade through pages on the local geology, history or wildlife, depending on the interest of the Minister. They discuss everything from local employment and housing to the character of the people. In the middle of the 19th century, the exercise was repeated, and the results form the 2nd SA. Most of the first and second series can now be downloaded from the Internet Archive, although the quality of the scans can sometimes be poor.

    SCRAN belongs to the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments in Scotland. It contains over 360,000 photographic images from all over Scotland. Searching and viewing of small images is free.
    Other images can be found on individual sites such as the Virtual Mitchell Glasgow collection..
    Searching Google Images also produces surprising results.

    Gazetteers and directories provide a text snapshot of a given location.
    Edinburgh University has a modern Gazetteer of Scotland here. There are several commercial sites offering Francis Hindes Groom’s Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland (2nd half of 19th century), but if you have a fast connection and want to download the whole thing, the Internet Archive has it for free (along with many other goodies).
    Last edited by Lesley Robertson; 15-10-2013 at 7:45 PM. Reason: updating

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    Super Moderator Lesley Robertson's Avatar
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    Default Where they lived - the Valuation Rolls

    The Valuation Rolls are now coming on line at Scotlands People. They've begun the mammoth task of scanning them and have released those from 1895, 1905 and 1915. If you can find a library that has the others, they're wonderful. The local archive kindly sold me photocopies of the relevant sections from several for my OPS since I couldn't get there.
    Property in Scotland has been valued annually since the mid 1800s, and the results published in books. The early ones only list owners and tenants, and show the value of the property. Before long they started showing occupiers of property worth more than 4 pounds - just heads of household with occupation, and later they start showing all of them. Thus for a farm, you'll get the landowner, the tenant farmer and the people living in the tied cottages on the farm.
    Last edited by Lesley Robertson; 15-10-2013 at 7:43 PM. Reason: updating

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    Super Moderator Lesley Robertson's Avatar
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    Scotlands Places is a newish site that's using crowd-transcribing to get things done. You can either pay a subscription to get access to the databases, or you can pledge a couple of hours a week as a transcriber (and do the transcriptions) to get free access. Obviously, at the moment the databases are currently in development, but it's an interesting idea.
    http://www.scotlandsplaces.gov.uk/

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