Scottish Genealogy

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Lost Conan Doyle novel published...

The British Library have just published a novel entitled The Narrative of John Smith which was written when Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was 23 - three years before Sherlock Holmes saw the light of day.

The novel was apparently sent it to a publisher but it was lost in the post and Conan Doyle then had to reconstruct it from memory.

The book is available from the British Library, and you can find more information about it on their website

It's described as 'a novel of considerable biographical importance' and at £9.95 is well worth having.  I'm ordering my copy now...

Image: ntwowe /

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Images of Edwardian Scotland from RCAHMS

If you missed the interesting supplement in the Scotsman last weekend: Edwardian Scotland Picture Supplements, then you can still view some of these great images online at the website of the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland [RCAHMS].

There are some really great photographs available to view on the website, as well as some interesting information about photography at this time - the images are taken from the RCAHMS collections and display examples of the work of famous photographers like Bedford Lemere & Co and Thomas Annan alongside more informal snapshots from private family albums.

It's an interesting resource and certainly displays something about RCAHMS collections that I didn't previously know about - well worth a look.

Image: m_bartosch /

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Scots Abroad: Emigration Stories from Scottish Emigrants

A 'shout-out' today for another great online resource that is interesting, informative and FREE!

The National Library of Scotland [NLS] have a great digital resource available at which links you to transcripts of letters and journals, and audio versions of these, along with background information and really great visual resources - drawings, photos, maps and pamphlets and much more.

This is a fascinating glimpse into the huge range of records that the NLS have and gives a real glimpse into the lives of people who left these shores to create new lives.

There is a lot of very detailed information in these pages and it is well worth 'bookmarking' to return to again and again.  The website also links into the NLS Scots Abroad database which gives details of material relating to the lives of Scots and their experiences overseas.

Image: Idea go /

Saturday, 10 September 2011

St Kilda and Mingulay School Log Books Online

The last school log books for the islands of St Kilda and Mingulay have gone online as part of a joint effort between the National Records of Scotland (NRS) and the Tasglann nan Eilean Siar (Hebridean Archives).

These books were written by the teachers and give a fascinating insight into life on these Scottish islands.  The Mingulay log book dates from 1875 to 1910 and the St Kilda log book covers the years from 1901-1930 - that takes us right up to the date when the island was evacuated.

They are interesting documents to browse through for a real glimpse of the way people lived on these remote islands.  Well worth a look...

Image: Felixco, Inc. /

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Scotland's Archives Matter

The Scottish Council on Archives has recently released a new publication entitled 'Scotland's Archives Matter'.

It seeks to 'showcase the work of Scotland's archives and illustrate their vital importance not only as priceless cultural treasures, but also as a critical part of modern Scottish society.'

Sentiments with which I wholeheartedly agree!  And if you look carefully, you'll find a few words in there from me, written when I was still an archivist at the National Archives of Scotland [as it was then!] talking about my use of archival material when I was student [that's a wee while ago now!]

Worth a read - it's very nicely done.

Image: Maggie Smith /