Scottish Genealogy

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Lord Cochrane exhibition at National Museum of Scotland

The National Museum of Scotland is running an exhibition entitled 'the real master and commander' all about the life of Thomas, Lord Cochrane.

He was also the Earl of Dundonald, and he was appointed an admiral in the Royal Navy, and served until his death at the age of 84.  He is perhaps most famous in South America (where many of his notable exploits took place) but this exhibition should help to bring him to fame in his own country.

Image: Juan Gnecco /
The exhibition is a great mixture of original documents relating to Cochrane's life which are held in the National Records [Archives] of Scotland, and extraordinary collection of personal possessions and dramatic paintings.

If you can't get along to Chambers Street in Edinburgh to see the exhibition in person, then the National Museum of Scotland has devoted some webspace to him on their site.  Visit their website and find out more about Thomas Cochrane - the real master and commander!

The exhibition runs until 19th February 2012 and is free.

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Scottish Life Archive

Looking around on the internet the other day, I came across the page for the Scottish Life Archive, which seems to have had a bit of a facelift since the last time I visited the website.

The archive has been around since the 1950s and aims to collect, record and preserve documentary and illustrative evidence of Scotland's material culture and social history.  

They have built up a fascinating collection of material that could be useful for anyone researching aspects of Scottish local or family history and you can get a taste of what they have by visiting their website, and you can view images of some of their photographic collections on flickr.

Viewing the collections is by appointment only (see their website for contact details), as well as holding photographic and film material the Scottish Life Archive is home to a unique collection of manuscripts, letters, diaries, books, leaflets, oral recordings, maps, plans, trade catalogues, paper ephemera and an extensive newspaper cuttings collection.

If you're searching for details about a particular person, place or theme, then it might well be worth a visit.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Digging for clues to the past at Bannockburn

Work began on Monday [3rd October] at the site for the new visitor centre at Bannockburn.

As well as looking for clues about the battle of Bannockburn itself, archaeologists will be trying to identify a possible Roman road that was identified as running through the area in an Ordnance Survey map drawn up during the 19th century.

Derek Alexander, Head of Archaeological Services at the National Trust for Scotland said that, “The survey will hopefully identify any linear features which may be a trackway or road and old field boundaries. It may also locate pits associated with camp of the Scots army."

This is all part of the preparation work for the new visitor centre at will be interesting to see what they find...

The project is a joint venture between the National Trust for Scotland and Historic Scotland and you can find out more at the Historic Scotland website. 

Image: nuttakit /