Scottish Genealogy

Saturday, 28 January 2012

The George Washington Wilson and Co. Photographic Collection

While browsing for photographs of Scottish cities in days gone by, I came upon the George Washington Wilson and co. photographic collection which the University of Aberdeen have made available online.

This remarkable collection showcases the work of Wilson and his company.  The photographs include images of places across Scotland and the UK as well as from Australia, Africa, and European countries.  Wilson was named photographer royal  in 1860 and had an immensely successful career.

The fruits of his work as shared on this website are a great resource for anyone interested in family or local history as they give us glimpses of life in a variety of locations at various points in the 19th century.  Of particular note are the stunning images of Fingal's Cave and the beautiful images captured in Africa.

Image: m_bartosch /
You can visit the website and search the images by place or keyword.  There are also a number of images that are yet to be identified, and if anyone recognises them, then I am sure that the archives staff at the University of Aberdeen would love to know.

Enjoy this great collection.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Tombstone Tuesday - George Aikman, surgeon, 1857

This mournful lady was spotted whilst I was walking through the Dean Cemetery last week.  She has been devotedly watching over the grave of George Aikman, surgeon, from East Linton, Prestonkirk, for over 150 years and I thought that such a vigil deserved mention!

George Aikman died on the 29th January 1857 aged 45 and left a widow, Jane Brown Smith, who survived her husband and lived for another 37 years.

George Aikman's death notice in the Scotsman of the 31st January (pg.3) gives few other details, but George appears in the 1841 census at Prestonkirk along with his wife, Jane (both aged 30).  They appear to have married the previous year at Prestonkirk.

In 1851 the couple are still at Prestonkirk (with no children but two servants).  George is named as a licentiate Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh.

It doesn't appear that they had any children before George's death in 1857, so I do not imagine that they have any direct descendants today, but if they link into your tree at some point then I hope that these images will prove interesting.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday - Fosters from Muirkirk, Kirkbean and Stewarton, c. 1911

Members of my family, c.1910-11: Robert Foster and Maggie Jane Kirk along with their children - Maggie Jane Foster (b.1900), Henry Kirk Foster (b.1902), Mary Agnes Foster (b.1905), Robert John Foster (b.1908), and twins William Alexander Foster and Jessie Edgar Foster (b.1909)

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Tenants in Meal Vennel, Perth, 1773 - P&K Council Archives

Perth and Kinross Council Archives are one of the many archives that have showcased some images from their fascinating collections on Flickr.  I often enjoy just browsing through the photo-streams of the various different archives and thought that I would point out any interesting/unusual/useful records which I come across on my travels.

Today I'm highlighting one record in particular, a census of Perth dating from 1773.  P&K District Archives have published a return dealing with properties in Meal Vennel on Flickr (document reference: GB252/B59/24/1/40).  

A database of the returns from this census is available through the website and you can view the original images too if you are a subscriber.

But, if you haven't used these records before then the image of the Meal Vennel return on Flickr will give you an idea of the type of information in the census.  Are any of these people your ancestors?

William Graham, aleseller
William Bryson, mason
William Sharp, doctor
Alexr McIntyre, taylor
John McDonald, labourer
William Reid, labourer
Kathrine Duff, widow
Elizabeth Stewart, widow
Jannet Robertson
Cathrine McDougall
Christan Robertson
James Gibson, weaver