16 votes
Accepted

What does VSP mean in the book The Original Scots Colonists of Early America, 1612-1783?

The book 'The Original Scots Colonists of Early America, 1612-1783'' by David Dobson is also available on archive.org. Abbreviations are listed at the beginning of the book, but as you observed, VSP ...
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  • 5,122
9 votes

Lunacy - what does it mean?

While the exact diagnosis is almost certainly impossible without data from elsewhere that probably doesn't exist, we should at least attempt to see how the words were used at that time. Anyone ...
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  • 11.2k
9 votes
Accepted

Identifying cause of death on Scottish record

Paralysis. Determining the underlying cause is pure speculation, but suffice it to say that the person had some sort of neurologic disorder. Causes could range from trauma to infectious or ...
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  • 18.5k
8 votes

Seeking informational resources on “Robinson” family name origin?

As it is a patronymically derived name ..."Robin's son", the likelihood of there being any single attributable geographic origin is very unlikely. Surname distribution maps derived from census ...
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  • 1,281
8 votes
Accepted

Locating "Bankhead of ..." in parish of Forfar

It appears to be: "Bankhead of Turfbeg" Turfbeg is a district to the north-east of the modern town, in roughly the same place as "Bankhead" on this snippet from an 1850 map by James Knox: ...
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  • 5,122
6 votes
Accepted

Are parents listed on marriage certificate "proof" of parentage?

Unfortunately it isn't definite proof that he is, but equally does not rule him out either. DNA testing will be the only way of proving 100% and everything else will be about the weight of evidence. ...
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6 votes
Accepted

Finding Obituary from British Newspaper Archive?

The BNA has the death notice in the Dundee Courier on Tuesday 13 June 1944. It's rather brief: ORMOND. At Dundee, on June 11, 1944, John Barclay Ormond, of 115 West High St., Forfar, husband of ...
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  • 4,417
6 votes

Finding British militia records?

The answers, such as they are, are probably available only at Kew with the Muster Books and Pay Lists (that's one document produced every quarter, usually). See TNA Guide on Militia The problem is ...
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  • 11.2k
5 votes

Apprenticeship records for Ship Carpenters at Glasgow, Scotland in first half of 19th Century?

A ship's carpenter was responsible for building the hull of the ship, the masts, etc. Any type of carpenter (joiner) would be eligible for membership in a guild (of joiners), but would not be ...
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5 votes

Finding Scottish parents of Rear Admiral Donald Campbell (1752-1819)?

At the risk of further muddying the waters, “The Life and Services of Horatio, Viscount Nelson” by James Stanier and John M’Arthur gives the following details of the life of Donald Campbell: Born ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Finding evidence for divorce of Hugh Sillars and Agnes Macculloch in mid-19th Century Scotland?

A brief overview can be found in the FamilySearch Wiki Article: Scotland Court Records under the section Divorces. For the period of this question, in the civil courts, divorces are granted by the ...
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  • 24.1k
5 votes

Was traditional Scottish naming pattern the same for Highlands, Lowlands and Ulster Scots?

I get both cynical and concerned about naming patterns. Concerned in case people use naming patterns to prove genealogy rather than genealogy to prove naming patterns. Cynical because my great ...
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  • 11.2k
5 votes

Military Record is the first sign of existence

I can think of several cases where someone might be considered 'missing' and notices placed in newspapers. Cases would range from the criminal to the simple case where family moved and lost touch with ...
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  • 1,366
5 votes
Accepted

Locating information on John Megone from 1800's Ireland

When I get stuck, I find it helpful to step back from where I am and review what I already have, starting over again as if the problem was completely new to me, and pretending that I am a complete ...
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  • 24.1k
5 votes

Using DNA to verify story of sailor from Spanish Armada being ancestor?

First of all: the genetic makeup part of a DNA test result is fun, but isn't something that can be relied upon or ever provide 'proof', because it's based on the DNA reference groups and samples held ...
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5 votes
Accepted

Seeking to verify 1862 Scottish marriage, birth and death records for a Henry Clifford stationed with the Royal Navy at Leith

"Would an enlisted Royal Navy man marry onshore?" The only alternative that I can think of, is that he would be married by a Royal Navy Chaplain on board ship. The relevant National Archives (TNA) ...
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4 votes

Finding evidence for divorce of Hugh Sillars and Agnes Macculloch in mid-19th Century Scotland?

Details about Divorce in Scotland are to be found on the National Archives of Scotland (National Records of Scotland) web-site. However, it appears that the indexes are not on-line - "From 1830/5 to ...
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  • 11.2k
4 votes
Accepted

Average age at marriage in Highland Scotland in 18th century

On marriages in Britain, The Oxford Companion to Family and Local History notes several key points that dictated the age at which individuals married: [T]he great majority of the people of Britain ...
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4 votes
Accepted

Does "Mr" in a marriage record indicate a minister? (Or, did Rev James Nasmyth marry Lady Gordinstoun?)

This is the image from the source linked in your question: I retweeted your question during a chat today, and Fergus Smith at http://www.oldscottish.com/ kindly gave this answer (you can see from the ...
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  • 24.1k
4 votes

Was traditional Scottish naming pattern the same for Highlands, Lowlands and Ulster Scots?

I have found Scottish naming patterns to be a useful starting point in researching my ancestors in early North America - not proof, but a starting point for a line of inquiry in the absence of hard ...
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  • 41
4 votes

Lunacy - what does it mean?

We can assume that your ancestor suffered from some kind of mental condition. Please see Lunatic (English Wikipedia). Given the poor state of psychiatric knowledge and care at this time, it will be ...
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  • 5,377
4 votes
Accepted

Reading illegible document from Scotland's People?

This is probably going to take a bit of work. In general, it's best to start by trying to identify letter and word shapes according to what you know, and what you expect to be there, then move onto ...
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  • 4,417
4 votes
Accepted

Looking for Alexander Ormond on 1861 census?

What about the family of Jean Osment, with James, Alexander (19), Elizabeth and John? Anytime a whole family disappears, I look for common mistakes in the spelling of the last name. Parish: Forfar; ...
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  • 66
4 votes
Accepted

Why might I be unable to find a parish burial record?

My general advice on finding records in a particular area is in this answer: What records are available in a particular locale? My checklist looks like this: Learn what records might have been ...
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  • 24.1k
4 votes

What is "braid Scotch"?

There is technically no such thing as the Scotch language, although that term was used historically. It is more commonly referred to as the Scots language. Braid Scots (English broad Scots) is simply ...
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  • 18.5k
4 votes

Looking for records in Dumfriesshire pre 1841

The Scotlandspeople site only holds parish registers for the Church of Scotland, the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland, and a few other Presbyterian churches. The records of many other ...
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  • 5,122
4 votes

How to differentiate John Ormond (husband of Katharine Henderson) from others of the same name?

One of the pitfalls of being self-taught when you're doing genealogy research (as I was when first starting out) is that you can pick up bad habits from using tools like hints which are intended to '...
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  • 24.1k
4 votes
Accepted

Irregular Session Catholic Marriage in Scotland's OPR

The primary purpose of the OPRs was to record baptisms, marriages and (if you are really, really lucky) burials carried out by a Church of Scotland minister in that parish. While there seems to have ...
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  • 11.2k

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