2020 has been a tough year for everyone and that includes those researching their family history. At last we have the hope of vaccinating the whole population within the next year so perhaps better times lie ahead. For many though, archives and family history centres have been closed for months and all those plans we had have had to take our research further have had to be put on ice.
Here at Relatively Scottish this year we’ve done our best to make some of our resources available more widely to help those of you with an interest in Liddesdale and Canonbie in particular. These are normally only available to those who visit archives like the National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh (closed since March 2020) in person. Estate records and Kirk Session records can be a great resource to use for those who have exhausted more conventional resources like Old Parish Registers and Monumental Inscriptions.
In addition to the 15 documents that we currently have online, we’ve just added two more. We’ve now made available a full transcription of the Canonbie parish rental for the year 1792-1793 based on the records of the Buccleuch Estates. This is possibly the most detailed Buccleuch rental document with everything from the largest farms down to the most basic cottar’s cottage included.
AND we’re delighted to include a very early Communion roll for Canonbie covering the years 1749-1760 free of charge. The communion roll is one of the gems contained within the kirk session records. There are many communion rolls within kirk session records but most date from no earlier than the mid-19th century. So a mid-18th century roll is rather special !
We’ve heard that Scotlandspeople will be making the kirk session records searchable free of charge online sometime during 2021 which is exciting news. However at this stage there are no plans for Scotlandspeople to provide any indexing which can mean that searches can potentially take a long time (many of the kirk session minutes are very wordy and not always written in the best handwriting). All of our index documents based on kirk session minutes (irregular marriages, illegitimate births etc) include page references to the the original records which will allow users to access the full original documentation easily and quickly once the kirk session records are made available online.
And look out for a further index document on illegitimate births to appear here shortly. It will be for the adjacent Dumfriesshire parish of Kirkpatrick-Fleming. There are over 400 illegitimate births for Bells, Irvings and Carruthers to name but a few !