Fife Grave Stones Conference, 14 November 2015, Kirkcaldy
Gravestones and graveyards offer fascinating insights into past lives and the ways in which different societies have dealt with death and burial over the years. The sixth Fife Grave Stones Conference which takes place in Kirkcaldy on 14th November brings together half a dozen experts whose insights are guaranteed to be informative, thought provoking and entertaining.
This year’s speakers and their topics include Dr. Margaret Bennett: ‘Regional variations in Scottish burial customs’, Martyn Gorman: ‘For the security of the dead’, Dr. Richard Fawcett: ‘Scottish Medieval Canopied Tombs’, Thomas Elliott: ‘Scotland’s Epidemics’; and Frank Hay & Len Saunders: ‘The Briggers – Forth Bridge casualties’.
In addition to the talks, there will be an exhibition where a dozen stallholders will be offering books, CDs and other relevant products for sale.
The conference takes place at Kirkcaldy Auld Kirk, Kirk Wynd, Kirkcaldy, KY1 1EH on Saturday 14 November, from 10.00 a.m. till 4.00 p.m. The cost for the day, which includes lunch and coffee as well as attendance at the talks, is only £15. To book a place, please contact Anne McIntyre, 73 Harcourt Road, Kirkcaldy KY2 5HF. Please make out cheques to Kirkcaldy Civic Society. For further details phone 01337-831403 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.kirkcaldycivicsociety.co.uk.
The event, which has taken place every 2-3 years since 2004, is organised by Kirkcaldy Civic Society and Fife Family History Society, with support from Fife Council and Crosbie Matthew Funeral Directors.
SAFHS AGM 2015
At the SAFHS AGM on Saturday 7 March 2015, Bruce Bishop stood down after 8 years as Chairman. His service to SAFHS was acknowledged by the representatives in attendance, but you will be pleased to know he isn’t actually leaving the SAFHS Executive, and has taken on the post of Publications Manager.
The new Chairman of SAFHS is Janet M Bishop (ASGRA and AGRA representative). Janet has been a member of the SAFHS Executive for almost 9 years, during which time she has been Editor of the SAFHS Bulletin. For the time being, Janet will continue as Editor until a replacement can be found.
The Executive now comprises:
Chairman: Janet M Bishop
Deputy Chairman: Stephen Benson
Hon Secretary: Kenneth Nisbet
Hon Treasurer: John W Irvine
Publications Manager: Bruce B Bishop
At the SAFHS Council Meeting on Saturday 7 March 2015, Council agreed, on the recommendation of the SAFHS Executive Committee that, with immediate effect the SAFHS Bulletin will go out electronically.
There will still be a short print run of hard copy for distribution publicly outwith SAFHS, but from this coming edition in April, all societies will receive the Bulletin by email, which will allow them to pass this on to all their members, something strongly encouraged by the SAFHS Executive.
The Bulletin is also available to download or read on the SAFHS website.
This is partly a cost-saving measure, which has allowed the Executive to avoid an increase in subscriptions for the foreseeable future.
Survey of Graveyard Recording and MI Publication
At the last meeting of the National Committee on Carved Stones in Scotland, I was asked to survey the SAFHS Membership with regard to their recording, archiving and publishing of Monumental Inscriptions. This follows the suggestion for a similar survey of English and Irish MI recording, which is still in progress. Progress is well under way in Scotland to complete the surveying of the over 3500 burial grounds identified in the SAHS Graveyard Survey.
Responses have been received from 12 Societies, and from 5 other organisations involved in the recording of Monumental Inscriptions.
The SAFHS Burial Ground Inventory compiled in 2008-2009 revealed that there are 3531 burial grounds in Scotland a further 12 additional sites have been added to the list.
Many of the earlier recordings, dating from the 1980’s and earlier, record the inscriptions in abbreviated form, with no attempt being made to standardise the abbreviations. Most of the more recent recordings will comprise a full transcription, often some comments on the tombstone itself, and in more and more cases there is also a photographic records. Almost all publications contain a site plan in some form. Some groups records War Memorials, especially where these are situated within the burial ground.
Some recording groups do not attempt to clean the stones in line with current methodologies, and only record the clearly visible sections of each tombstone. Only three of the groups which responded research and record buried tombstones in line with the current methodologies.
Publication of the results is usually in booklet format, although some groups are now using CD format, especially where photographs are included.
Of the 3543 sites across Scotland, the inscriptions in 2587 have been published, there are 475 unpublished records, usually where the site is too small to warrant its own publication, or where the transcriptions are in the process of being checked. Work is known to be in progress on 71 sites across Scotland. This shows us that out of the total of 3543 sites. Some 3133 have either been completed or are currently being researched.
Sadly some of the earlier MI publications are now out of print, but most Family History Societies hold a collection of MI books in their own library, generally comprising their own publications and also others of possible local interest. The societies which have informed SAFHS that they have regular opening hours and welcome researchers to their libraries include:
Aberdeen and North East Scotland FHS
Borders Family History Society
Family History Society of Buchan
Buckie & District Fishing Heritage Centre
Dumfries and Galloway Family History Society
Lanarkshire Family History Society
North Perthshire Family History Group
The Scottish Genealogy Society
Shetland Family History Society
Tay Valley Family History Society
East Ayrshire Family History Society
Highland Family History Society
Largs and North Ayrshire Family History Society
Lothians Family History Society
Orkney Family History Society
Renfrewshire Family History Society
Troon @ Ayrshire Family History Society
The Scottish Genealogical Society Library in Edinburgh holds 2359 MI publications, and has on file the unpublished inscriptions for a further 345 sites. National Records of Scotland has 849 published MI books in its Library Collection, mostly in the Dundas Room in New Register House. Obviously there is considerable duplication between these two collections. The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) also has numerous MI books in its own collection, but a figure for this collection is not available.
This brief survey suggests that the Monumental Inscription is all but 412 burial grounds throughout Scotland have been recorded, in some way, at various times up to the present day. If Family History Societies know of sites which have not been recorded, it may be a good idea to do these in the relatively near future. Maybe a target of the year 2020, to complete all of the Scottish Burial Grounds, may be worthy of consideration.
Bruce B Bishop
8 March 2015
Edinburgh LDS Family History Fair
Edinburgh LDS Family History Fair
10 October 2015
Title: "Family Discovery Day"
No programme organised, as yet, more to come when available.
32nd International Congress of Genealogical and Heraldic Sciences
The 32nd International Congress of Genealogical and Heraldic Sciences will be held in Glasgow, Scotland, from Wednesday 10 August until Saturday 13 August 2016.
This is the most prestigious congress in our field, organised under the auspices of the Academie Internationale de Genealogie and the Academie Internationale d'Héraldique. It is a biennial event, dedicated to topics of heraldic and genealogical interest, and bringing together scholars and other interested persons from around the world.
Recent Congresses have been held in St Andrews (2006), Quebec (2008), Stuttgart (2010), Maastricht (2012) and Oslo (2014). The Oslo Congress programme is still available online, and will give a favour of the event (https://www.congress2014.no/)
Register your interest for Glasgow 2016 at http://www.congress2016.scot - more Programme details will emerge, and there will be a Call for Papers on the theme of "Origins and Evolution".
For the first time, students of Genealogy and Heraldry will be encouraged to offer Poster Presentations.
Dr Bruce Durie
With grateful thanks to all contributors, a new set of Pre-1841 Population Lists has been prepared and uploaded to the SAFHS website.
The catalogue, now with more than 600 entries, covers the whole of Scotland, and ranges from population lists for Anstruther, Fife, from 1578-1583 through to ‘Heads of Household’ and ‘Lists of Inhabitants’ from the 1830’s, and later.
Click here or select Pre-1841 Population Lists from the sidebar menu.
National Records of Scotland - Estates Review
National Records of Scotland have published more information regarding their current Estates Review, in it they say “Although there are no immediate plans for NRS to move out of General Register House or New Register House, these buildings do not feature in our core estate over the long-term.”
Click here to read the full statement.
1911 Census for Scotland
The 1911 Census for Scotland taken on the the 2nd of April 1911, was
made available for Family historians on the 5th of April 2011.
of the unique bits of information on the 1911 Census which has not been
seen on previous census is the Fertility information this shows for a
married couple the number of children both living and deceased from
The pages have also been digatised in colour for the
first time, they became available from the 5th of April both at the
Family History centre in Edinburgh and on the Scotland's People web-
You cannot scroll through an entire district, only the enumeration
district, or institution you have gone into, whereas in previous census you
could go through an entire district by going forwards or backwards and paying
the appropriate number of credits. With this census you would have to find
an entry in each enumeration district and then go forwards or backwards. An
example would be Nairn Parish, which has 13 enumeration districts or Cawdor
Parish, which has 6. This is relevant to those persons doing local history projects
or for doing the history of a street where the street might fall within 2 enumeration
districts. The Free Headers will give you a description of the enumeration district
and can be found on page 2 of the header.