Discovering Scottish Ancestry – which McIntosh am I looking at?

During my latest new teaching session there were quite a few learners who were trying to discover their Scottish links.  Scottish records can be difficult as so many families share the same surnames and lived relatively near to each other.  However, there are a few ways to check that you have the right people in your line.  For example, are the names of the children concurrent with baptism parental names, in particular the mother’s surname? Also, are there any middle names?  The registrration of birth, deaths and marriages has been conpulsory in Scotland since 1 January 1855.

Another clue can be found under occupations that appear on the Scottish census returns. (1851-1911). People tended to remain within their ‘born into occupational class’.  It is highly unlikely that a boy of sixteen working in a mill will appear thirty years later as a lawyer.  Yet the 2 differing lines may have even given their children all the same names!  So double check the children’s birth year and baptism record (if you have found it), and with time you can even crossing reference with cousins and other family members to see if there is a match.

Earlier Scottish records can be found in church records and these can be found on line if they have survived. Before 1855 Scottish births, deaths and marriages and burials will be found in the church registers.  However, they often contain only a simple index of names depending on the church and parish recorder. Presbyterian church records are available from 1716.

Heritage Found can help you with this research.

More information can been found at http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/guides/

 

New Bristol Family History Course dates – 2018-2019 book now!

New course dates

The new course dates are available and bookable now though Bristol City Council’s web site. Please link to the Book tab below this post for details of the Family History courses running in Bristol 2018-2019.

The courses are aimed for beginners and for those who have already undertaken some research.

Stage 1 – Six classes begin for 6 weeks on each Thursday. Starts 20th September 2018.

Also, 10th January, 2019 and 25th April, 2019

Stage 2 – Six classes begin for 6 weeks on each Thursday. Starts 8th November 2018.

Also, 28 February, 2019 and 6 June, 2019.

Saturday Taster Days – 6th October, 2018 and 2nd February, 2019

Also, an Intensive One Day Course.   The idea is for you to find the space and time to enable you to get on with fresh research through the aid of on-line records.  The days are tutor led and will be in tune with the individuals progress so far – even if you are just beginning!  Saturdays – 1st December 2018, and 23rd March, 2019.

For more details and to book click the link  Book 

The history of British marriage certificates

Civil registration in England and Wales commenced on 1 July 1837, and relates to the birth, marriage and death of an individual. In Scotland records began in 1855 and in Ireland in 1864, with Irish non-Catholic marriages recorded from 1845.

In England and Wales, up to that time, the government had relied on the church to register the population but this was was not a complete record, not a full listing of the population. Also, mass printing of government administration forms was now possible due to advances in printing technology.  A single tier registration system was introduced, based on the administrative poor law unions, which had been set up in 1834, and previously the administrative hundreds. These became the registration districts. Births, not baptisms, and deaths, not burials, were recorded as well as marriages.  Parish and nonconformist baptism & burial registers were still completed at the same time that the new civil registration system began.  The Act also permitted marriages to be performed in Register Offices and outside the confines of the Anglican Church. Many nonconformist chapels were authorised to perform marriages. Since 1837 there has been much fine tuning of the system and various new regulations and legislation have been introduced.

It can be very rewarding to send off for a copy of our ancestor’s marriage certificate.

And below are are some pointers to understanding what you may read.

No exact age may be shown and ages may be recorded that the bride or groom were “of full age”, an age in excess of 21 years. Although this statement may have been false to avoid a minor having to obtain parental consent.  Where an actual age is given, it is usually reasonably accurate but it may also have been altered for a variety of reasons and remember not everybody actually knew their exact age!

The same address for both parties may show and  this was common to avoid paying two sets of banns fees if one or other party resided in a different parish.  Marriages traditionally took place in the parish of the bride.

The absence of a father’s name and occupation usually meant he was unknown.  But, also a made-up name, or a male name with in the family, could have been used with (deceased).  I have seen several suspected examples of this on certificates.  Also this is a clue of illegitimacy.  If the father was in fact dead the name was usually filled in and the word deceased written alongside it.  The inclusion of the name of the father without the word deceased did not automatically mean that he was alive at the time of the marriage! Remember the certificate was being hand written with details often being given by the bride and groom who could not always read and write, and vital information may not of been asked for.

Coming soon – your family tree web site

Soon we will be launching a personal family tree web site.  The site will be carefully made just for you. It can display images, relationships and facts about your ancestors lives.  You will be able to share the web site or invite preferred persons to have access.  This is a wonderful way to possibly find out even more about your ancestry!

To view a Heritage Found family tree click here