I’ve talked before about going to the Scotland’s People Centre at Register House in Edinburgh. It was purpose built to house the all the vital records from all the counties and parishes throughout Scotland, and was opened in 1788.
Picture above from the computer screen at SPC so apologies for the quality.
In 1855, the keeping of records of births, marriages and deaths (BMDs) was made compulsory, whereas before that, although it had been suggested to parish ministers that they should keep records, not all did.
If you actually find an ancestor’s BMD in 1855 you find a lot more information than in subsequent years when the amount of detail required dwindled. The other day I decided, after a telephone conversation with a cousin in Cornwall, to go up to Edinburgh, and do some more research on the family. I only have the name as a middle name, from my paternal grandmother’s family, but he’s descended from one of granny’s brothers and still has the family surname.
Normally when I go to Register House I try to get a seat in the Matheson Dome – the building on the right of the photo, the other being the Sasines office - but if all seats are taken it’s the Reid room - not so attractive - but when I got there the other day, I found the Matheson Dome closed and the Reid Room full.
Though the surname is unusual, it is still very hard to find exact information, thanks to the many variations of spelling of the same name. Our family settled on the KINMONT spelling, probably in the 19th century, but when names were written down by a recorder, they wrote them as they heard them or as they thought the name should be spelled. So brothers and sisters could each be recorded with a different spelling, Kinmond, Kinment, Kinmonth, Kinmouth, Kynman, Kinninmonth, to name just a few.
Anyway I looked up a few of my Kinmonts on the census records – mine came from a village in Perthshre and gradually they came to Edinburgh - and from there looked for their births, marriages and deaths, and even some wills, which were interesting. A day at Register House always passes far too quickly, and there’s always someone whose details you still haven’t searched for. For me that was the aunt of my great grandfather, whose name was given to her great niece and then to me! Next visit, if I haven’t already looked up the ScotlandsPeople website.
I do enjoy a day at the Scotland’s People Centre, and one of these days will start delving into the Scottish archives to find out more about my families.
Talk again soon.