Genealogical information is often found in unlikely places. Check out the familial details included in this Scottish embroidery sampler! In 1885 my great-grandmother, Isabella Fairbairn, was 10 years old. She lived in a rural area of the Scottish borders, and like most Scottish children between the ages of 5 and 13, schooling was compulsory for her. Isabella attended school at Crailing, about 5 miles outside the market town of Jedburgh. We might never have known this, had she not … [Read more...]
Charles Booth’s London Poverty Maps: A Glimpse Into the Lives of Your Ancestors
If your ancestors lived in London at the end of the 1800s, the digitized Booth poverty maps provide fascinating insight into neighborhoods and standards of living in the city. The maps form part of Charles Booth’s, Inquiry into the Life and Labour of the People in London, a study conducted between 1886 and 1903. Booth was a Victorian philanthropist and a successful businessman. I have several ancestors who lived in London during that time, so I decided to see what could be gleaned about their … [Read more...]
What Language Did My Scottish Ancestors Really Speak?
Have you ever stopped to think about the language that your Scottish ancestors spoke? Gaelic? English? Something else? The answer is not as straightforward as you may think. English has been the “official” language of Scotland since the 18th century. Prior to this, Scots Gaelic had already been systematically suppressed by several acts of parliament, starting at the beginning of the 1600s. One of the last Scottish kings to speak Gaelic was James IV who reigned from 1473 to 1513. … [Read more...]