Roots and Walking Routes: A new walking trail will bring more visitors to the North East

Old Bothy
Ancestral tourists come in many guises and some want to combine their search for their roots with other types of tourism. A new long distance walking trail will increase the number of visitors to the North East and could prove as popular as more established walks such as the West Highland Way and the Southern Upland Way. The ‘Glens and  Deeside Way’ will start in Aberdeen and end in Perthshire. While some parts of the route are already established walking trails, other parts will be developed...

Plague, pox and the physician in Aberdeen, 1495 – 1516 by K. Jillings

A wonderful article about medieval Aberdeen and how it coped with the threat of disease has been written by K. Jillings, and published in the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh's journal.  Using the early council registers held by Aberdeen City & Aberdeenshire Archives, the article describes measures taken to respond to the 'great pox' - or, as it is now known, syphillis. You can read the full article in The Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, issue 40/1.

Tracing your lighthouse ancestors, a case study : the Taylor family

Trying to trace her ancestors Mrs Foster called The Museum of Scottish Lighthouses in relation to two Taylors, listed as a lighthouse keeper on the census records. They also had a couple of photographs showing a man in a keeper’s uniform. At the Museum staff were able to trace all the Taylors and provide a full service history for them. The Fosters visited and were able to view records written by one of the Taylors, Mrs Foster's grandfather. Further enquiries based on the service informati...

Hazards of travel

Scots travelling in the 18th and 19th centuries could encounter all kinds of hardship and hazard. As well as ordinary illness and injury, there were riding and coach accidents, shipwrecks and even assault and robbery. While some travellers needing medical attention were treated by local doctors, others, including John Royston, sought hospital care. John was a sailor on the brig Mary, one of many ships that sailed from Aberdeen and Peterhead to Greenland and the Davis Straits, to take part in ...

John William Milne

An account of No. 8080 Private John William Milne 1st Volunteer Service Company, Gordon Highlanders South Africa, 1900 "All is quiet before the dawn, except the soft zephyrs that stir the veldt in its sleep, and the hoarse croak! croak! of the frogs down below. The sentry on duty is alive to the situation as he gazes into the impenetrable gloom, grasps his steel tipped rifle, the blood thrilling through his veins, and dim visions begin to float before his eyes. Such are the feelings of a sold...

Sailed today on Allan Liner “Numidian”

This is the way that a chapter in many a Scots life would have ended and a new one abroad would have begun - travelling on a ship to a new country. Places like America, Australia and New Zealand offered many Scots an escape from poverty, and a fresh start with the promise of new opportunities and the chance to make their fortune. Elspet Jane Niddrie's story is not a typical one, even though her new life started with a steamship journey that had been taken by many thousands of people before her....

The fee’d farm labourer

In 19th century Aberdeenshire, the life of the agricultural labourer was hard and uncertain, hired for a six-month term at a feeing market at whatever wage he could negotiate. A hired labourer had no control over his own destiny or the work he was hired to do. Whether or not he was kept on after the initial term was a decision for the farmer, meaning that travel between farms was a regular feature of a labourer's life. One such agricultural labourer was Alex Mitchell, who worked on 14 differe...