Category Archives: Scottish

Scottish OPR burials due online on 1 April

I was looking at the Glasgow-based newspaper The Herald for a Scottish take on the new London records released on Ancestry (covered in my previous post) when I came across this throwaway comment:

On April 1, the final tranche of the old parish registers, death records for the period 1553-1854, will go online.
Hurrah! Guess what I’ll be doing on Wednesday!

New Year ….. New Data

London is currently shivering under a thick layer of snow

which, according to the news, is the heaviest for 18 years. So this seems like a good time for an update on some of the new data that’s appeared online since Christmas.

First of all was the addition of Counties Antrim, Down and Kerry to the 1911 census for Ireland at which were added to the existing records for Dublin on 23 December 2008.

Next came the annual upload of new data on Scotlandspeople. We can now view the images of the registers of births for 1855-1908, marriages 1855-1933 and deaths 1855-1958 at

The current big excitement is the 1911 census for England and Wales which went live on 14 January at They have gradually added to the number of counties available and currently the whole of England except for Cumberland, Westmorland, Northumberland, Durham and the North and East Ridings of Yorkshire are available. Wales has still to be added. To check on progress and find out about enhancements to the search facilities as they are added, read the blog at

A less well publicised launch was the addition of the civil registration indexes for Ireland which are available on the Familysearch Record Search pilot site at Irish civil registration indexes begin in 1845 for Protestant marriages. Civil registration indexes for births, deaths and all marriages begin in 1864. The available indexes cover all of Ireland from 1845/1864 to 1922 and the Republic of Ireland from 1923-1958. As the General Register Office for Northern Ireland has an online certificate ordering facility at and the General Register office for Ireland has downloadable order forms at ordering Irish certificates has now become much easier.


Glasgow Police Museum to close

The Glasgow Police Museum which is based in the old District Court in St Andrew’s Square is due to close on 8 December.  The Scottish Courts Service is taking over the District Courts from Glasgow Council but does not want the old court building, so the museum has been given notice to quit.  The full story is on the Evening Times website at
The Glasgow Police were Britain’s oldest police force.
The first attempts to establish a police force for Glasgow were made as far back as 1779 but it wasn’t until the Glasgow Police Act was passed in 1800 that a permanent force was established.  The newly formed force, consisting of three sergeants, six police officers and 68 watchmen mustered for the first time in the Laigh Church, Trongate on 15 November 1800.
For the following 175 years the City of Glasgow Police served the city.
The force was finally disbanded on 15 May 1975 when it was amalgamated with other forces to form Strathclyde Police.
The Police Museum has a website at where you can read about the history of the force.

Early female aviators

Isn’t it typical – I start this blog full of good intentions and then work gets in the way.
However, I have been playing with a new database at Ancestry – the Royal Aero Club Aviators’ Certificates.
The Royal Aero Club was founded in 1901 and from 1910 issued Aviators Certificates, internationally recognised under the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. The Club was, and still is, responsible for control of all private and sporting flying in the UK.
This database contains about 28,000 index cards and 34 photograph albums of aviators who were issued with their flying licences (certificates) by the Royal Aero Club from 1910-1950. These included the first military and naval personnel to become pilots. The original records are now held by the Royal Air Force Museum in Hendon, London.
As I was playing, I noticed one or two women’s names and started to wonder if any of these early female aviators were Scottish. It turns out that there were 16 of them:
  • Miss Elizabeth Ann Roche Anderson, born 1908 Aug 18 in Dullatur
  • Miss Winifred Joyce Drinkwater, born 1913 Apr 11 in Waterfoot
  • Isabel Clare Drummond, born 1915 Dec 12 in Ardrossan
  • Miss Ivy Barbara Mary Forsyth, born 1905 Apr 24 in Inverness
  • Mary Coutts Gordon, born 1906 Oct 13 in St Andrews
  • Sheila MacDonald Green, born 1901 Feb 15 in Elgin
  • Maie Hardie, born 1893 Jan 14 in Kirkaldy
  • Mrs Eleanor Amalie Harper-Gow, born 1894 Jun 21 in Cupar
  • Miss Janet Hendry, born 1906 Oct 23 in Ardrossan,
  • Marjorie Emily Meredith Hunter, born 1908 Jun 22 in Kilmalcolm
  • Dorothy Millicent Kay, born 1911 Jan 3 in Edinburgh
  • The Hon Miss Mildred Katherine Leith, born 1894 Mar 22 in St Andrews
  • Mrs Henrietta Learmont MacEwan, born 1897 Jun 21 in Hurlet
  • Mrs Margaret Helen Saunders, born 1901 Jun 30 in Montrose
  • Shaw Annie Gillespie 1904 May 28 Uddingston
  • Mrs Mora Morton Weir, born 1896 Jan 16 in Tayport, Fife
and there’s photos of 12 of them.
Frustratingly, not one of then has an entry in either the Dictionary of National Biography or in Who Was Who.