Today we got to sleep in a bit before heading over to the National Library of Scotland, a short walk from the hotel. Unlike yesterday’s repository, you’re less likely to find specific information about your ancestors here. But you never know!
We had a really solid presentation from a librarian who gave an overview of the different kinds of records that might be available. Some are normal kinds of reference materials; others are specialty and “antique” publications; and there are also manuscript collections.
From previous online research, I knew that there was an obituary for a Tainsh (Campbell) ancestor in an 19th-century newspaper from Perth – I even had a date and page number! [Andrew Fraser’s wife, Ann Campbell, descended from a James Tainsh,] I inquired with a librarian and sure enough, they had it! I was so excited! They brought it in from another part of the archives, and I had to go into a secure area. No cameras allowed. They brought me a giant bound volume of newspapers from 1821. It was very fragile. I carefully turned to the month (May) and the date (17th) and then page 4, column 2 and found this:
Died at Crieff, on the 28th ult[?] Mr. John Tainsh, writer there.
So that was a huge let-down. I don’t even know for sure if I’m related to this man, I was hoping for an obituary that gave the usual kind of family information. Oh well. Perhaps I will find out about Mr. Tainsh some other way.
The day wasn’t a total bust, though. Here’s a grab-big of findings:
- They had a lot of publications from the Aberdeen and North East Scotland Family History Society – someplace I probably won’t be able to visit on this trip. So it was great to peruse some of their publications. One of them included complete documentation of the Leslie Church Yard. Buried there is Joseph Fraser – Andrew Fraser’s younger half-brother.
- In a directory, I found out that in 1886, Joseph lived on a farm near Kennethmont called “Burnside”.
- I also found out that the papers of the Leslie Estate are held by the archives at Aberdeen University – another place I won’t get to visit but it’s nice to know that they exist and might be a source of more clues someday.
- I found a highly-footnoted and well-sourced publication about Fraser pedigrees. If I could push Andrew’s lines back a few more generations, I suspect I might intersect one of the lines in this book. But pushing through that gap is likely impossible, based on what I’ve seen so far…
- At the end of the day, I stumbled across the definitive guidebook for researching British soldier ancestors. I now know what I need to do to verify Andrew’s service in the army. Oh darn, I might have to go to London someday.
- This library has a huge about of content available online, so I look forward to further exploring their collections when I get home.
After I had a quick bite to eat and a short nap back at the hotel, I joined the tour group for a guided tour of the Greyfriar’s Churchyard, one of Edinburgh’s most famous attractions. It’s most famous grave is that of Greyfriar’s Bobby. The tour guide was very engaging and the stories are just great. Photos below, including more Harry Potter content!
Tomorrow we will tour the maps building of the National Library of Scotland, followed by a walking tour of Edinburgh in the evening. Dale is en route and will be able to be part of that tour, too!