Monday, March 30, 2009

Pre 1855 Scottish Deaths and Burials Go Online

Hello All -

On April 01, 2009 (Wednesday) the Old Parish Registers of deaths and burials will go online at the scotlandspeople website. However, if you are researching at the facilities in Edinburgh they will not be available until later one in the year. Here is the news about it all from the scotlandspeople centre website:

Launch of Scottish Old Parish Register Deaths and Burials online, 1 April 2009
The Old Parish Register deaths and burials are being launched at on Wednesday 1st April.Why are these records not available at the ScotlandsPeople Centre at the same time?

Users of the ScotlandsPeople Centre system will be aware that there have been problems with the system sometimes slowing down or even freezing due to overload issues. At the moment the system is cleared and re-booted each night to clear the memory but this is not a long term solution because some of the problems still persist.

To sort our overload problem, our specialist computer staff need to alter the search facility and make it more efficient. This work should be complete by the Summer 2009.

Whilst our IT staff are resolving these problems, there are no resources available to add these records to the system.

One of the outcomes of the proposed system changes will that it will be possible to search for a marriage prior to 1929 using both the bride and groom’s name, which will be an improvement.
Access to the microfilm for the Old Parish Register deaths and burials will continue to be made available to day search customers.

When will these records be available at the ScotlandsPeople Centre?
At this stage we can only say that we expect that the records should be available at the ScotlandsPeople Centre by December 2009.

Hopefully this is not an "April Fools" joke.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Fake Family Histories - Watch Out

Hello All -

As part of my new series on helpful hints in family history and genealogy research, I wanted to focus on the fake genealogies that are out there lurking about.

One of the main famous culprits is Mr. Gustav Anjou. He did many fake family histories for well to do clients, charging thousands of dollars. I have even come across his work in doing my own family research - even saw it reproduced by an unsuspecting person in an online forum about 3 or 4 years ago. This is very dangerous, especially now with so much information found online - rootsweb, familysearch, genforum, etc.

Please be very careful in doing your research. If you come across anything by Mr. Anjou as a source for any information found on your family be very doubtful of the accuracy of it. Don't even use it, in my opinion - find things that can back it up. If you are working in your local library or state archives and you look at previously written family histories that have been produced check the sources they used.

Here are some helpful websites that deal more in detail of this problem.

Here is an example of Gustav Anjou's research found on a website at
(Note that the author of this website even states how suspect the information is, which is very responsible on their part in my opinion).

Fordyce History and Genealogy By Gustave Anjou for Samuel Fordyce, Esq., St. Louis, Mo.

Editor's Note: Most of the information found in this document is not documented and it is generally considered to be suspect if not fabricated by the author.

The Irish and American Genealogy of the Fordyce's of Greene and Washington Co.'s Pa. compiled by Gustave Anjou for S. W. Fordyce, Esq.

This family is really of Italian origin, as the name itself indicates -- Fordyce -- man of the South, although some authorities claim that the name means -- man of wisdom -- as Forsyth means a man of peace, Forlong -- a man of the sea - Sforza (Duke of Milan, man of force, con. Fortis, strong, whence Le Fort, the strong.

It appears that at an early period in Scotland and the Fordyce of Gast and Culsh, Co. Perth, have long occupied a prominent position, intermarrying with the best families. Among the latter branch we find many judges, and men of prominence, as e.g. Arthur Dingwall Fordyce, LL.D., Judge of the commissary Court of Aberdeen; Sir John Fordyce, Lieut. Gen., William Fordyce, Member of Parliament for Co. Aberdeen; David Fordyce, Author of dialogue concerning education in 1745; Dr. Geo. Fordyce, F.R.S., author of several medical works during 1794, both of London, etc.

It is likely that all these Fordyces had a common origin, although it has not ben possible to properly connect them.

The Irish branch of the family, with which we have to deal, evidently came over from Scotland, settling, as did many other Scotch-Presbyterians in the Province of Ulster, from which many families later on emigrated to the New World.

The progenitor of the Irish family of Fordyce, from which descend all the Fordyce's of Washington and Greene Co.'s Pa. was one
I. Hugh Fordyce b. in Drumasole Co. Antrim, Ireland, in 1527. marrying July 3, 1552, Mary Conyngham, of Kilbirnie, Co. Ayr, Scotland, daughter of Patrick Conyngham, of that ilk and this would tend to indicate that Hugh, himself, or his father, had come from Scotland, presumably from Ayrshire. What his father's name was we do not know, as yet. (Conyngham Coll. 69) Children: Mary, Sarah, Martin of whom presently, Hugh, John.

II. Martin Fordyce b. February 20, 1557, married March 21, 1599, Sarah Bryson of Clogh Co. Antrim. (Clough Records 11. 5) Children: Martin, John, Samuel of whom presently.

III. Samuel Fordyce b. May 19, 1602, marred October 1, 1631, Abigail Gallagher. Children: Samuel, Abigail, William, John of whom presently, James.It was during Samuel's time that the first blow was openly leveled at the permanance and prosperity of the Presbyterians in Ulster Province in 1631. Ministers were suspended from the exercises of the ministerial functions. Even the Fordyces had to remove to another country to find peace. In 1635 the entire country was pronounced duly forfeited to the crown, patents to land were subjected to rigorous examination, and many had to take out new patents. Among the latter was Samuel Fordyce, who was fined 200 pounds. (McLeland Papers. B. 89.)

IV. John Fordyce b. Nov. 8, 1643, married April 7, 1668, Mary daughter of Hugh Bane whose son Hugh Bane emigrated to Washington Co., Pa., in 1784 in company with Samuel Fordyce and his children. (There seems to be an error here as other records show some of the Samuel Fordyce children were born in Morris County, N. J. Of whom later, in this genealogy) Record of John above. Bane's Children: Mary, John, Hugh, Peter of whom presently.

V. Peter Fordyce b. May 8, 1680 in Amroy, Antrim, Ireland, married first in August, 1700, Mary France. Marriage license, Ulster Province. Children: High, of whom presently, John, James, who emigrated to Nova Scotia, Descendants settled in McLain Co., Ill.

VI. Hugh Fordyce married Jan. 4, 1732, Amelia Souter Hervey, (Souter Coll. Gen'y Mss. A. 52) Children: Samuel of whom presently, Jas. Hervey, Isaac and Justus left no descendants. (Note, N.L.F.: The above record of the three brothers of Samuel does not seem correct according to New Jersey records.)

VII. Samuel Fordyce b. Oct. 17, 1734, in Amroy, Antrim, Ulster Province, Ireland. Married, Feb. 4, 1755, Elizabeth Huggins of Clogh, Antrim, Ulster Province. (McLeland Coll. XXI, 163.) He emigrated in 1784 the wife and children to the new world where he had from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, March 30, 1796, a warrant of land consisting of 200 acres in Washington Co. Pa. Pa. Archives, 3d S., Vol. XXVI, p. 558. Children of Samuel Fordyce and Elizabeth Huggins:
1. James b. Nov. 8, 1756.2. Catherine b. Aug. 23, 1757.3&4 Mary and Elizabeth, b. June 7, 1758.5. William b. March 22, 1759.6. Abraham b. Jan. 3, 1760.7. Samuel b. Dec. 1, 17608. Abigail b. Sept. 7, 1765.9. Jacob b. Nov. 16, 1763.10. John b. Sept. 16, 1765. -- Sept. 17, 1775, Family Bible. McLeland Coll. XXI. 163 All mentioned in their father's will.

Note - N.L.F.: Another child, Isaac, was not mentioned in father's will. Howard L. Leckey, in the Tenmile Country and Its Pioneer Families, and a Bible in the possession of Mark Headley, Garards Fort, descendant of Mary Fordyce, and Headlee, give the birth of Mary and Elizabeth Fordyce and their younger brothers and sister as having been born in Morris Co. N. J. Strykker's New Jersey and the Revolution. has a record of Samuel, Isaac and Abraham having served in the Revolutionary War. It would seem that they emigrated to America before 1784.

VIII. For the family of John, tenth child of Samuel, and Elizabeth Garard Fordyce see Life and Times of Rev. John Corbly.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Hello All -

Since it is St. Patrick's Day today, I thought I would place some interesting informative web sites here to look at. These links are mainly focused on the Irish migrating into Scotland. However, the Irish did make a huge mark on immigrating to other countries as well - mainly US, Canada, Australia, and NZ. The Northeast areas of the US (such as NY City and Boston) are well known for its Irish communities. The areas of the American South and Pennsylvania during the colonial times (18th and 19th centuries) were heavily immigrated by the Ulster Irish or Scots-Irish (Northern Ireland now).

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Bruce Durie's New Book Out Now

Here is a description of Bruce Durie's new book taken from Amazon. I have not yet got the book yet, but it should be good. I have met Mr. Durie and he is very competent authority on Scottish Genealogy. Not to forget that he is also the head of the University of Strathclyde Genealogy Department.
"Scotland has possibly the most complete and best-kept set of records and other documents on the planet. Given both this and the extraordinary worldwide Scottish diaspora (approximately 28 million people can claim Scottish ancestry), the lack of a thorough guide to Scottish genealogy is a significant gap. Bruce Durie's book bridges that gap with authority and provides a sense of the excitement of the historical chase. Scottish Genealogy covers not only sources and records (physical and electronic) but is also firmly based on established genealogical practice, with worked examples which will enable family historians everywhere to exploit the rich resources in Scotland. Bruce Durie disabuses the reader of the many canards which have accompanied the recent upsurge in interest in family history - notably that it's 'all on the internet', that there is such a thing as a 'family coat of arms', and that everything written down must be true. He shows researchers how to get beyond the standard 'births, marriages and deaths and census' search and how to dig deeper into genealogy. Authoritative and entertaining this is a reader-friendly reference and guide to genealogy and family history.

Bruce Durie has had a varied career ranging from research scientist to Head of External Affairs at Kingston University. He now writes, and runs an e-business consultancy and an e-publishing company. He is the author of several local history books, including A Century of Glasgow, A Century of Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy and East Fife in Old Photographs. A Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, he lives near Glasgow. "