National Archives of Scotland Record Guides

Have you ever visited the National Archives of Scotland website? They have a whole section devoted to Record Guides. The directory covers adoption to wills and testaments and everything in between.

They provide a history of the record and places to look for more information. Those places could be within their own records or other archives and libraries. There are also suggestions for further reading on the topic of interest.

This was my first stop when I was looking for information on a Scottish divorce. Here I found a history of divorce in Scotland and they provided the information you would need to find a divorce record. At this point they also pointed out what kind of research services they are able to provide.

Want to find out more about Scottish records? Then check out the Record Guides Directory at the National Archives of Scotland.

©2010 – Blair Archival Research

The Family of William Henry Cumming and Jemima Grey

My Great Grandmother was Annie Cumming. She was one of eight children. Annie’s father was William Henry Cumming and he was a stone mason. He travelled throughout Lanark, Ayr, Midlothian and Wigtown plying his trade. The family finally settled in the Glasgow area some time after 1873.

William Henry Cumming and Jemima Grey were married in Stranraer Wigtownshire on 10 April 1866. William’s parents were Henry Cumming and Rachel Hamilton. Jemima’s parents were William Grey and Sarah McCubbin. Jemima had been born and raised in Leswalt Wigtownshire and was one of seven children.

William Henry Cumming was born in Hillsborough County Down Ireland circa 1839. The first time we find him in Scotland is on the 1861 Scottish census. He is in the house of his sister Mary Thursby.

Mary is 32, married and born in Ireland. George Thursby, Mary’s husband, is 29, born in Ireland and a porter. They have four children William H Thursby aged 9, Hugh aged 7, Margaret A aged 2 and Thomas aged 1. They are all born in Stranraer.

William Henry Cumming is 21, unmarried and a gardener. He is listed as brother in law. There is also a Rachel Cumming aged 5, born in Stranraer and she is listed as niece. The household also has a boarder James and his last name looks like Burden. James is 29, a porter and born in Ireland.

No birth record has been found for Rachel Cumming. A birth record has been found for Thomas Thursby and his mother’s maiden name is Cumming.

Mary Thursby died 27 February 1888 at 1 Hanover Street Stranraer Wigtown. Her parents are listed as Henry Cumming and Rachel Hamilton both deceased.

William, Jemima and family are found in the 1871 Scottish census in Mary Hill at the Garrioch Barracks where William was working. Also in this census William’s sister Rachel is found living with the family. In 1881 they are in Govan Lanark but William’s sister is no longer with the family. In 1891 and 1901 they are in Cathcart Renfrew. The children are Rachel, Jemima, William, Elizabeth, Anne, Mary and John. Mary was known as Pollie.

Rachel married William Moodie. Jemima married William Stewart Thomson. William died in infancy. Pollie (Mary) married James Thompson. Anne married Frederick Campbell and Elizabeth married William Linn.

It was discovered on Elizabeth’s marriage record in 1903 that William Henry was deceased so this provided a space of time to search for his death record since he was on the 1901 Scotland census. William Henry Cumming died 5 January 1903 at 7:30 pm at 347 Langside Road in Crosshill Glasgow. He was 66 years of age and his son John Cumming was the informant.

John was a mystery as he was not found in the birth registrations for a long time. He was with the family in the 1891 and 1901 Scotland census and was the informant on his father’s death registration. John was born on 1 August 1884 in Govanhill Glasgow. Nothing has been found regarding John since the time of his father’s death. Family lore suggests he died in New Jersey USA around 1905. There is a John Cumming arriving at Ellis Island in 1904 on his way to Brooklyn but no information has been found to corroborate this story yet.

Jemima Grey Cumming died on 22 November 1917 in Cathcart Glasgow. She died at 11:00 pm at 57 Battlefield Ave. Frederick Campbell was the informant.

My Grandmother always said that her Grandfather had a pig farm. She can remember Annie saying that Jemima used to wash the pigs in buttermilk in preparation for going to market. Jemima Grey Cumming may have washed pigs but those pigs were the property of her father’s neighbour and not her husband. Family stories can be a little bit like the game Telephone where you whisper a phrase into someone’s ear and it is passed down the line and the last person has to say out loud what they heard. It is rarely the same phrase that started the game.

©2010 – Blair Archival Research

New additions to ScotlandsPeople

It has recently been announced that there will be new additions to the wills and testaments at ScotlandsPeople. The years 1902-1925 are to be released later this year.

They have also released the Catholic Parish Registers for births and baptisms for 1703 to 1908. The website suggests you read about the Catholic Parish Registers before using the database.

©2010 – Blair Archival Research

Horace Gibson Leitch Campbell (1887-1916)

My Great Grand Uncle was Horace Gibson Leitch Campbell. Gibson Leitch was the name of the doctor who helped bring Horace into the world. This is a Scottish naming practice that is not heard of very often. Horace was born in Glasgow Scotland and was the ninth child of the union of John Sheddens Campbell and Janet Waddell Ross. He was actually John’s seventeenth child.

In 1909 Horace and his brother Frank left Scotland for an adventure in the wilderness of British Columbia Canada. He is found on the 1911 Canadian census with the occupation “Surveyor in the woods” and was living in the Vancouver Power company camp in Nanaimo Renfrew District.

Not much is known of Horace’s adventures in Canada but when the First World War began he signed up almost immediately. Horace signed up with the 29th Vancouver Battalion in November 1914. The Battalion was part of the Second Canadian Contingent and this in turn was part of the 6th Brigade.

These soldiers did a lot of fighting in and around the French and Flemish borders. Horace went to Trench Warfare School and in the field was promoted to Corporal.

According to his attestation papers Horace was 6 ft 1 ½ in tall and weighed 173 lbs. He had a dark complexion, brown eyes and black hair.

Horace never returned from the war. On June 8, 1916 he lost his life as a result of the Battle of Mount Sorrel in Belgium which was fought from 2-13 of June 1916. June 3rd must have been an active day because a lot of his comrades lost their lives on that day. Horace Gibson Leitch Campbell was awarded the 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

All that was left for his mother was a picture of his grave in Belgium. Horace is buried with the other soldiers who lost their lives in Belgium at the Reninghelst New Military Cemetery.

A search for Horace on the internet provides his information on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and Canadian Great War Project Database.

As with so many men of that time period Horace’s life was cut short as a result of the First World War. They will not be forgotten.

©2010 – Blair Archival Research

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