Drinking cup of ‘Robinson Crusoe’ goes on show

The drinking cup of the original Robinson Crusoe and a bridle used by Sir Walter Scott to ride his favourite pony are now on display at the author’s home, thanks to loans from National Museums Scotland. Other new additions to the free exhibition, in Abbotsford’s Visitor Centre, include a fragment of curtain from Scott’s home … Read more

Data: Scottish Highland Poor Law records

New at Findmypast: Find out if your Highland ancestors fell on hard times with more than 9,000 new poverty relief records. These detailed transcripts can reveal a wide range of information about your ancestors, a description of the relief they received, location, their occupation, residence, earnings, the names and earnings of their relatives, how poor … Read more

Jacobites and Redcoats revive old quarrels at Newhailes

An exciting re-enactment takes place at the National Trust for Scotland’s Newhailes House and Gardens in Musselburgh on 25 & 26 May. The two-day living history event is based on the conflict between Jacobites and Redcoats, and imagines that it is 1745 and the Jacobites have captured Edinburgh. Now the Highlanders are marching out of the … Read more

The history of penmaking around Britain

Colin Waters explores Britain’s penmaking industry, particularly associate with Birmingham. Vast fortunes were once made from manufacturing the humble pen nib. For example, Josiah Mason and Joseph Gilliot, from Sheffield, came from poor uneducated backgrounds but went on to make their fortunes in the trade. Mason used his fortune for philanthropic purposes, including founding Birmingham … Read more

Data: Wigtownshire parish lists

New release from Findmypast: Scotland, Wigtownshire & Minnigaff Parish Lists 1684. Search for your Scottish ancestors in parish lists containing over 53,000 names. First published in 1916 by the Scottish records society, the lists consist of “nominal Rolls of all persons, male or female, over the age of 12 years, resident within their respective parishes – … Read more

Data: Shetland newspaper notices

New release from Findmypast: Scotland, Shetland Newspaper Marriage & Anniversary Notices 1872-2018 Search over 47,000 marriage and anniversary notices printed in the Shetland Times between 1872 and 2018. Newspapers can an incredible resource when tracing your family tree, they reveal the daily lives of our ancestors, allowing you to further understand an ancestor’s place within … Read more

James Watt artefacts unveiled at exhibition

An exhibition dedicated to the life, work and legacy of Scottish engineer and inventor James Watt opens at The Engine Shed in Stirling on 25 April to celebrate the 250th anniversary of his invention of the condenser engine. The exhibition will focus on James Watt’s improvements to the steam engine and features historic artefacts including … Read more

Exploring the heritage of Stirlingshire

From Roman walls to battlefields, this central part of Scotland has a wealth of history to explore. By Nell Darby. Stirlingshire, in the west midlands of Scotland, borders Perthshire to the north and Lanarkshire to the south. The county town of Stirling was one of the principal royal strongholds of the Scottish kingdom, and was … Read more

Dark tourism, darker history: exploring museums of crime

If you want to know more about your criminal ancestors, there are an increasing number of museums catering to your needs, as Nell Darby explores. Dark tourism is the act of travelling to sites that are associated with death, tragedy or crime. As such, dark tourism has been increasingly analysed by academics, drawing parallels between … Read more