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The Scottish Association of Family History Societies

Patron: David Sellar, FSAScot, FRHistS, Lord Lyon King of Arms
Awards for All Homecoming 2014
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Death Notices, Articles Concerning Deaths and Obituaries from the Forres Gazette, 1837-1855
A new publication from Moray & Nairn Family History Society

In 1837 there was no newspaper published in Forres, townspeople had to content themselves with newspapers from other parts of Scotland that might just contain small snippets of news local to Forres. Between Inverness and Aberdeen, the only local newspaper being published then seems to have been the Elgin Courant, which started in 1836.

John Miller moved from Elgin to Forres in 1837 to open there a printing establishment, and in June that year, announced a new newspaper, the Forres, Elgin & Nairn Gazette - still going strong in the town today as the Forres Gazette - as a monthly publication of only four pages. Only in 1851 was it published fortnightly, and weekly from April 1855.

Notices cover deaths in Forres, the rest of the county, throughout the country and even overseas. There are notices regarding the death of the illustrious, the well-known and the humble. The shortest may be from 1838 stating, “Died, at Elgin, last month, James Hay, Porter.” The longest is probably that for the Rev Thomas Stark whose death is announced in early in 1849 and whose obituary occupies many columns of the next issue.

Click here for more details and ordering information.

A Guide to Tracing Limerick Ancestors - 2nd Edition
A new and expanded edition of this valuable guide, launched November 2013.

Limerick is a pleasant, largely rural county with prosperous farms centred around the historic city of Limerick, and the market towns of Askeaton, Abbeyfeale, Kilmallock, Newcastle West, Raheen and Rathkeale.

Popular Limerick surnames include Ahern, Bourke, Cussen, Hayes, O’Brien, O’Connor, O’Donnell, O’Shaughnessy, McEnery, McNamara, Madigan, Murphy, Ryan, Walsh and Woulfe. Many of its people have emigrated, particularly in the aftermath of the Great Famine. Its population dwindled from 330,000 before the Famine to 158,000 in 1891.

This updated edition sets out the records available, where they can be obtained and how to use each to best effect. It includes numerous illustrations.

Further details are available here.

Scottish Church Heritage Research (SCHR) Appeal
Are you interested in the story of places of worship where you live? Do you value your cultural heritage? If so, why not become a member of Scottish Church Heritage Research (SCHR). Members share an interest in all places and buildings that have been - or still are being - used for worship and which form part of the rich heritage of Scotland. SCHR is non-denominational, non-sectarian, and non-political.

SCHR has established a project listing all places of worship in Scotland, past and present, over 10,000 to date. The aim is to record each site in its environment, and to photograph both the exterior and interior. The information is accessible to everyone through a website ( So far extensive recording has been done in Fife, Angus, Aberdeenshire, and Moray, and it is now hoped to extend it to the rest of Scotland. The work has been supported by grants from various sources including Historic Scotland, the Heritage Lottery Fund, and the Church of Scotland, but in the present economic climate grants are very limited.

Members receive an illustrated Newsletter, and there are opportunities to take part in events and conferences, as well as volunteering to help with recording. We also offer talks to groups of all kinds.

SCHR needs your help. Join us now and become a member. The annual subscription for individuals is £10 (for organisations, £15, and for students £5). Contact us at SCHR, Volunteer House, 69 Crossgate, Cupar, Fife, LY15 5AS, telephone 01334 844822, e-mail

PhD's Schools -- is a comprehensive and informative resource that systematically sorts out the available undergraduate and graduate programs available today in the U.S. This information is very valuable to students today who are not only dealing with the competitive nature of higher education, but also the rising costs of it.

SAFHS Conference 2014
The SAFHS Executive has announced that the SAFHS 2014 Conference will be held in Dunfermline, on Saturday 26 April 2014. For the first time, in 2014, the Year of Homecoming, this Conference, the 25th SAFHS Conference, will be hosted by the SAFHS Executive and Council. A core Conference Committee has been confirmed as:

    Bruce B Bishop, Conference Chairman (Aberdeen & NESFHS)
    Janet M Bishop, Conference Secretary (ASGRA, AGRA)
    John W Irvine, Conference Treasurer
    Robert Stewart, Lanarkshire FHS
    Mary McIntyre, Central Scotland FHS
    Steve Benson, Federation of Family History Societies

Click here for more details.

1911 Census for Scotland
The 1911 Census for Scotland taken on the the 2nd of April 1911, was made available for Family historians on the 5th of April 2011.

One of the unique bits of information on the 1911 Census which has not been seen on previous census is the Fertility information this shows for a married couple the number of children both living and deceased from that marriage.

The pages have also been digatised in colour for the first time, they became available from the 5th of April both at the Family History centre in Edinburgh and on the Scotland's People web- site.

You cannot scroll through an entire district, only the enumeration district, or institution you have gone into, whereas in previous census you could go through an entire district by going forwards or backwards and paying the appropriate number of credits. With this census you would have to find an entry in each enumeration district and then go forwards or backwards. An example would be Nairn Parish, which has 13 enumeration districts or Cawdor Parish, which has 6. This is relevant to those persons doing local history projects or for doing the history of a street where the street might fall within 2 enumeration districts. The Free Headers will give you a description of the enumeration district and can be found on page 2 of the header.

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Copyright 2013 Scottish Association of Family History Societies        Scottish Charity No SC 029006