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10:40am on Sunday, 15th November, 2020:



The way that genealogy normally works using Findmypast or Ancestry is that you pay a hefty subscription and for that get free scans of parish records and census returns. However, you have to send off for birth, marriage and death certificates, which cost something like £7 for a digital copy and £11 for a hard copy. I usually go for the hard copy.

This is for England, Wales and Ireland, anyway. Scotland is something of a hold-out (rather ironically, given that Findmypast is a Scottish company). For Scottish records, you can get transcripts of the records but not the actual records. Transcripts are frequently wrong (sorry,Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, some of the people whose salvation you have procured didn't exist); therefore, you want the records. Now while I don't mind paying £1.50 instead of £7 for a birth, marriage or death certificate, I do mind paying £1.50 instead of nothing for census returns or parish records. It's particularly annoying when there are two records in the same name and you know exactly which one you want but there isn't enough information given by the Scotlandspeople site to disambiguate them. Example: one of these people was baptised July 1782 (the one I want) and the other was baptised February 1782 (the one I don't want), but the search will only give me ones baptised 1782. I have a 50/50 chance of paying £1.50 and getting the wrong one.

I've spent something like £30 on these records so far and have only just scratched the surface. A quarter of my family tree is Scottish, so this is going to become expensive.

The most interesting information I've uncovered so far is that when my maternal grandmother's parents got married, the bride was 5 months pregnant. The reason that is is interesting is that my mother was pregnant with me when she married my father, and got some criticism from her aunts as a consequence. Those aunts did not apparently know that their own parents were in the same boat. It pleased my mum to find out, anyway.

Otherwise, I've learned that one of my ancestors was married at age 15 (legal in Scotland until the mid-1800s) and that the surnames Stratton and Stirton are the same surname.

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