Author Archives: dgm

About dgm

Former IT professional, previously a digital archiving and repository person, ex research psychologist, blogger, twitterer, and amateur classical medieval and nineteenth century historian ...

The role of the Kirk Session in policing rural fornication in Scotland

When I was researching my great-great-great grandfather’s marriage the notice of his banns was simply an entry in the Airlie Kirk Session minute book for 1805. When I downloaded the record, actually what I got was a copy of page … Continue reading

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Madeleine Smith and marriage

I was going to leave Madeleine alone for a bit, but while I was researching the marriage of my great-great-great grandfather several things about Madeleine and Emile’s relationship clicked into place. In her letters to Emile, Madeleine signed herself as … Continue reading

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Banns and Proclamations

One of the things that I like about family history is that you learn things about how a society worked. For example I was researching the marriage of my great-great-great grandfather who I knew was named James Moncur. I also … Continue reading

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Inglistoun, Inglistoun, wherefore art thou Inglistoun ?

While I still had some credit left on my account with Scotland’s People, the Scottish Government’s genealogy service, I thought I’d try and find the birth record for my great-great grandfather, who was rather unimaginatively named James Moncur. I already … Continue reading

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Captain John Moncur

One thing that has puzzled me in recent years is why there are quite a few people in the Bahamas whose surname is Moncur. Given that Moncur is a relatively unusual name, and the Bahamians with that surname are the … Continue reading

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And George was a liar …

A few years ago, we took advantage of a free day on Ancestry to research Judi’s grandfather. And then, having confirmed his record at Gallipoli and on the Western Front, we left it there. However, I’ve just bought myself a … Continue reading

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Digitised diaries and class bias

Increasingly, when researching the past, we make use of digitised records, and increasingly, for the nineteenth century at least, there are a slew of  newly digitised diaries and journals. But there’s a problem: Most of the people who wrote and … Continue reading

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Reading Frankenstein …

Some time ago I wrote about Mary Shelley and Frankenstein. At the time I hadn’t actually read the book (tsk, tsk), but it was an interesting little exercise teasing out some of the linkages. I am by no means a … Continue reading

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Christmas Bills

This year’s festive tweet was a little different, I’d come across the poem while researching something entirely different. I’ve been working my way through Juliet Barker’s magisterial history of the Brontës, more as a way of understanding life in late … Continue reading

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The precariat of the nineteenth century …

T Today, we often talk about the precariat. However, there’s also a subtle shift underway in meaning – rather than simply gig workers such as Uber drivers and Deliveroo riders – increasingly the term precariat is applied to people in … Continue reading

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