Friday 8 April 2011

Those Places Thursday - the dear green place

Glasgow Cathedral
That's Glasgow, in case you were wondering. Glasgow has given many things to the world; great ocean-going liners from the Clyde shipyards, the architecture of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, two of Britain's oldest seats of learning, the deep-fried Mars Bar - and me! I used to feel self-conscious about my very English accent whenever I visited Glasgow (I left there when I was 7). But not any more, because I realised that I am in fact a very typical Glaswegian. I was born there, as were both my parents, all 4 grandparents and 5 of my great-grandparents; I have one line of Glasgow ancestry going back to the time of Mary, Queen of Scots; some of my ancestors were drawn to Glasgow from all over Scotland and (of course) from Ireland; I have the obligatory mix of protestant and catholic ancestors. But I think that the real clincher is that I don't live in Glasgow any more! There are lots of us about - never underestimate the extent of the Glaswegian diaspora!

Wishful thinking - my parents posed
the 6-year-old me in front of Glasgow University
Glasgow has some fantastic genealogical resources, so I consider myself very fortunate to come from there. The Mitchell Library is the place to visit when you are there, for the City of Glasgow Archives. You have to be there in person to consult most of these treasures, but there is a lot of good stuff online too. There is an index to the Evening Times Roll of Honour for the First World War on the Mitchell website.

My favourite online resource for Glasgow is probably The Glasgow Story, which has images from several archives in the Glasgow area, as well as the Valuation Rolls for 1913-1914 and the accompanying maps. There are lots more useful resources for Glasgow in the Glasgow Digital Library

There are also Scotland-wide sites with good Glasgow sections, like ScotlandsPlaces and the Statistical Accounts of Scotland for 1791-1799 and 1834-1845. And although I linked to it a couple of days ago, it never hurts to mention the National Library's Maps of Scotland again.

Finally, if you are serious about tracing your ancestry in the Glasgow area you can't do without the Glasgow and West of Scotland Family History Society who have a good range of publications and a number of offline services and facilities available only to members. It's well worth the few pounds a year it costs to join. Gaun yersel!


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