CAJUNS, CREOLES, PIRATES AND PLANTERS
Your New Louisiana Ancestors Format
Volume 2, Number 39
By Damon Veach
SCOTTISH RECORDS: The People of the Scottish Burghs is a series of genealogical source books from David Dobson. The first volume discussed here is The People of Kirkcaldy, 1600-1799 and is part of this series of records pertaining to the inhabitants of Scottish towns and cities in the 17th and 18th centuries, any number of whom or whose progeny ultimately made contact with the New World. It covers the town of Kirkcaldy, while other volumes in the series treat Greenock, Dundee, Perth, Stirling, and, to a limited extent, Aberdeen. The books are designed to be aids to local historians and genealogists. This volume, like all volumes in this series, is based overwhelmingly on primary sources, such as the burgh of Kirkcaldy, National Archives of Scotland, Register of the Privy Council of Scotland, and Calendar of Treasury Books.
Kirkcaldy lies on the Firth of Forth on the east coast of Scotland. A royal burgh since 1664, its economy depended on the production of linen from local supplies of flax, as well as imports from the south Baltic Sea. The town also exported coal to continental markets and the Americas. Native son Adam Smith (1723-1790), author of The Wealth of Nations, was the son of the town’s Customs Controller.
Like the earlier books in this series, the Kirkcaldy volume does not claim to be exhaustive for the years under investigation. Instead it captures some of the town's inhabitants and illustrates the kinds of records that are available for the period. Dr. Dobson has arranged the burghers alphabetically and has given the individual’s occupation, an identifying date, and his source. In numerous instances, he has also extracted supplementary information, variously consisting of date of birth, name of spouse, children, and/or parents, name of ship traveled on, date of will, etc., in the process amassing thousands of significant leads for genealogists.
The People of Greenock, 1600-1799 is another volume in this series of records pertaining to the inhabitants of Scottish towns and cities in the 17th and 18th centuries. Along with the other books in this series, it is designed to be an aid to local historians and genealogists. The records in this volume are based overwhelmingly on primary sources, including the Ayr Burgess Roll, National Archives in London, Fastil Ecclesiae Scoticanae in Edinburgh, and the Scottish Guardian and Edinburgh Advertiser.
Until 1681, Greenock was primarily a small port trading with Ireland. After securing a charter in that year, the town began to engage in transatlantic trade, ultimately becoming Scotland’s leading port of exit for the Americas. Greenock’s trading ties extended from Greenland in the north to the West Indies in the south, with the emphasis being on the colonies of the Chesapeake. Its economy would come to revolve around shipping, trade, and manufacturing, and its most famous native son was James Watt (1736-1819), inventor of the condensing steam engine.
Like the earlier books in this series, the Greenock volume does not claim to be exhaustive for the years under investigation. Instead, it too captures some of the town's inhabitants and illustrates the kinds of records that are available for the period. Again, the burghers are arranged alphabetically with similar information being given as in the Kirkcaldy book. Supplementary information is also offered here.
These books are available from the Clearfield Company for $23.00 each, postage and handling included. The Clearfield address is 3600 Clipper Mill Road, Suite 260, Baltimore, MD 21211. Genealogical.com publishes genealogy books and CDs. Whether you are just beginning to explore your family tree or are an experienced researcher looking for in-depth genealogy data, Genealogical.com can provide you with the resources you need. All the many books from David Dobson are proof of this. With over 2,000 books in print, many topics are covered – colonial genealogy, Irish genealogy, immigration, royal ancestry, family history, and genealogy methods and sources. Genealogical.com is the online home for Genealogical Publishing Company and Clearfield Company.
Like Claitor’s Publishing in Baton Rouge, they concentrate on offering quality research books to researchers and scholars. These two publishing firms are the best in the publishing field when it comes to genealogical research books, and both offer online services, easy to use and convenient for the researcher. Of course, Claitor’s is www.claitors.com.
SANDERS LEGACY: While cataloging books to be added to the Veach-Foshee Memorial Library Collection at the museum in Mansfield, I ran across one of the books by Mary Elizabeth Sanders which has been added to the collection. It just reminded me of the vast amount of records she compiled and the importance her work is for researchers today. She was passionate in her desire to uncover and preserve her family heritage. Her goals were high and because of her service to the preservation of so much Louisiana history, she stood out over the years as one of the best preservationists in the country. She is remembered for all the great things she did for Louisiana State Archives, for the organizations to which she belonged and supported so fervently, and for her pride in the Sanders family history.
Her great grandfather was J.Y. Sanders II, and she published a limited edition of his diary in 1995 in conjunction with the Louisiana Genealogical & Historical Society. Diary in Gray, Letters and Journals of a Confederate Soldier, Jarrod Young Sanders II is now in a hardcover edition. He entered Confederate military service in March of 1852 and remained there for more than three years. The original documents used to create this book can be found in the Louisiana State University Archives in Baton Rouge and at the Young-Sanders Center in Franklin. Further information about this book can be found by contacting the Center at P.O. Box 595, 104 Commercial St., Franklin, LA 70538.
Mary Elizabeth compiled many books of genealogical interest, but she also had a memorable book called Avoca Plantation Receipts and Other Family Favorites, a collection of old family recipes and stories about life in the Morgan City area. Her Letters of a Southern Family, 1816-1941 is an extensive collection of family writings that personalize more than a century of Louisiana history.
The Young-Sanders Center in Franklin is unique and deserves a place among prominent Louisiana archival facilities. It is dedicated to the study of the War Between the States in Louisiana and is an academic institution with a non-profit private foundation status. Mary Elizabeth passed away in 2006, but her dream for a research center in Louisiana that allows the public access to a library dedicated to the study of the War Between the States continues. Her grandfather was former Louisiana Governor J.Y. Sanders III, 1908-1912, and this facility also stands as a tribute to the man and his legacy.
Mary Elizabeth was a friend to many researchers and archivists around the country. She was my friend, and I had the privilege of working with her for many years. She called me a short time before her death and invited me to her home for dinner. I had something else planned and couldn’t make it that day, and this was the last time I heard from her. I visited her home many times and was always amazed at all her historical endeavors and just the way she projected this enthusiasm on so many of her friends. She will long be remembered for her excellent contribution in genealogy and what she did for historical preservation in Louisiana.
FREE SERVICE: Correspondence to this column should be directed to Damon Veach, Cajuns, Creoles, Pirates and Planters, 709 Bungalow Lane, Baton Rouge, LA 70802-5337. The e-mail address is email@example.com. Queries and book reviews are printed as space permits, and you are encouraged to take advantage of this free service. Claitor’s Publishing can serve as a distributor for self-published genealogy titles. Go to their homepage for details on how you can obtain this excellent service.
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