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Books, Maps & Other Resources
Scotland / Scottish
Genealogy & History

BOOK - Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis
By Chris Paton
Published by Unlock the Past, St Agnes, Australia, 2015
This edition printed and bound in Canada by Inc.

Softcover......18.50 (C$)

It is perhaps one of greatest truisms of family history research that we will often find that the lives of our ancestors were best documented when the chips were truly down. There were many battles that our forebears fought for and against in Scotland, both on a personal level and as a part of the society within which they lived. There were the laws of the local parish church and the punishments awaiting those who breached kirk discipline; the struggles to avoid poverty and the stigma of being a debtor; the darkest moments of the soul, from mental health issues and illness, to murder and suicide; and the dramatic moments of rebellion, when our forebears drew a line in the sand against a perceived tyranny or democratic deficit. Illness, death, bigamy, abandonment, accidents, eviction, ethnic cleansing a dramatic range of challenges across a lifetime, and at times, outright tragedy.

But through all of these episodes, there is an even greater story that emerges, of how our ancestors overcame such hardships. In this latest Unlock the Past guide, genealogist Chris Paton goes in search of the records of ancestral hardship in Scotland, to allow us to truly understand the situations that our ancestors had to endure and overcome across the generations, to help us become the people who we are today.

  • Contents include:
    • Acknowledgements
    • 1. Family events and relationships
      • Illegitimacy
      • Foundlings, orphans and adoption
      • Marriage, bigamy and divorce
      • Homosexuality
      • Death
    • 2. Law and order
      • The Kirk
      • The Crown
      • Franchise and burgh courts
      • Criminal prosecution
      • Murder
      • Additional courts
      • Police and prison records
      • Transportation
      • Execution
    • 3. Poverty
      • The Old Poor Law
      • The New Poor Law
      • The records
    • 4. Debt
      • Put to the horn
      • Debts upon inheritance
      • Cessio bonorum and sequestration
    • 5. Medical problems
      • Hospital records
      • Asylums
      • Suicide
      • Accidents
    • 6. Them and us
      • The Covenanters and the Killing Time
      • The Jacobite rebellions
      • The expulsion of the Gael
      • The vote
    • Further reading
    • Index
    Paperback: 56 pages
    Product Dimensions: 5 x 8"
    Softcover - staple-bound on spine
    Color photos, Illustrations
    Published by Unlock the Past, St Agnes, Australia, 2015
    This edition printed and bound in Canada by Inc.
    ISBN 978-1-921956-98-0

    About the author: Chris Paton
    Originally from Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland, Chris Paton holds an HND in Design (Communication) from the University of Ulster, a degree in Time Base Media from the University of the West of England, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Genealogical Studies from the University of Strathclyde. Today he runs the Scotland's Greatest Story family history research service and maintains the British GENES news blog. He regularly writes for several British and Irish genealogy magazines and is the author of several genealogy based publications. In addition to research and writing, Chris also teaches Scottish genealogy courses through Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd, and previously tutored on the University of Strathclyde's postgraduate programme in Genealogical, Palaeographic and Heraldic Studies. He previously worked for twelve years in the television industry, as a researcher, producer and director of primarily history based documentaries, mainly with the BBC in Bristol and Glasgow, and for Scottish Television's network production department STE.

    Click for a list of Chris Paton's books

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