Coldingham clock and watch tax records for 1797

I’ve just put online my notes from the Coldingham clock and watch tax records of 1797. Only the returns for some parts of Scotland survive for this tax, and generally only the wealthier members of society are mentioned in it, because of the cost of buying a clock or a watch. But if you’re lucky enough to find relatives in there it’s a useful tax return. At Coldingham the men and one woman who appear in the 1797 clock and watch tax list were generally either wealthy farmers, landowners, or the local minister.

Having studied these records quite extensively in the past in Edinburgh I have grave doubts about how complete the clock and watch tax records are for some other parts of Scotland even where there seem to be surviving returns. It looks as though some only cover the rural parts of parishes, and not burghs. But that isn’t a problem in Coldingham, where it looks as though the return covers the whole parish. Sadly there are no surviving returns for Roxburghshire, and so nothing for my other one-place study, Melrose.

Coldingham dog tax records for 1797

I’ve just put online my notes from the Coldingham dog tax records of 1797. This tax was levied on non-working dogs, so presumably pets, including possibly former working dogs now too old to work. The list is relatively short, and sadly doesn’t include any of my ancestors. The list seems to be a mix of farmers, landowners, and local dignitaries, like the parish minister. Sadly the tax records don’t record the names of the dogs!

Goals for Coldingham one-place study in 2013

As we near the end of another year and approach the start of a new one I thought I’d blog about my goals for this blog and the related one-place study for the year ahead.

A priority is to transcribe and put online the hearth tax information from the 1690s. I have digital images of this record, and just have to work through it and transcribe it. That would give equivalent information to what I’ve already put online for Melrose.

Another priority is to digitise the various 18th century tax record references I have already extracted from the relevant original records. This won’t take very much effort: just needs me to be organised and get on with it.

And the other thing I want to push ahead with is to resume working through the later 18th century kirk session minutes, noting references to illegitimate births, irrregular marriages, and other potentially useful things for genealogists.

Longer-term I want to start to reconstitute the population, but that’s a long-term goal. For now I am focusing on putting useful indexes and other resources online.

Index of baptism witnesses at Coldingham 1800-1819

In the late 1990s for a university project I transcribed and studied Coldingham’s baptisms between 1800 and 1819, examining the relationship between witnesses (similar to godparents) and factors such as relationship to parents, occupation, and geographical location.

I’ve just put online an index of witnesses derived from the database I built for this research. This contains the names of 2264 witnesses (many individuals recorded multiple times), together with, where recorded, their occupations and addresses.

Also included is the date of the baptism each witness was recorded for. This can be used to look up the baptism in the parish registers, when looking through them page by page, for example in a microfilm copy. Alternatively I am happy to look up specific witness details in my database, discovering which family the person was witness to. Email me through the contact details in the one-place study webpage.