Saturday, 18 July 2015

Double Dutch Mystery Document

We have this wonderful document* from September 1659, which we believe was written in Dutch. But we have no idea what it is about.  Can anyone help? Have we any Dutch followers who can also read 17th century documents?
We can identify two words which are repeated a lot "Looft God" which means "God Bless" , so perhaps it is a religious document, or connected in some way with St Magnus Cathedral?
September 1659 was mid-way between the resignation of Richard Cromwell, son of Oliver Cromwell,ending the Protectorate in May 1659 and the Restoration of the monarchy with Charles II in 1660.
*Archive reference: D14/8/8 part of the Walter Traill Dennison papers.
After receiving such wonderfully quick responses to the appeal above, I enclose the second page of the document here below:

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Life and Liberty in Georgia 1775

Happy 4th of July to all our American Followers!

As a special treat here is a letter describing life in Snowhill, nr Augusta Georgia in December 1775 written by indentured servant Baikia Harvey to his Godfather Thomas Baikie of Firth, Orkney.

Dear Godfather,
I am very sorry that I did not take your Advice and stay at home with you as I have found to my sad experence that I ought not to have slightig your advice. Mr Gordon was vere good to me but Mr Brown us'd me vere ill and I Runaway from him & wint to the Armey that was mar[c]hing up to the Back parts of South Carolina against a sett of people they will call Torrys in this Country and whin I came back I went to Ane Mr LeRoy Hammond Merchant in So. Carolina & he Bought my time which I am vere glad of for he & his Lady uses me vere will & give me Cloaths & I Ride with my master & loves them Both You'l Please to send me all the money you can Collect that is my Due by the first safe opportunity that I may be enabled to Buy my time & Put myself to some Tradesman to Learn his calling for a Tradsman has good Wages in this Country I beg that none of my Relations may come to this Country Except they are able to pay thir passage thir Selves and then they may come as soon as they may like this is a good poormans Country when a man once getts into away of Liveing but our Country people knows Nothing when they come hear the Americans are Smart Industours hardypeople & fears Nothing our people is only Like the New Negros that comes out of the ships at first whin they come amongst them I am just Returnd from the Back parts When I seed Eight Thousand men in Arms all with Riffel & Barrill
Guns which they can hitt the Bigness of a Dollar Betwixt Two & Three hundred yards Distance the Little Boys not Bigger than my self has all thir Guns & marshes with thir Fathers & all their Cry is Liberty or Death Dear Godfather tell all my Country people not to come hear for the Americans will kill them Like Deer in the Woods & they will never see them they can lie on their Backs & Load & fire & every time they Drawsight at any thing they are sure to kill or Criple & they Run in the Woods Like Horses I seed the Liberty Boys take Between Two & Three hundred Torrys & one Libertyman would take & Drive four or five before him just as the shepherds do the sheep in our Country & they have taken all thir Arms from them and put the Headmen in Gaile so that they will niver be able to make head against them any more - Pray Remember me to my Dear friend Mr James Riddoch Mrs Gordon Madam Allin Madam Young My Uncle & Aunt & all their Femily & in perticular Mr John Gordon -

I am Dear Godfather                                                                                                                                        Your most Obident and Hum'l Godsone

Baikia Harvey

Snowhill Near Augusta in Georgia
Decem'r 30th 1775

P.S. Please to write me the first Opportunity to the Care of Mr. John Houston in Savannah Georgia Province & C-

Orkney Archive Reference: D3/385 Watt of Breckness and Skaill Collection: Letter 30-12-1775