Thursday 9 March 2017

A Scoundrall and a Knave!

Ha! It is always worth checking the copies of the Old Parish Registers as well as the indexes as they often contain extra information. Sometimes you learn the name of the bride's home farm or the groom's profession and you can often find the names of witnesses to baptisms and marriages.

Birsay's baptismal register of 1751 yields much more information to the family historian:

Septr 29th To George Anderson in Swaneyside (a scoundrall a knave a scrub a Rascall a Villain a cheat) a son called Andrew.
N.B. he had been in the Northwest & has been three years in Wascra
(Wascra is a farm in Birsay)

Underneath the slur is written in another hand:

the above George Anderson is as honest, just, obliging man as any other man in this parish.

...which suggests either that the character of George Anderson divided opinion or that all the men in Birsay at that time were a bunch of scrubs.

I had come across the insults villain, scoundrall and knave before in the archives but not scrub. I looked it up in the Scottish National Dictionary for your information:

scrub /skrub / n a guy that think he's fine and is also known as a buster. Always talkin' about what he wants. And just sits on his broke ass

Wednesday 1 March 2017

Magazine of the Month - Northern Scotland

Our wonderful local studies section The Orkney Room is full to bursting of published information about Orkney. So much so, that we have been forced (forced, I tell you!) to keep some of its intended contents through the back. But all you have to do is ask our friendly Archive Searchroom staff for any of these titles and we will graciously retrieve them for you.

One of these periodicals is Northern Scotland, The Journal of the Centre for Scottish Studies. It was first published in December 1972 by the Aberdeen University Press.

And often contained articles and Orkney book reviews. In the very first issue the very first article is, "The Church in Orkney and Shetland and its relations with Norway and Scotland in the Middle Ages" by R G Cant. And the Orkney books reviewed were Orkney Natural History Society's "Stromness: late 19th century photographs" and "The Orkney Croft".

Volume 12 includes articles: "Shetland and the Greenland whaling industry, 1780-1872" by Richard J Smith and  "The development of the fishery districts of Scotland" by J R Coull

Volume 18 includes articles: "Stone Circles: perceptions from inside and outside the ring" by Elizabeth Curtis

Over the years, the cover colour changed, but not the quality of content. And now..

Volume 7 of New Series includes this article: "The Orkney Islands and the European Economic Community in the 1970s" by Mike MacDonald

Now it is published by Edinburgh University Press and the new series is at it's 7th volume. The description inside the current volume we have for 2016 says, "established in 1972, Northern Scotland is a fully peer-reviewed publication with contributors, reviewers and referees drawn from a wide range of experts across the world. While it carries material of a mainly historical nature, from the earliest times to the modern era, it is a cross-disciplinary publication, which also addresses cultural, economic, political and geographical themes relating to the Highlands and Islands and the North-east of Scotland."