I’d like to share the latest news and fascinating facts from ScotlandsPeople. See below:

Happy New Year! After ‘seeing in the bells’ at Hogmanay and New Year, we added the New Year BMD images to the ScotlandsPeople website. So you can now view the images of records for births in 1913, marriages in 1938 and deaths in 1963.

‘Poetess Weds Lion Tamer’ – Glasgow, 5 January 1938
As promised in our December newsletter, we said we’d first-foot you with some highlights from these new records. For the marriages, we decided to spotlight a wedding between Alfred Kaden, a lion tamer, and Vera Husing (nee Ludtke), a German poetess. We imagine that there are probably not too many marriages between lion tamers and poets in the ScotlandsPeople records – hence our decision to feature this exotic wedding.

As the story also involves the Castlecary Disaster, it really is quite a tale – almost a “shaggy lion’s tale”, in fact. To read our short article about this exotic marriage, follow this link.

Do you know what happened to the Kadens after their marriage?
We ‘re actually still trying to find out what eventually happened to the happy couple after their wedding, so if you know anything about Mr and Mrs Kaden, please drop us a line at press@scotlandspeople.gov.uk.

Other newsworthy marriages in Scotland in 1938
Another Glasgow wedding from 1938 that caught our eye was the marriage between Paul Oskar Hennersdorf and Erzebet Racz. The bride and bridegroom were performers at the Empire Exhibition, which took place at Bellahouston Park in Glasgow in 1938. To find out more about this wedding (interestingly, a newspaper story on the wedding reported that the bridegroom ‘seemed confused in his answers’) and to view their marriage record, follow this link.

Other famous people tying the knot in 1938 were Miss Louise Carnegie-Miller (Andrew Carnegie’s grand-daughter), Scott Duncan (a former manager of Manchester United) and Janet Roberts (the famous matriarch of the Glenfiddich whisky family).

Famous Scots born in 1913
Turning to the birth records of 1913, the world champion flyweight boxer, Benny Lynch, was born on 2 April 1913 in the Gorbals. To view the birth record for ‘oor Benny’, click here. Still in the sporting arena, we also highlighted the 1913 birth record of legendary football manager, Bill Shankly, in our August newsletter.

The name of Ella Logan will likely ring a bell for fans of Broadway, Hollywood and the music hall. Born Georgina Allan in Glasgow on 6 March 1913, Ella appeared in the Hollywood movies, ’52nd Street’ and ‘The Goldwyn Follies’. Ella was also the aunt of the popular entertainer, Jimmy Logan. To view the birth record for Ella Logan, click here.

Famous Scots who died in 1963
Three famous Scots who died in 1963 were the Edinburgh artist, William Hastie Geissler; the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Glasgow, Donald Campbell; and poet and horseman, William Henry Ogilvie.

Folk in Australia might well have heard of Kelso-born William Ogilvie, as he lived and worked in the outback for ten years. Indeed, the Australian people and landscapes were major muses for his writing, and there are various monuments to Ogilvie in Australia.

Ogilvie died in Ashkirk (by Selkirk) on 30 January 1963, aged 93. To view the statutory record of his death, follow this link.

We hope these examples have whetted your appetite for exploring the new BMD records on the website. To find out more about famous births, marriages and deaths in Scotland in 1913, 1938 and 963, and to view some revealing BMD statistics for these years, follow this link.

Extract of a Valuation Roll from 1920 for Moray Place
If you follow this link , you will see an extract from a 1920 Valuation Roll for numbers 4 to 11 Moray Place, which includes the names of some owners.

“Her ‘prentice-hand she tried on man, and then she made the lasses, O…’
With Burns Night just over a week away, we’ve been looking through some interesting documents on Burns to share with you.

In our January 2012 newsletter, we highlighted the letter written by John Mitchell of the Dumfries Excise Office on 14 July 1796 (Bastille Day, coincidentally), which mentions Burns coming in to the office for the last time to pick up his wages – Burns died seven days later.

On the National Records of Scotland website, there is a dedicated page to Burns which contains transcripts of his birth and baptism records, as well as extracts from kirk sessions from Mauchline in 1786, when Burns admitted he was the father of Jean Armour’s twins.

We also loved this terrific letter by Burns written to a person (‘Thou eunuch of language…’) who had the audacity to criticise his ‘imperfect grammar’. Lastly, we thought this illustrated YouTube film of “Tam O’Shanter” (his classic poem which, we think, perhaps has mock-epic elements of The Odyssey in it) was perfectly braw.

Robert Nicoll, poet, library pioneer and newspaper editor – born in Auchtergaven, Perthshire, 7 January 1814
Sometimes, we just stumble upon unsung Scots who deserve wider recognition.

On 7 January 1814, Robert Nicoll was born on a Perthshire farm called Little Tullybeltane in Auchtergaven. In addition to being a poet and newspaper editor of ‘The Leeds Times’ (he had started writing for “Johnstone’s Magazine” in 1833 (later called “Tait’s Magazine”), Nicoll also opened a circulating library in Dundee.

Sadly, Nicoll died at the age of 23 at William Tait’s house in Edinburgh (a famous meeting-place for Scottish writers), and is buried in North Leith Parish Churchyard. ‘Consumption’ is the cause of death given on the North Leith parish death record - and the name is spelt ‘Nicol’. Quem di diligunt adulescens moritur.

We’re glad of the serendipity that enabled us to learn about Nicoll’s brief but industrious life, and we wanted to celebrate the bicentenary of his birth…so that he is not just another poet whose name is ‘writ in water’. To view the parish birth record for John Nicoll (it’s the second entry on the page), follow this link.

Source of information: Wikipedia.

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