New Lanark World Heritage Site Blog

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31/10/16 Double Row Restoration Project # , , ,

1 Year of the New Lanark House History Project

1 Year of the New Lanark House History Project

Guest blog by Ruth Beattie, Head Researcher and Learning Officer…

In November 2015 I began a research project linked to the Townscape Heritage Project for the restoration of Double Row; the last derelict tenement at New Lanark to be restored.

Research would focus on the social history of the tenement, the families and past residents who lived there and of the history of people in the village. We chose the time period from 1900 to the 1970s for three reasons: it was the most recent time period in the building’s history, many past residents with memories of relatives and living their themselves had been identified and it was a time of great change in Scotland in terms of the world wars, the decline of industry, the modernisation of housing and of people’s lifestyles.

children-on-rosedale-street-c-1950s

Children on Rosedale Street c.1950s (Double Row)

When I began the project, I looked at the existing known New Lanark families living in Double Row from the early 1900s. Researching the village in the First World War had given me a good understanding of the family names, connections and their backgrounds. At this time in particular, many Irish weaving families had settled in New Lanark and were employed in the mills weaving nets and canvas for the Gourock Ropework Company.

Names such as Jess (of which there are around 5 separate families!), Harkness, Bones, Savage, Hawthorne, Leggatte, Lynas and Ashe among many others, came up time and again along with Scottish or long standing New Lanark names such as Mackin, MacPherson, Arnott, Kirkhope, Hay, Goddard, Dunlop, Romer, and Graham.

11-rosedale-st-c-1968

11 Rosedale Street c.1968 (Double Row) where Irish lady Susan Rocks lived.

Hugh Mackin with sister-in-law Susan Rocks at her flat 11 Rosedale Street (Double Row) in 1966

Hugh Mackin with his Aunt Susan Rocks at her flat 11 Rosedale Street (Double Row) in 1966

Then it was time to open the research to those people who had lived here, were born here, grew up here or simply remembered their relatives living here and held fond, happy memories of the village. The initial response was fantastic. We advertised in local Lanarkshire papers, on our website and social media and around our site. Many people got in touch with me from all over Britain and even as far as Canada! Through emails, phone calls and visits to our search-room we have pieced together the stories of the families recording memories and with documents and family photos. We now have 24 separate New Lanark family stories. Each family has a file containing a biography in progress, photos, documents and any interesting finds such as newspaper articles of the time or oral history interviews recorded in the 1980s.

The last resident to leave Double Row in the 1970s – Elizabeth Jess. Pictured with her grandson David Dunlop who was born there and lives in Lanark today. David has contributed immensely to the social history of the village.

The last resident to leave Double Row in the 1970s – Elizabeth Jess. Pictured with her grandson David Dunlop who was born there and lives in Lanark today. David has contributed immensely to the social history of the village.

 

Elizabeth with husband Joseph Henry Jess and son Thomas in September 1935.

Elizabeth with husband Joseph Henry Jess and son Thomas in September 1935.

 

chidren-in-snow-at-square-1950s-child-at-front-is-harry-jess

Harry Jess as a child at New Lanark (front with spade). Harry is the grandson of Elizabeth Jess and a cousin of David Dunlop. He also lives in Lanark today.

One of the most interesting stories to come out of the research was of the lost letter to Double Row resident Mary Savage, written in 1916 by a friend in County Antrim, Ireland after the family had moved to New Lanark. You can read more about this story on our blog post from June 2016 by our marketing intern Ronan Moore.

Sisters Margaret and Mary Savage who lived at 3 Double Row – the letter was written by Mary’s friend Annie Lynn from County Antrim, Ireland in 1916.

Sisters Margaret and Mary Savage who lived at 3 Double Row – the letter was written by Mary’s friend Annie Lynn from County Antrim, Ireland in 1916.

I would like to thank all the families who have been in touch for their amazing contribution and the volunteers helping with the research. As we move into the second phase* of the research project, we really couldn’t be in a better position with a wealth of interesting stories to build upon.

The Harkness family who lived at 9 Double Row.

The Harkness family who lived at 9 Double Row.

New Lanark is a special place and it means so very much to people whose families lived and worked here in the time of the mills. This has been perhaps the most moving aspect of the research and it is truly rewarding to be able to bring those family stories together. I hope that we can produce a legacy from the project to last and that would not have been possible without people’s memories of a past life, their enthusiasm and their sense of pride at having a connection to this historic village.

*Information about phase two of the project coming in early 2017.

Ruth Beattie, Head Researcher and Learning Officer, New Lanark Trust.

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15/06/15 New Lanark Search Room # , , , , ,

How to create your first family tree…

How to create your first family tree…

The New Lanark Search Room contains a diverse collection of archive material including:

  • Historic & modern photographs
  • Archival documents
  • Architectural drawings
  • Maps
  • Paintings
  • Artefacts
  • Family history records
  • Oral histories

The collection helps to tell the fascinating story of New Lanark, from its days as a working mill, to its decline, restoration and inscription as a World Heritage site.  From Pauper Apprentices to Robert Owen, millworkers to mill managers and residents to famous visitors, the collection also gives us an insight into the lives of the thousands of people who lived in, worked at and visited the village.

As such, we were delighted to welcome Suzie Kolber from obituarieshelp.org to write a guest blog for us on how to kick-start your family history research by creating your first family tree. 

 

How to Create a Small Family Tree Template
Studying your family history can be a complicated process, especially if you want to go back as far as possible or trace different branches of the family tree. Creating a template for your family tree is one way to organize information and break it down into sections that are easy to manage. Begin with a small template that is limited to three or four generations.

 

The Benefits of a Small Family Tree
When organizing your information, it can be easier to find people you are searching for or recognize their relationships with each other if you use small templates. Choose a person and trace his or her parents, grandparents and great-grandparents. Fill in the information as you discover it and it won’t seem as overwhelming as with a large template of numerous generations when most of them would be blank.

 

Choosing the Right Template
You can search online and find all kinds of templates. Some will work better for your purpose than others. If you are tracing your family’s genealogy, you won’t need to include photos, but you will want space to write information about each person. Create a template with the person’s name and lines for the birthdate, date of death and marriage date.

It may be helpful to list locations for each of those events or other relevant information that you may need in your research. One of the reasons that a small three- or four-generation template is ideal is that it leaves you extra space to write more.

 

Entering Information
While you want to have easy access to the most important information about your ancestors, especially if you are traveling, do not try to include every tidbit about your family members. It will clutter up the template and make it difficult to read. Instead, keep it short and simple. Abbreviate as much as possible. For instance, date of birth would be DOB, date of death would be DOD and so on.

Consider using an online template where you can type the information instead of hand-writing it. This allows you to make changes or even erase information or people as you need to without having to start all over with a blank template.

Store your family tree online as well so that you can easily access it if you are traveling and need to look up information as you research. This also makes it easy to print or email a copy of the tree to others who may be helping you in your research.

The most important thing in choosing a template for your small family tree is to find one that works for you. It should fit your needs, be easy to use and look appealing to you.

If you are beginning your research into your family history, start with finding the right family tree template. It makes it much easier to record and keep track of data. Plus, it is fun to share with others who share your interest in genealogy.

Suzie Kolber created http://obituarieshelp.org/free_printable_blank_family_tree.html to be the complete online resource for “do it yourself” genealogy projects.  The site offers the largest offering of free family tree templates online. The site is a not for profit website dedicated to offering free resources for those that are trying to trace their family history.

Suzie – New Lanark Guest Blogger

Find out more about visiting the New Lanark Search Room. 

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New Lanark World Heritage Site Aerial View

New Lanark is a beautifully restored 18th century cotton mill village in Scotland, and is one of Scotland's six UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

On our blog you'll find a behind-the-scenes look at all the latest news, events, stories and general 'goings-on' from New Lanark World Heritage Site.

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