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Down and Out in Scotland: Researching Ancestral Crisis

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It is perhaps one of greatest truisms of family history research that we will often find that the lives of our ancestors were best documented when the chips were truly down. There were many battles that our forebears fought for and against in Scotland, both on a personal level and a part of the society within which they lived. There were the laws of the local parish church and the punishments awaiting those who breached kirk discipline; the struggles to avoid poverty and the stigma of being a debtor; the darkest moments of the soul, from mental health issues and illness, to murder and suicide; and the dramatic moments of rebellion, when our forebears drew a line in the sand against a perceived tyranny or democratic deficit. Illness, death, bigamy, abandonment, accidents, eviction, ethnic cleansing - a dramatic range of challenges across a lifetime, and at times, outright tragedy. And close to each of them, a quill and ink. Softcover, A5, 56 pages, index Chris Paton, Unlock The Past, 2015

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