Glamis Castle Archives: Genealogy FAQs

revised June 2017

 

Q: My ancestor was a servant at Glamis Castle – do you have details of them?

A: Unfortunately, it is rare for servants to be named individually in the records at Glamis. The Factors’ Accounts do record servants’ wages, but they were primarily compiled to keep track of finances, so most of the 19th century accounts deal with servants as a group, e.g. ‘servants’ wages’ or ‘gardeners’ wages’. However, the Factors’ Accounts may record employees as tenants in Glamis. Other surviving records worth checking are:

 

Q: My ancestor was a gamekeeper. Can you provide information about him?

A: As for servants, the Factors’ Account books rarely mention gamekeepers individually by name. Similarly, the game books list all visiting hunting parties, but the gamekeepers are not individually named. Game hunted on the estate would have included grouse, partridges, pheasants, woodcock, snipe, wild fowl, wood pigeon, hares, rabbits and deer. A surviving menu book for 1866 (Volume 246) shows that, unsurprisingly, game was a key part of the diet of both the Strathmore family and their servants. There are some photographs of gamekeepers and other estate workers, including names, c.1910-1920; e.g. PH14/39)

 

Q: My ancestor was a tenant on the Strathmore estate. Can I find out when he/she lived on the estate?

A: Tenants are named in Estate Rentals, and generally the date of commencement and expiry of the lease is given. Rentals date from the late 17th century onwards, although there are some gaps, c.1730- 1760 & 1820 – 1860. Tenants can also be named in other records, e.g. accounts and writs. Account Books of the Lordship of Glamis from the late 17th century name tenants and workers (Box 190). There are also two separate series of Factors’ Account Books from 1754 – 1784 and 1864 onwards, which generally include details of estate rentals.

 

Q: My ancestor carried out building work at the Castle or on the Estate. Can I find out more?

A: The Factors’ Account Books (from 1754-1784 and 1864 onwards) record payment of wages for building work carried out at the Castle; therefore it should be possible to get further details. There are five volumes of Accounts of work done on improvements on the estate, with details of workmen, 1771-1776 (Volumes 17-21). Contracts and agreements with masons and other tradesmen appear from the early 17th century onwards and the Account Books of the Lordship of Glamis from the late 17th century are useful sources for naming workers, such as masons and labourers (Box 190).

 

 

Q: My ancestor was a local tradesperson. (e.g.merchant/mason/blacksmith/dressmaker, etc).

Can I find any information about them in the records?

A:  See above. The Factors’ Account Books are a rich source of information for local trades people, as individual names, work undertaken at the Castle or on the Estate, supplies purchased and costs are meticulously recorded. There are also many bundles of personal family accounts relating to purchases, not just from local trades people, but from trades people in Dundee, Edinburgh, the North of England, London, etc. These accounts generally include signatures or ‘marks’, so the literacy of ancestors can be determined.

 

Q: My ancestor was one of the wounded soldiers who convalesced at Glamis Castle during World War 1. Can I find out more about him?

Patients were transferred to Glamis from Dundee Royal Infirmary, so it would be worth checking the DRI records, which are held at the University of Dundee Archives to see if there are any admission/transfer/discharge records for your ancestor, see http://www.dundee.ac.uk/archives/ and click on ‘Unlocking the Medicine Chest’ to get the online catalogue. You can send an enquiry with your ancestor’s details to archives@dundee.ac.uk

The Queen Mother’s Official Biography ‘Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother’ by William Shawcross (published by Macmillan, 2009) contains an interesting chapter on ‘Tending the Wounded’ at Glamis.

 

Q: I believe I am a descendant of the Bowes Lyon family – can you provide verification?

A: The Bowes Lyon family has many branches, but researchers should be aware that not all are recorded in the archives at Glamis. Whilst there are holdings of family correspondence and accounts, coverage is by no means comprehensive. The following books can be purchased online:

It may be possible to get further information about a specific Lyon ancestor in the archives, but exact information (name and date) is required before a search can be undertaken and findings cannot be guaranteed. For online images of the pre-1855 Old Parish registers of births, marriages and deaths (OPRs), census records from 1841 to 1911, and birth, marriage and death registers from 1855 onwards (when civil registration became compulsory in Scotland), go to http://scotlandspeople.gov.uk/

 Also, you can search the genealogy of the peerage of the U.K. online at http://thepeerage.com/

 

Q: Can I visit the archives to undertake family history research?

A: It is possible to visit the Archives at Glamis two days a week (usually Tuesdays and Wednesdays, but arrangements must be made well in advance); there is a charge for this service (currently £10-£15 per hour) and visitors should be aware that the archives are located at the top of the tower, involving a 91-step climb. Alternatively, it is possible to arrange for certain records to be transferred to the Dundee University Archives for viewing in the search room there, located in the basement of the Tower Building, Nethergate (currently £60 transfer charge). The NRAS hand list of the Strathmore Estate Papers (No.885) and the Glamis Archives database can also be consulted there.

 

Q: Can the Archivist undertake research on my behalf?

A: Yes. The charge for this service is £30 per hour (payable in advance of any research). The archivist can be contacted at ingrid@glamis-castle.co.uk , but please be aware that she works at Glamis just two days per week and that positive findings cannot be guaranteed.

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