Tag Archives: somner

Reflecting on a parser text adventure game I wrote about an ancestor

In the 1590s my 12xg-grandfather Sir Robert Logan of Restalrig hired mathematician and occult practitioner John “Logarithms” Napier to hunt for hidden treasure in Fast Castle in Berwickshire. I wrote a text adventure based on this true story, filling in … Continue reading

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Ancestors paying the window tax

A large number of Scottish 18th century tax records survive, and are gradually being digitised. The latest to go online are the window tax records. Sadly the equivalent records for England were mostly thrown away and destroyed. In early years … Continue reading

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Surgeon ancestor in Haddington with lots of apprentices

I recently discovered Ancestry’s database of apprentice indenture duties. As the blurb there says: This collection contains registers of the money received for the payment on taxes for an apprentice’s indenture between 1710-1811. The registers kept track of the money … Continue reading

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Slave owning in the family tree

Some years ago I discovered that a 6xg-uncle lived in Jamaica. Thomas Usher (1774-1834) was one of a large family from Melrose, Roxburghshire. As a younger son he had to make his own way, and I’d known that he settled … Continue reading

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Family gravestones listed at Find A Grave

I’ve just been having another look at Find A Grave which has photos and a searchable database of monumental inscriptions from all over the world. Obviously it’s incomplete, and an ongoing project, but it’s always worth trying a search there. … Continue reading

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Somner connections with last night’s Who Do You Think You Are

We just watched last night’s Who Do You Think You Are on the BBC with Alex Kingston. She discovered that an ancestress was a lodging house keeper, which was a bit of a euphemism in her case. I’ll not go … Continue reading

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Servants in Haddington ancestor households

I recently subscribed to the new digitised tax records available at ScotlandsPlaces. I’ve already looked through some of the hearth tax records, for my one-place studies. But I’ve now started looking at the servant taxes from the late 18th century. … Continue reading

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Lots of Greenfields in East Lothian

I’m currently looking at the digitised hearth tax records from the 1690s at ScotlandsPlaces (a subscription site). Among other things I was hoping to find clues to my Somner ancestors in there. I have a Somner ancestor farming in 1720s … Continue reading

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Ancestor receiving surgeon’s diploma in 1771

I’ve always wondered how my ancestor Richard Somner (1731-1804) trained as a surgeon. I’m assuming that he trained on the job, and have found no evidence for any form of university education for him, unlike his son and grandsons who … Continue reading

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Ancestor’s new seedsman business in 1844

My 4xg-grandfather Francis Somner (1803-1891) moved from farming in Berwickshire to becoming a seedsman and commission agent in Kelso, Roxburghshire. Thanks to the British Newspaper Archive I’ve just found a pair of adverts referring to his new business, where the … Continue reading

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