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Title: Locating Scotland's 'ordinary folk' among the lesser known sources for social and family history research, c.1630-c.1790
Author: Fenwick, Robert
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2006
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Parish registers do not exist for most of Scotland prior to the 1690s, therefore to obtain an indication as what social levels may have been like in our c.1630-1790 study period, this work sets out to show how a patchwork of obscure sources can still be utilised to formulate some conclusions, in at least three geographically contrasting study areas. With a north western area on the highland line and a planned mill village in the southeast, Auchtergaven in Perthshire may reflect Scotland in miniature. Listings of inhabitants for c.1650 and 1790 located in the Murthly Castle Muniments provide useful information. Auchtergaven adopted the new farming methods, but seventeenth to eighteenth comparisons with the Argyll Estate records show only parts of Argyll saw similar changes. In Tiree and the north and west one finds totally different country and culture, where agricultural improvements were either resisted or simply ignored. The persistence of subsisting shared tenancies there were a significant contrast from events in Auchtergaven. The data for Edinburgh and its subparishes shows that, as in Auchtergaven, by the end of the study period there was increase in the tenant or owner-occupying class and a decrease in sub tenantry numbers. But exact figures for the latter are clouded by the awareness in our Scottish comparisons of an issue equally pressing in England. This being those excluded from sources utilised hitherto for population studies, primarily because they did not possess the right to reside in the location surveyed. Also in Europe, the right to inclusion and welfare depended upon the right to settle. There was resistance to accepting migrants, whether competent journeymen or objects of piety; they were often labelled as transients or vagrants. These folk could not have been quantified by back-projecting from nineteenth century census figures.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available