Posted by on August 30, 2010 in Content

Ancestry.com.au now has an online archive of more than 57,000 historic records from Perthshire, Scotland, dating from 1566 to 1901.

These records are of huge significance to anyone trying to trace an ancestor in the area and feature many tens of thousands of Perthshire’s residents in four historic collections.

The Perthshire School Registers of Admissions and Withdrawals 1869-1901 contain the names of an estimated 75,000 pupils and their guardians, many from schools which have long since closed.

Typically, each record contains the name and date of birth of the child, the date of their admission to the school, name and address of the parent or guardian, last school attended, the date, reason for leaving as noted by the head master and updates on their progress.

The earliest records were collected prior to the Education Act of 1872 (Scotland), which made schooling compulsory for all children between the ages of five and 13. The act was designed to promote learning and eradicate child labour, although later records in the collection show that many young children held down jobs during their time at school.

Children as young as nine are detailed in the records as delivering newspapers and milk, but more unusual jobs are also listed. One 12-year-old boy is recorded as working evenings in a barber shop, whilst another 13-year-old “delivered messages” for a total of 27 hours per week.

Also online is the Perthshire Militia Survey 1802 which features more than 1,300 records of men in every household in the Perthshire region during the early 19th century, eligible to fight in the militia.

The records were collated from forms sent out to households in 1802 demanding that every able-bodied man aged 18 to 45 make themselves known to the authorities.

Each record details the name and occupation of the householder, street address and the names of any inhabitants eligible for service. The information included is especially valuable because it pre-dates census data which is usually the first ‘port of call’ for family history research.