Alloway and Southern Ayrshire FAMILY HISTORY SOCIETY Robert Burns Cottage, Alloway, Ayr
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Wednesday, 31 October 2012

24 Oct 2012 - Burns Monument Centre (Kilmarnock) visit

10 members of the Society enjoyed a return visit to the Burns Monument Centre on Wednesday October 24th. We were met by the chief Archivist Dr. Christine Ewing, who explained the history of the building for those members who hadn’t been before. We were then given an informative tour of the building, including a look into the archival storage area. Dr Ewing then demonstrated to us the very effective cleaning process of the historical documents, by using a dry smoke sponge.

The main purpose of the visit was to look at some of the original South Ayrshire Kirk Session Records which were on display for us and also to have the free use of the computers to access ScotlandsPeople website. We were also given the chance to look at the old Kirk Session Records for the rest of Scotland, these being the Church of Scotland presbytery records.  The Free Church records are in the process of being digitised at present. 

The staff were very welcoming and knowledgeable and happy to offer any assistance required while we were on the computers. The result was that most of us came away with new information regarding our ancestors. One member found information regarding his ancestors as far back as the 17th century. There was also the opportunity to look at the extensive library of historical books that are held there.

For a personal visit, you can book a full day on the computers for £15 and if you go go for a full day visit, don't forget to take your own sandwiches. There is a coffee/tea machine.       

The Centre has access to everything that is available in Edinburgh on ScotlandsPeople but is much closer to home for a visit!

Barbara Finlay

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