Thursday, 31 January 2013

CURIOS about the past?

Local residents with connections to Portsoy and the parish of Fordyce are being offered the chance to take part in an imaginative project led by Aberdeen University researchers.  The aim of CURIOS is to preserve local heritage in rural communities through the use of digital media designed to share information about their cultural heritage.

The CURIOS team is working in partnership with Portsoy Salmon Bothy and a selection has already been made of local families based on gravestones in the cemetery at Portsoy.  A wealth of additional information relating to the same people is already held in the form of census data, photographs, newspaper reports and other types of records.  The success of the project now depends on finding folk willing to bring together all the available material.  Volunteers will work in small teams and each team will focus on just one family, collating relevant records for inclusion in a database which eventually will form the basis for a website dedicated to the history of Fordyce and Portsoy. 

“This is an unmissable opportunity for anyone interested in the history of our area”, said Alison Smith, genealogy co-ordinator at the Salmon Bothy.  “Everyone involved will be contributing to a unique resource which has the potential to put Fordyce and Portsoy on the map for family and local history”. 

The initial focus will be on just a few families:
James Badenoch (1839-1916) and his wife Mary Sutherland
Alexander Chalmers (1845-1927) and his wife Margaret Godsman
Charles A. Goodall (1882-1966) and his wife Margaret Rhind
George Gray (1889-1963) and his wife Ellen Robertson
James Irving (1854-1940) and his wife Maggie Wood
Herbert Laird (1900-1968) and his wife Elizabeth Russell
Alexander Leys (1850-1920) and his wife Marjory Merchant
Alexander McKenzie (1856-1947) and his wife Jane Robertson
William Milton (1840-1935) and his wife Elizabeth Ingram
Charles Nicol (1843-1903) and his wife Ann Wood
John Russell (1829-1915) and his wife Elizabeth Horne
Charles Watt (1850-1913) and his wife Jessie Gauld

“All the details collated will eventually be published online” added Alison,   “so we’d welcome help from anyone with a connection to these families.  Apart from contributing to a remarkable resource, everyone who takes part stands to discover long-lost relatives.” 

This innovative project is now ready to move onto the next phase, which will require volunteer input.  If you’re willing to get involved, please get in touch by phone (01261 842951) or by emailing 

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Bothy Burns

The volunteers of the Salmon Bothy and Portsoy Past and Present were treated to an evening of fine food and entertainment on Friday with great haggis neaps and tatties from the Shore Inn.  Lorna Summers provided much fun and laughter with her doric poetry and traditional bothy ballads and songs by Tom and Maggie Spiers were enjoyed by all.  

The evening also honoured the work of two star volunteers who are sadly leaving Portsoy for pastures new next month. They were thanked for their truly outstanding contribution to the Bothy in particular to the management of the  museum collections and achievement of accreditation.  We will be very sad to see them go.