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Fra Birt To Graif
Na Rest We Haif - 1571
THE MORAY BURIAL GROUND
Issue 9 - - - September 2007 (Currently published twice a year)
This Issue is a little larger than usual, so considerable thanks go to all of you who have contributed. It makes a big difference to the task of the Editor when faced with a collection of blank pages to fill. While the work of the Group proceeds apace, in some cases very slowly, such as at the cathedral, we can announce various successes, such as being very close to completing Birnie, well ahead of schedule, albeit having to suffer the problems of midges and rain. While on the publications front, Alves Buried Tombstones should hit the bookshelves in about three to four weeks time. Various causes have slowed up our efforts so far this year, so if you can help in any way, particularly with MI or Buried Tombstone recording, please don't hesitate in volunteering. Your assistance, even for a couple of hours, is very valuable to the continued existence of the Group!
Publicity Manager Appointed
At the last Committee Meeting held in July, Stephen Leitch was unanimously co-opted to the post of MBGRG's Publicity Manager. Stephen, who is the Lossiemouth Area Community Librarian, will be delighted to receive any information or ideas about promoting the Group you would like to see publicised.
Stephen has, as most members will already know, helped to put MBGRG on the genealogy and family history map with his important discovery of re-cycled tombstones at Elgin Cathedral.
Aside from speaking to Stephen personally, you can easily contact him by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or at email@example.com or on 01343-541910.
(Photo - Stephen Leitch)
Great revelations in many areas of interest to me, where to begin?
(by Sue Rennison - Member)
Editor's preamble:- the following article is written by Member, Sue Rennison, now living in Vancouver, having contributed very considerably this year to our recording work at Birnie and Kinneddar churchyards, as well as at Elgin Cathedral. Although new to this odd hobby of ours, Sue very quickly cottoned on to our ways of working. She finds great pleasure and satisfaction in cleaning flat and table-tombstones, which is now her particular trademark. Subsequent study of the second stone has revealed that it belonged to John Forsyth, a shoemaker burgess in Elgin during the 17th or 18th century and that the fishing connection suggested on first looking at it was probably mistaken. The original text on the third tombstone described here turned out to belong to James Nilson another shoemaker of the same period.
Sunday May 20th 2007. Before I continued work on the south side of the Cathedral, I was asked to help with another aspect of the systematic and meticulous work that the group is recording, for their future publication of the memorial inscriptions within the grounds. Photographs are taken whenever the light is right to expose the best possible detail. This particular one was a considerable height and a fancy extending measure had to be held, directed by the photographer, I did my bit and stood as still as possible for various shots. I was included in one photo to give some idea to the scale of the monument. (Good job I had just done my hair!) I began work on a previously cleaned stone, the moss and soil particles had obscured the script, setting like concrete and it was a 'toothpick all the way' job. Usually I wear gloves to keep my hands clean and from grazing my skin, but I couldn't work freely, holding a toothpick for several hours and using pressure to pick at various angles, resulted in rather bruised fingertips. However, I had some breaks, rather pleasant ones: The de-cypherers were jumping about at a slab that I had cleaned before I set off on vacation, one I considered illegible, as did Historic Scotland - it was recorded as such. The light was just perfect for them and they became more and more excited. Their knowledge of antiquities in this field resulted in many details now recorded, which included; Here lies an honest man, Shoemaker Burgess in Elgin who departed this life March 1500(ish). Not only was this person a tradesman held in high regard by his community, but it appeared that he also was a fisherman, there were many details concerning navigational instruments and two dolphins. (The idea of having two trades in this area is quite feasible. During the gale season, the North Sea can be viscous and most unsuitable for boats to leave harbor. Therefore, the opportunity to use other skills during that time may be the answer to the riddle of so many decorations on the slab.) This is considered a very busy stone, with extremely deep carving and decoration. Other symbols included were, a crown, Fleur de Lys, a very unusual bell, (possibly a church spire bell) the hour glass, coffin, skull and crossed bones and many working tools including a mallet, a pin hammer and possibly a chisel. So, when the dancing had stopped in the area, I sauntered over to ask about location in the proximity of the building. Obviously, the really important people are buried inside, kings, bishops, lords etc (usually men upheld by wonderful women, who rarely get a mention - seriously - the era of women having any place on record is sadly lacking - and then when they do, its SO quaint and sweet and usually really devout women who would turn in their graves if they knew what went on nowadays! Rant over) The South side, I was told, was held for the most prominent and wealthy townsfolk, typical, my hobby, once again I get to work for the rich! This particular slab was placed at a very close proximity to one of the doors, which leads to speculation that this wealthy man helped financially maintain that portion of the building. The excitement of these revelations is felt by all, the group and passing visitors.
Photo (Tombstone of John Forsyth)
Photo (Tombstone of James Nilson)
Educating me to the Scottish language was interspersed with ongoing work, listening to strange accents and odd phrases, some of which take me quite a while to figure out. "Ey cannae abide" basically means
"I don't care for that" whatever that may be at the time of my eager eaves-dropping ears. This discussion between two older ladies was the preference for a hairy chest or not. One lady calls men with abundant amounts, hairy mannies, at which time I have to ask for a translation. It's so much funnier with a Scots accent. Then, a couple get into a "domestic", a verbal altercation which is discussed and provoked by others with great delight until it calms down. I often have to ask for people to speak slowly, when I eventually realize that they are talking to me and I realise I have a vague look on my face. I digress. So, back to the stone I was cleaning. Picking away in the sunshine, rain clouds, wind and chatter around me, the group leader asks me to have a look at something I may not have seen before. Well, why not? A few feet away is a re-cycled slab although I don't know it. It looks as though it has been cut in half widthwise, with a very different texture to the surface on the shallow end. So my first glimpse of this, needs some explanation from an expert. I'm told that the stone was initially very deep and smoothed off for new script to be chiseled out. Very interesting, but that's not all. Standing at the east end I look at the decoration, partially covered in lichen but eventually I see a boot. This boot depicts one that was worn up to the knee with a turn down, the sort you would associate with pirates. Thrilled that I figured that out, I studied the work at either side of the boot and saw and voiced, shoes, I see shoes! The Group Leader was flabbergasted, I was right. The knowledgeable crew had not been able to conclude that their assessment was correct, so the whole lot came over to have a look at my suggestion. These shoes, faced out toward the edges. They had thick heels and a high front, again the era of the swashbuckling folk. They knew he was a shoemaker and considered that the stirrups (that came from the shoes) meant that the buried man also dealt with leather work. I was told that another pair of eyes can often cast a different perspective on a questionable carving, so felt I had offered more than just my cleaning skills for the day. When this stone was first carved it would have included the shoes, stirrups and boot and the usual array of religious emblems. Once it had been ground down, it was used for the next occupant's epitaph.
I seem to remember seeing a chart somewhere of the cost of burial within the Cathedral grounds. It was rather amusing to read and when I get the opportunity to copy it, I will. For example; the cost, if you got your friends to dig your hole, was considerably less than if you employed someone to do it.
A pleasant interruption by visitors drags me away to the perimeter to explain what I am doing and must have talked enthusiastically enough to them, as they requested information about joining the group. Call in the co-coordinator, she can deal with them, I have work to finish. The stone that I have been working on is my first "Miller" who left this world in 1763, his spouse followed shortly after and their son joined them in 1803. Ready to photograph! The next one to attack is a very faint possibility of a whisper of script. Warned it may not reveal anything, I start work and complete the script that has to be floured to show its details and a plain lower half. On to the next one; This one is cracked badly across the top end and has grass roots in the deep crack. It's not an easy task to remove the roots using only wooden or plastic implements and gets even more difficult when I disturb an ants nest. I can't scoop them away fast enough and the wind isn't blowing them off either! Backing off and working away from the angry fellas I get about half way down and have a special treat. My cell phone rings, darling granddaughter wants to talk to her Nana and I go completely to mush. That's it for today; I must clear up and get home to see her.
Taking yet another route out of the grounds, I am still astonished at the beautiful selection of scripts that have been carved. When the weather is consistently sunny, I shall take photographs myself, documenting the variety and beauty of the stonemasons work. Awesome!
Quiz :- Who do you think they were? - This Quiz put together by Jeanne Butler, proved to be a considerable success, with entries being sold during April by several members at various different outlets. Jeanne very kindly provided a £10 Gift Voucher and overall the income from this event was £126.10. Many thanks Jeanne.
Stamps:- After a long wait, all the postage stamps so carefully collected and sorted by members have finally been delivered to Robert Murray's Stamps Auction. Our Lot is now in the process of being sold, and we await the results with interest. So many thanks to all who have helped with this.
Car Boot Sale:- During the last few months, member Janet Campbell and her family have stored, sorted and sold donated goods on behalf of the Group via a car Boot Sale and Ebay. Gordon Black has also generously raised money as well. A very big thank you to all members who contributed a wide range of goods for this fund-raising scheme, and an even bigger thank you to Janet and family and Gordon for all the hard work they have put into this venture. To date these sales have raised a total of approximately £130.00.
Your M.B.G.R.G. Newsletter Gains Certificate Award
On Friday 18th May, The Cairngorms & Moray Newsletter and Website Awards 2007 Awards Ceremony, hosted by the Cairngorm National Park Authority, was held in Tomintoul. As well as the judges, including Pauline Taylor, late editor of The Northern Scot, the evening was attended by Richard Lochhead, Moray MSP, his first official engagement as a government minister.
In talking to several other contestants and participants, Helen and I discovered quite a few useful tips and thoughts about how to improve the Group's newsletter. It became clear from these observations, as well as critical comment passed on to the assembly, that we needed to look closely at how the overall layout could be made more appealing to our readership. Although we quite expectedly did not achieve any major prize, we had the honour to pick up a Certificate of Merit, which in large measure must belong to all those who have taken the time and effort to make contributions to the overall content of our Newsletter. So everyone, take a little bow!
There were over 100 representatives of local newsletters and websites present and it would appear that many of them had attended various 'workshops' during the past year, aimed at improving their overall production. Hopefully we will have the opportunity to attend some of these in the future, so that this newsletter can better serve you, our members and supporters.
To improve the overall content and presentation of your Newsletter, please help by telling me how you would like it to change. All comments and suggestions are most welcome!!!
The Braes of Glenlivet (by Bruce Bishop - Historical Research Co-ordinator)
The 'Braes of Glenlivet' are comprised of the hill lands of the upper reaches of the River Livet, and its tributary the Crombie Burn. The Ladder Hills and their westward extension into the Breac Leathad form an arc around the southern extremities of the Braes, effectively separating the Braes from Conglass, Tomintoul and Strath Avon. The northern end of the Braes is the Bridge of Glenlivet, near the confluence of the Rivers Livet and Avon. The only settlement of note in the Braes is Tomnavoulin.
Following the Jacobite Rebellions of 1715 and 1745 the Catholic Church was proscribed, and for most of the 18th century the secluded Braes of Glenlivet was the only place in Scotland where the Catholic faith remained visibly strong, with the relatively public support of the Dukes of Gordon. The Seminary of Scalan was the only place in Scotland where young men continued to be trained for the Catholic priesthood, and between 1717 and 1799 about 100 priests were trained at this site. Despite repeated attacks by the Hanoverian soldiers, the College at Scalan played a vital role in keeping the Catholic faith alive in the north. The Seminary of Scalan was named after the turf sheilings (Gaelic: sgalan) which were common in the Braes.
The building was completely destroyed after the Battle of Culloden in 1746, and the college was relocated across the Crombie Water to its present site. The foundations of the original building are still visible near the bridge, and the Bishop's Well is situated in the bank beside the burn.
In 1799, with the Catholic faith now again taking its place among the 'legal' religions of Scotland, the Seminary was moved to Aquhorties near Inverurie, and by the middle of the 19th century Scalan had fallen into disrepair.
The fact that there were two practicing religions in the Braes of Glenlivet led to several burial grounds being established, and initially each faith seemed to have maintained their own sites.
The Catholic Burial Grounds in the Braes can be detailed as;
Buiternach This small burial ground is situated on a hillside, with extensive views over the main access to the Braes. It may also have been used as a look-out point to provide warnings to Scalan of attacks by the Hanoverian soldiers. The Monumental Inscriptions were recorded by the Manpower Services Commission in 1978, with a more complete record being made by MBGRG in 2005. It is situated at NGR NJ22042244.
Chapeltown This site comprises a ruined chapel with a burial ground. The site is relatively recent, with a Roman Catholic Church being erected ca 1840, and the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour was built in 1897. This 1897 church was in a simple Scottish Romanesque style, designed by John Kinross, and the building financed by the Marquess of Bute. The walled burial ground dates from ca 1840 with some of the stones being made from the local Tomintoul slate. It is situated at NGR NJ242211, and has been allocated the NMRS reference NJ22 SW44.
Tombae is described as a neat, clean, slated Roman Catholic chapel with a burial ground. The Monumental Inscriptions were recorded by the Manpower Services Commission in 1978, with a more complete record being made by MBGRG in 2006. It is situated at NGR NJ21702569 and has the NMRS reference NJ22NW207.02.
Tombae Wood is the site of one, possibly two early chapels. In Tombae Wood, there is a possible church or chapel site, of which only the foundations are now visible. This is situated at NGR NJ22632252, and has the NMRS reference NJ22NW9. In addition to this there is also the site of a possible even earlier ruined Roman Catholic chapel to the east of the foundations in Tombae Wood. The footings of this were visible in 1874, but are now lost. According to RCAHMS there is no visible evidence of any tombstones at either site.
The only Burial Ground in the Braes which seems to have originally been used by the Protestants is that at Downan or Dounan, also known as Bridgend of Glenlivet, which is the site of a Pre-Reformation chapel, of which the remains were still visible in 1794. This was destroyed by 1869, but the graveyard is still in use, and was extended in 1966. A double cross-incised stone is thought to mark the site of the old church, while 18 other small stone markers indicate the resting place of some of those killed in the Battle of Glenlivet in 1594. In 1966 the RCAHMS suggested that the double cross-incised stone was lost, but in 1978 the Manpower Services Commission Monumental Inscription recording indicated that it was still visible. It was also recorded by MBGRG while recording MIs there earlier this year. The site is at NGR NJ19482995, with the NMRS reference NJ12NE1.
There were also several other Burial Grounds in the Braes, which have now disappeared. These have been traced from Antiquarian Sources and include;
Phona was the site of an early chapel, with a burial ground which was in use before 1760. The location of this site has not been traced.
Nevie or Chapel Christ was the site of an early chapel and burial ground, and was probably originally, from its name, used mainly by the Catholic congregation. The remains of the burial ground were washed away by river during a flood at some date prior to 1760. The chapel ruins were still known as 'Chapel Christ' and were visible in 1794, but all traces had been obliterated by agriculture by 1869. The location is at NGR NJ207277 and it has the NMRS reference NJ22 NW2.
Deskie There are suggestions that there was a chapel and a possible burial ground at Deskie, but no firm evidence has been found for this site at NGR NJ203301, and its close proximity to Downan may indicate some confusion in the mind of the early writer.
Achbreck Maps show an enclosed area of ground around the site of the church, which may indicate a former burial ground. Only the Manse now survives at NGR NJ210286, and the site has the MRS reference NJ22 NW206.00.
Ballaviller recorded as being a pre-Christian burial ground with stone circles. The site was documented in 1760, but has not been traced at the present day
Marriage of Naomi & Robert
On Saturday 8th September, Committee member Naomi Ratcliffe married Robert Appleby in the Chapter House at Elgin Cathedral. The ceremony was blessed with dry weather, and the ensuing photographs were taken under a warm sunny sky. The reception was held in the Craigellachie Hotel and a pleasant evening was had by all. The Group express their best wishes to Naomi and Robert and families in the years to come.
Web Site Grows - (www.mbgrg.org)
Interest in our Web Site continues to grow, and it is good to know that thanks mainly to the efforts made by Webmaster, Lindsay Robertson, it has now passed its zenith of initial construction, and settled into a steady and consistent format. Thanks also largely to his efforts, the Photo Indices continue to expand with Kinneddar and Birnie having just been added. Kinneddar has added some 1,700 named individuals, and Birnie over 1,100 people, with the count from published Buried Tombstones from 11 graveyards now standing at 521. This makes the overall total now available for MI research in excess of 17,000.
STOP PRESS:- Duffus New Cemetery (old and new sections) has now been comprehensively photographed, with the exception of a few masons' blocks. This was achieved with some difficulty considering the 'cloud popping' antics of the sun, not forgetting the frequent bursts of rain, which weather features do not make for good tombstone photographs.
(Photo - Mary and Sue check out an inscription at Duffus Cemetery)
E-Mail Addresses: - If you have changed your e-mail address since filling in your last Membership Form, please inform either Bruce Bishop, Irene Black or Helen Mitchell, so that our records can be updated.
Three Unusual Memorials (seen by Mary Wardle- Member)
This unusual story recalls the events that took place on February 2nd 1739, when one Robert Cadman, in attempting to descend from the top of St Mary the Virgin Church in Shrewsbury by means of a rope secured in a field across the river, fell to his death when the rope broke on the second attempt. Mary had to look high up on an outer wall to see this memorial.
"Let this small Memorial record the name Of CADMAN and to future times proclaim How by'n attempt to fly from this high spire Across the Sabrine stream he did acquire His fatal end. Twas not for want of skill Or courage to perform the task he fell, No no a faulty Cord being drawn too tight Hurried his Soul on high too take her flight Which bid the Body here beneath good Night."
The second stone Mary found of considerable interest is to be found in the Churchyard of St Andrew's Presteigne. To all our members who knew Brian Wardle, it was in this church that he was head choir boy, when his parents ran the Radnorshire Arms Hotel. Two tombstones in the churchyard record the sad events relating one Mary Morgan and her story is highlighted in the Powys Digital History project from which the following information is derived.
It seems that Mary worked as a servant girl at Maesllwch Castle near Glasbury, and in September 1804 secretly gave birth to a baby, which she was later accused and found guilty of crudely murdering.
"The inscription on the 1st tombstone reads as follows:- "To the Memory of Mary Morgan, who young and beautiful, endowed with a good understanding and disposition, but unenlightened by the sacred truths of Christianity became the victim of sin and shame and was condemned to an ignominious death on the 11th April 1805, for the Murder of her bastard Child. Rous'd to a f(i)rst sense of guilt and remorse by the eloquent and humane exertions of her benevolent Judge, Mr Justice Hardinge, she underwent the Sentence of the Law on the following Thursday with unfeigned repentance and a furvent hope of forgiveness through the merits of a redeeming intercessor. This stone is erected not merely to perpetuate the remembrance of a departed penitent, but to remind the living of the frailty of human nature when unsupported by Religion."
The above sanctimonious text had been placed there by a friend of Judge Hardinge who had sentenced Mary to death, and was quite different in tone to that of another stone nearby which in much more forgiving terms records her distress. It reads as follows:-
"In Memory of MARY MORGAN who Suffer'd April 13th, 1805. Aged 17 years. He that is without sin among you Let him first cast a stone at her. The 8th Chapr. of John, part of ye 7th vr."
(by Lindsay Robertson - Webmaster)
In August, the BBC History Magazine (on-line site) advertised a new competition they were running to find "the most surprising, enigmatic or bizarre historical gravestone epitaph in Britain".
The Group has submitted an entry with text and photographs, entitled 'The Long and the Short of It', and we chose two gravestones as being perhaps of interest. These were the five metre high stone from Elgin Cathedral relating to the Anderson family (stone No 617), which references some 22 individuals, and the stone from Birnie Churchyard, with short phonetic spelling relating to Wilyam Wincster and family.
(Photo - Birnie Churchyard - Stone No 241)
We were subsequently contacted by Mark Rowe, of the BBC History Magazine staff with a request for further information. It seems we are in the running, and our entry is being considered! Details of the winning entry and runners up are due to be published in the October issue of the magazine, so we await the result with interest.
STOP PRESS:- The results of the recent BBC's History Magazine competition Mysterious Memorials have just been published. Aside from the winner and four runners-up, there were 15 short listed entries. The two entries submitted by Lindsay Robertson, on behalf of the MBGRG, are included at positions 2 and 3 in the short listed entries, the only Scottish entries to be mentioned. No details of this list are included in the published magazine, but they can be viewed at the moment, on-line, at www.bbchistorymagazine.com/memorials_2.asp and the subsequent page.
Elgin Cathedral Recycling Discovery Gets Press Attention
With the heading "NOT SO MUCH R.I.P. AS P.T.O. FOR OUR CANNY ANCESTORS Recycled Gravestones discovered Page 11", MBGRG hit The Press and Journal front page headlines in their Saturday August 11 issue.
This 'monumental' story had its beginnings with a spider that had led member Stephen Leitch the previous year to discover that the table tombstone he was working on had carvings and text on its underside.
(Photo - By using a large mirror Ed the P & J photographer works out the best way of capturing the recycled text on camera)
Further investigation led the Group to find a total of 14 table tops in the cathedral that had been recycled in a similar manner. This chance discovery of course poses the question of just how many other burial sites throughout the country have such hidden treasures waiting to be discovered!
News from Down Under (by Marilyn Duff - Associate Member)
My mum is interred near where the mortuary carriage is on display so I have looked at it more than once but only recently did I have an idea. I knew Keith was a train buff so I sent a photo and asked for suggestions as to what it's use had been. The guesses were close so here is the history of the restored carriage.
(Photo - carriage)
The New Melbourne General Cemetery opened in 1906 in the northern suburb of Fawkner. The site being chosen because of the existence of a disused rail branch line. The line was partially reopened and the terminus was a new cemetery station at Fawkner. The rail line still passes through the grounds and the Fawkner station is near the main office beyond the main gates.
The mortuary carriage was one of six used to transport coffins up to 20 at a time plus floral tributes from 1906 - 1939. The original plans had 14 sections but they were later adapted into the bigger carriage of 20, thus leaving only four, two for Fawkner and two for Springvale cemetery line.
The mortuary train was set up thus:- The living travelled in either 1st or 2nd class carriages followed by a guard's van, finally the mortuary carriage. Initially steam locomotives were used but the line was electrified in 1920. The carriage design was for the coffins to be placed in the louvered compartment and the flowers in the plain compartments. Access doors were fitted on both sides. The final journey from the train was made by horse drawn cart to the place of burial.
I am unable to find why the service ceased in 1939 or where the carriages were kept till sold. They were sold for scrap in 1952 and scattered throughout country areas where they were left until 1990 when the Fawkner Memorial Park became aware of their existence. The remains were collected and fortunately the original plans were still available and supplied by the Victoria Railways. I have obtained a copy of a booklet which details the reconstruction story. The booklet will be forwarded to Keith as space is limited.
Restoration took 2000 hours and three years and one carriage in its chocolate brown paint and brass fittings is displayed in the garden between the station and tea rooms.
"Deeply regretted" - (by Helen Mitchell - Fieldwork Co-ordinator)
This quote appears on many tombstones, but I am using it in a different context. Unfortunately due to 'global warming' or whatever you wish to call the wet weather, we have had to cancel six out of eight Sunday outings during the summer. We decided as you know, to take two months off over the festive period, which we did and I think that was in reality the best time for dry conditions. No point crying over spilt milk, we have to carry on. Another reason for 'deeply regretted' is the reduction in full working members. Due to one reason or another we have lost ten members this year and our work force has been greatly reduced.
To keep you updated, progress of work is as follows:
ELGIN CATHEDRAL we had hoped to finish this year but it may have to go into next year. We have about 50 flat stones to clean and decipher but wet moss does not help the situation and it is a slow task picking the dirt out of the letters with a kebab stick or similar piece of equipment. Poor light has not helped photography either.
BIRNIE is reaching a conclusion with about seven stones to uncover. Stephen and Gordon broke all records at re-turfing one Sunday afternoon. Granted, the tombstone they were working on was not the usual full size, but when the heavens opened, the work had to be completed and it was, the tombstone was covered up in under two minutes flat. On the same day we also suffered a severe attack of midges. Apologies particularly to Gordon and Irene and Stephen! We are trying to source midgie face nets as an added protection. To date we have uncovered 98 Buried Tombstones, of which 61 have been drawn. A few have been in very good condition. Two we uncovered were stones which relate to our Hon. President's family tree. Betty was excited when we sent her the photos. She faintly remembers seeing part of one of them many years ago. One inscription gives the farm name as Uhit Ureth meaning White Wreath.
To digress slightly, Betty recently had a most informative article published about TMBGRG in a local magazine, St Andrews In Focus, wherein she described her interest and delight in the phonetic inscription relating to William Winchester and family. (see Mysterious Memorials by Lindsay Robertson) This has further helped to raise awareness of the group's aims and activities to a much wider circle of people.
ALVES Volume 5 of Forgotten Tombstones of Moray is about ready to go to the printers next month.
DOWNAN MI's have been transcribed, photographed and ready for indexing.
GLENRINNES MI's have been transcribed, photographed and ready for indexing.
DUFFUS is progressing slowly, but MI recording is being used meantime, more as a standby and for training purposes.
DYKE This is ongoing by Jeanne and Ronald.
CHAPELTOWN at present this has been put on hold.
DALLAS MI's are completed and we are hoping to start work on the buried stones in the near future, but due to Sunday church services, we will have to work during the week.
DUNDURCAS Our aim is to go there mid October with the view of recording MI's and probing. We have a suspicion that there may be a few buried stones.
MACALLAN We have made an initial visit here and are excited about starting, but due to the heavy abundance of large trees it could be a winter project when day light filters through the bare branches.
Editor : Keith Mitchell, Elgin
E-mail address = groupchairman AT mbgrg.org