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Day 8–June 24–NEHGS Tour of Edinburgh

This was the last day of the seminar, and I got to join Kristin and the other seminar participants for the day. The New England Historical and Genealogical Society (NEHGS) organized a tour of the Greyfriars Church for the morning, followed by a late-morning/early afternoon tour of the National Museum and finishing up with a tour of the Lamont House on Charlotte Square.

The Greyfriars Church tour was fascinating for the amount of detail on some of the tombstone inscriptions; I think some of the inscriptions ran to 50 or 60 words. The yard used for the Covenanter’s Prison reminded me of the football stadiums and other buildings that have been used for prisons in Chile and other nations in modern times.

The National Museum was worth much more than the two hours that we had. In particular, I want to spend more time with the Atmospheric Engine as I do not think the Henry Ford or other US museums have a similar specimen. The section on the history of weaving technology was insteresting and useful, as the ancestor that I am researching was probably a weaver before emmigrating to the U.S.–his probate in Pennsylvania lists a loom as a named item. One woman participating in the seminar had a series of ancestors who were “beetler&rsquos;s” and all became deaf. After seeing a beetling machine for pounding linen cloth smooth, we immediately understood why they all went deaf shortly after entering the workforce.

The Lamont house is interesting for the kitchen and the fashion history exhibits. It is well worth the visit.

We finished the day with a banquet dinner, where several people talked about their research breakthroughs. One talked of viewing a 14th Century document, while another talked of the court case file regarding the railroad accident death of an ancestor. One remarked that she had confirmed that she does not have any common relatives with President Trump, despite the fact that his mother and her ancestors come from the same island.

The NEGHS tour started with the cemetery of Greyfriar’s Church. The historical and art history trends in the headstones were quite interesting, all the more since Kristin discovered that one of her ancestors was a monument maker.
Edinburgh--Greyfriars Kirk and Cemetery