Ayrshire Rugby

In the run-up to the final round of this years Six Nations Tournament, here’s a photograph of the Spier’s School rugby XV team from Beith in 1945.

Photograph of rugby XV from The Spierian Magazine, June 1945

Accession 15/93


International Women’s Day

Today is #InternationalWomensDay and we are taking a glimpse into the life of Bridget Scullion, an example of what the life of ordinary women of the 19th century could be like. Bridget was married on 14 September 1852, but her husband was killed just two months later in November 1852. Years passed and Bridget had one lawful and two illegitimate children by 1 March 1861 when she applied to Stevenston Parochial Board for poor relief. She was granted 2/ weekly but by April this was reduced. Bridget also applied to Ardrossan Parochial Board, Ardrossan being her husband’s residential settlement before his death. In May applications to both Stevenston and Ardrossan were refused. As both parishes would not take responsibility, by 3 August 1861 she was ordered to be removed to Ireland, no longer chargeable to either parish. Another unfortunate twist to her story is that by 4 July 1862 Widow Scullion was in prison, her three children who were being looked after by another family in Quay Street Saltcoats were allowed 5/ weekly until their mother returned. This information was compiled from our poor relief records.

This International Women’s Day we are thinking of unheard stories of women of the past and present #IWD2019 

CO3_21_2 Bridget Drain or Scullion pg 175CO3_21_2 Bridget Drain or Scullion pg 197


Kilmarnock Academy Catalogue

Today we are celebrating the release of our new Kilmarnock Academy catalogue. This collection contains a wide variety of records from school log books, to admission registers, pupil record cards and school magazines. This is one of the most extensive school collections we hold at Ayrshire Archives, with the records in this collection extending from 1876 until 2018. An additional 341 items has been added to this catalogue and are now available to researchers for the first time. These records are held at the Burns Monument Centre in Kilmarnock, should you wish to view any of the records within this collection, please contact us.

Scottish Genealogy Network Tour

Recently Ayrshire Archives staff had the opportunity to provide the Scottish Genealogy Network with a behind the scenes tour of our facilities at the Burns Monument Centre.

After a brief introduction to the history of Ayrshire Archives, the group had the rare opportunity to view the archive store. This provided the group with the chance to view the extent of our collections, as well learning about preservation methods used by archivists. The Scottish Genealogy Network also had the chance to view some of the hidden gems within our collections including the Papal Bull of Clement VI, one of our oldest records at the Burns Monument Centre, dating back to the 18th of June, 1348.

The tour then concluded with an exhibition of our collections were we placed on display a wide variety of records including those useful for conducting genealogy searches, such as the Kirk Session minute books. Archive staff also used the Kilmarnock Academy Admission Registers and Pupil Record Cards to demonstrate how school records could be used by those conducting their family history research. Also on display were local business, estate and society records such as the Kilmarnock Burns Club Minute book and the writing albums of Margaret Auld and Effie Kennedy – please view their online catalogue here!

To learn more about the Scottish Genealogy Network, please visit their website: http://scottishgenealogynetwork.blogspot.com/


AA/DC/151/1/1: Margaret Auld and Effie Kennedy of Kilmarnock



AA/DC/151/1/1: Margaret Auld and Effie Kennedy of Kilmarnock



AA/DC211/1/6: Glenfield and Kennedy Catalogues



AA/DC211/1/3: Glenfield and Kennedy Catalogues

Glasgow Women’s Library Visit

As part of the graduate trainee programme, the archives team recently visited the Glasgow Women’s Library for a guided tour around the library and archive stores.20181029_133955

Opened in 1991, the Women’s Library has been located in Bridgeton since 2013 with the aim of collecting items and works by or about women.  The collection reflects on the lives of women of all ages and races throughout time. Alongside magazines and postcards depicting propaganda both for and against woman’s suffrage, the Library holds material relating to domestic violence charities such as Franki Raffles Zero Tolerance campaign for Women’s Aid and also the photo album of a World War Two Ambulance driver.


A selection of some of the material that can be found in the Women’s Library archive

Glasgow Women’s Library is also home to one of the most notable LGBT historical collections in the UK.

We learnt a great deal from our visit and would like to thank Glasgow Women’s Library for their fantastic tour!