The Prisoners of Ruhleben Civilian Internment Camp 1914 - 1918: A Scotland's Greatest Story Genealogical Aid

This database is free to access and lists research concerning almost 2000 of the 5500 British civilians known to have been interned in Germany during the First World War.

The site is available at



My new book, Researching Scottish Family History

Priced £7.95, published by Family History Partnership, from February 26th 2010 (click pic for more)

The Largs War Memorial: A Scotland's Greatest Story Genealogical Aid

The Largs war memorial lists the fallen of both World Wars. This free research aid lists the names of those soldiers and provides additional research for many of those who fought.

The site is available at

The Handloom Weavers

of Perth

Weavers Cottages at Carr's Croft, Craigie


In January 2007 I studied for a Postgraduate Certificate in Genealogical Studies at the University of Strathclyde, and as a part of this was asked to come up with a dissertation/project idea that would be of use genealogically. There was no doubt in my mind that the area I would study would be the history of the handloom weaving community of Perth, for the very simple reason that my ancestors came from there and worked in that occupation, along with salmon fishing, for at least eighty years.


Having previously worked in television, I was once fortunate enough to be able to film several sequences at Kilbarchan's Weaving Cottage in Renfrewshire a few years ago for a BBC2 Scotland series entitled The Sword and the Cross, though sadly had to remove the sequence during the edit. But I remember being absolutely fascinated and enthralled watching a loom being professionally worked, and ever since was keen to find out more about the industry. As a project idea, it was a no brainer. 





For the study, the aim was to construct a genealogical records database on the weavers of the town of Perth, with a view to creating a statistical resource for future research into the social history of this particular group. In addition the results would also make an excellent genealogical resource for those studying their weaver ancestors within the town during this period. The plan was originally to continue with this at postgraduate diploma level, where I could then explore the history of the industry with the database as a statistical backdrop. Instead however, I did my diploma dissertation on the role of King James VI Hospital in Perth as a 19th century feudal superior. But since the certificate I have been continuing my research into the weavers, and have added to the database considerably with records from before 1770, which I have started to release on a series of CDs.


The records I am studying are from a considerable range of sources. A successful approach was made through the National Register of Archives in Edinburgh to gain access to the privately held records of the Weaver Incorporation of Perth, which included both apprenticeship records and freemen appointments. In addition, the Militia Act survey of 1802 and further indenture papers were studied at Perth and Kinross Archives, whilst the old parochial registers for Perth were examined in detail to find the names of all children born to weavers within the target period. This database alone numbers well over 8800 entries.


This website makes some of those records available, and will in time be expanded to produce a social history of the weaving community in Perth.





At present the first volume of records on the weavers of Perth has been released through my Scotland's Greatest Story family history research service. The CD contains the following records:


Children born to weavers in Perth between 1770 and 1844 (almost 9000 entries)
Freeman Weaver Voters 1821 and 1830
Freemen Appointments Book 1719 - 1812 (over 200 entries)
Weaver Incorporation Indenture Book: Indentures 1746-1794
Weaver Incorporation Indenture Book: Minutes 1794 - 1809
Indenture papers held at Perth & Kinross Archives
Weavers' subscriptions to their seat in St. John's Kirk, Perth 1749 - 1751
Weavers in 1837 Perth trade directory
Weavers in 1843-44 Perth trade directory
Weavers noted in the 1802 Militia Act Census for Perth (343 entries)


The CD is presented in PDF format (requiring Adobe Acrobat to be read). To purchase this first volume, please contact me at the following address:



Volume 2 will be released at the start of next year (2009), which will be announced through my Scottish Genealogy and News Events blog at


Enjoy the site!


Chris Paton