About this website

Edinburgh Footnotes will be exploring not-very-well-known bits of history from Edinburgh and nearby. I hope to dig out information and stories that are new to most of us – stuff that isn’t particularly easy to discover – and then assemble and arrange it all for anyone interested.

pottery shardsIf you want to make use of my research, acknowledgement and a link back to this site would be appreciated. Please don’t copy my original genealogical research to websites which charge a fee. Just link to the free version here!

I’m starting with a handful of articles about the Grange district of Edinburgh. They’ve emerged from my efforts to find out more about the early history of the Penny Well on the Grange estate. That story is sadly elusive, but the search has led to some other discoveries that I like to think break fresh ground. Work on other areas is in the pipeline. There will be stories and background info about the people who turn up as I go.

Creative Commons copyright licenseMy work is published with this copyright licence. Please link back if you make use of an article here, and cite this website. Thank you ~ Helen

References and comments

I try to give references for anything that isn’t easy to confirm from multiple online sources, or from the usual written records (birth certificates, censuses etc.) which can be discovered through genealogy sites like those listed below. Feel free to ask a question in the comment section under the relevant article, if you can’t work out where some information came from. Comments are very welcome – though they may be moderated.

Useful resources

  • familysearch.org  (free)
  • freebmd.org.uk (free)
  • scotlandspeople.gov.uk (many Scottish records only available here)
  • scotlandsplaces.gov.uk
  • findmypast.co.uk
  • thegenealogist.com
  • ancestry.com
  • Canmore – RCAHMS
  • NLS maps
  • NLS street directories
  • measuringworth.com (for historical money values)

Married women

This site uses the Scottish way of giving birth and married surname. For example, when Jacobina Comb married James Irving, she would be Jacobina Comb or Irving, not Jacobina Irving (née Comb), English style, nor Jacobina Comb Irving, American style.

Thanks to:

  • Scrappy Annie for the picture above, also used on the front page, with this copyright licence.
  • EFG for contributing photographs.
  • Paul Townsend, Kim Traynor and geograph.org for making photos available for re-use with a Creative Commons copyright licence.
  • National Library of Scotland for giving Creative Commons copyright licences to various collections, including street directories.
  • National Library of Scotland maps section for having straightforward arrangements for people illustrating articles with details from their maps.
  • Librarians and archivists who are always helpful – at NRS, NLS, RCAHMS, and ECL.
  • Southside Heritage Group for putting info online about graves in the Grange Cemetery.
  • Wikimedia for pictures from their collection.

And apologies to anyone who’s been left out by my absent-mindedness.

11 thoughts on “About this website

  1. Dear Helen,

    My great grandmother was a pupil at the school (1892-3) and I have found a couple of things that might interest you in the papers I am trying to go through – a letter from Mrs Nutt dated 1895 and a bill or list of things the school offered. Would you like me to scan these in and send them to you. If so, an email would be useful.
    All the best,



  2. Thank you, I’ve just been searching for info about this subject for
    a while and yours is the best I have found out so far.
    However, what about the bottom line? Are you positive about the supply?


  3. Dear Helen,
    I am a direct descendant of Thomas Hewit who lived at Pennywell House and the current owner of J. Hewit & Sons Ltd. I am currently writing the history of the Company as our 200th anniversary is a only a few years away and, if you are interested, would be very much like to meet you to as I am sure that this would be mutually beneficial for our individual researches.


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