Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Moray Burial Ground Research Group

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"Our voluntary group was formed in 2003 with the task of surveying every burial ground in Moray, which also includes part of the old county of Banff. This is indeed a monumental task as there are in the region of 140 cemeteries, both public and private to be studied! We are in consultation with the Council for Scottish Archaeology (CSA), Historic Scotland (HS), Moray Council, the Royal Commission on the Ancient & Historic Monuments of Scotland (RCAMS), and in association with Aberdeen and North East Scotland Family History Society (ANESFHS) and the Scottish Association of Family History Societies (SAFHS).
The published results of our research will, it is hoped, benefit genealogists, family, local and social historians, as well as archaeologists, those involved in the conservation of burial grounds and other disciplines. Financial support has so far been provided by the Carved Stones Advisor Project, the National Lottery 'Awards for All' scheme, and Moray Council.

Although much computer and other related work is carried on behind the scenes, including historical research in various archival centres, most of our research takes place in churchyards or cemeteries. Here we plot every tombstone onto a plan of each site. We then write out the full inscription from each memorial, at the same time taking suitable photographs and making appropriate scale drawings, which are taken for accuracy checks, as well as archival and illustration purposes. By using a specific methodology, created largely by our group, we search for buried tombstones up to approximately 6' (15cms) below the grass surface. After full recording, these stones are then covered up again for safety and preservation purposes.

The sites we have researched either in whole or in part, so far include Alves, Bellie, Birnie, Burghead"


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