USE­FUL SOURCES

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - FROM THE SHOW - Ang­harad Scott is a re­searcher on Who Do You Think You Are?

Cu­par Pres­bytery min­utes

The Pres­bytery was the lo­cal level of govern­ment in the Church of Scot­land sys­tem. Be­yond church affairs Pres­by­ter­ies of­ten also acted as moral guardians and help­fully min­utes of their meet­ings were some­times recorded. The Cu­par min­utes are part of the Spe­cial Col­lec­tions at St An­drew’s Univer­sity but are presently be­ing held at the Na­tional Records of Scot­land ( nrscot­land.gov.uk/re­search). They are a great source of lo­cal de­tail; in this in­stance they listed the com­plaints made against John Reid by his neigh­bours and, cru­cially, high­lighted his more se­ri­ous crime of fraud.

Trial records

This col­lec­tion was found at the Na­tional Records of Scot­land and com­prises all of the pa­pers re­lat­ing to John’s trial in­clud­ing nu­mer­ous wit­ness state­ments; his own tes­ti­mony and most ex­cit­ingly the ac­tual forged Bill of Ex­change.

Di­aries and bi­ogra­phies

A bi­og­ra­phy was writ­ten by the Sur­geon Su­per­in­ten­dent on the con­vict ship on which John Reid was trans­ported. It pro­vides an in­valu­able in­sight into how the ship was or­gan­ised and run and the heavy em­pha­sis placed on religious in­struc­tion un­der the new Pro­ba­tion Sys­tem. In­cred­i­bly this ac­count also had a record of some of John Reid’s own words. The di­aries can be found at The Na­tional Ar­chives, though we orig­i­nally sourced our copy through Ama­zon.

Con­vict con­duct records

John Reid’s con­duct record was sourced from LINC, the Tas­ma­nian Ar­chives’ on­line data­base. It was a cru­cial source for trac­ing what hap­pened to him fol­low­ing his ar­rival in Tas­ma­nia for it time­lines his ex­pe­ri­ence of the Pro­ba­tion Sys­tem in­clud­ing which labour gang he was as­signed to and who his first mas­ter was af­ter he’d got his ticket of leave.

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