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>Remove Christianity and America’s Ethics and Freedom Falls

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In recent years there has arisen a new atheism that represents a direct attack on Western Christianity. Books such as Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion, Christopher Hitchens’ God Is Not Great, and Sam Harris’ The End of Faith, all contend that Western society would be better off if we could eradicate from it the last vestiges of Christianity. But Christianity is largely responsible for many of the principles and institutions that even secular people cherish—chief among them equality and liberty.
When Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that “all men are created equal,” he called the proposition “self-evident.” But he did not mean that it is immediately evident. It requires a certain kind of learning. And indeed most cultures throughout history, and even today, reject the proposition. At first glance, there is admittedly something absurd about the claim of human equality, when all around us we see dramatic evidence of inequality. People are unequal in height, in weight, in strength, in stamina, in intelligence, in perseverance, in truthfulness, and in about every other quality. But of course Jefferson knew this. He was asserting human equality of a special kind. Human beings, he was saying, are moral equals, each of whom possesses certain equal rights. They differ in many respects, but each of their lives has a moral worth no greater and no less than that of any other. According to this doctrine, the rights of a Philadelphia street sweeper are the same as those of Jefferson himself.
This idea of the preciousness and equal worth of every human being is largely rooted in Christianity. Christians believe that God places infinite value on every human life. Christian salvation does not attach itself to a person’s family or tribe or city. It is an individual matter. And not only are Christians judged at the end of their lives as individuals, but throughout their lives they relate to God on that basis. This aspect of Christianity had momentous consequences.
Though the American founders were inspired by the examples of Greece and Rome , they also saw limitations in those examples. Alexander Hamilton wrote that it would be “as ridiculous to seek for [political] models in the simple ages of Greece and Rome as it would be to go in quest of them among the Hottentots and Laplanders.” In The Federalist Papers, we read at one point that the classical idea of liberty decreed “to the same citizens the hemlock on one day and statues on the next….” And elsewhere: “Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob.” While the ancients had direct democracy that was susceptible to the unjust passions of the mob and supported by large-scale slavery, we today have representative democracy, with full citizenship and the franchise extended in principle to all. Let us try to understand how this great change came about.
A New Morality
In ancient Greece and Rome , individual human life had no particular value in and of itself. The Spartans left weak children to die on the hillside. Infanticide was common, as it is common even today in many parts of the world. Fathers who wanted sons had few qualms about drowning their newborn daughters. Human beings were routinely bludgeoned to death or mauled by wild animals in the Roman gladiatorial arena. Many of the great classical thinkers saw nothing wrong with these practices. Christianity, on the other hand, contributed to their demise by fostering moral outrage at the mistreatment of innocent human life.
Likewise, women had a very low status in ancient Greece and Rome , as they do today in many cultures, notably in the Muslim world. Such views are common in patriarchal cultures. And they were prevalent as well in the Jewish society in which Jesus lived. But Jesus broke the traditional taboos of his time when he scandalously permitted women of low social status to travel with him and be part of his circle of friends and confidantes.
Christianity did not immediately and directly contest patriarchy, but it helped to elevate the status of women in society. The Christian prohibition of adultery, a sin it viewed as equally serious for men and women, and rules concerning divorce that (unlike in Judaism and Islam) treated men and women equally, helped to improve the social status of women. Indeed so dignified was the position of the woman in Christian marriage that women predominated in the early Christian church, and the pagan Romans scorned Christianity as a religion for women.
Then there is slavery, a favorite topic for the new atheist writers. “Consult the Bible,” Sam Harris writes in Letter to a Christian Nation, “and you will discover that the creator of the universe clearly expects us to keep slaves.” Steven Weinberg notes that “Christianity…lived comfortably with slavery for many centuries.” Nor are they the first to fault Christianity for its alleged approval of slavery. But we must remember that slavery pre-dated Christianity by centuries and even millennia. It was widely practiced in the ancient world, from China and India to Greece and Rome . Most cultures regarded it as an indispensable institution, like the family. Sociologist Orlando Patterson has noted that for centuries, slavery needed no defenders because it had no critics.
But Christianity, from its very beginning, discouraged the enslavement of fellow Christians. We read in one of Paul’s letters that Paul himself interceded with a master named Philemon on behalf of his runaway slave, and encouraged Philemon to think of his slave as a brother instead. Confronted with the question of how a slave can also be a brother, Christians began to regard slavery as indefensible. As a result, slavery withered throughout medieval Christendom and was eventually replaced by serfdom. While slaves were “human tools,” serfs had rights of marriage, contract, and property ownership that were legally enforceable. And of course serfdom itself would eventually collapse under the weight of the argument for human dignity.
Moreover, politically active Christians were at the forefront of the modern anti-slavery movement. In England , William Wilberforce spearheaded a campaign that began with almost no support and was driven entirely by his Christian convictions—a story powerfully told in the recent film Amazing Grace. Eventually Wilberforce triumphed, and in 1833 slavery was outlawed in Britain . Pressed by religious groups at home, England then took the lead in repressing the slave trade abroad.
The debate over slavery in America , too, had a distinctively religious flavor. Free blacks who agitated for emancipation invoked the narrative of liberation in the Book of Exodus: “Go down Moses, way down to Egypt land and tell old Pharoah, let my people go.” But of course throughout history people have opposed slavery for themselves while being happy to enslave others. Indeed there were many black slave owners in the American South. What is remarkable in this historical period in the Western world is the rise of opposition to slavery in principle. Among the first to embrace abolitionism were the Quakers, and other Christians soon followed in applying politically the biblical notion that human beings are equal in the eyes of God. Understanding equality in this ingrained way, they adopted the view that no man has the right to rule another man without his consent. This latter idea (contained most famously in the Declaration of Independence) is the moral root both of abolitionism and of democracy.
For those who think of American history only or mostly in secular terms, it may come as news that some of its greatest events were preceded by massive Christian revivals. What historians call the First Great Awakening swept the country in the mid-eighteenth century, and helped lay the moral foundation of the American Revolution. Historian Paul Johnson describes the War for Independence as “inconceivable…without this religious background.” By this he means that the revival provided essential support for the ideas that fueled the Revolution. Jefferson , let us recall, proclaimed that human equality is a gift from God: we are endowed by our Creator with inalienable rights. Indeed there is no other possible source for them. And Jefferson later wrote that he was not expressing new ideas or principles when he wrote the Declaration, but was rather giving expression to something that had become settled in the American mind.
Likewise John Adams wrote: “What do we mean by the American Revolution? The war? That was no part of the Revolution; it was only an effect and consequence of it. The Revolution was in the minds of the people…a change in their religious sentiments.” Those religious sentiments were forged in the fiery sermons of the First Great Awakening.
The Second Great Awakening, which began in the early nineteenth century, left in its wake the temperance movement, the movement for women’s suffrage, and most importantly the abolitionist movement. It was the religious fervor of men like Charles Finney, the Presbyterian lawyer who became president of Oberlin College , that animated the abolitionist cause and contributed so much to the chain of events that brought about America ‘s “new birth of freedom.”
And finally, fast forwarding to the twentieth century, the Reverend Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech referred famously to a promissory note and demanded that it be cashed. This was an appeal to the idea of equality in the Declaration of 1776. Remarkably, King was resting his case on a proclamation issued 200 years earlier by a Southern slave owner. Yet in doing so, he was appealing to a principle that he and Jefferson shared. Both men, the twentieth-century pastor and the eighteenth-century planter, reflected the influence of Christianity in American politics.
Freedom Redefined
Christianity has also lent force to the modern concept of individual freedom. There are hints of this concept both in the classical world and in the world of the ancient Hebrews. One finds, in such figures as Socrates and the Hebrew prophets, notable individuals who have the courage to stand up and question even the highest expressions of power. But while these cultures produced great individuals, as other cultures often do today, none of them cultivated an appreciation for individuality. And it is significant that Socrates and the Hebrew prophets came to bad ends. They were anomalies in their societies, and those societies—lacking respect for individual freedom—got rid of them.
As Benjamin Constant pointed out, freedom in the ancient world was the right to participate in the making of laws. Greek democracy was direct democracy in which every citizen could show up in the agora, debate issues of taxes and war, and vote on what action the polis should take. The Greeks exercised their freedom solely through active involvement in the political life of the city. There was no other kind of freedom and certainly no freedom of thought or of religion of the kind that we hold dear. The modern idea of freedom, by contrast, is rooted in a respect for the individual. It means the right to express our opinion, the right to choose a career, the right to buy and sell property, the right to travel where we want, the right to our own personal space, and the right to live our own life. In return, we are responsible only to respect the rights of others. This is the freedom we are ready to fight for, and we become indignant when it is challenged or taken away.
Christianity has played a vital role in the development of this new concept of freedom through its doctrine that all human beings are moral agents, created in God’s image, with the ability to be the architects of their own lives. The Enlightenment certainly contributed to this understanding of human freedom, though it drew from ideas about the worth of the individual that had been promulgated above all by the teachings of Christianity.
* * *
Let me conclude with a warning first issued by one of Western civilization’s greatest atheists, the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. The ideas that define Western civilization, Nietzsche said, are based on Christianity. Because some of these ideas seem to have taken on a life of their own, we might have the illusion that we can abandon Christianity while retaining them. This illusion, Nietzsche warns us, is just that. Remove Christianity and the ideas fall too.
Consider the example of Europe , where secularization has been occurring for well over a century. For a while it seemed that secularization would have no effect on European morality or social institutions. Yet increasingly today there is evidence of the decline of the nuclear family. Overall birthrates have plummeted, while rates of divorce and out-of-wedlock births are up.
Nietzsche also warned that, with the decline of Christianity, new and opposing ideas would arise. We see these today in demands for the radical redefinition of the family, the revival of eugenic theories, and even arguments for infanticide.
In sum, the eradication of Christianity—and of organized religion in general—would also mean the gradual extinction of the principles of human dignity. Consider human equality. Why do we hold to it? The Christian idea of equality in God’s eyes is undeniably largely responsible. The attempt to ground respect for equality on a purely secular basis ignores the vital contribution by Christianity to its spread. It is folly to believe that it could survive without the continuing aid of religious belief.
If we cherish what is distinctive about Western civilization, then—whatever our religious convictions—we should respect rather than denigrate its Christian roots.

About the Author:

DINESH D’SOUZA is the author of several best selling books, including Illiberal Education, The End of Racism, What’s So Great About America, and, most recently, What’s So Great About Christianity. A graduate of Dartmouth College, he served previously as a policy analyst in the Reagan White House, John M. Olin Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and Robert and Karen Rishwain Fellow at the Hoover Institution. His articles have appeared in several magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, Vanity Fair, The New Republic, and National Review.

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>There Are Many Bruces With Similar Heritage

>
Elizabeth De Burgh was only 13 when she married Robert De Bruce. He declared his kingship and the coronation took place when she was only 17. For that era, those ages were not unusual because people usually didn’t live past 40 or 50. /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:”Arial Unicode MS”; panose-1:2 11 6 4 2 2 2 2 2 4; mso-font-charset:128; mso-generic-font-family:swiss; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-1 -369098753 63 0 4129279 0;} @font-face {font-family:”\@Arial Unicode MS”; panose-1:2 11 6 4 2 2 2 2 2 4; mso-font-charset:128; mso-generic-font-family:swiss; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-1 -369098753 63 0 4129279 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-parent:””; margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:”Times New Roman”; mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”;} h3 {margin-right:0in; mso-margin-top-alt:auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; margin-left:0in; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; mso-outline-level:3; font-size:13.5pt; font-family:”Arial Unicode MS”; font-weight:bold;} a:link, span.MsoHyperlink {color:blue; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;} a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed {color:purple; text-decoration:underline; text-underline:single;} p {margin-right:0in; mso-margin-top-alt:auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; margin-left:0in; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:”Arial Unicode MS”;} pre {margin:0in; margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; tab-stops:45.8pt 91.6pt 137.4pt 183.2pt 229.0pt 274.8pt 320.6pt 366.4pt 412.2pt 458.0pt 503.8pt 549.6pt 595.4pt 641.2pt 687.0pt 732.8pt; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:”Arial Unicode MS”;} span.preview {mso-style-name:preview;} p.catlinks, li.catlinks, div.catlinks {mso-style-name:catlinks; margin-right:0in; mso-margin-top-alt:auto; mso-margin-bottom-alt:auto; margin-left:0in; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:”Arial Unicode MS”;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.25in 1.0in 1.25in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} –>

Robert the Bruce and Elizabeth d Burgh,

Elizabeth d Burgh (circa 1289October 27, 1327) was the second wife of Robert I of Scotland (Robert the Bruce).

Image File history File links Download high resolution version (759×1199, 72 KB)From the Seton Armorial in the Nation Library of Scotland (MS Acc. …
Image File history File links Download high resolution version (759×1199, 72 KB)From the Seton Armorial in the Nation Library of Scotland (MS Acc. … Jump to: navigation, search For broader historical context, see 1280s and 13th century. … Jump to: navigation, search October 27 is the 300th day of the year (301st in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 65 days remaining. … Jump to: navigation, search Events January 25 – Edward III becomes King of England. … Robert I, (Robert de Brus in Norman French and Roibert a Briuis in medieval Gaelic), usually known in modern English today as Robert the Bruce (July 11, 1274–June 7, 1329), was King of Scotland (1306–1329). …


She was born in Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland as the daughter of the powerful Richard Og de Burgh, 2nd Earl of Ulster and his wife Margarite de Burgh (d. 1304). Her father was a close friend of Edward I of England. Jump to: navigation, search Dunfermline (in Gaelic, Dùn Phà rlain), is a town and royal burgh in Fife, Scotland that sits on high ground 3 miles from the shore of the Firth of Forth, northwest of Edinburgh. … Fife (Fìobh in Gaelic) is a unitary council region of Scotland situated between the Firth of Tay and the Firth of Forth. … Royal motto: Nemo me impune lacessit (Latin: No one provokes me with impunity) (Scots: Wha daur meddle wi me) Scotlands location within the UK Languages with Official Status1 English Gaelic Capital Edinburgh Largest city Glasgow First Minister Jack McConnell Area – Total – % water Ranked 2nd UK 78,782 km² 1. … Richard Og de Burgh, also known as Richard de Burgh, was the 2nd Earl of Ulster, 3rd Lord of Connacht. … Events 20 July – Fall of Stirling Castle: Edward I of England takes the last rebel stronghold in the Wars of Scottish Independence. … King Edward I of England (June 17, 1239 – July 7, 1307), popularly known as Longshanks because of his 6 foot 2 inch frame and the Hammer of the Scots (his tombstone, in Latin, read, Hic est Edwardvs Primus Scottorum Malleus, Here lies Edward I, Hammer of the Scots), achieved fame…


Elizabeth probably met Robert the Bruce at the English court, and they married in 1302 at Writtle, near Chelmsford, Essex, England. Robert and Elizabeth were crowned as King and Queen of Scots at Scone on March 27, 1306. This coronation took place in defiance of the English claims of suzerainty over Scotland, and the new King sent Elizabeth, with other family members, to Kildrummy Castle for safety under the protection of his brother Nigel. Events July 11 – Battle of the Golden Spurs (Guldensporenslag in Dutch), major victory of Flanders over the French occupier. … The village of Writtle lies in Essex, England, just to the west of Chelmsford. … Chelmsford is a town in the county of Essex, in the United Kingdom. … Essex is a county in the East of England. … Jump to: navigation, search Royal motto (French): Dieu et mon droit (Translated: God and my right) Englands location within the UK Official language English de facto Capital London de facto Largest city London Area – Total Ranked 1st UK 130,395 km² Population – Total (mid-2004) – Density Ranked 1st UK… Jump to: navigation, search Scone is a large village, a mile north of Perth, Scotland. … March 27 is the 86th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (87th in Leap years). … Events March 25 – Robert the Bruce becomes King of Scotland June 19 – Forces of Earl of Pembroke defeat Bruces Scottish rebels at the Battle of Methven Philip IV of France exiles all the Jews from France and confiscates their property In London, a city ordinance degrees that heating with… Kildrummy Castle is a ruined castle near Kildrummy the traditional Scottish county of Aberdeenshire. …


After the defeat of the Scots at the Battle of Methven on 19 June 1306, the English laid siege to the castle containing the royal party. The siege finally succeeded when the English bribed a blacksmith with “all the gold he could carry” to set fire to the corn store. The victors hanged and beheaded Bruce’s brother, along with all the men from the castle. They imprisoned Bruce’s sister Mary and Isabel, Countess of Buchan in wooden cages erected on the walls of Berwick and Roxburgh castles, and they sent Bruce’s 12-year-old daughter Marjorie Bruce to a nunnery. Due to Edward’s unwillingness to anger the Earl of Ulster, Elizabeth went into house arrest in England. The Battle of Methven took place at Methven in Scotland in 1306, during the Wars of Scottish Independence. … June 19 is the 170th day of the year (171st in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 195 days remaining. … Events March 25 – Robert the Bruce becomes King of Scotland June 19 – Forces of Earl of Pembroke defeat Bruces Scottish rebels at the Battle of Methven Philip IV of France exiles all the Jews from France and confiscates their property In London, a city ordinance degrees that heating with… In the Peerage of Scotland the Kings of Scots have thrice created the title Earl of Buchan. … Map sources for Berwick-upon-Tweed at grid reference NT9952 Berwick-upon-Tweed from across the river Berwick-upon-Tweed, (pronounced Berrick) situated in the county of Northumberland, is the northernmost town in England, situated on the east coast on the mouth of the river Tweed. … Historically, Roxburgh was an important Scottish town. … Margaret de Bruce or Marjorie Bruce (December, 1296 – March 2, 1316) was the only daughter of Robert I of Scotland and his first wife Isabella of Mar. …


Eight years later, after the Bruce had defeated the English at Bannockburn (June 1314), Elizabeth finally walked free in exchange for captured English nobles. The Battle of Bannockburn (June 23, 1314 – June 24, 1314) was a significant Scottish victory in the Wars of Scottish Independence. …


Elizabeth gave birth to two sons and two daughters: John, Matilda, Margaret, and David (the future king David II of Scotland). Elizabeth Bruce died on October 27, 1327 at Cullen Castle, Banffshire and is buried in Dunfermline. Her husband died eight months later. Jump to: navigation, search David II (March 5, 1324 – February 22, 1371) king of Scotland, son of King Robert the Bruce by his second wife, Elizabeth de Burgh (d. … Jump to: navigation, search October 27 is the 300th day of the year (301st in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 65 days remaining. … Jump to: navigation, search Events January 25 – Edward III becomes King of England. … Banffshire (Siorrachd Bhanbh in Gaelic) is a small traditional county in the north of Scotland. …

The above is from NationMaster.com and I believe the information is reliable because it jives with other such history I have studied. DonWhite
See also: Wars of Scottish Independence The Wars of Scottish Independence were a series of military campaigns fought between Scotland and England in the late 13th and early 14th centuries. …


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 I first list two family history centers in Scotland but see my list of many more than that below. The first, on Julian Avenue in Glasgow, is probably owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is free to the public, both members and non-members. The Church’s archives are the most complete in the world. The second, in Hawick, is connected to the Hawick Museum and you should call ahead to see if there is a charge 
 
Julian Avenue
Kelvinside
Glasgow,   G74 2ED
Scotland
Phone: 0141-357 1024
Hours open: Tues 10am-9pm; Thur 2pm-9pm; Fri 6pm-9pm
Notes: By appointment only. Phone before visiting.
(Last updated: November 25, 1997)
 
 
Hawick Museum & Scott Gallery
Wilton Lodge park,
Hawick.  Roxburghshire. Scottish Borders,   TD9 7JL
Scotland
Phone: 01450 373457
Hours open:  Phone for appointment is best otherwise Mon-fri 1-4pm  Sat closed  Sun 2-4pm
Notes: Information on Border family names, monumental/grave transcription books, family network files
(Last updated: October 31, 2000)

The following 16 Family History Centers in Scotland are owned by the Mormon Church and are free to the public.


Aberdeen Scotland
North Anderson Drive
Aberdeen, Grampian, Scotland
Phone: 44 (0) 122-469 2206
Hours: Wed, Fri and Sat 10:30-3:30; Tues, Thurs 6:30-8:30


Alloa Scotland
Grange Road
Westend Park
Alloa, Clackmannanshire, Scotland
Phone: 44 (0) 125-921 1148
Hours: M 10am-12pm; Tu 6.30pm-8.30pm. Other times by arrangment.
Attention: Contact Mandy Watson on 01259 211986 for an appointment


Ayr Scotland
Corner of Orchard Ave &
Mossgiel Road
Ayr, Ayrshire, Scotland
Hours: T 10am-1pm, 7pm-9pm; Th 10am-1pm except 1st Th of month


Dumfries Scotland
36 Edinburgh Road
Albanybank, Dumfrieshire, Scotland
Phone: 44 (0) 138-725 4865
Hours: T 9am-3pm, 7pm-9pm


Dundee Scotland
Bingham Terrace
Dundee, Tayside, Scotland
Phone: 44 (0) 138-245 1247
Hours: T-Th 9am-3pm; W, Th 6pm-9pm; also alternate M mornings & Tu evenings.


Edinburgh Scotland
30A Colinton Road
Edinburgh, Lothian, Scotland
Phone: 44 (0)131-313 2762
Hours: T 10am-2pm, T 7pm-9pm.
Attention: Use entrance Spylaw Road


Elgin Scotland
Pansport Road
Elgin, Morayshire, Scotland
Phone: 44 (0) 134-354 6429
Hours: W 7pm-9pm; Th 1.30pm-4pm; Sat 9.30am-12pm


Glasgow Scotland
35 Julian Avenue
Kelvinside
Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland
Phone: 44 (0) 141-357 1024
Hours: M 11am-2pm, T 10am-9pm, W 2pm-6pm
Closed: From thurs. 18 Dec. 2008 until sun. 11 Jan. 2009 inclusive
Attention: Please book by telephone before coming


Invergordon Scotland
Kilmonivaig Seafield
Portmahomack
Tain, Ross-shire, Scotland
Phone: 44 (0) 186-287 1631
Hours: T, Th 10am-12pm, 7pm-9pm


Inverness Scotland
13 Ness Walk
Inverness, Inverness-shire, Scotland
Phone: 44 (0) 146-323 1220
Hours: Mondays: 10am-4pm; (Thurs evenings 6pm-8pm by appointment only)
Attention: please ring for an appointment before calling.


Kirkcaldy Scotland
Winifred Crescent
Forth Park
Kirkcaldy, Fifeshire, Scotland
Phone: 44 (0) 159-264 0041
Hours: T, Th 10am-4pm; T-W 7pm-9pm; Th 6pm-9pm.


Lerwick Scotland
44 Prince Alfred Street
Lerwick, Shetland, Scotland
Phone: 44 (0) 159-569 5732
Hours: Th 6pm-9pm; All other times by appointment


Montrose Scotland
Coronation Way
Montrose, Angus, Scotland
Phone: 44 (0) 167-467 5753


Motherwell Scotland
444-478 Orbiston Street
Motherwell, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Phone: 44 (0) 1698 266630
Hours: Wed 7pm-9pm.


Paisley Scotland
Glenburn Road
Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland
Phone: 44 (0) 141-884 2780
Hours: T 9.30am-3.30pm; W 10am-1pm; Th 6.30-9pm; Sat 9.30am-2.30pm.


Stornoway Scotland
Newton Street
Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Scotland
Phone: 44 (0) 185-187 0972
Hours: W 7pm-9pm; Th 3pm-9pm.
Attention: For appointments, please ring Eric Shaw on 01851 820274

 
 
 
 
 
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Popular Turn-of-the-Century Census Now Free Online

SALT LAKE CITY | 7 January 2009 | FamilySearch International continues to feed the growing appetite of family historians and researchers worldwide with the release of its free 1900 U.S. Census online. The free collection allows users to search the entire population of the U.S. in 1900 — over 76 million people — and view high quality images of the original census at www.FamilySearch.org. Full Story

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Ever since Michael Bedard joined the Church 33 years ago, he has desired to put his brushes to work painting the Book of Mormon and the Restoration. He and his family has moved to Nauvoo and his dreams are becoming a reality. Come and see.
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Standing together with Israel
1,500 gather at solidarity rally in Scottsdale

FULL STORY Scottsdale resident Michael Kaplan brought his three young children to the rally to support Israel on Jan. 4 because he wanted to make sure that “the Jewish voice, the Israeli voice, is represented” and because “it’s important for the children to see this, and understand they can play a role.”

Sisters Mary Anne, Pinea and Devorah, of the Evangelical Sisterhood of Mary, came to the rally at the Ina Levine Jewish Community Campus in Scottsdale, because, said Sister Mary Anne, “We love Israel and the Jewish people, and we feel it is our duty of love to stand by the Jewish community in Phoenix.” She explained that the order’s mother house is in Germany – it was founded just after World War II – and added, “We have a sad history toward Jewish people, and we need to change.”

Asked what brought her to the campus Sunday, Sister Devorah, who was born in Berlin in 1925, said simply, “My heart.”

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Radiant nights
Hanukkah celebrations abound
FULL STORY Publicizing the miracle of the oil, an important tenet of Hanukkah, was in full force this year with public menorah lightings and community celebrations throughout the Valley. This year’s holiday, from the evening of Dec. 21 through Dec. 29, included menorah lighting events at several Valley malls, from Anthem to Mesa; the largest was a community lighting at Arizona Mills mall planned by multiple organizations. Even Judah the Maccabee made an appearance at a few of these.

Several synagogues offered ways to celebrate as a community with their own programs, and religious and day schools prepared their students for the holiday with latkes, olive press demonstrations and rounds of “The Dreidel Song.”

>Genealogy, AKA Family History, Is Fun And Very Rewarding

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Genealogy – how to get started

In order to find a person, you must have some basic information, like full name, date and place of birth, marriage or death or an exact address in a year with a census.


What You Need To know Before You Start

It would be almost impossible to find a great-grandmother for instance, if all you knew was her name, and that she came from Denmark. Our records come from hundreds of local agencies, and there is no huge index or computer file that covers all of them.

In order to find a person, you must have some basic information. Otherwise, you will not know in which records to look for him or her. Information to get you started could be:

* Full name
* plus either
* Date and place of birth, marriage or death or
* An exact address in a year with a census.


Things That Could Give You A Clue…

If you only have scanty information about your ancestors, the first thing to do would naturally be to ask elderly relatives or friends what they remember. Make notes of names, places and dates, although they may not be totally accurate. If there are none left to ask, you may find valuable clues in for instance:

* Certifcates of birth, death, etc. – bring copies if you come to the archives
* Old letters – look for names, places, etc.
* Envelopes – look for addresses and postal stamps.
* Photos – look for photographer´s address, it may be a clue.


Beware Of Family Myths

Most families have various stories about their past. Such traditions can have lots of valuable information – but beware!

Family tradition is – as oral tradition in general – often colourful and vivid, and tends to concentrate on the exciting things, that made this particular family something special.

Not all stories are reliable, and it happens frequently that an alleged illegitimate daugther af a local count will end up with parents who are smallholders or farmers – but not necessarily less interesting!


Beware Of Suspicious Names And Place
s

From parents or grandparents you might have been given names of various ancestors. You might also have been told where they came from, or where they lived. Such information is not always 100% correct.

Please remember that many emigrants changed their names. Maybe friends and authorities in the new country had difficulties spelling or pronouncing the original name. Or maybe the emigrant just wanted to change name in order to “blend in”.

Places of origin that you have been told about might also be slightly wrong. Many mistakes, misspellings etc. can have occurred during the trip across the Atlantic.

If an emigrant was asked “where she came from”, she might not give her place of birth, but instead the name of a city or village, that was her last residence before leaving. And if she lived in the vicinity of a market town or larger city, she might give the name of this – to her – more dominant landmark. And so, “Marie Jensen” from the suburb of Valby might quickly end up as “Mary Johnson from Copenhagen”.