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Kirkyard recording project complete

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A group of volunteers working to record the inscriptions on local gravestones have completed another north-east cemetery.

Helpers and volunteers from the Portsoy Salmon Bothy finished recording the details on stones in Fordyce Kirkyard this week.

The information will be formatted and a booklet will be produced in collaboration with Aberdeen and North-east Scotland Family History Society (ANESFHS) as a resource for family history researchers.

The project followed work which finished in 2010 recording inscriptions on graves in Portsoy Cemetry.

History researchers worldwide have used the resources to find more about ancestry connections to the Portsoy area and it is hoped the same will come from Fordyce.

Alison Smith, genealogy coordinator for Portsoy Salmon Bothy, said: “The first step was to create an accurate plan of the stones, before transcribing the inscriptions on each of them.

“With the help of other local history enthusiasts who had seen our Facebook posts, we have completed this phase.

“As project coordinator, I type up what volunteers have transcribed and then, with guidance from ANESFHS, create a name index and help to prepare the final text for printing.”

Hours of volunteer work have gone into the Fordyce recording, which began a couple of years ago.

Helpers who checked the wording of the final gravestone in the yard on Tuesday celebrated the completion of the project with strawberries and ice-cream.

The project was hailed as ‘interesting’ and ‘appreciated’ by those keeping up with progress on Facebook.

Mrs Smith said: “An unexpected consequence of this summer’s lengthy drought is that we have noticed brown patches in the turf, revealing stones which lie buried beneath the surface.

“We will take advice from our contacts at ANESFHS before taking appropriate action to record the inscriptions on these stones.”

The previous booklets produced by the Portsoy Salmon Bothy are available for sale on their website for £6 per part.

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