This work is not the outcome of a collation of previous indexes, but is based on a fresh reading of the entire letter-press of Volumes I.-XX. of the Book of the Old Edinburgh Club.
The aim throughout has been to provide a full, reliable and comprehensive guide to the extensive and varied stores of information contained in the Club’s publications. Every person and every topographical reference, however obscure, is recorded in the General Index, the only exception being in the case of the List of Owners of Property in Edinburgh, 1635 (Vol. XIII.) where, owing to the difficulty of identification, only we1l-known names are included. Further, to facilitate the labours of the research worker an elaborate system of cross-reference has been employed.
The most difficult problem encountered in the compilation of the General Index has been the vagaries of spelling, both as regards persons and places. This has been overcome in many instances by placing the modern orthography first and printing the archaic variants within brackets; but where, for various reasons, this has not been done, a cross-reference has been inserted. In a Work of this magnitude there is bound to be an enormous number of persons bearing the same name. To assist identification a date is placed, wherever possible, after the name of the person. For example, John Hamilton, burgess (1515) must not be confused with John Hamilton, burgess (1666).
In the case of the ‘Macs’ the practice throughout has been to index the three forms. Thus : ‘Macdonald,’ ‘McDonald,’ ‘M‘Donald.’ Those consulting this portion of the General Index, however, would be well advised to refer to the three spellings, since the names, though relating, it may be, to the same person, are often spelt differently. As an additional help towards the identification of obscure persons, the occupation, when mentioned in the text, is inserted in the General Index.
I should add that I have been assisted in the reading of the proofs by Sir Francis J. Grant, K.C.V.O., LL.D., Lord Lyon King of Arms, and Mr. William Angus, Keeper of the Registers and Records of Scotland, to whom I express my warm thanks. Not only have they given valuable and ungrudging service but have saved me from many pitfalls.
W. Forbes Gray.
8 Mansionhouse Road,
Edinburgh, June 1936.