Viv's Home Page


Welcome to my home page! Here you can find out about my interests, both work-related but also more fun things like family history. If you want to contact me then please read this page first.

Work and related matters

I've completed both a taught postgraduate Masters degree (Cultural and Urban Histories 1650-1850) and a PhD ("Reading habits in Scotland circa 1750-1820" - online PDF) at Dundee University. Previously I studied history and classical studies at the Open University, and before that computer science (undergrad + postgrad in the Persistent Programming Research Group) at St Andrews University. A list of publications co-authored both during my time at St Andrews and more recently as a single-author historian is available.

I am currently converting my PhD thesis into more academic journal papers. I am an Honorary Research Fellow of History, University of Dundee. My academic research interests are Scottish social, cultural, urban and reading history, particularly in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

For links to my various online presences in social networking sites, like LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. see my Google+ profile page.

I also have a dedicated blog for musings on academic issues.

Genealogy and Family History

I have been tracing my family tree for over 30 years now. Most of my known forebears come from the south of Scotland and I am researching many families. I recently started a dedicated blog to recount some of the interesting family stories I found, from all ancestral branches. I also run a one-name study of the surname Cavers and have a rapidly growing collection of references to that surname, and have a Cavers blog associated with that.

Over the years I have started many genealogical indexes, e.g.

Further details of these and other indexing projects are available.

I have been involved for a long time with the GENUKI project which aims to provide an online information resource for UK and Irish genealogists. Since 1995 I have developed GENUKI pages for the following Scottish Border counties: Berwickshire, Roxburghshire, Selkirkshire and Peeblesshire. I still maintain the GENUKI pages for the first three of these counties.

I am also developing a one-place study for Coldingham parish in Berwickshire, based on past research that I have done into the parish and its inhabitants, particularly before civil registration started in 1855. Similarly I am developing a one-place study for Melrose parish in Roxburghshire, again based on extensive past research I have done, and focusing in particular on the pre-1820 period.

Another interest of mine is the application of computers to genealogy and family history. Together with my husband Martin I designed a genealogical browser GenMVD for the Psion 3 series of palmtop computers. I have also written a number of articles on this subject.

Vivienne S. Dunstan
Angus, Scotland
Last updated 24th April 2017