Monday, 25 June 2012

Sharing Treasures with Flip Pal

One of the things I had hoped to do while I was in Scotland was retrieve some old photgraphs. These were not just for me, but for me to share in the family newsletter and with anyone who might be in the photographs or whose family might have been in the photograph. My uncle is reluctant to pass over old photos in case he doesn't get them returned. Knowing that he didn't  have to part with his photos made it far easier for him to share.

Both my eldest aunt and my uncle were ready when I arrived with my Flip Pal. My aunt had a box of old photographs of her family and of her siblings. My uncle had taken out his photo albums and was able to share old photos that way.

One of the joys of the Flip Pal is that I could scan the photos at my aunts, load them into my laptop and then share the photos with my uncle when I went to visit him.

Neither aunt nor uncle have computers but both marvel at what can be done with them. My favourite photo from this part of my trip was the look on my aunty's face when she and my uncle saw, for the first time, a photo that my eldest aunt had of my grandfather.

 And here is the treasured photograph:

 I believe this was taken just prior to my grandfather's marriage to his first wife, Sarah Costello. Sarah died in childbirth with their sixth child.

Stone Masons - True Artists

While I have always enjoyed the old buildings in Scotland, I was particularly taken this trip with the sheer artistry of the stone masons.

Note the detail in the lace of Queen Victoria’s dress on this statue atop the
Doulton Fountain in Glasgow Green

 More of the artistry around the Doulton Fountain - a tribute to the British Commonwealth

 Representing Canada

Street lamp on the Mound in Edinburgh

Forecourt fountain at Holyrood Palace

Knotted rope around window at Wallace Monument

Ceiling of the old Abbey at Holyrood Palace

Jenners Department Store in Edinburgh

Unfortunately with the more common use of cinderblocks, poured or pre-moulded cement or even glass and steel, these artisans have become an extinct breed. However, their legacy lives on in the monuments that they have created. 

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Interview for Celtic Life

What I Learned On My Research Vacation

Over the 10 days of my research vacation, I amassed huge stack of certificates, MIs and headstone photographs. I have a better sense of the area where my ancestors lived, having driven out to see the villages listed on the documents. Now that I am back home, it was time to start making sense of it all in a way that was tangible, meaningful and in a way that can be shared with future generations.

One area I chose to focus my research was on my paternal grandmother's family of origin. My paternal grandmother has always fascinated me. Perhaps because I never really knew her, having been only a toddler when she passed away. Although I have taken the Haddow line back to 1680, I have a deep yearning to know more about Maggie and her family.

This photograph has been a source of inspiration. Maggie is in the back row, behind her mother - the woman seated on the right. 

When the 1911 census was released, I learned that the little girl in the front, holding the basket, is in fact my aunt. My dad's eldest sister. But what of the other women? Thanks to being onsite at Scotlands People Centre and being able to view documents not yet available online, here's what I have learned:
Two years after their marriage, my paternal great grandmother, Mary (McCabe) Haddow gave birth to a daughter, Jessie. Following the Scottish Naming Pattern, Jessie was named for her maternal grandmother, Janet (Jessie) Lawrie. Baby Jessie was born on December 21st, 1882 at the home of her parents in Mid Calder. 
After she left school, Jessie worked as a postal runner. She later married James Sneddon on September 11, 1908 in Mid Calder. James was from Pumpherston, a nearby village. At the time of their marriage, James was a Shale Miner and Jessie was a postal clerk. James and Jessie had a son, George who was born December 6th 1908. 
The 1911 census is unique in that it asks the length of the marriage (in this case, two years), the number of children born alive, (the 1911 census for James and Jessie states that there were three children born alive) and how many of the couple’s children are still living. The 1911 census for James and Jessie states that only one is living. This would be young George. This sent me looking at death records for infants. I found that James and Jessie had a set of twins, Walter Haddow Sneddon and Agnes Miller Sneddon, who were born prematurely on March 1, 1910. The young babies died 2 hours and thirty-five minutes after they were born. This must have been devastating for the young family.  

On May 31, 1911, Jessie gave birth to another daughter, Mary McCabe Sneddon.

Jessie died at age 72 on May 22nd, 1955. She died at the Royal Infirmary in Edinburgh (right behind the hotel I was staying at). The cause of death listed on her death registration is Myocardial Infarct (heart attack) that she had suffered five months earlier as well as a pulmonary infarct (a lack of oxygen to the lung resulting in tissue death).

After 47 years of marriage, they are buried together with their infant twins in Mid Calder Cemetery. (photo courtesy Scottish Genealogy Society). Jessie is not in the above photo. I believe this photo was taken just prior to the marriage of my grandparents, and by then Jessie was married with a young family.

As for the other sisters, Walter and Mary’s second daughter was Maggie. Maggie was born 10 August 1888 in Kirknewton, Mid Calder. Maggie is my granny. Her history has been well documented for future generations.

Walter and Mary’s third daughter, Elizabeth Brown Haddow, was born on 24 August, 1890. Elizabeth is seen on the 1891 census, along with her parents and her sisters Jessie and Maggie. Elizabeth married Thomas Porteous Nathaniel on December 2, 1910. Thomas was an engineer (journeyman—meaning he had completed his apprenticeship) from Pumpherston. Elizabeth and Thomas had three children: Dunlop (born 1912), Henry (born 10 March 1916) and Walter Haddow (born 1920). Elizabeth died January 25, 1963 at Bangour Hospital. She was 72. Elizabeth’s cause of death was bronchopneumonia. Her usual residence is listed as 15 Retham Park Pumpherston. The informant of her death (to the registrar) was her son, Henry.

Walter and Mary’s fourth daughter, Mary McCabe Haddow was born 30 March 1893. Mary is seen in the 1901 census along with her older sisters, Jessie, Maggie and Elizabeth as well as with her younger sister, Jeanie. Mary never married. She was known to have had at least one child, daughter Molly (Mary). There is some speculation that she may have had other children as well. Mary died at the age of 70. She was a retired housekeeper at the time of her death. The informant of her death was her daughter, Molly Haddow. Their usual residence was 23 Main St Mid Calder. Molly continued to reside in the home after her mother's death.

Walter and Mary’s fifth daughter, Jeanie McCabe Haddow was born on 18 January, 1899. Jeanie never married. She worked as a canteen manageress (perhaps at the school where Molly also worked). Jeanie died on December 21st 1960 as a result of breast cancer. The doctor noted that the breast cancer had re-occurred after radiotherapy. Jeanie was 61 years of age. She died at home and the informant (to the registrar) was her niece Mary (Molly) Haddow.

The youngest of Walter and Mary’s daughters was Katie Clark Haddow. Katie was born on April 8th 1901. Katie never married. She worked as a domestic. She died on July 31, 1979 of gastric carcinoma at Bangour Hospital. Her usual residence was 23 Main St Mid Calder - the same home as her sister Mary and Mary's daughter Molly.

Walter died at his home on Bank Street in Mid Calder on 24 February 1927 as a result of tuberculosis. He was 64 years of age. The informant of the death is son in law James Sneddon (husband of Jessie). James and Jessie were by this point living at 3 Robertson Ave in Edinburgh. Mary McCabe Haddow died on 19 March, 1945 at her home on Bank Street in Mid Calder. She was 84 and her cause of death was cardiovascular degeneration. The informant of her death was daughter Jeanie. Walter and Mary are buried with their unmarried daughters: Jean, Mary and Kate in Mid Calder cemetery.

(photo courtesy Scottish Genealogy Society)

As a genealogist, I believe in sharing. Not just with other genealogists, but also with family. In order to share what I learned on my research vacation, I prepared and presented this "newsletter" to my paternal cousins so that they may also have the story and so that their descendants will know from whence they came:

Friday, 1 June 2012

Part of Edinburgh Castle Belongs to Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia has a long historic link with Scotland, and not only in name. As early as 1624, King James I (King James VI of England) offered a number of baronetcies to his loyal landowners. These land grants were in what is now Nova Scotia. In order to fulfill the qualifications of receiving crown land, the receiver was to stand on his plot of land and declare allegiance to the King. The distance involved called for some creativity and so King James VI & I declared a portion of Edinburgh Castle as “Nova Scotia” so that the potential landowners could stand on this “portion of Nova Scotia” and declare their allegiance without having to travel to the Americas. On the wall, just outside the main gate of the Castle, is this sign:

The sign reads: “Near this spot in 1625 Sir William Alexander of Menstrie Earl of Stirling received sasine or lawful possession of the Royal Province of Nova Scotia by the ancient and symbolic ceremony of delivery of earth and stone from Castlehill by a representative of the King. Here also, the Scottish Baronets of Nova Scotia received sasine of their distant baronies.”
Of course at this time in history, Nova Scotia incorporated parts of southern and eastern Maine as well as lower and western New Brunswick, especially along the Fundy Coast.

So, the next time you are in Edinburgh, be sure to visit the Castle and see Nova Scotia while you are there!