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Messages - nzmike

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Angus (Forfarshire) / Re: Newbie looking for help on Christies of Arboath
« on: Sunday 13 July 14 01:07 BST (UK)  »
Many thanks Jen - I found the article and sad though it is, it has cleared up a whole pile of questions. 

Sounds to me like Barbara couldn't stand Russia and probably hit the bottle... no wonder as I guess she would be on her own all day with no friends or family around in an immensely foreign country.  I am assuming she would have taken the 4 year old GJ with her when she followed her husband to Russia in 1888 which would explain why he disappeared from the records.

It also explains why the 2 sons were listed as living with the Finlaysons in the 1891 census. 

Interesting that it lists 5 children with only 2 alive in 1907 - that means John Finlayson Christie must have died before 1907.... so far I've had no luck finding his death at all but I'll keep trying.  I'm assuming the other children were infant deaths as there seems to be no signs of other children in the records.

I am definitely going to have to try and find the divorce proceedings - hunted high and low on the NAS site already but will have to try again.... call me nosy but I want to know what the other unaceptable behaviour was!

I also found a later article on FindMyPast re a "Barbara Finlayson Cathro or Ramsey" so I wonder if she remarried at least once or twice after the divorce... something else to research!

Just when you think you've hit brick walls along comes some juicy new stuff... many thanks for all your input, it's been really helpful. :-)

Angus (Forfarshire) / Re: Newbie looking for help on Christies of Arboath
« on: Saturday 12 July 14 02:37 BST (UK)  »
Last post on this as it's just too sad!

Article - 01 July 1907 - Dundee Courier

Russia, drink and divorce....also mention of five children but states only two alive George and James one presumes...son James seems to have come through everything OK!

Sounds intriguing!  Where did you find that article?  I'll try looking on FindMyPast but again, it would be really helpful if you could say where you found the article and/or include a link.

Angus (Forfarshire) / Re: Newbie looking for help on Christies of Arboath
« on: Friday 11 July 14 05:15 BST (UK)  »
Have you tried Family Search or

Thanks Tanya - yes, I use Family Search, Scotlands People, FindMyPast, FreeCen/FreeBMD/FreeReg and a few New Zealand ones (since that's where all my family come from in the last 2-3 generations).

Angus (Forfarshire) / Re: Newbie looking for help on Christies of Arboath
« on: Friday 11 July 14 03:30 BST (UK)  »
Well this is a bit need to go back and look at who signed Barbara's death cert and look at the address then look here

I'm a car fan so I had to google that - here's a nice picture of the same car in red:

Beatrice Christie, only daughter of Mr and Mrs James Christie, Violetbank, Scroggieside, Wormit, to Or Douglas Currie MacGilchrist. The bridegroom is the eldest son of Col. and Mrs MacGilchrist. Calcutta, and a nephew of the late Rev. Dr MacGilchrist
17 March 1932 - Dundee Courier - Dundee, Angus, Scotland

Hmm, interesting - many thanks for that.... I will have to get busy on Scotlands People for that one!  Do you have a web link for that newspaper story at all? (I like to gather all that sort of info as I'm creating a family archive.)

EDIT: Don't worry, I found the story on FindMyPast. :-)



Angus (Forfarshire) / Re: Newbie looking for help on Christies of Arboath
« on: Friday 11 July 14 03:25 BST (UK)  »
>Old post on 'my' James Christie:

Wow, and I thought my Christie's were tricky at times to track down.... don't envy your task!

>Sorry James and Mary on the 81 census with widowed Agnes - can't find them in 91. For me the biggest mystery here is the sudden appearance of a 'dead' Barbara in 1932 - where had she been? And where is poor George in 91 he'd only be 7 years old.

James died in 1889 and Mary in 1890 which is obviously why they weren't on the '91 census.

All I know about Barbara is that she spent some time, from 1909, at the Salvation Army in Dundee after her and James got divorced.  However by the time of her death she was back in Arbroath, at 22 Smithy Croft so who knows who she was living with - perhaps John F Christie since James was in Dundee and GJ was in NZ. 

No idea where GJ disappeared to during that time but I am pretty sure he had a very, very tough upbringing and wanted away from his family as soon he was old enough.  As I said a few posts ago he flatly refused to talk about his family to his children until the day he died and what little my own father knew he never also discussed to my knowledge - even my Mum knows almost nothing about GJ's family and was married to my Dad for more than 40 years.  I really wish now I'd asked Dad about it all but he died in 1999 and I didn't start my family research until 2008.

>on that PDF your grandfather is listed as a car mechanic - at time of death looks like he's a cellar man - do you know anything more about his occupations?  Time to shop!

I suspect, given a worldwide depression, he did whatever he could.  If people weren't buying cars then he may not have been able to get a mechanics job hence he became a cellarman.

Angus (Forfarshire) / Re: Newbie looking for help on Christies of Arboath
« on: Thursday 10 July 14 08:04 BST (UK)  »
> Extreme caution on the PDF because I just found it on the web - it's unattributed - it could have been a complete work of fiction for all I knew. 

Yes, I realised later I'd also seen that before, sent to me by another person on RootChats a few years ago who also descends from the Robert Christie line.  It seems pretty accurate though quite a few of my dates disagree with that one - but that's the nature of family research I guess.

>I take it you know that Robert's son was also called George Johnston Christie hence my over enthusiasm for the travelling pair of brothers who are showing older than they should be but with the correct age difference of six years.   

No, I didn't know that - but I do know it's my g.f GJ Christie who came to NZ... just wish I could work out when.

> Old John and Mary are sitting there on the 91 census along with widowed daughter Agnes and grandson James. 

The census info I have also shows James living with them as well though strangely I now can't find that info - can't even find John and Mary on the '91 census now for some reason.
It appears the family was fairly splintered - I'm guessing it's all related to either James being a bit of a soak or Barbara perhaps being ill or having to work to not be able to look after the two boys that ended up at her parents place.  I really need to step up my efforts to get the divorce proceedings but I simply can't find them anywhere.

> In 1901 Robert is up in Dundee carrying on that weird Christie naming pattern but no sign of the James and Barbara troupe from 81 except for the two children with the Finlayson's in 91.

Yes, that is a real mystery as well... not at all sure where they disappeared off to... maybe Dundee as well?

> James Christie (Flax Dresser) and Matilda Mahon are still living together in 71 and 81 while James Christie (Flax Dresser) and Mary Fettes are also still living together in 71 and 81. :o It would be easier if we were trying to find James Smiths!

When I first started my family research I went down the whole Matilda Mahon avenue but I eventually found out (after much hair pulling and chin scratching) that she was not related - well, not to my line of Christie's anyway.... perhaps she married one of the many other James' floating around!

My two biggest headaches continue to be:
1) to find a birth date for James (i.e: GJ's father who married Mary Fettes ) - I have searched high and low on every site I can find and I simply can't find anywhere his birth was recorded... I have a feeling that just never happened.  I have him being born anytime between 1817 and 1823 but no more info than that.
2) Finding out when GJ Christie came to NZ... doubt I'll ever find that one out for sure either.  Of course it's possible he went via somewhere else but finding out the truth is nigh on impossible.

So going back to my earlier question, where do you fit into the whole tree?



Angus (Forfarshire) / Re: Newbie looking for help on Christies of Arboath
« on: Wednesday 09 July 14 08:29 BST (UK)  »
To make sense of all this I need to know if you have had sight of GJC's death certificate and that James and Barbara are listed as his parents.


Yes, I have the certificate (in paper form) and it definitely lists James and Barbara (including her maiden name of Finlayson) as the parents.

If you want to see it I can try to scan it and upload the pages to my website.



Angus (Forfarshire) / Re: Newbie looking for help on Christies of Arboath
« on: Tuesday 08 July 14 11:09 BST (UK)  »
Edit - this would be the George Johnstone/Johnson Christie who marries Euphemia Hedrick in 1915 in NZ?

If so I post this with extreme caution

You should look at the 1901 census entry mentioned above in conjunction with the might see a missing boy?

Jen, yes that's the correct one, he did marry Euphemia Hedrick.

When you say you posted that PDF with extreme caution and that there might another missing boy can you please explain what you mean?  The PDF looks exactly like what I have for my Christies (at the far right) and I'm not sure what you mean re the 1901 census.... but too cryptic for me sorry!!!

In terms of when GJ went to NZ I believe it could have been as early as 1905 as on his death cert it says he had been in NZ 42 years (old NZ death certs always had a "Number of Years in NZ" column). Now, these aren't always accurate as often it would have been the next of kin guessing but his marriage cert also backs this up.  However, his burial record ( says he was in NZ 36 years meaning 1911/1912 could be about right.  I've never found any actual proof of when he came to NZ - there are plenty of passenger lists with "G Christie" or "Mr Christie" or any other combination but nothing I can really nail down as a certainty unfortunately.

Also if he did come out in 1912 who was the Andrew?  I know he had a cousin called Andrew but he was born in 1898 (according to the PDF you posted) so he would have been only 14 in 1912... pretty sure that GJ and Andrew are different people altogether but again, who knows?!

One other person I'm interested in is the James Christie who was George Johnston Christie's brother (b. 1881)... the PDF you posted has his death as 1911 but I know he was still alive, and living in Dundee, as his name & address is on his father's death certificate as the witness.  Do you have any other information on him at all?  I have searched Scotlands People and I can't find a James Christie who was born in Arbroath in 1881 and died in 1911.  On the 1901 census there is a James Christie, aged 20 and born in Arbroath, listed as an Able Seaman on the SS Glenfyne - so it's possible he was a sailor and possibly died at sea in 1911 but for me that one is still a mystery as well since I can find no record of his dying in 1911 that fits with anything else.



Angus (Forfarshire) / Re: Newbie looking for help on Christies of Arboath
« on: Monday 07 July 14 09:40 BST (UK)  »
Just a little word of caution. Don't read more into this than the essentials.

First, as I read Carrie's post, it wasn't Barbara's will that stipulated that the money was for her and not for her husband's use. It was the will of her brother and sister-in-law.

Thanks for that - I went back and read the bit about the will more carefully and you were absolutely right, seems I got a little ahead of myself.

I'd still be interested to hear from Carrie re which Barbara it is and how/where she fits in with my lot (Christie's) but I do thank you for your extra info and good advice.

I've searched the NAS site multiple times until I'm blue in the face and I can't find anything at all for any combination of keywords "james christie barbara finlayson divorce".  I've searched all the different ways I can think of with no luck so far - you're welcome to have to go if you think I'm missing something!



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