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Messages - hdw

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Ancestral Family Tree DNA Testing / Re: This is likely a silly question
« on: Saturday 01 May 21 12:17 BST (UK)  »
I have got good results from typing in a surname from my family-tree into WikiTree, to see what comes up. I have recently acquired some nice new correspondents, an aunt and her niece in Ireland and Essex respectively, whose Burns ancestor in St. Andrews was a brother of my Burns ancestor, i.e. one generation further back we have the same ancestors. This was only possible because they, and I, have spent years working out our family-trees by the good old paper-trail method. This doesn't involve DNA, so it's not really relevant to this thread, but I thought it worth mentioning anyway as a possible route to finding "new" relatives.


Perthshire / Re: The name Mcgregor/ McGrigor and its use.
« on: Saturday 01 May 21 12:09 BST (UK)  »
Whatever laws may have been enacted to proscribe the surname McGregor they must have been impossible to implement at local level. I had an ancestor called Jean Ballantyne who was born in Glasgow in 1775 to James Ballantyne and Christian McGregor. I haven't found their marriage, but I did find a couple called Donald McGregor and Christian Ballantine who had a daughter called Christian McGregor in 1734 at Dull in Perthshire.

Wondering if my Ballantyne/McGregor couple in Glasgow might possibly hail originally from the Dull/Weem/Aberfeldy area, I did a bit of research and found that McGregor/McGrigor/McGrigare was a common name there in the early 1700s. Parish clerks seem to have had no inhibitions about writing it down. Two baby boys called Donald McGregor were born in Dull in 1707.


Berwickshire / Re: Soonhope?
« on: Friday 16 April 21 10:46 BST (UK)  »
I've found some more photos I took that day and tried to scan them, but my printer isn't working. Foiled again.


Berwickshire / Re: Soonhope?
« on: Friday 16 April 21 09:31 BST (UK)  »
It's over 20 years since we went there and my memory is vague, but I'm looking at the OS map sheet 66 Edinburgh, and after Lylestone on the A697, north of Lauder, we must have followed the Cleekhimin Burn up into the hills to Soonhope. More photos were taken that day but I only seem to have the one on the computer.
I've written several articles about my Stephenson ancestors at Longyester near Gifford. They were tenants of several farms in the Lammermuirs and had a flock of sheep on the highest point, Lammer Law.


Berwickshire / Soonhope?
« on: Thursday 15 April 21 20:59 BST (UK)  »
One of my Stephenson ancestors farmed at Soonhope, near Lauder, in the early 1800s. I'm not a native of Berwickshire and when I went looking for Soonhope some years ago, I found this derelict farmhouse in the hills near Lauder, and thought that might be it?

Can anyone confirm that this is Soonhope farmhouse? If not, what is it called?


Fife / Re: Pittenweem house 1914
« on: Friday 02 April 21 11:54 BST (UK)  »
Dr. Flaxman died in 1928 and his death-certificate states that he was married twice, his 2nd wife being a Jemima Dowie, so there was a previous connection to the Dowie family. There is at least one Dowie buried in St. Monans churchyard.


The Common Room / Re: Does anyone know anything about name changes in the 1800s?
« on: Sunday 14 February 21 21:18 GMT (UK)  »
In 19th-century Scotland certain first names from the previous century seem to have become regarded as rather uncouth, and there was a process of anglicisation whereby, for example, a woman christened Grizel in the 1700s would have her name given as Grace on her 19th c. death-certificate. Something to be aware of if you are looking for Grizel's death and wondering where the heck she went. The answer is that she lived as Grizel but died as Grace!

In Lowland Scotland a Daniel might be descended from a Highland ancestor called Donald, and an 18th century Patrick might end his days as Peter. Don't assume that a Patrick must be of Irish origin, it was regarded as the "same" name as Peter.

In my neck of the woods in east Fife Michael was often pronounced Mitchell by the old folks and often so written as well. Another potential headache for the genealogist.

But my favourite is one of my 3 x great-grandmothers who was called Campbell Swankie, but on her death-certificate her descendants gave her name as Camilla! (She had a sister called McKay Swankie).


Ancestral Family Tree DNA Testing / Hunter-Gatherers v. Farmers
« on: Tuesday 19 January 21 17:01 GMT (UK)  »
This is just the latest in a series of articles I have read about how the invasion of Britain by Neolithic farmers changed the gene pool and the Hunter-Gatherers more or less died out.

So why does Family Tree DNA tell me that my DNA is 45% Hunter-Gatherer and only 42% Farmer? Am I the exception that proves the rule? (or a primitive throwback!).


Scotland / Re: What is a "Domestic Servant"?
« on: Friday 08 January 21 15:18 GMT (UK)  »
I had a 3 x great-grandmother in Cellardyke, Fife, who, rather rashly, married a widower from the next village of Pittenweem with about six children. She bore him a son shortly afterwards so maybe she married him because she was pregnant, I don't know. Anyway, he died suddenly within the year and, faced with the prospect of being a single-stepmother to a bunch of kids she hardly knew, with her own on the way and away from her natural support group of relatives, she skedaddled back to her home village and went to live with her brother and his wife.

I've seen the Pittenweem kirk-session records in the National Archives of Scotland. The session clerk wrote to the eldest of the six kids, a girl of fifteen who was working away from home as a servant, offering to pay her a small wage from kirk-session funds if she would agree to come home and look after her siblings. I don't know if she did or not, but I'm glad to say she eventually married and had her own family.

In the Church of Scotland the kirk-session is the minister and elders sitting regularly in committee to run the affairs of the church. In the old days they acted as a kind of social work department, distributing money etc. to the poor of the parish, as well as a vice squad (punishing fornicators!).


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