We were diddled. Or were we??

“That should have been ours”, the usual family refrain as we drove anywhere near Houton in Orphir, Orkney. The tale is strong and persistent: a young woman was tricked into signing away her right to the Houton estate, the story goes. So it fits well with ‘Family legend’ this week’s theme for #52ancestors challenge. Williamina  |  more…

Uncle Sinclair and the extra chromosome

Uncle Sinclair was my maternal grandma Jessie’s youngest sibling. I’ve chosen him as he fits this week’s prompt from #52 ancestors, ‘Youngest’, and also because he had Down’s Syndrome, so he provides an interesting comparison with Mary Ann Ross from last week. (Peter) Sinclair Sclater (1904-1960) In contrast to Mary Ann, I know quite a  |  more…

Mary Ann, one of 6623

As I’ve already written about my granny, my longest-lived relative so far, and the ages of my x2 great grandparents, this week’s #52ancestors theme “Oldest” is more of a challenge. For reasons that will become clear next week, I’ve decided to write about a great aunt. Mary Ann Ross (1887-1946) Mary Ann was the oldest  |  more…

The black sheep of the family?

My great great uncle Nicol Slater/Sclater* was the black sheep of the family. He left his young family in Orkney, went off to Canada and never returned. The name Nicol, shared with his father and grandfather, was not used again for two generations. I’d assumed that he left and never contacted his family again so  |  more…

If you think you have problems with Mc and Mac

People sometimes get fixated on spelling. “No Angus McCallum can’t be my ancestor, we are MacCallums”. Maybe so, but in the past spelling of names was quite fluid. ScotlandsPeople has a very good guide on why surname spelling varies. All things considered, the Mc/Mac differences may well be the least of your problems. Slateros Slatero  |  more…