Three score years and ten

Longevity is the theme for this week’s #52cancestors challenge. So did my direct ancestors reach their three score years and ten, 70 years in other words (Psalm 90:10)? And if they did, how typical were they of their time? Walterina Nicholson, my paternal grandmother, was the oldest direct ancestor that I know of. She died  |  more…

Favourite photo

The theme for this week’s  #52ancestors challenge is “Favourite photo”.   This is one of my favourites. It shows my great great grandparents and their two youngest daughters. The date is 1875 at the very latest and the photo was taken in Orkney, Scotland. Why is it a favourite? Partly because it is the only photo  |  more…

John Flett – you’re to blame!

About 20 years ago my sister had an Australian temp in her office. The woman’s surname was Flett, a very Orkney surname. When my sister mentioned this to my father he was immediately very interested. His granny’s brother, John Flett, had immigrated to Australia but contact had been lost. Could this temp be a descendant  |  more…

S is for Statistical Accounts of Scotland

Keep reading! They are far more than numbers. The Statistical Accounts are two fascinating sets of reports on each Scottish parish in the 1790s and the 1830s/40s.  They cover economic and social activities as well as natural resources. What, when, who, how? Sir John Sinclair of Ulbster sent out 171 queries to the ministers of  |  more…

R is for reference…

Research is thrilling; you can go on for hours stalking down your family, collecting new documents and information. Noting a reference can feel boring, mundane, the admin that you might get round to one day. I know. I’ve been there – and regret it! What is a reference and why does it matter? In a  |  more…