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…

Six frying pans, 30 pounds of syrup, and a gross of what??

Catholic Europe has celebrated fatherhood since the Middle Ages on 16 March, St Joseph’s Day.  Here in the UK Father’s Day is much more recent and falls on 17 June this year. There’s practically no-one in my tree with a birthday on those dates or called Joseph, so in the spirit of commercialism, which now  |  more…

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