“Fatal termination of the late accident with firearms”

Thomas Slater died on 6 May 1868 in Kirkwall, Orkney, as the result of “a gunshot wound, tetanus 4 days”, according to his death registration. He was just 18 and a younger brother of one of my maternal great grandfathers, William H Slater. It is from newspapers that I learned more about the circumstances of  |  more…

Nice moniker

Helen McCaulay Ritch. That name stands out among my ancestors; it has a nice ring to it. Helen was a great-great-grandmother on my father’s side, wife of Ralph Nicolson. She was born in Rackwick, Hoy, Orkney on 10 March 1815, the second known daughter of Thomas Ritch and Ann Mckay. I came across Helen fairly  |  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…

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