Changing occupations, 1861-1911, North Walls and Brims

Here I’m comparing employment in the 1911 census with the situation in the 1861 census. The usual caveats apply: some people were visiting on census night, others might have been away, it’s a snapshot on a particular night. First a few general changes to note: Population down from 597 to 401. Male and female numbers  |  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…

“I have the worst croft on the estate”

An American ‘Labor Day’ theme this week for #52Ancestors: work.  The vast majority of my ancestors were crofters and farmers, combined in varying proportions with fishing or, less frequently, a trade. This time I’m focusing on James Nic(h)olson, my paternal granny’s father, so one of my great grandfathers. (The ‘h’ creeps into the family name  |  more…

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