Stick in

“Stick in”, a phrase I associate with James Slater, Pa as we called him, my maternal grandfather. Born in poverty, he crossed the globe, returned to Orkney, bought and grew his own farm, working hard and innovatively. (It should also be said that I write from the perspective of the first child of his favourite  |  more…

A winter’s tale

Grandma, as I remember her, was a quiet, elderly woman. I guess life had worn her out though some of the stories of her youth describe a woman of spirit and drive – qualities that are reflected in photographs. Jessie Sclater (1887-1970), my grandma, was the third child and oldest daughter of James S Sclater  |  more…

Step family trouble?

It’s a rare family where there is never any conflict. Some times family stories contain hints or details of fallouts, other times there is documentary evidence. That’s the case for Robert Moncrieff, my x4 great uncle. Robert Moncrieff (1757- between 1827 and 1839) Robert was the oldest son of Robert Moncrieff of Houton, Orphir, Orkney,  |  more…

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