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Q is for quixotic

Quixotic – “preoccupied with an unrealistically optimistic or chivalrous approach to life; impractically idealistic” – a fair word to describe William M Groundwater, my great great uncle? William Moncrieff Groundwater was born on 11 March 1849 in Orphir, Orkney, first child of John Groundwater and Williamina Moncrieff, and died on 16 October 1936 at Cruan  |  more…

M is for master mariner

Just been updating my wee list of master mariners from North Walls and Brims. You may know this occupation better by the term sea captain. They were in charge of ships in the commercial fleet rather than the Royal Navy, some sailing around the world, others in coastal waters only. You can find the Walls  |  more…

Alexander Moncrieff, schoolmaster, and the Houton estate

Moncrieff is one of the more unusual surnames in my family tree. Unusual for Orkney that is. The name links to Houton, formerly a small estate in the parish of Orphir, Orkney. Map (name spelled Houston) Moncrieff origins I’d never investigated where the Moncrieffs came from but last year I had a client whose ancestry  |  more…

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