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…

“By thy long grey beard…”

All the surviving photos show John Ross as an older man with a white beard. Perhaps it was grey earlier, like the Ancient Mariner. Fishing and farming John, my great grandfather, spent his whole life in Orkney, crofting and fishing in the parish of Walls. Beyond the bare biographical details, I sadly know very little  |  more…

Seaforth Highlander, don’t shoot…

Military is the theme for #52ancestors challenge this week. As I’ve already written about my mother’s uncle Victor who died in World War 1, I’m turning my attention to my father’s uncle this time. Wilson Nicholson (1896-1986) He was born on 26 October 1896, at Afrigate, Brims, in the island of Hoy, Orkney.   As the  |  more…

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