“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…

My old missus, a mother’s tale

Mothers’ Day is the theme for the #52ancestors challenge this week. As that is a tie-in to the American festival, I’m going to swap and take the British Mothering Sunday as my prompt. Ann Thomson (1816-1904) Ann is my x2 great grandmother in my father’s direct line, the wife of Hugh Rosie or Ross (1816-1892).  |  more…

Storms of life

Storms are a fairly common occurrence in Orkney where the majority of my known ancestors lived their lives. I have a newspaper cutting from the mid 1960s with the headline “Five weeks of gales without let up”. Storm is not used so much: “gey windy”, “blowan a gale” or “right coorse” would be more common  |  more…