The Crockness Martello Tower

The Martello Tower at Crockness in North Walls, Hoy, Orkney bears witness to the strategic importance of the island and of Scapa Flow in several wars. It stands on the shore just around from the Ruff of Crockness, near to Towerhouse, the farm name undoubtedly deriving from the monument. Why was it built? The tower  |  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…

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…

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