“I have the worst croft on the estate”

An American ‘Labor Day’ theme this week for #52Ancestors: work.  The vast majority of my ancestors were crofters and farmers, combined in varying proportions with fishing or, less frequently, a trade. This time I’m focusing on James Nic(h)olson, my paternal granny’s father, so one of my great grandfathers. (The ‘h’ creeps into the family name  |  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…

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…