Wellbraes, Crockness

Location map In the censuses Crofters’ Commission/Scottish Land Court records Valuation rolls Melsetter estate records In the early 1920s, John GF Ross, my grandfather, took over the tenancy of Wellbraes, Crockness, and moved there in 1921 with his wife, Walterina, young son Jim, his parents John GH and Ann Ross, also his sister Mary Ann.  |  more…

Of smuggling and press-gangs

“A considerable degree of acuteness and shrewdness is observed among the population”, wrote the Rev Peter Jolly in 1840, describing his flock in the parish of Canisbay, Caithness. Walter Ross, my x 3 grandfather, had lately been one of them. Walter – in outline He was born on 17 August 1786, the son of Hugh  |  more…

There’s more to tinned fruit than meets the eye

“He was a charming man”, said Agnes Ross to her grand-daughter. Who was she taking about? None other than Al Capone! So how did Agnes (1891-1983 née MacKenzie), an island girl from Stornoway, Lewis, come to meet the famous gangster? The link is her husband, Andrew Ross, first cousin of my grandfather, John. Andrew Ross  |  more…

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