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…

Colour blind

Hugh Ross. I only needed to mention that name and my father would say something along the lines of: “He was colour blind so he never passed out higher than bosun.” Hugh (1849-1927) was his great uncle, an older brother of his grandfather, John, both children of Upper Seatter, North Walls, Orkney. Documentary evidence With  |  more…

Ten young Rosses living at Upper Seatter…

‘Ten green bottles hanging on the wall…’ You know the song, numbers go down to nine, then eight, seven and finally none. Families and surnames may experience a similar decline; some survive, others die out. Someone asked me recently about the Orkney surname Fea which I knew of from history but could not recall anyone  |  more…