Wordless Wednesday: finding answers at the National Archives

My great grand uncle Stewart Cruden died in the sinking of the Shera in the Barents Sea in 1942. Today at Kew I found out a little more about his fate.

It’s too raw to write about now; but I was glad to spend time in this beautiful building.


Tombstone Tuesday: a Nicholson in Dysart

I’ve spent a lot of time in Dysart cemetary this last week and have now visited the graves of my grandparents, two sets of great-grandparents and my older brother.

I also found this headstone, of my great grand uncle David Nicholson, and his wife Mary Ann Warry.

The inscription is simple:

“In memory of David Nicholson died 16th January 1946 and his wife Mary Ann Clementine Warry died ? November 1934”


Tombstone Tuesday: the Black family in Kinglassie

In Kinglassie Cemetery, Fife:


“Erected by William Black in memory of his father and mother. James Black who died ??? 1897 aged 77 years and Caroline Goodall widow of James who died ??? 1901 aged 67 years.”

James and Caroline were my 3x great grandparents. They lived their entire lives within a small area of rural Fife; raising five children, including my great, great grandfather Alexander Black.

Before her marriage, Caroline worked as a domestic servant. Towards the end of her life, the census records her – aged 67 – working as an agricultural labourer.

As was usual for the children of the poor, the Black children all began work at an early age; my 2x great grand aunt Christian Black was a factory worker at age 12. William, who is responsible for the headstone, became the village blacksmith, while my great, great grandfather Alexander left Kinglassie and became a coal miner.

Seeing this headstone – the first of several I’ve found on my trip to the UK – was really quite special. The cemetery is barren and treeless and lies beside the B921 overlooked by the towering blades of the local wind farm. The headstone itself has toppled over and is unadorned, but it’s very existence is testimony to a son’s desire to honour his parents. Amongst my largely invisible ancestors this tangible symbol of family means a lot.

An unusual point of view: looking up to the ancestors

I've always wanted a wall of family photos, so I'm excited about adding a few more to my collection over the next couple of weeks.

I’ve always wanted a wall of family photos, so I’m excited about adding a few more to my collection over the next couple of weeks.

gallery2The week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge asks for an unusual point of view. I shot these lying on the floor of my hallway … as you do.