Random moment of delight: on the joy of small serendipities

From the "Shorts" column of the latest Fife Family History Society Journal.

From the “Shorts” column of the latest Fife Family History Society Journal.

The focus of my searching lately has been on the Elder branch of my family; my paternal grandmother’s line. It began with the realisation that my great grandfather, Thomas Elder shared a birthday with one of my brothers, and morphed into a bit of musing about how long my ancestors had lived in Dysart, Fife.

Last weekend I traced the Elder line back to the end of the 18th century – and the family of Isobel Dryburgh, my 5x great grandmother who married one of many Thomas Elders – back to the beginning of that century.

Today my copy of the Fife Family History Journal arrived and, flicking through it I found the text above. It confirms a lot of what I’ve discovered about the Elders, but also gives me some new information. First of all, it seems that the Thomas Elder who was my 4x great grandfather served in the Fife Militia during the Napoleonic Wars, and secondly it the article states that he was married in Edinburgh – despite both he and his wife being resdents of Wemyss Parish, and their marriage appearing in that OPR. Finally, I know that the Fifeshire Advertiser carried a story about the couple in September 1864.

So now I have some new avenues for my research; but it’s late, so maybe tomorrow. In the meantime I’ll just enjoy this random moment of delight.

Random moments of delight is a blogging challenge hosted by Meghan at Firebonnet. You can find out more here.

11 thoughts on “Random moment of delight: on the joy of small serendipities

  1. I am so pleased to hear that you are managing to get so far. It must feel so good to be able to discover the connections which bind your family together.-Karen.

    • Thanks Karen. The thing that really struck me about the article was the number of children, grandchildren, etc. I’m about four generations down the track and must be related to soooooo many people. I wonder how many still live in Scotland?

      • Yes, a very large family. I am curious about the reference to the poorhouse. I have found some family names on poorhouse records but I don’t know if they are my family. What has intrigued me in my limited research is how old some of my ancestors were when they died. They may have been poor but many of them lived in to their 80s. The power of oatmeal, maybe??

  2. I’ve found four different ancestors who died in the poorhouse. One was only in his 50s, but had syphilis and had been institutionalised for many years. The others were all in the 80s, and as I find more and more names on my tree, I realise that those who survived childhood diseases and industrial accidents, wars and epidemics lived for a very long time. Actually I read somewhere recently that the increase in life-expectancy we’re experiencing is more about reducing childhood mortality so that more people reach old age – bringing the average up!

  3. Yay, more clues on your treasure hunt! That is interesting to ponder how many people you share genes with, and how many are still in Scotland. I know that my aunt did a genealogy of her father (my grandfathers) Icelandic family. She went back many generations. I used to have a chart but it seems to have been lost in a move. Anyway, one of my great great great greats was named Aud the Deep Minded and she apparently could see through mountains. (love family legends!)

      • 🙂 as a “glass half empty” person, I think it’s good for me to remember the little moments that make me smile.

    • Thanks; I’m really excited about this one. Don’t expect to find any aunts with such cool names though. My family seems to specialise in Agnes’s, Ann’s, Elizabeth’s, Isabella’s, and Jean’s. And of course a few Susan’s! 🙂

  4. Pingback: The Elder family: a new clue | Shaking the tree

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