Thursday, 21 November 2013

Mybster Inn

Last post I mentioned research into the GRAY/SUTHERLAND family of the Mybster Inn.
This activity was prompted by mention on the Caithness Family History Society mailing list about their grandson Donald Gray SUTHERLAND who had witnessed the death of Ned Kelly and written home about his experiences.
Family had gifted the original of the letter to the Victoria State Archives, who now have the image online. Read about it here and read the letter here.
This family had long been on my radar as potential relatives of my own GRAYs and I had researched them every so often to no great conclusion as to how they connected, other than noting that several trees had obviously not sighted David's death certificate and had him assigned to the wrong parents.

Spurred by the more recent interest I am now a lot better informed about the family and only marginally closer to a conclusion as to where they "fit".
The extended family has been uploaded to WikiTree - where several of the partners also connect into known trees.  It would be good to get a direct male line descendants of both the GRAY and SUTHERLAND families involved to participate in their respective DNA Surname projects (GRAY, SUTHERLAND) to see what that shows us. (Good time to test, FamilyTree DNA have announced their annual sale.)

As investigations continued it dawned on me that it is indeed highly likely that David GRAY of Mybster is indeed a descendant, somewhere, somehow, of my GRAYs.
The SUTHERLANDs connected to this family lead back to an Alexander & Dolina/Dolly/Donaldina (SUTHERLAND) SUTHERLAND of Tormsdale, which just happens to be where the Margaret SUTHERLAND who married "my" William GRAY of Mybster came from. Both of which I'd completely forgotten about over time.
I'd also forgotten that an Alexander I'd thought might be a son of John and Margaret (FOWLER) GRAY lived at Mybster.
Alexander married a Margaret SUTHERLAND and I'd not researched sufficiently to connect Alexander to John and Margaret.
This time round however, with further baptisms examined to see who the witnesses were, I've concluded that Alexander is indeed their son.
The GRAY descendant chart has been updated.

Sunday, 17 November 2013


Many years ago a friend's niece came visiting and we ended up swapping family history, in particular about our respective ancestors in Caithness.
At the time there was no apparent connection, but the name of one of hers stuck in my brain cells as being particularly unusual - Mary Wochab GEORGESON.
Some 10-15 years later my interest in Mary and her family has risen as research into the GRAY family of the Mybster Inn, and their extended family, led me back to her.
This time round, with a bit more digging, I've decided that she is indeed of the same family of GEORGESONs as mine.
Her ancestor William has been decreed (by me) to be brother to my Donald - well on the balance of probability anyway, given the circumstantial evidence. 

The friendly Caithness Family History Society mailing list also came to the rescue as to why she may have such an unusual name - an alternate spelling of Wauchope, a village in Dumfries.
So I'm going to ascribe the name to a Dumfries shepherd who had moved north to Caithness with sheep after the clearances. Which family member had the hankering for home has yet to be determined however.
My posting also resurrected correspondence with a descendant of William's. Pays to advertise - and to ask questions.

Saturday, 9 November 2013


One of the reasons touted for using genetic genealogy aka DNA testing is to focus attention on lines that match.
Well that's the theory anyway.
For Y-DNA, a mismatch when a match was expected just tends to make me want to explore further.
For FamilyFinder I keep straying off to try and figure out the unfigurable, but having a lot of fun in the process.

This post is prompted by a set of FamilyFinder results from Harry, a 4th cousin.
They clearly show the expected relationship to my 2nd cousin (his 4th) at a predicted "2nd to 4th cousin level", but I only show up as a predicted 5th to remote cousin.
Such is the randomness of atDNA.
Our shared papertrail traces back to the Scottish Borders from my paternal great grandmother Helen Sinton WIGHT.

But wait there's more.
My match is actually not from the known paternal side of our shared ancestry - other than some small segments shared between the three of us under the FamilyTree DNA radar, but can be spotted when comparing raw data on GedMatch.

Harry also shows up as a 5th to remote match to my maternal first cousin, her mother, and our aunt. All of whose ancestry, bar one line from Cumberland, is very firmly Devon/Somerset. None being known areas for his ancestry.
Closer examination shows that this is not coincidental as yes, each match each other, as do I, at the same part of chromosome 11 (along with some smaller segments).
I can feel myself being drawn off my current investigations (GRAY of Caithness - again) to explore further, even though I know in my heart of hearts that we'll probably not find the link.

As a result of this, a page dedicated to my Cumberland ancestry has been added to my webpages.

If you have taken a FamilyFinder test and match Lorna, Harry, Jillian, Grace or Ruth on Chromosome 11, please consider joining the FFLornaHen project on FamilyTree DNA so we can explore this further!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Barbara SCOTT

Reviews of older data are always fruitful.
One of the side effects of my review of the SCOTTs around Stapleton was finding that I had merged two Barbara SCOTTs of an age in my database.
- one baptised 1753, daughter of Robert & Bridget (GRAHAM) SCOTT (the parents of the Robert and Margaret at Corrylees mentioned in the prior post), whom I had married off to Thomas NICHOL.
- another recorded as married to Thomas NICHOL, with an extract from the marriage showing her father was John SCOTT.
This has now been corrected, and my WorldConnect database LornaHenderson updated showing both Barbaras, as well as all of the last month's updates.

Monday, 4 November 2013

SCOTTs of Stapleton?

I'd like to say that a DNA FamilyFinder match has meant a breakthrough on a brick wall, but in this case, merely a re-examination of one.
A friend and fellow researcher's brother popped up as a DNA match to me!
The only really likely looking match on their pedigree was their ancestor Margaret SCOTT of Kirklinton. Born within 10 years and miles of my Eleanor SCOTT.
The records for neither have proven very forthcoming to date.
However the review did mean, as I've explained on Eleanor's page, that her birth date has been revised and my knowledge of the SCOTTs in the area has grown a bit more.
Should any other descendants of Eleanor or Margaret care to see if they also match to add further evidence for or against this suggested relationship, do please order a FamilyFinder test.