Category Archives: General

A Walk Around Sugar Lane – Traub family

A Walk Around Sugar Lane – Traub family

If you come from Wakefield you may not be familiar with the surname Traub. In Wakefield you would be aware of the surnames, Hoffman and Zeigler – these families were known as pork butchers with a German background.

Mr Gottleib William Traub was a pork butcher born in Germany and running his business in Batley. William as he came to be known was born in Weinsberg on the 14th of October 1863.

When William came to England I don’t know. But I do know that on the 30th of April 1892 he married Mary Elizabeth Hartley in St Peter’s Church, Morley. William at the time used his full name of Gottleib William and he told the Curate in Charge, Mr James, that he was 28 years old, a butcher, living on Queen Street, Morley. He also informed the Curate that his father was named Christopher and he was a farmer.

Mary Elizabeth was 29 years of age when she walked down the aisle to meet William. Like William, she also lived on Queen Street. Her father was John Richard Hartley and like Williams, father Christopher, he was also a farmer. There were two witnesses on that memorable day, William Kynder Smith and Marion Smith Beck.

The marriage of William and Mary Elizabeth took a little finding as the transcriber wrongly interpreted the name as FRANK.

The young couple settled into married life and a year later Henry Ralph Kinder Traub was born (1893), he sadly died in February 1900. A daughter Sybil followed and by 1901 she was five years old. The family by now were living at 62 Town Street, Batley and William was now working for his-self and he was now a British Subject.

In the Valuation list for Batley in 1910 William is listed with a house and shop at 62 Town Street, Batley. One very interesting thing for the time is that William had owned an electric motor, 2 h.p.

Another ten years passed by and the family are still at 62 Town Street, Batley. Both William and Mary Elizabeth are 47 years of age, Sybil Elizabeth B is 15 and she has a younger sister, Muriel Pauline aged nine. The couple had been married 18 years and had lost two out of their four children. We know about Henry but not yet about Alix Mary Angela who was born in January 1899 and died on the 2nd of September the same year.

The First World War came and went. Life carried on year by year until 1939 when William and Elizabeth are living at 52 Brunswick Street, Dewsbury. Sybil has taken over the role of the head of the house. She works as a Secretary to Woollen Rag Company. Her mother Mary Elizabeth is classed as Incapacitated. William is a retired pork butcher and young Muriel is an elementary school teacher.

Following on from the 1939 Register in October of that year William, even though he had become a British Citizen was still included on the ‘Enemy Alien – Exemption from Internment – Non-Refugee’ list. He must have had to attend a Tribunal as the result was ‘Exempt from internment until further order’. His Identity Book number is also included – 200516.

Sadly, although Mary Elizabeth nee Hartley, was a British Citizen by birth and parentage, at the time of her marriage she took her husband’s country of birth. So she also has an ‘Enemy Alien Card’. In the 1939 Register, her occupation is ‘incapacitated, by October on her card she is now a housewife. Mary’s Identity Book number follows on -, 200517

In the early autumn of 1942, Mary Elizabeth died, she was 79 years old.

Traub headstone in Sugar Lane Cemetery © C Sklinar 2016

The following year Sybil Elizabeth Bohn Traub died o the 16th of January (1943) at Dewsbury & District General Hospital. Her Probate was also granted in Llandudno and again Muriel was to receive money to the value of £2305 4s 4d.

William died on the 28th of January 1944. Probate was granted in Llandudno on the 27th of March to Muriel Pauline Traub, a spinster with effects to the value of £5208 14s 3d. You may ask why was Probate in Llandudno? Due to the was much of the probate staff transferred to Llandudno for the duration. If you look on the index pages for the period 1939-1945 there are a great number of Llandudno registrations.

Muriel Pauline went on to have a long life. She died in Stockport in the first quarter of 1997. Later the 0same year Muriel’s Probate is granted. As she died in 1997 she is just outside the criteria for searching via Ancestry or FindMyPast. I said earlier that Muriel had been a teacher. FMP has her Teachers Registration. She registered on the 1st of January 1933. Registration no. 90506. After training at the Mather Training College, Manchester, Muriel attained a Board of Education Certificate. Later teaching at Whingate Road Council School, Leeds.

Traub headstone in Sugar Lane Cemetery © C Sklinar 2016

So, we now know a bit about the Traub family. But it is only the two children who died in infancy that are remembered on the Hartley family headstone which reads: In Memoriam. John Richard Hartley of Wakefield was born on March 28th 1836. Died February 16th 1874. Also Elizabeth Ann Beck of Morley. Born April 28th 1838. Died February 15th 1904. Also Frederick Leonard Beck son of the above. Born January 1st 1880. Died March 24th 1924. At Rest. Also, Henry Ralph Kinder, the beloved son of William and Mary Elizabeth Traub of Batley Carr, was born July 9th 1893. Died February 2nd 1900 and Alix Mary Angela, daughter of the above. Born January 28th 1899. Died September 2nd 1899.

Antigua and Bardua War Memorial pt 1

Antigua and Bardua War Memorial

St John’s Cathedral, Antigua © K Sklinar 2021

I think in some respects my children know me too well! A set of images of a war memorial were attached to a message. Followed shortly after by images of the war memorial, images of a cathedral and a tomb appeared. The memorial remembers those who fought in World War One on the islands of Antigua and Barbuda. Though the dark stone memorial has six sides, only three are used. One is in the memorial brass plaque, and one brass panel on each side shows the names. A further small plaque commemorates six islanders from the 1939-1945 conflict.

Before I tell you about the young men whose names are on this memorial, let me give you some background information.

The memorial was erected in 1919 and honours 24 young men. During this period, 1914-1918, over 16,000 men and women volunteered to serve. A new regiment, the British West Indian Regiment (BWI Regiment), was formed in October 1915. A large number of men from the islands, joined this regiment, while others joined existing regiments.

Antigua and Barbuda War Memorial © K Sklinar 2021

Antigua and Barbuda War Memorial © K Sklinar 2021

Returning to the men who are listed alphabetically on the memorial.

Dennis John Freeland Bradbury is first on my list. He was born in Antigua in 1898, the son of Patric Joseph O’Leary Bradbury and his wife Ellen Mary Freeland. Ellen and Patrick are both originally from England, but Patrick’s job required them to move abroad. Oxford-educated Patrick served as Second Master at Antigua Government School. Later Inspector of Schools in Jamaica, followed by Director of Education.

Dennis and his younger brother Basil, in 1911, were living with their aunt and uncle, Georg Henry and Mary Ann Doggett, at Abbey House, Cambridge. Were they here to be educated?

The Southport Visitor opened up a window on the young Dennis on the 30th of November 1916. Denis’s uncle, Dr J. A. Bradbury, former union medical officer for Wigan, wrote that he attended the Moravian School, Leeds (Fulneck School) and later Cambridge University.

In the midst of the Great War, Dennis joined the King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, later the North Lancaster Regiment.

Dennis was wounded in 1916 and taken to a base dressing station where he died, aged 19, on the 15th of November 1916. He rests in Mailly Wood CWGC Cemetery, Picardie. The UK Army Register of Soldiers’ Effects shows a considerable amount of money to be paid to his family.

The base of his headstone are the words “To live in the hearts we leave behind is not to die!.
On the memorial, James Harvey Bryson is listed as the second name. James Bryson was the only child of Robert and Isobel Bryson of Antigua. He was born on the 12th of May 1899. De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour 1914-1919 includes an interesting biography for James.

Initially educated at Kenley School, time at Aldenham School followed At Aldenham, James took part in both football and athletics and was a senior cadet in the O.T.C. On leaving time at school he joined the army. He was Gazetted 2nd Lieutenant in the R.F.A., in June 1918 and served with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders in August of that year. A few months later he was Killed in Action near Cambrai on the 20th of October 1918 aged 19. James rests in Cambrai East Military Cemetery. Information in a booklet held at the cemetery tells that James served with “Y” 24th Trench Morter Battery and that his parents at this time lived at Dunmara, Bourne End, Buckinghamshire.

Like the previous officer, James’ family would receive a considerable amount of money owed for services. James’ name is included in the Aldenham School War Memorial, as well as the list of Ireland’s World War I Casualties 1914-1922, and as we know the Antigua memorial.

In April 1919, Probate for James of 113 Landsdowne Place, Hove, Sussex, was granted to Robert Bryson, Esq., with effects totalling £270.

As well as having his own grave, James is included on that of his grandfather, James M Bryson in, New Calton Cemetery, Edinburgh. The burial place of James M Bryson who died 6th January 1894 aged 69 years. Mary Dunn his wife died 30th August 1902 aged 67 years. James died 3rd Jany 1870 aged 9 months. Jessie Gillespie died 2nd Sept 1875 aged 15 years. Maggie Bannatyne died 27th May 1880 aged 21 years and in proud and loving memory of James Harvey Bryson 2nd Lt. RFA who fell in action in France on 20th Octr 1918 aged 19 years interred at East Cambrai son of Robert Bryson Antigua and grandson of the above James M Bryson. David Dunn Bryson died 26th Jany 1933(?) aged 77 years, Mary Dunn Bryson widow of Peter Bonthron died 30th April 1938 aged 75 years”.

The Scotsman Saturday 20 October 1923 remembers James – “In proud and loving memory of James Harvey Bryson, Lieut., R.F.A., killed in action on the 20th October 1918, aged 19, only and dearly beloved son of Robert Bryson, Antigua, B.W.I., and “Dunmara”, Bourne End, Bucks., and grandson fo the late James M Bryson, Inverleith Row, Edinburgh. “Eternal honour give to those who died in that full splendour of heroic price that we might live”. There is also a mention of James on his parents’ gravestone in Hove Cemetery, Old Shoreham Road, Hove.

The third name on the memorial and the final name for this section is that of Ernest Brooks.

Ernest born around 1892, was the son of William Brooks of Sea View Farm, Antigua. Sea View Farm is a township located in the parish of St George – located approximately halfway between the capital city of St John’s and the island’s largest reservoir, Potworks Dam.

British West Indies insignia on CWGC headstone

Ernest served in the BWI (British West Indies Regt.,)9th Battalion, as Private 11847 from roundabout July 1917. Ernest was injured and taken to No 4 CCS (Casualty Clearing Station) where he died on the 5th of October 1917. Dozinghem Military Cemetery is the final resting place of our young soldiers and over 3,300 others. These soldiers are made up of Commonwealth soldiers from both world wars including those from the Allied withdrawal from Dunkirk and 65 German war graves.

The website Lives of the First World War includes information that Ernest’s medals were not claimed. Monies owing to Ernest, according to the Army Register of Soldiers’ Effects, were sent by Crown Agents to an Antiguan bank account. Another entry for Ernest in the same collections has differing amounts of money being paid to his father, William – this time via the Colonial Society, Antigua.

This link of how to research a BWI soldier may be of interest

Looking for a Caribbean soldier who died in WW1 try this link, Caribbean Roll of Honour,

A Soldiers’ Little Brown Book

A Soldiers’ Little Brown Book

We all need friends, and sometimes family history friends are just the best! Don’t you agree?
Christmas time, we either post Christmas cards or hand-deliver. While delivering one such card to a family history friend I was handed a little wooden cross. The cross no more than six inches in height has a story to tell, but that will have to wait. Following a cup of coffee, I was then handed a small book.

Lord Robert’s YMCA book

The book had the logo of the YMCA on the cover. The once red upturned triangle now faded as is the blue bar that sits over the triangle and includes the words YMCA. It is old but how old?
It didn’t take me too long to open the book and find out.
Written inside was the date 25th Aug. 1914. The Aug could at first glance be mistaken for May, but it is Aug. The date of 25th May would be too earlier to match in with the rest of the information. What information?

The inside cover has the wording ‘Lord Robert’s Message’ with the following words ’25 Aug 1914. I ask you to put your trust in God. He will watch over you. You will find in this little book guidance when you are in health, comfort when you are in sickness and strength when you are in adversity. Roberts.’

The words are not always clear and easy to read as they look handwritten and probably are or is it facsimile writing  I know for one, that if I was handwriting an inscription in several books my hand would be unreadable after a couple. Another question now rises – Who was Lord Robert’s? Maybe later! But now back to the little YMCA book.

I always look into books, especially older books, you know what I mean. Bibles, Prayer Books, Sunday School and School prize books and so on as they can and sometimes do, have names and dates and if you are very lucky, an address. On this occasion was I lucky? Yes, I was lucky!

What do we know so far? There is a YMCA pocketbook given to a soldier in or after August 1914 by Lord Roberts. The pocketbook is the four gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. So far so good.

My luck was in as a name and address are written in pencil. Extra luck also included a place where the soldier was at one time during his service.  Who was the recipient? P Auty? Who is he, was he?

The first stop on the hunt for P Auty was Ancestry. Not many to work my way through, however, nothing to confirm who he may be in the 1911 census. I did forget to mention that included in the pencil written words was this person’s service number – another bonus but Ancestry didn’t come up with any ‘hits’. A search of FMP also had no results. I then tried ForcesWarRecords – not a site I use a great deal, as 99% of their information is found elsewhere. This time, however, using the service number it did good! The Service Number M/335469 belong to a P Auty only this time the ‘P’ became Phineas. I had found my young man. Just to add a little more info. in the 1911 census, there was another young man in the family, his name was Paul. There needed to be some confirmation as to whether the book belonged to Phineas or his brother Paul.

Phineas was born at West Ardsley to Jonathan Auty and his wife Eliza (later documents have him being born in either Castleford or Pontefract). He was baptised in All Saints Church, Castleford the 6th of December 1881. There is an online family tree with a birth date of 1st of May 1880 – which means he should be included in the 1881 census. The GRO has a birth registered in Wakefield in the 2nd quarter of 1880 – this does tie in with the birth included in the online tree. This information doesn’t match with the 1881 census as no Phineas is included with the family living at Lock Lane, Allerton Bywater. The first appearance of Phineas in a census is the very faint scan of the 1891 census when the family are in Castleford.

The 24-year-old Phineas can, however, clearly be found on the 1901 census living in Baumber, Lincolnshire, with William Greaves (a shepherd on a local farm) and his family and working as a Stable Lead (Groom) – a couple of other Stable Lead’s are also with the Greaves family. Baumber is a small rural community that in the 2000 census had a population of 168.

Following on, the next census in 1911, Phineas is back living with his parents and siblings at 3 Nutt Street, Pontefract. Who was in the house on census night? Jonathan aged 65, still working as a coal hewer. Jonathan’s wife Eliza aged 63. Phineas is the eldest child living at home. He is now 30 years old and employed as a groom, employed by a veterinary surgeon. Margaret Annie Auty a daughter-in-law, aged 34 had been born in Barnard Castle. She had been married five years and had one living named Florence Xenie, but had sadly lost a child, who I later found had been named Paul.

Margaret Annie had married Phineas Auty in April 1905 in Pontefract. Phineas and his wife at some time in the previous two years had lived in Scotland. A visit to Scotlandspeople provided a birth entry for Florence Xenie. She was born on the 24th of December 1909. The Scottish information also gives her time of birth – at 6h 47m p.m. in West Barns, Dunbar. West Barns is a small village in East Lothian, some 10 miles south of North Berwick and 28 miles east of Edinburgh. Another tick for Scotlands documents also includes the maiden surname of the mother and the date and place of their marriage. In this case Burney Margaret’s maiden name. The marriage is included as of April 19 1904 and should be according to English church records 1905.

When trying to work a timeline as to when the couple were in Scotland. I know it must have been after 1905. Why? The couple married in 1905. Their son Paul Rowland Auty was baptised in May 1905 and sadly had been buried by July. This leaves a window of Autumn 1905 to December 1909 when Florences’ birth was registered in Haddington. Arriving back in Pontefract before census night 1911.

I mentioned earlier that ForcesWarRecords gave me information about Phineas’ war service. His service number was M/334569 but I didn’t mention he served with the Army Service Corps (A.S.C.). There is no surviving Service Record for Phineas so when he enlisted is unknown.

Could it have been early on in the war? Lord Robert‘s died in November of 1914, so either Phineas obtained a book before November or Lord Robert had written many books ready to hand out?  Lord Robert’s visited the troops in France and it was there that he died aged 82 in November 1914 from pneumonia while visiting with Indian troops near St Omer.  His body was then returned to the UK before being buried in St Pau’s Cathedral.   For information – Lord Robert’s and one of his sons were one set three of father and son’s to be awarded  the Victoria Cross.  His son The Hon. Frederick Hugh Sherston Roberts, VC was killed in action during the Boer War in  1899.

Lindi German East Africa via Pinterest

What is also written in the book gives a clue to what happened to Phineas in 1917. Dec 25/17 is written with the following address – South African Stationery Hospital Lindi German East Africa.  This part of what became known as The Great War was fought in a series of battles and guerrilla movements.  The campaign had all but ended in November 1917.

The War in German East Africa via Wikipedia

Had Phineas been injured?

Did Phineas survive?

Yes, he did.

He, according to Fold3 had been granted a pension after being discharged on the 17th of January 1917. What the pension was for is unknown but he had a 20% degree of disability and for that was awarded a Pension on a conditional basis – was his medical condition hoped to improve. Anyway, he was awarded on 9th December 1920 the sum of 8/- for himself and 3/6d for his wife and child weekly. In June of 1922, according to the military, there were no grounds for any further payments. Had he regained his fitness and was now able to work? Or, had the military decided he was fit anyway? But he did come away with the Victory and British Medals!

Phineas Auty Medal Card via

Phineas died in Pontefract Infirmary and was buried in Ackworth cemetery in September 1938. His wife, Margaret was living in Hemsworth when the 1939 Register was taken. There are two redacted entries for the same household. Could one have been Florence?

Margaret died in 1943.

Florence Xenia married in early 1948.

Finally, the back page in the YMCA book is written by Florence on January 29th (no year) but she did live at Low Ackworth and I presume that this was done in her younger years.

Linkwood Cemetery, Elgin – The Logie Family

Linkwood Cemetery, Elgin – The Logie Family

While on a ‘FAMILY HISTORY’ holiday in Scotland last year I visited many of the cemeteries and kirkyards where my relatives rest and photographed their headstones.  While in these cemeteries I also photographed a large number of headstones with either a military connection or some wording that made the memorial interesting.

In Linkwood Cemetery, Elgin is a headstone quite close to where I had parked my car. The headstone remembers people belonging to the Logie family.

Logie family headstone in Elgin’s Linkwood Cemetery

Who is mentioned on the granite memorial?

I’ll start with George Logie for no other reason than his name was more prominent than the others.

George was 21 years old when he was Killed in Action on the 31st of August 1918.

After enlisting in Elgin, George served in the 2nd Seaforth Highlanders as Private 2604 and 265914. At some time in his service, George must have changed his battalion to have had two service numbers. This is verified by his medal card, which also confirms the awarding of the British and Victory Medals. As there was no 1914 or 1915 Star in George’s medal entitlement he must have joined the service after 1915.

George’s father was William name was struck through and his mother Isabella (nee Phimister) becomes the next of kin and eligible to take over the small pension. The family address at this time was Waulkmill Cottage, Elgin. The collection of Soldiers Effects tells that George’s father was eligible to receive two sums of money, £13 followed two years later by the sum of £20.

George rests in Vis-en-Artois British Cemetery, Harcourt, France with over 850 other casualties of war.

George’s family had a personal inscription placed upon his CWGC (Commonwealth War Graves Commission) headstone, which reads:- For Freedom’s Sake”.

Now, let me tell you about John.

John born on the 11th of April 1899,  had five brothers and six sisters and, like his brother George, was a ploughman.

He enlisted at Inverness on the 11th of June 1917 and served in France. After being wounded on the 25th of April 1918, he was taken to CCs (Casualty Clearing Station) 68, France. John, aged just 19 years old, died the same day and rests in Mendinghem Military Cemetery, Belgium, Plot X C 14. His headstone, one of over 2000, has the familiar CWGC cross on the headstone and the words ‘He died that we might be free’.

John had served with the 8th (Service) Battalion Black Watch (Royal Highlanders), known as Private S/41530.

There is a Pension Card that has information on the two Logie brothers. It tells the brothers names, Regiments, Service Numbers, their causes of death and dates. One snippet of information that is a boon for family historians – that is that William, their father, was next of kin, he died, his information was struck through and replaced by Isabella, their mother.

William and Isabella not only lost two sons in what was to become The Great War, shortly after in October 1920, they also lost their son William.

According to the 1901 census William appeared to be the eldest of nine children ranging in ages from William aged 12 to Charles just one month old.  The previously mentioned George and John were three and one years old.  William had been born at New Spynie but now the family were living at Linkwood Cottage, Lhangbryde.

William was a Police Constable and died ab Cambuslang.

The Sunday Post of Sunday 17th of October 1920 tells:-  “Impressive scenes were witnessed yesterday in connection with the funeral of Police-Constable Wm. Logie whose death occurred at Cambuslang, where he was stationed.  Comrades of the deceased officer in uniform proceeded the hearse as the cortege passed through Cambuslang”.

According to his death certificate, yes I gave in to curiosity and paid my six credits to view how he died.  William died at 10:30 pm on the night of October the 17th 1920 of Pernicious anaemia.  According to Libindex, he left a wife, Mary Clunas


Notes on the Parish and Lordship of Urquhart

Notes on the Parish and Lordship of Urquhart

Family historians and One-Name Study researchers love names.  The more names the better chance of finding the name you want.  Well, I hope this transcription, albeit a little on the long side, will give a few names and places to fellow researchers.  Yes, I know it’s long but there are some interesting snippets in there.

The Elgin Courant and Courier, Friday, July 22 1892

Urquhart was formerly a cell or priory belonging to Dunfermline, and was founded by King David 1 in honour of the Blessed Trinity in the year 1124, as appears from the Chartulary of Moray.

Richard, prior of Urquhart, subscribed the fixing of the Cathedral of Moray at Spynie, and the foundation of eight canons settled there by Bishop Bricius, brother to William, Lord Douglas, in the reign of William the Lion.

Thomas, prior of Urquhart, was present at a Synod of Andrew, Bishop of Moray, held at Elgin in 1232, and was sub-legate for composing a difference betwixt Bishop of Moray, and David de Strathbogie.

Robert, prior of Urquhart, was present at a Synod called at Elgin in 1369 on a question of tithes.

The Lordship of Urquhart belonged to the priors of Pluscardine and soon after the Reformation the estate of the priory was erected into a temporal Lordship in favour of Sir Alexander Seton, then created Lord Urquhart, and afterwards Earl of Dunfermline, and upon forfeiture of that family, was acquired by the Earl of Callendar, who assumed the title of Dunfermline.

The grant of the Lordship of Urquhart was burdened with payment of a feu-duty to the Crown of 550 merks Sc., as also with considerable portions of their estate in the parish or Urquhart to different persons – particularly Over and Nether Mefts, Leuchars, Threipland, Lochs, Binns &c., and the feuars continued to possess, only paying their feu-duties to Lord Dunfermline in place of the Church.

Part of Urquhart via NLS via

The following notes are taken from original MSS, and other documents now before the writer:-

1)  In 1685 a precept was issued at the instance of James, Earl of Dunfermline, Lord Fyvie and Urquhart, and Lord of the Lordship and Regality of Urquhart and George Gordon in Garmoch, bailie principal of the said Regality against the feuars and tenants of the Lordship of Urquhart anent the Cess. James Caler of Muirton and William Duff, elder, and William Duff, younger, merchants in Inverness, tacksmen of the Lordship of Urquhart, had obtained decreet before the said bailie against John Innes of Leuchars, David Stewart of Upper Meft, John Farquharson of Binns and Nether Meft, Robert Innes, portioner thereof, John Taylor of Maverston, John Duncan portioner of Nether Binns, John Russell, portioner thereor, James Flytter of Gladehill, Margaret Hamilton, L#liferentris of a portion of Nether Binns, Archibald Geddes ad Alexander Gordon of Loch, and James Brander, portioner of Urquhart, John Dunbar and Alexander Stronoch, portioners of Finfan and Walter Chalmer of Threpland decerning each of them to make payment to the said tackshman, for relief of the new Supply granted to the king by Act 3, third Parliament of Charles 11 viz., each of the foresaid persons as vassaks and feuars and as gentlemen above the quality of tenants for themselves, wives and children £6 Sc., and each of their tenants and subtenants, cottars, and grassmen residing within the said lordship £4 Sc., for the tenant and 20s for each of their subtenants, cottars and grassmen, tradesmen and servants and that yearly since Martinmas 1693. The foresaid tacksmen obtained decreet before the said bailie against Alexander Anderson, tacksman of Longhills mill, Archibald Brander, tenant in Urquhart, John Brander, younger, tenant there, John Brander (alias Chief), tenant there, Michael Maver, tenant there, Alexander Innes, and Mr James Gordon tenants there, William Simson, elder and younger, tenants in Tyres, Henry Innes, tenant in Binns, Lachlan Innes, tenant in Unthank, James Young, tenant in Hillside, David Maver and Margaret Ragg, tenants in Hills, Robert Farquharson, tenant in Fosterseat, James Robb, tenant there, Janet Allan and Alexander Laing, tenants there, and Robert Chalmer, tenant in Tipperlair decerning them as tenants to make payment of £4 Sc., each yearly and each subtenant, &c., 20s Sc.

The precept as “given under the subscription of John Kemptie nottar publict, our clerk of court of our said Lordship and Regality of Urquhart, at Urquhart the twentie fourth day of November 1685 yeirs.”

In the year 1659 the rental of the Lordship of Urquhart was £402 15s in money and chalders 1 bolls 3 firlots in victual. Converting the victual at 100 merks per chalder gives £807 5s 10d, the gross rental thus amounting to £1201 0s 10d. The free rental, however, was only £474 4s 10d, as the sum of £366 13s 4d was payable to the Crown as feur-duty, also £185 11s of money and 44 bolls 1 firlot of victual to the minister. The total deduction was thus £735 16s, besides 12 bolls to the schoolmaster.

Another old rental makes it 21 chalders 15 bolls, with at 100 merks per chalder is £1462 10s, and deducting as before £735 16s, leaves £727 14s of free rent.

The rental in 1704 was 14 chalders 12 bolls 1 firlot victual ad £187 16s 10d money, equivalent in all to £172 9s 8d. With deductions as before the free rent appears then at £436 13s 8d.

The lordship of Urquhart, including the feu-duties payable by vassals, was sequestrated by the Court of Sessions in 1707, and William Sutherland of Roscommon was appointed factor thereon. By a judicial rental taken by him it appears the rent, after deduction of stipend and schoolmaster’s salary, was £174 12s 8d and 191 bolls 1 firlot 1 peck victual, equivalent in all to £873 6s 8d. After deducting the feu-duty to the Crown, there remained f free rent £506 13s 4d. By a rental of the parish of Urquhart given in by the minister in 1766 in a process of augmentation he was then pursuing against the heritors it appears the gross rent of the property lands of the lordship of Urqhuhart was £216 12s 4d Sc., and 179 bolls 3 firlots victual, equivalent in all to £965 11s 6d.

In the year 1772 the rent of the property lands of the lordship of Urquhart, exclusive of Maverston and the house and yard in the College of Elgin, was 88 bolls meal (at nine stones), 12 bolls bear, and £30 6s 7d stg. Converting the meal and bear at £5 sc., the boll the gross rent is £1430 7s

. Deducting £773 9s 4d (£366 13s 4d feu duty and £406 16s stipend) makes a free rent of £657 8s 4d Sc., that is £54 15s 8d stg.

The rental of the parish in 1792 was 1264 bolls victual and £1992 8s 8d sc. Nether Meft paid then a rent of 115 bolls and £20 Sc. Upper Meft 121 bolls and £20 Sc. Unthank 32 bolls and £5 10s Sc. Threipland and Upper Binns 32 bolls each.

The valued rent of the parish is stated in 1798 as £5567 15s 3d Sc. The assessed property of the parish in 1860 was £6970 stg., in 1883 £8053, and in 1891-92 £7812.

The following list was drawn up in 1773, and gives the names of the lands lying in the Lordship of Urquhart:-

Part of Urquhart via NLS maps

Hills, Hillside, Mill of Longhill ad part of Mill Lands, Lochrynoch, Twelfth part of Urquhart and lands annexed thereto, Bank twelfth part and Mill lands, part of the Mill lands and twelfth part of the lands of Urquhart, twelfth part of Urquhart and part of the Mill lands, Back and Fore Crosses and Woodside, Mill and Mill lands of Byres and Abbey, One half of Unthank, One half of Unthank, Bawds, House and garden in the College of Elgin.

From a particular account of the rental of the whole parish in 1776, as given by the heritors it appears that the total rental was 2529 bolls victual and £1737 s 4d in money. The Duke of Gordon then possessed the Milnlands, Woodside, Hillside, Bawds, Unthank, Byres, and Maverston. John Gordon of Cluny was proprietor of Over Binns, while William Ogilvie of Pittensear owned Nether Binns and Threipland. Finfan belonged to Alexander Tod, Lochs to James Fraser, Gladhill and Tippertail to Ann Stewart, relict of James Anderson of Mathie Mill, Leuchars to John Innes, the Mefts &c., to Sir James Innes, and the lands of Germach, Mathie Mill and Corskie to Lord Fife and Ann Stewart. There were several other proprietors.

An interesting old document, of twelve pages foolscap in possession of the present writer gives “Ane just rentall of the Countess off Dumfermling and Callander he la…. thirds, my Lord Dumfermling hjaueing the two partis as also th rentall of the Lands of Forresterseat wherof my Lord hes no pairt. And that for the heire 1659.”

The following were the names of some of the tenants for that period:-

John Maver, Overmeft and Nethermeft; Mark Maver, Urquhart; Robert Innes, Glaidhill; John Maver, Treipland’ Sir William Dick, Loch; George Stronach, Finfan; John Leslie Maverston; Nicholas Dunbar, Unthank; James Brander for one-twelfth part of Urquhart; Mark Maver for Robert Innes for the Abbey grass.

The sum of the whole third part of the victual was 11 chalder 15 bolls, of the money £147 17s 2d also £246 13s 4d, being the duty of Forresterseat, also about 17 capons, 17 poultry, 2 wedders and a third part of two hens. The Rental is doqueted at Linkwood and Elgin by the Earl of Callendar and his Chamberlain Nicholas Dunbar, before these witnesses, Norman Livingstone of Milnehills, Alexander Anderson in Garmoche. And William Monteith, servitor to the said Noble Earl.

Lossiemouth Fishing Disaster

Lossiemouth Fishing Disaster

Following on from a recent post on the Morayshire Family and Local History Facebook page I transcribed two newspaper articles.  The two articles, one nearly a full column in a local newspaper goes into great details while the second, smaller article tells the reader a different side.

The Elgin Courant, Tuesday, April 18, 1876

A Lossiemouth Boat Lost.

Nine Men Drowned.

A Terrible Catastrophe, involving the loss of eight men, has occurred to a fishing boat belonging to Lossiemouth. Yesterday week the whole of the fishing fleet numbering about thirty, of Lossiemouth and adjacent villages, put to sea in the afternoon, intending to proceed in an easterly direction to the herring fishing. The weather at the time was threatening. The wind was squally, with frequent showers of blinding drift, occasionally succeeded by a perfect calm, which made sailing slow as well as dangerous, and it was not till night that the fleet arrived at the fishing ground, fifteen miles off Cullen. The crew, who numbered about eight men to a boat began to shoot their nets soon after sunset, and by the time they had finished this work a steady fresh breeze had sprung up from the NN.E, which soon increased to a hurricane, rendered still more terrible to the fishermen in the darkness of the night by the heavy snow showers which now began to fall incessantly. The sea rose very rapidly to a height which the oldest fishermen declare they had never seen paralleled before in their experience. The crews became alarmed at the prospect before them, and prepared to run to a place of safety. But this, in the face of wind and snow and sea was dangerous work. The masts, for instance, had to be lashed to the boats before the fishermen were prepared to use them. Some of them tried to haul in their nets, but the great majority of the boats drifted away from them, and the crews then tried to set sail for their own preservation. Five of them – the Hopeman, the City of Elgin, the Gold Finder, the Catherine, and the Lisunday – rode out the storm, and, when the weather moderated next morning, they proceeded homewards, which they reached in safety. The other boars, except the David Main, which was lost, as described below, reached Invergordon and Cromarty, and by Tuesday and Wednesday news of their safe arrival had reached Lossiemouth. The Anne of Branderburgh, William Campbell (“Dad”), skipper broke away from her nets about the same time as the others, and the mast was got up and the rudder put on preparatory to sailing before the gale. One of the crew, named John Scott, belonging to Branderburgh, who had been forward in the boat, went aft to see if the sheet was properly fastened (fishermen say mistakes are oftener made with the sheet that with any other part of the boat’s gear), and, while standing near the skipper, he called out to his comrades to beware to a tremendous sea which he saw rolling on towards them. Anxious for the safety of other, he forgot his own, and in a moment the sea broke upon the board and washed him overboard. The mainsail, and half a barrel of water which was lying upon the deck, were washed away at the same time, and the boat was laid on her beam ends. In this precarious condition she lay for about a minute, and her crew had little hope of her righting again. Fortunately, however, a smooth sea now succeeded the huge breaker, ad the boat was righted; but Scott was never seen again. He was the son of Mr Scott, bookseller, Branderburgh, and was an expert, affable young man, respected by all who knew him. He was twenty-five years of age, and unmarried.

It would have been fortunate for the locality had the loss of this young man’s life been all the sacrifice the storm had entailed upon the Lossiemouth fishermen, but the melancholy news must be added to crew of the David Main, eight in number, lost their lives, in is supposed, about the same time as Scott. The last time the David Main was seen was about eleven o’clock. She then nearly passed the Anne, so near that her crew called out that Scott had been lost. The David Main was then apparently under sail, and sailing up close to Campbell’s boat. A collision was impending, which induced the former to stow the foresail and set a part of the mizen, and throw the boat’s head to the wind in order that she might go astern. The Ann got righted up at this point, and set sail for Cromarty. But the David Main has not been heard of, and there is now no doubt that her crew have all perished. There are several conjectures as to the cause of the catastrophe. The most probable is that she was caught by a heavy sea and immediately swamped. The crew were all married men, in the prime of their life, ad leave behind them large families to mourn their irreparable loss, The following are their names, ages and number of children:-

William Smith (Wokie), skipper, 38, wife and six children.

William McLeod (Punchy), 32. wife and one child.

John McLeod, 26, wife and three children.

Alexander McLeod, 24, wife and three children.

James Souter, 53, wife and 10 children

Alexander Souter, 50, wife and four children.

William Stuart, 38 (“Manson”), wife and six children.

The deceased men were nearly all connected by blood or marriage. The McLeods were brothers, and Smith was their brother-in-law; the Souters were cousins, and James was uncle to the McLeods. About a year ago one of the Main’s sons was washed overboard off Helmsdale. The appalling disaster has thrown Lossiemouth, Stotfield, and Branderburgh into mourning. Those villages have been singularly free from fatal calamities at sea for many a year. The last memorable one took place in 1806 when twenty-one lives were lost by the swamping of three boats. But the one of last week is more heartrending than that of 1806 from the fact that no fewer than eight wives have been made widows, and 38 children fatherless by it. Four of the bereaved families live under the same root. Alex. McLeod’s youngest child is but eight days old, and the families of the other men are mostly unable to earn their own livelihood, except five of James Souter’s who are grown up. The families have all been left in very destitute circumstances, rendered all the more so from the fact that the past winter has been a most severe one to the fishing population. They call for public sympathy and support, and we doubt not both will be generously given when the circumstances of the disaster become known to the country.

We are very glad to learn that a subscription list was started in Lossiemouth on Saturday night. It was drawn out the Rev. Mr McDonald, and two fishermen, named William and George Stewart, started with it about seven in the evening. They called on about nine gentlemen, who subscribed the sum of £19 3s, a very good beginning, and we hope that a handsome sum will be realised.

The nets of the lost boat, as well as of the others, were recovered on Thursday and Friday, but all of them were so much damaged they will be of little use. The loss to the fishermen in this respect will be over £100. One of the four boats which rode out the storm picked up, on Thursday morning, about four miles from the fishing ground, some floating gear supposed to belong to the David Main, including some of the side hatches, which is always well fastened in a boat, and a piece of a broken string.

Melancholy though the disaster is, the crews who were at sea during the storm state that the wonder is the loss of life was not much greater than it is. They have been often out during a much more tempestuous gale, but a rougher sea, or one that rose more quickly, they have never witnessed before, and that the bulk of the fleet reached ports of safety is more than they could have expected.

Narrative of a Fisherman

One of the fishermen who was with the fleet during the whole of the storm sends us the following narrative:-

We proceeded to sea on Monday forenoon with the intention of going to the fishing ground know along the coast by the name of the Skate (?) Hole, about seventy miles from this harbour. The wind being light, with an occasional shower, accompanied by strong squalls and succeeded by dead calms during the afternoon, sunset overtook us in the deep water about fifteen miles off Cullen, and there we set our nets. A small (?) breeze was blowing at the time, but during the afternoon some ominous signs were visible about the sun, and a dense black shower in the north-east kept us on the watch lest it should become worse. And we were not left long in suspense, for the shower came, and with it the strongest wind I ever faced. The sea rose very high and sharp, so that with snow, spray, and the rolling of the boat our situation was far from being a pleasant one. Being assured that we could haul our nets, we cleared the deck by placing every encumbrance below, and putting on the hatches, lifting the foremast from its place of fastening at both ends, reversing the bowsprit, putting rigging in it, to be ready, in the event of our net breaking, to get underway as quick as possible. This done, we sat peering through the gloom and saw several of our neighbours breaking adrift and making sail, but still we rode, and, fortunately, the weather began to moderate after four o’clock, and thinking we could manage to haul our nets, we made an attempt, but failed. We broke adrift about two o’clock on Tuesday morning, and we made sail for Cromarty Firth, which, after considerable buffeting, we reached about ten o’clock. We there heard news that will cause us to remember it to the end of our life.”

On Sunday the catastrophe was alluded to in the local pulpits. The Ref. Mr McDonald, U.P. Church, preached from James iv. 14 – “For what is your life? It is but a vapour, which appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” In commending his discourse he remarked. – We have met this day under a cloud, which has spread its dark shadow over us all. In the terrific storm of last Monday night nine men who belong to this community, some in the very prime of their manhood, were consigned to a watery grave. Of these nine men five were adherents of this church, ad two were members. By this great calamity, eight wives have been made widows, and 38\children left fatherless. No such disaster has occurred here since 1853, and the first thing that we are called upon to do is to mourn for the dead. Death, in all its aspects, is a sad and afflicting event. The friends who have been taken away were our fellow worshippers – they sat in the same church, and heard the same Gospel; and it therefore becomes us to mourn over then. We are also called upon to sympathise with those bereaved ones who to-day are so bitterly mourning over the death of their friends, and, in as far as their circumstances require it, it is our duty to aid them. The rev. gentleman went on to say that this disaster was a warning of the uncertainty of life. He discoursed on life as a journey, as a sacred trust, and as momentous probation, concluding by exhorting his bearers to life soberly and righteously during their present brief existence.

The Banffshire Journal, Tuesday, April 18, 1876

Loss of a Lossimouth Boat’s Crew at Sea.

Another melancholy accident to a whole boat’s crew belonging to Lossiemouth took place at sea early on Tuesday morning last, caused by the violent gale and storm. The David Main, belonging to Mr William Reid, ‘Ho’ was one of the fleet of boats that left Lossiemouth during Monday for the cod fishing ground. About twenty of thirty miles east of that place. The storm set in so violently that the boats broke adrift from their nets, and some of them made for home, or to the nearest places of shelter, one crew having run as far as Cromarty. But the David Main did not return, and serious fears began to be entertained for her safety. So soon as the weather settled, the boats returned for their nets, and they were all successful in recovering them, the most of them being in a tattered condition, however. Among the nets that were found were those belonging to the David Main, but no trace of the boat itself were seen. The conjecture that had previously been formed as to her total was thus confirmed. It is supposed that, after having been drive or broken away from their nets, the boat had been upset while the crew had been attempting to set up the mast, the boat meanwhile having, it is thought, got broadside on to the sea, ad so had floundered. She was heavily ballasted, and had a metal keel of about 25cwt., which would have prevented her from floating, even supposing she had been capsized. As it is, no one saw her sink, or beheld her crew of eight fishermen go down to their watery graves. Some of the spars and gear of the boat have since been found, and it was reported on Saturday evening in Lossiemouth that some of the men’s chests had been cast ashore about Buckie. The brave fellows who have lost their lives are – William McLeod, skipper, John McLeod, Alex. McLeod, William Smith,, William Main, William Steward, James Souter, and Alex. Souter. All of them were married, and they leave eight widows and twenty-eight children under 14 years of age to mourn the sad calamity that has overtaken them. It may easily be supposed that a distressing event like this would cause the keenest sorrow among the people of Lossiemouth, familiar as they have unhappily been of late with loss of life at sea. A subscription paper has been started for the behoof of the bereaved, and, as they are all in the very poorest circumstances, it is to be hoped the response will be liberal. One poor woman has to grieve for the loss of three sons, a son-in-law, a brother, and a cousin, in the ill-fated boat.

John Roy – Upper Ballochy to Germany

John Roy – Upper Ballochy to Germany.

The 22nd of October, 1918 was a sad day for James and Jane Ann Roy – it was the day their son John died at Chemnitz, Germany during WW1.

John served in the Canadian forces during the war. He had been born on October 27th 1890 in Upper Ballochy, Elginshire and later in life worked as a teamster.

Upper Dallachy via

When John Attested in 1914 he was one month shy of 25 years of age – serving as Pte 20365. He was 6′ tall – very tall for someone of that period and weighed 185lbs. He had a medium complexion, grey eyes and brown hair and was a Presbyterian by persuasion. He was declared to be fit by Medical Officer WP Duncan.

As John served with a Canadian Regiment and therefore his service records have survived. How wonderful is that?

One of the identifier pages of his service records tells that John had two large patches of Leukoplake on either side of the lower abdomen. But saying that he was classed as fit. So at Valcartier, Quebec he joined the army and gave his mother as his next of kin.

Valcartier Camp, Quebec WW1 via Wikipedia

John served with the 103rd Regiment, Calgary Rifles from 1914 and sailed with his unit to France on the 3rd of 1914. For some reason, not named, John was subject to 15 days Field Punishment at Pond Farm on the 29th of October 1914.

On the 21st of May 1915, John was recorded as missing and Struck Strength to days later. Three years later he was officially reported missing and officially a prisoner of war Kreigsfefaugenlater, followed by Munster, later being transferred to Chemnitz, Ebersdoft.

Upper Dallachy to Germany via Google Maps

In December 1918 he died of pneumonia whilst a POW in the camp hospital in Chemnitz in the state of Saxony. The information supplied in a letter from the British Help Committee. It seems that he had been gassed and while under the immediate effects of the gas had been taken a prisoner. He spent time at Kreigsgefangenenlager (sic), Munster before his transfer to Chemnitz.

Information about John and I suppose other prisoners had been extracted from Hosp Adm. book by Cpl. Wilkinson, RAMC, which included that he was later a POW at Munster. From looking at one of John’s records it would seem that Cpl. Wilkinson, himself a POW, returned home and brought the register with him.

During the years John was a prisoner of war, his mother was receiving $15 per month.

Headstone of Pte John Roy, via Find a Grave

John rests in Sudwestfriedhof der Berliner Synode Military, which is also known as Berlin Suth Western Cemetery, Brandenburg. Above his name is the Canadian Mapel Leaf and his service number and rank. Followed by a cross with ‘Ever Remembered by Those Who Loved Him’ at the base as requested by his family.

The Probate entry in the Scottish National Probate Index lists John, who died intestate. His father James, a ghillie of Upper Dallachy, Spey Bay, was granted the estate of £215 3s.

The Speymouth War Memorial includes John’s name and two other Roy’s.

Speymouth War Memorial© Carol Sklinar 2020

Another Walk around Sugar Lane Cemetery

Another Walk around Sugar Lane Cemetery.

In the March quarter of 1864, in the Pancras Registration District, John Nathaniel Manton married Annie Elizabeth Trevett. John Nathaniel had been born in St Georges, Bloomsbury and Annie Elizabeth gave St. Pancras as her place of birth.

Later in the year on the 30th of June Annie Elizabeth gave birth to their son, John Albert Manton. The summer came and went and autumn began to creep around the corner. One early autumn day John Albert Manton was taken by his parents to the All Saints church in the centre of Wakefield. I wonder how many family and friends joined the couple to celebrate the christening, John’s christening? 

John’s name and that of his parents are entered in the Parish Register along with seven other babies and their parents. All but two of those entries were signed by Rev. C E Camidge – remember the Camidge family from the previous Walk Around Sugar Lane?

The family now lived on South Parade and Nathaniel worked as a dentist. The family are still living in South Parade at the time the census enumerator walked his round in 1871. By then John Albert had two younger sisters – Constance A aged 5 and Gertrude F(?) aged just two. Also part of the household was Annie Teall, their 22-year-old general servant and Barnsley born, Sarah Heliwell a 20-year-old nurse. 

The census enumerator called again in 1881 to the Georgian terrace house. Each of the houses backed on to George Street, while their front door opened directly on to South Parade. Each of the houses had a long garden, accessed across the narrow road. Who is in the house? John Nathaniel, who now classes himself as a dental surgeon. His wife Annie Elizabeth is next, followed by John Albert now aged 16 and a medical student. Constance Annie followed by Gertrude Lilly – her name is now written clearly and in full. Both girls are pupils at the High School – probably, the Girls High School. Again there are two servants – Elizabeth (22) and Annie (19) Wilson.

In early 1889 John Albert Manton and his family were in the Salford area. John was to be married to Ernestine Graham Gradisky. The families gathered at Stowell Memorial Church on the 5th of March 1889. It seems by looking at the corrections to the date, on this and the previous entry, the minister was not sure of the dates. John, now 24 years old was a surgeon, living at Shrewsbury House, Sheffield. While Ernestine, a year older than John, lived at Glen View, 59 Howard Street, Salford. John’s sister Constantine, John N Manton and Charles Gradisky were witnesses.

There is one thing on this entry in the parish registers, that I find fascinating. Ernestine Graham-Gradisky signed in a good hand but, and there is always one of those, in parentheses the minister added a wonderful snippet of information (adopted name). With a quick bit of side-tracking, it seems that Ernestine could have been the daughter of Ann Straker, who later married Charles Gradisky. Ann also appears to have been known as Ann Holt or another question, were there two Ann’s? Anyway, aged 25 she married Charles Bradisky, a Belgian designer. Charles, in turn, was the son of a ‘gentleman’. Where the ‘Graham’ comes into the equation, I have not gone that far as Ernestine is not the main focus of my rambling around Sugar Lane.

Norfolk Road, Sheffield

Back to John. The Medical Directory of 1905 includes an entry for John which tells:- “Manton, John Albert, Shrewsbury House, Park, Sheffield (teleph. 1340) – M.R.C.S., L.R.C.P. Lond. 1886: (St. Bart., Leeds, Durh.); Chevalier Holy Ord. of St. Sava (Servia) 1899; Med. Off. Post Off. and Educat. Departm.; Hon.Surg. Sheffield Bn. Boys’ Brig.; Surg. Hearts of Oak; Med. Reg. Nat. Mut. and other Insur. Cos.; late Demonst. Anat. Sheffield Sch. of Med. Author Pamphlets, “Echoes from the Savoy,” 1893: “Scandinavian and Russ,” 1895; Municipal Hygiene;” Joint Author of “Round Sheffield” Guides; “By Way of the Balkans,” 1899. Constrib, “Hypnotism,” Hospital, 1899; “Universal Variety of Episapadias – Pseudo Hermaphrodism,” Lancet 1890.”

John and Ernestine went on to have three children. Although the family lived in Sheffield, they returned to Wakefield to have their children christened in what is now Wakefield Cathedral.

As well as being a prominent doctor, surgeon and writer of guides and medical works, John was also heavily involved in the local community. The Sheffield Evening Telegraph tells that ‘John Albert Manon, physician and surgeon of 1 Norfolk Road, Sheffield, nominated by William Arthur Birks, John Frederick Hodgson, William Rawson Carter and George Senior’ for the Municipal Elections of 1891. He was nominated for quite a few years and did serve time on the Council’. During this time, John was a member of St Leonard’s Lodge, 2263, part of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Yorkshire West Riding.

John Albert Manton died on the 4th of February 1919. His obituary in the British Medical Journal tells of his full life and explains some of the abbreviations previously mentioned. “Dr, John Albert Manton, a well known Sheffield medical practitioner, died on February 4th from pneumonia following influenza. He was born in Wakefield in 1864, and studied medicine at St. Bartholomews Hospital and at the medical schools of Leeds and the University of Durham, obtaining the M.R.C.S. and L.R.C.P. diplomas in 1886. Two years later he began practice in the Park district of Sheffield. Among other early appointments, he was a demonstrator of anatomy in the Sheffield School of Medicine. For many years Dr. Manton took a prominent part in municipal life as a member of the city council and a guardian. In addition to the work of a large private practice, he held the appointments of medical officer to the Sheffield Post Office and to the Education Department. He spent his holidays in travel, and made good use of his experiences, both on the platform and in various literary contributions. He visited Servia in 1899, and wrote a series of sympathetic articles on life in the Balkans and in recognition of which he was appointed by King Alexander of Serbia a Chevalier of the Order of St. Sava. He was an enthusiastic cyclist, and was for many years president of the Sheffield Road Club, in this was adding year by year to his knowledge of local roads and of the antiquarian lore of the countryside. Dr Manton leaves a widow, a son and two daughters. He was for many years a member of the Sheffield Division of the British Medical Association.”

The Sheffield Daily Telegraph of Saturday 8th of February 1919 adds more information to the life and times of Dr. Manton. “The funeral of Dr John Albert Manton whose death is universally regretted in Sheffield, where he was held in the highest esteem, took place yesterday at Wakefield – his native town. Owing to the fact that the internment was at an early hour of the day, and difficulties of travelling, many old friends of the doctor were unable to attend. The Rev. T. C. Greenwood, Vicar of St Mary’s Church, Wakefield, was the officiating clergyman. The mourners were the immediate relatives, and included Mrs Manton (widow), Captain and Mrs Marcus Manton (son and daughter-in-law), the Misses Manton (daughters), and Mrs James Lowe, of Addison Grange, Sale (sister-in-law). The remains were laid to rest in the family grave. Floral tributes were sent by the widow and daughter, Mr and Mrs Marcus Manton, Mr James Low (sister-in-law), the Brethren of St. Leonard’s Lodge, No. 2263 (“In affectionate remembrance of a beloved Past Master, from the Brethren of St Leonard’s Lodge, No. 2263″), J E B Beaumont, the Staffs of the Sheffield Theatres, Mr and Mrs H Amstein, Mr Reuben Thompson, and Nurse Moore”.

The family headstone in Sugar Lane cemetery has the following inscription -“In loving memory of John N Manton LDS & RCS Eng. of Wakefield Born Novr 2nd 1833. Died Sept 2nd 1900. ‘His end was peace’ Annie Elizabeth Manton, wife of the above who died March 4th 1909. ‘He giveth his beloved sleep’. Also John Albert Manton, MCRS Eng. LRCP Lon. son of the above. Born June 30th 1864. Died Feby 4th 1919. ‘After life’s fitful fever, he sleeps well’.

There were quite a few entries for John in the British Newspaper Archive with each article adding more to his very rounded life. As an afterthought, while in the BNA I searched for Ernestine and came up with the following which goes a long way to answering previously asked questions. The Sheffield and Rotherham Independent March 7th 1889 “Marriage of a Local Doctor – At the Stowell Memorial Church, Salford on Tuesday was celebrated the marriage of Mr J Albert Manton, MRCS, LRCP, Shrewsbury House, Park, formerly of Wakefield to Miss Ernestine Graham Gradisky, only daughter of the late Mr J Graham, of Warsaw(?). The bride, who looked charming, in a dress of dark green cloth, “a la Directoire,” was given away by Mr C Gradisky. The nieces of the bride, attired in dresses of white pongee silk, with reseda sashes, the Misses Manton in pink embroidered dresses, a nephew in the costume of “Little Lord Fauntleroy”, and a profusion of choice flowers, with the bright sun streaming in at the window made the ceremony one of the prettiest that has been witnessed in this church for some time”.

Marcus Dyce Manton via Ancestry

Extra information from the Yorkshire Telegraph and Star June 12 1915 – Marcus Dyce Manton, son of John and Ernestine, was the Godson of Sir Dyce Duckworth, eminent surgeon, physician and dermatologist and physician to King Edward when he was Prince of Wales. “I was at Hendon Flying Ground the other evening, and there saw Mr Marcus Dyce Manton, a godson of Sir Dyce Duckworth, and instructor in flying. He told me how Flight-Lieut. J S Mills, one of the heroes of the week’s Zeppelin-shed attack, had a setback in his flying lessons last winter. In “the swirl “ of another aeroplane the other day – it can only happen on a calm day – he got blown down and hooked on to a railway fence! Now he is famous. Mr Manton taught him to fly.”  Marcus during WW1 was found to be unfit on medical grounds for service.  He, therefore, continued to teach flying and was a key figure in the formation of the British Gliding Association.

I never get tired of saying that you can learn so much from a few names on a headstone with the smallest amount of ‘digging’.

Accident – Elgin to Lhangbryde Road

Accident – Elgin to Lhangbryde Road

There are a few cemeteries that evoke little or any emotions within me. While the headstones do or can tell wonderful tales. But the majority of cemeteries and kirkyards that I’ve visited in Scotland bring over me a sense of calmness – now is that because I’m in Scotland?

Another headstone within the strong walls of Urquhart cemetery is also telling a tale of tragedy. Possibly with some villagers remembering the terrible plight of Alexander Gillies in 1886 who left a wife and four children.

This is the story of Constance Leslie.

Constance was born on the 26th of April 1910 at Parkes of Innes, Urquhart. She was the daughter of James Leslie and his wife Isabelle Pirie.

Park of Innes via nls maps


Isabella had been a nurse then changed her occupation that of assistant art teacher working at Elgin Academy.

Eighty-five years ago in 1936 Elgin Academy was on a different site. The academy Constance would have been familiar with was on the current site of Moray College with a previous building been on the corners of Academy Street and Francis place. In 2012 the academy opened the doors of its new building on Morriston Road. Elgin Academy is the largest school in Moray and has historical links back to the Middle Ages.

After a full day at work, Constances headed for home on her pedal cycle, a journey of just over five miles and would probably have taken just over 30 minutes.

On the 14th of January 1935 what made this Constance’s last day at school?

Constance at the junction of the road to Tyockside Farm and the main road north, collided with a car driven by Mr Rose.

Tyocksiden junction with main Elgin to Lhangbryde road via nls maps

The Dundee Courier on the 15th of January ran the following:-
Scots Art Teacher Fatally Injured. Elgin Road Tragedy.
Miss Constance Leslie (24), an art teacher at Elgin Academy, was fatally injured in a motor accident near Elgin last night.
Miss Leslie who was cycling to her home at Urquhart, was involved in a collision with a car a the junction of the road to Tyockside Far with the main north road. The car was driven by Mr A J Rose, timber merchant, Woodview, Garmouth, who was accompanied by his wife and son. They escaped injury.

The Dundee Evening Telegraph of the same date informed:-
Scots Teacher Killed on Road.
Miss Constance Leslie (24), an art teacher on the staff of Elgin Academy, was killed instantly in an accident east of Elgin.
Miss Leslie who was cycling to her home at Urquhart, was struck by a car which emerged from a side road on to the main road near
Tyockside Farm. She fell heavily on her head.

The Scotsman of the 17th of January 1935, corrects a previous issue and contradicts one of the Dundee newspapers. It looks like one of the papers was syndicated and ended up with slightly wrong information. Well, what is new!

Elgin Woman Teacher’s Death in Accident.
Miss Constance Leslie, an art teacher on the staff of the Elgin Academy, who was killed in an accident east of Elgin on Monday night was cycling from a side road on to the main road when she was struck by a passing car. The car was not, as stated in the report which appeared on Tuesday, emerging from a side road; it was on the main road.

An Inquiry

The following month – The report of an inquiry in The Aberdeen Press and Journal of the 16th of February, 1935 gives a little more information. The main Elgin road seemed to have seen quite a bit of tragedy during January, as not only Constance lost her life but a young man aged 20 was also fatally injured. James Anderson, clerk of 20 Gordon Street, Huntley, was in early January riding his motorcycle from Elgin to Lhangbryde, and who at the junction of the road leading to Orton, overtook and crashed into a motor bus belonging to Elgin and District Motor Bus Company, about one mile out of Elgin. The bus was being driven by Alexander Fraser of 16 South College Street. James Anderson received instant fatal injuries. A witness to the event told that he thought James Anderson would have been travelling at about 45 – 50 mph. Which the witness thought was far to fast, in his opinion as it was a night with a drizzle of rain.

The report continues and says that Mr Fraser, the driver or 16 South Street, told that he could not remember what traffic passed him on that night, but he did always keep an eye on his driving mirrors. Another witness, Mrs Jeannie Henderson or Ross, Oldshiels, Lhangbryde remembered hearing the roar of a motorcycle just behind the bus near the Orton Road. She also said that there was a light below the bus window for a minute then sparks.

Elgin Woman Teacher’s End
The second inquiry related to the death of Miss Constance Leslie, assistant art teacher, Elgin Academy, and residing at Parks of Innes, Urquhart, who when emerging on a pedal cycle from Tyockside Road on to the main Elgin-Lhangbryde road, on the night of January 14, was in collision with a motor car being driven towards Elgin by Alexander James Rose, wood merchant, Woodview, Garmouth, receiving injuries from which she died instantaneously.
The driver of the car, Mr Rose, said the cyclist came right out on to the middle of the road. He swerved the car as fast as it was humanly possible for anyone to do in order to try and avoid her, but contact took place about the centre of the main road.
Mr Rose said he tried to right the car, which took the bank at the right-hand side and toppled over after it stopped. He came out through the wind-screen, which was smashed, and found the girl lying about a car length behind the car.
In further answer to Mr Shiach (procurator-fiscal, conducting for the Crown), a witness said that any person coming out of the side road should have seen the reflection of the car’s head-lights through the trees.
After hearing other witnesses the jury, as already indicated, returned a formal verdict.

The Scotsman 16th February 1935.
Elgin Fatalities: Drivers Exonerated.
Both drivers were exonerated from blame at a public inquiry at Elgin Sheriff Court yesterday into the death of Constance Leslie (24), an assistant art teacher at Elgin Academy, and James Anderson, (24), clerk of Gordon Street, Huntley, who were killed in collisions with a car and a bus respectively. Both accidents occurred on the main road east of Elgin at points a little over a mile apart. The jury returned formal verdicts in each case.

Constance’s headstone © C Sklinar 2020

And so the headstone in the shape of a simple scroll standi ng on a solid base bears only one name – In loving memory of Constance Leslie. D.A. who was accidentally killed 14th Jan. 1935 aged 24 years.   The single name and inscription has truly told an interesting tale.

Tragedy at Elgin

Tragedy at Elgin

Names fascinate me, well mainly surnames, but there are occasions when a first name sparks my curiosity. When I say first names – the modern scrabble orientated names…..No! I just wonder, Why?

But sometimes it is something else carved in stone that spurs me on to out more. This could be something that the family thought was important to the person resting beneath the slab of stone. Or, something the family thought meant a lot to them. Or the family thought everyone who passed should know who the deceased was or how they ‘met their maker’.

A headstone in the quiet and calm cemetery in Urquhart, Moray, tells of such a tale.

Alexander Gillies was born around 1862. There is a census entry for 1881 that seems to fit with Alexander being born in Duffus and at that time working in a local quarry. There is a wife, Mary, a few years older than him and a young child, Margaret.

If this is the correct young man by 1886 he working on the railway and has four children. And I suppose as with everyone else in the village life went on as normal, some may have a harder life than others but normal for them.

The Event

The morning of the 1st of March 1886 would see ‘normal life’ change forever.

Alexander would have left for work as usual then the unthinkable happened.

The First Elgin Railway Station via Wikipedia

The First Elgin Railway Station via Wikipedia

Glasgow Evening Post, Monday 1st March 1886:-

Sad Accident at Elgin.
This morning a sad accident occurred at Elgin Station, Great North of Scotland Railway, whereby Alexander Gillies, shunter, a native or Urquhart, was severely injured that no hope of his recovery is entertained. While endeavouring to leap on the buffer of a shunting engine in motion he lost his balance

Headstone for Alexander Gillies and his wife Mary. © Carol Sklinar 2020

and fell among the wheels, two of which passed over him and mutilated his body and legs fearfully. He is only 25 years of age, and has a wife and four of a family. Drs. Mackintosh and Duff are in attendance, but his end is momentarily expected.

Alexander was followed by his wife Mary a few short years later.