Sonish Sinclair

First posted 10th April 2011

Thanks to Alastair Scouller for helping to solve this mystery. There is only one Sonish Sinclair in all of the Scotland’s People website, and she is the niece of Elizabeth and Janet Sinclair, who owned no 2 Dalrymple Crescent. She was staying with her aunts, in Stirling, at the time of the 1881 census. Alastair suggested that Sonish might be an anglisation of the Gaelic ‘Seonaid’ (pronounced ‘shaw-nitch’), which is the Gaelic equivalent of Janet. The sisters certainly had a niece called Janet, of the right age, so it is quite possible that the younger Janet was called by her Gaelic name, to distinguish her from her aunt.

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More on Rev Pulsford

First posted on 7 April 2011

My thanks to Eric Drake, who pointed out that John Pulsford was not born in “Turnlow” (which doesn’t exist)*, but in Tiverton, Devon. Thanks to his comments, I have done further research on the Pulsford family. I have found out that he was one of seven children, whose parents were Rev Thomas Pulsford and Anne Williams. His brother William, who had preceded him at Albans St Church in Edinburgh, was granted an honorary degree by Glasgow University, a year after John received his. John’s youngest son, Alfred John, married Elizabeth Guyon Grant Fraser in Jan 1882 at Manhattan, New York. I also discovered that there was an elder son, John, born in Southampton about 1843, who had left home by the time the family moved to Dalrymple Crescent.

* In my defence, I might say that another researcher, looking at the same document, interpreted it as “Turston”.

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Update on James Hall of no 25

Neil Cooke has kindly given me information on Andriana Haliburton (see Mary Yellowlees in “Posts from old blog”). It seems that she was born in Candia in Crete – not Canada. Neil is currently writing a biography of her husband, the explorer James Burton.

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Mary Hall (nee Yellowlees)

(First posted 5th April 2011)

In 1966 the present owners of number 25 received a letter, which began

“Dear Friends

It was so nice to meet you outside 25 Dalrymple Crescent, and thank you so much for inviting us into your home. It was quite something for me to walk through your front door again for the first time in 66 years”.

The writer was the daughter of Ethel Hall, features in the 1901 census. James Hall and his wife Mary had a son and three daughters, and Ethel was the youngest. She was 11 at the time of the census.

The writer also enclosed a cutting from the book “The Yellowlees family” by John Yellowlees, published in 1931. It quotes an Addendum that refers to “Mrs Hall (née Mary Yellowlees), late of Dalrymple Crescent”. This was indeed Ethel’s’ mother, who died in December 1930 at the age of 80. In her death certificate she is described as the widow of James Hall, House Agent. Her parents were David Yellowlees, coach builder, and Elizabeth Lawrie.

David was in fact a twin; his brother was named John. Their father, also John, was described in 1841 as a Coach manufacturer, and they were living in Greenside Place at the time of the 1841 census. Their mother was Ester McLeod, and they had a sister, Ester, about a year older than them.

The 1901 census says that Mary was born in London in 1850, and James Hall was born in Rosskeen, Ross shire in 1849, but frustratingly no birth certificate has been found for either of them.

James died in 1919. His father, also James Hall, had been an Excise Officer. His mother was Catherine Ross. The death was reported by his son, James M Hall, who was living at no 11 Dalrymple Crescent at the time. In 1881 James was not yet married, and was living at 9 Gladstone Terrace, Edinburgh. The head of the household was a widow, Andrina G Haliburton, a British Subject, born in Canada about 1811.

According to the 1996 letter, Ethel, who was the Hall’s youngest daughter, was born in 25 Grange Road.

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New Year’s resolution

I have been very bad at blogging, but my New Year’s resolution is to use my blog more.  I’ve added a category about the Falconar family – my latest interest, and will add blogs about what I have found – as well as maintaining information about other families from the Crescent.

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Progress on my website

I have now got 1747 individuals in my family trees, and 369 unique surnames.  I am using Darrin Lythgoe’s TNG (The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding) software, and it is extremely easy to update. I am still using Legacy to create the trees locals, and then I upload them, a batch at a time. The “householders” page on the main web site shows which families have already been uploaded.

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on 29th August …

John Simpson married Christina Petrie in 1866 at Kirk Rushen on the Isle of Man.  John was the nephew of Sir James Young Simpson, the famous physician, and lived at 21 Dalrymple Crescent from 1868 to 1873 (he was the first tenant). He subsequently moved to Lauder Road, where he died in September 1876.  He was a partner in the firm of Duncan, Flockhart & Co, who supplied Sir James with the chloroform  for his experiments.

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On 28th August …

Mary Amelia Downie, born Mary Emilia Lockhart, was christened in Cambusnethan, Lanarkshire in 1805. Her father, Robert Lockhart, was a minister, and her mother was born Elizabeth Ann Newman. In April 1834 she married Alexander Downie, a merchant who was 12 years older than her. In 1841 they were living at Crossbasket in East Kilbride, with five children. The eldest, Sara, who was aged 14, must have been a daughter of a previous marriage. The other children were Eliza Anne aged six, John aged four, Alexander aged three and Jane Campbell aged five months.

Jane (or Jean) Campbell married Joseph Firmstone in Kensington in 1868, but Joseph died in February of the following year at Abberley House, Worcester Park, Surrey.

In 1875 Mary and Jean were living at No 21, but Mary died there in October. In her will she is described as the “widow of Alexander Downie, a merchant from Glasgow”.

Archibald Oliver was born in Cavers, Roxburgh in 1848 to James Oliver and Mary Hall. In 1881 he was a Law Clerk (Managing), living with his wife Marjory Norris Logan at 9 Warrender Park Terrace. They had two young sons James, three, and Jasper, eight months. By 1891 he had qualified as an SSC[1] and was working with the firm of Davidson & Syme WS, whose premises were at 22 Castle St.

In the 1891 census, Archibald was not at home, but they now had two more sons: Archibald aged nine and William aged five. All the family came from Edinburgh; Archibald was born in 1840, and Marjory in 1850.

In 1894 the family moved to 46 Lauder Road, where Archibald died in September 1901. He is commemorated in the Grange Cemetery, together with Marjorie (died 1899) and James (died 1910).

[1] SSC denotes a member of The Society of Solicitors in the Supreme Courts of Scotland, representing lawyers who practice in and around the College of Justice, which comprises Scotland’s Supreme Courts.

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On 26th August …

David Keith Bullow Whyte was born in Edinburgh in 1840. His parents, William Whyte and Janet Bullow, were married in 1835. They had least three other children: William who was born in 1844, Jessie who was born in 1836 and Emilia who was born in 1839. David’s father had died by the time of the 1851 census, and Janet was listed as a Spirit dealer. At this time the family was living in Dunbar Close, Edinburgh. Janet married Peter McLeod in May 1851.

By the time of the 1871 census, Peter had died, and the family was living at 38 Findhorn Place. David, who was described as the head, was married to Elizabeth McIntosh, who had been born in Edinburgh in April 1843. They had a baby son, William, born in 1870. David worked as a clerk for HM Lighthouse

As well as David and his family, Janet, and her other children were living in the house. Jessie, Emelia and William were all unmarried. Jessie was 35 and Emelia was 32. William styled himself W Ritchie Whyte, and gave his occupation as an accountant.

By 1881 they had left Findhorn Place, and were living in 6 St Andrews Terrace. Janet was now described as the head of household. Jessie Emelia and W Ritchie were still living with her, and W Ritchie now gave his occupation as a teacher of music. David and Elizabeth now had six children: Keith, born in 1881, Jessie E. in 1874, David K. B. (Jr) in 1875, James in 1877, Elizabeth in 1872 and William R. (Jr) in 1870.

According to the Post Office Directories, David Whyte and W Ritchie Whyte were both living at No 15 between 1882 and 1885. In 1890 David Whyte was living at 5 Gladstone Place, Leith, and in 1899 he was at 28 Broughton Place, when he was working in New Register House. In 1899 W Ritchie Whyte, teacher of music, was living at 54 Marchmont Rd.

Extracted from Dalrymple Crescent, a snapshot of Victorian Edinburgh

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Neil Forsyth

Back to the Book Festival again – this time we saw Neil Forsyth talking about his Bob Servant books.  I haven’t laughed so much for a long time! We first heard of Bob Servant on BBC Radio 4, when they broadcast a couple of his spam e-mail experiences – basically he resonds to a spam email, and strings them along with more & more outrageous scenarios about his avatar Bob Servant!  Well worth looking out for his book – “Bob Servant, hero of Dundee”, although I think it’s best when narrated with a Dundonian accent – a good idea for a talking book?


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