(First posted 5th April 2011)
In 1966 the present owners of number 25 received a letter, which began
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.