Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Grandpa David, Grandpa James, and Grandpa Jane: Gone but not forgotten

This is a repost from my genealogy blog (, which has remained dormant for quite some time. It's a project I will return to someday. In the meantime . . . I like that these folks have been gone quite some time but are not forgotten - at least by me.

I haven't forgotten . . .
I continue to hold certain ancestors in my mind as I go about my everyday life, even if I am not actively researching them. A few of them hold my curiosity more than others.

Here are the top 3:

#1 David Innes, b. 1812 in the parish of Botriphnie, county of Banff in the highlands of Scotland. He's fascinating to me because his life really straddled two historical worlds. He was born and raised in the same bend in the road that his father was -- and maybe his father before him (still verifying that). He lived for 87 years. By the end of his life, in 1899, he had been evicted from him land and the majority of his children had emigrated to other countries. Imagine how different a world Scotland must have seemed to him in 1899.

#2 James Mackie, b. 1838. James Mackie, my great-great-grandfather fascinates me mainly because of the circumstances surrounding his death. He died at the age of 31 by hanging himself in prison in Aberdeen. His children were 5 and 7. Why was he in prison? And why did he commit suicide? [I'm sure being in prison didn't help]

#3 My great-great-grandmother, Jean (or Jane) Innes Mackie, James' wife, basically disappeared from all records after his death. Her children David and William Mackie went to live with their grandfather (David Innes, see above) at the family's farm. Eventually they emigrated to Canada (then the U.S.) when they were teenagers. Where was she? Is it possible she went to work as a domestic servant and sent money home? Did she die? Emigrate? Run away?

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