Sunday, 11 March 2018

Gathering new found Scots cousin ancestors 1: Grace Smith & Peter Dow and family

My 2nd great grandmother Isabella Smith's (1815-1915) older sister was my 3rd great aunt, Grace Smith (1814-1891). For the past couple of months, I've been gathering the names of auntie Grace's many family members and descendants. Grace married John Dow (1821-1884), a farmer, on 23 Jun 1838 at Inveravon in Banffshire. They made their home in Knockando, Moray, where I think Peter's family had been for many years.

Grace Smith Dow's death registration
Between the catalogues of Scotland's People, Find My Past and Ancestry, I've learned many details about these cousin ancestors. The best and richest resource has been Moray Council's Local Heritage Service Index, which has countless nuggets of information and facts including at times a brief biography listing occupation, children, awards etc. If a newspaper notice appeared in relation to a marriage or death, the date and publication are also listed. I haven't even started to check for newspaper stories.

I've learned that Grace and John's children and grandchildren were school masters, physicians, brewmasters, distillery managers, soldiers, hairdressers, nurses, servants, salesmen, shop assistants, postmen, gardeners, coppersmiths, construction workers, and more. One son became the local justice of the peace. Most stayed in Scotland, but some moved south to England. Some migrated to Canada--Toronto! Many had children, some had none.

One grandson, John Dow (1878-1901) was killed in action in the Boer War, losing his life in the Transvaal. He was a lieutenant in the Seaforth Highlanders. Two other grandsons (brothers), Captain John Dow (1889-1918) and 2nd Lieutenant David Edward Dow (1892-1917), served in the Royal Army Medical Corps and the Seaforth Highlanders respectively, and were Great War casualties.

Remarkably for the time--the early 20th century--four of their granddaughters went to medical school and became physicians:
  • Marjorie Johnann MacPherson Dow (1865-1956)
  • Griselda Annie Dow (1891-1936)
  • Elizabeth May Dow (1894-1969)
  • Dorothy Janet Dow (1899-1949)
Griselda, Elizabeth and Dorothy were sisters, and siblings to John and Edward who died in the Great War. What a remarkable family.

Did my great grandmother Annie Ross know her Dow cousins? She was Isabella's daughter and was born in Forres, Moray. Some of my Matheson ancestors lived at times in Moray. The places in Moray don't have huge populations, even today. I have to think that my Ross, Smiths and Matheson ancestors kept in touch with each other and probably some lived near each other.

The never ending story continues....

© Margaret Dougherty 2016-2018 All rights reserved

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