Family History part iii – conclusions and reflections

I think I’ve come to the end of the road as regards the Mathieson side of my family.

Annie, I presume, lived on, but I’ve been unable to find her death record, or a record of a marriage.

The most likely explanation is that at the age of 40 after the death of her father she upped sticks and moved somewhere else, England, Ireland, America or somewhere else.

There’s no one alive to ask, and she didn’t leave much of a documentation trail.

James had tragedy in his life with the death of his first wife, but he worked hard to become the manager of a Co-Op store and seems to have been well enough liked in the community.

But none of the Mathiesons left much of a documentation trail. They weren’t lawyers, journalists or even criminals, just hard working folk who got on with it and didn’t make a fuss.

As a consequence, there’s very little to find to flesh out the story. None of them was something like a music teacher who advertised private lessons, or someone who spoke at trade union meetings – ten minutes with the British Newspaper archive showed me that.

There are still outstanding questions such as whether Clementina and James senior had children other than James junior and Annie, and of course what happened to James and Catherine’s boys after Catherine’s death.

Certainly I don’t recall my mother ever mentioning older step brothers – my guess is that they might have gone to live with Catherine’s parents, but I don’t really know.

Personally it has answered some questions for me and put some things in context.

It has also been an excellent exercise to teach me how to carry out long distance family history research, and use the research tools and resources available for Scottish family history.

I still have other questions about my father’s side of the family, but I think I’ll let the Mathiesons rest for now – I’ve disturbed them enough.

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About dgm

Former IT professional, previously a digital archiving and repository person, ex research psychologist, blogger, twitterer, and amateur classical medieval and nineteenth century historian ...
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