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James Conway commercial traveller

M, #529, b. 22 September 1874, d. 15 September 1962
Last Edited: 21 Apr 2020
James Conway
8 June 1921 Diamond Wedding of James Conway and Agnes McKenzie Fisher

Parents:

Father*: James Conway van driver b. 1837, d. 27 Jun 1923
Mother*: Agnes McKenzie Fisher kitchen maid b. 14 Mar 1842, d. 14 Dec 1938
  • (Child) Birth*: James Conway commercial traveller was born on 22 September 1874 at Main Street, Kilwinning, Ayrshire, Scotland, ; 1874 births in the parish of Kilwinning in the county of Ayr; ref 285; James Conway; 1874 September Twenty-second 8h 0m am, Main Street Kilwinning; m; James Conway iron borer, Agnes Conway ms Fisher, 1861 June 7th Troon; James Conway father; 1874 September 30th at Kilwinning John Service registrar.1
  • He was the son of James Conway van driver and Agnes McKenzie Fisher kitchen maid.
  • (Groom) Marriage*: James Conway commercial traveller married Margaret Tees on 1 June 1900 at 41 Keir Street, Pollocksheilds, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland, ; Marraiges
    Conway - Tess - At 41 Keir Street, Pollocksheilds, on the 1st inst, by the Rev John Conway, London (brother of the bridgegroom), James Conway, jun, Dunedee, to Maggie, youngest daughter of Joseph Tees.2,3
  • (Groom) Marriage*: James Conway commercial traveller married Johnann Ford fever nurse, daughter of John Ford and Agnes Bennett, on 25 November 1910 at Edengrove, 20 Bank Street, Downfield, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland, ; 1910 marriages in the parish of Mains & Strathmartine in the county of Forfar, ref 24; 1910 on the twenty-fifth day of Novemebr at Edengrove, 20 Bank Avenue, Downfield after publication according to the forms of the Baptist Church; signed James Conway mercantile clerk widower, aged 36, residing 21 Union Place Dundee, parents James Conway jute mill nightwatchman and Agnes Conway ms Fisher; John Ann Ford certified fever nurse spinster; aged 29, residing 204 Lochee Road Dundee; parents John Ford painter journy (dec) and Agnes Ford ms Bennett; signed S M Conway minister Bowhill Baptist Church, signed James F Conway witness, Bella Ford witness; 1910 November 26th at Mains & Strathmartine Joseph Dickson registrar.4
  • (Deceased) Death*: James Conway commercial traveller died on 15 September 1962 at 25 Perth Road, Dundee, Angus, Scotland, , at age 87 1962 deaths in the district of Dundee West in the burgh of Dundee, ref 839 #; James Conway commercial traveller (retired) married to 1st Margaret Tees, 2nd John Ann Ford; died September fifteenth 10h 40m am at 25 Perth Road (UR Pinegrove Perth Road) Dundee; male aged 87 years; parents James Conway jute works night watchman (dec) and Agnes Conway ms Fisher (dec); cause prostatic carcinoma 2 years as cert by Kirsty Semple LRCP LRFP; signed E F Gall daughter Lindi Seafield Crescent
    Elgin; registered 1962 September 17th at Dundee signed Robert [...] assistant registrar, initialled John E Cant registrar.5
  • Occupation*: James was Office Clerk / Commercial Traveller / Lay Preacher.
  • (Informant) Birth: He registered the birth of Janie Stewart Conway on 24 July 1901 at Herriot Hill Terrace, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland, ; 1901 births in the distrtict of St Andrew in the burgh of Edinburgh, ref 898; Janie Stewart Conway; 1901 July twenty-fourth 1h 20m pm Herriot Hill Terrace Edinburgh; female; parents James Conway mercantile clark and Margaret Conway ms Tees m 1900 June 1 Glasgow; signed James Conway father; 1901 August 9th at Edinburgh John J Bellford registrar.2
  • (Informant) Death: James Conway commercial traveller registered the death of Margaret Tees on 21 August 1901 at 9 Herriothill Terrace, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland, ; 1901 deaths in the district of St Andrew in the burgh of Edinburgh, ref 562; Margaret Conway married to James Conway mercantile clerk; 1901 August twenty-first 9h 0m am 9 Herriothill Terrace Edinburgh; female aged 29 years; parents Joseph Tees shoemaker and Isabella Tees ms Tees; typhoid fever - confinement 1mo hyperpyrexia 2 days as cert by A T Sloan MD; signed James Conway widower present; 1901 August 22 at Edinburgh Joseph J Anderson asst registrar.6
  • (Witness) Marriage: James Conway commercial traveller witnessed the marriage of Robert Fisher McKenzie Conway dentist & baptist minister and Elizabeth (Lizzie) Miller Morrison on Wednesday, 29 August 1906 at Mather's Hotel, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland, ; 1906 marriages in the district of St Mary in the Burgh of Dundee, ref 251; 1906 on the twenty-ninth day of August at Mather's Hotel Dundee after publication according to the forms of the English Presbyterian Church; signed Robert Fisher McKenzie Conway dental operator bachelor, aged 23 residing 5 Rustic Place Dundee; parents James Conway jute mill night watchman and Agnes McKenzie Conway ms Fisher; signed Elizabeth Miller Morrison antique dealer's assistant spinster, aged 23 residing 11 Reform Street Dundee; parents Richard Russell Morrison antiquarian and Elizabeth Morrison ms Miller; signed Rev John Conway Hammersmith Presbyterian Church of England assisted by T W Lister minister of Frederick Baptist Church Glasgow, signed James Conway, Jessie Miller, Janet Conway witnesses; registered 1906 August 31st at Dundee John K Stirten assit regsitrar initialled TM (Thos Meek registrar.)7
  • Occupation: Between 1910 and 1925 at Ward Road Baptist Church, Dundee, Angus, Scotland, , James was Lay Preacher.8
  • (Witness) Event-Misc: He was present when James Conway van driver and Agnes McKenzie Fisher kitchen maid were celebrating their Golden Wedding Anniversary on 7 June 1911 at Mathers Hotel, Dundee, Angus, Scotland, .9
    Mathers Hotel Dundee
  • (Informant) Birth: James Conway commercial traveller registered the birth of Florence Annie Fisher Conway on 2 January 1916 at Mains & Strathmartine, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland, ; 1916 births in the parish of Mains & Strathmartine in the county of Forfar, ref 3; Florence Annie Fisher Conway born 1916 January Second 7h 50m am at 2 Haldane Street Downfield Mains & Strathmartine; female, parents JAmes Conway commercial traveller and Johnann Conway ms Ford married 1910 November 25th st Dundee; signed James Conway father present; registered 1916 January 22nd at Mains & Strathmartine signed Joseph Dickson registrar.10
  • (Witness) Newspaper Article: James Conway commercial traveller and Johnann Ford fever nurse was mentioned in a newspaper article about Florence Annie Fisher Conway on 8 January 1916. Births - Conway - At Anniston Place, Downfield, on the 2nd inst., to Mr and Mrs James Conway - a daughter.11
  • Newspaper Article: James Conway commercial traveller was mentioned in a newspaper article Church Notices
    Morison Church, Guthrie Street - 11 and 6.30 Mr Janes Conway on 26 April 1919 at Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland, .12
  • Address*: As of 1920, James Conway commercial traveller lived at 2 Haldane Street, Downfield, Angus, Scotland, ; Conway, James, Commercial traveller, 2 Haldane Steet, Downfield.13
  • (Witness) Event-Misc: He was present when James Conway van driver and Agnes McKenzie Fisher kitchen maid were celebrating their Diamond Wedding Anniversary on 8 June 1921 at Masonic Hall, Cupar, Fife, Scotland, .9
  • Occupation: Between 1925 and 1928 at Rutherglen Baptist Church, James was Lay Preacher.8
  • Occupation: Between 1928 and 1931 at Ward Road Baptist Church, Dundee, Angus, Scotland, , James was Lay Preacher.8
  • Newspaper Article: He was mentioned in a newspaper article Baptist Churches, Rattray Street and Ward Road
    Combined Service in Rattray Street Baptist Church at 11 o'clock only
    Preacher - Mr James Conway on 21 July 1928 at Dundee, Angus, Scotland, .14
  • Newspaper Article: He was mentioned in a newspaper article In presence of a large congregation Rev. D. D. Smith, Ward Road Baptist Church, Dundee, yesterday ordained the following to the office of deacon:-Mr James Conway, Crombie Terrace; Mr Joseph Leslie, Johnstone Avenue; and Mr John Neilson, Noran Avenue. on 5 November 1928 at Crombie Terrace, Dundee, Angus, Scotland, .15
  • (Witness) Photograph: He is in this photograph taken in 1929 at Blebo Craigs, Cupar, Fife, Scotland, , along with Agnes McKenzie Fisher kitchen maid, John Conway minister Church of SCotland, William Fisher Conway, Samuel Meney Conway dentist & baptist minister and Robert Fisher McKenzie Conway dentist & baptist minister.16
    Agnes McKenzie Fisher Conway with all her sons; sitting left John Conway, sitting right William Fisher Conway, standing left-right Robert Fisher McKenzie Conway, James Conway, Samuel Meney Conway; 1929, Blebo Craigs
  • Photograph*: John Conway minister Church of SCotland and James Conway commercial traveller are in this photograph taken in 1929 at Wonacy, Blebo Craigs, Cupar, Fife, Scotland, , along with Robert Fisher McKenzie Conway dentist & baptist minister, Samuel Meney Conway dentist & baptist minister, William Fisher Conway, Jane Hutchison Wilkie, Johnann Ford fever nurse, Jane Lamberton, Florence Annie Fisher Conway, Samuel Lamberton Conway, Mary McCulloch Alexander, Janie Stewart Conway, Esther Agnes Ford Conway and James Eric Arbuckle Binnie.16
    "Wonacy" (anagram of Conway), Blebo Craigs
    "Wonacy" (anagram of Conway), Blebo Craigs
    People standing at back : John Conway, Samuel Meney Conway, [Florence Conway?], [Johnann Ford Conway or Jane Lamberton Conway?]
    Sitting in the middle row : Robert Fisher Conway, James Conway, [?], [Samuel Lamberton Conway "Young Sam"?] [Jane Hutchison Wilkie Conway?], [Esther Agnes Ford Conway?], [James Eric Arbuckle Binnie?], [Janie Stewart Conway?], hiding behind the trellis [?]
    Front : [?], William Fisher Conway
  • Newspaper Article: James Conway commercial traveller was mentioned in a newspaper article Baptist Church Lochee
    11- Mr James Sloan
    6.30- Mr James Conway on 23 February 1929 at Lochee, Dundee, Angus, Scotland, .18
  • Newspaper Article*: He and James Smith Andrews Baptist minister were mentioned in a newspaper article HAWKHILL BAPTIST CHURCH.
    SUNDAY SERVICES. 11 a.m.-Mr JAMES CONWAY.
    6.30-Rev. J. S. ANDREWS.
    Evening Subject--"Empty Rooms." Great GOSPEL CAMPAIGN, commencing SUNDAY, 27th October. Preacher, Rev. HARRY TURNER, Glasgow.
    SOCIAL, MONDAY 28th October. Tea, 7.15 p.m. Tickets 9d each. on 19 October 1929 at Dundee, Angus, Scotland, .19
  • Newspaper Article: James Conway commercial traveller was mentioned in a newspaper article Baptist Church, Hawkhill
    11 and 6.30 - Mr James Conway on 12 July 1930 at Dundee, Angus, Scotland, .20
  • Newspaper Article: He was mentioned in a newspaper article Baptist Church, Hawkhill
    11 and 6.30 - Mr James Conway on 19 July 1930 at Dundee, Angus, Scotland, .21
  • Newspaper Article: He was mentioned in a newspaper article Maxwelltown Baptist Church, Jamaca Street
    11 and 6.30 - Mr James Conway on 9 August 1930 at Dundee, Angus, Scotland, .22
  • Newspaper Article: He and Joseph Stanley Andrews Baptist Church minister were mentioned in a newspaper article Maxwelltown Baptist Church
    11 - Mr James Conway
    6.30 - Mrs Stanley Andrews on 27 December 1930 at Dundee, Angus, Scotland, .23
  • Occupation: Between 1931 and 1934 at St Andrews Baptist Church, James was Lay Preacher.8
  • Occupation: Between 1934 and 1939 at Cupar Baptist Church, James was Lay Preacher.8
  • (Witness) Marriage: He witnessed the marriage of Joseph Stanley Andrews Baptist Church minister and Hope Myra Morrison Conway chiropodist on Monday, 21 June 1937 at Baptist Church, Hamilton, Lanarkshire, Scotland, ; 1937 marriages in the district of Hamilton in the county of Lanark, ref 162, 1937 on the Twenty-First day of June at Baptist Church Hamilton after banns according to the forms of the Baptist Church, signed Joseph Stanley Andrews Baptist Church Minister bachelor aged 25, 18 Mount Stewart Street Carluke, parents James Smith Andrews Baptist Church minister and Janet Andrews ms Lees; signed Hope Myra Morrison Conway chiropodist spinster aged 22, 13 Bent Road Hamilton, parents Robert Fisher Conway Baptist Church minister and Elizabeth Miller Conway ms Morrison; signed John Conway minister emetrius Free Church of England Bristol, signed Ruth Fisher Conway Chrystal Bank Hamilton, Douglas Cameron Smith 5 Manse Crescent Stirling witnesses; registered 1937 Jane 22nd at Hamilton James Frame registrar
    [and from photograph provided by their grand-daughter].24,25
    Hamilton Baptist Church June 1937
  • Occupation: Between 1939 and 1962 at Ward Road Baptist Church, Dundee, Angus, Scotland, , James was Lay Preacher.8
  • (Informant) Death: He registered the death of William Fisher Conway on 21 January 1941 at 39 Dundonald Street, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland, ; 1941 deaths in the district of St Andrew in the burgh of Dundee, ref 75; William Conway miilk salesman retired married to Jane Wilkie; 1841 January twenty-first 2h 30m am 39 Dundonald Street Dundee; male aged 75 years; parents James Conway baker's vanman (dec) and Agnes Conway ms Fisher (dec); cardio-vascular depreciation, bronchial asthma, influenza as cert by J Wright Duncan MBChB; signed James Conway brother 18 Sherbrook Street Downfield; 1941 January 21st at Dundee Norman Steele regsitrar.26
  • Newspaper Article*: James Conway commercial traveller and John Conway minister Church of SCotland were mentioned in a newspaper article Martyrs' Church of Scotland
    11 am - Rev John Conway
    7 pm - Mr James Conway
    Wed 3 pm - West End Prayer Meeting on 11 December 1943 at Dundee, Angus, Scotland, .27
  • Newspaper Article*: James Conway commercial traveller was mentioned in a newspaper article BEST YEAR
    At the annual meeting of Ward Road Baptist Church, the treasurer: Mr John Neilson, reported the largest income from all sources in the history of the church, £1816. This is a 20 per cent increase, and there is also a 20 per cent increase in the contributions to missions.
    Mr James Conway, 18 Sherbrooke Street, was appointed chairman for the year, Mr G. H. Lindsay and Mr John Neilson reappointed secretary and treasurer, Mr W. H. Young and Mr J. C. Lorimer auditors, Mr Robert Scrimgeour, 312 Blackness Road, Mr Alex. Sharp, 65 Dens Road, and Mr Dudley D. Watkins, 353 Kingsway, as deacons.
    It was decided to send the collection usually given to the D.R.I. to the Orphan Homes of Scotland. on 12 February 1949 at Dundee, Angus, Scotland, .28
  • Photograph*: James Conway commercial traveller is in this photograph taken on 1 July 1950 at St Paul's Church, Nethergate, Dundee, Forfarshire, .29
    1st July 1950, St Pauls' Church, Nethergate, Dundee
  • Photograph*: James Conway commercial traveller and Johnann Ford fever nurse are in this photograph taken on 1 July 1950 at St Paul's Church, Nethergate, Dundee, Angus, Scotland, , along with Florence Annie Fisher Conway.30
    1st July 1950 St Paul's Church, Nethergate, Dundee
    L-R Florence, James, Annie
  • (Witness) Memorial Inscription: James Conway commercial traveller is commemorated on the headstone erected in 1962 at Western Cemetery, Dundee, Angus, Scotland, . Inscription reads In loving memory of James Conway died 15th Sept 1962 in his 88th year; and his beloved wife Annie Ford died 8th Feb 1969 in her 88th year.31
    Headstone Western Cemetery James Conway 1962
  • (Spouse) Death: His spouse Johnann Ford fever nurse died on 8 February 1969.32

Census & Directory Entries

Member of Household3 April 1881They was listed as a member of the household of James Conway van driver and Agnes McKenzie Fisher kitchen maid in the 1881 census at 7 Kinloch Street, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland, . James Conway, son, aged 7, scholar, born Kilwinning, Ayr, Scotland; James Conway, head, married, aged 45, Van Driver, born Ireland; Agnes Conway, wife, married, aged 39, born Ayr, Scotland.33
Member of Household5 April 1891They was listed as a member of the household of James Conway van driver and Agnes McKenzie Fisher kitchen maid in the 1891 census at 11 Dons Road, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland, . James Conway, son, aged 16, Clerk - apprentice, employed, born Ayrshire, Kilwinning; James Conway, head, married, aged 55, Van Driver, m employed, born Ireland, Co Down; Agnes Conway, wife, married, aged 49, born Ayrshire, Prestwick.34
Head of Household31 March 1901He was listed as head of household along with spouse Margaret Tees in the 1901 census at 9 Herriot Hill Terrace, St Andrew, Edinburgh, Midlotian, Scotland, . James Conway Head Married Male 26 1875 Commercial Clerk Kilwinning, Ayrshire, Scotland
Margaret Conway Wife Married Female 30 1871 - Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland.35
Head of Household31 March 1911He was listed as head of household along with spouse Johnann Ford fever nurse in the 1911 census at 52 Mount Pleasant, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland, . James Conway, 3 in household, head, aged 36, married, cashier and bookkeeper at dentists, worker, born Ayrshire Kilwinning; John Ann Conway, wife, 30, married under 1 year, no children, born Forfarshire, Dundee; also in the household were Janie Stewart Conway.36
Principal1956James Conway commercial traveller appeared in a directory of 1956 living at 18 Sherbrook Street, Downfiedl, Dundee, Angus, Scotland, ; Conway, Jas, 18 Sherbrook Street, Downfield, Dundee 86173.37

Family 1:

Margaret Tees b. c 1872, d. 21 Aug 1901
  • (Groom) Marriage*: James Conway commercial traveller married Margaret Tees on 1 June 1900 at 41 Keir Street, Pollocksheilds, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland, ; Marraiges
    Conway - Tess - At 41 Keir Street, Pollocksheilds, on the 1st inst, by the Rev John Conway, London (brother of the bridgegroom), James Conway, jun, Dunedee, to Maggie, youngest daughter of Joseph Tees.2,3

Child:

Janie Stewart Conway+ b. 24 Jul 1901, d. 1995

Family 2:

Johnann Ford fever nurse b. 10 Feb 1881, d. 8 Feb 1969
  • (Groom) Marriage*: James Conway commercial traveller married Johnann Ford fever nurse, daughter of John Ford and Agnes Bennett, on 25 November 1910 at Edengrove, 20 Bank Street, Downfield, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland, ; 1910 marriages in the parish of Mains & Strathmartine in the county of Forfar, ref 24; 1910 on the twenty-fifth day of Novemebr at Edengrove, 20 Bank Avenue, Downfield after publication according to the forms of the Baptist Church; signed James Conway mercantile clerk widower, aged 36, residing 21 Union Place Dundee, parents James Conway jute mill nightwatchman and Agnes Conway ms Fisher; John Ann Ford certified fever nurse spinster; aged 29, residing 204 Lochee Road Dundee; parents John Ford painter journy (dec) and Agnes Ford ms Bennett; signed S M Conway minister Bowhill Baptist Church, signed James F Conway witness, Bella Ford witness; 1910 November 26th at Mains & Strathmartine Joseph Dickson registrar.4

Children:

Esther Agnes Ford Conway+ b. 1911, d. 20 Aug 1992
Florence Annie Fisher Conway b. 2 Jan 1916, d. Sep 1998

Notes

  • (Witness) Residence: James Conway commercial traveller lived at Kilwinning, Ayrshire, Scotland, ; Kilwinning is described in a directory published by Pigot & Co in 1837 as … an ancient and thriving little manufacturing town … 24 miles from Glasgow, 3 nw of Irvine, 4 ne of Saltcoats, the like distance s of Dalry, 10 nw of Kilmarnock and 5 from Ardrossan; situate on rising ground about 2 miles from the sea; stretching westward from the right bank of the Garnock, and approached through long ambrageous paths, skirted by beautiful fields. It consists chiefly of one street and bye-lanes, with a few rows of modern houses. The weaving and manufacture of gauzes, muslins, shawls, etc are carried on, to an important extent, for the Glasgow and Paisley markets, to which they are conveyed by the local agents. The agricultural produce of the parish is likewise considerable; and coals, which are obtained in abundance, are conveyed by a railway passing from east to west across the parish. …
    Kilwinning was the first place in Scotland where free masonry was established; it is said to have been introduced by the foreign architect who was employed in erecting the monastery here.
    The abbey is thought to have been built about 1140. Briefly, free masonry is accepted as having been born out of the guilds of craftsmen of the middle ages, in particular the masons. A mason often had to travel the length of the county to seek work. He had to prove his rank and ability to his prospective employer. This he did by showing that he was in possession of certain secrets that he had learnt from his guild.
    The Statistical Account written by the Rev. Archibald Blair Campbell in April 1842 describes Kilwinning in great ecclesiastical detail, but includes gems such as (describing the population of around 630 families in the town): There are three individuals deaf and dumb in the parish, two fatuous, and two blind. … There is no smuggling. Poaching is carried on to a small extent. He continues: The male inhabitants of Kilwinning are chiefly employed in weaving and mining; the females in sewing. The only individuals found necessary for keeping the peace are one of the county police and a sheriff-officer. … Formerly there were several stagecoaches, which passed through Kilwinning to Glasgow and other places, but they have all given up since the opening of the Glasgow and Ayr Railway, about two years ago, which affords the greatest facilities, both for travelling and the conveyance of goods, and farm produce.
    He is highly critical of the 27 licensed Inns or Alehouses in the parish – Their effect on the morals of the people, especially the miners and inhabitants of the town, is of the most pernicious description. In his conclusion he observes The inhabitants are, we believe, more industrious than they were towards the end of last century; but they are more extravagant both in regard to their clothing and mode of living, and it is to be feared, less contented with their circumstances. … The desire for luxuries is, in many instances, too prevalent, and a want of prudence, foresight, and economy, often appears. The inhabitants of the parish, in general, are intelligent and well informed, and many of them are exemplary in the discharge of all the duties of their station.38,39
  • (Witness) Note for Web: He and Agnes McKenzie Fisher kitchen maid, Marion McKenzie Conway jute weaver, John Conway minister Church of SCotland, William Fisher Conway, Jeannie Conway, Elizabeth Conway, Agnes Fisher Conway, Janet Meney Conway, Samuel Meney Conway dentist & baptist minister and Robert Fisher McKenzie Conway dentist & baptist minister was mentioned with Mary Fisher Conway howdie wife in 1983. From the pen of Marion C Miller (1983) :

    Under the Rose

    'Under the rose, Kate, under the rose', my great aunt Mary would frequently whisper to my mother. Many years were to elapse before I understood that information imparted subrosa (under the rose) was only intended for tried, tested and trustworthy ears. At the advance of avid young listeners, X-certificate conversation would come to an abrupt halt. My great aunt would suck her teeth back into their normal position with a sharp, resounding and final click. As age had withered her fuselage, the teeth no longer fitted snugly into the contours of her mouth. With the porcelain in position she was quite unable to chew. Always allocated prime position next to my father at the head of the table, she removed her teeth just after grace and before demolition commenced. She was not given to secreting her discarded treasures in the folds of her lavender-laced handkerchief. No ... she was a forthright sort of person. Her teeth, both sets, were planted on her side plate where they glared relentlessly at my father, assaulting his appetite and inducing temporary anorexia.
    There was no wine at table in my childhood, and glasses for water or lemonade were only in evidence on high occasions. There was always a glass of water for great aunt Mary. No ... she didn't drink it ... but she liked to rinse her teeth before returning them to the ill-fitting aperture, when the repast was over.
    At that time we thought she must be very old, but she was in fact still in her lively seventies and had many a tale to tell. She had been an upper crust 'howdie' before trained midwives were commonplace. Entering the homes of the renowned and rich prior to the event, she supervised the birthing process, hurrying the event along with her own secret concoction of raspberry leaf tea. She would remain in residence for at least a month after delivery and often for much longer. If her departure was at all delayed there was every chance that there would be another child on the way soon to guarantee her continued employment.
    Great aunt Mary liked to dress in black and indeed it showed off her pure white hair to greatest advantage. She also used her sombre dresses as a backcloth against which she could display her many swinging chains of beads, multi-coloured neckerchiefs, and large brooches set with precious or semi-precious stones, all donated by thankful parents.
    'When I was with Sir Andrew and Lady X', she would commence and you knew you were about to have a glimpse of life in a society in which you were never likely to mingle. She had been accustomed to a life of refinement, but she was willing to share her treasured memories with those in humbler circumstances. But she was not all prim and proper. She loved a party and she could jangle her beads in a neat-ankled Charleston which left mouth agape. Nowadays she would have been accorded the title of 'great old swinger'.
    If we thought she was old, what of the ancient monument? Her mother was still alive and maintained in a state of semi preservation by another spinster daughter in a rambling house in the country. My great grandmother was open for viewing between the hours of 3 and 4pm. The old lady was like a mechanical toy which had seen better days, there being residual movement in her head, one arm and those searching piercing eyes where ambition still flickered. She might be desiccated almost mummified, but when her hand beckoned from within the folds of her many shawls the recipient of the gesture approached with a degree of trepidation and a touch of reverence.
    The eyes below the lace-capped head would search for evidence of her genetic contribution. These eyes had seen a lot of life. The offshoot of an immigrant Irish family fleeing from the potato famine she had been fortunate to find work as a "tweenie" in an Ayrshire mansion. Crossed with my great grandfather of similar peasant origin she was to produce a brood of thirteen children of whom nine survived. The unashamed ambition which hovered behind her eyelids had seen three of her sons launched into the ordained ministry. In her lifetime she had seen the strength of her genetic contribution raise her descendants from menial tasks in the dusty mills to solid middle class. As she started to fade into insignificance, her off shoots embraced the church, the law, medicine and commerce. She missed her hundredth birthday and her royal telegram only by a short head. If she knew her great-great-grandson whilst still a schoolboy had been selected because of his innate talent in communication to sit next to a royal prince at a private dinner ... she would have been pleased, but not I think surprised. I doubt whether she would have subscribed to the theory that the stars govern your fate ... I think she knew that she handed something on ... and if it's the blarney ... it's genetically dominant.
    What was it that reminded me of great aunt Mary ... it was a word association! It's quite a popular party game but the technique is also used by psychiatrists to probe the mysteries of the mind. You may reveal too much by a straight swift answer, so I always allow the word to linger in my cerebral pathways until multiple cross connections have suitably disguised my tortuous mental process.
    I know ... I was in the kitchen waiting for the beans to heat. Lovely to think that the good old 57s are enjoying a comeback in the high fibre diet. The radio was muttering away in the background, but I heard only one word 'ROOTS'. My first thought was teeth, because that canine has been gnawing away for months, then followed swiftly the thought of origins and ancestors ... finally there was the closing snap reminiscent of gnashing dentures and my brain had solved the equation Roots + Teeth = Great Aunt Mary.
    Sometime I must sweep some more of the dust from my cerebral computer and write more of my forebears ... or is it all too confidential? Could I perhaps just whisper it to a few of my friends ... 'Under the rose' of course.40

Citations

  1. [S14] General Record Office for Scotland, online www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk, General Record Office for Scotland (Edinburgh, Scotland), GROS statutory births 599/00 0285 [Jul 2010].
  2. [S14] General Record Office for Scotland, GROS statutory births 1901 Edinburgh ref 685/02 0898 [Aug 2011].
  3. [S54] Website findmypast.co.uk (www.findmypast.co.uk) Find My Past Newspapers Collection Dundee Evening Post 2nd June 1900 [Apr 2020].
  4. [S64] General Record Office for Scotland, online www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk, General Record Office for Scotland (Edinburgh, Scotland), GROS statutory marriage Mains & Strathmartine 1910 ref 24 image held [Jun 2004].
  5. [S50] General Record Office for Scotland, online www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk, General Record Office for Scotland (Edinburgh, Scotland), GROS statutory death 1962 Dundee West ref 282/02 0839 [Aug 2011] image held [Nov 2019].
  6. [S50] General Record Office for Scotland, GROS statutory death [June 2004].
  7. [S64] General Record Office for Scotland, GROS Statutory marriage 1906 Dundee St Mary ref 251 image held [June 2004].
  8. [S21] Headstone Photograph; , In the effects of Florence Annie Fisher (Conway) Miller (his daughter) after her death

    Annotation on back
    Mr James Conway
    1910 - 1925 Ward Road Baptist Church
    1925 - 1928 Rutherglen Baptist Church
    1928 - 1931 Ward Road Baptist Church
    1931 - 1934 St Andrews Baptist Church
    1934 - 1939 Cupar Baptist Church
    1939 - 1962 Ward Road Baptist Church.
  9. [S4] James Conway - Agnes McKenzie Fisher, Autograph Book, 7 Jun 1911 & 1921, PC Carson, 2 Gillburn Road, Dundee, Scotland, Golden Wedding & Diamond Wedding Autograph Book.
  10. [S14] General Record Office for Scotland, GROS statutory births 1916 Mains & Strathmartine 307/00 0003 [Aug 2011] image held [Nov 2019].
  11. [S54] Website findmypast.co.uk (www.findmypast.co.uk) Find My Past Newspapers Collection Dundee Peoples Journal 8th Jan 1916 [Apr 2020].
  12. [S54] Website findmypast.co.uk (www.findmypast.co.uk) Find My Past Newspapers Collection Dundee Peoples Journal 26 April 1919 [Apr 2020].
  13. [S37] Directory Dundee (Dundee:. Hereinafter cited as Dundee Directory.
  14. [S54] Website findmypast.co.uk (www.findmypast.co.uk) Find My Past Newspapers Collection Dundee Courier 21 Jul 1928 [May 2019].
  15. [S54] Website findmypast.co.uk (www.findmypast.co.uk) Find My Past Newspapers Collection Dundee Courier 5 Nov 1928 [May 2019].
  16. [S43] PCC - AC photograph album.
  17. PCC - AC photograph album
  18. [S54] Website findmypast.co.uk (www.findmypast.co.uk) Find My Past Newspapers Collection Dundee Courier 23 Feb 1929 [May 2019].
  19. [S54] Website findmypast.co.uk (www.findmypast.co.uk) Find My Past Newspapers Collection Dundee Courier 19 Oct 1929 [May 2019].
  20. [S54] Website findmypast.co.uk (www.findmypast.co.uk) Find My Past Newspapers Collection Dundee Courier 12 Dec 1930 [May 2019].
  21. [S54] Website findmypast.co.uk (www.findmypast.co.uk) Find My Past Newspapers Collection Dundee Courier 19 Jul 1930 [May 2019].
  22. [S54] Website findmypast.co.uk (www.findmypast.co.uk) Find My Past Newspapers Collection Dundee Courier 9 Aug 1930 [May 2019].
  23. [S54] Website findmypast.co.uk (www.findmypast.co.uk) Find My Past Newspapers Collection Dundee Courier 27 Dec 1930 [May 2019].
  24. [S40] JF [Oct 2010].
  25. [S64] General Record Office for Scotland, GROS Statutory marriage Hamilton 1937 647/00 0162 image held [Aug 2011].
  26. [S50] General Record Office for Scotland, GROS statutory death St Andrew Dundee 1941 [Jul 2004].
  27. [S54] Website findmypast.co.uk (www.findmypast.co.uk) Find My Past Newspapers Collection Dundee Courier 11 Dec 1943 [April 2020].
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