Many years have passed since, after a visit to relatives in 1987 and a brief explanation of how they were related to us, my son wanted to know how many of 'these second cousins' he had. Since that day, my researches have found me many friends around the world and the collective fruit of our task is published here. I am indebted to everyone who has contributed - you know who you are!
The Miller Girls (1934)
The only surviving son of his family, Alec Miller married Kate Nicolson after the first World War. Having enlisted as a 'boy soldier' in 1914 with the RAMC, he was taken POW on the first day of the first battle of the Somme on 21st March 1918, whilst serving with the 1/3 Field Ambulance attached to the 51st (Highland) Division, just months before the end of the war. His family were initially only told he was missing and it was probably a month before they had news that he was taken prisoner.
Alec and Kate married in 1921 in Dundee. Alex was working as a butcher's manager and Kate as a boot company collector. By 1930, Alec had qualified as a chiropodist and was one of the first fully trained and licensed chiropodists in Dundee.
Alec and Kate had five daughters. Olive (here on the left in blue) was born in 1922. She was a compositor before she married Canadian Henry O Lamoureux in 1941. Emigrating after the war to the Lamoureux home in Alberta, they had five of a family and Olive led a full life until her recent death at the age of 97.
Catherine (always known as Kay and here in peach on the right) was born in 1924. She helped her father in his chiropody business and at the local first-aid post before she was old enough to start nursing training. She married Douglas G Adamson in 1951 and had three children over the next 14 years. Douglas died relatively young and Kay took up the reigns of ensuring her young family were educated whilst coping with a large house and garden on her own. She lived to 93, dying early in 2018.
Marion (here in pink, sitting in front of her mother) was born in 1927. She excelled at school and gained a place at St Andrews University to study medicine. She practiced as a consultant gynaecologist and obstetrician for many in years in London and Edinburgh before retiring through ill-health early in her 50s. Despite this, she lived to 92, dying just weeks before Olive in 2019.
Hope (here perched beside Olive and wearing white) was an early baby, born at 7 months in 1931, causing her parents a great deal of concern. They worried unnecessarily; Hope grew up to marry George Hanlon in 1952 and produce 3 children. She chose to work outside the home for much of her adult life and ultimately gained office with one of the major jewellers in Dundee. She died at the age of 80 in 2012, having survived radical surgery about 10 years previously.
Rhoda, the baby of the family came along in 1934. She was a career girl who was secretary and PA to various businessmen, before snaring one for herself. She married Roy Francis in 1956, on the day her mother died. Rhoda continued to work in business after her marriage but she and Roy were blessed with a late baby only six years before Roy died suddenly in 1981. Rhoda was the first of the sisters to die, succumbing at the early age of 65 to cancer in 1999.
All the family played musical instruments and, in their youth, were always welcome at church socials and concerts. Alec played banjo, mandolin, harmonium, all mainly by ear. Daughters Kay and Hope took up the violin. Kate was the pianist of the family with daughters Olive, Marion and Rhoda following in her footsteps. Their musical ability has travelled down the generations.