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Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Dorothy Young of the Greenses, Berwick; Who Emigrated to Canada

From Margaret Dougherty, a descendant of the Youngs of the Greenses:

My grandmother, Dorothy Young (1889-1967), set out from Berwick-upon-Tweed on her own for Canada as an 18-year old girl looking for adventure in September 1908. Perhaps you see something familiar in her features in this photo of her when she was about 30.
Dorothy Young (1889-1967)
Dorothy was the second eldest daughter of Robert Alexander Young (1854-1915) and Isabella Knox (1862-1937) of the Greenses. She originally went to Canada for a nanny position in small-town Ontario, but quickly grew bored with that, and for a time worked as a cook in a Northern Ontario lumber camp where she was the only woman, before settling in Montreal by 1911, where she worked as a servant. There, she was part of a circle of other Berwick immigrants, as I’ve found in news items in old issues of the Berwick Advertiser.

I have documented my grandmother’s lineage, which in addition to Young and Knox, includes Patterson/Pattison, Wedderburn/Weatherburn, Cowe, Clark, Melvin/Milvin, Edminson, Brack, Johnson, How and Spiers ancestors.

Dorothy returned to England in August 1915 to marry my grandfather, John Matheson, in London, while he was on a short leave from the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

They had met in Montreal, where John had emigrated in 1909 from Aviemore, Scotland. She remained in Berwick throughout the First World War, seeing my grandfather when he had leave. My mother, Isobel Young Matheson, was born in Berwick in May 1919. In August of that year, my grandmother and mother sailed for Montreal. Dorothy never returned to Berwick, but exchanged many letters with her mother and sisters.

I am still looking for any descendants of Dorothy’s siblings who stayed in England: Margaret Knox Young who married a distant cousin, George Young; Henry, Robert, William and Peter. Dorothy’s sisters Lizzie, Aggie and Izzie came to Canada as well, but Aggie and Izzie ultimately returned to Berwick, I believe.

After my mother died in 1979, we lost touch with her Berwick roots.
If you have any information about these, please add a comment below.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

Celebrate Shakespeare with Ancestry's Free Access to Parish and Probate Records Today

Ancestry.co.uk are offering free access to their parish and probate records today (Saturday 23 April) to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death.

The collection includes 39,000 records from Roxburghshire, Scotland and 6,500 records from Selkirkshire from the early 1500s to the mid- to late-1800s, National Probate Index (Calendar of Confirmations and Inventories) for Scotland, 1876-1936.

Monday, 11 April 2016

Were Your Ancestors Fishermen in Berwick ?

Were your ancestors fishermen or their wives in Berwick ?
Were they involved with fishing, for example, selling fish, smoking fish, running a general store ?

Find out about families and their properties.

On Sunday, 17th April there’s a guided walk around the Greenses area of Berwick hearing stories of the fisher folk.

The walk will be led by Linda Bankier, Archivist, Berwick Record Office.

The walk is free and begins at 2.30pm.

This walk was over-subscribed last year and booking is essential –
ring Berwick Tourist Information Centre on 01670 622155 to book a place and find out the starting point.

Berwick 900 Family History Day - Saturday 16th April 2016 at Berwick-upon-Tweed - Updated Programme

Family History Day is almost upon us !

Building on the success of the Berwick 900 Family History Festival held on 3rd and 4th October last year, we’re holding a Family History Day from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 16th April 2016 at Berwick Town Hall, Marygate, Berwick-upon-Tweed. Map.

Like last year, it’s free and there will be exhibitors, talks, displays about the research carried out, talks, refreshments, one to one family history surgeries where you can find out how to start your family history or overcome a problem.

There’ll be activities for kids and their parents, and the opportunity to see the Burgon family tree – please bring along your research, birth and marriage certificates and see if you’re connected.

Exhibitors
Berwick Freemasons Lodge
Borders Family History Society
Lothians Family History Society
North East War Memorials
Northumberland Archives
Northumberland & Durham Family History Society
Scottish Borders Council Archives (Hawick Heritage Hub)
All the above exhibitors are keen to help you with your family history.

Jura Consultants and Spence & Dower - Proposals for Berwick Barracks

Talks Programme
10am Northumberland & Durham Family History Society – North Northumberland branch
11am Ralph Holmes – My Weird & Wonderful Family
12 noon Paul Jardine and Tina Gough – Berwick Barracks Re-awakened
1pm Linda Bankier – The Berwick 900 Our Families Project
2pm Bill Stewart - A Century of Boatbuilders in Berwick and Eyemouth
3pm David Pye – Berwick War Memorial – personal stories of soldiers

Family History Surgeries
20 minutes with a specific expert in a quiet room to discuss your family history problem or interest.

We now have a fully booked schedule of family history surgeries.
However, there might be a cancellation, so if you need help and none of the exhibitors can help you, please ask at the Welcome Desk.

Maltings Youth Theatre Dramas - A Step Back In Time (to 1911)
11am Part 1 - outside the Town Hall (weather permitting)
11.45am Part 2 inside the Town Hall (upstairs in the Court area)
12.30pm Part 3 - outside the Town Hall (weather permitting)

Posh ancestors in Berwick ?

Were your ancestors among the posh in Berwick ?

Find out about families and their properties.

On Friday, 15th April there’s a guided walk along Ravensdowne and Quay Walls in Berwick. Ravensdowne has lovely Georgian houses. 

The walk will be led by Linda Bankier, Archivist, Berwick Record Office.

The walk is free and begins at 2.30pm.

This walk was over-subscribed last year and booking is essential –
ring Berwick Tourist Information Centre on 01670 622155 to book a place and find out the starting point.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Berwick 900 Family History Day - Saturday 16th April 2016 at Berwick-upon-Tweed - Revised Programme

Building on the success of the Berwick 900 Family History Festival held on 3rd and 4th October last year, we’re holding a Family History Day from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 16th April 2016 at Berwick Town Hall, Marygate, Berwick-upon-Tweed. Map.

Like last year, it’s free and there will be exhibitors, talks, displays about the research carried out, talks, refreshments, one to one family history surgeries where you can find out how to start your family history or overcome a problem.

There’ll be activities for kids and their parents, and the opportunity to see the Burgon family tree – please bring along your research, birth and marriage certificates and see if you’re connected.

Exhibitors
Berwick Freemasons Lodge
Borders Family History Society
Lothians Family History Society
North East War Memorials
Northumberland Archives
Northumberland & Durham Family History Society
Scottish Borders Council Archives (Hawick Heritage Hub)
All the above exhibitors are keen to help you with your family history.

Jura Consultants and Spence & Dower - Proposals for Berwick Barracks


Talks Programme
10am Northumberland & Durham Family History Society – North Northumberland branch
11am Ralph Holmes – My Weird & Wonderful Family
12 noon Paul Jardine and Tina Gough – Berwick Barracks Re-awakened
1pm Linda Bankier – The Berwick 900 Our Families Project
2pm Bill Stewart - A Century of Boatbuilders
3pm David Pye – Berwick War Memorial – personal stories of soldiers

Family History Surgeries
20 minutes with a specific expert in a quiet room to discuss your family history problem or interest.

Surgeries are currently available starting at 10.30, 11.00, 12.00, 12.30, 13,00, 13.30, 14.30, 15.00.
Book your preferred starting time now by email to


Please state brief details of your problem or interest, whether it’s English or Scottish and preferred time slot and provide your landline phone number.

Maltings Youth Theatre Dramas - A Step Back In Time (to 1911)
11am Part 1 - outside the Town Hall (weather permitting)
11.45am Part 2 inside the Town Hall (upstairs in the Court area)
12.30pm Part 3 - outside the Town Hall (weather permitting)

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Are you a Riddell and Interested in Your Family Tree ?

A lady in New Zealand named Gail Riddell and an apparently unrelated Jim Riddell in America are joint administrators for the Riddell/Riddle/Ridley/Ruddell DNA project with an American based firm called FamilyTree DNA. .

Gail's family were mostly from the Roxburghshire area but were also in Berwickshire and Lanarkshire (not to mention all through the Lothian area), depending on the lands they purchased/versus where their money was "made". Jim's forebears were from Lanarkshire in the late 16th Century and are thought to have left at the time of the Covenanters.

Gail wrote "I have many men from New Zealand, Australia, USA, one from South Africa and a few from UK who have been excited by what they have learned as a result of testing their Y-Chromosome.  They have worked hard in order to raise sufficient funds for me to be able to offer totally free, a number of  Y-37 tests for any man living in Northumberland, the Scottish Borders, Yorkshire or lowland Scotland who has this surname and who has a family tree of his paternal ancestry back to around 1800 or earlier.

The bottom line is to extend and "prove" our genealogy in a way that paper trails have been unable.  By that, I mean if we go back into history, especially the 1600s (as an example) and look at the deaths, followed by pestilence, followed by famines and we soon begin to realise that not everyone who bears a particular surname is actually of that stock.  I say this because many young women with wee ones to feed were made widows and frequently joined up with a "protector" who thus gave his name to those
wee ones.

For those who are anxious about DNA testing - the medical genes are not considered in the test that I am offering as a "freebie".  The test itself needs just two separate cheek swabs.  "

If you're a Riddle (whatever the spelling), and you've got a family tree on the paternal side back to 1800, and you would be willing to take the test, please contact Gail at the email address below.
If you want help building your family tree, there are still a few family history surgeries available (booking essential) on our Berwick 900 Family History Day on Saturday 16th April 2016 at Berwick-upon-Tweed.