On 3 May

This day 98 years ago, my grandfather’s Gordon Highlander regiment landed at Boulogne. Plus a childhood death, a coal miner’s death and a migration to Canada.

3 May 1843
Birth of David Findlay, son of David Findlay and Susanna Strachan and grandson of my gggg uncle and aunt Peter Strachan and Mary Munroe. David died in childhood, before the 1851 census, as did his mother. I’m not sure of the dates when either of them died, but by 1851 father David had remarried and another son named David Findlay had been born.

3 May 1882
Death of Robert Strachan – there are lots of Robert Strachans on my tree and this one was born in about 1834, son of Andrew Strachan and Elizabeth Howat, which makes him my 2nd cousin 3 times removed. His mother died when he was about 10 years old and his father married Margaret Todd. Robert became a coal miner, in 1855 married Ann Bain at Dreghorn, and had 9 children. Some time before 1871 the family moved to Saltcoats, where they lived in Auchenharvie Row, and it was there that Robert died. He was 49 years old and died of asthmatic bronchitis and general debility, which was no doubt a result of working down the coal pits.

3 May 1915
My grandfather James Fraser, who had enlisted with the Gordon Highlanders in September 1914, landed in Boulogne. He was in France until November 1916 when he was wounded at Beaumont Hamel during the battle of the Somme.

3 May 1921
Margaret Milne, from Hatton, Aberdeenshire, arrived in Quebec, destined for Vancouver where she had a job to go to as a domestic servant. There’s interesting detail in landing papers: she was 5ft 4ins with fair complexion, blue eyes and fair hair. The daughter of Alexander Milne and Elizabeth Thomson, she was the granddaughter of my ggg aunt Janet aka Jessie Fraser. According to a descendent of hers with a tree on Ancestry, Margaret married Alexander George Birnie at Vancouver in March 1922, and died in Vancouver in 1952.

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