How does a person I’m investigating become something more than the others I am researching? Sometimes someone gets under your skin and you want to know more. The Johnstone family as a whole has been a bit like that for me lately. My great-grandmothers brother Andrew has certainly captivated me and I will write about him soon. However his daughter Dorothy Lindsay Johnstone has recently captured my interest.
Andrew Johnstone, grandfather of John Joseph Johnstone and Andrew Johnstone constructed a very interesting will. I have now transcribed it, over six thousand words. His will names seven trustees, his daughter-in-law Sarah Johnstone, William David Wightman Henderson Esquire of Whitecroft ( a relative ), John Henderson Esquire, advocate, James Stewart son of William Stewart Esquire of Hillside, William Laidlaw Esquire of Allanton, Alexander Wilson of the Paisley Bank Paisley and Francis Wilson writer to the Signet. Possibly they are all related in some way to Andrew but equally possibly not.
Not only have I broken down this brick wall but it has been smashed! How can you go from not knowing much about a family to knowing so much? It is an amazing thing. I wrote about John Joseph Johnstone a little while ago and also about his medical connections and clergymen connections through his children. After the Canberra Congress and the talk I attended on finding your English military prior to WWI given by Paul Milner, I revisited John Joseph Johnstone and his militia connection. He joined the 4th Cumberland Rifle Volunteers when they were inaugurated in April 1860 as the Honorary Assistant Surgeon. They were also known as the ‘Belted Will’. I contacted Carlisle record office this week but they were surprised they didn’t have any information on the volunteers aside from three receipts for one gentleman, unrelated. I then had another look at newspapers on findmypast. I found two mentions for John Joseph in relation to the Talkin Tarn Regatta and wrestling in Brampton and who was in the crowd watching. The first mentioned in a row, his future son-in-law Thomas Forster, him self, and Miss Johnstone. I knew that his daughter Jessie married Thomas Forster. In the other article listed next to John Johnstone was Andrew Johnstone, Esq., from Gibsontown. Was this his brother? No relationships were mentioned in either article. Acting on the assumption that it may be his brother I investigated Andrew Johnstone of Gibsontown in Dumfriesshire, just south of Lockerbie where John Joseph was said to come from.
For Anzac day I have found relatives, some close, some distant, who served in the Boer War and World War 1. They came from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, America and England. Where possible I have included a photo of them. If you have a photo of anyone here I’d love a copy. Does anyone have their medals? Again I’d love a photo of them. If anyone knows of other family members who served in the Boer War or WW1 please let me know. A few of these men will feature in more detail in future blogs. I intend to create one later for all those who served in WW11 so any service files, photos or information would be gratefully received.
In March I spent a week in Auckland, New Zealand following in the footsteps of my 3 x great grandparents Arthur Wellesley Hood and Janet Fraser.
Arthur was baptized in St Andrews on the Green Episcopalian church, Glasgow on October 5, 1817. He was the son of John Hood, a merchant and his wife Mary Ann Stewart. John was a leather tanner, I believe in business with his brother William at Ladyburn in Greenock. Janet was the daughter of James Frazer, supposedly a mill owner and his wife, maybe Mary. They left Scotland on board the Jane Gifford in 1842.