09 April 2007
Scandals and Tragedies
There is a marvelous place on the web for genealogists to be entertained run by Gordon Johnson of Kin Help. In the midst of all the questions without answers, ancestors without parents to take you back one more generation, you can always go to Kinhelp for "and that was the way it was" in the Old News.
You can also submit stories from your family history for all the gossip long before CNN thought of "I Report". You can read several of the issues of the "Newspaper" for all the exciting goings on from centuries long gone. Harlots abound. Bailies arrest. Tragic deaths, suicides and murders crowd the pages. Bills come due and debtors prisons are filled. If you think today's scandal rags are lurid, just take a peek at what the ancestors were up to.
There's nothing like a 350 year old murder to spice things up: 2nd December 1669, Edinburgh. Paul Clerk alias Cameron, prisoner within the Tolbooth of Edinburgh, convicted and sentenced to be hanged for the murder of Finlay Clerk his brother, and for a robbery. The day of his execution is the 9th of December inst. (Records of the proceedings of the Justiciary Court of Edinburgh, 1661-1678)
David Durward, my great grandfather and the gentleman at the top of the page, appeared in an edition of the "Old News" several years ago by unfortunately getting himself dismembered in a train wreck. His obituary: Died in Rail Accident at 6:50 AM at Hieldmuir Junction, Dalziel age 54. Usual residence: Clydesdale Place, Hields Road, Dalziel. Gordon was kind enough to dig up the details on the allotment from the railroad given to his widow and nine children.
If you happen to be doing Scottish research and need some help, I would recommend Gordon in a heartbeat for generosity of knowledge without charge and expertise for extensive research for a fee. I've known of his existence for more than ten years. He has been an invaluable aid in research and in a world of scam artists, it is nice to know a decent and honorable man who believes in service.
In the meantime, enjoy his version of the National Enquirer.