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Re: Hello from new member, Alex MacPhee

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  • alexmacphee
    Hello Wade, Thank you for the welcome. ... Yes, I have copies of Statutory BM&D records for Maggie Jane. I have traced Maggie Jane s entry in the register of
    Message 1 of 5 , Feb 22, 2011
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      Hello Wade,

      Thank you for the welcome.

      > Have you got a copy of birth, marriage and/or death certificates? Who are
      > Maggie Jane McDougal's parents given as?

      Yes, I have copies of Statutory BM&D records for Maggie Jane.

      I have traced Maggie Jane's entry in the register of 'Births in the District of Peterhead in the County of Aberdeen'. GROS Ref 232/01 0120. It reads :

      Name and Surname : Margaret Jane Hay McDougall
      When and Where Born : 1893, March First, 11(*) Chapel Street Peterhead
      Parents & Date & Place of Marriage : Archibald McDougall Merchant Seaman, Catherine McDougall MS Hay, 1891 September 21st Peterhead
      Signature & Qualification of Informant : Catherine McDougall Mother
      Where and When Registered : March 31st At Peterhead

      I cannot decipher the name of the Assistant Registrar, but it could be 'Jno Paterson', and the entry is initialled 'AR' by the Registrar, Alex Robertson.

      (*) The handwriting of the number could be interpreted as 11 or 18, but other records, such as the Census records (I only have access to transcriptions of Census records, not handwriting images), record the address as 11 Chapel Street.

      Maggie Jane was married in 1918 Sixth December to my Grandfather, Donald MacPhee. The marriage is recorded in GROS Statutory Marriages 644/21 0377, where she is recorded as a Ship Yard Worker (Spinster). Same parents (of course!) but Catherine Hay is noted as 'deceased', and I have traced her decease to 1900 May Fifteenth, GROS 232/01 0110.

      My late father's last memory of his mother was looking out through the window of their house in Fraserburgh, seeing her coffin carried away, when he was about five. I remember him saying this over forty years ago (he died in 1977). I knew absolutely nothing else about her until I began these researches in November last year. Maggie Jane died in 1928, September Eleventh, at 11.30 pm, in Broadsea, Fraserburgh, cause of death being 'Difficult Labour & Acute Peritonitis lasting 3 days'. She was just 35. The death is recorded in Statutory Deaths GROS Statutory Deaths 196/00 0091. Very poignantly, the entry reads that the 'Signature & Qualification of the Informant', the next day, is 'Donald MacPhee, Widower'. The poignancy was all the more because my own wife died last month, and I have not yet accepted that I am a widower.

      I began these researches out of simple curiousity ; but the more I have discovered, the more I have come to realise that there are stories being told by the list of names and dates and places, that the ghosts I am chasing had real lives, and flesh, and blood, and joys and sorrows. I discovered that Maggie Jane's mother, Catherine, was her husband Archibald McDougall's second wife. Catherine herself was to die at the age of just 33, the cause of death listed as diarrhoea lasting ten days. She died on the morning of May Fifteenth, 1900, at Brook Lane, Peterhead.

      Last night, I discovered that Catherine was one of ten children born to Andrew Hay and Jane Findlay or Finnie. I'm not yet sure if the connexions are directly with Peterhead, but here are more new lines of enquiry, new puzzles to solve, new ghosts to glimpse and photograph.

      Kind regards,

      Alex
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