Ee – is for Elgin, Scotland

Family History Through the Alphabet Challenge

As my heart thrilled to the story of the notorious “Wolf of Badenoch” – those “wyld, wykked Heland-men” burning the famed and majestic Elgin Cathedral I had no idea that later research would show the burial site of John Ogilvie, my Great Great Grand-father, to be in this very same Cathedral Churchyard. John Ogilvie is my dad’s Great Grandfather and the Grandfather of my Grandmother Marie. So it is that Elgin represents the letter Ee in my latest “Family History Through the Alphabet” post.

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King David I

Elgin, as the administrative and commercial capital of  Moray,Scotland,has a long and fascinating history. Situated on a low ridge, between the loops of the River Lossie, Elgin was made a Royal Burgh in the 12th Century, by King David I, and in 1107 was chosen as the seat of the Bishop of Moray with its Cathedral located at Spynie, 3kms to the north. The new Elgin Cathedral was not built until 1224 and on area of ground granted by Alexander II close to the River Lossie and outside of the Burgh of Elgin. It was a thriving town with its castle on top of Lady Hill in the west and the great Cathedral in the east. Originally the Cathedral was built as a simple cruciform but, after being damaged by fire in 1270, was expanded with the choir doubled in length, aisles added on each side and an octagonal Chapter House built opening off the north aisle.

Tomb of “Wolf of Badenoch”

This magnificent Elgin Cathedral was sometimes known as The Lantern of the North” but, 120 years after being built, it came under attack and is now a historic ruin. In 1390 Alexander Stewart (Alasdair Mór mac an Rígh), Earl of Buchan and the third surviving son of King Robert II of Scotand, quarrelled seriously with Bishop Alexander Burr, of Moray, who responded by ex-communicating the Earl. An infuriated Stewart, in May 1390 and accompanied by his brigands, descended from his castle in Lochindorb and burned and ransacked the town of Forres. Not satisfied, the following month he burned much of Elgin, incuding two monasteries, St Giles Church, the Hospital of Maison Dieu and the Cathedral, destroying many of its records – legal and monastic. These were irreplaceable and a terrible loss. Terrifying the people of Elgin, and forcing them to flee into the countryside, Alexander Stewart became known “The Wolf of Badenoch” and is forever remembered for his burning of the Royal Burgh of Elgin and the destruction of its Cathedral.

“His nickname ‘the Wolf of Badenoch’ was earned due to his notorious cruelty and rapacity but there is no proof that it was used during his lifetime.”

Destruction of Elgin Cathedral – 1390

Alexander Stewart lived from 1343 to 20 Jun 1405 and held the positions of Lord Badenoch, Earl of Buchanan and later was his brother’s Royal Deputy in Scotland. Under his father’s watchful eye, nobles and many church dignitaries, Alexander Stewart did penance for his wanton destruction, was pardoned and accepted back into the church.

“Unfortunately his repentance was superficial.”

MacDonald – Lord of the Isles

In 1402 the Cathedral precent again suffered an incendiary attack. This time by the followers of the Lord of the Isles and took over 100 years to rebuild. Not completed until 1538 much of the re-construction has since crumbled away, due to the inferior quality of the stone made available to the 15th and 16th century masons, whilst the 13th century construction remains.

Elgin Cathedral continued in use until the reformation of 1560 then, in 1567 , the lead of the Cathedral roof was stripped, by order of the Privy Council and Regent Moray, and the process of decay began. In 1637 the choir roof collapsed, the rood-screen with its painting of the crucifixion was removed and destroyed in 1640 and on Easter Sunday, 1711, the great central tower fell destroying the north transept and the main arcades of the nave. By the end of the eighteenth century the once magnificent Cathedral was being used as a quarry for building stone, however, in 1824 the Exchequer assumed responsibility for the preservation of the structure. John Shanks was appointed keeper and began clearing the accumulated rubbish. It is said that John cleared;

“…3,000 barrowfuls and laying bare the foundations of the pillars of the nave, the elevations of the altar and the stairs at the western gate.” 

Elgin Cathedral

My Great Great Grandfather, John Ogilvie, was born in Elgin approximately 2 years after John Shanks began his work as a keeper for the Cathedral. At this time, the town had a population of less than 4,000 and was still largely confined to three parallel lines of streets running between the Castle and the precincts of the Cathedral. The 1841 Census shows that, 15 years later, John Ogilvie was living with his parents at “Clarks Close” and his father was working as a Carter whilst the restoration continued. Just 6 years later (1847-8) some of the old houses associated with the cathedral, on it’s west side, were demolished and a series of relative minor changes to the boundary completed. Two years later, on 7 Jun 1850, John Ogilvie married Christina McKenzie at the Elgin Parish Church. John and Christina had four children; Alexander, James (my great grandfather & father of my Marie Ogilvie), and Margaret Ann, followed by Jean.

On 10 Jan 1857 when their youngest child was just 3 months old, the family was living at “Mrs Phillip’s Close” and Christina was forced to apply for, and was granted, “Poor Relief”. John, unable to work for some time, had been admitted to Dr Gray’s Hospital and died 16 months later, at the age of 32, leaving Christina to raise their 4 children alone. My Great Grand-father, James Ogilvie, was just 5 years old with 1 older brother and 2 younger sisters.

Dr Gray’s Hospital

John Ogilvie’s Death Certificate shows he died at home, 49 High Street, Elgin on 8 May 1858, his brother James reported the death and a doctor’s certificate was provided. Although no cause of death is given, it’s clearly written that John was buried in the Cathedral Churchyard. On New Years Day 2012 I excitedly emailed the “Moray Burial Ground Research Group” to order photos of John Ogilvie’s gravestone from their on-line Elgin Cathedral Churchyard Index. With the marvels of technology two beautifully clear photos arrived on my computer the very next day. Unfortunately, although the MBGRG Index indicated a very likely match, it is not the gravestone on my John Ogilvie. Their Webmaster, Lindsay, was most hepful and wrote:

“From the death certificate, one can only assume that he was buried there. All the visible stone in that churchyard have been recorded and published and abstracted data is as on-line. This suggests that,

a)  there was no headstone
b)  a stone may have been placed but damaged, removed, lost over the years (this is not uncommon – some sandstone monuments suffer from frost and often delaminate – the inscribed surface just crumbling away
c)  the stone was a flat one, which has become buried over time

Elgin Cathedral is a very important archaelogical/historic site in Elgin, and is managed by Historic Scotland , who to date have not given us permission to investigate the presence of such buried stones. Also, we have cases where buried stones of this type are in fact blank – perhaps the family unable to afford to inscribe the stone.”

MBGRG logo

As John’s widow had sought “Poor Relief” only 16months earlier, it’s doubtful there was money for a gravestone, let alone an inscription. 

It also needs to be considered though that maybe John Ogilvie was not buried in the Cathedral Churchyard, after all, especially as in it’s Dec 2010 Newsletter the “Moray Burial Ground Research Group” reports that as early as March 1848 overcrowding in the Cathedral Churchyard was causing concern. Over the next 10 years the issue was raised several times and eventually, in the early months of 1857, land was purchased to the east of “New Elgin” for the establishment of a new cemetery.  On 28 Oct 1858, five months after John died,  the “Elgin Courant” reported the first internment.  Maybe John Ogilvie was one of the first to be buried in the new cemetery? … This certainly needs to be checked but, in my view, the most likely scenario is that my Great Great Grandfather is indeed buried in the Churchyard of the very Cathedral that those wyld, wykked Heland-men” tried to destroy. I wonder what John would think about having a whole branch of his ancestories, living here in South Australia, who are delighted to know of their familial link with his birthplace and his final resting place… Elgin, Scotland.

The restoration work continues and the conservation of Elgin Cathedral has been of great concern for successive government departments so that today the ruins remain one of the finest examples of medieval architecture in Scotland. Elgin’s population of less that 4,000, when John Ogilvie was a lad, has grown to 20,000 and much has been done, and continues to be done, to invigorate the centre of the town whilst retaining and restoring the old buildings. A relief road has been built to free the High Street of heavy traffic, and through traffic, and has opened up new vistas toward the Cathedral and Lady Hill.

To view magnificent photos of Elgin, as it is today, just click HERE.

If you have 24.55mins to spare, I recommend you settle down and enjoy the following Video of Elgin, it’s historic sites and talented people.

http://youtu.be/qhh6JmCUHA4

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SOURCES:  Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org
                      National Archives of Scotland:  http://en.wikipedia.org 
                      Elgin Scotland Org:  http://elginscotland.org

Copyright © 2012. C.A.Crout-Habel. Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family  

Finding Christiana…

Ahhh… Christiana Ogilvie. We found you!!!
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It’s such a joy to find a missing relative but the feelings that wash over me when finding a little child whose memory has become faded, or maybe even lost, in the mists of time are indescribable… and so it was when John and I found his Aunt, little Christiana.

John is my second cousin and Great Nephew of my Grandmother, Marie (Ogilvie) Crout.  Like Marie, he was born in Leeds, England but he migrated here to Australia, with his wife and family, in the mid 1960’s. We have only recently “found” each other through a joint interest in, and love of, Family History and it’s great fun to share our discoveries.  In a recent email he mentioned his mum saying that his dad had a sister who died as a child then shared her birth and death registration dates from his archives.

That was it and in no time, at all, we were off and away and soon found the relevant documents to put his Christiana Ogilvie firmly in her place on our shared Family Tree.

My Grandmother, Marie Ogilvie, was born the third of seven chilldren to Emma Chadwick and James Ogilvie in 1880, Leeds, England.  She had only two brothers and my cousin John’s Grandfather, also named John, was older than Marie by just three years.  I’m thinking they must have had warm feelings for each other as Marie had the honoured position as a witness at his Wedding when he married Lucy Ann Johnson in All Souls Church, Leeds, in 1897.

Buslingthorpe St Michael, Leeds, England

Later that year Lucy gave birth to their first child, a little girl, whom they named Christiana. The family were living at 4 Wharfdale Grove, Leeds on 27 Apr 1898, and John was working as a Leather Shaver, when Christiana was Baptised in St Michael Church, Buslingthorpe, Leeds, Yorkshire, England. Sadly little Christiana died in her first year of life and just a few months after being baptised. 

East Yorkshire Badge

John and Lucy went on to have another 7 children, four boys and three girls. Their fifth child, Jack, is the father of my 2nd Cousin, John, who is sharing this delightful journey of discovery with me.  John and Lucy’s last child, Doris, was just 17 months old when her father enlisted in the “6th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment“, British Army “Short Service” for the duration of WW1. 

Sadly John Ogilvie was killed in action in Flanders, France on 13 Mar 1918 and never did return to England and his family.  Lucy was both mother and father to their children continuing to live in the home they had shared at 16 Barkley Avenue, Leeds, until she passed away there on 2 Nov 1961, a much loved and honoured mother, grandmother and great grandmother. 

Christiana was named after her Great Grandmother, Christiana (MacKenzie) Ogilvie who married John Ogilvie in Elgin, Scotland.  They had four children; Alexander, James, Margaret (Maggie) and Jean.  James took on the trade of “currier”, moved to Leeds, married Emma Chadwick and named their first child, a girl, Christiana after his mother.   Their son, John, did the same.

I agree with Cousin John that the death of his Grandfather’s baby daughter is probably the reason “why the name of his grandmother never occurred again.”

Rest In Peace … little Christiana Ogilvie
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© Copyright 2012. Catherine Crout-Habel. Seeking Susan ~ Meeting Marie ~ Finding Family  

My Scottish Grandmother… Marie

 

Ah, Marie … whatever must you have thought watching your Ozzie Grandchildren delighting in the knowledge, and exotica, of having a Scottish Grandmother and also a Scottish Grandfather? …but this is your story Marie not Harry’s. His can wait for another time.

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I have no memory of dad ever talking about his mother, Marie Ogilvie, except for one occasion. I was growing into adulthood; he looked across the table and said quietly,

“You look like my mother, Catherine”

Sadly, during a time of great distress, Harry Scarborough Crout destroyed his mother’s photos. The thought crosses my mind that he may not have known much at all about his mother being only sixteen, and little more than a child, when he left her and his homeland to go adventuring in this wide, brown land.

However, dad was very clear about his mum’s nationality – Scottish – no doubt about it.  He spoke about her two red headed rather wild Scottish brothers and how they liked their whiskey. We marvelled as he described how one brother, in a drunken rage, took his dagger and slashed his girlfriend’s name from his arm after she betrayed him.  The creepy story, he loved to tell, about someone being walled up in a Scottish castle to die, had we four children shivering in our shoes. Whether these tales were fantasy or fact I do not know but we delighted in the drama and identified even more with our Scottish Grandmother, Marie.

Firmly imprinted in my memory dad’s pleasure in banging out Scottish tunes on the piano and the piano accordion …

“Cock-a-doodle, cock-a-doodle, I’m the Cock of the North”

comes readily to mind. He also delighted in “Deoch and Doris”…

“If ye can say, it’s a braugh bricht moonlicht nicht t’ nicht, then yer a’richt ye ken.”

Over the years, many sought our Grandmother’s Scottish birthplace and soon came to realise there are a huge number of Ogilvies in Scotland!!! At one time we thought it likely she was one of the border Ogilvies, and an ancestor of the famed balladist /poet Will Ogilvie. Although revelling in that romantic notion, persistence finally revealed the truth.

Unforgettable is the day my paternal grandparent’s Marriage Certificate finally arrived. Following the paper trail, it soon became clear that my “Scottish Grandmother” was born in 1880 in Leeds, Yorkshire, England the third child of Emma Chadwick and James Ogilvie and younger sister to Christina and John. Brother James was born in 1882, followed closely by sisters Lucy, Jennie and Maggie. The 1881 Census gives the family’s address as 27 Roxburg Street, Hunslet, Leeds and most likely Marie was born at home – so, not Scottish at all.

However, all is not lost for Marie’s dad, James Ogilvie, certainly was Scottish. James was born in 1854 in Elgin, Morayshire, Scotland, the second son of Christina McKenzie and John Ogilvie.  It seems that Marie may have been close to her father and identified with her cultural heritage through his Scottish Nationality. She was named Mary Emma but used the Scottish form, Marie, throughout her life. Most probably this would have been the version her father used and maybe her mother.

Two more children, Margaret Anne and Jean, were born to Christina and John, in Elgin. Their father died at home, 49 High Street, on 8 May 1858 when Jean was just a baby, leaving Christina to rear their family alone during very difficult times. 

James’ older brother, Alexander, moved to London shortly after their father’s death where he settled and raised his family.  James moved to Leeds, after 1871, marrying Emma Chadwick in the Leeds Registry Office on 18 May 1875.  He worked as a Currier and Leather Dresser all of his life, raising his family and dying in Leeds, Yorkshire England late in 1908 at the age of 54.  Margaret and Jean stayed with their mother in Elgin, Scotland.

Well, my Grandmother Marie wasn’t Scottish, after all, but she sure came from a long line of Scottish Highlanders.  Her dad and granddad were both born in Elgin and grandmother, Christina McKenzie, hailed from Drumnadrochet a little village close to Loch Ness.

Time and again we find that our beloved family stories may be out of kilter by a generation, or two, but a grain of truth often remains. 

Born an Englishwoman, Marie (Mary Emma) Ogilvie was a true Scot at heart … I believe.

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(c) Copyright 2012. Catherine Crout-Habel. Seeking Susan~Meeting Marie~Finding Family