Local Snippets 8



News Items - A Source of Information and Education about our Ancestors...


Local newspapers are a great source of information for family historians and researchers. We are especially lucky in Aberdeen with records of one paper - The Aberdeen Journal - dating back to the 18th century. In this section we will record just a few snippets of local interest from our papers - some trivial, some tragic, but all fascinating. Let's hope you find something of interest - I'll be surprised if you don't!

The Aberdeen Journal, August 30th, 1848

Montrose - We are called upon to record the death of another shipmaster belonging to this port, from cholera; Captain George Youngson, of the brig Britannia, having died of this awful scourge at Revel, on the 6th inst, after several days' illness - being the third shipmaster belonging to Montrose who has this season fallen victim to this fatal disease. Captain Youngson had, for many years, served his employers faithfully, and enjoyed their confidence and esteem; as in the case of Captains Simpson and Watson, he leaves a widow and family to mourn over his premature death.

The Aberdeen Journal, August 30th, 1848

Peterhead - We lament to add that one of the missing boats is still unaccounted for, and all hopes of the safety of the crew have now vanished. Their names are:-

Alexander Reid, (Doodle) Buckie
Alexander Reid, his son
Alexander Watt, Keith
John Murray, Buckie
Alexander Murray, (Prince) Buckie

We are now enabled to supply the names of the sufferers given last week as unknown. the residences of two of them we have still been unable to learn. The were:-

John Murray, Applecross
William Campbell, supposed from the Highlands
Donald Kennedy, supposed from the Highlands

The number of sufferers at Peterhead, on this melancholy occasion, is now increased to 25; and we think we can confidently say that this is the number who perished here. We are happy to learn that subscriptions are already advised, for the relief of the widows and children, and to aid the survivors in replacing their property, to the amount of 412. This sum, with few exceptions, is entirely form Peterhead, and we have no doubt from the interest excited in many other quarters, in the laudable object in view, that a much larger amount will speedily be obtained.

The Aberdeen Journal, September 6th, 1848

Peterhead - We are now enabled to furnish the names of the unfortunate boat's crew that perished off Peterhead, on the night of Monday 28th, while engaged in the herring fishing; they were:-

James Thain, Findochty
Joseph Thain, his son, Findochty
William Thain, his son, Findochty
John Souter, Burghead
Robert Pollock, Glasgow
James M'Donald, Stirling

Thus increasing the number of lives lost at Peterhead, during the herring season, now nearly ended, including a boat's crew lost in the early part of it, to no less than 35.

The Aberdeen Journal, March 11th, 1874

Suicide at Insch - On Friday forenoon, James Law, aged 24 years, cattleman at the farm of Waterton, in the parish of Insch, committed suicide by hanging himself from a beam in the mill barn at Waterton. Deceased was missed for some hours, and when found life was quite extinct. Law was in his usual health and spirits, and no cause is know to account for the commission of the act.

The Aberdeen Journal, March 18th, 1874

Rhynie - Fatal Accident - About 7 o'clock on Wednesday evening, George Gordon, who lives on a small croft at Bad-na-mar Moss, went out to poach on the farm of Blackhills. In order the better to secure his prey - as is sometimes customary - he dug a sort of house or hole in the snow, from which, unseen, he could watch the hares come down among the turnips. Not long after another man, Thomas Leslie, who usually resides about Elrick, and is known as a habit and repute poacher, also came to the same field for a similar purpose. He did not know that Gordon was there, and, when the latter lifted his head above the edge of the hole to see what game was about, Leslie, thinking in the darkness that the dark object in front was a hare, fired, and with fatal precision. Gordon uttered no cry, and it was only on going up to that spot that he, Leslie, discovered his fatal mistake. The pellets lodged in the brow and face. He was not quite dead, but lingered till 5 o'clock on Thursday morning, in the house of Mr John Smith, farmer, Backhills. Dr Mitchell was immediately sent for, but could do nothing. The unfortunate man has left a wife and four of a family, all young, for whom much sympathy is felt. Leslie gave himself up to the parish constable, and was conveyed to Aberdeen for examination.

The Aberdeen Journal, March 18th, 1874

Country Cottage Accommodation - A curious case was decided in the First Division of the Court of Session on Saturday last. Elizabeth Cowie, residing at Upperthird, parish of Auchterless, had raised an action in the Sheriff Court of Aberdeen against George Singer, blacksmith, Loanwell, Alford, to establish filiation and ailment. From the evidence it appeared that Singer was in the employment of Elizabeth Cowie's father, and slept in the house. The girl slept in a closet, and Singer in an attic, to go to which he had to pass through Miss Cowie's room. The two had been on terms of familiarity, and hence the birth of a child, and the ailment sued for. The Sherriff-Substitute (Comrie Thomson) found it proved that Singer was the father of the child. ON appeal, the Sheriff-Principal affirmed his Substitute's decision. Singer then appealed to the Court of Session, where the interlocutor was affirmed, and the appeal dismissed. Lords Benholme, Neaves, and Ormidales, all commented on the extraordinary nature of the household arrangements and censured the conduct of the mother in allowing such a state of matters to exist.

The Aberdeen Journal, March 25th, 1874

St Clement's Parish Church -  Soiree - Last evening a Soiree of the scholars attending the Sabbath School was held in the Church under the presidency of the Rev. Mr Philip. Interesting and instructive addresses were delivered by the Chairman, and the Rev. Messrs Cowan, Ferryhill; Jamieson, North Parish; Duncan, South Parish; Philip, Skene; Greig, Chaplain of the Forces; Brotchie, St Clements, and Mr Russel. Under the leadership of Mr Firth, and with Mr Davidson at the harmonium, the church choir, assisted by several kind musical friends, discoursed excellent music in the course of the evening, and the children - of whom there was a very large attendance - sang several hymns with great taste and effect. A goodly number of the children's parents and members of the congregation were present.

The Aberdeen Journal, April 23rd, 1880

Letters to the Editor - The Disaster to Skaterow Fisherman

Parsonage, Muchalls by Stonehaven, 22nd April, 1880

Sirs, Referring to the great loss of life among our fisherman in the gale of yesterday, noticed in your issue of today, we would earnestly entreat the attention of your readers of those who were lost from Skaterow, and who are for the most part left destitute of their breadwinners. The lost and their families are:-

WILLIAM CHRISTIE, No 34 Skaterow, lost, leaves a widow and ten of a family. The eldest boy, William, age about 20, saved. Four children utterly unable to earn their own livelihood.

ANDREW CHRISTIE, 47 Skaterow, lost (his son Andrew, age about 19, lost), leaves a widow and six of a family. None able to earn their own bread.

THOMAS CHRISTIE, No 48 Skaterow, lost, leaves a widow and eight of a family. Six of these cannot earn their own livelihood. Youngest born 18th January, 1880.

PETER CHRISTIE, 53 Skaterow, lost, leaves a widow and seven of a family. The eldest boy, about 17 years of age, is weakly; the others all younger, and unable to do for themselves.

Under the circumstances we would earnestly beg the help of your readers towards the support of these survivors. We may mention that the three brothers William, Andrew and Peter lost all their nets in a gale in 1877, and a greater part of them also in a gale in 1875.

Of our knowledge we are sure these families are now absolutely destitute, and would earnestly ask the kind attention of the charitable towards them. Subscriptions will be thankfully acknowledged by us.

We remain, Your obedient servants,

William Hatt, incumbent, St Ternan's Church, Muchalls - Muchalls Parsonage, by Stonehaven
George Masson, No 28 Skaterow, by Stonehaven
James Christie (coxswain of the Favourite), No 21 Skaterow, by Stonehaven

The Aberdeen Journal, April 26th, 1880

The Missing Footdee Boat - Tidings concerning the fishing boat Alexander Duthie, of Footdee, which went amissing during the recent severe gale on the north-east coast, have at last been received; but, as was generally anticipated, they are of the most unfavourable character. The crew of the deep sea fishing boat Henry Farquharson, of Torry (A511), reports having sighted the boat about twelve miles NNE off Aberdeen, on Friday night last about half-past ten o'clock. She was about three parts sunk, only the bow being visible. The men say they made every effort to raise the craft, but were unsuccessful, the grapnel which they attached to it repeatedly giving way. On reaching Aberdeen early on Saturday morning they reported the matter to the pilots, and in the afternoon the tug Derwent (Captain Bruce) was dispatched in search of the boat with appliances for raising her, under the superintendence of some of the men of the Henry Farquharson and a number of Footdee fishermen, who kindly volunteered their assistance. Unfortunately, owing to the force of the wind and the roughness of the sea in the offing, the tug was obliged to put back without having reached the spot where the boat was sighted , but whne the weather moderates a further effort will be made.
The sea at the bar yesterday was very rough, and those who had hired small pleasure boats were cautioned by the pilots not to venture beyond Abercromby's Jetty.