Please Sign In | Register
Google pluspinterestShare on Stumble UponShare on RedditFacebookShare on Tumblr
TITLE
From the Highlands to the Lowlands (part 1)
EXTERNAL ID
PC_MACFARLANE-SLACK_01
PLACENAME
Belgium
DATE OF IMAGE
2005
PERIOD
2000s
CREATOR
Drew MacFarlane-Slack MBE
SOURCE
Drew MacFarlane-Slack MBE
ASSET ID
29211
KEYWORDS
genealogy
family history
World War I
cemeteries
graves
graveyards
From the Highlands to the Lowlands (part 1)

Tracing family history has never been easier or more popular. Here, a former member of the Highland Council, Drew MacFarlane-Slack MBE, has written of his own experience of tracking down his ancestors.

"I was born in the east end of Glasgow in 1951, my father was also born there but he met my mother in Hull during the WW2 and married her in her home town in 1947. Despite growing up near my father's family, and he had 14 siblings, we did not live out of each other's pockets and I don't have many strong memories of their lives and doings.

On my father's side, my grandmother was of Swedish stock. Her parents arrived in the Calton in 1884, some ten years before she was born. Her father and his brothers were glass blowers, a much sought after trade in the booming chemicals industries on the upper Clydeside. She died in 1964, having been abandoned by my grandfather 10 years or so earlier for his 'fancy woman' as described by my mother.

My grandfather's early years are still a bit of a mystery to me. My father barely spoke to him prior to his mother's death and never afterwards. He did not encourage me to keep in contact with him and neither did my grandfather, but I visited him a couple of times in the 1970s. I recall these visits as awkward and somewhat embarrassing to both of us; he did not offer any clues to his early life to me. He died in 1979, and in his death certificate from his name is given as Robert Adams McFarlane.

My father spoke little about his family after his mother's death and up to an including his own death in 1990, our contacts with them were mostly funeral. All but one of his brothers and sisters are now gone and as a result, when I took an interest in our family history, virtually all of the immediate resources were no longer available.

One piece of information I did have from my father however, was that my grandfather was adopted or 'looked after' when he was young by a family called McFarlane and that his birth name was really Adams.

My own interest in genealogy was spurred by my wife's experiences. She was adopted as a baby in Glasgow and when her father died she decided to try to locate her birth mother. With the support of the adoption agency and the records office in Edinburgh she successfully found and made contact with her mother and her family.

Using little bits of information gleaned from my mother, I began to piece together our own family tree. The internet was a useful source of information too, but 7 years ago much less so than today's wealth of access. Trips to Edinburgh and Glasgow allowed me to better understand my grandfather's early life.

He was born in 1891 as Hugh Adams in Camlachie, Glasgow. His father died very young in 1901, leaving his mother to look after him and his sister Janet. Within a month or two of his father's death, mother and daughter removed on their own to Maryhill where the 1901 census places them in the middle of that year. Ten-year-old Hugh's experience can only be surmised. He was boarded out to the McFarlane family at this time and eventually took their name. He seems to have written his real parents completely out of his life from that point and their history has had to wait until I recently opened the book on them."

For guidance on the use of images and other content, please see the Terms and Conditions page.
High Life Highland is a company limited by guarantee registered in Scotland No. SC407011 and is a registered Scottish charity No. SC042593
Powered by Capture

From the Highlands to the Lowlands (part 1)

2000s

genealogy; family history; World War I; cemeteries; graves; graveyards

Drew MacFarlane-Slack MBE

Tracing family history has never been easier or more popular. Here, a former member of the Highland Council, Drew MacFarlane-Slack MBE, has written of his own experience of tracking down his ancestors. <br /> <br /> "I was born in the east end of Glasgow in 1951, my father was also born there but he met my mother in Hull during the WW2 and married her in her home town in 1947. Despite growing up near my father's family, and he had 14 siblings, we did not live out of each other's pockets and I don't have many strong memories of their lives and doings.<br /> <br /> On my father's side, my grandmother was of Swedish stock. Her parents arrived in the Calton in 1884, some ten years before she was born. Her father and his brothers were glass blowers, a much sought after trade in the booming chemicals industries on the upper Clydeside. She died in 1964, having been abandoned by my grandfather 10 years or so earlier for his 'fancy woman' as described by my mother.<br /> <br /> My grandfather's early years are still a bit of a mystery to me. My father barely spoke to him prior to his mother's death and never afterwards. He did not encourage me to keep in contact with him and neither did my grandfather, but I visited him a couple of times in the 1970s. I recall these visits as awkward and somewhat embarrassing to both of us; he did not offer any clues to his early life to me. He died in 1979, and in his death certificate from his name is given as Robert Adams McFarlane.<br /> <br /> My father spoke little about his family after his mother's death and up to an including his own death in 1990, our contacts with them were mostly funeral. All but one of his brothers and sisters are now gone and as a result, when I took an interest in our family history, virtually all of the immediate resources were no longer available.<br /> <br /> One piece of information I did have from my father however, was that my grandfather was adopted or 'looked after' when he was young by a family called McFarlane and that his birth name was really Adams.<br /> <br /> My own interest in genealogy was spurred by my wife's experiences. She was adopted as a baby in Glasgow and when her father died she decided to try to locate her birth mother. With the support of the adoption agency and the records office in Edinburgh she successfully found and made contact with her mother and her family.<br /> <br /> Using little bits of information gleaned from my mother, I began to piece together our own family tree. The internet was a useful source of information too, but 7 years ago much less so than today's wealth of access. Trips to Edinburgh and Glasgow allowed me to better understand my grandfather's early life.<br /> <br /> He was born in 1891 as Hugh Adams in Camlachie, Glasgow. His father died very young in 1901, leaving his mother to look after him and his sister Janet. Within a month or two of his father's death, mother and daughter removed on their own to Maryhill where the 1901 census places them in the middle of that year. Ten-year-old Hugh's experience can only be surmised. He was boarded out to the McFarlane family at this time and eventually took their name. He seems to have written his real parents completely out of his life from that point and their history has had to wait until I recently opened the book on them."