Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Dead end?

These are my paternal grandparents, Lydia and Charles Roberton at the door to the house that my father grew up in, just outside Balloch on Loch Lomond-side.

My father had always talked of his mother's great love for her church and the fact that she and her father, Robert Whittaker, had been instrumental in starting the church, St Mungo's Episcopal Church in Alexandria.

Last year I decided to see if I could find any further information on their involvement with the church. I had my grandmother's obituary and a service sheet from the church at the time of her death which talked of her devotion to the church, how she had travelled there on foot from Balloch, and how much she would be missed.

I wrote to the priest-in-charge, Reverend Sarah Gorton, telling her about my grandmother and her father and asked if there was any mention of them in church records. Reverend Gorton kindly wrote back to me with the bad news that the church records she held unfortunately did not go back that far. She suggested contacting the library in Alexandria which I did. Unfortunately they could find no records linking my grandmother and her father to the church either.

So at the moment, I'm a little stumped as to where else I could search for this information. I'm sure it's there, somewhere. I just don't know where that 'somewhere' could be. I suppose this is the problem when trying to fill in the gaps in the lives of ordinary people. There sometimes just aren't written records to draw from or if there are they take a lot of finding.

The other mystery I have regarding this side of the family is connected with this photograph (below).

I can clearly see my grandmother sat on the front row, left of centre, in the dark clothing. I think the man sat centrally and to her right is her father, Robert and that the woman sat to his right, is his wife, Jane, my great grandmother. I don't even know what this gathering of people signifies. Could it be to do with the church at Alexandria?

Some brain racking is in order while I work out what to do next.

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