Moments of serendipity

I had two chance encounters on the Island in August 2005.  The first was with Jimpy Mitchell, of Kirkcudbright, who told me that her husband Robert had family photographs of his grandfather’s time on the Island in the early 1920s.  He kindly gave me copies of these, and they were a fascinating starting point. 

The second encounter, as my wife Jane and I were on the beach with the Mitchell photographs, was with Owen Lonsdale, a Londoner.  He was leading a small family party, on his own first visit.  We introduced ourselves.  I happened to have in my hand, from the Mitchell collection, a photograph of Owen Lonsdale’s grandfather, Fred Heron, who lived on the Island from 1908 to 1919. 

Family connections

These encounters involved descendants of three families with a close connection in the 20th century:  Heron, Mitchell, Murray.  Another family swiftly came into focus:  Glover.  We had known the name of Dr Glover for many years, but I had never known who he was nor what his Island connection was.  We did know – in the second half of the 20th century - three generations of the McCulloch family, who have owned the Island since 1727.  Other local families who knew the Island well will perhaps come within range: Davidson or Fergusson, for example, or Sproat, or Rutherfurd.  For a partial outline of the Island connections of some 'key individuals' in the early 20th century, go to Family histories

A gathering of descendants

In December 2006 Agnes Heron, a grand-daughter of Fred Heron, asked me whether it would be possible to arrange a visit to the Island of Heron descendants, of whom there are very many.  I responded with enthusiasm and with the further suggestion that we invite descendants of the other ‘key individuals’ whose family histories I was beginning to explore.  We planned the details together (with Alexander McCulloch's agreement), and about 140 people told us they would like to attend. This became the Easter Expedition 2007


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