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A GENEALOGICAL LAMENT, OF SORTS
Has it ever struck you that, in doing family history research, someone else always seems to have the more interesting stuff happening in their family lines, rather than your own? That the grass is, after all, always greener on the other side of the genealogical fence? After watching the seemingly endless array of Who Do You Think You Are? episodes now available, I am more than ever convinced that all the exciting family history really does happen to someone else, not me. It is all rather depressing. I have no convicts, murderers, embezzlers, thieves, adventurers, explorers, celebrities, politicians or military heroes in my family lines – just dull, ordinary people. So I have resolved this problem – I now research other people's more interesting families!
This was not a deliberate decision on my part however, but one that was arrived at quite by accident. Also, I do not specifically select a particular family for my extra-curricular research activities – they have always come to me via other research I have been engaged in at the time. Let me explain with three examples ...
CHARLES SAMUEL POLLOCK PARISH: CHAPLAIN AND BOTANIST IN BURMA
In researching the family of my maternal grandmother, Eva Kate Burge (née Parish), I was delighted to discover Charles Samuel Pollock Parish whose father, Henry, was an older brother of my great-greatgrandfather, George Thomas Parish.
Charles Samuel Pollock Parish, the second son of Henry and Sarah (née Stowers) Parish, was born on 26 January 1822 in Dum Dum, North of Calcutta [Kolkata], India, where his father was serving as a Chaplain in the Honourable East India Company.
Writing Competition Winning Entry
MARY SMITH BENTON – A MISSIONARY'S WIFE
The Scottish parish of Keig is set in the picturesque valley of Alford, through which the river Don flows and only twenty miles from Aberdeen City. On a ridge, just north of the river and looking down on the grounds of Forbes Castle a Gothic style church was built in 1834. When Mary Smith Benton was baptised here in 1835 her parents, William Benton and Margaret Joss followed Scottish tradition in the choice of her name. Her grandparents were James Benton and Christine Smith who had married in 1787 in Alford.
We can assume that Mary had a comfortable childhood as her father, William was a Veterinary Surgeon. As Scottish Education was well-established, the Benton children would certainly have attended the parochial school, near Forbes Castle. The 1851 census records Mary as 16 years old and her occupation as a Veterinary Surgeon’s daughter. Her siblings were William 17 years, John 12 years and Joseph 10 years.