Thursday, January 22, 2009

Back in Scotland

Flowers of Remembrance
Originally uploaded by midgefrazel
After many years of working with family members and doing research (a for-pay Web site) at Scotland's People, I can say that I may never know more than I do today about my Broadfoot ancestors in Scotland. I am amused at the fable that the name Braidfute comes from Marion Braidfute, the wife or mistress of William Wallace. Isn't that fun?

In reality, I only can go back to David Broadfoot who was born about 1785 and his wife Jane who were the parents of John Broadfoot (1808-1880). John married a woman named Mary Reynolds of either England or Ireland (census records differ). They had three sons and a daughter, and all I know is dates of birth for these four so far except for their son Thomas, who is my ancestor.

Their son Thomas is the ancestor of interest as I have managed (with some expense) to find out his birth and death and his marriage to Margaret Harcomb. I sent to Scotland for their marriage record and discovered they were married on 7 Nov 1851. [my husband and I were married on 6 November in 1971]. It is nice to have a certified marriage record for the first names I had in my hand drawn chart from when I was in my 20s.

When you can find them, and afford the expensive searching, the records from Scotland are wonderful and put our USA records to shame. People were obviously expected to know a lot about their dead parents since as maiden names, dates of birth and even dates of marriage. I love the names of their occupations. [one of mine? cottar]

As my father's name was Thomas Harcomb Broadfoot, you can see why I know I have been on the right trail. But, I didn't know who was the first Broadfoot in this family to come to America! As usual, it took the gravestones to motivate me to find this out.

Thomas Broadfoot (1829-1899) and his wife Margaret Harcomb (1832-1922) lived in Alpine Cottage in Dalbeattie, Kirkcudbright, Scotland. They had seven children and perhaps others that died in infancy. Their children range in birth dates from 1853 to 1871. Margaret outlived Thomas, who was both an agricultural laborer, and a quarry worker. At one time, they lived in a house that had three rooms with more than one window! [census records offer information we think is funny today]

Judging from passenger and census records, their son Thomas was the first of their family to leave Scotland for America. He left behind his brother John (the oldest) who was my great-grandfather. I know that John lived there his whole life.

It is amazing to me that I have actually found this out. My maternal ancestors came to America was early as the 1620s and I know more about them than all the people combined in this Broadfoot family!

But, for now, this story of granite cutters in America begins with Thomas A. Broadfoot....

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