25 October 2015

#52Ancestors - Week 41 - Colourful

Week 41 (October 8-14) – Colorful. Everyone has at least one "colorful" ancestor. Share the story of one of yours :)
When I hear someone say "they're a bit of a colourful character", I think that what they're really trying to tell me, is that the person while mostly good can be a little bit naughty.

Let me start with my most recent discovery - found during a visit to the Scotland's People Centre in Edinburgh just this week. That discovery was the birth of Robert Dempsey in 1950.

Robert is the son of Josephine Henderson.

Josephine is the wife of my grandmother's first cousin William Howie Dempsey. Born about 1915, she is the daughter of William Henderson and Theresa Mann.

Josephine and William married in 1933 and they had, what seemed to be, a normal married life. They had 6 children together:

Teresa born in 1934, Margaret in 1936, Maureen in 1938, Thomas Henderson in 1939 - sadly he died in 1940 at 8 1/2 months old, a son still living born in 1945 and lastly, Sheila born in 1946.

William, during his early career was an Agricultural Implements Salesman. During the war he was a Naval Depot Storeman, then for a few years after the war he was a Commission Agent's Clerk or a Bookkeeper's Clerk.

Sadly William died in 1948 when he was 41 and Josephine was 33. Josephine was then left with 5 children between the age of 14 and 2.

You may have thought that Josephine would have had her hands too full with 5 children to be naughty, but in 1950, 2 years after William died, she had another child - Robert. Robert's father is not listed on his birth records.

Josephine died in 1968 when Robert was about 18.

According to emails written to me by one of William and Josephine's grandchildren, Robert (who the family knew as James) was born with Spina Bifida and was placed in Lesmahagow Hospital (Birkwood Castle Hospital in Lesmahagow) just after his birth.

Between about 1975 and 1985 Robert's 1/2 sister Maureen brought Robert to live with her family. He eventually was able to get a place of his own and find a job as a storeman. Robert died in 1993 of cancer.

So are there any other naughty ladies in my tree? Sure enough! And perhaps we'll get to some of their stories in upcoming weeks:
Ethel Cairns who had a child with her husband's brother while her husband was away helping family
Women who had children before they were married:
Annie Dempsey, Helen/Ellen Harvey, Jane Geddes and her sister Elizabeth Geddes (among many others)
Or those who had children with their new partners before getting a divorce or becoming widows (again a few of many):
Elizabeth Turnbull, Mary Agnes Robertson, Elizabeth Geddes (again)

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