We spent our first few days in Scotland visiting relatives from Linda's side of the family. Her mother was born in Duns Scotland and her grandmother, who was born Mary Cowe Davidson has many relatives still in Scotland. Our first visit was to Linda's second cousin, James Davidson, who lives in Annan, just east of Dumfries, Scotland. We stayed in Dumfries and after breakfast on Sept 17th we headed for Annan. Jim was walking down the main road watching for us & we drove right past him (not knowing it was him) & got to their house where Shirley was waving a Scottish flag to hail us down. We had a very good visit. We stayed for a lovely lunch (salmon crisp, salad, ham, choc cake, Scottish ice cream). Shirley’s sister, Margaret from South Africa, was also visiting. We had a very nice time.
Here is Brian and Shirley, me and Jim.
And here are Margaret, Jim and Shirley.
Left there at about 3:30 and drove to Kelso (narrower roads but only got a bit lost twice). Made it to Kelso by 5:15, dropped our bags into our room at Inglestone House then drove to Duns, again only got off track once and drove thru Duns without finding Langtongate where Margarette lives. Stopped at a gas station where we filled up and got directions. I recognized the house as soon as I saw it, it is the same one I visited in 1967. Margarette has done some remodeling and it looks splendid. The gardens are still beautiful. We looked at some old pictures, one of DeeDee with cousin Jim, (her nephew), when she visited Scotland in about 1956 to see her sister Meg who was very ill at the time. She had always regretted that she did get over to see Alice before she died. Rachel’s husband, Allan Darling, died a few years ago. Her daughter Linda has a little girls and she has a son Allan Robert who has two children. Rachel was visiting for the weekend with Margarette. We will see her again when we visit Perth. We had super there (lasagna with fries and apple crisp). And a beer and tea. Had a very nice visit and decided to return tomorrow to visit some of the area.
Here are Rachel, me and Margarette. Can you tell we are all Davidsons?
On the 18th we walked around Kelso, it has an old Abbey, old graveyard, and many old churches with a very nice square in the middle of town. There was a lovely park along a babbling brook with swans. After our little walk, we drove back to Duns. Margarette was waiting for us. We decided to visit some places in and around Duns.
Here I am in front of Margarette's home. It has a beautiful garden.
Here are Margarette and I in front of her home ready for the day of touring.
Margarette drove her car and we first drove to Duns castle, walked as far as we could but didn’t get a good view of the castle, so then drove to 11 Tienhillgreen where my mother was born, it has a sun porch now.
Here I am standing in front of my mother's place of birth. DeeDee (our pet name for our grandmother) lived in Edinburgh with Roy Murray, her husband, but came home to have her baby. Roy may have been off in the first world war at the time.
Then we went to the Duns cemetery and saw Aunt Rachel's grave site with the notation that Uncle Robert Davidson had been cremated in Edinburgh. Then we took another path to the castle and got a good view and great picture. Here is Duns castle where people still live today. You can't tour it but you can walk around the lake to see it.
Then we went to Polwarth to see the old Polwarth Church where Rachel and Robert were married and where Pamela and Jimmy got married. The church was built in 600AD. Then we drove to Gavinton where Aunt Meg taught school, she lived in the Old School House and when she retired she lived there as well with Aunt Alice and their brother James. Went to the cemetery there and saw the graves of Aunt Alice, Aunt Meg and Uncle James. After that we drove to the Duns golf course to see where Margarette golfs. She is a very good golfer and golfs all over in tournaments.
Here is Polwarth church.
After a light tea (scones and tea and desserts) we said our good-byes to Margarette and drove to Edinburgh. We visited Edinburgh and St. Andrews, then on September 22nd we drove along the coastal route of the Kingdom of Fife, and then on to Perth. We stopped at the Tesco and called for directions from Rachel. We got to her place about 4:45. We all went to Auchterarder to Pamela’s for supper. Jimmy met us at the door with a big hug. Then we met Pamela and she was amazed at how much I look like my mom and Gramma. We had a great visit. Learned about Jimmy’s family, the Stevenson’s, he is the eldest son in his family and inherited the coat of arms and shield from his father. We met their daughter Elaine. They also have a son, Jamie, who lives in Edinburgh in Jim’s father’s house. After dinner we looked at photos of Jim’s and Pamela’s family. Pamela and Rachel’s father, Robert Davidson, died when Pamela was 15, he was 74 about 20 years older than their mother. They never knew their Davidson grandparents. Pamela remembers DeeDee who they called Auntie Mame when she was visiting in the 50's.
Here are Rachel, Pamela and I at Pamela's house in Auchterarder. We definitely have the Davidson chin.
And here are Pamela, Elaine and Jimmy.
We had a great dinner, salmon with Hollandaise sauce, potatoes & green beans from Pamela’s garden. For dessert we had cheese and some pudding pies, lemon and choc (I had lemon) that we covered with fresh raspberries and strawberries which are in season right now here in Perth. We had lovely wines with dinner, white with the main course, and red with the cheese.
And Elaine took this picture of Jimmy, Rachel, Pamela, me and Brian.
Jimmy and Pamela then took us around Auchterarder to the Glen Eagles Hotel where the G8 summit was held. They took us past the shop of James Urquhart, an Ironmonger Store (looked like our Hardware stores). We took a picture of the store front. You never know, he might be related to the James Urquhart ancestors that we are searching for. Then drove home to Rachel’s and went to bed.
On Sept 23rd, after a good sleep and breakfast at Rachel’s, we said our sad farewells.
Here are Rachel and I in her back yard in Perth. She also has beautiful gardens.
And here is Brian in front of Rachel's house.
We drove just outside of Perth to Scone Palace where the kings of Scotland were crowned. We just toured grounds, saw where they were crowned and visited the abbey ruins with the old graves - they were all Murray’s who were the lords of this area. According to a man who worked there, Murray is a Scottish name and no matter where they were born, they descended from Scots. On the grounds was a herd of highland coos and they had white peacocks, very rare.
Here are the Highland coos.
And here is the Scone Palace. It is the current home of the Earl of Mansfield. Fifteen hundred years ago it was the capital of the Pictish kingdom and the centre of the ancient Celtic Church. In the intervening centuries, it has been the seat of parliaments and the crowning place of Scottish Kings. It has housed the Stone of Destiny.
Then we drove to Glamis to visit Glamis Castle. 'A place of legends and fairy tales.' Family home of the Earls of Strathmore and Kinghorne and a Royal residence since 1372. Childhood home of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, birthplace of Her Royal Highness The Princess Margaret and legendary setting for Shakespeare's famous play 'Macbeth'.
It was a beautiful castle with many gorgeous tapestries and old 16th and 17th C furniture, outstanding glass and chinaware. We didn’t realize that the Queen Mom was Scottish. There were some great pictures of her as a child, girl, bride, etc. It was very enjoyable.