As I go through the family tree and look at all the members of my family that fought in conflicts around the world I feel so sad for all those young men whose lives were lost or their futures irreparably damaged by war. Another family member who I have not mentioned is from my mother’s Chisholm side of the family. Robert Stanley Chisholm was one of my New Zealand first cousins and like my Uncle Roy, he joined the RAF during the Second World War and lost his life flying in a bombing raid over Europe. You can read more about him by clicking here.
The one brick wall that causes me the most grief is for my 4 x great grandfather Hugh Chisholm. Even my Chisholm family history mentor and cousin Audrey from New Zealand haven’t been able to help me crack where he was born. I know from my DNA and the link is in Scotland but I can’t seem to shift him from England when he married in Yorkshire in 1795. He was a miner so I am now checking all records that I can find with the name Chisholm or similar who had an occupation as a miner as it was a job that was almost automatically taken up by the children. Fingers crossed something comes to light
With a prompt of “in the paper” I couldn’t go past my great grandfather, Alfred Wilson Chisholm. Born in New Zealand in 1867 he migrated to Australia and became a newspaperman, eventually becoming editor of some of the smaller publications in Northern Queensland. Unfortunately, in collecting the news he tended to drink too much and even before it was named “fake news” he found it necessary to sometimes bend or even invent a story. A scandal erupted because of his actions in setting up a prank and reporting it as a fact, this saw his career and marriage shattered. One thing that came out of it was a sketch of Alfred published by the “Truth” newspaper as part of a story on the scandal. It is the only image I have been able to find of him. If you would like to read more click here.
There are many of my ancestors that I would like to talk to and Hugh Chisholm is one of them. He is the last in the line of the Chisholm ancestors that I have been able to trace and although my DNA test shows the link to the Scottish Chisholms I have been unable to cross the border from England back to Scotland using documentary evidence. I am sure a chat with Hugh could solve that quickly as he was born around the time of the fierce and bloody battle of Culloden and the dispersion of the Clans. I have written his story as I know it to date so just click on this link and it will take you to it.
I have decided to take on the challenge of 52 ancestors in 52 weeks to encourage me to post regularly on my blog (https://www.amyjohnsoncrow.com/52-ancestors-in-52-weeks/). The first prompt is the word “first” and I scratched my head more than a little to come up with something appropriate. One of the first ancestors I researched was my grandmother Hazel Annie Chisholm. By clicking on her name you can see her story. What is interesting that after putting in months of work to find out about her relationship with her husband William Shute a DNA match has now appeared that shows I am closely related to the Doherty family. I always believed that Jack or “Pop” Doherty as I will always remember him was my grandfather. Legal documents show that William Shute is recorded as my mother’s father and I found it very difficult to reconcile that with how I felt about my Pop. Now I am just waiting for some more test results from a descendant of William to resolve the question and I am incredibly grateful to his great-granddaughter for agreeing to do this. Now I just have to be patient while we wait for the results to come in …. all my fingers are crossed!
Still buried deep in Chisholm family history as I try to move from Sheffield to my 4 x great grandfather Hugh Chisholm. Then Audrey Barney (my Chisholm expert) and I were discussing the dark colouring in the family as evidenced in photos in her book and my Mum and older brother’s dark hair and easy to tan olive skin. We wondered if there may be a bit of Spanish blood trickled down the Chisholm line from the defeated sailors of the Spanish Armada who sought refuge in the bays and islands off the Scottish coast. Interesting to think about but as I can’t even manage to get the family history out of Sheffield I’m doubtful this is something that I will be able to prove!
I have spent the last few months buried deep in the coal mining and smelting industries of Yorkshire as I have tracked my mother’s family back through time. I have discovered that my great great grandfather, Daniel Chisholm, was a coal miner and furnace manager in the 19th Century, living in the industrial town of Sheffield. To read more about him click here.