Climbing My Family Tree, Part 20

Immigrants Walter and Isabel Downie

Walter Downie (my six times great-grandfather) was born in Scotland in 1697. He immigrated to Bridgewater, Massachusetts with his two children, William and Isabel (my five times great-mother). William was 11 and Isabel was 7 when they set sail. Walter’s wife had died back in Scotland. Walter settled on the farm formerly owned by the late Howard Cary, ESQ, in 1735.

When William, died 1747 at the age of 22, Walter became so distraught he sold his property and returned to Scotland. The following is upon William’s gravestone. In my head, I hear Walter’s words out loud, spoken with a broken heart and a thick Scottish accent. Continue reading


Climbing My Family Tree, Part 11 B

Immigrant Rev. John McLeish

Last week I highlighted my ancestor, Reverend John McLeish (my three times great-grandfather), who was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1809, and who immigrated to Massachusetts in 1832. Some of his children and grandchildren settled in northern California.

This week I have been in San Francisco, and I made some wonderful discoveries! Continue reading

Climbing My Family Tree, Part 11 A

Immigrant Rev. John McLeish

This week I learned I have family members who sought their fortunes as California 49ers and survivors of the great San Francisco earthquake and fire.  Continue reading

Climbing My Family Tree, Part Seven

Immigrants William Simpson & Janet Winchester Simpson, and William Clark & Helen Simpson Clark

This week I fudge just a little bit. My five times great-grandparents, William Simpson and Janet Winchester Simpson, didn’t immigrate to the United States, but rather to Prince Edward Island, Canada. William Clark, my four times great-grandfather, found himself in Boston, but only briefly.

What intrigues me most about the Simpsons and the Clarks is that their family lines originated in Scotland. Their stories include an escaped kidnapping and a shipwreck—complete with eight young children on board!  Continue reading