Back in November 2021, a lovely collection of old postcards joined my collection, thanks so much to my friend Paul. They had all belonged to one lady Miss M Hurford, 125 Montgomery Street, Edinburgh, Scotland. She had a lovely collection, all friends and family I would think but only a few had writing on the back, so after scanning them all I sorted them and then wrote down all the little clues I could find to enable me to piece together a small family tree on Ancestry, starting with M Hurford.
As she lived in Scotland I knew I would need the help of Scotlands People online, they hold the National Records of Scotland. But first I wanted to see what Ancestry records could tell me after I had added what I knew.
Thanks to this young man’s PC below written in April 1905, he was CH. I was able to add an R as a middle name to Miss M Hurford. Could this possibly be Cuthbert Hamilton who she later married in 1917?
Then after adding just the surname to her father, I added Margaret (Maggie) as her first name and a sister Mary, Polly is the most likely nickname for Mary.
After adding these, Ancestry came up with the 1891 and 1901 census details for Scotland as two of the hints for Margaret, as you can see we can’t see the original but the transcription was good enough for what I want, even though the family’s surnames are spelt wrongly. They match my family also giving me the mother’s name Margaret.
The family are living at 45 Montague Street on both these records, so now I’m hoping they moved to the address the postcards were sent to!
I continued going through all the hints for the four family members, and one of them was able to confirm lots of information for me. Found in the ‘Scotland, National Probate Index (Calendar of Confirmations and Inventories), 1876-1936‘ was father Orlando’s details after his death. Firstly his address, was the same as the PCs, confirming the family had moved here after the 1901 census, and more details about the rest of the family, giving me his two daughters’ full names including their married surnames and current addresses. But also a different wife’s name. So now I’m assuming that his first wife Margaret had died and he had married a lady called Julia before he died in 1928.
So I was able to add lots more to the tree and armed with this extra information I was also able to confirm or deny more of the hints that popped up for the family. Now it was time to add anything more I could find on Scotlands People for free. Just doing a ‘Quick Search’ I was able to look at all of the following, plus similar searches for the rest of the family:
Wow, all this information is free! I’m impressed, I’m trying to have a thrifty year like lots of other people and only have an Ancestry subscription, plus a complimentary subscription to MyHeritage and so far I’m doing really well using the many free resources available online.
Here’s Margaret and Cuthbert’s family group, I was lucky that someone on MyHeritage had a good public tree and had named their children, which I checked out were correct before adding them to mine, I’ve also now added the children’s partner’s to my tree, and Margaret and Cuthbert had several grandchildren too. Link to my public tree further down.
The middle name of Robertson comes from Margaret Mackay’s mother, it was her maiden surname.
Looking at Cuthbert and Margaret’s children above I feel sure that it’s very likely that this collection of Postcards was in the safe hands of their daughter Olive Margaret who had married Leonard Lawrie Lumsden in 1949. Olive died in 2020 aged 99 years old in Edinburgh, so that is possibly how this collection was available, maybe as a result of a house clearance.
Orlando Alfred Hurford, Margaret’s father was born on 16 August 1860 in Bridgwater, Somerset, his father, William Edwin Hurford, also born in Bridgwater, was described on the 1881 census as a ‘Sailmaker, Partner Of Barrow Sailmaking Co Employing 3 Men & 1 Boy.’ William’s wife was Mary Ann (Palmer)born in Cannington, Somerset. William and Mary had moved north with their three sons to Barrow in Furness just before the 1871 census. Orlando Alfred their middle son was a Lithographer Journeyman so it’s likely that is how he met and married Margaret Robertson (McKay) as her father Joseph was a Type Dresser/Founder in the printing industry in Edinburgh.
All these first postcard photos below have no writing.
If only we knew who was who! I’m sure Margaret must be here among the faces.
A little writing on one below, from Mary and Jean.
Some interesting faces here.
This chap below looks very dapper!
These three PCs below are all from the same family.
This last one is splendid and needs more research to see if they are actually related to Margaret. But I was lucky and found these details on Find A Grave. The twins were born on 22 June 1914, Mary Hazel died in 1984 and Jean Estelle died on 2 June 2009. Their parents were Thomas Campbell Rutherford born in Edinburgh, Scotland 10 Feb 1884 and died 25 July 1945 in Illinois, USA and Lillian Rutherford (Bell) 15 Dec 1877-1973, she was born in Holywood, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. She had a sister Ann. All four died in Illinois and it seems the twins never married.
This is the family tree I have compiled on Ancestry for Margaret Robertson Hurford: Miss M R Hurford Family
Till next time then……