As the weather changes drastically on a daily basis I get on my bike as frequently as possible. It assists in relaxing me and opens the blood vessels to my brain. I am more productive after a good vigorous ride. All the snow and rain has kept me on paved surfaces but this week “The Call of the Mountains” could not keep from heading up the hillside navigating between rock slides and watery runoff. I did find some good solid ground and kept going.
This great adventure reminds me of the challenges of research. When I begin a new project I must work through what someone has done before to get to the truth of where the project stands. Sometimes it is easy to see the rockslides of incomplete and un-documented research. Sometimes as I wade through the muddy waters it is not so clear where truth lies and I have to pick my way carefully until I hit solid ground.
I have just begun researching my great grandmother Christina Maria Youngclause McNeish (I have seen McNeish spelled variantly McNish and other spellings as well). Christina was born 18 Dec 1874 at Inverleith North Mains, District of St. George, Edinburgh, Scotland. She was the daughter of Maria Westwood McNeish. No father is listed on the Extract provided from the General Registry Office at Edinburgh collected by my aunt in 1964. During a recent visit to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City I looked up the film that held a copy of the original register and found some additional information as well as the signature of her mother Maria W. McNeish. The original contained the word “Illegitimate” just under Christina’s name. The extract did not contain that word but it was clearly written on the original. I scrolled through the birth records looking at other recordings with the word illegitimate written on them. I noticed that many recorded the name of the father and listed the child with the surname of the father.
This has led me to wonder where does “Youngclause” fit in this picture?? Could this be her father’s name? Was it a friend of the family? Is it from a distant generation before Maria Westwood McNeish?
I did a quick search on “Youngclause” and find that the name is very rare and mostly in the Shetland Islands. I’ll keep you posted! In the mean time get on your bike and take a ride into the mountains of your research, it is high adventure!by Holly