Ancestor Search

    By Chris Wright <mailto:[email protected]>    

I attach a scanned photo of a group including my great grandfather. It is believed to have been taken in India some time around 1850/1870. My great grandfather, William Webster Wright, was born near Dunbar 17.3.1814. His mother, from whom the Scottish connection may have come, was born 21-3-1792 and her name was Elizabeth Webster. Any suggestions about the tartan please. Could there have been any connection between Dunbar and the British East India Company, I wonder.

Just one further thought. There is a chance that someone else has got a copy of the same photo relating to their ancestor and can shed some light on its history and perhaps the tartan. Suitable for your Christmas/New Year edition?As it is believed to be a Christmas/New Year scene-singing auld lang Sian(Don't know how to spell it!) with arms linked. The foot on the chair,foot on the table was traditional possibly of military origin, but this is thought to be a civilian group. Note the bagpipes on the table!

This would have been one of the very early photographs. Apparently the civil surgeon of the area at the time (Doctor) had a hobby of photography and he might have taken it.

I am told these posed scenes were popular to keep or send to relatives-they would have been special and possibly kept over the years like this one.

They would have had to keep still for quite some time of course.

W & A K Johnston
Illustration from W & A K Johnston, "The Scottish Tartans" c.1920, showing the same strange idea for drinking a toast. Standing on the furniture was not allowed in my day - Ed


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