It was difficult to get ourselves out of bed this morning being tired and jet lagged. We were expected for breakfast at 8:00, I should have said 9:00 to give us more time.
Breakfast was eggs, cereal and yogurt. The dining area had a big bay window on it and the bright morning sun was warming the room. After breakfast we settled with the proprietor then loaded the car. She suggested we could leave the car there if we wanted to explore Alyth on foot, which is what we decided to do.
Ancestors from Alyth
We retraced our steps from the night before, only this time with cameras in hand and spent the next couple of hours wandering around Alyth. Lois’ grandfather was born here as well as most of his childhood was spent here. We tried to find the old school that he went to, but all we had to go on was a class photo taken early in the 20th century that showed the class outside the school, but only a couple of windows were visible in the background. We were unable to identify the building.
After an hour or two walking around, we decided to get the car and ended up parking on a little side street to explore a nearby cemetery at the top of a hill in the north side of Alyth. We walked through there and spoke to a couple of local men who were cutting the grass.
We were telling them of my wife’s ancestry. I mentioned too that my family had come from Belfast, Ireland to Canada in 1848 and they joked if I wanted to find out about my ancestors to just visit the pubs in Belfast ! We all had a laugh.
Modern Day Relations
Before leaving Canada, Lois was put into contact with a cousin living in nearby Forfar and had arranged a meeting with her in Alyth. Her name is Linda Stewart. Lois couldn’t remember if we were to meet in the town square or at the top of the hill near the cemetery where an old stone cross was so we split up, I stayed at the cross and Lois walked down to the town square. It didn’t seem very long before I saw Lois coming up the hill with a smile. She had met Linda Stewart in the town square. We got the car and drove down to the square to park where Linda was waiting for us. By this time, it was after 12:00 so we decided to have lunch at the tea room just across the street from the car park and Lois and Linda could go over what they knew about the family tree as well as try to identify people in a number of old photographs.
We were there for about 2 hours. Once they were done, Linda made the kind offer to put us up for the night at her flat in Forfar.
We agreed and followed her in her car to Forfar, but on the way we stopped at the Meigle Pictish Museum. It is housed in a former school with an impressive collection of stones with all sorts of carvings on them. People, animals, icons and Celtic crosses are all there to be seen many dating back to Roman times. Its not a large museum, so we were on our way to Forfar about an hour later.
When we arrived at her home, she left her car and we all headed over to the local Tesco store to buy dinner and we could also get a UK based cell phone service for the duration of our stay in Scotland.
We had roast chicken for dinner at her flat. During our stay at Linda’s I installed some family tree software on her computer that her son uses. We enjoyed a quiet evening with tea and conversation about life in Scotland and Canada until we went to bed at 11:00.
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