Our first day of traveled took us along the coastline with a couple of rest stops along the way. Our overnight stop was a very tiny spot called Sandend on the beach. 20 or so houses nestled into a tiny little bay - perfect! When we left, I schedule in a stop on Black Island, for some birding and seashore spots. When we got to Fortress the tide was way out, no birds in site, and certainly no one was taking their boat out!
|A local out enjoying the surf!|
Our stop in Alness is for Gordon to do some genealogy research. His father was born here. He had basic information, that had been handed down from other family members and Tom’s sister, who is a super whiz at this stuff and and ancestry fanatic, helped him with some background stuff to get him started.
We found one of the three churches in town, thinking that was a good place to start. Lucky for us, it was the one we had hoped to find first! They were just getting ready to hold a meeting of the elders, so we three became quite the talk as we inquired about the locals and if any one knew of Gordons surname. After being given directions, we headed off to the Heritage Center.
The ladies there were full of ideas, but nothing really concrete. As we were about to head to the library, a guy, Mike, came down and asked if he could help. We followed him upstairs to a very crowded room of old equipment and lots of boxes.
Along one wall he had a microfiche machine and a drawer full of historic documents. He claimed that he’d only used the machine once, yesterday, he was more than willing to accept help. It's been many years since I last used a microfiche machine back in high school, but we got it figured out and working!
Long story short, I stepped in to help with the microfiche and we were able to find Dad’s family listed in the 1901 census report! Confirmation! With copies in hand and a copied page from the local phone book we headed out. But wait, there’s more!
A local woman walking by had noticed Tom’s shirt, Focus on Feathers, as she walked past. She waited around outside to ask about it and then offered Tom all kinds of local knowledge on where to find the ‘good stuff’! I even got some tips about local food, and markets – her other passion!
So, tonight we did housekeeping, laundry and dinner. These botanical shots are some that I took at the reserve gardens while Tom was off searching for the next mark on the year list!
Tomorrow Gordie is off to find a cousin or two, or at least narrow the search. Tom’s having a successful time with his bird count and will most likely go track down more. I may just go wander and see what pops up in front of me. Right now, it’s raining pretty hard and I’ve got a brand-new book……could just be a quiet day – me and my book and a pot of tea!