became interested in my genealogy in the mid 70s but
numerous career transfers necessitated putting this idea to
one side for a number of years.
Finally, in 1989, I was in a position to make my very
first trip to Scotland, land of my forefathers, my father,
Andrew, having been born in Dundee, in 1905.
He came to Canada, along with his older brother,
David (1903), both having been, essentially, orphaned in
subsequently earned enough money to bring their younger
sister, Jessie, to Canada to join them in Brantford,
Ontario, where they were raised to adulthood by their uncle
and aunt who had previously emigrated to Canada from Dundee.
The result of
my 1989 trip to Scotland was an instant desire to learn more
about my father and I entered into the realm of genealogy.
During the years that followed, I was quite
successful in documenting my family tree all the way back to
1750, in the vicinity of Airlie, where my 4x great
grandfather was born.
However, there did remain one dangling branch, that
of my grandfather, Arthur Rattray, born in 1871, in Dundee.
He left Dundee in early 1908 to be employed as chief
steward aboard the SS Moeraki, owned by the Union Steamship
Company, of Dunedin, New Zealand.
For whatever reason(s), he never returned to
Scotland, abandoning my grandmother, my uncle David, my
father, Andrew, and their sister, Jessie, who was born some
four months after Arthur left for New Zealand.
challenge presented itself, what happened to my grandfather?
ensuing years, I trolled
numerous genealogy websites, cemetery records, any
kind of record that I could find, without success.
In November of 2007, Ancestry.com added a new free
database, Australian Electoral Roll 1928.
I searched and found an Arthur Rattray, 338 Liverpool
Street, Hobart, Tasmania, Chief Steward!
Could it be him?
All the indicators were there.
This Arthur also had a wife, according to the
Australian Electoral Roll.
My next step
was to send a query to the genealogy help group for
quickly I received an email response from a Suzanne Griffin,
not a relative, but offering to look into the matter.
Over the next few weeks, she came up with the 1922
marriage record between this Arthur and his wife, Constance.
In tracing Constance's line, Suzanne determined that
she was either widowed or divorced, having been married once
before. In the
process, Suzanne telephoned a relative of Constance, she
having died in 1950, the relative confirmed that Arthur was,
The next step was to examine the actual marriage
certificate for Arthur and Constance and behold!
His parents were correctly listed as David Rattray
and Isabella Will, my great grandparents!
subsequently sent me a photo of the grave marker for
Constance and Arthur and will shortly send me a copy of his
indulging in genealogy I guess the lesson is, never stop
looking......you may just find what you are looking for.
say, I am sending a Christmas flower arrangement to Suzanne
in thanks for her Christmas present to me.
Attached is a
photo of the grave marker, sent to me by Suzanne, which begs
the question, who arranged and paid for this marker?
Today, there are four separate Rattray listings in
the Hobart telephone directory (a city of 200,000).
The next step is for me to contact these four
Although Arthur was 51 and Constance 44 at the time of their
marriage it is possible they had descendants.