Generation: Z

? Lindsay


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A Paisley weaver.

The name Lindsay is an old English one, denoting "Lime Tree Isle", of which there were two - one in Lincoln and one in Essex. From these place names came the surname Lindsay. Bearers of the name came early to Scotland, about the 12th Century. Some were ennobled in the 14th Century. We claim no descent from the nobility! But I recall with interest that when Margaret and I were looking last year for McLellan graves at Carluke we found Lindsay to be the most frequent name in the parish cemetery!

None of our Lindsays owned land or rented farms or crofts. They lived in or near cities, usually as tenants in a block of flats. So documentation for them is difficult. They appear to have been a peace-loving, artistic, sociable, stable, non-migratory family, the men being artisans, and the women working in offices. They lived, and so far as I can find, died, all of them, between Glasgow and Perth, a distance of 60 miles! They had a simple faith but were not fanatics. They tended to be Baptists, a sect not over-developed in Scotland, I suppose I am the first heretic among their off-spring -- and not the last!

They were not athletic, indeed ping-pong was their popular game in my youth. I don't think they knew extreme physical fatigue. I have the belief that fair play, the Sermon on the Mount, and the 13th Chapter of First Corinthians summed up their family tradition and teaching. They were not saints, nor evangelists, preachers or teachers. They accepted that station in life into which God or Opportunity called them, and made the best of it.

Political vehemence was unknown to them. Music and singing were among their great joys, and they all knew of the songs of Robert Burns, and much of the Church Hymnary. None made or collected a fortune, nor had one to lose. They appear to have missed the stresses of unemployment, and did not run into debt.

I see them as a typical artisan Scottish family living in Victorian times, hoping that Peace (i.e. the British Empire) would endure, not very aware of social problems or doing much to solve them, solemnly recording their votes at elections and leaving Parliament to do its best, while they got on with their work. With our education, inter-communication and hind-sight let us not pour scorn on them! What can we know of our future? We can see some of the problems but few of the answers!

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