Simpson Family Genealogy Website
Family Stories and
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Home: Coussins Home Page Ploughmen and Dairymen in 1875 (To come: Family Recipes: Timeline & Tree)
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New Photographs from Rosemary in Stranraer
Champion Cheese Maker, John Simpson with his many trophies. We still have the two larger cups in the family.
http://www.coussins.org/Family/Simpsons.htm for more images and items of interest
Simpson direct family tree to John and Margaret: http://www.coussins.org/Family/simpsontree.htm
Simpson Data Page http://www.coussins.org/Family/Simpdata.htm
Margaret Simpson was an erudite intelligent woman who was well educated for her time and was an avid reader of newspapers and was well aware of the world around her. I asked her why this should be so. Grandma (Ma) Simpson was not like other Grannies. She questioned things, asked for information and was very keen on our hobbies and our school. She was exceptionally proud of Raymond who was a concert pianist at the age of nine and had a great big soft spot for the beautiful wee one Paul whom she loved to cuddle. Grandma Simpson always told me when I gave her grief, "you'll be sorry when I die". That quickly shut my mouth. She was right.
She taught me how to cook, make Ginger Wine and even took me to the family farms and to family members who lived in Newtown Stewart. to learn about farming, fishing and generally loving and respecting nature. One uncle was a great fisherman who taught me over a couple of days to make fishing flies and then took me down the River Stincher to help me catch a huge Sea Trout.
Another Uncle bred budgies in Stranraer and explained the techniques he used to try and get the first ever Black Budgie. We stayed there for a week and I was fascinated by this hobby. We had a budgie at home and I suppose that was what gave me the interest. I mocked my cousins when they replied Aye instead of my townie Yes and they in turn taught me pop songs form the 1950's -including the popular, See Ya Later Alligator.
Grandma Simpson taught me about animals, and when I was eight, I was sent down to Uncle Willies farm to stay. My cousin Sandy and I rode his pony bare backed and bare arsed around the field under the hot sun-I remember the sweat of the pony made it a wee bit difficult to stay on.. Well we thought Indians did all that and I cant remember whose idea it was to gallop past the cow shed. I fell off into the cow slip (liquidised cow dung) and had to walk over the field to the river to wash as I did not want the smell to come into the house. My aunt , his Mum, made the best Apple Crumble in the world and if I was good and did not smell of cowshit I was going to get that for after supper. He was a great farmers son as he knew everything about animas and explained top me all about the cows, bullocks and hens. He wanted to be a vet. gave me an interest in natural history and helped me with my homework. He did not become a vet though but an International Surgeon and now lives in Switzerland with his wife and kids.
I loved my grandma Simpson very much and miss her to this day. She was the first person in my family to die and it broke my heart. She was my friend, my confident and my other Mum.
Wigtownshire Creamery The Stranraer Show Cup presented by R. Fuller -
John Simpson won this in 1904 and 1905
The adventure that was India: In our English Scots tongue
John, my husband was a dairyman and a Champion Cheese maker. His abilities as a Cheese maker, enthusiasm for his profession and the respect of his peers, led the British Council in 1922 to employ him to go to India to teach the locals how to make Cheese. Killing cows was not on the agenda in India for most native communities and the British Government wanted to set up easy systems to both supply local communities with available materials and food but to develop an ongoing system of self development and experiment. All this was a bit hoighhty toitiy for 'fermers' like ooursels, but never mind a' that. This was a wonderful opportunity to travel see other cultures and comeback , hopefully, a' the wiser. Scot were well known for our education and with Commonwealth countries like India we were quite aware and indeed excited to find out whether all that we had learned in School and the newspapers was as exotic and exciting as we had read. Our old Queen Victoria had, we knew, a great love of India and many of our Scottish Soldiers had served in India for many years John told me that the British East India Company had soldiers in India from the early days and the Royal Scots had been there since 1860. The British Indian Army was well established in India of course and many Scots soldiers had served there for well over 50 years as far as we knew. The reason that we were interested in this was that the Calcutta Scottish wore the same tartan as the Simpsons, the Royal Stewart and our men's preferred colours were the more green based hunting Tartan. A kilt that John had worn many times at home. Some local lads from Newton Stewart had been in the regiment and, being a tight community, we knew them. These young lads, although some old before their time, had regaled us with wonderful and sometimes terrible stories of India. John had himslef briefly served in India during the war so India was not altogether a new place for him. It would be for us though.
We decided that this was, indeed, a great opportunity and we decided to go. We were to be away for two years. It was not feasible to take all the children so we farmed some out to our other relatives for this period. All our relative were farmers. Some rented farms and we were tenants and some worked on farms. Everyone was very excited about the McClymont Simpson's being given this great honour. We decided that the younger ones may be at risk with all these tropical diseases and we were advises to leave the younger children with other family members while we were away. We still had enough though with the older wains (wee ones) We got all the right hot weather clothes from the sponsors and had our picture taken for posterity. John was quite taken with his Keppie.
Bairns in tow, we went to Glasgow to get the fine ship that was to be our home for almost two weeks as it steamed towards the great continent of India. (more later on this journey)
We arrived in the Mediterranean and sailed towards Egypt and the Suez Canal. We were told all about the canal at this stage after asking if we were safe going through this man made waterway that seemed so vulnerable. Debts forced Said Pasha's successor, Isma'il Pasha, to sell his country's share in the canal to the United Kingdom in 1875. The Convention of Constantinople in 1888 declared the canal a neutral zone under the protection of the British, after British troops had moved in to protect it in 1882.
We realised that this was no longer New Luce anymore. John struck up conversation with the cook about cheeses and we were soon speaking to other passengers about the art of cheese making. Maybe that was to take the mind of the perceived constant threat sometimes felt when passing a group of Bedouin horsemen with very long Muskets who sat on the horses just staring at us, or perhaps they were amazed with the huge ship of the desert passing so closed to them. As farmers we were impressed with the quality of these horses and knew a little about them. We knew they were useless as ploughmen's horses and could not compare to our own Clydesdales anyway. We saw some that had been brought to the Stranraer show in past years and all the Farmers has discussed what they were useful for. Pulling a trap perhaps and for the Lairds lady perhaps. But these were show horses at Stranraer and stood with proud heads and tails that were erect almost above the rump. The gentleman who had brought them explained to us some of the background and as this was something we understood quite well, the information was very interesting. Arabian horses in Arabia were considered by Bedouin horsemen to belong to different "strains" or families. These strains were assigned on a matrilineal basis with each mare transmitting her strain to her offspring, regardless of the strain of sire. Seeing them in their native environment was a completely different thing. As wary as we were about the guns, we could only admire these fine hairy beasts, the horses wer nae too bad eether.
As we entered what was Egypt, Arabia and North Africa with vast deserts and reed beds, ancient monuments and Arab boats, called Dhows, we moved slowly towards the Red Sea shores, full of majestic granite mountains and sweeping dunes that enfolded Bedouin tents and lost Egyptian temples. The kids did not seem to be so in awe of the landscape but we certainly were. It seemed that we spent all out time on the deck watching this very oriental world go by. The steward regaled the children with tales of huge sharks and gigantic man (and children) eating crocodiles which the bairns had never seen and lo and behold, just as he was clearly getting carried away with himsell everyone on one side of the ship started to shout that there was crocodiles basking in the sun. These were indeed huge beasts that looked like prehistoric monsters to our collective eyes as they lay on a sandbank hardly moving as the sun started to warm up the morning air.
Such exotic names, Suez Canal the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea made this journey all the more exciting. However, disaster was to strike when our ship , exiting the Suez Canal, then ran aground getting out of the way of a muckle great steamer driven by what could only be described as a Captain that was a few potatoes short of a bag. Either that or he had been drinking too much of the local Arak. This is a Levantine apology for whisky. Both were the Deeils Drink. He just seemed to ram us without any concern for our safety. The result was a panicked captain on our ain much slower ship trying to take evasive action and in doing so, ran aground having been skelped by the ither idgit.. We were not sure if we were indeed shipwrecked but we were absolutely very well aware of the huge sharks and giant man (and children) eating crocodiles that were probably just waiting get their teeth intae a nice young set of Wigtownshire backsides. I think that the steward was sorely regretting his stories to the children about this point.
Anither ship was called to drag us away but the hull was damaged and we needed to get off the ship. All the time we were pretending to be calm and collected so as not to scare the bairns-although , even they looked a wee bit worried. Getting aff the ship was an adventure in its own right. The only way was to rig a bridge between the two ships but that was a problem as oor vessel that had been a safe haven for all of us was stood in sand whilst the ither yin was moving aboot in the water.. All of the ladies, many in their summer linen dresses, were very unhappy aboot literally 'walking the plank' but the men folk were 'seemingly' unconcerned although John later confessed he was a bit scared to fall in as he was carrying , normally very wriggly children who were unusually extremely quiet and held on to his neck very tightly as they were carried across what must have seemed like a chasm into a hell of frothing water below-no doubt full of giant children eating crocodiles and huge sharks. John didnae want to alarm the bairns and pretended he was full of bravado and not at all worried. Just like a day at the seaside. We all had nightmares for weeks afterwards about being eaten alive in the mix of muddy and sometimes navy blue waters. So much so I never really liked the seaside after that
We were taken into Egypt. The only place that we could go was into the exotic city of Cairo. We could not believe oor een as the motley assortment of horse and carriages that the authorities had assembled to move us on dry land finally drew near Cairo. Our exhaustion after this very long journey evaporated as soon as we saw the huge point of the great Pyramid. Towering above the city to the south west were the famous Pyramids of Giza. We had only seen drawings. This was real, astonishing and sent the hairs up on the back of our necks. Suddenly we realised that we were actually in Egypt. We spent three mostly wonderful days and nights exploring this fairy tale city. The children were mostly open moothed most of the time until they eventually got tired. We had been given a large room on a nice hotel and we took our meals there. The manager had given us four umbrellas before we went out in the first day. ,Was it going to start raining while we were in Cairo. He laughed and walked away. . The long journey had been inside carriages and so we were just hot and a wee bit, well a big bit, damp.. Still, the umbrellas also served us well as walking canes as we negotiated the sometimes broken and dusty streets in narrow shaded alleyways and markets. During our visit we had heard of many archaeologists in Egypt who had been coming here to search for the lost treasures of the Pharaohs. We decided to visit the Cairo Museum to see some of the amazing things that had been discovered. However it seemed that there were many other local people digging for treasures and selling them on to tourists on every street corer and every market . There were so many that we decided to buy a little turquoise blue beetle that we were told was called an Scarab. It was very small and we carried that with us as a reminder of our time in this place.
Between the heat, the flies and the persistent begging from what seemed like most of the population, the entire thing became tiresome after the second day until we hired a charabanc to take us to the Pyramids. What a marvellous experience. To see the Sphinx, to wonder how the whole thing was actually built by human beings so many thousands of years before. It was not at all easy to take it in. After all we came from a green and very pleasant land and now we were wandering aboot in the hot desert\ with unforgiving sun on our backs. We now understood way the hotel gave us umbrellas to use to try and keep some shade over our heads.
It was to end too quickly though as we were taken back to or newly repaired ship to carry us to even more exotic places. The entire journey out was exotic. however. The languages we could not fathom, the clothing that did not look out of place here was extraordinary for our eyes and the buildings, towers and minaret's all blended together to make the journey to India a journey that we could never forget.
And so we arrived in Inda.
Names you only knew from books. We had researched the country of course and even the language a little but also the religious questions .We liked to attend Church on a Sunday and were concerned that there would be no church for us. We had nothing to fear. While Hindi is the tongue of many of the people English is the most important language for national, political, and commercial communication; Hindi is the national language and primary tongue of 30% of the people but there are 14 other official languages and Sarah actually learned Hindi. ( Dad (Jack Coussins) enjoyed taking Mum into Indian Restaurants later in life as she would order the meal in Hindi. The astonishment on the face of the waiter was always good for a laugh and usually a free starter- Mum (Sarah-Sadie) was proud that she had done this while she was there.)
Church was the same as in Scotland. While Hindu was the main religion followed by Muslim, 2.75% of the population were Christian and so we were well catered for and so was Sunday Morning service and Sunday School in the efternoon for the children.
We arrived in the busy port of Bombay on the West coast and were taken in two large cars to the house we had been given for the period of our stay. It was called 'a Bungalow' and was on short stilts. It was in a lovely clearing with trees and other almost 'normal' garden plants around. In fact, apart for the shape of the house you would of thought that you were in a posh house in Scotland, it was so 'British'
Settling in for a few days , we found that we had two other house guests. These were two parrots. One was a wee green parrot and the other was a lovely Cockatoo. Apparently the previous tenant, an army officer, had been there for five years and had now gone back to Britain, leaving his parrots behind. At first they were no problem. They seemed a bit wary of us but one day when we had sat down for lunch, one of the parrots said Hello'. That was a great shock to all of us. We were all so excited. The children raced over to the Parrots who must have had a heart attack and started telling the parrots to speak more, Pretty Polly was being shouted at these poor birds in an ever increasing volume.
I told the children to sit down and stop frightening the parrots but no sooner had I done this the wee green knaff of a parrot said , a swear word. I was black affronted, embarrassed and the children started laughing and John was no help either as he started laughing as well. I warned the parrot never to use such foul language in the house again which prompted near hysterics from the rest f the family with Foul, being the operative word that caused the most merriment..
The parrot was quite for a couple of days after that and then it started. The swear words were pouring out of both the birds. I got in touch with the manager of the project and asked hi to move the birds but he replied that he had no where to move them and as the wings had been clipped we could not let them fly away. We were stuck with them. Two swearing parrots were too much and I was worried that the children would start copying the vitriol being poured into the air every minute of the day. Well a staunch god fearing farmers wife can only put up with so much searing and blaspheming.
I had reached the end of my tether. One day I opened the cage of the green parrot, grabbed it by the throat and, as if it were a chicken, I wrung its neck. Do you know something, after that we never heard anither word oot of yon Cockatoo again.
http://www.coussins.org/Family/Simpsons.htm Simpsons Home Page
http://www.coussins.org/Family/treesimpson.htm Family Tree 1
http://www.coussins.org/Family/simpsontree.htm Family Tree 2
http://www.coussins.org/Family/mclymont.htm Family Tree McClymont
http://www.coussins.org/Family/slaventree.htm Slaven Tree showing birth of Grandmother Margaret
http://www.coussins.org/Family/Simpsonstories.html New photographs of Grandfather John Simpson page 2 of the Photos
http://www.coussins.org/Family/simpsontree.htm The main tree chart
http://www.coussins.org/Family/photographs.htm Page 1 of the Photos
http://www.coussins.org/Family/Simpdata.htm Bringing up to date family members that are helping me with the research
This is a general link page for those wishing to progress further in their in their own line or into their spouses lines.
http://www.coussins.org/Family/kirkwoods.htm Family from Molly Simpson who married Hugh Kirkwood and the families from their children.