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Lyall Waddell Family

25 July 2003
From Dinah Waddell, Canada
My maternal grandmother was Jessie Lyall Melrose from Dunnet's Head, Caithness, born approx. 1880. I have the details of the year of her birth and her siblings in a file which isn't handy to me right now.  From my mother's information and some photos of Jessie and her mother: Barbara (Lyall) Melrose, born approximately 1855-60 at Dunnet's Head, Caithness. Jessie died in Port Arthur (now Thunder Bay), Ontario, Canada of peritonitis in 1936 when my mother was 18. Jessie had a sister named either Lizzie or Nellie (I'll check), who, I think, moved to British Columbia, Canada. There were other siblings too whose names and snippets of information I have recorded from my mother's memories, and which I will look up upon your request.

Jessie herself moved to Glasgow at some point and married Andrew Watson, an upholsterer, my grandfather. They had 3 children in Glasgow: Fred, Adam, and Anne. Then they moved to Port Arthur, Ontario, Canada. (Port Arthur amalgamated with Fort William and is now known as Thunder Bay). There they had another daughter, Barbara Lyall Watson, (b. Oct.31, 1918)who is my mother. She is now 84 and in good health.

She married Arthur Edward Sundell June 26, 1946. I am her only child, Dinah Lee (Sundell, Gibson) Waddell. I was born March 7, 1950 in Port Arthur. My only child is my daughter Scotia Leigh Waddell (b. April 25, 1986) in Thunder Bay. My husband was William Waddell of Motherwell, Scotland (b. April 6, 1945, d. Dec.18, 1995).

I am very excited to learn that there are still Lyall families in Caithness. Most likely we are somehow distantly related. I wonder if any of these good people still live in or near Dunnet's Head. My mother always told me when I was a wee little girl, that Dunnet Head is the most northern tip of Scotland's mainland (contrary to those who think John O' Groats has this distinction). A year or so ago while researching my geneaology, I came across a very old map of Dunnet's Head and Caithness. It even shows farms and roads, lanes, major buildings, etc. I'd like to know where my ancestors lived on this map. I'd like to know who they were and what they did. Is there anyt kind of community left at or near Dunnet's Head?  What tartan belongs to the Lyall family?

Does the Melrose family still reside in or near Dunnet's Head or elsewhere in Caithness? What tartans belong to the Melrose family? Are there still connections between these 2 families since my maternal and paternal great-grandparents? Some day I'd love to visit Caithness. I did get to Scotland in July 1969, but only as far as Glasgow, Loch Lomond, and Edinburgh.

If anyone can assist with answers to any of the questions please email dinahw@shaw.ca

Family portrait of the next 3 generations: My mother: Barbara Lyall (Watson) Sundell, born Oct. 31, 1918 in Port Arthur (now Thunder Bay), Ontario Canada with me: Dinah Lee (Sundell) (Gibson) Waddell, born March 7, 1950 in Port Arthur, Ontario, Canada, and with my daughter Scotia Leigh Waddell, born April 25, 1986 in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada.

2 old photos -- my grandmother: Jessie Lyall (Melrose) Watson (b. ?1880 d. 1936) and her daughter Anne (taken in Glasgow in about 1914). The other photo in this scan is of Jessie's mother -- my maternal great-grandmother: Barbara (Lyall) Melrose of Dunnet's Head, Caithness (b. ?1855-60).