On the weekend I reread my cousin Ray Christison’s excellent biography of our interesting great-grandfather, John Hampton Christison. (Or rather, I reread the draft Ray sent me pre-publication. Thanks, Ray.)
The life of John Hampton Christison could quite easily be construed as a work of fiction. John was a remarkable man in many ways and was typical of his era in others. His fortunes foundered many times as he navigated the difficult waters of 19th century commerce and the passage of his life was marked by dramatic changes in occupation. Like many in colonial societies John was not averse to claiming a status in life above that accorded him within the restricting social structures of Great Britain. Time and again he claimed a past that exceeded his humble roots.
Ray is currently in Scotland visiting some of the “scenes of the crime”.
Also on the weekend I cleaned this old thing, which for some reason I have kept. It has no pottery marks and is probably not worth much, but it is a survivor of the 19th century. (I look as if I could be too!)
Now I am not sure which of my mother’s aunts that belonged to — a Christison aunt — Lillie perhaps, or a Hunter aunt. Or maybe it belonged to my great-grandmother Sophia. For some reason my mother kept it all my life — and longer — and now I have it. Below left-to-right around 1941 we have: my cousin John, his father Eric Christison, Sophia-Jane, my grandfather Roy, and my brother Ian Whitfield. Auburn Street Sutherland.
And from 1880: