Fisher women racing

East Lothian Folk

HoeingtheFields_WMBrown_PaiOrdinary East Lothian folk seldom get a say in history. The activities of the great landed families tend to be much more written about. But in recent years increased interest in family history and genealogy has increased the demand for information about ordinary people in the past. At first sight an impossible task!

Musselburgh fishwives, Grier CollectionWhen we look closely at our photographs (and paintings) we often find that the day-to-day business of life jumps out at us. With a bit of effort it’s possible to piece together at least a general overview of work and play, family life and civic life at different periods. We have many other resources, such as censuses, valuation rolls and a comprehensive reference collection to hunt through for facts in support of Our Stories. Sometimes a general look at East Lothian folk is possible – such as our page on the Fisherrow Fishwives. Sometimes there is something more specific to say – such as our page about Issobell Young.

We’ll gradually add more and more to this section of our website. But if you have a suggestion for someone, some trade or some people at some time that you would like to learn more about, then leave a comment below. Or if you’d like to write about East Lothian folk yourself, please use our simple template and send it to us or go to Your Stories on this website.

One thought on “East Lothian Folk”

  1. Maryna van der Merwe says:

    JAMES SOUNESS from Haddingtonshire(East Lothian) is my maternal ggggrandfather. He was an 1820 BRITISH SETTLER and in Thomas Pringle’s Scottish party.
    They travelled on the 29th of December 1819 from Leith to London. They departed on the Brig, Brilliant from Gravesend on 15 February 1820 and arrived in South Africa (Algoa Bay) on 15 May 1820.
    James was a 19 – 21 year old ploughman and servant of Charles Jervis Buchan-Sydserff. Charles was the younger brother of the Baron of Rucklaw, near Prestonkirk in East Lothian(Haddingtonshire)
    James Souness was a substitute when 5 people in the party of 24 decided not to travel to South Africa.
    James married Susanna du Preez, an Afrikaans speaking girl, in South Africa during 1830. She had an illigitimate child by another man. James and Susanna Souness baptised the eldest 3 children in St Georges cathedral (Anglican) in Cape Town. Children 4 – 7 were baptised in the Dutch Reformed Church, Colesberg. They had the following children:
    1. Catharina Beatrix – named after maternal grandmother
    2. Anna Augusta
    3. Jacobus Johannes – named after 2 maternal uncles
    4. Johannes Lodewicus – named after maternal uncle
    5. Susanna Maria – named after mother & mother’s sister
    6. Johanna Helena – named after 2 maternal aunts
    7.Hendrik Alexander Philippus – Hendrik & Philippus are the names of 2 maternal uncles
    The traditional naming pattern was not followed.
    I cannot find a Death Notice for James Souness in the archives of Cape Town.

    I would love to travel to Scotland to find out more about his parents, siblings of James Souness. Where he was baptised/Christened? (What town did he originate from?)
    There were Souness emigrating to South Africa, USA, Australia and New Zealand.
    Name variants: Zones,Zounes,Sones,Sonnes,Sonus,Zoons,Souness(Scottish),Sounness,Soanes,Soans,Sownes,Sonas,Soonius

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