Finding My Place

by Andrew Priddle
(South Guildford, W.A. 6055, Australia.)

My wife (nee Joyce Margaret Walker)was born at Glenduckie in 1923.

In the 1920s she and her family moved to Australia. We married in December 1948. Joyce went to Heaven on April 10, 2010.

We visited Scotland in 1985, covering much territory in about three weeks. In Fife, we slowed down somewhat. We discovered Glenduckie, the farm on which Joyce's father had worked, and the workers'cottages, in one of which she spent her infant years.

We also met a few relatives, had a wonderful meal at a restaurant in Cupar,and enjoyed Fifeshire hospitality as we moved around.

We went on to Dunfermline. My maternal grandmother, Isabella Erskine, came from Hill o' Beath, and often spoke about the area. She migrated to NSW and lived with her husband, George Murdoch at Joadja Creek,where many Scots engaged in the production of shale oil. George was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, while his Scots parents spent time in the USA. He was known in the family as "Yankee Murdoch". He and Isabella later moved to Perth, Western Australia.

My two daughters (one with her husband, the other with her daughter while her husband was not free to leave his employment)have since visited Scotland, including Fife, and like my wife and me, thoroughly enjoyed their stay.

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Sep 02, 2012
I have a similar story
by: Duncan McLauchlan

I know Fife, and padrticularly Hill of Beath quite well, having gone to Lauder Tech there, and living in Crossgates for many years.

I moved from my birthplace, Dunfermline, to the USA in 1996 and left without knowing much about my familly, and too scared to dig, for fear of what I might find beneath the dirt.
Last year, on a trip home, my 15 years elder brother took me to Ceres (near Cupar) to see the farm that my grandparents worked and lived on. I never met them, but had the sense that that had just changed. When I roamed the old place and imagined the ghosts of genes gone by, I felt a connection and sensed satisfaction that I hadn't really been looking for, but found, as an unexpected treasure.
My brother knew the place from his childhood, and took me on the tour, of that small but exciting piece of personal treasure. From the barn that was once their home, to the duck pond and weir, long filled in, to the fields and the countryside that's the essence of rural Fife: in chatting with the farm owner and his family and amusing all concerned by dribbling a football with a highly skilled opponent, a Border Collie. The dog won.

Thanks for stirring the memory.

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