Monday, 1 September 2008

A bit of self-indulgence...!

For the last year and half I have been studying both a postgraduate certificate and diploma in Genealogical Studies at the University of Strathclyde, and in between assignments I have been doing some fascinating research for clients. One of the ironies of this is that having been so busy during this time looking into various wonderful stories from around the world, I have had little time to do any further research into my own family history. Having submitted my final dissertation last week (the feudal Role of King Kames VI Hospital in 19th Century Perth, no less!), and then having duly caught a real git of a cold, I decided on some genealogical therapy yesterday, with a very long and overdue update to my website regarding one of my all time heroes, my five times great uncle Dr. William Henderson of Perth.

William Henderson was a truly remarkable man, who witnessed a lot and did a lot during his eighty six years of life. Born in Kinclaven, Perthshire, in 1784, he became a physician, author, kirk session elder, poet, inventor and more; he witnessed Halley's Comet in 1835, invented a world famous stomachic elixir, performed one of the first successful caesarean operations in Scotland in 1820 (the child being named Caesar Anna in honour of the occasion), recorded in detail a smallpox epidemic in Perth, with conclusions that contributed to the eradication of the disease in Britain, and much, much more. His poems tell of shipwrecks he had witnessed, the loss of friends, and most poignantly, the love that he had for his wife Margaret Morison. His investments saw him eventually pass away as a millionaire in today's terms, and his medical knowledge was at the heart of the student's curriculum for decades to come.

If you have ten minutes to spare, and would like to find out the story of a real gentleman in 19th century Perth, fetch a cup of tea or coffee and then pop along to my website at , where hopefully you will see why I have come to respect the man as much as I do!


Scotland's Greatest Story
Professional family history research & genealogical problem solving

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