Monday, 12 July 2010

The Golfers painting recreated

In March I posted about a project being co-ordinated by the University of Strathclyde concerning Charles Lees' 1847 painting The Golfers.

As part of my postgraduate diploma studies at the University of Strathclyde in 2007-2008, I, along with seven of my fellow students, was asked to trace the 'senior' descendant (i.e., along the lines of primogeniture) of each of those depicted in the painting, as part of a project to try and recreate the image for Fife's year of culture. Despite having as much interest in golf as I have in the sex life of a wayward newt (!), it was nevertheless an interesting exercise in tracing descendants across a 160 year timespan.

I was asked to research six of those featured in the painting, being John Whyte Melville of Mount Melville, John Grant of Kilgraston, Hamilton Anstruther, Neil Ferguson Blair, William Davidson Playfair, and William Henry Drummond, the Master of Strathallan, and I was successfully able to establish who five of the modern day descendants were. The painting has now been recreated with some of those descendants, including, from my batch, John David Clotworthy Whyte-Melville Foster Skeffington, 14th Viscount Massereene and 7th Viscount Ferrard, Baron Oriel (as descendant of John Whyte Melville of Mount Melville) and Patricia Diane Arbuthnott (as descendant of John Grant of Kilgraston).

The university has now released the modern day version of the image at with a key identifying those descendants who participated, along with the original 1847 version. The original painting and the new version is on display at the Open from today until Sunday 18th.

In addition to myself, the other seven genealogists responsible were:

Margaret Cunningham
Pauline Forsyth
Steven Johnstone
Elma Lindsay
Alasdair MacDonald
Maureen McIntyre
Audrey Wyper

The project was co-ordinated by Bruce Durie, course leader. According to Fife Council website, there is to be a book produced which will include our research - I must admit, I know absolutely nothing about this as I have not been kept appraised of developments by the university since our research was done, and I don't know therefore if this means a display book at the event or an actual publication you can buy - but if I get any more details, I will let you know. 

UPDATE: the trees are online at the site also.

Professional genealogical problem solving and research
Researching Scottish Family History (New book)

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