I intended to write a piece on the first Jewish settlers in Scotland, ideally arriving before 1870, focussing on those who either lived or sought employment out in the wilds. Hopefully, not only would this have been interesting and amusing, but more importantly recorded historical information before such accounts were lost to time. Sadly, there was only a limited amount of material on-line and in these pressured times the archives were closed, and thus not only was the piece never written: it was barely started.
I have not lost interest in learning who left the early communities in the larger towns and cities to live in a far-flung hamlet or spend their working week tramping the hills. However, ever the realist, I guess I am unlikely to track much down through the existing sources and so am turning to you to share your family’s stories; not with a view to them becoming part of a future article, but rather to recall the exploit, adventure or discovery with all who may be interested and before there is nobody left to remember them.
Did great grandfather Izzy take a pack mule to sell shoes to crofters? Was great, great uncle Shmully one of the carpenters who helped build Castle MacWhatever in the lee of Ben Somewhere? Did your cousin Zena’s grandmother Bella teach the fishwives of Benbeculla to prepare Schmalz Herring? The answer is almost certainly not, but surely you have many a story that should be told, in which case this is the place for it.
I look forward to many a smile, chuckle or ‘well I never!’
Author: Jo Capek