Tuesday, June 16, 2015

#1 - Banff

My Great-Grandparents (my mother's, mother's parents) had a collection of postcards.  They date from 1909 until about 1920.  My Great-Uncle remembers them being in a photo album on the coffee table in their living room when he was growing up.

I do intend to do something with them (write a book is one idea), but I thought if I put some of them up on the blog it would be a good way to get started.

So here is the first one.  It was sent on May 13, 1909 at 6 pm.  It was sent from my then single Great-Grandmother, Nellie, to her future husband, Jack.  It reads:  "D.J. (dear Jack) arrived here all safe and enjoyed my journey fine only wish you had been with me. N.S. (Nellie Steele)."

Jack was born January 27, 1888, so at this time he would have been 21.

The front of the postcard shows Scotstown in Banff:

Scotstown is a western portion of Banff, Scotland.  Thanks to a blog reader, I can tell you that Scotstown has primarily holiday homes.  The rail line is now used as a trail to the beach.  

I took a look on Google maps, and the buildings in the postcard are still there.  You can see where the train tracks used to be:

You can also see them in this photograph - thanks to the person who took this:

I've been to Banff - in 1986 when I was 17.  All I remember was rain and a terribly grey sea - my relatives and I stopped to eat a bag lunch in the car overlooking the ocean.  For all I know, it may well have been at this spot.  But probably not.

Interestingly, there is a little known town in Alberta called Banff (it's surrounded by a bunch of pretentious mountains and forests and some people go skiing there in the winter) - looks just like it's namesake (does sarcasm come across on a blog?), and there is a Scotstown in Quebec - population 547.


  1. Hi there,
    I recently came across your blog after my mum suggested I search a little into the family history. I knew very little about my mum's side of the family until I was handed a document tracing the Steele family back to Alexander Milne Steele.
    I'm the daughter of Anna Gillanders, who's father was John Steele, the son of Robert (Bertie) and and Agnes (Aggie). John died in 1991 so unfortunately I never had a chance to meet him and talk about the Steele family.

    Your blog therefore gives me a wonderful insight into my distant relatives and where they all travelled to, plus it is so lovely to see postcards from familiar places in Scotland!


    1. Emma - if you see this, please send me an e-mail at snratch(at)telus.net. I would love to be in touch.