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The Naming of a Chilean Patagonian Island by my Scottish Great Grandfather

Updated on September 9, 2013

Edinburgh, Scotland

The Bank of Scotland, a majestic building in the center of Edinburgh
The Bank of Scotland, a majestic building in the center of Edinburgh | Source

An adventurous Scot.


His name was John Robert Stewart, and his spirit of adventure seems to have been very pronounced. I never met the gentleman, but both my grandmother and my mother were always relating anecdotes and sayings attributed to his person.

He was born in 1847, and married Magdalene Hardie in 1870, “after Banns according to the Forms of the United Presbyterian Church”. The formal inscription of the marriage in the District of St. George, in the City of Edinburgh, describes him as an Engine Fitter, while she is down as a School Teacher. Their eldest son, also called John Robert, was born in 1871, and their daughter, Annie, did not appear until 1878.

There are a few local newspaper cuttings that describe Magdalene as a very gifted teacher, I would have liked to have met her, I think! I know she painted and drew superbly; I did get to see some examples of her work before they disappeared.

I also get the impression that both John Robert and Magdalene were relatively well educated for the period, and he seems to have been a very competent technician, in view of the rest of his life story.

Where does the connection with Chile come in? Well, traditionally the Chilean Navy has been practically inseparable from Britain in many aspects, not least, the origin of her ships, as most of them came from British shipyards.

Valparaiso Chile

Houses corresponding to the British community in the 1880s, Valparaiso Chile
Houses corresponding to the British community in the 1880s, Valparaiso Chile | Source

The Turning Point


The turning point in Great Grandfather’s life was the trip he made to Chile on a ship recently acquired from Britain. It seems the ship was a steamer, a relatively new technology for the times. A British crew brought her out on her maiden voyage, in order to test her engines before delivery. And John Robert, adventurer, was there in the engine room! Where else, for a Scott!

The ship docked in Valparaiso, having come round the Southern passage – no Panama Canal at that time! The provisional crew was provided with living quarters by the Chilean government while waiting for another berth for the return trip to Europe.

John Robert Stewart, formally from Edinburgh, fell in love with Valparaiso in particular and with Chile in general, and when he was offered a post in the Chilean Navy as a Naval Engineer, did not hesitate to accept, and then sent for his family. They all settled in Chile and never went back; he died in 1929, and is buried in Chile, as are all the rest of that family group.

There is one more important detail related to his family life in Valparaiso: in 1887, Magdalene gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl. Unfortunately the boy died, and the girl survived (just barely!) to be named Magdalene Jane after her mother, and to eventually marry in Chile. Her husband was a Welshman whose last name was Wrigley, and their daughter Gladys eventually produced me.

Chilean Patagonia

A partial view of the Straits of Magellan, and the surrounding area.
A partial view of the Straits of Magellan, and the surrounding area. | Source

Chile, a really long country

Chile has a very long coast line, not very easily patrolled
Chile has a very long coast line, not very easily patrolled | Source

A Career in the Chilean Navy


Starting in 1883, John Robert Stewart senior seems to have had quite an active career in the Chilean Navy, rising from Naval Engineer Second Class to Naval Engineer First Class. He even participated in the training of Chilean seamen at one point.

His precise starting date as Engineer was the 20th of September, 1883. Now at that time, Chile had just finished fighting a rather hard war against her Northern neighbors, Peru and Bolivia, while at the same time receiving threats from Argentine to join in against Chile as well. The war lasted from 1879 to 1883, but in 1881, during the war, Chile was forced to cede the entire Eastern section of the Patagonia to Argentine, so as to avoid stacking up yet another country at war against her.

Having won the war in the North, the next urgent task was to consolidate Chile’s boundaries and install settlers wherever possible, thus establishing her sovereignty in a more concrete way. The extreme north, newly acquired, and the extreme South, seemed to be the more vulnerable points.

With this objective in mind, the Chilean Navy started a series of tours of the southernmost coasts, namely, the Fiords, Islands and Channels in the Sub Antarctic region. Injeniero Juan R. Stewart, as he is registered on his naval documents, sailed South on the following dates:

  • December, 1885, on the “Toro” sailed for Punta Arenas for the placing of buoys and beacons in the Magellan area.
  • August 1886, again on the “Toro”, sailed south for work on the same tasks.
  • May 1889, went back to the Channels and the Straits of Magellan, to place new buoys, take measurements and repaint buoys already in place.

The Beagle Channel

Glacier, Beagle Channel
Glacier, Beagle Channel | Source
Beagle Channel seen from Tierra Del Fuego National Park
Beagle Channel seen from Tierra Del Fuego National Park | Source
Entering the Beagle Channel
Entering the Beagle Channel | Source
Panoramic view of the Beagle Channel
Panoramic view of the Beagle Channel | Source

Family Legends


Up to this point, the information comes from official documents that I have actually seen. What follows is a combination of fact and “family legends”.

At some moment during these trips to the Southern archipelagoes, Naval Officer Juan R. Stewart seems to have navigated in the area of the Beagle Channel., a strait in the archipelago island chain of Tierra del Fuego at the Southern tip of South America.

The Beagle Channel, the Straits of Magellan a bit further north, and the Drake Passage in the open ocean to the South, are the three passages that can be navigated between the Pacific and the Atlantic Ocean. The first two are rather narrow; therefore the extra large commercial ships must all use the open ocean passage, that is, the Drake Passage.

The eastern end of the Beagle Channel corresponds to a part of the border between Chile and Argentine, and the western end is entirely in Chile. Its northern coast corresponds to the large main island of Isla Grande de Tierra Del Fuego, and to the South there are several smallish islands, called Picton, Lennox, Londonderry, etc.

Several of the smaller southern islands mentioned in the last paragraph, were officially visited by the Chilean Navy ships during the 1880’s, while on duty in these waters, with the idea of initiating a preliminary description of them, and establishing whether they were inhabited by any of the indigenous tribes that were not too well known at that time. Many of these various islands had not even been mapped yet.

My surviving family members were not too clear about the particulars, but it seems that at one point in all this history, Great Grandfather Stewart went ashore on a particular island near the most westerly end of the Beagle Channel. The legends say that he volunteered, but it is highly possible that he was ordered, or that the Officers had a roster system and took it in turns. All in all, it sounds like a rather spooky undertaking, as some of the native inhabitants were hostile and rather fierce; and very little was known about the fauna of the area.

Be it as it may, Engineer Stewart bravely reconnoitered the island accompanied by one other person. They checked for fresh water supplies, took note of some of the vegetation, kept their eyes open for wild animals and/or other persons, and then left the island to its initial frozen silence, having found it apparently empty of life. For reasons only known to them, before they left they freed a pair of rabbits on the island. Legend also states that when next anybody went round that area, the island was populated by hundreds of rabbits!

Well, the island had no name, and a name was needed. So voila, the Stewart Island was born!

The Beagle Channel, showing Stewart Island

Showing Stewart Island at the extreme left.
Showing Stewart Island at the extreme left. | Source

Stewart Island at the Beagle Channel, Chile

A markerStewart Island Chile -
Isla Stewart, Chile
get directions

Island in Chilean Oatagonia, at the wes end of the Beagle Channel. It remains uninhabited.

Final Words


This is a family story that has always been very dear to me. When I first heard it, I didn’t quite believe it, but my mother finally located a map with enough detail to be able to find Stewart Island on it. That was a very thrilling moment for me; I must have been about 10 years old!

Of course, with the use of satellite maps, it is now very easy to be able to observe the island in some detail. What never ceases to amaze, is the temerity of the navigators who first searched these waterways, with no maps to guide them, and constantly threatened by storms and treacherous currents.

Of special note, is HMS Beagle, the ship on which Charles Darwin sailed. The Beagle Channel was named after this ship.

© 2012 joanveronica (Joan Robertson)

HMS Beagle

A painting of the period.
A painting of the period. | Source

The Nao Victoria, a Replica

The Nao Victoria was the first ship to sail through the Straits of Magellan. This replica is on view in Punta Arenas
The Nao Victoria was the first ship to sail through the Straits of Magellan. This replica is on view in Punta Arenas | Source

El Aguila Glacier

El Aguila glacier in the Patagonia, a long way from Scotland!
El Aguila glacier in the Patagonia, a long way from Scotland! | Source

El Aguila Glacier

Another view of the El Aguila glacier, in all its imposing glory
Another view of the El Aguila glacier, in all its imposing glory | Source

Some Beautiful Scenes From The Chilean Patagonia

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    • Anne Harrison profile image

      Anne Harrison 2 years ago from Australia

      I stumbled across this hub - simply amazing. Thank you so much for sharing this, you have obviously put in a lot of effort. The photos really add to the hub.

    • joanveronica profile image
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      Joan Veronica Robertson 3 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi DDE so happy for your visit and comment, I'm so glad you liked this post! I do love it, it's part of my childhood memories!

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A very interesting story of family history from one of the beautiful place sin Europe.

    • joanveronica profile image
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      Joan Veronica Robertson 3 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi Vinaya, so happy for your visit, comment and birthday wishes! I'm glad you liked this post. As to your family history, why don't you write about it? If it's not the thing for Hubpages, you could post on that other site we are both writing for! I would love to read about it. See you!

    • joanveronica profile image
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      Joan Veronica Robertson 3 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi Gordon, your visit and comment are very welcome! I find that Scotts seem to turn up in the most unlikely places, more power to them! And thank you for your offer of help, I will keep it in mind. I'm so glad you liked this story. See you!

    • joanveronica profile image
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      Joan Veronica Robertson 3 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi Nell so happy for your visit and comment! And more so for your birthday wishes! There are so many interesting stories about Britishers in Chile, I wish I could multiply myself and write about them all! See you!

    • joanveronica profile image
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      Joan Veronica Robertson 3 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi Sunshine 625 Many thanks for your visit and comment, and also especially for your birthday wishes! So happy you liked this Hub. See you!

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 3 years ago from Nepal

      I'm always fascinated when I read this kind of historical connection.

      According to our family story, our ancestors had helped the kings with money and logistics during the unification of the country. As an evidence,we still have a copy of a document signed by Prime Minister of Nepal.

      PS: Happy Birthday. I wish peace,prosperity and happiness in your life.

    • Gordon Hamilton profile image

      Gordon Hamilton 3 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Hello from Scotland, joanveronica. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your story. I am not sure where could help you further in Scotland today but would firstly suggest Register House, just off Princes Street in Edinburgh. ( http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/ ) They might be able to help you with even more information. Good luck and don't hesitate to contact me if you think I can help you any further with information from within Scotland...

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      What a fantastic story and family history! Wow! loved the photos too, have a great Birthday!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 3 years ago from Orlando, FL

      Thank you Joan for sharing some of your family history with your readers. Beautiful photos and story.

      Happy Birthday to you!! I hope you enjoy your special day!!

    • joanveronica profile image
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      Joan Veronica Robertson 4 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi, Phyllis, I was sure I had approved this comment! Well, better late than never, so thank you very much for your support and lovely comment! See you!

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 4 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Joan, this is a fascinating story about your Great Grandfather Stewart and Stewart Island. The family history and the history of Chile, especially the southern channels and islands really held my interest. You are a wonderful writer and introduce you family ancestors in a way that makes me feel I met them in person. I really enjoyed this hub and voted up and across. Thank you for sharing this important piece of history.

    • joanveronica profile image
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      Joan Veronica Robertson 4 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi SkeetyD, your visit and comment are very welcome!

      You are quite right, when I first heard this, I thought my granny and my mother were making a mistake! It seemed so unbelievable. But it was really true! And the name is still on the map after all these years, and I still get a thrill when I see it on Google Maps! I'm glad you enjoyed this story! Have a good day!

    • SkeetyD profile image

      SkeetyD 4 years ago from Barbados

      How wonderful to have such a legacy in your family! It must have been so exciting hearing this story for the first time. It was exciting for me. Thank you so much for sharing

    • Boulism profile image

      Boulism 4 years ago from Short Beach, CT

      Very interesting, thanks for sharing!

    • joanveronica profile image
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      Joan Veronica Robertson 4 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi Blossom, how nice to have you visit! Your comment is so interesting, I belong to the Anglican Church in Concepcion (St.John's Church in Pedro de Valdivia Street). What's more, my mother's family was related to Bishop Ian Morrison, who for many years directed the Church (R.I.P.)

      The World is really a small place! Many thanks for your visit and the comment! Have a nice day!

    • BlossomSB profile image

      Bronwen Scott-Branagan 4 years ago from Victoria, Australia

      That is such an interesting story. You must be very proud of your Great-Grandfather. A cousin of my husband's recently retired back to the UK after working with the Anglican Church in Chile, so I've been learning a little more about it. Searching for family tree members can become very time-consuming, I find.

    • joanveronica profile image
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      Joan Veronica Robertson 4 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      I'v just pressed a button that says "reply" does this go to you? If so, keep in touch please! I'm on facebook, twitter and G+

    • joanveronica profile image
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      Joan Veronica Robertson 4 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi, nice to meet you! I'm so glad you found my story, this must have been a really nice surprise for you. I wish we could keep in touch! Thank you for commenting!

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      Robert 4 years ago

      I was looking into Scottish ancestry information from Chile and ran into your wonderful story. I myself am Chilean and have a Stewart last name but know nothing about who my ancestors were or what part of Scottland they came from. It was a pleasant surprise to read your story, thank you for sharing it.

    • joanveronica profile image
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      Joan Veronica Robertson 4 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi Jools99, thanks for the visit and the comment, nice to have both! I would certainly go for the ebook, that is my objective too! Maybe the book could be the center and then have a blog to relate to it? This should work well, so go for it! Have a good day!

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

      Joan, sorry for taking so long to come back to read your comment - I have been thinking about putting my family history down somewhere, so far it's a box file full of notes and photocopies of birth records etc. The most interesting part of my family history has been putting flesh onto the bones of these people, mainly ordinary folk - miners, Tyne watermen, stone-masons etc. I thought about a blog but an e-book sounds more fun :o)

    • joanveronica profile image
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      Joan Veronica Robertson 4 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi there Just History, many thanks for your visit and your comment, they are very much appreciated! This was one of my favorite family legends when I was growing up, it holds many warm memories. I always loved this story! Have a good day and thanks again!

    • Just History profile image

      Just History 4 years ago from England

      What a deightful hub. It always interests me how places get their names- when I was a child I thought it was simply luck but suddenly when I was in my 30's I realised that there was actually some meaning to it. Voted up, interesting etc

    • joanveronica profile image
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      Joan Veronica Robertson 4 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi again, Jools, how very interesting your ancestry sounds! Have you found documents, like marriage certificates and such? I registered very briefly at ancestry.com they have an amazing service. That's where I got some information and dates. You should start writing hubs, or better still, an ebook. Very soon the present generations will not have any "ancestry" to relate to. And publishing is so much easier now than it used to be. Go for it! I will be your first reader!

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

      I really enjoyed your story because I have studied my family tree (and still am) and my greatx3 grandfather was a mariner and my great-great grandfather was a Tyne Waterman - basically he rowed his little boat across the River Tyne, taking passengers from my hometown south of the river to wherever they were going north of the river. I have read up on it a bit and he probably charged them tuppence there and back - he had about 10 kids so they weren't exactly swimming in money!

    • joanveronica profile image
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      Joan Veronica Robertson 4 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi Jools, your visit and comment etc, are much appreciated! I certainly agree with your comment about mariners of years gone by, their feats are still astounding!

      It seems you were able to identify very easily with this story, have you always lived in "North-East UK"? Isn't it wonderful how ancestry reflects on people's thoughts and feelings? I have lived all my life in Chile, but I can identify with British history and profiles very easily. Not so much with the modern times, though!

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools99 4 years ago from North-East UK

      Joan, what an interesting hub - and how wonderful to have a whole island named after your great-grandfather; a rare distinction indeed! That whole area must have been a nighmare to navigate and I expect your great-grandfather was sent out in a rowing boat to investigate these rocky outcrops and small islands - mariners were certainly a fearless bunch in those days! Voted up, shared etc.

    • joanveronica profile image
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      Joan Veronica Robertson 5 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi Angela, thanks for the visit and the share! I did my part for hubbers alert, worked on it yesterday and this morning, now I'm getting red triangles again, whoopee!

    • Angela Brummer profile image

      Angela Brummer 5 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

      Your grandfathers life well deserved a tribute! Thank you so much for sharing and what a beautiful hub!

      Shared via hubbers alert by Angela Brummer, twitter, google+, stumble upon, facebook, my hub following.

    • joanveronica profile image
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      Joan Veronica Robertson 5 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi, glad you liked the Hub! I have been researching on and off for some years, I do hope to write an ebook eventually! I don't know if this will ever happen, but I can dream! Be happy!

    • Redberry Sky profile image

      Redberry Sky 5 years ago

      Hi Joan, a stunning Hub, and a wonderful story. What a brilliant claim to fame, to have your own island (well, not quite, but almost!). I love the detail that he was an engineer (I always had a soft spot for Scotty in Star Trek…). A beautifully written tale, and lord knows how much research you’ve put into finding out so much – my cousin spent months trying to track down our ancestry and still had no luck.

    • joanveronica profile image
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      Joan Veronica Robertson 5 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi, Claudio, thanks for the visit! And tell Francisca the efforts are all mine and mine alone! I hope you are all doing fine, I'm enjoying my writing activities very much.

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      Claudio Muller 5 years ago

      Hi Joan, once again you have surprised me. A very good story. Francisca does not believe you are writing all these cute articles on line... I hope you are fine.

      Claudio.

    • joanveronica profile image
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      Joan Veronica Robertson 5 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Oh, thank you indeed for your comment! I'm so glad you liked it, and your comment is very enlightening. Thank you again!

    • profile image

      Gonzalo Lagarini 5 years ago

      Amazing story and one that repeats along our naval history...O`Brien, Hyatt, Simpson, Cochrane...so many that risked it all to come all the way to the "end of the world" to serve and discover new and beautiful places..."gracias" for sharing.

      Cheers...from a retired Chilean Naval Officer

    • joanveronica profile image
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      Joan Veronica Robertson 5 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi, friend, thank you for your visit and the comment, I'm glad you liked the Hub!

    • hi friend profile image

      hi friend 5 years ago from India

      Special narration of the older generation of the family.

      Well done

    • joanveronica profile image
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      Joan Veronica Robertson 5 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Thank you InglenookObserver! Yes indeed, satellite would have reduced the adventures far too much I think! There would be nothing to tell... John Robert Stewart must be turning in his grave to see these satellite maps of "his" island!

    • InglenookObserver profile image

      InglenookObserver 5 years ago from Southwestern Wisconsin

      Dear JoanVeronica,

      How lovely to know this story about your ancestors and to be able to see the island, courtesy of a satellite. Your great grandfather could probably not have imagined.

      Thank you for sharing this story.

    • joanveronica profile image
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      Joan Veronica Robertson 5 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Once again, thank you all for your opinions and feedback, I still have so much to learn about putting articles together! Cyber Shelley, yes indeed, researches have already started to investigate our underseas discoveries of note! Not for me, though, I prefer solid land!

      Hi John, so glad you liked it! It seems such a short time ago I was wondering whether to join or not to join Hubpages! Happily I did, this has been a great experience for me!

    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

      Hi joanveronica, what a wonderful hub this is. I think phdast7 (fellow hubber) wrote something about one of her female ancestor and I was quite taken by it; I'm quite taken by this hub about one of your ancestors. ...extremely well written hub!...

      Voted up and away.

      John

    • CyberShelley profile image

      Shelley Watson 5 years ago

      What a wonderful piece of family history. An amazing man your grandfather, sometimes I envy the explorers of yester-year who could still discover unknown parts of our world. Whilst we can still have our own private adventures - I think adventures that are written up in the history books will have to be discoveries below the sea or above the atmosphere. Beautiful photographs and very, very well written.

    • joanveronica profile image
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      Joan Veronica Robertson 5 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      I'm really happy with the response to this Hub! I have been researching since before I joined Hubpages, and this has confirmed my opinion about the value of the material I have collected. I am so glad you like this sample! Thank you, phdast7, lord de cross, and tillsontitan, This is valuable feedback indeed! I think this is part of the value of Hubpages!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

      Talk about temerity, what a family history you have! Guess that's where you get your innovation from. You provided so much information I had to read this twice to make sure I didn't miss anything! Voted up and interesting.

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 5 years ago

      Probably you should write about Lord Cochrane and San Martin? Just a thought and a suggestion!

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 5 years ago

      Like Phdas7, your writing is really catchy and took us to the end. Your family history traces tidbits of epic stories, that were lost to time. I can imagine your great grandfather doing his best to make a living, on frigid territory. Luckily a Scot by nature and birth, gave him the strenght to make it to a foreign land. Great piece Joan!

      LORD

    • phdast7 profile image

      Theresa Ast 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      What a wonderful Hub. Such interesting family history. You write very well and the pictures are great. So glad I stumbled across on of your comments on another Hub.

      We are both educators, although I am not retired yet, maybe in ten years; many of my hubs are about WW II, the concentration camps in particular. Looking forward to reading more of your work. :)

    • alian346 profile image

      alian346 5 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

      You must come and I'll show you around Edinburgh!

      I look forward to your future Hubs.

      Ian.

    • joanveronica profile image
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      Joan Veronica Robertson 5 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Thanks for the comment, and I'm so glad you enjoyed my Hub! Yes indeed, Scotland is a special place, even though I have never been there! My upbringing was very strong on all things Scottish, including whisky! And yes, my family history has lots of twists and turns, some of them quite fascinating. So there's more to come! Enjoy!

    • alian346 profile image

      alian346 5 years ago from Edinburgh, Scotland

      Oh! joanveronica - this is fabulous stuff.

      D'you know this weekend I have had my brother and his wife to visit and just last night - after a very nice meal in the Dome in George Street - I took them to see floodlit Edinburgh and there was the Bank of Scotland looking beautiful!

      I bet your Great Grandfather did a lot of work in the Port of Leith in his earlier life. BTW - I love your 'Star Trek' allusion!

      What a familial history you have (Welsh too!) and what a man he was - an island named after him - wow! I'm impressed. You must be very proud and it must be fascinating to have such an international family tree - but Scotland still is a special place, isn't it!?

      Ian.

    • joanveronica profile image
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      Joan Veronica Robertson 5 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hi, thank you for your comment, I'm glad you read this Hub, I was thinking of you when I published it! Thanks for the Vote too! I'm glad you liked it.

    • alliemacb profile image

      alliemacb 5 years ago from Scotland

      This is such an interesting story and so entertaining to read. Thank you for sharing. Voted up and awesome.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 5 years ago

      How fascinating! I also would be proud of such a heritage. You told the story with great interest and it was an enjoyable read. Thanks for sharing some of your family history with us.

    • joanveronica profile image
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      Joan Veronica Robertson 5 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Thanks for the visit, my friend! I agree about the hardships. I have always been filled with admiration for Great Grandmother Magdalene, who followed her husband into the unkown, children and all. She sold her school when she left Scotland! Talk of burning bridges!

    • UnnamedHarald profile image

      David Hunt 5 years ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

      Very cool. It's hard to imagine the hardhips involved in traveling back in the 19th Century. Your great-grandfather seems to have been quite the adventurer. Voted up and interesting.

    • joanveronica profile image
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      Joan Veronica Robertson 5 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

      Hey, thanks for the comment! But I have to agree, the older generations of my family were rather special! I hope to write more soon!

    • SandyMcCollum profile image

      SandyMcCollum 5 years ago

      Wow, what a heritage and history you have here! VERY interesting, thanks for sharing it all. There's a lot of information in this piece and it kept my attention. Voting up!