Linton Church Header

Peter Telford leaves Scotland behind Part 1

Recording some facts of the family left behind in Roxburghshire by an Australian Telford.

Peter Telford    Born at Bankhead Farm in Linton, Roxburghshire in 1829.

Peter Telford birth 1829 Linton

But Peter didn’t stay in Linton where his  family had strong links with Linton and the nearby Yetholm area.  He came to  Australia in 1852 on the  Emigrant.  He was 23 years old’

Our native land – our native vale –
A long and last adieu!
Farewell to bonny Teviotdale,
And Cheviot mountains blue.

Farewell, ye hills of glorious deeds,
And streams renown’d in sing –
Farewell ye braes and blossom’d meads,
Our hearts have lov’d so long.

Linton Church and Churchyard

The church and churchyard at Linton, on it sandy mound.

Peter (1829), the baby of the family, and his brothers and sisters, were born at Bankhead Farm in Linton, Roxburghshire, where Peter’s father Walter worked as a Hynd, or farm servant, especially one having charge of a pair of horses, with a cottage on the farm.

Peter would have been familiar with his father working in the Bankhead fields with names Under Slade, Broomy, Thistley, Long Bank, Under Quarry, Pond and Cow. and  would have attended  the local Parochial School, which by his time had been shifted from a building beside the manse to Linton Downs.

It is an interesting parish.  In 1820, before Peter was born, Thomas Pringle had left Blakelaw Farm for South Africa.  Peter’s parents would have been aware of Thomas, the lame boy who wouldn’t be taking to farming and so was well educated.  Later he was known as the Poet of South Africa and wrote the poem from which I’m  quoting, The Emigrant’s Farewell, voicing his thoughts about leaving his beloved countryside.

Looking at headstones

Here are some  friendly family historians, who took these photos in 1994, inspecting some headstones in the Churchyard, which is built on a sandy mound.  Just across the fields is the village of Morebattle.  And it was at Morebattle that Peter’s great grandfather Adam Tailford married Sarah Hay in 1733.  But for the moment we are still in Linton.

Peter’s father Walter had married Jean Clark at Linton in 1812.

There is a gravestone in the churchyard at Linton, originally erected by Peter’s father.
It says

” Erected by WALTER TELFER in memory of his wife JANE CLARK who died 4.6.1810 aged 56 yrs. also MARGARET their daughter who died in infancy. Also the above WALTER TELFER who died at
Galashiels 1.3.1855 aged 73 yrs. and of WALTER TELFER their son who died 19.5.1860.” 

The headstones in the cemetery are being eroded by acid rain but due to the work done by a  band of volunteers we have a record of the wording on many of them.  In this case there  would appear to be an error in the transcription of Jane’s date of death –  it could not have been 1810 as she had her last child in 1829.  If she was 56 when she died as the headstone says then she could have died in 1840.  She does not appear in the 1841 Census with Walter and in 1851 his 38 year old daughter is acting as his housekeeper at Wooden Farm near Kelso.  So the transcription on the weathered headstone could possibly be 1840 not 1810 though I can find no record of her death.

When her husband Walter died on 1 March 1855 in Galashiels he was described as a widower.

From the Bartholomew Survey Atlas of Scotland, 1912

From the Bartholomew Survey Atlas of Scotland, 1912

Home of our love! our fathers’ home!
Land of the brave and free!
The sail is flapping on the foam
That bears us far from thee.

We seek a wild and distant shore,
Beyond the western main –
We leave thee to return no more,
Nor view thy cliffs again!

Our native land – our native vale –
A long and last adieu!
Farewell to bonny Teviotdale,
And Scotland’s mountains blue!

  • Thomas Pringle

I have copies of the certificates to the events mentioned apart from Jane’s death.

Further facts about Peter’s ancestors  on the next post,  Peter Telford leaves Scotland Behind Part 2.

In the meantime you can always find an interesting read in the weekly lists at Sepia Saturday.

7 thoughts on “Peter Telford leaves Scotland behind Part 1

  1. heneker52

    I always think of our ancestors leaving those green shores, and think how brave they were, what a lovely poem, and thank you for your post. It was so interesting.

    Like

    Reply
  2. Mike Brubaker

    I often think about the courage our ancestors needed to leave a homeland; to abandon family farms and graves; to travel over dangerous seas and inhospitable continents; to take great risk in search of a new life. Modern life somehow leaves us unprepared to understand their emotions and fortitude.

    Like

    Reply
  3. Deb Gould

    I walk in a cemetery nearly every day; it’s sad to see the acid rain obliterate names and dates! But there’s something comforting about graveyards, a strong connection.

    Like

    Reply
  4. Pingback: Peter Telford leaves Scotland behind Part 2 | Bound for Australia

Your comments are most welcome. It's nice meeting you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s