Isabella Reid Simon Hadden was just 16 years old on November 28, 1885 when she gave birth to a daughter, Jeannie Mathieson Dickson. Isabella wasn’t married to the baby’s father, a local 21 year old farm servant named Charles Dickson. Isabella and Charles never would marry and so Jeannie was raised by her maternal grandmother and the woman she was named after, Jean (Mathieson) Hadden.
Unfortunately for little Jeannie, her grandmother died of breast cancer just after her second birthday in 1887 and so, she was sent to live with and be raised by her paternal grandparents, William and Sophia Dickson in Culsalmond, West Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It is with these grandparents that 5 year old Jeannie can be found living in the 1891 Scottish Census, along with Jeannie’s two Dickson aunts, 2 Dickson uncles, and another Dickson granddaughter, 6 year old Lizzie Taylor.
Isabella eventually married in 1893 to Alexander Cameron and, in 1910, Alexander and Isabella emigrated to Saskatchewan, Canada (Isabella is pictured above ‘among the wheat’ on their farm). Isabella’s daughter, (and apparently only child as Isabella and Alexander do not appear to have had children) Jeannie married game keeper George Cruickshank in 1909 at Culsalmond.
I want to take credit for being an incredibly innovative researcher and being able to find Jeannie but the truth is the discovery of Jeannie’s branch of the family was gifted to me through contact with Jeannie’s granddaughter Marion Paterson.
Marion, my 3rd cousin, had to be patient when she reached out to me as I was hospitalized at the time and so significant periods of time went by for Marion without a reply from me. In the end, we have connected and she has shared family photos like the one above of Isabella that otherwise would not have been seen by my branch of the family. All in all a good result and a commitment between cousins to continue to collaborate.