Monday, May 4, 2009


Obituaries can be a great source of information. The recent death of my cousin Jean yielded a fabulous obituary about her and I have since been in contact with one of her grand daughters. I hope we stay in contact.

One of the few family obituaries I have a copy of belongs to my great grandfather John Hall. It's lengthy so humor me :)

Mr. John Hall, F.E.I.S.

It is remarkable the number of old people who have passed away in our midst in recent months, and now we record with regret the death of an old and very familiar figure for many years in the community in the person of Mr. John Hall, F.E.I.S., who, for a long period of years, was the headmaster of Drymen Public School, and well-known throughout the parish and district.
Mr. Hall spent practically all his teaching career in Drymen, the greater part of it under the old School Board system, before the advent of Education Authorities or the Education Committees of the County Council. He was a first rate teacher, having a high conception of his profession, and giving his long succession of pupils a thorough grounding in the basic subjects of education, and carrying many of them to the rudiments of Higher Grade work. In addition to his teaching duties, he took a clear and active interest in the public affairs of the parish, fulfilling various local offices such as parish registrar, inspector of poor, and heritors" clerk. He was also for some years a member of Drymen Kirk Session, and for long the able and valued correspondent to the "Stirling Observer."
In all his work Mr. Hall brought to each task a sense of thoroughness and careful handling of even the smallest detail so important in any public service. His willing services were continually called upon for the planning or arranging of public events of every nature. A neat and beautiful write, he was usually commandeered as the secretary on local committees such as the Reading Room, Golf Club, etc., the minutes of which he always kept in the most careful fashion. He was a lover of books, and it was a pleasure to hear his criticism or appreciation of his favourite authors.
Although most of his work was of a public nature, Mr. Hall was a lover of his home and his garden, so that both in public and in private he lived a long, busy and useful life, devoted to the highest interests in his home and community. Our deep sympathy is extended to his family in their bereavement.
Sympathetic reference to Mr. Hall's death was made at Stirlingshire Public Assistance Committee meeting on Tuesday by the chairman. Mr. A.K. Davidson, Bannockburn. Mr. Davidson mentioned that Mr. Hall, who had been retired for some time, had been in his life-time a school master as well as a public assistance officer, registrar, and everything that was necessary as a public servant and official in that area. Mr. Hall, he said, was a person who gave great service to the community and to the local authority.

So what can be learned from this piece of information?

1. a remarkable number of old people had died recently
2. Mr. Hall was a well known figure in the community
3. retired headmaster at Drymen
4. taught primary aged children
5. taught under the old School Board system
6. Considered to be an outstanding teacher
7. Taught the basics well
8. Parish registrar
9. Inspector of poor
10. Heritors' Clerk
11. Member of Drymen Kirk Session
12. Correspondent for "Stirling Observer"
13. Very thorough and detail oriented
14. Planned and arranged public events, willingly
15. Neat and beautiful handwriting
16. Secretary on local committees
17. member of Reading Room and Golf Club
18. Loved to read and critique books
19. Loved his home and garden
20. Lived a long, useful and busy life

So where would you look next for information to "round out" the man?

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