SCOTT, India > Hitchin, 1950s
of Advance, North Carolina says: I am seeking information on George Duncan Scott. This is a more recent
inquiry than most that you probably receive. George
Duncan Scott was my grandfather. My parents were divorced
when I was only three or four years of age. My Mother remarried an
American serviceman and we came to the states. She would be considered a
warbride. Mother kept in contact with my Grandpa Scott and also his sister, Katherine
Elizabeth Keell of Weston Turville, Bucks,
until their deaths. My Grandpa Scott
was a tea planter and left India about
1947/48. I have a feeling that when he took up residence in England that it may have been with my father's
second wife. Aunt Kate died in January of
1966 and I think Grandpa Scott may have
died about 1961. The last known address of my grandfather was 87 Wadsworth Road, Hitchin, Herts. Since I
am this side of the "pond" research is not easy. I know very
little of my Scott side and that includes
my father. I understand that he may have emigrated to Australia about
1947 following the war and his release from the Royal Navy so if there was a
second marriage it evidently did not last any longer that the marriage to my
Mother. I am approaching 60 years of age and I do so want to know more.
I have a few pictures of my grandfather and of my father as a young boy in India. Unfortunately, that is all I have.
I do know when my father was born and that he was born in Calcutta, however, I know nothing about Grandpa Scott or his sister. Aunt Kate lived in Ceylon
and was married to a tea planter. She must have gone to England in the
late 1920's. I don't know whether to think they were second generation tea
planters or if they went to India/Ceylon
as young adults. If so, I have no idea, from what part of England that might have originated. Any
suggestions or ideas would be greatly appreciated.
The first thing to say is that the amount of information
available in Hertfordshire is likely to be very small. If you move into a
house and live there, the only time you would be required to provide any
personal information about yourself which might be of use to tracing your
origins is in a census - and these records are closed for 100 years. However
there are three possible records you could look for:
- His death certificate (or simply his
age at death) which is given in the index. While the Scott surname
nationally is common he is likely to be the only George
Duncan Scott who died in Hitchin
within a few years of 1961.
- His will, if he
made one. The index entries will give his date of death and other relevant
information about probate, and the will could name relatives, etc., and
may provide other clues.
- Any press notice about his death - which could give his
age and other information. However, if he retired to Hitchin
to live with his son he probably did not merit a long obituary - if any.
My personal preference would be to start with the will,
because the will index is the easiest to use - except that the indexes for
such a recent period are probably not available to you. In your case I would
suggest you try and purchase the death certificate from HALS and
at the same time ask about the availability of Hitchin
newspapers of the period. You could also try writing to the current local
papers in the area asking id anyone remembers your grandfather ... [see Modern Hertfordshire Newspapers]
The same things would apply to your great aunt Kate Keell - and you could try the local paper, the
Bucks Herald. However, because it is such a rare surname (particularly with
this spelling) you might try contacting living people with the name in the telephone directory or on the electoral
register - particularly if Kate had a
family - to see if you can find a UK based relative who might help.
I am afraid I have no knowledge of tracing family history in
the Indian sub-continent.
If you can add to the
information given above tell me.