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Christina was born probably in Duncansbay, Scotland, to Gilbert Laird and Christina Dunnet. She married and lived in the Gills/Mey area of Caithness before moving to Wick about 1834. After James died at sea in 1846, she opened a coffee house and rooms for rent on the second floor of a building facing the market on High Street. Her younger children were raised there. It must have been an interesting childhood. Reminscences in a local newspaper described her clientele as itinerants, for the most part, and not always well-behaved. The premises were above an apothecary shop facing the town's marketplace, and it was a convenient place for peddlers to board. On the benign side, a German band stayed there. This wasn't unusual in Scotland. In May 1850 such a band performed in Wick during a tour that had previously included Shetland and Orkney. On the darker side, a man from Aberdeen selling fruit at the market, and staying in one of Christina's rooms, was harassed by "some Highlandmen." He was afraid he would lose his produce and sent a helper boy up to his room with a basketful. Apparently on impulse, the boy decided to throw water on the men from above, inciting some of them to run up the stairs to the inn and get him. Christina tried to stop them, but she was struck hard in the chest, sending her down the stairs. She was knocked unconscious, but recovered.
     After 1871 she moved to Kinning Park, Glasgow, where her daughter Margaret Rosie lived, and she died there. Their house and much of the neighborhood have been replaced by newer development.


children of

i. Margaret b. 4 October 1825, Gills
ii. Christina b. 23 December 1827, Mey
iii. James b. 10 April 1830, Mey
iv. John b. 31 August 1833, Mey
v. Isabella b. abt 1835, Wick
vi. William b. abt 1839, Wick
vii. Gilbert b. 1 October 1841, Wick
viii. Donald b. 7 August 1847, Wick





vital records sources:

1.

all text and photographs © 1998-2021 by Doug Sinclair unless where otherwise noted