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23 Jan 2012

Great Scott!

It is nearly 100 years since my good friend Cornelius James 'Jimmy' was born, and twenty years since we first made contact. He gave me many recollections of bygone times, supplemented by those of his grandfather, also Cornelius, going back to the Crimean War.  I regret it took a century for us to learn that the Scott patriarch was in fact, Cornelius, a gentleman who lived to a very good age (97), like his namesakes.  In fact he died only a few years before a great-granddaughter met her end in Port Antonio, Jamaica.
My two descents from the Scotts would have lain undiscovered were it not for the will of James Scott, Cornelius’s son, whom he actually outlived.  Fortunately his second wife had died before James, otherwise we really would be will-less (I have only just deduced that my Susanna was named after this lady).  James names three married daughters, two being my ancestors, and a brother, Francis, for whom a baptism has yet to emerge.

But who can ignore the powerful evidence of the registers! Here is a series of burials in Ditcheat
and here are the baptisms in Chewton Mendip

There is even a Francis-sized gap around 1760 which would also fit his older brother Christopher 1757.  Across the road lay the black hole of Ston Easton with its lately missing registers.  I hope they looked both ways before crossing that road.  These boys married three times, Francis, it seems, to several Misses A'Barrow.

We have the story of a Scottish Laird, bankrupt, coming down to Somerset to begin life again, and this has always been attributed to the Scotts, as there was little to disprove it.  There is apparently a family book which has the name 'Scott' written on it.  Doug Padfield thought we were related to Scott of the Antarctic, because they came from the same village.  (No connection seems likely though Scott’s uncle did bear the name Cornelius!)  As our Scotts were earlier Scutts, long entwined with deeds of Emborough, I am putting these stories in one of the Mendip’s back lime burners.

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