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A tale of two families

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 05 September 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a1203
  1. Colin R Paterson, retired reader in medicine, University of Dundee, Dundee
  1. c.s.paterson{at}

    Since about the age of 12 years I have been a self appointed family archivist. I really wanted to know how everyone I met fitted into the scheme of things. In the early 1960s I was taken by an elderly cousin of my father to an old churchyard near Closeburn in Dumfriesshire. She showed me the monument for the family of her grandmother’s half-brother, a miller, William Rogerson. Born in 1817, he and his wife had eight children between 1843 and 1861. All were interred with him.

    William himself died aged 43; according to the certifying …

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