Questions About Thomas and the 1911 Scotland Census

August 26, 2012 at 10:55 am Leave a comment

The information on my great great-uncle, Thomas Hall, is much clearer in the 1911 Scotland Census. By this time,, my great grand-mother Jane Isabella Hall had married John Gray in Perth, Perthshire, Scotland. Jane and John had five children, Lydia, Ada, Violet, Madge, and Ruth and were living at 59 Union Street in Bonhill, Dumbartonshire, Scotland. They lived near Loch Lomond in an area called Vale of Leven (Valley of the Leven River). The household also included four borders, including Jane’s brother Thomas. Thomas was 45 years old, Single, and employed as an orderly room clerk in a military barracks. He was born in India, and his nationality was listed as EuroIndian.

I had a few immediate questions when I read this census. Why was Thomas listed as an orderly clerk and not as a telegraph clerk as he had been in earlier records? Why was he living with his sister when he worked at a military barracks? Was he in the military or was he a civilian employee? At which military barracks did he work? Unfortunately, I discovered very early in my research that Thomas’s military service record, along with those of most other British soldiers in World War I, had been destroyed by German bombing in World War II. The questions the 1911 census raised in my mind were not yet to be answered. I couldn’t find any military barracks in Bonhill. There were some in Glasgow, but I could not find any evidence that Thomas worked in these.

More research revealed that Thomas had a long military career with the Highland Light Infantry. This information comes from his obituary which my cousin Jane sent to me. Luckily for all of us, the obituary also included a picture of Thomas in his uniform.

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My Great Grand-uncle Thomas Hall 1st Battalion Highland Light Infantry

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My Mom Ada


This blog traces the family history of my mom, Edith Porter Duffy. From the time I was a little girl, my mom would tell me stories about her family, who all called her Ada. I only wish I had asked her more questions while she was still here!

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