Catherine Blatch’s Family History

I had an email recently from Ms Christine Blatch in Canada about her family roots in the area. She has provided me with a set of named photographs and detailed descriptions of the people. Maybe you can help fill in some of the gaps.

Catherine says: The first three pictures are of staff “at a big house” in the area, possibly near Kettins, taken before January 1898 when my grandparents married.  My grandmother Emily Harris is the middle lady in the dark dress in the ladies’ group and I am beginning to think that Mrs Soutar (she would not have been married then but I don’t know her maiden name) is the tall lady in the back to the right of my grandmother. I’ve never noticed the similarity before. She is also the lady kneeling front left in the second photo and my grandmother is beside the man with the beard on the right.  In the third photo there is a slightly different group of people in the staff shot. Emily Harris is middle row, left and “Mrs Soutar” is in front of her.

The fourth photo is much more recent, being around 1920. The little girl is my aunt, Hilda Richmond and the others are from left to right – Nellie, Mrs Soutar, Emily Richmond (Harris) and Tom. It would have been taken somewhere in Kettins.

The fifth photo is of the Soutars when Nellie was small.  Mr Soutar was the blacksmith there at the end of the 19th / beginning of 20th centuries. I don’t know Mr and Mrs Soutar’s first names because I never heard them but their two children were Tom and Nellie. Tom was killed while quite young when a tree fell on him when he was riding his bike but Nellie lived (mostly in Coupar Angus but also in Kettins) until she died in the late 1980’s. I gather she was very well known around town. She had some strong opinions, I think!

How I wish I had paid more attention to all the stories my aunts told us about those days! I believe they came out on the train from Dundee to visit but my aunt, uncle and father used to cycle out quite often.

If you have any further information or you recognise some of the people in the photos then do let me know or contact Catherine (catherineblatch @

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