It's time to meet another one of our Wonderful WikiTreers. This week's member is Margaret Allison.
Margaret became a Wiki Genealogist in August of 2019. She is involved with our New Zealand and Scotland projects.
What are some of the surnames you are researching?
I am concentrating on my father’s family as my mother spent 50 years researching hers – Dickson, Cumming, Lockhart, Ligate/Ligget, McLean, MacDonald, MacKay, MacRae, Fraser, Mackenzie, McKinnon, Jamieson.
My mother’s Scottish family name are Thomson, Murphy, Roddick, Carruthers, Farish (with many spellings), Waugh, Harvey, Oliver, Turnbull – and the English ones are Welch, Pearson, Read, Ansley, Browning.
What are some of the locations you are researching?
Scotland and Ireland, mainly Ulster – the family in New Zealand is well documented. But I have cousins all over the world where Scots emigrated.
When and how did you get interested in genealogy?
From age 8 I was interested in history (my mother had taught history). While other children did arithmetic sheets at school (I had done all years in my first year), I was allowed to do projects on whatever I liked. Science and history were my main interests. My mother was doing genealogy from the time that I was born, so it’s in the blood! Initially it was to find her father’s family as he had been adopted by his aunt. But her mother’s family became her main passion, one of New Zealand’s pioneering families. When I travelled, I visited registry offices to get information for her.
Who's your favourite ancestor and why?
Hannah Dickson, my father’s paternal grandmother, after whom he was named as was I. She was born about 1831 in Castleblayney, Monaghan, married in Liverpool, England to a much older man as his second wife, emigrated with him to the Colony of Victoria where my grandfather was born, then came with her daughters to New Zealand after both her sons had emigrated there. What a story she could tell! I would like to ask her who her family is as we are still discovering them through DNA matching and much research.
Tell us about a brick wall you hope to bust through.
My father’s line has proved to be very difficult because of the long generations meaning that I DNA match people 2 or 3 generations away from me. But recently I had a breakthrough with my 2xgreat grandfather, finding many DNA matches to two siblings who I believe, from circumstantial evidence, are probably his siblings. More research is to be done to confirm this.
If you could pick one person in history to be related to, who would it be and why?
Ada, Countess Lovelace, the first person to write a computer program. I started programming computers in 1965. And Marie Curie, a woman scientist, as I am.
What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?
I dance, having started ballet when I was six. Sixty-one years ago I started Scottish country dancing and am still involved. I have been a tutor for 35 years teaching classes and at schools. I have been involved in managing dancing through serving on Club and Region committees. I am currently President of my Club and Treasurer of my Region. I also like music and gardening.
[Interview continues in comments.]