Robin’s 60th birthday

For Robin’s 60th birthday on 8 April 2021, his daughter Katharine put together video greetings from the extended family and from friends as well.

Photographs and Tributes from Family and Friends’


Katharine recorded this one in the garden room at our home at 32 Murrayfield Avenue. Many thanks to Katharine for that.

Six others sent short videos, which, with their permission, are available below.

1945 The Ingrams and the Balfours

The following film was taken by Alexander (Sandy) Ingram, Isabel Balfour’s older brother, and so features his children, John and Isla, as well as Ian and Bill Balfour. It includes two shots of the youngest Ingram sister, Muriel McKenzie, and her two older children, Anne and Moira. Muriel died in 1952 and this is the only known extant film footage of her. (There are photographs of her in ‘The Family Tree of Ian’s mother’, at numbers 21 and 23.)

The other Ingram sister, Libby, appears twice on the film.

Ian and Bill Balfour are shown three times  – hence the inclusions of this film here – but there is no film of their parents.

Dettie and Ali Ingram, maiden aunts, sisters of John Alexander Ingram; are, curiously, not named on the Family Tree of Ian’s mother.

Sandy was ‘train-mad’ and so the film ends with footage of the LMS service from Newtonmore to Edinburgh. See the ‘tablet’, needed for single-line working, being picked up on the film.

There is an amusing family story about the line-up of the children in the first frame on the film. At the celebrations for Aunt Libby’s 90th birthday, in 1992, a photo was produced of the line-up of her nephews and nieces as in the opening scene in the 1945 film. Sheila, the youngest of the McKenzie children, positioned herself at the front of the line. Aunt Libby said, ‘Sheila, no, you can’t join them, you weren’t in the 1945 picture!’ (Sheila was born in 1947)

There is no film for 1946. The Balfour family holiday was in North Uist, and while there is a photograph album of the holiday, the cine film camera was not available to the family until 1947 – it was then returned to Francis Balfour, who had bought it in the 1930’s for use by the Duncans at the Raxaul Medical Mission in North India. The Duncans brought it back, saying it was now obsolete, but it served the Balfour family until 1982.


Fortieth Wedding Anniversary at Airth Castle Hotel 1998

3 April 1998

Robin had asked us for the names of thirty friends, whom he would invite to a lunch, but the location was to be a ‘surprise’ for us. On the morning of 3 April, he gave us a series of clues, which led us, mid-morning, to the Champany Inn near Linlithgow. On going into the coffee lounge, we found Sandy and Christina, who were working with the Norwegian Missionary Society in China, and who had flown here especially for the occasion. They told us that the lunch was at the Airth Castle Hotel, and guided us to it.

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Ian’s mother’s autograph album

In Ian’s mother’s youth, and in his own teenage years, autograph albums were popular – asking friends and relations to contribute a page with a drawing, poem, personal message or other memento. When Ian was asked to contribute to a friend’s album, he often reproduced the first entry in his own album: ‘It’s not the gale, but the set of the sail, which tells us the way to go.’ Ian discovered, with incredulity, when compiling this note at the age of 87, that the author of that couplet, Ella Wheeler Wilcox, was also the author of the poem, The Valley of Fear, which is the fifth entry here from Isobel Ingram’s album.

Ten pages are copied here from her album, from 1913 (when she was 17) to 1920:

  1. Five about life during the Great War, 1914 to 1918, and
  2. Five, chronologically from 1913 to 1920, by evangelists and Bible teachers.

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Old Jamaica

The Balfour Family Tree: Jamaica

Supplement to ‘The Balfour Family Tree’

George Balfour of Chalmersquoy, married Barbara Rendall in 1731. From their son Thomas of Uttersquoy comes the Balfours who are now in Edinburgh.
From their younger son, Murdoch of Chalmersquoy comes another branch of the family, whose identity was provided to Ian in 2018 by Murdoch’s great great granddaughter, Jennifer Hicks in Jamaica.

Click to download PDF:

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Diamond Wedding Family Overview

The Balfour family gathering at Hafton Castle, Hunters Quay, Dunoon, 30 March  to 2 April 2018, with grateful thanks to Lesley for the idea and for the planning and for the arrangements, and to all the other members of the family for coming and participating.
See sidebar to watch recording which accompanies the notes below. Or, to see notes in a new window, click the button at the foot of this article.

You can view an additional slideshow, entitled ‘Diamond Wedding pictures’ and ‘Fortieth Wedding Lunch pictures’,  at the foot of this article.

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Click to open PDF in a new window (large file):

View full notes PDF

*Adobe Acrobat PDF viewer available as a free download here

Diamond Wedding pictures

30 March to 2 April 2018
Family gathering at Hafton Castle, Hunters Quay, Dunoon

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Family Gatherings

A collection of photographs from various family events.

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Joyce’s Mother’s Family


Mr and Mrs Ross

Lived in Polwarth, Edinburgh, late C19. Names not known.
They had 7 children, not in order here:

Joanne Ross

( eldest) – invalid

David Ross

Head of History at Boroughmuir School, Edinburgh, then went into full-time work for the Christian Brethren, especially on the Continent, driven by his only daughter, Maimie. David married Minnie McDonald, who lived in Ashley Terrace, Edinburgh; her father was a Church of Scotland minister in Aberfeldy, and she had a brother who went to South Afdrica, where Mairnie visited him.

Jean Ross

Margaret Ross, married James Durie, who is remembered for leaving his family on Saturdays to play golf, and who died after falling and hitting his head. James had a sister, Nellie, who lived in Midlem, in the Eildon Hills in the Scottish Borders. The Durie home was initially in Harrison Terrace, Edinburgh, and then at 19 Lockbarton Gardens, Edinburgh. They had five children:

Jessie, who married Walter Pryde, (section 2 below) Andrew, who married Isobel Adams, (section 3 below) Ross, who married Kathleen, (section 4 below)
Helen, who married Robbie Harkness, (section 5 below) Joanna, who married Robert Saunderson, (section 6 below)

William Ross

Emigrated to Canada, daughter Dorothy, who had twins, and one son.
John Ross, youngest, but listed here because of the length of the next entry. He married (later in life) Bessie McGonigle, a sewing teacher, and they lived at 19 Campbell Avenue, Edinburgh. No children.
Alex Ross, married Annie Duncan. Large family home at 12 Hermitage Drive, Edinburgh. Children, not sure of correct order:

Alex (Lex), killed in WW2, had married Muriel, who remarried(? name) and they had one son, David, now a lawyer in Belfas.
Herbert, who married Freda, one son, David, and 2 girls.
Eric, married Marcia, children Nigel, now in East Linton, and Lindsay. Barbara, married Norman Home, surgeon in Edinburgh, four boys, Geoffrey, Neil and two others.
Ronald, married Elizabeth, several children + adopted. Lived near Elie.
Ian, vetinary surgeon, married Shona, children Ewen, Anne, Tricia.
Graham, director of McVittie Guest, played rugby for Scotland, married  Margo Thomson, children Kenneth (lawyer), Gillian, Jenny.
Joan, married Leslie Beaumont, one boy ( opthalmologist) and one girl (Hillary).


Jessie Durie

Started at Edinburgh University but left after six weeks to look after her invalid mother. She married Walter Pryde in 1934. They bought 35 House o’ Hill Avenue, Blackball, Edinburgh. Walter was a clothing retailer, who died in 1960. Two children, Joyce, who married Ian Balfour, and they have four children, and George, who married a widow, Jan Sharp. They had one child, Samantha, who married Christian Gee, and they have three children, Pippa, Jernima and Dougal.


Andrew Durie

Was in the army in WW2, married Isobel Adams, Chartered Accountant in Corbridge, Northumberland. They had five daughters:

Diana, unmarried.
Ann, married Philip King-Lewis, both worked at EMMS Nazareth Hospital. Children, Alison and David, who has two children, Philippe and Jonathan.
Jane, married David Clogg, children, Stephen, who married Samantha, Robert, who married Emma and Joanne, who married King.
Philippa, married Eric Roy, children, Caroline, Richard and Elizabeth.
Jill, married Robert Jones, children, Stuart and Anwen.

Isobel Adams had several sisters, one became Mrs Oliver ( children, Geoffrey, Margaret and Helen), another became Mrs Binnie (children Shona and Alan), and also a brother, who farmed Battlebridge.



Tank commander in WW2, wounded in North Africa and eventually repatriated. Married Kathleen, whom he met in London after repatriation. Lawyer in Edinburgh. Three children:

Alastair, married Kate, died in 2017, daughter Ruth and son Alex.
Roy, married Dot in Blairgowrie, children Jane, Ross, David and daughter in New Zealand
Gail, married, ? divorced, daughter Clara.



Helen married Robbie Harkness and they were missionaries in the Congo. On returning to Edinburgh after WW2, they taught at Clifton Hall School, near Edinburgh. She lived to have her 90th birthday celebration in the Braid Hills Hotel, with most of the extended family present. They had two daughters, Rilla, who married John McMurray in America but who returned to Edinburgh, one son, Garth, and one daughter, Nicola.

Fay married David Binnie, who was killed in a helicopter crash in Papua New Guinea. Fay returned to Edinburgh. They have two children, Jonathan, a helicopter pilot, and Catriona, who married an Albanian in this country, one daughter, Elena. Catriona was divorced and has remarried.

Robbie Harkness had two sisters; Jean married George Murray, who farmed Amerside, Wooler, Northumberland, and had three children, Anthony, Alison and David, and Helen, who married Stephen Paps. Their son Alastair, Inspector of Prisons in England, emigrated to South Africa on retiring.



She had to delay her start to study medicine at Edinburgh University because she had to look after her invalid mother as Jessie had done, because Helen (above), next in the family, had gone to the Congo. She left university when she married Stanley Robert (Bob) Sanderson, whom she met at a Brethren conference. He owned and ran a flour mill near Guilden Morden in Cambridgeshiu=re. His father was Ebenezer, from four generations of farmers in South Cambridgeshire. When first married, Bob and Joannah lived in Letchworth, then bought Saville House, Guilden Morden. Bob had at least three brothers, Douglas Ebenezer, who farmed nearby and brought his crops to the mill, Herbert, who died comparatively young, Theo, and one sister, Dora, who married Alex McCormack and they had a son, John, living in Aberdeen.
Bob and Joannah’s children ar:

Paul Saunderson, a medical missionary in Ethiopia, who met and married a Norwegian, Anne-Marit there, and then they moved to Alsund, Norway. Children Robert and Emma.
Margaret Saunderson, missionary in Peru, now lives in Cambridge
Daphne Saunderson, married Nicholas Meadmore, lives in Geneva, children Joel, Benjamin and Flora
David Saunderson, married Fiona Phillips, now lives in Cambridge, children Jessie, Samual, Joanna and Caleb. 


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