An Australian family tree researcher is hoping Brechiners can help him gather information about his maternal family.
Dennis Walsh is hoping local people may have information about the Gall family from the 1800s.
Dennis explained: “My great, great, great grandfather was a man named John Gall from Brechin. In the early 19th Century, he was convicted of cattle stealing and sentenced to transportation to Australia for life in 1827.
“He was born in 1803, christened in 1806 and married a local girl named Margaret Smith.”
John and Margaret had four children together, with the fourth child being born on the day of his transportation to Australia, after he spent some time in a prison hulk in England, resulting in him never knowing his fourth child was named after him.
“I would ideally like to see if it is possible, to make contact with any descendants of those four children,” continued Dennis.
Their names and birth dates are as follows: Jean, born on Janurary 11, 1824, and died on September 16, 1882; David, born April 9, 1825, and died in 1898; Mary Ann, born June 3, 1826, date of death unknown; and John, born October 19, 1827, died on August 11, 1894.
“These dates are as I believe, however, they could vary from fact, as you learn quickly with research like this that information is not set in stone,” added Dennis.
“To clarify one aspect, over here we consider rather irreverently our convict heritage as ‘Australian Royalty’. Therefore, if any living descendants don’t wish to make contact, I will understand.
“I would be thrilled to make contact and correspond with my Scots ‘cousins’, to find out how John’s Scottish family fared after his sentencing.
“Obviously Margaret would have found life extraordinarily tough being just 25 with four children to rear. We can only feel for her plight, and the unrelenting tough life she and the children would have had to endure. Who knows, maybe some of their descendants emigrated to Australia of their own free will?”
If you have any information that could help Dennis, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and he will try and respond the same day.