My maternal grandmother was Eliza Hamilton Burnett. Unfortunately, I don’t know a lot about my grandmother as she died when my mom was only 10 years old.
Eliza was born July 16, 1897 in Dundee, Scotland. She was the youngest of six children of John and Helen Leighton (Marshall) Burnett. At the time of her birth, the family was living at 36 Carmichael Street in the Hilltown area of Dundee. Her father, John Burnett, was a police constable for the Dundee police force. At the time of the 1901 census, Eliza was 3 years old and the family had moved to 37 Stirling Street.
Hilltown leads up a steep hill from the city centre. It is an older mixed tenement and industrial part of the City which had many jute mills, which was the main industry of Dundee in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It is a true inner city location and is one of the oldest parts of the city. Until it was sold to Dundee in 1697, Hilltown was outside the burgh of Dundee’s boundary and had itself been created a burgh of barony in 1643.
When Eliza became ill, her son in law, William (Harry) Crossman made a death bed promise to look after her 3 youngest children, Norman, Vina and Rhona, promising to take them to Canada with him and Nell after the war ended. Only Vina and Rhona ended up going (along with Harry and Nell) as Norman was to turn 18 and had to remain in Scotland to serve 2 years mandatory military service.
©2014, copyright Alana Farrell