The Grantidote and Calderglen High School English Department worked together to discuss the importance of women’s stories and experiences and how both are so often overlooked when we consider the fact and fiction-based storytelling surrounding our lives. This forward-thinking school’s English department runs a yearly project for second years, asking pupils to research and write-up family history around World War I and teachers had observed the stories coming back were never about women. So, to address the missing archive and representation, Calderglen High’s Herstory Project was bravely born.
With lovely reflection on how influence, impact and admiration carries on throughout generations, Cameron tells a little of his Great-Great-Gran Jeanie’s story here.
My Great, Great, Gran Jeanie Rae is a huge part of our family, her name’s still in our living family now. I’m writing about her because she is inspirational and she’s had a very interesting life.
Jeanie Rae was born in Larkhall, Scotland. She lived with her mum Agnes, her dad Andrew and her sister. She’d sometimes, rarely, go to Ayr or Arran on days out. My family go to Arran quite often now, sometimes all the family go and my cousin Christy even got married there! We must have all gone now, down the family line.
My family have told me Jeanie left school at a young age, probably between twelve and fourteen years old. She then stayed home and helped around the house. She married a man called Samuel and they had five children; Jean, Andrew, David, James and Gordon.
A part of Jeanie’s life that is well remembered is that she looked after her Dad for the rest of her life after he fell while working as a miner, and broke his back.
Jeanie died in 1978, her life was very different to how our family live now. All my family who met her, went to her house and enjoyed life with her say she was a joy to be around.
Jeanie’s had a huge impact on our family life. My gran’s name is Jean, my little cousin Amy’s middle name is Jean too. My great-great-gran must’ve been a good person if she is well remembered now and what she did for her dad was amazing. I imagine her name will be passed down for years to come. I think it’s important to share and remember and I’m glad I wrote about my family’s Jeanie Rae. I hope her story is never forgotten and that there’s always someone who remembers her.