Thomas Christie (1888-1962) was born to Thomas Christie (1851-1931) and Elspeth “Elsie” Gray (~1847-1913) who were married in Deskford Parish, Morayshire, Scotland on May 25, 1872.[i] By 1891, Thomas and Elsie were residing in Glasgow, but it is unknown what brought them south to the Lowlands.[ii] Thomas was employed as a railroad guard for many years in Glasgow.[iii] Elsie was born to Thomas Gray (1815-1905) of Banffshire and Helen Imlah (1818-?) of Deskford.[iv] Thomas was born to William Christie (1818-1889) of Fordyce, Aberdeenshire, and Mary Stewart (1820-1860) of Gartly, Aberdeenshire.[v]
THOMAS CHRISTIE: WORLD WAR I
During World War I, Thomas was a Lance Corporal in the Machine Gun Corps, 15th Battalion.[vi] He may have originally enlisted in 1915 in the 3rd Battalion of the Seaforth Highlanders.[vii] Based on the battles Thomas’ battalion was involved in, we can assume he was present and captured at the First Battle of Arras (part of the First Battles of the Somme), in Northern France.[viii]
A long-forgotten note from the author’s grandmother indicated that Thomas was a prisoner of war in World War 1.[ix] According to German prisoner records, Thomas was captured, unwounded, on March 28, 1918 in Monchy, France in imprisoned in the Parchim Prisoner of War camp.[x] He may have spent some time at the Antwerp Reserve Hospital before being transferred to the I Munster Prisoner of War camp.[xi]
Like many prisoners of war, he likely did not learn of the November 1918 until early 1919 when he was released from the POW camp.[xii]
THOMAS CHRISTIE: AFTER THE WAR
Marion Lockhart (1890-1937) and Thomas Christie were married on January 12, 1923 in Glasgow Scotland.[xiii] Within a week of marriage, there is record that Thomas entered Brooklyn, New York, USA on the S.S. Columbia.[xiv] Thomas and Marion had two children in Jersey City, New Jersey, Gray Lockhart, born November 7, 1924[xv], and Janette, born February 23, 1927.[xvi]
While the children were born in America, they were raised in Glasgow, Scotland.[xvii] Immigration records indicate the family moved back to Glasgow in November 1935.[xviii] On July 30, 1937, Marion “passed away to her heavenly home after a long suffering.”[xix] Janette and Gray (their father as well, presumably) continued to live with their mother’s family on 11 Polnoon Ave in Glasgow.[xx]
Janette and Gray were embraced by their Christine and Lockhart grandparents, aunts, and uncles in Scotland. Activities that built a strong sense of morality was important to the Christie family. Janette, like many girls of her age at the time, participated in Sunday School, Brownies, and Band of Hope.[xxi] Both Janette and Gray reveled in the 1938 Empire Exhibition on opening day.[xxii]
With their mother’s passing and unrest growing across Europe, Thomas felt that Scotland was not the safest place for his children. He made the decision to send Gray and Janette to live wither his sister Ray in Worcester, MA.[xxiii] Janet Lockhart bid farewell to her grandchildren on April 8, 1939, noting they were “sadly missed.”[xxiv]
RAY CHRISTIE: LIFE IN AMERICA
Thomas’ older sister Ray Thomasina Christie (1884-1978) immigrated to the United States in May 1905, joining her cousin, presumably Robert or James who were both in America by this time.[xxv] Ray found work as a live-in servant or nanny in the Boston area for five years.[xxvi] She married her cousin Robert “Bob” Thomson (1883-1970) on August 29, 1910.[xxvii] This was information uncovered by the author in 2018 and unknown to Ray and Robert’s nephew-in-law and grandnieces.
By 1930, the Thomsons moved to Worcester, MA where Bob operated an automotive parts business, Christie & Thomson, with Ray’s brother, William. Christie and Thomson, Inc. served as a distributor of automotive parts to dealerships, repair shops, mechanics, and operators of large fleets with as many as 1,000 clients in 1931.[xxviii] Christie & Thomson, Inc. was featured regularly in the Worcester Evening Gazette throughout the 1930s. Bob and business partner Bill Christie would discuss new auto parts offered through their business, which consumers could seek out for a more reliable vehicle. The enterprise was so notable that Bob was invited to meet American racecar driver, Pete DePaolo, during this 1938 tour.[xxix]
Ray and Bob raised Scottish terriers and were active in dog shows. Rampart Rob, a two-year-old terrier had won 20 prizes in Scotland before he came to live with the Thomsons in 1933. Rampart entered his first Worcester County Kennel Club show in March 1934.[xxx]
Ray was active in the Nereid Swimming Club,[xxxi] Tatnuck Women’s Club, Worcester Women’s Club, Women’s Republican Club, and YMCA Women’s Auxiliary.[xxxii]
JANETTE & GRAY: THERE AND BACK AGAIN
Certainly, leaving their father, grandparents, and city they had called home for four years was not easy. However, Aunt Ray and Uncle Bob were not strangers to Gray and Janette. Janette wrote to her Aunt Ray while living in Scotland. Aunt Ray would send her niece five dollars periodically (the equivalent of $100 in 2022). Janette was likely excited about the prospect of living with Ray and Bob’s Scottish terriers.[xxxiii]
When Gray turned 18 in 1943, he enlisted in the military.[xxxiv] He was injured in February 1945 after a landmine exploded, causing injuries to his jaw and thigh. He was released from the hospital in May 1945 after fractures and wounds had healed.[xxxv] He married Florence Elizabeth Sussman in 1948 and they had one daughter. Florence was in a car accident in 1956 and passed away. Gray married again in 1958 to Florence Burke, with whom he had three children.[xxxvi]
Janette graduated from Classical High School in 1945, then graduating from Clark University in 1947. It was here that she met Ken Hedenburg, whom she married in 1950. Janette and Ken raised three daughters in the Worcester area.[xxxvii] When Janette passed away in 1994, Ken dedicated the Belvedere at Tower Hill Botanic Garden in her memory.
Thomas did return to the United States to be reunited with his children. He relocated to Bennington, Vermont, where he would live for 22 years, operating Western Auto Store.[xxxviii] He passed away in 1962, at the age of 74, when he was struck by a car while visiting Gray, who had a made a home in Southern California by that time.[xxxix]
AUNT RAY & UNCLE BOB: LEGACIES
When Christie & Thomson was sold in 2000 and Bob’s shares dissolved in 2006, as stipulated in his estate, a scholarship was setup to support the education to support those pursuing a career in automotive or were family of a previous employee. The scholarship fund is managed by the Greater Worcester Community Foundation.[xl]
Ray and Bob’s true legacy went beyond this scholarship. Janette’s children were embraced as grandchildren by Bob and Ray. Stories, family recipes, and antiques from Scotland were passed down to Janette, her children, and grandchildren. Aunt Ray’s Scottish Shortbread remains a favorite Christmastime treat; the clock that rang in the Christie home on 19 Gardner Street in Partick, Glasgow still chimes on the hour.
Descendant of Clan Farquarson
Crest: An oak stump sprouting new growth
Motto: Sic Viresco "Thus I flourish"
First Record: 1100 in Edinburghshire
The surname “Christie” (and its derivative and alternate spellings) is thought to be derived from the Danish baptismal name “Christian” or “Christigern,” originating from Norse and Danes who settled on the Isle of Man and the northeastern coast of Scotland.[i]
The surname first appears in Scottish records in the early 12th Century in Foyness or Phoineas in Aird near present day Inverness (geography to be confirmed). By the 15th Century, the name appears in the southeastern counties of Knokfelde and Fifeshire.[ii]
Christie is a sept of the Clan Farquharson. Septs, or associated family names, are related to a larger clan, typically through marriage or small families seeking protection centuries ago. Such a relationship is often seen by septs wearing similar or identical tartan to the larger clan.[iii] It is unknown why or when the Christies became a sept of the Clan Farquharson.
Farquar Shaw branched from the Celtic Clan Shaw and settled in the Braes of Mar (present day Braemar, Aberdeenshire).[iv]
Clan Farquarson were loyal to the House of Stewart.[v] An example often highlighted is that of “Colonel” Anne Farquarson MacIntosh, who raised 300 troops in support of Bonnie Prince Charlie despite her husband’s allegiance with the Government Forces.[vi]
THE CLAN TODAY
Captain Alwyne Arthur Compton Farquharson of Invercauld MC was confirmed as clan chief in 1949, serving until his death on October 6, 2021 at the age of 102, making him, likely, the oldest and longest serving Clan Chief in Scottish history.[vii] He was succeeded by his grand-nephew, Philip Farquharson, 17th of Invercauld, who resides in Milton Keynes, England.[viii]
The estate of Clan Farquharson covers 200,000 acres in Grampian, Aberdeenshire.[ix]
Invercauld House, located in Royal Deeshire, Aberdeenshire, is the historical seat of the Clan.[x] The House and 100,000 acres of land are operations as a private business, which offers vacation rentals, hunting and fishing, camping, hiking, and skiing. Land is also used for farming, forestry, and filming.
Braemar Castle, located in Cairngorms National Park, is the second historic seat of the clan. The castle was built in 1628 and the Clan assumed ownership in 1732. The castle has served as a place to host esteemed guests throughout history, including Queen Victoria, King Edward VII, Queen Elizabeth II, and The Queen Mother Elizabeth. Braemor Castle opened to the public in the early 1960s and has been at the center of many restoration efforts.[xi]
Cairns, piles of stones and boulders, are found throughout Scotland, tracing their history to clans. Cairns were rallying points before battle, where each man would place a rock before a fight and remove after. The remaining stones served a tribute to those who were lost. Therefore, Clan Cairns serve as contemporary places of reflection and connection to the past. The Farqhuarson Clan continues to be a gathering place for annual clan gatherings, as well as personal pilgrimages.[xii]
Motto: Corda Serrata Pando “I open locked hearts”
First Recorded: 1323, Sir Symon Locard
The surname “Lockhart” is derived from the Flemish or Norman “Locard” or “Lokart,” with the modern spelling introduced in the 15th Century.
The early Lockharts came from England, being displaced during William the Conquerer’s reign. They settled in Penrith, England, thirty miles from the Scottish border, and Annandale, a valey running along the River Annan in Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland. The family migrated towards Ayrshire and Lanarkshire, where they have held land for seven hundred years.
Stephen Locard is known to have founded this village of Stevenson, Ayrshire, who’s son later founded Symons Town (present day Symington) in Lanarkshire.
The spelling “Lockheart” (later abbreviated to Lockhart) came during the Crusades. Symon Locard, Second of Lee, was knighted for his loyal service to Robert the Bruce during the war to free Scotland from England’s control. When Bruce perished, Symon was among the knights who endeavored to bring the hero’s heart to Jerusalem in 1329. Symon carried the key to the urn which held the heart. The journey ended prematurely when the procession was attacked by the Moors in Spain. Symon returned unscathed and his family was honored with the new surname “Lockheart.” This also gave way to the family crest bearing a heart in a fetterlock and the motto “Corda Serrata Pando,” or “I open locked hearts.”[i]
THE CLAN TODAY
Ranald Lockhart of the Lee is the current Chief of the Lockharts. He assumed the position in 2015 after the death of his father, Chief Angus Hew Lockhart. Ranald can trace his ancestry over seven hundred years directly to William Loccard (c. 1272).[ii]
As the Lockharts are from the Lowlands, they are not technically a clan. However, an official tartan was recorded and approved in 1996 by the Lyon Court, who is responsible for regulating Scottish heraldry.[vii]
PLACES OF INTEREST
Lee Castle, Lanarkshire – Castle originally built by William Locard in 1272, later redesigned by Sir Chalres MacDonald Lockhart in 1817. The castle is no longer owned by the Lockharts, but much of the surrounding land is.
George Lockhart, Second of Carnwath (1673-1732) – Principal Agent to exiled King James, the “Old Pretender,” during the Jacobite Rising of 1715
John “The Scorpion” Gibson Lockhart (1794-1854) – Literary critic and writer, notably married to Sir Walter Scott’s daughter, Sophia, and biographer of Sir Walter Scott.
The surname “Thomson” has varied origins:[i]
Those who descend from the Clan MacTavish and Anglicized their surname.
Those who descend from the Clan MacThomas and are not related to Clan MacTavish.
A patronymic surname derived anywhere in Scotland from a “Thomas,” “Tom,” or “Tommy”
Originating in the Borders and Lowlands, not of Celtic/Gaelic stock.
Currently, the author is unclear from which line they descend.