If you’ve looked at the picture album of my trip to Dalserf here – http://www.stuarthamilton.co.uk/Dalserf/ – you’ll have seen some Hamilton tombstones. Here are the inscriptions, to the best of my ability to read them. They’re probably not mine, as my lot were dirt poor, but just so ye know.
This stone is [something] by Robert Hamilton, Farmer in Thripwood in memory of his four children who died in infancy. Also in memory of his father John Hamilton who died the 8th Feb 1812 aged 88 years. Also his [poss spouse] Anna Lang who died the 22nd Dec 1802 aged 77 years.
I’ve been to the land o’ ma faithers! Well, my 3rd great grandfather Archibald Hamilton who was born in Dalserf in 1801.
Who begat William Hamilton (born 1821 in Dalserf – 1873) who begat John Hamilton (1852 – 1922) who begat Alexander Hamilton (1883 – 1968) who begat Alexander Walker Hamilton (1922 – 1980) who begat me!
This is Dalserf today, and you can follow the photographic journey through the wilds of Lanarkshire via 6 trains and 3 buses here..
A large number of the Bells and Hamiltons ended up working in the now derelict Woodmuir Colliery near Breich in West Lothian.
Thanks to the power of the internet, there is a selection of photos available here.
Here’s one of them, as an example; If you would like to see more about coal mining in the Lothians then I would heartily recommend “Mining The Lothians” by Guthrie Hutton, which you can get on Amazon.
If you want to know about shale mining, which is what the Hamiltons did before they dug for coal, then try “Shale Voices” by Alistair Findlay. It’s also on Amazon, although not a particularly easy read. However, despite it being a huge industry, employing 10,000 people at its peak, it’s Scotland’s forgotten industry.