27 Nov

Discovery and Sharing

Archive, Norman Mowatt

In a recent blog article I wrote about Dr Ormonde and his talented family and their visit to Campbeltown to perform at the Victoria Halls. In researching Dr Ormonde for his biography I had gathered a number of documents, newspaper articles, and had written one or two files with notes of genealogical information and my thoughts as I had progressed. I had also found a dramatic and colourful poster advertising Dr Ormonde’s Great Sunflower Coterie. By coincidence another of our team found the same poster during her online researches.

Some of my research had been done on one of the online genealogy sites where I had found a family tree on which Dr Ormonde appeared. I had used this information to help with my research. In the past while researching my own family tree I had contacted people when I found a relevant family tree on which one of my ancestors appeared. I thought it might be fun to do the same this time. So, I sent off a message to the person who had created the tree in which I gave some idea of the Picture House project and the scope of our interest in shareholders, directors, people of the Picture House, the films, and the performers that had come to Campbeltown in the years before cinema was developed. I mentioned that I had researched Dr Ormonde and offered to share my findings.

Not many days later I was very pleased to have a reply from Dr Ormonde’s great great grandson Thomas who lives in Canada. Most of Dr Ormonde’s children had stayed in Scotland but at least two had gone to Canada to live and had performed there too. Thomas has told me that he has visited Orkney where Dr Ormonde’s parents (with the surname Omond) lived and that he had found their resting place in the grounds of St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall.

Thomas was interested in what I had found out and in subsequent emails has told me he is delighted to have been able to read the notes, see the newspaper articles, and to see Dr Ormonde’s death certificate. Death certificates often hold interesting genealogical information. In return Thomas has sent us two wonderful original photographs of Dr Ormonde which I can share here.

Dr Ormonde in a head and shoulders portrait:

… and Dr Ormonde in a staged studio portrait in the most amazing hat and coat. What style!

I enjoyed doing the research on Dr Ormonde and being able to share with Thomas and hopefully with some readers of the blog has been even more fun!

Image Credits

1.) Sensational visit of Dr Ormonde (29th July 1901) © Campbeltown Courier
2.) “Dr Ormonde’s Great Sunflower Coterie”. Efforts have been made to find a copyright holder for this poster image. Our sources are as follows:
Dr. Ormande’s Great Sunflower Coterie
3.) Dr Ormonde, studio portrait with the kind permission of Thomas Ormonde, Canada.
4.) Dr Ormonde, full length studio portrait with the kind permission of Thomas Ormonde, Canada.

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