John Clark Forrest Connections

jcfYou may recall i recently posted about John Clark Forrest (JCF) an eminent man in Blantyre during the mid 1800s. You can read about him here and how his name was used (and his wife’s) to name several Blantyre streets. http://blantyreproject.wordpress.com/2013/11/16/john-clark-forrest/

I was recently contacted by email from Mr Alex McKee, who believes JCF was a relation of his. Alex was kindly able to furnish me with some information to assist tracking down the connection. Here’s what Alex said.

“Hello Paul,
I think it highly likely that John Clark Forrest was my great / or my great great grandfather. My paternal grandmother’s name was Dorothy Charrier. I thought that her mother’s name was Annie Forrest or Annie Logan not Jane but perhaps I just got mixed up. Did he have a second wife or a daughter called Ann? Dorothy Forrest’s son, Alexander McKee OBE was my father and he started the project to find and recover King Henry VIII’s Flagship Mary Rose. His interest in the ship goes back to his childhood but after researching from about 1952 he started to search in earnest in 1965: although the Mary Rose Trust tends to spin the start date to 1979, around which time Margaret Rule managed to largely side-line him. His bust is scheduled to be unveiled by my 92 year old mother on 2 April 2014. Are you able to confirm whether Col. John Clark Forrest is most likely my great or great great grandfather?
Best wishes
Alex”

Now, I always like a challenge and there was some good information here to get started. Tonight, I managed to map out Alex’s family tree and was thrilled to be able to give him this reply.

“Alex – Good evening. Thanks for your email and sorry it’s taken so long to write back. I’ve been working away at the North of Scotland. I found your email intriguing. John Clark Forrest was such a prominent figure in the history of Blantyre and i’ve lost count the number of times i encountered stories of him shaping the community in the 1800s. Tonight i found some quiet hotel time to investigate your history and i have some good news! I have made a definite connection on the ancestry website that confirms from your detail below, you are indeed the great, great grandson of John Clark Forrest!
mckee

He was your great, great grandfather.  The connection was initially difficult to make as i couldn’t find Dorothy in any ancestry database, but when i tried using it as her middle name, the links came very quickly, including the surnames you mentioned in your email. Her first name was actually Lenore, but she got called Dorothy by her middle name. Here is your family connection in diagrammatic format.The information you gave was very helpful and quite instrumental is tracking the link so quickly. Interestingly, Dorothy kept another middle name of Logan. Her brothers and sisters would suggest you may have quite an extended family out there! Also of interest is the fact that you have Irish blood too, from the Charrier side. When Leonore was born, the links to Ireland and Scotland are gone and your family appears in South Kensington, South of London.  I find that a probable indication to your current whereabouts, which is hopefully going to be the South of England. You have an exceptionally hard working and important man in your history and i tip my hat to that. I’m only too happy to have helped. Hope this is all interesting, Paul Veverka”

It’s great to also see that John Clark Forrest’s descendent’s were instrumental in the saving of the Mary Rose flagship and a nice note to complete this family connection. If you want me to investigate your family tree and have your grandparents names, maiden names and ideally birthdates, feel free to email me.

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