A story is like the wind —
It comes from a far off place and we feel it.*
The story can also be very elusive when you are trying to track it down. In my case, the quarry has been information about my Cameron ancestor, who died serving in the 10th Lincolnshire Regiment in South Africa in 1861. Family lore had it that he had died at Fort Beaufort (you can read my earlier post here), but all my searching has not found any evidence that he served there and he could have gone to another fort in the area. It is also possible that he never left Grahamstown, the point of arrival in South Africa. I’m still looking into that, but have recently made a couple new discoveries.
It seems likely that Daniel Cameron had been mustered out of the Scots Fusilier Guards after the Crimean War and then joined the 2nd Battalion of the 10th Lincolnshire Regiment when it was formed in 1858. In fact, one of the Crimean War Victoria Cross winners from the Scots Fusilier Guards did the same thing. In any case, Daniel married Ann Hilton in London that same year and then they and their infant son (our great grandfather) were off to South Africa soon after. The 2/10 arrived in Grahamstown, Cape Province. Here’s the old fort located on Gunfire Hill overlooking the town.
Apparently, the 10th had a boring time there. In his 2 volume regimental history, Albert Lee remarks that,
In fact, Grahamstown is a lovely town, dominated by the Anglican Cathedral.
and full of neat colonial buildings.
True to their Scottish roots, however, the Camerons baptized their offspring at the Presbyterian church, of which, alas, I could find no picture. In the Presbyterian baptismal records, I did find two children, Dora Anne Cameron, born 1st September 1860 and Kenneth William Cameron, born 8th December 1861, a few months after his father died. Interestingly, the record lists Kenneth’s father as David Cameron. Either Ann remarried or the record is wrong (very possible — such records are notoriously full of mistakes), but after that I have lost track until the children resurface in Scotland as orphans in the 1871 census. And so the search continues…
*Bushman saying via Laurens van der Post, A Story Like the Wind