2. Alexander Lennie: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier…

In the last 7 days, the Lennie line of my tree has appeared and expanded quite nicely. One of 3 Alexander Lennie’s in my lineage, this Alexander is my great-great-great-grandfather (the other 2 Alexander’s being his father and one of his sons).

I’ve found I like finding out what people did for a living, almost as much as I like knowing where they lived. The son of a tailor, Alexander initially followed in his father’s footsteps before joining the army shortly after he married Jane Turnbull. My mum and I both found this amusing, mostly because neither of us can sew a stitch while here are 2 generations listing it as their occupation. For a while, I lost track of Alexander – couldn’t find any census records, birth records for his children, nothing. Thankfully, Ancestry offered an 1871 census which would answer a few questions. It would appear that his wife stayed with him throughout his military service, producing 5 children over a 20 year period. By 1871, they had lived in Scotland, overseas, back to Edinburgh for a very short time and are found living with Alexander’s Regiment in Aldershot, England. How do I know they lived abroad? Two of his sons are listed as British Citizens born in an area of what now belongs to Pakistan. Well, that’s unexpected! Alexander’s elder two sons are listed as ‘musician’ and ‘drummer’ which pleased me greatly (I’ve played various musical instruments since a young age). From my limited understanding, being part of the army band earned a soldier a little extra money per week. Although the sons are not listed as soldiers, I do wonder if they earned valuable money for the family by playing in the army band.

The family is back in Edinburgh come 1881. Alexander is back being a tailor, his daughter (my great-great-grandmother) is still a scholar, and his 2 younger sons are listed as a tinsmith and an apprentice bookbinder. So within one family I have a tinker, a tailor and a soldier… no sign of any spies. Unless ‘bookbinder’ is just a really simple cover story.


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