Yair Family Photographs
I am a great great grandson of the Rev Joseph Yair, who was minister of Eckford for 63 years in the 19th Century. This is the story behind the Yair Family Photographs gallery on this website and how I came by the photographs.
The Rev Joseph Yair's son David had three children, two of whom survived infancy: Joseph and Isobel Hulda Yair. Hulda (as she preferred to be known) was my paternal grandmother. Around 1915 she married Hugh Buchanan in Orkney, where she had been living with her family. Hugh was an engineer who had previously worked on the railways in Argentina, and he'd come back home with the intention of taking his new bride to live with him in Rosario, Argentina where he'd just accepted a new job as general manager of the local water company.
Before she left, it seems, she left the photos (which were in frames), presumably for safe-keeping, with her sister-in-law, Cecilia (Cil) Buchanan, who at the time was living in London. Hulda died in 1966 but around 1973 Cil, who by then was becoming quite old and frail, handed them to me together with a collection of old family documents. Although I dealt with the old documents, which were of some historical and genealogical importance, the photos languished in a drawer in my home until a week or so ago when I decided to undertake more research into the Yair side of my family. I removed the photos from the frames and this gave me clues about who they related to partly because two of them were dated.
Separately, in about 2002, I attended a family history fair in Glasgow and met someone from the Borders Family History Society. When I told her about my Yair family connections in Eckford she offered to send me a photo of the Rev Joseph Yair, who apparently had ministered in some way to a contact of hers and who had given it to her.
Anyway, the 3 photos in poor condition are the ones which were passed to me by my great Aunt CiI:
I am certain that the one of the youngish man is Hulda's father, David William Yair - this bears the date on a slip of paper which I found inside. The one of the woman by herself (undated with nothing written on it) is quite possibly Hulda's mother, Joanna Catherine Saurrs Yair (nee Dunlop), and wife of David. The Rev Joseph Yair had 8 children who survived infancy. I am pretty certain that the family group (of 8) are his children - this photo is also dated by a slip of paper inside the frame and is stated to be by David W Yair. Although of poor quality now as you can see, the images in the picture would appear to correlate with the children's ages when the photo was taken. The group photo and one of the youngish man are on glass plates.
Amongst the photos from the collection I had "inherited" was one of a woman of middle age which I had put to one side as it seemed more recent (1910ish) and she didn't look too much like a Yair. I told myself I would go back to this later.
I did just this and decided to take it out of its frame to see if there were any details behind it. No, there weren't but, more astonishingly, behind it there was another photo on glass clearly taken at about the same time as the one of the person I assumed was David William Yair and certainly in the same studio - the panelling/fireplace is the same. I therefore think the image is that of one the man's younger sisters and almost certainly, again, a Yair. Why was the glass image behind the other? I have no idea. It's probable the image on glass has not seen the light of day for at least 95 years as it was concealed behind the one on top. And are they the same person?
I would very much like to get in touch with anybody who can tell me more about the photos or who has Yairs amongst his or her ancestors. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.