Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 4-24-2013


This paper examines the life and scandals of William Smith, born in Dyce, Scotland in 1882. In addition to the mystery surrounding the date of his own marriage and the birth of his first child, is Smith's dalliance with his wife's sister and the resulting illegitimate child. Amidst these stories and others, the paper describes life in Scotland in the 19th and early 20th century and analyzes potential reasons for emigration with the help of Marjory Harper's work, Emigration from Scotland between the Wars: Opportunity or Exile? The paper also follows the path of Smith's descendants and their experiences as immigrants and travelers, particularly Smith's youngest son Ronald. This work relies heavily on primary documents, including letters, pictures, and certificates as well as the oral history of Nancy Kilkenny, granddaughter of William Smith, and her recollections both of her own experiences and stories passed down by the family. The stories of Smith and his relatives reveal the intimate trials of a family's emigration from Scotland to the United States at the turn of the 20th century.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

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