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Discover Hugh Miller

The Middleton Connection

opening - girls performingThe following is an extract from the address by the Miller’s great great grand-daughter, MRS MARIAN MCKENZIE JOHNSTON at the opening of Miller House, Cromarty, 8th April 2004. “In 1927 my sister Bright and I – just back from India – were first shown the Birthplace Cottage and told about Hugh Miller by our grandfather, Sir Thomas Middleton of Rosefarm. He had married Lydia Miller Davidson, the eldest granddaughter of Hugh and Lydia. Luckily for all of us my grandfather throughout his life had done extensive genealogical research, not only into his own family, the Middleton farmers who were brought to the Black Isle in 1797 by George Ross, ‘the Scotch agent’, but also into all the families the Middletons had since married. These were all families living in Cromarty at the time of the marriage of Hugh and Lydia in 1837, friends of both the Millers and the Frasers (for more detail, see below). Here follows an explanation of the “Middleton Connection.” Their eldest child, Harriet, born in 1839, emigrated to Australia in 1870 with her husband, the Rev John Davidson, when he was called to the Chalmer’s Church in Adelaide and then, in 1874, appointed Professor at the University there. He died there in 1881 and she in 1883, when her four children came back to Scotland. The eldest child, Lydia, born in 1864, married Thomas Middleton (later Sir Thomas, a distinguished agronomist) of Rosefarm, Cromarty. Two Middleton brothers from County Durham in England had moved to the Black Isle in the 1770s as tenant farmers. Their various descendants eventually managed to buy their farms, Thomas buying Rosefarm in 1923. The memorial to his wife Lydia is in the fenced Middleton family plot in the Gaelic cemetery just over the wall behind the Hugh Miller Monument, as well as memorials to their two children and three of their grandchildren. The continuing local connection with Hugh Miller now rests with John Gordon, who inherited Rosefarm from his grandmother, Bright Middleton, herself one of Lydia Miller’s grandchildren

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