Collecting post cards was a popular hobby in early-twentieth-century England. My grandmother Isabella Allan Brownlees (1874-1958), and her husband Donald Cameron (1878-1941) both had post card albums that they brought to Canada when they emigrated in 1908 and 1905, respectively. The greatest number of cards are from 1903-1909 but some are from later days, through to the 1930s. Some of the cards which contained useful biographical information have been included in the other sections of this website but I decided to post the whole collection here in one place, as well.
Pictures on the cards include many photos of Northumberland and Durham, plus Edinburgh, other parts of Scotland and the border areas where my grandparents and many of their friends and relatives lived.
Places that recur are Kelso and Coldstream in Roxburghshire, Cornhill-on-Tweed, Wark-on-Tweed, Berwick-on-Tweed, and Newcastle-on-Tyne in Northumberland.
There are about 270 cards in this collection but I have not yet scanned them all and will be adding them gradually.
To make viewing easier I have decided that it would be better to separate the cards onto four or five pages. the second page may be reached with this link:
Post Cards – Isabella Brownlees Collection – page 2 – by place
Map from a tourist brochure brought back to Canada by Isabella (Brownlees) Cameron in 1934. Grandma and many of her relatives lived in villages on this map – Wark, Coldstream, Kelso, Crookham, Stichill and others, on both sides of the England/Scotland border.
This map from about 1990 includes most of the older one above but also shows a larger area which includes the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed where Isabella Brownlees’ husband Donald Cameron was born. ( map detail courtesy of the 1990 AA Big Road Atlas Britain)
Enter a caption
NO DATE – nothing on back.
Carham Parish Church, St. Cuthbert’s.
NO DATE – probably 1900-1908
This card was in Grandma’s album but had not been mailed. so there is no date – photo probably taken 1900-1908). There is no identifying info on it but it may have been of one of the villages where the Allans lived or nearby. The flock of sheep being moved along the street was probably a common sight as many people, such as her grandfather Peter Allan (1823-1905) raised sheep.
To Miss Brownlee, Branxton Buildings, Cornhill-on-Tweed. “Wishing you many happy returns of the day December 3rd. Pleased father is keeping better. Your affectionate Aunty Bella”. Postmarked Edinburgh 9:30 PM December 2, 1903. December 3rd, 1903 was Isabella Brownlee’s 27th birthday and the card is from her mother’s sister Isabella (Allan) Bolton.
1906 Buffalo, New York
Post card Leonard Short (1868-1945) sent to his cousin Miss Sarah Allan, Branxton Buildings, Cornhill-on-Tweed, England with the laconic note, “Arrive Safe Len”. The card is postmarked at Buffalo, N.Y. , 4pm Aug 22, 1906 and pictures the Historical Society Building in Buffalo. [Card No.1361, W.G. MacFarlane, Publisher, Buffalo, N.Y.] Len was another of the family that decided to emigrate. He left by ship from Glasgow on 6 Aug, 1891, arrived in New York August 18, 1891 and settled in Buffalo where he pursued his occupation of tailor. He made a trip back to England in 1906. This card announces his safe arrival back in the U.S. He coninued to reside in Buffalo until his death in 1945.
Address side of card sent by Leonard Short (1868-1945) to his cousin, Sarah Allan. Post mark: Buffalo, N.Y. Aug 22 4pm, 1906.
1908 Allan Family lived in this farmhouse
============================================= “August 18, 1908. Now Bella dear just think of here and you’ll feel just in a dream; for as you mind and think again alas; you’ve crossed the Stream. Sarah thinks had she been further out she’d been bigger, but you see her quite plain. She was mangling the clothes & [?] got up her chest. I tell her send us one of your house soon,” This card shows a picture of the Allans’ house at Branxton Buildings, Wark-on-Tweed, where Grandma lived with her grandfather and Aunts (Sarah in the doorway) before she went to Canada. There is a current picture of this house in another section of this website.
Following are scans from July 29, 2020:
Cards are addressed to Miss B. (Isabella) Brownlee(s), Branxton Buildings, Cornhill-on-Tweed:
Ruins of Roxburgh Castle. “Hope you are all well and getting on with the harvest. Rather disagreeable weather for it. Bessie”
Postmarked at Kelso 6:30 pm Aug 27, 1903. To: Miss B. Brownlee, Branxton Buildings, Cornhill on Tweed.
Maxwellheugh Mill. [ a grain mill at Kelso, Roxburghshire, Scotland] “Have you a view like this.”
To Miss Brownlee, Branxton Buildings, Cornhill on Tweed, postmarked Kelso, 4:15 pm October 30, 1903. ” Dear B. Thanks so much for P.P.C. [picture post card] today. I will be very pleased to come down; if the weather would only clear up. I hope G.F. [grandfather] is keeping well as all the rest of you. John& Louise [?] were coming down last Wed as it was the last [?] but it was so wet. I was sorry you came when I was not at home. I am going up to see B. this afternoon. Yours, I or J [ this might be grandma’s first cousin Jane Allan (1877-1950)] 1904
Waterloo Place and General Post Office, Edinburgh (M. Wane &Co. Edinbro)
To: Miss Brownlee, Branxton Buildings, Cornhill on Tweed. Postmarked at Kelso 4:15 pm January 26, 1904. “Dear B. John was fairly amused over your post card so I had one to send in return. Hope you are all keeping well. B. was down on Sunday so (?) going up this afternoon. J.A. (or I.A) How is Allan.”
Which is correct? or did the mill have two names? Teviot Mill – an identical picture on a card above is titled Maxwellheugh Mill.
To Miss Brownlee, Branxton Buildings, Cornhill-on-Tweed. Postmarked Kelso, Feb 1904. “Thanks for post card delighted with it. Have been quite busy but nearly finished with the cleaning now. What miserable weather it has been. We are expecting Mrs G. sometime this week. Hope you are all well. We are both A.1. With love, Katie”
The Pier North Blyth [Northumberland] The Wrench Series No. 11569
To Miss Bella Brownlee, Branxton Buildings, Cornhill-on-Tweed Near Scotland. Postmarked Blyth, Northumberland, 9PM, Feb 26, 1904. “Dear Bella, I would like to take you for a walk along the pier. Hope you are all well. I am as fat as ever. Thanks for that nice card you sent a week or two ago. I have got it framed now. Plenty snow just now. So long darling. From little Jane.” (or it could be another name like Tom ot Tam)
“Dear Bella, Not sure yet whether I will be to the fair or not. Will be to your place in the morning if I come. Going to Berwick on Saturday. Have you heard of the addition at New Etal. B.F.”
Police Buildings, Blyth [Northumberland]
Warkworth Castle from Mill Walk [Northumberland] Built in the 12th century, it is now a Grade I listed building and a Scheduled Ancient Monument, managed by English Heritage. To: Miss Brownlee, Branxton Buildings. Cornhill on Tweed. “We will not be until Saturday as we intend going to Wark first. from I.B. [Ina Bruce], 2 Victoria Terrace, Alnwick. Postmarked Alnwick, 9:15 pm, May 17, 1904.
Teviot Bridge, Kelso, Roxburghshire, Scotland. Built in 1795 by William Elliot. Has been a Category A, listed building, since 1971. Card published by A. MacGregor, Kelso.
To Miss Brownlee, Branxton Buildings, Cornhill-on-Tweed. Postmarked Kelso at 4:15 pm May 25, 1904. “Dear Bella, I think ? intends coming down on Saturday with the ten train. So he will be out by dinner time. Hope Grandfather is about his usual. We are all well. Yours loving Jane (?)
Ben Lomond from Luss (village), Scottish Highlands
To Miss Brownlee, Branxton Buildings, Cornhill on Tweed. Postmarked Kelso 6:15 pm, July 2, 1904. “Hope this is not a repeat. This weir (?) looks a lovely place doesn’t it. Hope your grandfather is keeping better. Suppose we will be seeing you at the fair. With love from Katie”
Lambton Castle, County Durham. “How would you like to live here? M.J.S.” [Mary Jane Short] Note: This castle is the ancestral home of the Earls of Durham.
To Miss Brownlee, Branxton Buildings. Postmarked at Morpeth, 9pm, 1 September 1904.
Bell Villa, Ponteland
The mention of “G-Father” indicates that his must be Thomas Allan (1881-1939)
“With best wishes for a very Happy Christmas. M.J.S. ” This card is from Mary Jane Short (1871-1926), a first cousin of Isabella Brownlee’s mother, Margaret Allan (1853-1897). Mary Jane worked as a housekeeper for her uncle George Short (abt 1835-1925) at Pauperhaugh, Northumberland, in the registration district of Rothbury. George Short worked as an estate baliff.
POSTED SEPT 21, 2020 – CARDS TO BELLA BROWNLEES in 1905 – Scans 900-919
Sprouston Church, Sprouston, Roxburghshire, Scotland. Built in 1773, 2 miles from Kelso.
Front: Sprouston Church. Back: To: Miss Brownlee, Branxton Buildings, Cornhill on Tweed. “Will be down tomorrow. ? is going to drive me down all the way. So ? won’t need to come to meet me. Hope it will be fine. Very showery today. With Love from Bessie. Postmark: Kelso 6:15 pm April 14, 1905
Posted October 22, 2020 Scans 0920-0935
Start at 0936
start at 0956
Card from Thomas Allan (1881-1939, first cousin of Isabella Brownlees.