Quiet contribution that adds to understanding of Otago history

FOUR SONS OF SKYE:<br> The History of a Tolmie family from Skye, Scotland to Otago, New Zealand<br><b>James G.H. McKay</b>
FOUR SONS OF SKYE:<br> The History of a Tolmie family from Skye, Scotland to Otago, New Zealand<br><b>James G.H. McKay</b>
Geneaology is one of our fastest-growing industries. It doesn't require government subsidies or expensive stadia. Yet in its quiet way, it adds impressively to our understanding of our heritage.

James McKay's book typifies this development. He is an enthusiast. His broader view is sometimes doubtful (e.g., the caption on page 12 is wrong in stating that "Port Chalmers and the Otago Harbour Board were founded in 1854") but there is no doubt that he has done the hard yards (and air points?) in researching the specifics of his ancestors in both hemispheres.

This is the story of Donald, William, Malcolm and Allan Tolmie, who left Scotland and emigrated to the Antipodes, where they all made their marks. Donald, the Antipodean "first footer", arrived here via Australia, but he and his brothers went on to make their marks in Otago and elsewhere in New Zealand.

McKay's book is well designed and printed, replete with historic illustrations, tables and family trees.

While it may be aimed at a family audience, it will also add to our understanding of Otago history.

The book is available from the author, who can be contacted atjimi-sarah@vodafone.co.nz

Gavin McLean is a Wellington historian.

 

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