JAMES DUFFUS OF FORGUE, ABERDEENSHIRE, SCOTLAND - LETTERS


E-MAIL FROM BILL DUFFUS

Dear David,

     Thank you for your messages. I will try to give you a little of my information here- I will have to sort out a lot. The furthest back I can go is to James Duffus, who married Margaret Hay on the 13th June, 1784 at King Edward- which area must have a new name, but he lived at Ferndraught, Forgue.  His 6th child, William, was my great grandfather. He was born 25th Feb 1787, his wife was Ann ? and he died in 1866. He was a farmer in New Pitsligo.

     I am interested also in the forebears of John Duffus, born in Kingston, Jamaica, I think in 1801. His father was a "land and slave owner"  After being educated at Eton and Oxford, he became a missionary in Australia. I have a transcript of part of his diary on the trip from London to Sydney in 1838, a 6 months journey. Unfortunately, in a fire in Jamaica family papers were lost, but the family seem to have come from Elgin and Banff. Three of his grand- daughters lived in Auckland, all spinsters, and were very good friends of mine. They all died in their 90's. We were unable to find a connection, although there were many family resemblance's between them and my family. This Sunday my wife and myself are going to Ruth Duffus's 80th birthday party. She is the only one of that family left with the name Duffus. She would be the gt.gt.granddaughter of the Jamaica planter.

By the way, the meaning of Duffus is the Gaelic DUBH UIS (my gaelic is poor meaning Black- water. Duffus Castle was built in the middle of a peat bog,  in which was formed an artificial mound or Island.

I will contact you later, but as you are off to Scotland now,  I'd like you to have this first.  I have been back to Scotland 4 times in the last 20 years.

Fraternal regards Bill Duffus


E-MAIL FROM LYALL DUFFUS

Hi David,

Thanks for your note.

I've only just got back from the North Island yesterday, but haven't been able to log on to my Internet Service Provider until now.  (Telecom "XTRA" is keeping up its usual reputation for disgusting service, which is why I'm seriously thinking of changing ISPs, even if it costs me more!)

Yes I did get the Disks and related info thanks. The second batch arrived in today's post, but what with being away for the past fortnight I haven't digested it yet.

Mum and Dad are getting settled in to their new place in Hastings, but although I know he is now on Clearnet, I don't recall his new user name. It is probably duffusw@clearnet.co.nz but I wouldn't swear to that.  If it's different I'll let you know as soon as he replies.

As for me, the garden has taken off, so my priority is sorting that out before I go back to work on the 10th of January.  It's our Summer here now, and with my absence in the USA during spring (your autumn), plus time away in Manapouri and the North Island, the section is in a real state.  I was out in it today with a large canister of weedkiller. I really hate doing that, so I hadn't used the sprayer for about 3 years.

Tomorrow (Saturday) is my rostered afternoon on as a Police Volunteer at the local Police Station (a good excuse not to be gardening in the heat of the day!)  Fortunately I missed a busy NewYears Eve, which resulted in 8 arrests, which is remarkable for a town of only 500, although I think all were visitors from out of town.

Best regards, and Happy New Year.

Lyall


 LETTER FROM BILL DUFFUS IN NEW ZEALAND


W. Duffus
2/.508 Charles St.
Hastings
Hawkes Bay
New Zealand

David Duffus
P.O. Box 5026
Greenville, NC 27858
USA

Dear David,

My son is writing this letter on my behalf due to my illness. I was very excited to receive your reply to my last user net posting some months ago. Unfortunately, after that reply I had technical problems with my computer and we also moved to our current address to be near my daughter. Since then I have been having radiotherapy for brain cancer. Now things are slightly better and I am comfortable but unable to contact you so far. I hope to be able to contact you by e-mail but will not know if this is possible for a few weeks yet.

I don't know if you made any progress on the black Duffuses in Jamaica but 2 of those you may not know were both knights - Sir ? Duffus and Sir ? Duffus. One of those was Chairman of the appeals court of East Africa and the other was Chief Justice of Jamaica. I know little about them but still hear from Ruth Duffus who is the only descendant of the Jamaica family. The family house in Kingston burnt down and all the family papers were lost but I believe that copies were in Elgin, Scotland.

I was so upset about not being able to reply to you after such a good start to our correspondence and will try to contact you on e-mail shortly. I will be delighted when this letter is sent so you know I am still interested in the subject.

Yours sincerely,

W. Duffus

P.S. I am enclosing hands copies of the papers we discussed earlier and a diskette with Duffus family information.


Re: [Fwd: THE DUFFUS SUNDAY EVENING NEWS]
Date: Wed, 18 Jun 1997 22:32:25 +1200
From: W Duffus <duffusw@clear.net.nz>
To: davidduffus@coastalnet.com

Dear David,

I thought it would be appropriate to send one last message from Dad's computer before I leave for home tomorrow.

Dad died last Saturday, 14th June 1997, aged 81, at the Mary Doyle Centre in Havelock North, New Zealand, after a brief battle with brain cancer, which was diagnosed in mid-February. During much of that period he remained stoic and positive, but despite extensive radiotherapy, it was not possible to shrink the tumour, and surgery was not an option He finally gave up in the middle of last week, and refused food and water, and lapsed into a coma the following day. Fortunately I had already planned to come and see him for the weekend, and was able to see him on Friday night for a while, and Mum and I went up to see him for 2 or 3 hours on Saturday. After Mum and I went home for a late lunch, Janet and Brett (my sister and brother-in-law) sat with him and he died while they were with him, at 3.15pm that day. Fortunately his pain relief was well managed, and he died peacefully without the fits we were worried about.

He was an amazing man, and I guess you won't find to many 81 year olds active on the internet.

David I know Dad greatly appreciated your messages, and took a keen interest in them. Thanks so much for the work you put into compiling them, and for adding something to Dad's last days.

Regards,

Lyall Duffus


Letter from June Duffus

Hastings,
Hawkes Bay, NZ
1 July, 1997

Dear David,

Thank you very much for the enormous volume of family papers which arrived here yesterday. . As Lyall (our son) will have already advised you, Bill died on 14th June. He had been diagnosed with a brain tumor soon after we moved to Hastings from Auckland, and despite radio therapy treatment through March, just went down hill physically. He received care here at home until the District Nurses couldn't cope with him and then he had to go to a hospital near here, where he died.

Bill was greatly interested by his contact with you and was trying to link the New Zealand Duffus family (to whom S ? introduced him) with their ancestor in Jamaica (one Albert Duffus, and a slave owner of Kingston, Jamaica). Albert's son, John, went to Oxford, U.K. and became a missionary in Australia before coming to New Zealand. He is buried in Grafton Gully, one of Auckland's earliest cemeteries. He had two sons, William and Robert. William had a son Charlie who was a dentist in Auckland, and three daughters (one of who taught me at primary school). Charlie was my parent's landlord for a number of years and he had a daughter Ruth who is still a personal friend and lives in Auckland. They all have other relatives but none with the name of Duffus.

Bill's people were in Scotland where he was born, the second youngest of six. His only sister Margaret, the eldest, only died last year. She is survived by a son, Duncan, and a daughter, Lorna Clifford, who still live in Scotland.

Our daughter, Janet How, is interested in your records and then will pass them on to Lyall who lives in Twizel, on the South Island. Lyall is an electrical engineer with Electricity Consortium of New Zealand.

No doubt Lyall will keep in touch with you. I hope he does so, as Bill was most interested in the family connections.

Kindest personal regards,

Yours sincerely,

June Duffus


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