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Life as a Scot in California

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The Beginning of My 60 Years (2)

Posted by berkeleyscot on May 2, 2009

I was born on December 27 1949 in Cuparstone Nursing Home, 34 Great Western Road, Aberdeen. It had been previously known as Cuparstone House. I was the last baby to be born there.

Cuparstone Nursing Home was founded in 1934, It was owned and run by Miss Mary Stewart. It closed in 1951. Here’s a link from the Scottish Archive Network.

The property had originally been owned by Archibald’s, a furniture company. So, was I born in a furniture shop window?

On my last visit to Scotland, in 2002, we went to Aberdeen and photographed it.

34 Great Western Road

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6 Responses to “The Beginning of My 60 Years (2)”

  1. liz dent said

    Hi just read your weblog, just let you Miss Mary Stewart was my great-aunt

  2. Thank you so much for that information, Liz.

    I’d appreciate any information about your Aunt and Cuparstone Nursing Home that you can share with me.

    I was adopted immediately at birth and so was cut off from all my personal background information.

    I am so pleased that you have introduced yourself on my blog.

  3. Jan Harwell said

    Hello Berkeleyscot,

    I was very interested to read your weblog as I have just started to investigate my family – Mary Stewart was my aunt. My father, Douglas, was her youngest sibling. Following the closure of Cuparstone Aunt Mary became a missionary in what was then Southern Rhodesia. I believe she was the matron of a hospital there. She returned to the UK about 1964ish and stayed with my family for quite a while. The notes made in the baby-care book would fit in very well with the Aunt Mary I remember – she seemed to be rather intellectual and she was also a very committed Christian. Aunt Mary subsequently worked in a hospital in Broughty Ferry and she died in Aberdeen in about 1972ish.

    Liz Dent – I am kind of intrigued where you fit into this. I would love to know which Stewart was your parent.

    Kind regards,
    Jan Harwell

    • Thank you for your comment, Jan.

      Aye, it’s ben 64 years since I arrived in the world in Cuparstone.

      I did hear fae yer Dad a gweed few years ago noo, fin I pit a letter in the Aberdeen Press and Journal asking aboot Cuparstone.

      To me, it’s no different than the questions everybody else has about their family and origins, but other folk just call it genealogy and it’s encouraged. But adoptees don’t get the same luxury.

      My main interest is in trying to learn how I was born with cerebral palsy in a private facility. It seems it was not set up to deal with difficult births. My birth mother almost bled to death and no provision was made to transfer her to a better equipped hospital.

      I was the last baby born there. I’ve traced the records of the hospital, but they are sealed and I will always wonder why?

      Affy fine tae hear fae ye.

      I dinna think Liz Dent will be reading this blog so I hope there is a way for you to contact her directly.

      Thank you for responding,

      Margaret

      • Jan Harwell said

        Dear Margaret. I can appreciate that you would like to discover more about your birth and also that it must be quite a challenge. I imagine that most, if not all, of the people who had personal knowledge of Cuparstone must have passed on. My father died in 1980 and I think only one sibling outlived him.

        I do not know if the following will be of any help, but I hope so. Mary Stewart was, I believe very close to one of her nephews – Robert Copland. Robert was a chartered accountant in Aberdeen – since he would have been born sometime before 1920 he is however probably deceased. Mary was also, I think, very close to Robert’s son, Derek Copland – she encouraged him in his pursuance of a medical career. Last I heard Derek was a medical doctor (GP) in either Middlesex or west London and, given his and his father’s closeness to Aunt Mary, and his medical interests, he may have some information about Cuparstone. Derek must have been born about 1950 so he stands a fairly good chance of still being with us.

        As you have noted, the patient files from Cuparstone, cannot be opened for 100 years – this must be hugely frustrating given that one of them concerns you. This is pure speculation on my part, but since I was always led to believe that the great and the good of Aberdeen went to Cuparstone, maybe this was done to protect them. Cannot it not be broken?

        I wish you good luck with your quest. If I come across anything that may be of use to you I will pass it on – my quest for historical information is however very sporadic at best.

        Kind regards,
        Jan Harwell

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