‘Golden Wedding at Oathlaw’
Charles Wishart was born in Oathlaw on 11 February 1847 and baptised on 11 April in the neighbouring parish of Tannadice. He was the illegitimate son of William Wishart, a miller from Glamis who at the time was living with his brother James at Marcus Mills, and Elizabeth Turiff. William and Elizabeth never married (William eventually married an Isabella Foreman in 1853 and went on to have several children with her) and so Elizabeth raised her son in the family home. The Turiffs had moved from Fettercairn to the area in the 1820’s and set up their own small farm at Oathlaw Croft.
In the 1851 census Charles was living with his mother and widowed grandmother in Easter Oathlaw and by 1861 had left home and found work as a farm servant at Bankhead, a farm run by Joseph Robb in Monike. In 1871 he was working at Muireyhillock Farm in Tannadice as a ploughman and had met a local girl named Mary Ann Dickson who was working as a domestic servant on a neighbouring farm. Later that year on 22 December, the Rev. Alexander Duff, minister of the South Church in Kirriemuir, married the couple who subsequently went on to have four children between 1873 and 1878 named Isabella Stuart Webster Wishart, William Dickson Wishart, Margaret Dickson Wishart & Elizabeth Clark Wishart.
After Charles left home, his mother Elizabeth lived the rest of her life on the three-acre croft her father had worked before her, and died on 12 June 1893 of bronchitis and pneumonia. Charles was the informant of her death and was working in Inverquharity at the time. He subsequently returned to Oathlaw and lived in the house of his birth until he died in 1928.
Further details about Charles and Mary Ann’s life in their latter years can be found in the pages of the Dundee Courier. Fifty years after they were married, their golden wedding celebrations were recorded on page six of the journal dated 22 December 1921:
There will be celebrated to-day the golden wedding of Mr & Mrs Charles Wishart, Oathlaw, the worthy couple having been married by Rev. Alexander Duff, South Church, Kirriemuir, on 22d December, 1871.
Mr Wishart has all his life followed an agricultural occupation. For many years he was employed at Inverquharity, first in the service of Sir Leonard Lyell, and latterly under Mr Archibald Whyte. Afterwards he returned to his native parish of Oathlaw, and spent short spells at Birkenbush and Bogindollo and other farms. Fully twenty years ago he returned to the cottage where he was born, and took over the small holding long carried on by his parents.
Even though he is well on in the seventies, his active personality still demands constant occupation, which he finds in helping neighbouring farmers at their busy seasons. Mr Wishart is a fine specimen of the real Scot, and an hour spent with him holds both entertainment and education, his conversation bubbling over with sage and pawky humour.
Mrs Wishart is some two or three years younger than her spouse, and still retains activity of mind and a capacity for hard work.
Mr & Mrs Wishart have three daughters and one son, who is a cycle agent in Forfar. There are five grandchildren.
The celebration of the event will take place in the School, when the couple will be made recipients of many presents, including easychairs from the family and a wallet of Treasury notes from friends.
Charles died on 10 February 1928. The following day the Dundee Courier reported:
WELL-KNOWN OATHLAW MAN DEAD
The death occurred yesterday morning of Mr Charles Wishart, Oathlaw, on the eve of his eighty-first birthday.
Mr. Wishart spent a long life-time entirely in agricultural occupation in Central Forfarshire.
He spent spells at Birkenbush, Bogindollo and other farms, and for many years he was employed at Inverquharity, then in the tenancy of Major Whyte, of Spott, who retains a high opinion of his old servant as one who took such an interest in his work that it seemed as if the stock were his own.
About 30 years ago Mr Wishart returned to the cottage where he was born and took over the holding long worked by his parents, and up till almost the last his personality in its activity demanded constant occupation.
In speech Mr Wishart used the real Doric, and to many his phrases were alike interesting, and somewhat puzzling.
Only eleven weeks have passed since Mr Wishart was predeceased by his partner of many years – they celebrated their golden wedding fully six years ago. Deceased is survived by three daughters and one son, who is in business in Forfar.