Wednesday, July 25, 2007

James Gilmour of Mongolia ?

I found mention of this book entitled: "James Gilmour of Mongolia" by Richard Lovett, M.A. while reading newspaper articles from the Brooklyn Eagle online. It was mentioned in an article dated Jul. 18 1902; I had searched the collection for references to several Gilmour family names and then found this seemingly unimportant reference.

I looked this book up on Internet Archive and found this listing:

I am currently reading the entirety of the book. It is available free of charge as a pdf file or you can view it online as a "flipbook". Flipbook is a facsimile of the original and quite readable.

I love this resource and have also read several books by "James Roberts Gilmour", under the pseudonym of Edmund Kirk, These are set in and during the American Civil War. Much of them include parts that are written in a 1860s Southern Dialect. Good stuff.

Well, the reason I am mention this link to the book "James Gilmour of Mongolia" is this: in the first few chapters of the book about his childhood in Glasgow, I came across something very interesting. Imagine my surprise when I got to page 19 and I read about his father moving the family to the city so his father could go into partnership with his brother "Alexander" as "Timber Merchants" !!!!! Possibly the Father of my ggGrandfather and his siblings? Hmmmm....

Then, later on during his school days when he left his parents home he resided for a time (page 23) in Glasgow. It seems that the University he attended subsequently moved to a new location called "Gilmorehill" in the western part of the City.

He would have been a contemporary of my ancestors at least if not direct cousins. This James Gilmour was in his time (...just after my James died, or maybe died...) a famous Missionary for the Presbyterian Church.

The majority of the book is devoted to the telling of the story of his life as a missionary for Christ. It was intended by the London Missionary Society, to be marketed to Sunday School Teachers, Christian Workers and "elder Scholars in our schools" of the day, to inspire and inform them of his ministry. As such it is written in a glowing and overly praise filled tone. He was after all, a martyr for the missionary cause.

Still, if written from a skewed point of view, and as a form of propaganda for the missionary movement, it is in many places inspiring to me that he did so much for the faith. I cannot say that I could have been capable of doing what he did, though often in my youth I aspired to such ideals and dreams. I even contemplated missions at one point, but I am convinced that I would not have attained the success that he was able to achieve.

You never know where things will come from.

The search is (at times) thrilling!