I stumbled across this newspaper advert the other day:
Southern Reporter, 1896 November 19
LOST, Black and White Collie Dog; string on neck. Communicate with Hall, Gattonside Mains, Melrose.
This would have almost certainly belonged to my great-great grandfather Thomas Cavers Hall (1850-1917) who farmed at Gattonside Mains. It’s possible Thomas had only moved to Gattonside shortly before this, but I need to research that more.
I only found this advert because it appeared immediately below an advert for a lost dog that belonged to a Cavers man:
LOST, Collie Bitch; black, white and tan; answers to the name of “Jed.” Apply, Walter Cavers, Kersknowe, Selkirk
Frustratingly I’m not quite sure who this Walter was. He appears in the 1891 Bowden census, farmer of Kersknowe, aged 69 born Hawick. He’s still there in 1901, aged 79, recorded as born Cavers. Going back to 1861 he looks like the 39-year old shepherd at Hyndlee Ravenburn, born Cavers. In all these years he is living with servant Margaret Elliot. That age and a possible birth at Cavers parish point to him being the 1821-christened son of James Cavers and Jean Watson. But I can’t be sure, and haven’t been able to trace a Scottish death for Walter that should confirm his parents’ names.
If Walter was the son of James Cavers and Jean Watson then he would have been a first cousin of the mother of Thomas Cavers Hall, the man whose advert for a lost dog appeared in the paper below his. Both men would be descended from Francis Cavers (1763-1810).