A Gowan-Harvey-Headspeath Family History
During the Victorian era, our relatives lived in a society where wretchedness and poverty were commonplace. The tale of our family started in squalor, and has ebbed and flowed ever since.
While I have taken some liberties with imagination, the characters and dates recorded are all historically accurate. Metaphorically, from the fertilisation of a single seed, a tree with many branches has grown. This is the tale of one particular branch, up to the present day.
Our story begins in Berwick on Tweed, on a night in the late 1870’s, probably in a backstreet, or perhaps some grubby accommodation. Wherever they were, George Gowan, a twenty four year old Customs Officer from Spittal, and Elizabeth Harvey, a twenty five year old unmarried woman from Dunbar, engaged in an act of sexual intercourse. Nine months later, on the 24th July, 1871, George Gowan Harvey (later changed to Gowan Harvey Headspeath), the patriarch of our family tree, was born.