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Dr Cecilia (Jan) Chisholm (1937-2020)

Dr Cecilia Janette ‘Jan’ Simpson Chisholm (21/12/1937 - 27/09/2020)

Jan joined the Society in March 2004 after responding to a letter that Ben Chisholm-Broomfield chairman of the UK Branch sent to a number of Chisholm’s found in UK telephone directories. She very much hoped to join us at our gatherings in May and July that year but a visit to Arran followed by a friends wedding in Dumfries meant Jan had to wait to meet us at the July 2005 gathering. After that Jan attended our gatherings regularly until a couple of years ago when she found travel less easy.
Always one to make a gathering convivial Jan was a great help at our gatherings and especially at the Clan Village at the Inverness Highland Games where she would chat to the other clans and clansfolk in the marquee. Jan was a regular correspondent and shared her family news. I was also able to meet her when she visited her son in Stowmarket, Suffolk. Daughter Caroline Guthrie Hodgson’s wedding to Andrew McKean was featured in our November 2008 newsletter. Caroline and John live in New Zealand and Jan was a regular visitor enjoying time with Daniel and Luke the couple’s two boys born in 2013 and 2015. Son John Andrew Chisholm Hodgson’s two sons Oliver and Harry were born in 2005 and 2008 – we celebrated these births with a mention in our newsletters.

Jan was born in Glasgow to Cecilia Erskine Guthrie and Alexander Roderick Chisholm. She studied medicine in London then married Arthur Hodgson in Bedford, the marriage was later dissolved. Jan practiced as a community paediatrician before her retirement in 1998 when she returned to Scotland and met many of her immediate relatives. She was involved with her local Church and very much enjoyed singing and music. She was delighted to discover that one of her favourite hymns ‘Great is thy Faithfulness’ was written by Thomas Obadiah Chisholm and determined to find out more about him. When asked why she didn’t use her first Christian name Cecilia she said it was because it was her mothers name and Jan had not been called Cecilia in her youth. She thought it a beautiful name and St Cecilia a beautiful saint. Jan also said that her mother had been a sweet person and a natural contralto. When her father was courting Cecilia he maintained that he had heard every cantata in the book due to following her around the churches and concert halls.

The family names continue with John having his grandfathers name Chisholm and Caroline having Guthrie from her maternal grandmother. Jan was very pleased with the family history research being carried out by her cousin Matthew Chisholm and Jean Chisholm MacMillan some of which is now included in the Society’s genealogy database.

Jan’s funeral took place at Old Dalnottar cemetery, Clydebank, Dunbartonshire on Tuesday 6th October 2020. The service was conducted by the Rev. David Young and was attended by only a few relatives and close friends due to the current restrictions. Jan’s cousins Matthew Chisholm and Jean MacMillan - both members of the Clan Chisholm Society attended. The burial was arranged by son John but sadly Caroline was not able to travel to Scotland from New Zealand.
Juliette who is also related to this branch of Chisholms sent cards of condolence on behalf of the Society and herself to John and Caroline. Susan also sent personal cards to Jan’s children.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.

Contributed by Susan Chisholm of Chisholm