I am so pleased. I had almost given up hope of finding anything about Percy Aikman and Jet Black. My aunt (Ann McKay) has been helping me with my research. She has been trying to find anyone who knew them - for years.
My mother is Elizabeth Aikman, daughter of James Alexander Stanley Aikman who is son of Alexander Coats Aikman. who was the son of James Aikman born 26 October 1840 and Mary Ann Cooke. Another son was James T Aikman (not sure what the T stands for) who married Jenny (don't know her surname). They had two sons, Percy and Howard as far as we know. With Percy as your grandfather, we are 3rd cousins!
My aunt (Ann) remembers meeting Howard when he visited England whilst in the Canadian Air Force. She also remembers he was a teacher.
Ann has written a "family history narrative" from her memories and researches - I have typed it for her. An extract:
"My great grandmother Mary Ann was baptised in Hexham Abbey on 6.8.1835 and married there on 25.11.1867 to James Aikman, 27, bachelor mariner, Hexham, father's name John Aikman, contractor. Mary Ann was 32, spinster, father's name Lawrence Cooke, leather dresser. Witnesses were Alexander Coats and John Cooke. The former was married to Lydia, the bride's sister who had been baptised 10.4.1839. My grandfather was named Alexander Coats Aikman when he was born in South Shields in 1872.
James and Mary Ann's first child was James William who died aged 1 in 1869 when they were living with the Coats at 69 East Saville Street, South Shields. Saville Street was demolished in the 1960's and South Shields library is now on the site. They later lived at 68 and 70 Saville Street. James appears on the burgess role from '71 to '74 as seaman.
In 1871 their son William was born. He was known in my childhood as Uncle Willie and lived at Cedar Villa, Elvaston Road, Hexham until his death in 1940. He was a Master Mariner married to Aunt Annie (nee Knight) they had no family, so that he regarded my mother as a daughter. We saw him often, especially after his wife died in 1937. He had a car (we didn't) and regularly visited us taking us to walk along the pier at Tynemouth, also to Hexham and to visit our MacTaggart relations in Hawick.
My grandfather was a year younger, but died when he was only 60 of throat cancer, he was also diabetic as was Uncle Willie.
Their younger brother James was born in 1875 and I believe he also went to sea. He emigrated to Montreal, Canada, and was married to Aunt Jenny. Their sons were Percy and Howard; Percy was 6' 8" in height, played American Football and became an atomic physicist; he married a girl called Jet Black! Howard was a teacher and visited us when he was in the Canadian Air Force during the Second World War. Uncle Jim and Aunt Jenny visited us in Newcastle in the 1930's and I remember they brought maple syrup for us! We have had no connection with them since the war."
David, what I would like to know is anything about Percy, Howard and their families. I would also be very intrested to learn if you have been able to trace their ancestors. We have been able to go back to John Aikman born around 1778?. He and his partner Julia Snodgrass (we can't find a marriage certificate) had a son - John born 1815 in Midlothian, Liberton (Edinburgh), The John (partner of Julia) was, as far as we know, an orphan - we can find no trace of his birth.