Looking for the Wisharts
1950s chemistry graduate Jack Wishart’s professional career in the army took him all over the world but it is the history and impact of the Wishart family worldwide that inspires and fascinates.
Lt-Colonel Wishart graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1960 with chemistry BSc (Hons). After starting his professional life as a chemistry and physics school teacher, Jack joined the Army in 1964.
This was the start of a fascinating and successful career in the education, training and intelligence areas of the Army, seeing Jack posted throughout the UK as well as Cyprus, Germany and the USA.
It was a diplomatic reception in London in 1974 that spurred his passion for genealogy.
I was standing in a corner with a colleague, Major David Boobbyer, and I made an inquiring remark about his name. He replied that it was a Cornish name and that there were few of them about. I said something similar about Wishart.
As luck would have it David’s neighbour in Haywards Heath (Sussex) was a Wishart and so began a quest that continues to this day.
During lunchtimes and spare moments, Jack gathered as much data as possible on Wisharts. New Register House in Edinburgh and later the Society of Genealogists in London were valuable resources.
Once Jack had a few thousand names he was able to exchange data with those who had 3 or 4 generations at their fingertips. This added to his stock and created a network of fellow Wishart enthusiasts.
Following discussions with a senior Wishart civil servant the website was born and the rest is history.
Much of the data I have amassed has been collected by others. I have corresponded with Wisharts (also Wiseharts, Wishards et al) from 4 of the 5 continents and am indebted to them.
A famous Wishart
George Wishart, the Protestant Martyr. Born at Pitarrow House in 1513, and burnt at the stake in St Andrews on March 1st, 1546.
From trees to a forest
Lt Col Wishart has been collecting genealogical data on Wisharts worldwide since 1974 and now has a database of more than 21,000 names.
Using these names he has been able to construct nearly 150 separate trees. Jack holds information on Wishart births marriages and deaths dating back to as far as the 13th century in Scotland, with most trees beginning in the mid 1700s.