Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Twins born two days apart

Thanks to a heads up from Megan Smolenyak and Your Family History magazine on Twitter, I've just been reading an article on the Irish Central news site at It concerns the births of two Irish American twins, Ronan and Rory Rosputni, who were born just before midnight on 31st December 2011 and on 12.10am on 1st January 2012 - two different birthdays on two different years.

Och, we can go one better in Scotland! How about twins born two days apart on two different islands and in two different counties?! That happened in 1934, when mother Christina McLennan gave birth on the small island of Scarp, to the west of Harris, part of Inverness-shire. Complications set in after the first baby's birth, and Christina had to be evacuated to Lewis, in the nearby county of Ross and Cromarty (and the north half of the same island on which Harris is located!), where her second child was born two days later. Communications were poor from Scarp, and it had not been possible to summonse a doctor to the island (ironically a 5 minute boat trip today), and so the incident led to questions in Parliament and a bizarre experiment to set up a rocket mail service between Harris and Scarp by a German rocketeer called Zucker (which failed). Scarp was ultimately evacuated by its population, though a couple of families have houses there today. For more on Zucker's story visit

I had the pleasure to work on a reconstruction of the experiment whilst working on the first series of the BBC's Coast as an assistant producer, and as well as visiting Scarp I in fact got to meet one of the twins in her home on the Isle of Lewis in 2005 - full of beans and exclaiming "Man alive!" every time she said something funny!

So there you go - 2 twins, 2 islands, 2 counties, 2 days apart! :)


1 comment:

  1. Brilliant - I'm sure the people at tamba (Twins and Multiple Births Association) will be intertested - I will forward this!