The Harland diaspora

Dr. Robert Wallace (Robin) HARLAND (b. 7 Mar 1926-7 Ulsterville Avenue, Belfast)
sp: Mary Elizabeth (May) KENNEDY (b.11 Nov 1922-Ballycastle, Co.Antrim.18 Aug 1951 d. 7 Nov 1985)
      |-Robert Wallace (Wallace) HARLAND (b.12 May 1955-Iserlohn, Germany)
      | sp: Alison CLARKE (b.?-Belfast m. 8 Jul 1977)(div)
      | sp: Sabine KLIEMKE (b.30 May 1959-Mannheim Germany m.17 Aug 1988)
      |       |-Robert Wallace (Bobby) HARLAND (b.23 Aug 1989-Belgrade, Yugoslavia)
      |       |-Daniel Kennedy Kliemke (Danny) HARLAND (b.25 Jun 1991-Belgrade,Yugoslavia)
      |       |-Mats Gleim HARLAND (b. 6 Jun 1993-Oslo, Norway)
      |       |-Jesse Dexter (Jesse) HARLAND (b.12 Aug 1997-Brussels, Belgium)
      |       |-Hannah Magdalena (Hannah) HARLAND (b.13 Jun 1999-Edith Cavell Hospital, Brussels, Belgium)
      |       +-Rosalie Faith HARLAND (b.20 Nov 2001-Johannesburg, South Africa)
      |-Patrick William (Paddy) HARLAND (b.27 Aug 1956-Durham, England)
      |-David Alexander (Dave) HARLAND (b.27 Aug 1956-Durham, England)
      | sp: Frances MAXWELL (b.22 Dec 1959-Hurstpierpoint, Sussex m. 1 Sep 1984)
      |       |-Katherine Mary Elizabeth (Katie) HARLAND (b.14 Aug 1988-London, England)
      |       |-Eleanor Lucy (Ellie) HARLAND (b.26 Feb 1990-London)
      |       +-Louisa Clare (Louisa) HARLAND (b.31 Jan 1993-London, England)
      |-Simon John (Simon) HARLAND (b.21 Feb 1958-Durham, England)
      | sp: Rosemary (Rosie) RICHARDSON (b.28 Jul 1959-Belfast, Northern Ireland m.26 Aug         1980)
      |       |-Rachel Fiona (Rachel) HARLAND (b.23 Oct 1984-Belfast,  Northern Ireland)
      |       +-Darryl Simon (Darryl) HARLAND (b. 9 Jan 1987-Belfast, Northern Ireland)
      +-Dermod Kennedy (Dermod) HARLAND (b.29 Aug 1963-Durham, England d. 3 Mar         1997)
After his House Officer post in Royal Victoria Hospital Belfast in 1949, Robin took a temporary post as a general practitioner (GP) in the mining village of Sherburn, Durham, England (February to September 1950) before taking up his new training post in the Royal Maternity Hospital Belfast. His return to Belfast turned out to be short-lived, although highly significant; for it was then that he re-met his future wife. The doctor, for whom he had been substituting in Durham, was an alcoholic and he committed suicide in November 1950.  It was then that Robin, at the age of 24, was invited to become a full partner in that dispensing practice, and he stayed there until 1970. Curiously, although in Durham for those 20 years Robin never had any knowledge of the 17th century Harlands whose homes could have been quite nearby.

Robin Harland, the originator of this website,  was born just 20 minutes before his identical twin, Arthur.  They followed predictably identical lives until after graduation. They were educated at Fane Street Public Elementary School, Belfast (1931 – 1938), Methodist College Belfast (1938 – 1943), and Queen's University Belfast (1943 – 1948). So virtually all their teenage years were used up trying to stay alive through the Second World War. They both grew to be over 6’ 4” tall. They graduated in Medicine in December 1948, and only then did their lives split apart, and each took an entirely different path.

Wallace, Paddy, Simon and Dave on roof at Honeypot Cottage, Teesdale, 1967

Identical twins Arthur and Robin graduate

Robin married May Kennedy in 1951, and they settled into the routine of a GP’s life in a pit village, ‘living above the shop’. After being a full-time resident in Great Britain for three years, Robin became liable for conscription into the British Army. His appeal against this decision was heard in London in June 1953. Because of a coincidence of dates May and he were able to join Uncle Arthur and Aunt Elinor (see John Harland’s Second Family)in London at the time of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.  The four of them spent the morning together huddled around the very new-fangled black-and-white television with its fuzzy pictures direct from Westminster Abbey; and in the afternoon Uncle Arthur drove them all from Blackheath though a deserted London, until they joined the throng watching the procession returning to Buckingham Palace – just as the rain started to fall.


In August 1953 , Robin was conscripted into the British Army and posted as Medical Officer to the 6th Royal Tank Regiment in Munster Westphalia, Germany, where he served from 1953 - 1955.  Robin felt that he learned little or no medicine during that experience, although he always recognized the benefits, for it was there “that he learned how to drink, smoke and swear”; in other words to find some sort of release from the strictures of a rigid Methodist upbringing, while, hopefully, hanging on to the many good things therein. Another of the benefits was the provision of a married quarter at 55 Rumphorst Weg, Munster. The first of his and May’s 5 sons, Wallace, was born in the British Military Hospital at Iserlohn on 12 May 1955.

Robin post-1955