British Community and Family History
The history of the Rankin family is inextricably tied up with that of the cork industry, for it was cork that first brought them to the country over two centuries ago. In 1778 William Rankin was a "cork manufacturer" in Falkirk. At that time cork was shipped in sheets from Portugal to Britain and the cork stoppers for whisky and other products were fashioned out of the sheets by skilled workers. As a large company it made sense for the Rankins to import cork directly rather than through agents and William´s elder son, Robert, was sent to Portugal to buy cork at the age of 21. A record of his trip still remains.
The author traces the fortunes of the family from that time to the present day.
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