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Author Topic: Linking Bits of Sawers Tree?  (Read 1386 times)

Offline Martin109

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Linking Bits of Sawers Tree?
« on: Tuesday 17 January 12 00:03 GMT (UK) »
I'm trying to establish a link between my known Sawers ancestral tree and another Sawers branch.

My known tree fragment looks like this:

James Sawers (probably weaver) b1728-1734, d1786
Married Janet McKesson (b1718, d1795) in 1757
Issue:
William, b13.5.1758 (became planter in Jamaica)
John, b18.2.1761 (became planter in Jamaica) (son John, b1817, became Provost
                           of Stirling, 1849-1858)
                        (son Robert, b1821, apprenticed
                        to Sawers & Sconce, Writers)
James, b17.4.1763 (also planter Jam.)
Isabel, b11.11.1765


The tree fragment I think mine links to is:

William Sawers, bc1695, probably cooper
Married Jean Greenock c1720
Issue:
John, b31.8.1721
Margaret, b9.11.1723
William, b21.1.1726
James, b11.1.1729 (I think this is 'my' James, above)
Elizabeth, b12.5.1733
Thomas, b18.10.1734
Jane, b25.6.1737
Alexander, b1744

I believe that James, b1729, is likely to be my ancestor James.

There are a couple of bits of evidence pointing in this direction:

James's first son is called William; according to the tradition of name choice, this suggests James's father was called William, as the first son is normally called after his paternal grandfather.

James's second surviving grandson Robert, b1821 (younger brother of Provost), became a writer (lawyer), having been apprenticed to Sawers & Sconce; John Sawers, b1790, grandson of John, b1721, above, was joint Procurator Fiscal with Robert Sconce and partner in this firm. The apprenticeship suggests a family connection to me. If I'm right, John b1790 and Robert b1821 would have been second cousins.

Is this all far-fetched? How would you go about attempting to 'cement' the link?








Offline stirling76

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Re: Linking Bits of Sawers Tree?
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 17 January 12 10:53 GMT (UK) »
Martin 109,

I looked through some old books of mine in my collection, and came across this regarding Provost Sawers, the book is dated 1899. The article is quite long, so I'll have to put it on in two parts, as the site wont allow me.
Stirling 76

part one

Provost John Sawers.
John Sawers was born at Viewfield, Stirling, on 17th December, 1817. He was a son of Mr. John Sawers, a native of Stirling, who spent thirty-six years of his life in Jamaica. Provost Sawers was educated at the Burgh School of Stirling and at Dollar Academy, and, having resolved to devote himself to banking, served his apprenticeship in the Commercial Bank of Scotland in Stirling. At the termination of his apprenticeship he was for a short time in Edinburgh, in the office of the newly-formed Edinburgh and Leith Bank, afterwards Edinburgh and Glasgow Bank. On reaching his 21st year he was appointed agent of that bank at Tillicoultry, the first bank agency opened at the "Hillfoots," then a rising woollen manufacturing district. After remaining there for two years he was translated to Stirling, to open a branch of the bank there. Very soon after settling in Stirling Mr. Sawers was appointed Dean of the Guildry and Dean of Guild of the Town Council. After holding these offices for five years he was elected Provost of the burgh, which office he held for nine years.

His public spirit and business activity soon found scope in various ways.
His first public act which gave rise to a good deal of discussion was the purchase, in a quiet way, of a large ugly building at the top of Broad Street which disfigured the view of the fine old churches. About the same time he set on foot a scheme for laying sewage pipes in the streets ; but as a number of proprietors refused to connect their house pipes with the mains, and the Town Council possessed no compulsory powers, Provost Sawers convened a public meeting of the inhabitants, by whom the Police Act was adopted in the burgh, and the extended powers thereby acquired by the Magistrates and Town Council led to many important improvements in the town.

Within two years of his appointment as Provost of the burgh, Mr. Sawers, in consideration of his services to the community, was entertained at a large public dinner in the Golden Lion Hotel. Some time thereafter, with the active aid of Bailies Rankin and Morison, the Provost purchased, from the then Earl of Mar, " Mar's Work," at the head of Broad Street, with the ground behind, and the present beautiful Cemetery was thus begun to be formed.

part two to follow.
Stirling in Scotland, Baker Street in Stirling.
Donaldson from Thornhill
Stewart from Whins of Milton
McAra from Whins of Milton


Offline stirling76

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Re: Linking Bits of Sawers Tree?
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 17 January 12 10:57 GMT (UK) »
part two

On receiving one morning a letter from Colonel Tovey Tennant, of Stanmore, near London (a native of Stirling, who was married to a daughter of Sir Archibald Christie, Governor of Stirling Castle), along with a cheque for 1000 towards the erection of a High School in his native town, the Provost called a meeting of the Council and chief inhabitants, by whom a committee was formed to collect subscriptions, of which committee the Provost was chairman and the Rev. Dr. Beith deputy-chairman. A considerable sum was soon collected, which, supplemented from the funds of the burgh, was the beginning of the now prosperous High School of Stirling. As a strong friend of education, Provost Sawers did his utmost to assist in getting the very best teachers for the High School. On his advice the Council first appointed Dr. Donaldson (now Principal Donaldson, of St. Andrews University) to be rector of the school, and on the removal of that gentleman to the High School of Edinburgh, Mr. Paton, now Dr. Paton, and rector of the Glasgow High School, became his successor.

Being an active man of business, Provost Sawers was for many years a director of the Scottish Central Railway Company, and of the Dunblane, Doune, and Callander Railway Company ; auditor of the Stirling and Dunfermline Railway Company ; and one of the promoters and directors of the Forth and Clyde Junction Railway Company.

During the reign of Provost Sawers an event occurred of a kind not so common then as it has become in recent years, and he frequently referred to it as a memorable one in his experience. Along with some of the Provosts of the largest burghs in Scotland, he was invited by the Lord Mayor of London to a banquet in the Guild Hall there, to meet Prince Albert, who had then proposed the first great national exhibition, and he was afterwards present at the return dinner given at York. The Provost was appointed to collect samples of the manufactures, etc., of this district for the exhibition, and, in consideration of his services in this respect, he was, at the close of this memorable undertaking, presented with a medallion by Prince Albert.

Although a staunch Conservative, a strong adherent of the Church of Scotland, and a Representative Elder from the Burgh for many years at the General Assembly, Mr. Sawers never allowed his political or ecclesiastical tendencies to prevent his maintaining the most agreeable relations with all classes of the citizens. Indeed, the writer of these notes recalls the fact that many of his most intimate friends were keen, steady-going Whigs, and adherents of one or other of the Dissenting Churches. It is particularly recollected by some of the older townspeople that, at the time of the Disruption, when the congregation of the West Church, under the ministry of the Rev. Mr. Leitch, had not a place wherein to worship, they were much gratified in obtaining from the Provost, as the then Dean of the Guildry, the use of the Guild Hall, the erection of the beautiful window in which took place during the time Mr. Sawers held that office.

On the winding up of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Bank, in which he was one of the largest shareholders, Mr. Sawers removed to Gothenburg, the chief shipping and mercantile city in Sweden, where he continues actively to carry on business, although now in his 82nd year. He is now not so able to go into society as he used to be, but is a diligent reader of the English and Scotch newspapers, and has been long engaged in gathering old china, of which he has perhaps the finest collection in the north of Europe. His three sons, who were educated at the High School of Stirling, are prosperous men. The eldest, John, is Superintendent of the Bank of Australasia, and has charge of the many branches of that institution scattered over the Australasian Colonies. His second son, Robert, holds a high official position at Euston, for the London and North Western Railway Company ; and his youngest son, William, who is owner of two large sheep runs in New South Wales, is Member of Parliament for his county, and resides at Sydney.

The print of the photograph of Provost Sawers which we have been enabled to present to our readers, was taken when he was about 80 years of age, and includes also a portrait of his grand-daughter.

I hope this article has been of help to you,
Stirling 76
Stirling in Scotland, Baker Street in Stirling.
Donaldson from Thornhill
Stewart from Whins of Milton
McAra from Whins of Milton

Offline Martin109

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Re: Linking Bits of Sawers Tree?
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 17 January 12 14:09 GMT (UK) »
Thanks stirling76

Thank you very much for your reply. I was actually familiar with the entry on John Sawers in the Drysdale book I do hope you didn't copy all the text out by hand! That's a nice copy of the picture you've reproduced there!

It's not so much that side of the tree that's exercising me, as I'm very familiar with Provost John, his father's generation in Jamaica, and the emigration to Australia of several of his children to Australia and Sweden following the scandalous bank collapse, which the Drysdale text glosses over so tactfully!

The problem I have is trying definitively, rather than vaguely, to tie in Provost John's grandfather James to the known descendants of William Sawers and Jean Greenock, as I believe he's their son, b1729.

Thanks again for your help.