Scotland (Counties as in 1851-1901) => Scotland => Orkney => Topic started by: jayem45 on Wednesday 05 November 08 11:48 GMT (UK)

Title: FLETT/GORIE of Stromness
Post by: jayem45 on Wednesday 05 November 08 11:48 GMT (UK)
I am looking for information on John Brown Flett 1826-1905 who migrated to South Australia and then Victoria.

His mother was Jean Gorie/Gorrie (spelling varies) but I am unsure of his father and any other details.  I think it is Peter but family stories have it that he, too, was John Brown.  I have found a Peter b 1801 who married a Jean Gorie in 1826.  Are these mine?

If so, what happened to Peter as only Jean, I believe, ended up in Australia.

Any information on these people and further back would be much appreciated.

Title: Re: FLETT/GORIE of Stromness
Post by: airdlass on Thursday 06 November 08 09:18 GMT (UK)
In the 1821 census there is a Jean Gorie age 20 living at Stank, Stromness . Head of household is  Elspet Isbister age 51 a widow.
Also listed are Jannet Gorrie age 24, James Gorie age 22, Magnus Gorie age 17 and John Gorie age 83.

In the 1841 census there is Elspet Gorie a widow age 70 at Outertown, Stromness. In a separate household but still at Outertown there is Magnus Gorrie aged 35 with his family and in another household again still at Outertown is James Gorrie age 40

In 1851 census James aged 54 is back at Stank as a Farmer of 12 acres and Magnus is at Upper Mousland Stromness listed as a Farmer of 8 acres.

They are also in 1861 census if you would like more info

Title: Re: FLETT/GORIE of Stromness
Post by: jayem45 on Thursday 06 November 08 10:14 GMT (UK)
Thanks for that Airdlass.  I have taken note of the information as I think it gels with what I have.  I have also copied the web link for the national archives.

I appreciate the time you have taken to respond to my query.
Title: Re: FLETT/GORIE of Stromness
Post by: Oldejocks on Wednesday 12 November 08 03:54 GMT (UK)
I can help with some BMD data in the states of South Australia and Victoria. I looked into this forum as my Great Grandmother came from Stromness, and she was Catherine Spence Clouston, born in 1855.
Title: Re: FLETT/GORIE of Stromness
Post by: jayem45 on Wednesday 12 November 08 07:41 GMT (UK)
Thanks for your interest Oldejocks. 

I have most of the bmd info after the family arrival in SA but am more interested in their lives prior to that.  I have been unable to find out what ship they arrived on, indeed whether Jean Gorie Flett came out to Australia at the same time as her son John Brown Flett, about 1854. 

I have no knowledge of what happened to her son Peter Flett and her husband, also Peter Flett.  I do not believe either of them came to Australia.

The only Spence/Clouston connection I can see goes back to John 1805-1879 who was a brother of the Peter Flett b 1801 who married Jean Gorie.

I would, of course, be interested in whatever information you may have to share.
Title: Re: FLETT/GORIE of Stromness
Post by: motormouse on Friday 19 April 13 16:24 BST (UK)
I can assure you John Brown Flett did come to Australia with his mother, Jean Gorrie Flett. I am a direct descendent. Jean Gorrie married John Brown Flett in the Orkney Islands, I think at Stromness. Their only child was also named John Brown Flett. John Senior was a fisherman and when his child was an infant he went out to sea with his friend in their small boat and got lost in thick fog, they were found the following day frozen at the oars. The widow and small child had no income or support and were offered a position "in service" with a wealthy household in London. Very few well to do people took on single mothers as servants so she was certainly fortunate to receive this offer. When John Brown Flett grew up he worked as a merchant seaman and having been to Australia decided to live there. He packed up his mother and headed to a new life landing at Robe in South Australia. He set up house there, installed his Mother and travelled around in search of work, spending time in Victoria and Tasmania. In Hobart he met one Mary Brown, a young lady with a somewhat seedy past, took her back to Robe and married her. The old Mother was somewhat disapproving as she showed far too much cleavage for the straight laced old dowager. At some stage they moved to Warrnambool in south west Victoria where he took up work as a boat builder. One of their Sons William Flett had a tinshith shop in Warrnambool, I have a photo of him standing in front of it. William had three sons and three daughters. One of those sons was my Grandfather Charles Stratton Flett, married Ethel Newman. My Mother Joan was their only Daughter. One of William's daughters Jean married Dan Gallagher and all three of their children joined the religious orders. Father Laurie Gallagher was collating a history of the Fletts in Australia and some of the above descriptions are his. I have stored his writing somewhere and cannot find them at the moment so am relying on memory. I have some photos and when I find Laurie's script I will post more, as there are gaps I can certainly fill from our Australian perspective.  Regards Peter
Title: Re: FLETT/GORIE of Stromness
Post by: akc on Friday 19 April 13 20:48 BST (UK) has john brown flett born 21/12/1826 to peter flett and jean gorie and scotlands people also has john brown flett born 2/1/1827 to peter flett and jean gorie both in stromness
plus a peter flett born 6/10/1828 stromness

on the 1841 census at main street in stromness there is a jean flett aged 40 merchant and her son john aged 14 carpenter
Title: Re: FLETT/GORIE of Stromness
Post by: jayem45 on Saturday 20 April 13 00:23 BST (UK)

Nice to meet a cousin. My Mum is Muriel, daughter of Harold Yeoman and Jessie Flett.

I have all of Laurie's transcripts too. I am on holiday in Tasmania at the moment but would love to compare notes when I get home in late May.

Sadly the Flett Alzheimer's has gripped my Mum very tightly now and there are no memories left.

I live near Kempsey on the NSW mid north coast and direct email is (*)

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Title: Re: FLETT/GORIE of Stromness
Post by: Skoosh on Saturday 20 April 13 10:39 BST (UK)
Folks,  this guy has been working on his Orkney Flett family tree and DNA, and is co-author of  a new book, "The Scots, a Genetic Journey",  by Alastair Moffat & James Flett Wilson, from 
He lives in Linlithgow and is the founder of,

Title: Re: FLETT/GORIE of Stromness
Post by: trish1120 on Saturday 20 April 13 11:58 BST (UK)
Baptism of JOHN BROWN Flett 02 January 1827 Stromness ( birth 21 Dec 1826) has his Parents as said before as PETER Flett and Jean GORIE, Fathers Occp Seaman.

PETER Flett 15 Oct 1828 has Fathers Occp as Shoemaker (strange) but same Parents names.
A PETER Flett, Shoemaker, was Buried 28 May 1834 Kirkwell, age 46

Stomness, Orkney Isles
09 February 1826
Both of this Parish

(Source FreeREG)

Trish :)
Title: Re: FLETT/GORIE of Stromness
Post by: trish1120 on Saturday 20 April 13 12:18 BST (UK)
Some confusing info a Aust Death Index has Jeans Parents as Jno Gorrie/Elspit Isbester

26 March 1795, Stromness
Magnus GARRIE, Parish Outtertown

JANET Gorrie, 01 Feb 1796
Magnus Gorrie, Farmer in Stank in Outtertown, had a child by his wife Elspet Isbister, born the 1st and baptised the same day of Febuary, by the Revd.Mr.William Clouston, named Janet.
Abode   Stank, Outtertown
FatherOccupation   Farmer
JAMES Gorie, 10 Oct 1797
JEAN Gorrie, 27 July 1799***
MAGNUS Gorrie, 29 July 1802
BETTY Gorie, 10 Oct 1805

Title: Re: FLETT/GORIE of Stromness
Post by: motormouse on Sunday 21 April 13 10:27 BST (UK)
Hi Jan
Wow, I didn't expect to get much response let alone a second cousin. I don't have much memory of Jessie, but I do remember Uncle Harold, a lovely man with real bulldog jowls. Your grandmother and my grandfather Charlie Flett were bro and sister, I'm still trying to get my head around that. Sad to hear about your Mum Muriel, is your Dad Stan Didier? the dementia curse has struck many of our family including Mum who passed away in 2005, Jessie's sister Jean Gallagher, Father Laurie's Mum had it, Sister Imelda, Laurie's sister has it, she is in care here in Geelong. I don't know much about Aunty Kath Croft. Vince Yoeman's Wife Joan and my Mum Joan were great friends, Joan was always included in all our family occassions. I would love to catch up and swap notes, the admin here removed your email address but you could contact me via my website if admin allows me to put it here, it is my Brother Terry and I are pencil portrait artists. I have a couple of photos of our great grandfather William Flett, one is of him with two of his sons in uniform before heading off to Gallipoli in ww1. Fred and Vivien went, Grandfather Charlie was too young and I don't know much about the fourth Son William who married a 'non Catholic' and vanished somewhere in NSW never heard of again. There was a Billy Flett who Mum remembers as a child coming to Warrnambool for holidays with them when he was a kid. Viv brought back a war bride from England and settled in Darwin. when he died the wife and daughter went back to England. Fred came back a hero but never spoke about it, he married Emily Ryan and they had no children. Fred and Charlie had a plumbing business and took over a run down cordial factory in Warrnambool and made it successful. Father Laurie gave Mum Uncle Fred's war medals and citation and certificate of thanks from the City of Warrnambool so we know what he did, he was awarded the meritorious service medal, directly approved by King George. We have given them on loan to the RSL. I am happy to make available anything I have to give you copies for your research.
Title: Re: FLETT/GORIE of Stromness
Post by: motormouse on Sunday 21 April 13 10:41 BST (UK)
To Trish1120

I agree there are quite a few inconsistencies in the dates, names, parentage, offspring etc of Gorrie/Flett. I have only just discovered this forum and am excited about it, as you can see it has already been fruitful for me. I will continue to sift through the information and links here and post results. It seems Flett was like Smith in the Orkneys, lots of them.
Thanks for your information.
Title: Re: FLETT/GORIE of Stromness
Post by: randerson105 on Friday 25 October 13 08:59 BST (UK)

I am also a descendant of John Brown Flett (my GGG grandfather) - my GG grandmother Jane Gorie Flett married William Anderson in 1890 with both laid to rest at the Warrnambool Cemetery. I have researched John Brown Flett and his mother (Jean Gorie) and wife Frances (nee Brown) and the relationships back to the Flett's in the Orkney Is. as well as JB Flett's relationship to other second and third Flett cousins who settled in Warrnambool/Wangoom. I am interested in learning more about each of JB and Frances Flett's children and the running of Proudfoot's boatsheds on the Hopkins River at Warrnambool.

My father and mother are both 91 and remember some of the Fletts, notably Trixie Flett (daughter of Frances) who helped run the boating business with her mother and uncle Harry after JB Flett's death in 1905. I only have photos of my great grandmother, Jane Gorie Anderson, and her brother William Flett (the tinsmith) and would beb interested in any photos or family history you can relay in relation to the other brothers and sisters.


Title: Re: FLETT/GORIE of Stromness
Post by: motormouse on Saturday 26 October 13 16:58 BST (UK)
Hi Russell

Wow, there's lots of us out here searching the same origins, William Flett, the tinsmith, was my GGgrandfather and I have a photo of him standing outside his shop in Warrnambool, I also have a photo of him later with two of his sons in military uniform, Fred and Vivien, they were two of my grandfather Charlie's brothers. Both survived WW1 Fred and grandfather owned a cordial factory in Warrnambool, Flett's Cordials and grandfather also had a plumbing business. One of Grandfather's sisters Jean Gallagher had three offspring and all in the religious, Father Laurie, Brother Don and Sister Imelda. Father Laurie was putting together a history and I have his handwritten notes he gave to Mum, I have typed them in MS Word and can pass on a copy to you as well as other photos I have. I remember Trixie Flett from the boatsheds, she was a swarf and was great mates with a cousin of Mum's on her Mother's side Francy Kavanagh who also had dwarfism. According to family stories Trixie was a bit of a mystery, daughter of Frances but unknown father. Also, Flett's boatsheds wasn't Proudfoots, they were the competition, Fletts was where the Ski Club is now and they were Grandfather's cousins, there was also a Charlie amongst them. If you like I can put together a chronology of offspring from William, the tinsmith through to our generation and our children and grandchildren as much as I can. Jan is also from William's line, her Grandmother Jesse and my Grandfather Charlie Flett were brother and sister, I haven't heard back from her since she returned from holidays but if you wish to contact me direct via email you can find it on my art website my Brother terry and I are pencil portrait artists. I would love to hear more about your line.

Peter Morris