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Messages - Forfarian

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************!! You are right. I obviously need new specs. Sorry about that.

Northumberland / Re: Where is/was Spittal?
« on: Yesterday at 23:41 »
Thanks. That does seem to be the simplest solution.

Crystal and Chrysal are unusual - I wonder if it could be Chrystal?

There is a Mary Anne Conoley, illegitimate daughter of Anne Conoley, born in Kilmadock, Perthshire on 7 May 1863. I have more than once seen a listing in the census of Canada where the day of birth is stated but the year of birth is a year out.

I think this could perhaps be because they were asked what day of the year they were born, and what age they were, and the enumerator then (mis)calculated the year of birth by subtracting the stated age from the census year. This practice, as I am constantly banging on about, gives a wrong answer three times out of four in Britain, because the census is normally taken only a quarter of the way into the year.

In 1901, the census of Canada was taken on 31 March. If this is the right Mary, she would have turned 28 just six weeks later.

Getting into the realms of speculation now, I wonder if Mary's father might have been a Chrystal? It is possible that there might be some sort of record in the Kilmadock Kirk Session records, though if Anne was a Roman Catholic there wouldn't be.

Was David's wife Jane's maiden name also Robertson?
At this point I just don't know


In Scotland, a married woman does not legally lose her maiden name on marriage. The result is that she tends to be listed using her maiden surname in older records, and deaths of married women are indexed by both maiden and married surnames.

So what we know is that James Robertson and his wife Jane (who might also be recorded as Jean) had a child in Tasmania in 1832.  (It seems unlikely that the James Robertson who arrived in Tasmania on 30 September would be the father of a child born in Tasmania earlier the same month, surely?)

James could not have married before he was 14, and he is unlikely to have married before age 20, and he had left Scotland by 1832. The index at Scotland's People lists 21 marriages of a James Robertson to a Jane,  and 42 to a Jean, between 1820 and 1832.

If you are prepared to spend a bit of time on this, there is a way to narrow down the possibles.

Go to and search for children born to James Robertson and Jane between 1832 and 1854. Then compare the mothers' surnames to the list of Janes and Jeans from the SP marriages, and cross off any who were having family in Scotland in the 1830s and 1840s. This will leave you with a list of James Robertsons who married a Jane/Jean and were not having family after your James and Jane left Scotland.

This is not a perfect solution because (a) not all marriages are in the records (b) for completeness you would have to do the same exercise using the Roman Catholic and Other Churches sections of the SP web site (c) there could be couples who had no children or who also emigrated before 1832 (d) I am sure there will be other reasons I have not thought of. Whetever you do, it is never safe to assume that, just because there is only one possible candidate in the records, it has to be the right one. We have all made that mistake and spent time climbing the branches of a tree that isn't ours!

As an example, a James Robertson married a Jane Brodie in Perth in 1826. This couple had a son James, born 1830 in Perth, but no more children are listed. So this couple could have emigrated and had more children in Tasmania. (Did your David have an elder brother James, I wonder?)

On the other hand, James Robertson and Jean Mowbray, married in Edinburgh in 1827, had a daughter in Edinburgh on 4 June 1832, so you can safely cross this couple off the list of ones who might have been the parents of your David.

Scotland / Re: Help please
« on: Yesterday at 10:59 »
I have tried to look up marriages in Scotland but couldn't locate him or his wife.
If you put in both names, the search won't find the marriage. Just use one or the other and it will appear. I'd go for her because her given name is unusual.

You won't be able to view his father's birth online because it is less than 100 years ago, but your friend should arrange to spend a day in the Scotland's People Centre in Edinburgh or in the Mitchell Library in Glasgow (book the ML in advance!) and he will be able to look at that and lots of other records for 15 for the day (unless they increase the fee between now and his visit of course).

Don't believe anything that comes from Ancestry or any other online place unless it is an image of an original document. Always check the original source!

How far back do Scottish census records go?
The useful ones go back to 1841.

There were earlier ones in 1801, 1811, 1821 and 1831 but they only collected numbers, not names, so they are not useful for tracing ancestors.

Was David's wife Jane's maiden name also Robertson?

Scotland / Re: Scotland marriage/death search
« on: Yesterday at 10:48 »
Thanks CaroleW, I don't have a subsciption & there are 7 records to view.  I was hoping someone may be able to help.  VB
Anyone else who looked this up for you would have to pay too.

There is an outside chance that someone might have paid and then put the details on the Scottish BDM Exchange but very few people bother to do this so there are only a few available out of millions.

I see from the 1841 census that a 10-year-old William Lyall, born in Angus, is listed in the Royal Orphan Institution in Dundee.

Also from the Dundee Howff gravestones web site that William Lyall, weaver, was aged 60 when he died in 1838. If his age is accurate, this means that he was born in 1777/1778, and that he was over 50 when William Lyall Jr was born.

I also note that in the same grave there are other people with different surnames and no obvious connection to William. Now, I may be adding two and two and making five (or even seven) but it occurs to me to wonder if William Sr had fallen on hard times, and been buried at the expense of the parish? If so, there could be something in the Kirk Session records (1838 is too early for Poor Law records). Start with

Also, if William Jr was indeed an orphan, there is an outside chance that he was still at school in 1845, when the Poor Law came into force and the Parochial Boards were set up. If so, there might be some record of him there. Again, start with

I don't think there is any need to check that death in Panbride in 1858, by the way. The SP index shows that her other surname was Fitchie. Barbara Patullo married John Fitchie in Tealing in 1812. They had four recorded children, George, Barbara, John and Elizabeth, and in 1841 they were living at Monikie with Elizabeth (listed as Betsy) and three unrecorded children, Margaret, James and Helen. So there is no possibility that she is your Barbara Patullo.

Parents William Lyall and Barbra Pittellow..spelling should be Pattullo.
Don't get hung up on spelling. It was a very inexact science until the 20th century. Until then, there was no such thing as 'correct' spelling of personal and place names.

I have checked Scotland's People and family search, and nothing is coming up for his birth.  Could his parents of forgotten to register his birth?
Yes, very easily. Or they may not have been members of the Church of Scotland.

Also just wondering why no marriage is recorded for William Lyall and Barbara?  Could they of lived as a married couple, but not married?
They could, but it is far more likely that they were married but there is simply no surviving record of the marriage. Or perhaps William Jr was illegitimate and they never actually lived together.

it would be my luck being my clan
Forget about clans. Not every Scot belongs to a clan. These days, there are several Lowland and Border families who are described as clans, but neither Lyall and variants, nor Patullo and variants, is a clan. They are good solid Lowland families. The clans, historically, were a feature of society in the Gaelic-speaking Highlands, and not so many centuries ago your ancestors would have feared and mistrusted all clans, regarding them as savage and dangerous. See for a list of currently recognised clans.

BTW I recommend that you change the heading of your post as I have done. Just putting 'Birth' is very vague and may not catch the attention of other folk. Always best to be specific.

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