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Topics - Forfarian

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Armed Forces / Military Career of James Leslie Haig
« on: Saturday 12 January 19 11:57 GMT (UK)  »
I am attempting to find out about James Leslie Haig. This is what I have so far.

Born on 3 December 1886 at Castle Ward, Northumberland, parents Alexander Price Haig and Jessie Louisa Armstrong.

In 1910, in Perth, Western Australia, he married Mary Isabella Brack-Boyd, divorced wife of Adam Brack Boyd, coffee planter in India. She was born in Bangalore on 22 May 1868, daughter of William Alexander Allardice and Helen Guthrie, so she was 18 years older than James Leslie Haig. JLH was cited as co-respondent in the divorce action.

I have found various references to JLH as follows

Record of Services of James Leslie Haig, 2nd Bn The Black Watch. Passed Royal Military College 1906. Passed for promotion to Lieutenant 1908. 2nd R P Divn Order No 118 of 17.2.08. Born Newcastle-on-Tyne 3rd December 1886. Father A P Haig Esq, Blair Hill, Rumbling Bridge, NB. Educated at Wellington. Height 5' 5". Periods of Employment At Home from 4.5.07 to 3.9.07. Abroad from 4.9.07. Resigns his commission Gazette dated 4th Septr 1908? [Regimental Records of Officers' Services 1775-1914]
5th Military District. James Leslie Haig to be Lieutenant (provisionally). Dated 20th May 1912. [Commonwealth Gazette, 8 June 1912]
Military Changes .... Third military district senior cadets: James Leslie Haig, to be lieutenant (provisionally) of the old organisation. [Sunday Times, Perth, WA, 9 June 1912]
James Leslie Haig applied for a commission in the Australian Imperial Force on 27 November 1914. However the application form contains only his name and no other information.
4th Military District .... The Undermentioned Honorary Lieutenants to be Lieutenants .... James Leslie Haig .... [Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, 23 December 1920]
5th Military District .... To be Lieutenants .... James Leslie Haig [Commonwealth of Australia Gazette, 17 March 1921]

I find all this rather baffling. Why was he appointed Lieutenant three times in two different military districts in Australia after he had resigned a commission in Britain? Why was he never promoted further? Surely someone who was a Lieutenant before the 1914-1918 war would normally have made at least captain?

For the sake of completeness of information, Mary Isabella divorced him in Scotland in 1922 and he married Hilda Edith Ogilvy in Scotland on 4 October 1922. She divorced him two years later. In 1939 he was a landscape gardener, married, in Hove, Sussex, in a household including Phyllis (Florence) Haig (Nickells), married, born 1910, and Cyril Ernest Nickells, single, born 1912. I know about Cyril but I am as yet baffled by, and working on, Phyllis or Florence. JLH was bankrupted in 1942 and he died in Cheltenham in 1961.

At this point I am looking only for information about JLH and his curious-looking military career. I have reams of information about Mary Isabella Allardice or Brack Boyd or Haig, who is my blood relative.

England / England and Wales BMD indexes
« on: Friday 11 January 19 11:49 GMT (UK)  »
My apologies if this has already been discussed, but are there any plans to make the E and W BMD indexes from 2006 onwards available, and if so, when?

Argyllshire / Family of Archibald Campbell, 7th Earl of Argyll
« on: Friday 28 December 18 12:40 GMT (UK)  »
I have been sent a descendancy chart involving the 7th Earl of Argyll and his first wife Lady Agnes Douglas, daughter of the 6th Earl of Morton, and have been checking the details against what I can find online.

According to this chart Lady Mary Campbell, daughter of the above couple, married James, 2nd Lord Rollo.

According to Wikipedia, Archibald Campbell and Agnes Douglas had only three children, not including a Mary.

According to the Clan Campbell of North America web site, the 7th Earl of Argyll had two daughters named Mary. The first one, whose mother was Lady Agnes Douglas, married Sir Robert Montgomery, and the second, whose mother was the Earl's second wife Anne Cornwallis, was the one who married James Rollo. This information is repeated on numerous other web sites.

Can anyone shed light on these obviously contradictory pieces of information?

Banffshire / Is this my Margaret Young?
« on: Friday 21 December 18 16:47 GMT (UK)  »
My great-great-great-grandmother was Elspet Young, daughter of William Young and Margaret Dallas. Margaret Young, Braehead, Botriphnie, was a witness to the baptism of Elspet's eldest daughter Margaret in 1821.

12th October 1794. Margaret lawful daughter to William Young and Margaret Dallas in New Keith was born the 5th curt and baptised this day. Witnesses James Sim and Margaret Mann in New Keith. [Keith Parish Register]

William Innes, son of James Innes and Margaret Stephen, was baptised on 1 February 1797 in Botriphnie.
William Innes and Margaret Young were married in Botriphnie on 24 May 1818.
Sept 21 1818. William Innes in Sauchenward with his wife Margaret Young had a son baptized this date called James. James Innes and Janet Innes witnesses.
Septr 15th 1820. William Innes in Sauchenward with his wife Margaret Young had twins baptized this date calld William and Alexander. William Edward Jean Edward Alexr Edward and Janet Innes witnesses.
April 17th 1825. William Innes in Sauchanward with his wife Margaret Young had a child baptised this date called Margaret.
June 7th 1829. William Innes in Sachanward with his wife Margaret Young had Twins baptised this date called John Angus and Moriah Jean. John Angus and Katherine Taylor Dionysius Reid and Jean Angus witnesses. [Botriphnie Parish Register]

1841 Census: Saughenward, Botriphnie 148/1/5
William Innes          40  Weaver         Banffshire
Alexander Innes       20  Lodger          Banffshire
Margaret Innes        15                      Banffshire

1851 Census: Sauchenward, Botriphnie 148/1/7
William Innes          Head Wid 54  Hand loom weaver         Banffshire, Botriphnie

1861 Census: Sauchenward, Botriphnie 148/2/5
William Innes            Head Wid 64  Flax and wool weaver         Banffshire, Botriphnie

1871 Census index: Botriphnie 148/2/5
William Innes  74

Death reference Botriphnie 1848/148/1. William Innes, woollen weaver master, widower of Margaret Young, died 1878, January eighteenth, Sauchenward, Botriphnie, aged 81. Father James Innes, woollen weaver master, mother Margaret Innes maiden surname Stephen. Cause of death apoplexy. Registered by William Innes, son.

Braehead and Sauchenward are very close to one another. Note that the eldest son of William Innes and Margaret Young was James, and the second was William, and that their elder daughter was Margaret. So all the evidence is consistent with Margaret Young, wife of William Innes, being the sister of my great-great-great-grandmother Elspet Young.

But is it enough for me to add the Innes family to my tree? What do people think?

The Common Room / Rant - FreeCen changes
« on: Wednesday 19 December 18 10:44 GMT (UK)  »
I have been using FreeCen for many years now.

This morning I went to my bookmark and found that it had been changed to a new version.

- The search screen no longer has all the parameters on it at once so you have to faff about moving the screen up and down to set, review or revise your search parameters.
- About half the time when I have set parameters, the search fails.
- When the search does succeed, the resulting index doesn't include the age (one or two digits) on the census, but a range of years of birth (eight digits). Now, I don't know about you but I can instantly interpret up to four digits, not eight. So it makes reading a long list of results pretty indigestible. And why on earth go to the trouble of writing code to make a totally unnecessary calculation to produce a result that isn't in the original document?
- When I try to report a possible transcription error, it tells me that my report cannot be submitted.
- There is a link to the old version, but when I click on it it tells me there is no server available to handle it.

Why oh why do people 'fix' web sites when they are not broken? It always results in a cock-up.

I'm not saying the old version was perfect - there were one or two things I would have liked to see changed - but the new one as it stands at the moment is not an improvement.

Northumberland / Christian Oswald or Steel *** Completed thank you ***
« on: Thursday 06 December 18 10:15 GMT (UK)  »
Christian Oswald was born on 3 May 1819 in Berwick-upon-Tweed, daughter of Robert Oswald and Jean Waddell. I think she is the Christian Oswald who married George Steel in Berwick on 21 August. Is she also the Christian Steel who died in Glendale in 1847 aged 28?

And if so what became of George? Is he the 49-year-old widowed fishcurer, born Kirknewton, in Cheswick in the 1851 census, born 27 December 1801, son of Isaac Steel and Rachel Newton, died 18 September 1872? I have this George Steel in every census. He is not listed with a wife in 1841, and he is a widower in 1851, 1861 and 1871.

Any pointers (other than the GRO, which I am already aware of) would be gratefully appreciated.

Lancashire Lookup Requests / Patrick Richard Ross Kerr ***Completed thank you***
« on: Friday 30 November 18 13:50 GMT (UK)  »
Does anyone have access to the baptism record of Patrick Richard Ross Kerr, baptised on 30 December 1823 at Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church, Liverpool, please? I would be most grateful for an image or transcription of this.

Background at

Occupation Interests / Merchant Navy: were there two Captains Patrick R Kerr?
« on: Friday 30 November 18 13:42 GMT (UK)  »
I am researching Patrick Richard Ross Kerr, born Liverpool in 1823, son of David Kerr and his wife Janet Ross who were married in Burntisland, Fife in 1817. Patrick Richard Ross Kerr married Annie Meldrum, born 3 May 1830 in Kirkcaldy, daughter of John Meldrum, merchant in Kirkcaldy, and his wife Jean Sang. He died on 24 October 1882 in Broughty Ferry. I have him in the 1871 and 1881 censuses, in Aberdour, Fife and Monifieth, Angus respectively, but have failed to find him in any earlier census, or his wife in 1861 (she was staying with her widowed mother in 1851).

He seems likely to be the Patrick Richard Kerr whose register ticket no 413873 was issued at Liverpool on 2 June 1848, though the following columns with details of his voyages are all blank..

The marriage announcements in the newspapers describe him as Commander of the ship 'Wanderer' of Leith.

In October 1850, 'Wanderer', Kerr, was reported at lat 43, long 62, on her way to St John, New Brunswick.

In 1856 the 'Wanderer', Kerr, reported passing an immense amount of ice on her way to Quebec. 

So far, so good.

However Captain Patrick Richard Kerr of the 'Prince Charlie' (or 'Prince Charley') was a witness in the trial in February 1853 of Alexander Paton for desertion in San Francisco in March 1852.

Is it credible that these are one and the same? And if not, which is the one who passed a Board of Trade examination early in 1850, described as 'second, 'Urania''.

I have tried the National Archives, the Crew List Index Project and Maritime Heritage Archives. Can anyone suggest another source where I might find something relevant?

Was it usual for a captain's wife to accompany her husband on voyages in the 1850s and 1860s?

Scotland / What became of John Nigel Edensor Fenton-Livingstone?
« on: Monday 19 November 18 23:21 GMT (UK)  »
Thomas Livingstone Fenton-Livingstone married Christian Margaret Waddell in 1855 in Edinburgh. They had five sons, three of whom died young. The other two were John Nigel Edensor Fenton-Livingston, born 1859, and George Frederick James Fenton-Livingston, born 1860 died 1907.

John married Elizabeth Margaret (Elma) MacDougall of Ardincaple in New York in 1892. They had two sons and a daughter. In 1904 both sued for divorce on grounds of the other's adultery, and the divorce was granted in 1905. He got custody of the sons and she of the daughter. Elma married her co-respondent in 1906, and died in Hove in 1920. John didn't marry the mother of his illegitimate child; she married someone else and died in Glasgow in 1960.

I have plenty of information about George and his family, and I have information about John's sons and their families.

What I am struggling with is what became of John Nigel Edensor Fenton-Livingstone.

He had a successful Army career, during which he fought in the Boer War, and became a Justice of the Peace.

He and his brother were involved in a court case over which was entitled to succeed to their maternal grandfather's estate of Easter Moffat under the terms of the marriage contract between their parents and their maternal grandfather. The Lords agreed that their grandfather's intention was that George should get Wester Moffat.

Part of John's own inheritance, Bedlormie, was sold to meet their father's debts in their father's lifetime, and John assisted their father financially to secure West Quarter. However in 1909 John was sequestrated and West Quarter too was sold. After that I have found no trace of him. He didn't die in New Zealand, I can't find anything about him in Trove, Papers Past, or the British Newspaper Archive and he isn't in the FamilySearch index to the USA census unless I have missed something. A web search turns up nothing. The only hint is that there is a history of West Quarter that says he died before his ex-wife. That puts his death some time between 1909 and 1920.

What am I missing?

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