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Armed Forces / Where was the Royal Horse Artillery between 1808 and 1835?
« on: Sunday 11 February 18 10:42 GMT (UK)  »
I am trying to pin down the baptism of Alexander Wyper, son of William Wyper and Jean Edwards. Full details in this thread

His father was a gunner in the RHA, and it would be very helpful if someone could point me towards information about where this regiment was and when between these dates, and in particular around 1820-1822.

Scotland / Looking for a place in Scotland?
« on: Saturday 03 February 18 20:02 GMT (UK)  »
A few things to bear in mind when you start looking for the place where your forebears came from.

1. Place names in Scotland are seldom unique. For example there are an Edinburgh in the parish of Birnie and a Dundee in the parish of Marnoch, and there are at least three Lethams and four Kirkmichaels. There are umpteen Miltons, Kirktowns, Burnsides, Hillends, Logies, Townheads and Craggans, to mention but a few.

2. A search using a modern road atlas is doomed to failure. The croft or farm your ancestors lived in is not marked, let alone named, on any modern road atlas. You need a map at a scale of 1:50,000 or 1:25,000 or even more detailed.

3. All older records of births and marriages were recorded by the church, and are organised on the basis of parishes. You have to know the parish in order to find the right place. So if you are asking for help to find a place mentioned in a baptism record, always state which parish it came from.

4. If a record from a parish register says your ancestor was born or lived in a particular place, it almost invariably means a place with that name in that parish unless otherwise specified. There may well be a place of the same name three counties away, but it isn't the one you are looking for.

5. There are lots of pointers to place names at

6. There are loads of old maps at

7. Remember that spelling is not fixed and that the place you are looking for may be spelled in lots of different ways.

Worcestershire / Alexander Wyper, born about 1821
« on: Sunday 21 January 18 14:32 GMT (UK)  »
Alexander Wyper married Janet Thornton in Bothwell, Lanarkshire, in 1849. He was a railwayman, and he lost an arm in an accident some time before 1855.

I have him in every census from 1851 until his death in 1900, and the census consistently lists his birthplace as England. However the 1881 census says Worcestershire.

His age in the census is consistent and suggests that he was born between 1820 and 1822.

According to his death certificate his parents were William Wyper and Jean Edwards. A couple with these names were married in Glasgow in 1818.

I have failed to find him in the 1841 census.

FamilySearch has a tree which says that he was born in Christchurch, Dorset, on 8 December 1814. This is clearly not consistent with the original documents listed above, so I do not trust it. It also lists four supposed siblings, three of whom were born before 1818.

Can anyone suggest where I might look for a record of Alexander Wyper's baptism in Worcestershire?

Armed Forces / Knowles Family questions
« on: Monday 15 January 18 17:30 GMT (UK)  »
This may not be quite the right forum for this, but the Knowles family had strong naval connections.

For some time, while pursuing my search for information about Joseph Leslie Fraser Duncan, who became notorious in 1890-1891 for a breach of promise of marriage case brought by Miss Gladys Knowles, I have been puzzling over the following exchange of letters in The Times:

Knowles v Duncan. To the editor of the Times. Sir - With reference to the above breach of promise action, which has recently appeared in your columns, I have to request that, in the interests of myself and my family, you will be good enough to publish the following disclaimer, viz - That inasmuch as I am the only legitimate son of my father, Sir Francis Charles Knowles, third baronet, that I never had a brother, and that my three sisters died infants and unmarried, the plaintiff in this action cannot, legitimately and properly, be styled 'the niece of Admiral Knowles', that is to say, my niece, as I am the only admiral of that name since the death of my grandfather, Admiral Sir Charles Henry Knowles, Bart, in 1831. I am not, and never have been, acquainted with the plaintiff, and, so far as I know, she is no relative of mine whatsoever. I am, Sir, your obedient servant, Charles George Frederick Knowles, Rear Admiral (Retired List), Carraleena, Letterkenny, Co Donegal, August 14. [The Times, 16 August 1890]

Letters: Knowles v Duncan. To the Editor of the Times. Sir - With reference to the letter of Admiral C G F Knowles in 'The Times' of August 16 last, we have been instructed by Sir Francis Charles Knowles, the grandfather of the plaintiff and father of Admiral Knowles, to request you to publish his statement, which is: Miss Gladys Knowles is my granddaughter. She is the daughter of the late Charles Henry Knowles, my son by Carlotta Knowles, my wife, born in 1828. She died in 1828. Admiral Knowles is the son of my wife, Emma Knowles, born in 1832. Whether the plaintiff is or is not the niece of Admiral Knowles you can now draw your own conclusion. Trusting you will insert this in your next issue, faithfully yours, Hatchett, Jones and Co, 47, Mark-lane, EC, September 4. [The Times, 16 September 1890]

In the 1881 census is a family consisting of Elizabeth Knowles, head, widow, 42, born Wortley, Yorkshire, with her daughter Theresa C Knowles, 12, son Robert, 10, both born in Belgium. In 1891 there is a household consisting of Elizabeth T Knowles, widow, 55, born Wortley, son Robert D, 20, born Belgium, and father-in-law F Chas Knowles, 88.

Theresa C's full name was Theresa Carlotta Gladys Knowles. In the 1890 breach of promise of marriage case she is named as Miss Gladys Knowles. Her marriage certificate in 1891 names her as Teresa Carlotta G Knowles.

If Charles Henry, father of Gladys, was Sir Francis C Knowles' elder son, why did Admiral Sir Charles G F Knowles inherit the title, and not Gladys' younger brother Robert? If he was illegitimate, why did Sir Francis describe Carlotta as his wife? Where was Charles Henry born and when and where did he die? And why did Admiral Knowles not know of the existence of his elder half-brother's family?

Roxburghshire / Thomas Barnewall, 16th Lord Trimleston (1796-1879)
« on: Saturday 06 January 18 16:17 GMT (UK)  »
Does anyone know why there is a burial enclosure in the graveyard of Linton Parish Kirk with memorials to this Lord Trimleston and relatives? The title is Irish, and I have yet to find any other evidence of a connection to Scotland, let alone Linton.

George Waddell (1801-1868) farmed at Gain in New Monkland, and founded a dynasty who included several well-known people including John Waddell of Inch, whose company, John Waddell and Sons, was involved in building the Forth Bridge, Mersey Tunnel and Putney Bridge, and also developed plans for a Channel tunnel. I have loads of information about the descendants but at the moment it's his forebears I am interested in.

George's father was John Waddell (1762-1847) who farmed latterly in Muiravonside. He married Agnes Russell (1767-1857) and they had 13 children, most or all born in Bathgate. John, Agnes, and some of the family are buried in Whitburn kirkyard, and others are buried in Bathgate.

I think that this John Waddell was the son of Archibald Waddell and Janet Nisbet in Leadloch: Archibald Waddle at Leadloch and Janet Nisbet his spouse had a son born on the 29th December 1762 and baptized on the 10th March 1763 named John being their 2d child.
(1) the date of birth of their son John matches the age on this John's gravestone
(2) this John named his eldest son Archibald and his second daughter Janet; his second son and eldest daughter were named Robert and Elizabeth, which are the names of his wife's parents, and his third son was named John.
(3) he and his wife and sons are buried in Whitburn parish kirkyard although she and at least one son died in Muiravonside
(4) there is no baptism of a possible candidate in Muiravonside, and no baptisms of Waddells there for at least 30 years either side of his date of birth; and the 1841 census says he was not born in Stirlingshire

So far, so good. Now for the puzzle. Who was Archibald Waddell in Leadloch? His eldest son James was born in 1761, so he would have been born around 1730/1735-ish, but I have not found a baptism record. James was served heir to his father in 1784.

The earliest other Waddell described as in or of Leadloch is Alexander Waddell (1756-1806), son of James Waddell of Crofthead and Holehouseburn (1721-1789) and grandson of Alexander Waddell of Holehouseburn (1693-1770). The elder Alexander married Agnes Wilson and had one son, the James already referred to, and four daughters, at least one of whom died in infancy.

Could Archibald be another, unrecorded, child of Alexander Waddell and Agnes Wilson?

I have a copy of Some scribbled notes about the Waddels and the Storrys by H A Forsyth JP FSA, and have been trying to unravel the Waddells of Holehouseburn for years. I am related to the Storrys of Badallan but not, as far as I know, to the Waddells of Holehouseburn.

There are related posts in a thread at

Any suggestions welcome.


Australia / Paterson Family
« on: Thursday 21 December 17 16:23 GMT (UK)  »
William Paterson, born in Larbert, Scotland on 20 August 1824, married Agnes Aird, born 16 February 1828, in Glasgow on 2 July 1847. They had four known children: William Aird, born 2 June 1848;  Charles, born 9 January 1850; Mary, born 3 January 1852; Agnes, born 3 December 1853, all in Larbert. I have all the baptism records, the marriage record, and the 1851 census.

They emigrated to Australia, where they had five more children between 1859 and 1870. William died in 1899 and Agnes in 1896, both in  Melbourne.

Mary married Charles Harry Blyth and died in Victoria in 1924. I have information about their family.

William Aird Paterson married Martha Grange Fergus in Victoria in 1876 and moved to New Zealand, where he had a very large family. I have information about their descendants.

What I would like to know is what became of Charles and Agnes Jr. Did they arrive in Australia with parents and siblings, or did they die young, before the rest of the family emigrated?

I thought I would start by looking for them in a passenger list but I just seem to go round in circles on the various Australian archives' web sites. Any guidance would be appreciated.

Armed Forces / Where were the 3rd Royal Highlanders in 1891?
« on: Thursday 30 November 17 11:04 GMT (UK)  »
I have been looking in the 1891 census for the family of William Frederick Middleton, aged about 38, born Campsie, Stirlingshire, wife Caroline Alice, about 28, and children John Henry, 5; Helen Leslie, 4 and Esme Gertrude, 2. I have failed to find them in Scotland, England or Wales.

I have them all in the 1901 and 1911 censuses.

Esme's birth certificate describes William as a Captain in the 3rd Royal Highlanders, and her death certificate describes him as a Major in the Third Battalion, the Black Watch. I infer that the Third Battalion, the Black Watch, is the same as the 3rd Royal Highlanders, but if I am mistaken in that please correct me.

I assume that he must have been on a posting somewhere outside Great Britain?

Canada / Who was George Cruickshank's wife?
« on: Saturday 25 November 17 11:50 GMT (UK)  »
George Cruickshank, son of Robert Cruickshank and Anne Leslie, was born in Rothes, Scotland, in 1821. He is listed in the 1881 and 1891 censuses* in Montreal with wife Elizabeth, also born in Scotland some time between 1825 and 1830, depending which census you believe. I have a note that they were married in Montreal in 1847, but no further details. George died in Montreal in 1893, and I have a death notice and obituaries from local newspapers in Scotland, mostly quoting one which appeared in the Montreal Witness of 26 December 1893.

Can anyone suggest how I might find details of the marriage and/or Elizabeth's birth, parentage and death?

Also, is it possible to obtain a copy of his will?

*I have failed to find him in the 1851, 1861 or 1871 censuses.

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