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Messages - Forfarian

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The other item of note is that Martha Hislop, wife of John Penman, was a resident of Adamsrow when she died Sep 7 1832.
I'd be very surprised, in that case, if John Penman and Martha Hislop were not the parents of Janet Penman.

Are the death records on ScotlandsPeople indexed on Maiden name, married name or both? 
Both, as a rule.

Just because there is only one likely candidate in the Registers of Baptisms does not mean that he is the right one. Not everyone's baptism record has survived.

John Sommerville and Janet Penman seem to have had at least five recorded children
James, baptised 7 June 1823 in Newton
Isobel, baptised 8 May 1825 in Newton
Richard, baptised 17 December 1826 in Newton
John Penman, baptised 18 April 1829 in Newton
Martha, baptised 21 December 1830 in Inveresk

The 1841 census lists them in Inveresk: John, 64; Janet, 46; James, 18; Isabella, 16; Richard, 14; Martha, 10; Janet, 5.

Looks as if John and Janet may have died before the 1851 census because there is a household in Cockpen, Midlothian consisting of James Somervill, 27, coal miner; Janet, wife, 28; daughters Elizabeth, 3 and Margaret, 11 months, and sister Martha, 21.

There's no evidence that John Sommerville and Janet Penman had a son Thomas or a daughter Margaret, as you would expect if John's parents were Thomas and Margaret.

If John's age in 1841 is accurate, he would have been born in 1776/1777; the schoolmaster's son would have been 67 on the date of the 1841 census.

How likely is it that the son of a schoolmaster and grandson and great-grandson of ministers would have become a coal miner?

PS Was John actually 'of' Miller Hill and 'of' Adamsrow, or was he 'in' Miller Hill and Adamsrow respectively?

Have you searched the index of deaths at

I am probably missing something but I cant fathom the reference made to the Strelitz area. Can you please enlighten me.
Because the extracts you posted from the Register of Baptisms both mention Strelitz. I thought you might like to know where it is.

Angus (Forfarshire) / Re: George ABBOT and Betsy SCOTT - PARENTS OF BOTH???
« on: Friday 17 February 17 08:56 GMT (UK)  »
First, those records of Betty and Mary are from the Registers of Baptisms. Before the start of civil registration in 1855, the only records were those kept by the churches. In most cases, if only one date is shown, it will be the date of baptism rather than the date of birth, but quite often both were recorded, or the date of birth was explicitly stated.

Strelitz is a farm and an area of woodland west of Burrelton in the parish of Cargill. See The first edition of the six-inch Ordnance Survey map shows three or four buildings there. See

I agree that John Scott's occupation is shown as Mason (jour) i.e. a mason employed by a master and paid by the day. I also think that this rules out him being the brother of Sir Walter who became an Army officer. I am intrigued that you say that 'family documentation' says she was a niece of Sir Walter. What form does this 'family documentation' take?

George's mother's name looks like Shearing to me, or possibly Skirving. Bear in mind that the given names Janet and Jessie are interchangeable. It might be worth looking up other deaths of Abbot(s) in Dundee to see if any of them might be siblings.

Re the 1855 birth certificate, any time you get an image from Scotland's People that you can't read, contact them and ask for a re-scan. There are links on the results pages for doing this.

I see what you mean about there not being a child of Betsy and George named Walter. However Alexander (maternal grandfather) only made it to the second name of their 4th son.
Can you be 100% certain that there was no older son named Alexander who had died as a child?

Angus (Forfarshire) / Re: George ABBOT and Betsy SCOTT - PARENTS OF BOTH???
« on: Thursday 16 February 17 22:44 GMT (UK)  »
So it seems likely that Betsy's parents are John Scott and Isabella McNaughton, However I cannot find evidence of a Marriage or nail down the births of either John or Isabella.
Missing records are no unusual in the early 19th century. If you can't find the marriage on Scotland's People there's a high likelihood that no record of it has survived.

Have you looked at the originals of the baptisms of Betty and Mary on Scotland's People? What (if anything) more do they tell you?

It may be possible that the John Scott was the son of Walter Scott Esq.
Why do you think so? What evidence is there for such a connection?

As for George Abbot. His father was William Abbot Carver & Guilder(I think) and Mother looks like Jessie Abbot but I can't be sure and I cant make out her maiden name.
Can you post an extract from the certificate that shows George's parents' names and see if we can decipher it?

I see that George Abbot and Elizabeth Scott had a son Thomas Alexander Abbot, born in Dundee in 1855. You are in luck! 1855 certificates contain far more information than earlier baptism or later birth certificates, so go to Scotland's People and get a copy of it.

I see from the index to the census that there were several other children - Betsy, George, Jane, Charles, Robert and Mary. There may also have been a John who died in infancy. So it seems that this family was not into getting the children's baptisms recorded. This may point to them belonging to a religious denomination whose records are not readily available, for example Episcopalian.

If there really was a connection to Sir Walter Scott you would expect them to name a son Walter.

Lanarkshire / Re: Electoral Register Question
« on: Thursday 16 February 17 08:48 GMT (UK)  »
Could someone provide some background to the Registers back then?
Everyone eligible to vote has to fill in a form every year. This information is then collated to make up the register of electors.

The form usually comes out in the late summer/early autumn and there was a closing date, so any forms returned too late would not be included.

I have in my possession a copy of the register in force in my own area from 16 February 1992 to 15 February 1993. The qualifying date was 10 October 1991.

I don't know what the qualifying dates would have been in the 1940s, but someone listed in, for example, the 1947/1948 register of electors could be listed under a previous address if they moved late in 1946, after the qualifying date.

The way to deal with this is to check a run of several consecutive years' registers, and note when any change occurred. This should constrain the date when people moved.

Scotland / Re: Register of Sasines need to translate
« on: Wednesday 15 February 17 19:05 GMT (UK)  »
Well done GR2, that is a real tour de force. Melbatoast sure owes you for all that :)

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