Author Topic: Selkirk Dissenters / the Associate Synod / Dr. George Lawson  (Read 20004 times)

Offline JustinL

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Selkirk Dissenters / the Associate Synod / Dr. George Lawson
« on: Thursday 31 May 07 08:29 BST (UK) »
Does anybody know anything about the Associate Synod (the Burgher half of the Secession Church) in Selkirk, and specifically whether baptisms of dissenter families were recorded in the parish registers of the established church or wa there a separate register?

I know that Dr. George Lawson was the professor of divinity at the Divinity Hall (training college for ministers) in Selkirk from about 1782 till his death in 1820. The Statistical Accounts of Scotland for 1791-99 state, ‘There is in Selkirk, a meeting of Burgher Seceders, the only one in the country.’

The census of Selkirk conducted in 1817 recorded Dr. Lawson in Water Row with five others. They were presumably his wife and children, yet there are no baptisms in the OPRs.

Justin

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Online MonicaL

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Re: Selkirk Dissenters / the Associate Synod / Dr. George Lawson
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 31 May 07 20:53 BST (UK) »
Hi Justin

Nothing relating to your question sadly  ::) just wanted to check whether you had seen this entry in the wills & testament section on SP which may be connected:

Lawson   George   04/12/1851   Revd, minister of United Presbyterian Church in Selkirk, spouse of Jeanie MacCallum   Inventory; Contract of Marriage;    Selkirk Sheriff Court   SC63/34/5

Regards.

Monica  :)
Census information Crown Copyright, www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

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Offline JustinL

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Re: Selkirk Dissenters / the Associate Synod / Dr. George Lawson
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 31 May 07 21:16 BST (UK) »
Thankyou Monica for taking some interest.

The UP church was a sort of descendent of the Associate Synod, so the George you found is probably related.

In a way I've answered my own question this evening. The parish records contain numerous entries ending with 'baptized by Rev. Geo. Lawson, Minister of the Associate Congregation.'

Still can't find my family though....  ???

Justin

Offline Alexandrina

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Re: Selkirk Dissenters / the Associate Synod / Dr. George Lawson
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 07 August 07 03:37 BST (UK) »
Hi Justin,

My family were also members of this congregation. Most of the children are not mentioned in the parish registers though; many of the marriages are. 

In 1854 in preparation for the onset of civil registration from 1855 many folk were asked to add any marriages etc to the parish register. Accordingly many many were squeezed in wherever there was white space left in the register, even as far back as the 1780's. These were all added in 1854. The Selkirk registers are a dreadful mess and almost impossible to read in places.

I have the information about Georges marriages, he married twice, and births of his children. All of these were mentioned in the Church of Scotland registers even although George was the leader of the dissenting Associate Session. HIS children are all listed, yet the children of his parish members were all left off. Talk about elitism , working well here wasn't it!

My family were the MURRAYS of Selkirk. I have been working on finding these missing children for about 25 years now. No easy task from Sydney Australia. The National Archives of Scotland are said to hold registers of the dissenting parishes, however last time I looked for George's registers there, I couldn't find them.

Given that he was so famous and influential the registers must be somewhere, there is a group on the web researching these dissenting ministers, I left a message asking them if they knew where registers were, no reply yet. Called St Georges...

Google search on "George Lawson" + Selkirk will find them.

I have many of his sermons preached in Selkirk during the days of our ancestors, they would have listened to these, so quite a nice feeling to know that we can read the  exact sermons they listened to hundreds of years ago.

Georges son John Lawson, also another George.

What is your family surname by the way?


Sandie
MURRAY NOBLE MOFFAT MACDOUGALL  LEES MCINNES  RINTOUL KENNEDY ANDERSON HALL KELSO REID BOWES STEWART LINTON GAFF LOWRIE  FALCONER  GRANT TURNBULL BAIRD STENHOUSE MONTGOMERY SWORD CARROLL DALGLEISH  Mostly of the Scottish Borders Selkirk & Melrose Temple Balantrodoch & Skye

Offline JAP

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Re: Selkirk Dissenters / the Associate Synod / Dr. George Lawson
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 07 August 07 05:32 BST (UK) »
Hi Justin,

No doubt you've seen the following diagram - which is a convenient reference (if incomplete?) to the schisms in the Church of Scotland - at:
http://website.lineone.net/~davghalgh/churchhistory.html

Alexandrina says that George's children are in the OPRs - are these the right ones (from the IGI)?  They are the only LAWSON/LASSON entries in the relevant batch (C117785, Selkirk, 1766-1819)
All Selkirk.
Parents George LASSON & Agnes ROGER (possibly George's first wife)
*Agness Roger LASSON 1780
Which leads to the following marriage:
- George LASSON and Agness ROGER, 1779, Selkirk
Parents George LASSON & Margaret MOORE/MOIR
*Agness 1784
*George 1786
*Margaret 1787
Parents George LAWSON & Margaret MOIR
*Margaret 1789
*Andrew & Charlot 1792
*John 1794
*Jessy 1795
*Jean 1797
If these are correct, then it seems to lead to the following marriage:
- George LAWSON and Margaret MOIR or DICKSON, 1783, St Cuthberts, Edinburgh, MLN
and to Margaret's previous marriage:
- Margaret MOIR (father Andrew) and Alexander DICKSON, 1780, St Cuthberts, Edinburgh

Apologies if you've considered and dismissed all of the above.

I have forebears who were members of an Associate Session congregation (in Stirlingshire) and it seems to have been very random indeed whether or not (more often not) their marriages and baptisms were recorded in the relevant OPR.  The established Church of Scotland ministers pretty obviously wanted all events to be recorded in their Register - but the Seceders do not seem to have been co-operative  ;)  Some of the entries in the OPR say something like - against an entry re Proclamation of Banns -  'married by Mr France at Buchlyvie'; and it is only by knowing that Mr France was an Associate Session minister that one can tell.  Others say - against a birth/baptism entry - something like 'Baptized by a Seceder'!

This particular Associate Session church was at Buchlyvie in the established Church parish of Kippen.  Some of the records of the Associate Session church have survived and are held at the Stirling Archives.  Unfortunately, the volume which is of most interest to me is missing - one can only hope that, one day, it will be found mouldering (not too badly!) in an attic ...

Regards,

JAP     

Offline JustinL

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Re: Selkirk Dissenters / the Associate Synod / Dr. George Lawson
« Reply #5 on: Tuesday 07 August 07 08:20 BST (UK) »
Hello Sandie and JAP,

Thank you very much for your responses. I had given up hope that there was anybody out there interested in the subject.

Sandie - I'm looking for William WALKER, b. 1797/98, whose father was possibly called Andrew (William named his eldest son Andrew). The 1817 census records three WALKER households, two of which were Seceders, i.e. at least some of the children of the household were baptized by Dr. Lawson.

Which one of three Murray households do you descend from? Have you made much headway with the children? I have been in touch with the new archive centre in Hawick, but they were unable to help me – much as they tried.

Your comments about the retrospective entries in the OPRs are interesting. My recollection of the baptism register is that it was more legible than many others that I have seen, and that there were several baptisms conducted by ministers of the AS. But maybe these represent a tiny proportion of the Seceder births. I shall have another scan through them this evening. Were the baptisms of George’s children entered in the correct years or much later?

It would be fascinating to read through a sermon or two. Do you by any chance have any typed up that you could email to me? Do you know whether George was an Old or New Licht Burgher?

JAP – thank you for taking the time to investigate George Lawson’s spouses and children. It will be interesting to see where these entries appear in the register.

The diagram you refer to is invaluable in making some sense out of the numerous schisms.

Have you found any of your Seceder forebearers in the Buchlyvie records?

I think I’ll be hoping for that chance find in the attic too.

Justin

Offline JAP

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Re: Selkirk Dissenters / the Associate Synod / Dr. George Lawson
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday 07 August 07 09:21 BST (UK) »
Hi Justin,

Yes, I do have (courtesy of a very kind Australian lady who visited the Stirling Archives) records of some of my forebears (or at least relatives) from the Buchlyvie records.  But some that I really would like to have (including my Ggggma's birth/baptism) are, of course, in the missing volume and are not recorded in the Kippen OPR ...

The 1834-45 Statistical Account for the Parish of Kippen says that the Parish church at Kippen has room for 800 sitters, and that the United Secession meeting house at Buchlyvie (built 1751) has room for 400-500 sitters - so there were certainly plenty of Seceders!  And feelings ran high!

I've quoted the following before but will do so again; it is an extract from:
http://www.electricscotland.com/history/scottish_life8.htm
' A worthy old Seceder used to ride from Gargunnock to Buchlyvie every Sabbath to attend the Burgher kirk. One day as he rode past the parish kirk of Kippen, the elder at the plate accosted him, "I’m sure, John, it’s no’ like the thing to see you ridin’ in sic a doonpour o’ rain sac far by to thae Seceders. Ye ken the mercifu’ man is mercifu’ to his beast. Could ye no’ step in by?" "Weel," said John, "I wadna care sae muckle about stablin’ my beast inside, but it’s anither thing mysel’ gain’ in." '

Best of luck,

JAP
PS: Googling seems to find lots about George LAWSON including an extract in Google Books.  He seems to have been rather idiosyncratic with many stories about him e.g. a) one day he took a hat from the hatrack, placed it on his head, and stepped out the front door - fortunately he was noticed before he proceeded down the street as he had donned a lady's bonnet, and b) the housekeeper coming to him in great panic and telling him the chimney was on fire to which his response was to dismiss her saying sternly that she should know that household matters were solely the responsibility of Mrs Lawson.   

Offline Alexandrina

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Re: Selkirk Dissenters / the Associate Synod / Dr. George Lawson
« Reply #7 on: Wednesday 08 August 07 09:37 BST (UK) »
Hi Justin and Jap,

Here is the link to information on the discussion group regarding George Lawson at Selkirk.

http://freestgeorges.blogspot.com/2006/09/george-lawson-of-selkirk-ix-gathered.html

Here is a sermon:

http://www.sounddoctrine.net/Classic_Sermons/George%20Lawson/GOD_agency_in_War.htm

http://freestgeorges.blogspot.com/2006/09/george-lawson-of-selkirk-ix-gathered.html

Here is a sermon:

http://www.sounddoctrine.net/Classic_Sermons/George%20Lawson/GOD_agency_in_War.htm

A review of book:

THE HISTORY OF JOSEPH
46 Expository Lectures on the Life of the Patriarch
George Lawson

GEORGE LAWSON (1749-1820) was an especially gifted writer of biblical narrative, and he is at his very best in this large volume on the life of Joseph.

"Dr. Lawson had a fertile mind, and a heart alive both to the human and divine side of truth. He writes with pleasing simplicity of style. One of the highest compliments to this book is found in the fact that a distinguished American scholar issued much of it as his own." - C.H. Spurgeon 'Commenting & Commentaries'
(Think this is the same George Lawson, not confirmed)


http://www.swordofthelord.us/Library/Pink/Booklets/God's-agency-in-war.html

This one is the link that JAP mentioned about George Lawson's personality- I think:

http://www.fullbooks.com/Reminiscences-of-Scottish-Life-and-Character7.html

Google Books link is too long to paste here, however excellent, can send in email.

Just click the Chapters and then the forward arrow to view the pages that they have online.

Amazon sell a hard copy for about $25

The Life and Times of George Lawson With Glimpses of Scottish Character from 1720 to 1820
By John Macfarlane

Would certainly shed light on the Selkirk and our kin folk therein during that specific period.

My Murrays were listed in 1817, there were more there at that time however they were probably tenants in other people's houses.

Mine was Robert Murray who was a Tailer Burgess there, he had an enormous brood of children and married twice. His brother Andrew married Lillie Murray and they also had a lot of children although poor Andrew (who was also a musician and Tailer in Selkirk)  drowned during the storm on his way home from the kirk house in 1799. I suppose it was probably George's Church of seceders however will have to recheck register.

I found the greatest 'mess 'in the parish register to be during 1790's for some reason. You are correct though Justin in saying that there is legibility compared with some others, I also find there was a lot more information about the families too, however the copies I have seen are illegible during certain years , looks like the scribe wrote it with the toes of his feet in parts.

Where are you looking at your copy of the registers Justin?

Do you have a full transcript.?

My Robert Murray- Tailer Burgess had a James Murray who was an  INKLEWEAVER who married Elizabeth Hall in 1817. Elizabeth died in 1823,  they had a number of children who I have traced including Alexander Buchan Murray  b 1818 who married Agness Wylie in 1846 and John Murray b1822 who married Helen Moffat in 1851. I have all of their children and many of their respective marriages right down to our family who came to Australia from Selkirk and Glasgow in  1926 circa.

Many children are lost to us though in those dissenting registers.   They must be somewhere .... probably in LAwson archives....more research needed.

Will check your Walkers Justin.

My Grandmother's family were from Stirling JAP, Falkirk and Polmont. Also Isle of Skye, husband's family from Kippen.

Happy ancestor hunting...will let you know what I find

Cheers
Sandie (Alexandrina) :D
MURRAY NOBLE MOFFAT MACDOUGALL  LEES MCINNES  RINTOUL KENNEDY ANDERSON HALL KELSO REID BOWES STEWART LINTON GAFF LOWRIE  FALCONER  GRANT TURNBULL BAIRD STENHOUSE MONTGOMERY SWORD CARROLL DALGLEISH  Mostly of the Scottish Borders Selkirk & Melrose Temple Balantrodoch & Skye

Offline JAP

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Re: Selkirk Dissenters / the Associate Synod / Dr. George Lawson
« Reply #8 on: Wednesday 08 August 07 10:31 BST (UK) »
Hi Sandie,

Fascinating post!

Incidentally, Trystan has devised a way to shrink very long URLs which is specific to RootsChat.  See:
http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php/topic,134417.0.html

My people from Kippen are (with certainty) William MCLAUSE & Jean VASSIE.  The MCLAUSE name has turned into a sort-of one name study for me - I have nearly 100 variant spellings so far!

All the best,

JAP