Author Topic: John Robertson 1855 - ?  (Read 1962 times)

Offline birdboot

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John Robertson 1855 - ?
« on: Wednesday 05 July 17 17:35 BST (UK) »
I am trying to trace John Robertson who was living at 2 Belhaven Terrace, Edinburgh in 1904 with his wife Bessie Duncan.  He was a clerk.  He was born about 1855, son of Thomas Robertson and Jean/Jane Buick Whitton.  I have been unable to trace John or Bessie after 1904, apart from the fact that he had a daughter Susan McNaughton Robertson about 1918.

I would particularly like to find his death certificate, and that of Bessie if possible.

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Offline Forfarian

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Re: John Robertson 1855 - ?
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 05 July 17 19:48 BST (UK) »
Is this John Robertson who married Bessie Duncan in Glasgow Kelvin in 1888? Have you got the marriage certificate?

If he married Bessie Duncan in 1888, she must have been getting on a bit when Susan was born 30 years later. However there is no birth of a Susan McNaughton Robertson in the Scottish birth indexes. Nor is there a Susan Robertson, mother Duncan, in the England and Wales birth index as transcribed at https://www.freebmd.org.uk/cgi/search.pl.

Have you looked for John and Bessie in the 1901 census? What is your source for them being at 2 Belhaven Terrace in 1904? Did they have any other children and if so what were their names? 

There are no deaths of a potentially matching Bessie, Elis/zabeth or Lizzie with both the surname Duncan and the surname Robertson in the Scottish death indexes after 1904. Therefore (unless there is an error in the original record, or she has been misidexed) she did not die in Scotland.

Also, there is no death of a Jane or Jean Whitton or Robertson in the Scottish indexes. Nor is there a Jane or Jean B Robertson who could be John's mother in the death index at FreeBMD.
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Offline birdboot

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Re: John Robertson 1855 - ?
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 05 July 17 21:02 BST (UK) »
Yes, John Robertson married Bessie Duncan in Glasgow on 26 June 1888.  I do have the certificate. I also have Jane Robertson's death cert in Morningside 14 October 1904, from Scotland's People, (see attached).  She died at 2 Belhaven Terrace and informant was Bessie Robertson, daughter in law.

John and Bessie/Betsy were at 2 Belhaven Terrace in 1901 census, though mother Jean/Jane was then living in Rose Street with daughter Margaret.

John and Bessie had 4 children, Thomas Walker, John, William and Betsy Susan McNaughton. Daughter Betsy was born about 1896 (my mistake, not 1918, that was when she married).  She married in Axbridge Somerset, a man called George Hancock.  I have now found a death of Betsy Duncan Robertson, her mother, in Axbridge in 1925, but I am still looking for death of John Robertson. 





Offline Forfarian

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Re: John Robertson 1855 - ?
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 05 July 17 22:39 BST (UK) »
Ah, that makes a lot more sense.

I see that Betsy was 67 when she died, so she must have been born in 1857/1858. I looked at the 1911 census in England and Wales, but there was no-one listed who could be her (barring illegible returns and misindexing). Maybe someone who has access to the 1911 via a different version of the index might have more luck.

There is a 54-year-old Bessie Robertson in Arbroath in the 1911 census, but there is a 42-year-old Bessie Robertson there in 1901 so I don't think it can be your Bessie Robertson.

If you have them in the 1901 census, and you have the marriage certificate, you must know the names of Bessie's parents and also where both John and Bessie were born? I see from the index that Betsy Susan Mac.... Robertson was born in Edinburgh Newington in 1895 (no wonder I could not find her looking for her with first name Susan!), and that Thomas Walker Robertson was born in Edinburgh Newington in 1888.

John is a bit of an enigma. The 1901 census index says he was 44, which means he was born in 1856/1857, and the 1891 is consistent with this, saying that he was 34. Yet there is no listing of a John Robertson with mother Jane or Jean Whitton in the IGI, which is supposed to be a complete index for 1855 to 1874.

In fact the only John born in 1856-1857 to a mother named Jean or Jane Whitton is the son of Thomas Sword and Jean Whitton, born in Dundee on 16 June 1857. There is no death of a Jane/Jean Whitton or Sword in the index. Could it possibly be that Thomas died, Jane/Jean remarried and her son took his stepfather's name? On the other hand, there is no marriage of a Jane/Jean Whitton or Sword to John Robertson after 1855.
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Re: John Robertson 1855 - ?
« Reply #4 on: Thursday 06 July 17 03:21 BST (UK) »
It's always a good idea to give proper names (if known) in your query e.g. in your original post..

"had a daughter Susan McNaughton Robertson"

Then you have her as...

"Betsy Susan McNaughton"


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Offline ev

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Re: John Robertson 1855 - ?
« Reply #5 on: Thursday 06 July 17 08:39 BST (UK) »
Hi all ,

Is this Jean Buick Whitton's baptism ?
Age a bit out compared to death cert.
https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XBHR-8P5



ev
Census information Crown copyright , All Census information from transcriptions - check original records , Familysearch/IGI is a finding tool only - check original records

Offline Forfarian

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Re: John Robertson 1855 - ?
« Reply #6 on: Thursday 06 July 17 09:38 BST (UK) »
Is this Jean Buick Whitton's baptism ?
Age a bit out compared to death cert.
Looks good, even if the age is wrong.

birdboot, can you please tell us where the censuses say that John, Betsy/Bessie and Jane/Jean were born?

Even though I have seen her death cert which you posted, I still did not find Jane's death in the indexes, even when I only put in Robertson and Whitton. Checking again, I see that she is not, as one would expect, indexed as anything other than Robertson. I wonder why this is, and how many other deaths are not correctly indexed?
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Offline anne_p

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Re: John Robertson 1855 - ?
« Reply #7 on: Thursday 06 July 17 12:06 BST (UK) »
Birdboot,
Have you obtained all the birth certs for the children of John Robertson and Bessie Duncan?

Looking at the Robertson family on the 1891 census and 1901 census, some ages appear to be mistranscribed.
1891:

John Robertson   34 Writer,  B  Dundee Forfar
Betsy Robertson   34 Wife B Monikie, Forfar
Thomas W Robertson   3
John Robertson   7 Months

1901:
John Robertson   44 Law Clerk, B  Dundee, Forfar
Betsy Robertson   43 Wife, B Monikie,  Forfar
Thomas W Robertson   12
John Robertson   16..... Should read 10yrs
William Robertson   2  (SP index reads 8yrs)
Betsy Robertson   5
Jessie Kirk   18

On a search of the 1901 family census index,(685/5 126/ 3) the child named William reads aged 8yrs.
( others in household show under name index No)

Cross ref with SP,  I think this child may be William Duncan Robertson b 1892 and Registered in Newington.

It may be worth checking this birth cert for exact DOB and confirming parentage even to discount him.....


"If" he was their son born in Edinburgh on 25 Feb 1892, there is a wealth of info as this man, who was awarded an MBE, is fairly well documented
( issue is that at that 1901, this child would already have turned 9 yrs but his father was definitely called John Robertson)

At 1916 William Duncan Robertson b Edinburgh on 25 Feb 1892, enlisted with the Royal Navy Reserves.
His papers state that at 1916 his father JOHN Robertson lived at  4 Hopetoun Place. South Queensferry

Further info would only be relevant if William Duncan Robertson was proven to be the son of John Robertson and Bessie Duncan

UPDATED
To include places of birth request by Forfarian

Offline birdboot

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Re: John Robertson 1855 - ?
« Reply #8 on: Friday 07 July 17 09:47 BST (UK) »
Thanks for this information and sorry for initial confusion.  It is a complicated story and  I was trying to keep it simple! 

John's mother Jean Buick Whitton had a colourful life and children I believe with three fathers, apparently with older men for whom she was working as a servant.  She was baptised at Arbirlot on 21 May 1822 and had a son William with George Livingston(e) on 14 Sept 1843.  She then apparently married Edward Johnstone in Dundee on 25 August 1851 (this is confirmed when her son William's marriage in 1860 gave his mother's name as 'Jane Whitton now Johnstone'. 

In 1855, Edward and Jane had a son, registered 18 Dec 1855 in Dundee.  Unusually, this son had no christian name.  I believe this is the person known as John Robertson (see below).  On 29 October 1857, Jane/Jean had a daughter Margaret Whitton, registered as illegitimate.

We then come to the Robertson connection.  When John Robertson was married in 1888 his parents were stated as Thomas Robertson Road Contractor and Jean 'Carey' Whitton.  John's age was given as 32.  When Thomas Robertson made a deathbed will in 1879 he left his entire estate to Jane Whitton of 43 Union Street Dundee, and his executor was John Robertson, Law Clerk.  Thomas's normal abode was Perth and I think the Union Street address was Jean's.  (Incidentally, in another will, of her uncle in 1878, she was said to live at Elsinore Place, Victoria Road, Dundee).

I believe Thomas and Jean never married and that both John and Margaret were their illegitimate children.  My theory is that John is the unamed boy registered to Edward Johnstone and Jean in 1855.  Although his age on census would suggest 1857 and his age at marriage would suggest 1856, I can't find any feasible alternative.  Probably the marriage of Jean and Edward was short-lived and broke up when she formed a relationship with Thomas Robertson.

In 1891 and 1901 Jane Robertson and Margaret Robertson were at Rose Street Edinburgh.  I have found Jane's death in 1904 but would like to know what happened to John and Margaret after that.

Regarding the death of John's wife Betsy in Somerset in 1925, I have now found her death cert, which I had forgotten, and it states that she was wife of John Robertson, Solicitor's Clerk (retired), which suggests he was still alive.  I wonder if he also lived in Somerset, so no record of death in Scotland?  I can't find anything obvious in English death records as yet.