Author Topic: William Riddoch's birth year  (Read 1920 times)

Offline Bosconermal

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William Riddoch's birth year
« on: Thursday 17 August 17 19:47 BST (UK) »
My great grandfather died in Vancouver, Canada after an on-the job accident in 1914. Heís buried there in an unmarked grave. By shear happenstance, I recently discovered and came in contact with a group of people in Vancouver from the same organization that have raised money to put a marker on his grave. That means we need to put his dates on it so, it I really want to make sure I get his birth year right.

The parish register of William Riddoch's birth says that he was born "William Natural Son of Alexander Riddoch son of James Riddoch, Farmer in Upper Deuchries and of Jean Pirie, daughter of James Pirie Crofter in ?? of Deuchries" on 23 Feb 1851. His birth is at the top of the page, but the order of entries on the page looks random (1851, 1854, 1843, 1845, 1848, 1851) and all in the same hand, so may have been copied from another source or sources sometime later.

His death certificate acknowledges the parentage of the parish register but gives his birth date as 23 Feb 1854. The Census in 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901 and 1911 (Canada) imply a birth year of 1852 or 1853.
 
I canít find him in the 1851 Census. His mother Jane was living with her parents James and Anne Pirie in Alvah, but no William. There is a baby Elizabeth in the census but she is Janeís sisterís daughter. Williamís father was Alexander Riddoch who could be a couple of people in the census, but with no baby. Same for paternal grandparents.

If he was born on February 23 and the census was March 31 youíd think heíd be there.

Any suggestions?
Smith (Midlothian, Scotland); Riddoch, Fraser, Tait, Stewart, McGilvery (Banffshire/Aberdeenshire, Scotland)
Foster, Stevens (Cambridgeshire, England); Adams, Knowles (Somerset, England); Smith, Manning (Southwark/Bermondsey, England)

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Offline GR2

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Re: William Riddoch's birth year
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 17 August 17 20:35 BST (UK) »
It is very common, in 1854, to find large numbers of entries in a Scottish parish baptismal register, many of them from different years. This is because statutory registration of births, marriages and deaths was about to begin on 1st January 1855. Many folk who had neglected to have baptisms entered rushed to have them retrospectively added.

If you could post an image of part of the page, it might help. Another thing is to look at the minutes of the kirk session which would have looked into the circumstances of the conception!

What year appears on the index?

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Online Forfarian

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Re: William Riddoch's birth year
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 17 August 17 21:45 BST (UK) »
In the 1861 William is listed as aged 9. If accurate, his means that he had not had his tenth birthday by the date of the census, 7 April 1861, implying not that he was born in 1852, but that he was born between 8 April 1851 and 7 April 1852. (You get a wrong year of birth about three times out of four if you subtract the age in the census from the census year, because the census is taken about a quarter of the way through the year.)

Also, in 1861 there is a younger child, Margaret, aged 3. This looks like Margaret, illegitimate daughter of Robert Riddoch and Christian Pirie, who was born on 1 August 1857, and would have had her third birthday in the summer before the 1861 census. (Again, subtracting her age, 3, from the census year, 1861, gives the wrong result.)

In 1871 it looks as if William, aged 19, was a servant at Currydown in Auchterless. If accurate, this implies a birth between 3 April 1851 and 2 April 1852, and corresponds exactly with his age in 1861.

For what it's worth, I think that an age when someone is a child is more reliable than an age on a death certificate. Also people tend to remember their birthday more accurately than the year they were born. So IMO 1851/1852 is more likely than 1853 or later.

As GR2 says, the key to this might be the Kirk Session minutes. See http://catalogue.nrscotland.gov.uk/nrsonlinecatalogue/overview.aspx?st=1&tc=y&tl=n&tn=n&tp=n&k=alvah&ko=a&r=ch2%2f&ro=s&df=&dt=&di=y
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Offline Bosconermal

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Re: William Riddoch's birth year
« Reply #3 on: Thursday 17 August 17 22:13 BST (UK) »
Interesting! I hadn't thought of the effect of switching to statutory registers before.

What do you mean by index? The top of the page in the parish record from SP says 23/02/1851. that appears to be accurate according to what's written below.

I'd love to look at the kirk records, though I'm in Toronto and don't know how to access them. The local genealogy society would probably know I guess.

Forfarian-- I have him in 1871 as a farm servant in Marnoch, aged 18. It's possible that's wrong because when I started dabbling with genealogy a few years ago I was less diligent about evidence than now. William had an illegitimate daughter  in Monquhitter in August 1871 if that's any help.

I do usually take the earliest date, all things being equal. Good advice on taking off an extra year-- it's something I sort of know in the back of my head, but will be careful about.
Smith (Midlothian, Scotland); Riddoch, Fraser, Tait, Stewart, McGilvery (Banffshire/Aberdeenshire, Scotland)
Foster, Stevens (Cambridgeshire, England); Adams, Knowles (Somerset, England); Smith, Manning (Southwark/Bermondsey, England)

Offline GR2

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Re: William Riddoch's birth year
« Reply #4 on: Thursday 17 August 17 22:40 BST (UK) »
It is absolutely clear from the entry that the year was 1851, just entered later. The details in the entry are very full and precise. That would mean he is "missing" from the 1851 census. Or hiding somewhere. The kirk session minutes would clinch it.

Alexander Riddoch is with his parents at Upper "Deucharies", Alvah, in 1841. He is an agricultural labourer, aged "12".

In 1851 he is a farm servant, aged 22, working for Helen Brodie, farmer of 40 acres at Coblehouse, Marnoch.

I see that his father, James, came from Grange, which was a veritable nest of Riddochs. If you can trace his branch of the Riddochs back to the first quarter of the 18th century, then send me a message as I have a great deal of information about the Riddochs/Ruddachs in Grange going back to the late 16th century.

Offline Fordyce

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Re: William Riddoch's birth year
« Reply #5 on: Thursday 17 August 17 23:14 BST (UK) »
If you reckon the birth record in the OPR is OK and the Kirk Session doesn't imply otherwise, I suggest the baby William Riddoch was with his mother in 1851 but the 1851 census is messed up.

I would look closely as the original 1851 census entry for what looks to be Jean Pirie's family at Hill Of Deuchries, on the basis that it's been wrongly enumerated, not simply wrongly transcribed:
    PIRIE   James   Head   M   M   41   Farmer Of 27 Acres Hill Ground    Banffshire - Banff   
    PIRIE   Anne   Wife   M   F   45   Wife Of The Above    Banffshire - Marnoch     
    PIRIE   Jean   Dau   U   F   21   Assistant To Her Parents    Banffshire - Marnoch     
    PIRIE   Anne   Dau   U   F   18   Assistant To Her Parents    Banffshire - Marnoch     
    PIRIE   James   Son   -   M   11   Scholar    Banffshire - Marnoch     
    PIRIE   John   Son   -   M   8   Scholar    Banffshire - Marnoch     
    PIRIE   William   Son   -   M   6       Banffshire - Marnoch     
    PIRIE   Elisabeth   Dau   -   F   2m       Banffshire - Alvah   

The last three lines definitely do not tally with the IGI, as below.

Perhaps things got muddled and one line got missed, like:-
    PIRIE   John   Son   -   M   8   Scholar    Banffshire - Alvah
    PIRIE   William   Son   -   M   6       Banffshire - Alvah
    PIRIE   William Gdson   -   M   1m       Banffshire - Alvah 
    PIRIE   Elisabeth Dau   -   F   2m       Banffshire - Alvah   

Her parents (per IGI) had two son and a daughter thus:
John Pirie
Gender    Male
Christening Date    28 Aug 1842
Christening Place    ALVAH,BANFF,SCOTLAND
Birth Date    07 Aug 1842
Father's Name    James Pirie
Mother's Name    Anne Henry

William Pirie
Gender    Male
Christening Date    04 Oct 1844
Christening Place    ALVAH,BANFF,SCOTLAND
Birth Date    16 Aug 1844
Father's Name    James Pirie
Mother's Name    Anne Henry

Christian Pirie
Gender    Female
Christening Date    08 Feb 1851
Christening Place    ALVAH,BANFF,SCOTLAND
Birth Date    24 Jan 1851
Father's Name    James Pirie
Mother's Name    Anne Henry
This cannot be right, because they had a daughter Christian Pirie in 1835 who survived to marry Robert Riddoch in 1860. Something fishy afoot! If one thing can be wrong, other things can be wrong. Who really were the parents of Christian who became Elisabeth?!

In all honesty (if the OPR seems right) I would not put too much weight on the year of birth given upon his death - the fact that the day/month is right tells me that the year isn't right, even though his age is understated at the censuses. Being nine in 1861 gives a range of bet 9-4-1851 and 8-4-1852, so is only a couple of months out.

Never mind the census, this whole family was quite a muddle! I have three essentially separate connections into them:-
- Alexander Riddoch's brother James Riddoch had illeg George Riddoch abt 1848 by Charlotte Grant (Banff) who was the stepdau of my 3xgtgdmother Janet Cruickshank.
- Another brother John Riddoch had a illeg George Riddoch in 1849 in Deuchries who had an illeg Anne Riddoch 27 Feb 1869 by Jane Scott (Rothiemay) who was second cousin once removed of the same Janet Cruickshank.
- their aunt Helen Riddoch (Grange) managed to have an illeg Jean Riddoch or Cooper then Pirie who married William Lemon 23 Jun 1860 who is a descendant ultimately of my 5xgtgdfather William Gordon in Grange.

Keeping tabs on that lot is like herding cats.

Offline Rosinish

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Re: William Riddoch's birth year
« Reply #6 on: Thursday 17 August 17 23:19 BST (UK) »
The best thing would be for a look at the original.

Another thought could the baptism you have be a child who died & another born later given same name? (I haven't looked on SP) it was just a thought!

Annie
South Uist, Inverness-shire, Scotland:- Bowie, Campbell, Cumming, Currie, MacDonald, MacInnes, MacIntyre, MacKinnon, Steele, Walker

Ireland:- Cullen, Flannigan (Derry), Donahoe/Donaghue (variants) (Cork), McCrate (Tipperary), Mellon, Tol(l)and (Donegal & Tyrone)

Newcastle-on-Tyne/Durham (Northumberland):- Harrison, Jude, Kemp, Lunn, Mellon, Robson, Stirling

Kettering, Northampton:- MacKinnon

Canada:- Callaghan, MacKinnon, MacPhee

"OLD GENEALOGISTS NEVER DIE - THEY JUST LOSE THEIR CENSUS"

Offline Bosconermal

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Re: William Riddoch's birth year
« Reply #7 on: Thursday 17 August 17 23:55 BST (UK) »
Piries and Riddochs intermarrying have caused me no end of confusion. It even continued a bit in Canada.

The earliest Riddoch in my tree is John Riddoch (wife is Isabel Huie) born in 1735

If I hadn't discovered the group raising money for the headstone, they would have put 1854 as his birthdate because that's on the death certificate and what the cemetery knows. I feel a responsibility to him to get it right.
Smith (Midlothian, Scotland); Riddoch, Fraser, Tait, Stewart, McGilvery (Banffshire/Aberdeenshire, Scotland)
Foster, Stevens (Cambridgeshire, England); Adams, Knowles (Somerset, England); Smith, Manning (Southwark/Bermondsey, England)

Offline Rosinish

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Re: William Riddoch's birth year
« Reply #8 on: Friday 18 August 17 00:07 BST (UK) »
The parish register of William Riddoch's birth says that he was born "William Natural Son of Alexander Riddoch son of James Riddoch, Farmer in Upper Deuchries and of Jean Pirie, daughter of James Pirie Crofter in ?? of Deuchries" on 23 Feb 1851. His birth is at the top of the page, but the order of entries on the page looks random (1851, 1854, 1843, 1845, 1848, 1851) and all in the same hand, so may have been copied from another source or sources sometime later.

Any suggestions?

Baptisms took place in homes rather than in church i.e. there's a very good chance when the Vicar/Priest was transferring his info. often weeks after an event he may well have got the year wrong but I don't think he would have it 3 yrs out from 1854 to 1851 but I would think one year out from 1852 to 1851 would be possible?

I have now checked SP for the possibility of a later birth which there isn't however the birth date hasn't changed which points to the 1851 Baptism & the Vicar/Priest possibly getting it wrong but you would really need to check the original 1851 census to be sure or at least the SP Index?

Annie

Added...I have a relative (well deceased) with the wrong year engraved on his MI which is out by 1 year  :o

South Uist, Inverness-shire, Scotland:- Bowie, Campbell, Cumming, Currie, MacDonald, MacInnes, MacIntyre, MacKinnon, Steele, Walker

Ireland:- Cullen, Flannigan (Derry), Donahoe/Donaghue (variants) (Cork), McCrate (Tipperary), Mellon, Tol(l)and (Donegal & Tyrone)

Newcastle-on-Tyne/Durham (Northumberland):- Harrison, Jude, Kemp, Lunn, Mellon, Robson, Stirling

Kettering, Northampton:- MacKinnon

Canada:- Callaghan, MacKinnon, MacPhee

"OLD GENEALOGISTS NEVER DIE - THEY JUST LOSE THEIR CENSUS"