Author Topic: dating conundrum  (Read 571 times)

Offline Bosconermal

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dating conundrum
« on: Wednesday 01 November 17 23:09 GMT (UK) »
Hi all:
I've posted about this person a few times before so forgive the obsession. I get new information and it presents me with new puzzles.

William Riddoch's parish birth record says he was born on February 23, 1851. He is the “natural son” of Alexander Riddoch and Jean Pirie, so illegitimate. His death certificate (in Canada) says he was born on February 23, 1854. The default theory is that the 1851 date is correct, BUT:

    The parish record page has other entries dating from 1843 through 1854, but not in chronological order, suggesting they were copied from another source. Copyists can make mistakes.

    • I can find a census entry for Jean Pirie on 31 March 1851, but 5-week-old William is not with her

      I now have an excerpt from the Alvah kirk session on 2 May 1852 where Jean Pirie accuses Alexander Riddoch of being the father of her child. Alexander sends a letter on 16 May that says he accepts paternity. He appears on December 26 in person to acknowledge paternity and, at some point later, he scarpered for the U.S. where he started another family in California.

      It seems odd to me that Jean Pirie would have waited 15 months after William’s birth to accuse Alexander.

      Would the source of the parish record name Alexander the father before the fact had been acknowledged in the kirk session? (I suppose the record could have been emended when it was copied to reflect the new paternity fact, though).

    1)   Could the date be a mistake and William was born in February 1852?

    a) that’s why he’s not in the census.
    b) then Jean accused Alexander when William was just under 3 months, not 15 months.

    2)   Or do you think that the 1851 date is still preferred-- given that is what was recorded?

    Not sure if there is much more evidence around to get. I need his birthdate for a headstone

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 Rosinish

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Re: dating conundrum
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 01 November 17 23:36 GMT (UK) »
Can you please post links to previous threads to save duplication of effort?

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"

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Offline Rosinish

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Re: dating conundrum
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 02 November 17 00:00 GMT (UK) »
William Riddoch's parish birth record says he was born on February 23, 1851. He is the “natural son” of Alexander Riddoch and Jean Pirie, so illegitimate. His death certificate (in Canada) says he was born on February 23, 1854. The default theory is that the 1851 date is correct, BUT:

Any DC info. is open to error as the info. is only as good as the knowledge of the informant which isn't always correct.

What age was William on every other census, were they consistent & with what year of birth?

The church would have been pushing to know who the father was;

https://www.genguide.co.uk/source/kirkchurch-sessions-scotland/116/


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: dating conundrum
« Reply #3 on: Thursday 02 November 17 00:23 GMT (UK) »
He’s 9 in 1861 (implies 1852 given his birth month)

18 in 1871 (so 1853)

24 at his marriage in June 1875 (so 1851)

28 in 1881 (so 1853)

38 in 1891 (so 1853)

49 in 1901 (so 1852)

59 in 1911 Canadian census in June (so 1852)

Death certificate in July 1914 says 60 (so 1854)

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 anne_p

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Re: dating conundrum
« Reply #4 on: Thursday 02 November 17 09:19 GMT (UK) »
I have found many errors on OPRs.
Banffshire seems to be among the worst offenders !
It seems that there was a rush to complete the register ahead of 1855 statutory recordings, hence many years worth of births and baptisms were entered retrospectively and resulted in errors.

I tend to agree that the year of birth would be 1852.
A father's name would not appear on the OPR entry of 1851 unless he had already acknowledged paternity.

On one Banffshire OPR that I hold, the Clerk attempted to group family births and baptisms over 5-10yrs together  and the result is a mess.
EG: 2 children, same parents, born 4 months apart and baptised in 2 consecutive weeks??

I hold the family bible which shows the children were born 4 years apart .
All further records ( marriages and deaths) concur with the bible info.