Scotland (Counties as in 1851-1901) => Scotland => Caithness => Topic started by: PLB on Monday 24 February 14 04:24 GMT (UK)

Title: Alexander Bain
Post by: PLB on Monday 24 February 14 04:24 GMT (UK)
My 4th great grandfather, Alexander Bain married Jean Geddes in Thurso, Caithness on 29 July 1792. I have got the marriage certificate. I have not been able to get details of the births of Alexander or Jean and do not know who their parents were. I think that they moved to Edinburgh after having 3 children in Thurso, and had a further 3 in Edinburgh. Any information, specifically on Alexander and Jean's parents would be greatly appreciated.
Title: Re: Alexander Bain
Post by: Joyful on Monday 24 February 14 06:35 GMT (UK)
Hello PLB...Welcome to RootsChat :)

There is only one birth in Thurso for an Alexander Bain that I can see :)

Alexander Bain ch 5 May 1769 Thurso Caithness Father Donald Bain, Mother Isabel Gerry.

What are the names of their children, they may help to point in the direction of the parents.

Most Scottish families used at least a form of the naming pattern ;)

Added: Of course, he may not have been born in Thurso, just married there, the children's names
may help there :-\
Title: Re: Alexander Bain
Post by: spittalhill on Monday 24 February 14 09:03 GMT (UK)
I believe that Alexander Bain was the son of Alexander Bain, merchant, and Catherine Brims and was christened in Thurso on 31 Dec 1775. I am particularly interested in Alexander and Jean's son, Andrew Geddes Bain who went to South Africa with his uncle, Lt Col William Geddes in 1816, and was responsible, along with his son, Thomas, for the construction of many of the Cape Mountain Passes in the 19thC. I wrote an article about Andrew for the Caithness FHS magazine a few years ago, and will be going to South Africa shortly to drive these wonderful mountain roads which Andrew and Thomas built. Sadly, they are more famous in South Africa than back in Caithness.
Going back to Alexander and Jean, the only Jean Geddes who I can find who fits was christened on 28th Dec 1769 in Latheron parish, the daughter of Andreww Geddes.
If you send me a private message with your email address, I can send you a copy of the article I did.
Title: Re: Alexander Bain
Post by: Joyful on Monday 24 February 14 09:34 GMT (UK)
 There you are PLB, what a great result for you 8) :)

Title: Re: Alexander Bain
Post by: PLB on Tuesday 25 February 14 01:03 GMT (UK)
Thank you for your assistance. My records show that the children of Alexander Bain and Jean Geddes were: Helen b in Thurso in 1793, Andrew b in Thurso in 1797, David b in Thurso in 1801, Donald b in Thurso in 1802, John Adam b in Edinburgh in 1805, Margaret b in Edinburgh in 1807, and Henrietta b in Edinburgh in 1809. Is it possible to determine why the family moved to Edinburgh? Were they caught up in the Highland clearances? Is there any way of finding out if Jean Geddes was related to the "Thomas Geddes" who was the first Lowland sheep farmer to go north of the great glen? (Refer "the Highland Clearances" by John Prebble, Pg 24)
In relation to Andrew Geddes Bain, he is indeed very well known in South Africa. In the late 1970s I cycled the garden route in the Cape, including his most famous pass, "Bains Kloof". It is a beautiful area and an astounding achievement. I understand that there is now a modern bridge that goes straight over the valley. There is a plaque recognising Andrew Geddes Bain. The exploration and road building achievements of Andrew Geddes are well documented in South Africa, as well as his humerous publications, "Kaatje Kekkelbek" about life among the Hottentots. The Wikipedia article on Andrew Geddes is reasonable except that it refers to him as being an only child which I don't think is correct. I have some newspaper cuttings from the 1960s. There was a play in Cape Town in 1968 written by Guy Butler called "Cape Charade, starring Frank Shelley as the indomitable, dominating, good-humoured engineer and geologist."
Thomas Charles Bain, Andrew's son, was usually overshadowed although his road building achievements were possibly greater. I have cuttings from newspapers in the 1960s about some of his achievements, as well as an article published in the S.A. Survey Journal (I think in the 1960s). Unfortunately I do not have electronic copies of these cuttings and articles. Happy to share any of the detail if it will assist your research
Title: Re: Alexander Bain
Post by: spittalhill on Tuesday 25 February 14 09:19 GMT (UK)
Hi Pat,
The internet articles about Andrew Geddes Bain all say that his parents died when he was a child, and that he went to live with his aunt and uncle in Edinburgh. As I was unable to find any trace of them or Andrew's siblings in Caithness after the births, I am afraid I took it that they had died there - there is very little on deaths in Caithness pre-1855. I was aware of the other siblings born in Caithness, so this is new to me that they went to Edinburgh. Which of the children are you descended from and where are you located. A few years ago I was in contact with one of Thomas Bain's descendants in Australia, who gave me access to his family tree.
Lt Col Geddes died on campaign in Ceylon, I think, but his widow's will, which I have read, can be accessed at Scotland's People. Lt Col Geddes is commemorated on the headstone of his daughter, Jane Mitchell Geddes, in Dean Cemetery, Edinburgh. You can view it online on the Gravestone Photographic Project website.
Meanwhile, I am looking forward to driving the Bains' mountain passes next month. Have you seen Graham Ross's book, The Romance of The Cape Mountain Passes, which describes them in detail.
Title: Re: Alexander Bain
Post by: PLB on Tuesday 25 February 14 09:36 GMT (UK)
I am descended from Andrew Geddes Bain and Thomas Charles Bain, who's granddaughter Marjorie Bain married my grandfather Hendrik Johannes Visser.
I was born in South Africa, where fortunately my mother kept some newspaper cuttings on Andrew Geddes and Thomas. I now live in Australia. My brothers second name is Geddes.
Title: Re: Alexander Bain
Post by: spittalhill on Tuesday 25 February 14 10:27 GMT (UK)
Hi, I found you on the tree which another descendant of another of Thomas Bain's granddaughters, who also lives in Australia, allowed me to view!

Title: Re: Alexander Bain
Post by: weebird on Tuesday 25 February 14 15:50 GMT (UK)
Hi, I often go to the library in Wick which has the archive records for Caithness and records of BDM's. If there is any yhing specific you want to find out, let me know and I will see what I can find

Title: Re: Alexander Bain
Post by: PLB on Thursday 27 February 14 03:44 GMT (UK)
Thank you for your kind offer. I am keen to get any source documents relating to the Births, deaths, or marriage of Alexander Bain who was christened in Thurso in 1775 and his wife Catherine Brims.
Many thanks,
Title: Re: Alexander Bain
Post by: weebird on Thursday 27 February 14 10:46 GMT (UK)
Ok Pat, will do that no problem, will be Tuesday as thats the day we go.  :)
Title: Re: Alexander Bain
Post by: Dushka on Saturday 02 September 17 15:41 BST (UK)
Hi, strangely, I am writing about Andrew Geddes Bain who wrote and staged an extraordinary satirical work, Kaatje Kekelbek, of Life among the Hottentots in Grahamstown 1838. He was a soldier, saddler, explorer, trader, journalist, military officer, frontiersman, road- and bridge-builder, astronomer, entertainer and palaeontologist, all with distinction. He Journals were published in 1949 (Journals of Andrew Geddes Bain, by his great-granddaughter, Margaret Hermina Bain (The Van Riebeeck Society, Cape Town) and Patricia Storrar's A Colossus of Roads gives an account his building that helped develop the colony and country. He writes with quiet humour. Let me know if I can help or send you what material I have. Best
Title: Re: Alexander Bain
Post by: spittalhill on Saturday 02 September 17 17:25 BST (UK)
Thank you, Dushka.
I would be very interested to learn if any of the material you have access to regarding Andrew Geddes Bain contains any information about his parents or siblings. I know that Andrew came to South Africa from Edinburgh, with an uncle who was an Army officer, but there is no trace of his parents or his brothers or sister in Caithness from the early 1800s. There is an Alexander Bain who appears in later censuses in Edinburgh, but I have no proof that it is the same one as Andrew's father.
Title: Re: Alexander Bain
Post by: Baintree on Wednesday 11 April 18 19:23 BST (UK)
Hi I have a comprehensive family tree from Alexander Brain married Jean Macintosh. Down 6 generations to myself and children. Andrew Geddes Bain was my grandmother's uncle. please contact me if interested. She left memoirs about the family dating back to Caithness. Please contact me if you would like to know more
Title: Re: Alexander Bain
Post by: spittalhill on Wednesday 11 April 18 20:53 BST (UK)
I have Andrew Geddes Bain's parents as Alexander Bain and Jean Geddes. What relation to  Andrew Geddes Bain do you have Alexander Bain and Jean Macintosh as?
Title: Re: Alexander Bain
Post by: Edward Bain on Tuesday 07 August 18 18:03 BST (UK)
Hi there, my name is Edward Christopher Bain. I am a descendant of Andrew Geddes Bain. Born and still residing in South Africa. Could anyone perhaps guide me as to where to find the family tree or any kind of records regarding the Bain family?.