Show Posts

This section allows you to view all posts made by this member. Note that you can only see posts made in areas you currently have access to.

Topics - Forfarian

Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 7 ... 46
Lanarkshire / Needles in a haystack - looking for John and James Wilkie
« on: Wednesday 29 July 20 21:50 BST (UK)  »
James Wilkie was born in Glasgow on 4 November 1826 and baptised the next day at St Andrew's RC, Glasgow.

He was the fourth son and fifth child of James Wilkie, weaver, bookseller and Chelsea pensioner, and Bridget Driscoll.

James was with his parents and siblings in Airdrie in 1841, but I have not found him in 1851 or later. His mother died between the census and 1843, when her widower remarried. James Sr died in 1864.

Their eldest son was John, who was a cotton hand loom weaver, aged 26, in 1841.

Has anyone come across John and/or James Wilkie anywhere?

I have some information about the other siblings. The younger daughter of the first marriage and the two surviving daughters of the second marriage all emigrated to Chicago in the United States of America. The second son, Peter, married Elizabeth McGhee and had twin daughters in Scotland, and then disappears so he too may have emigrated. The other brother, George, and sister, Agnes, remained in Scotland.

Northumberland / Where is Middleton?
« on: Wednesday 15 July 20 12:20 BST (UK)  »
John Campbell was born in Linlithgow, West Lothian, on 30 October 1860. I have him with his parents in the 1861 and 1871 censuses in Linlithgow.

He may be a student in Glasgow in 1881, but if so he did not graduate from the University of Glasgow as he is not in the list of alumni. From subsequent information he could been attending the Free Church college.

He was appointed minister of Cumbernauld United Presbyterian Church in 1888, and translated to St Margaret's UP Church, Dunfermline in 1891.

The next sighting I have of him is when he registered the death certificate of his brother Andrew in 1920, and gave as his address The Manse, Middleton, Northumberland.

I have looked at the 1939 Register and have found a matching John Campbell, born 30 October 1860, a retired minister of the Presbyterian Church of England, living in Cambridge.

I can see from maps where Middleton is, but I am hampered in further research on John Campbell by not knowing which historic parish and which registration district Middleton is in, so I don't know where to look, and there are quite a lot of John Campbells in Northumberland.

I have plenty information about his parents and siblings; at the moment it is just John's later career that interests me. Any assistance will be much appreciated.

England / Joseph Buchanan - a short and tragic life?
« on: Sunday 03 May 20 20:27 BST (UK)  »
This is about the brother of Beatrice Buchanan who is the subject of an earlier thread

Joseph McLaren Buchanan, son of James Buchanan and Margaret Tregwell, was born in London and registered in Westminster in the March quarter 1845.

A Joseph Buchanan, trumpeter, born Westminster, attested at the Curragh Camp, County Kildare, on 9 February 1858 aged 14 years and 1 month. He was discharged at Woolwich on 21 May 1867, aged 23 years and 3 months, as unfit for further service because he was suffering from pulmonary consumption. His residence was No 5 Edwards Place, Kensington.

A Joseph McL Buchanan married in London in 1866, and the marriage was registered in Kensington in the September quarter of 1866.

A Joseph McLachlan Buchanan died in London in 1867 aged 23 and his death was registered in Kensington in the September quarter of 1867.

It is very tempting to think that this is all the same Joseph Buchanan, but could there have been two or even three or four separate individuals who almost match but not quite?

England / I wonder what happened to Charles Chaplin and Beatrice Buchanan?
« on: Sunday 26 April 20 22:00 BST (UK)  »
Charles Chaplin was born on 11 December 1832 in Chelmsford, Essex, parents Henry Chaplin, book binder and Lucy Dean, and baptised in Springfield, Essex on 6 January 1833.

In 1841 he was with his father and siblings in Chelmsford. In 1851 he was an apprentice baker in Chelmsford, staying in the household of his master Richard Stannard. In 1861 he was staying with his brother Henry and family at 14a Brook Street, Hammersmith.

On 27 December 1874 he married Beatrice Buchanan in Edinburgh. He was described as a baker and lived at 49 Couper Street, Leith.

Beatrice was born in Westminster, London in 1848, parents James Buchanan (1816-1891), military corporal and later tailor, and Margaret Tregwell (1818/9-1891). Beatrice had previously had a son James in 1873, when she was described as widow of Samuel McClure, but it is unclear (to me, at least) whether or not she had actually married Samuel McClure. James was living with his mother's parents in Glasgow in 1881.

I have not, so far, found either Charles or Beatrice in any later census than 1861. Nor have they come up in any passenger lists leaving UK, or in the US census.

Has anyone come across them anywhere?

Down / Where is Emdale please?
« on: Friday 13 March 20 14:26 GMT (UK)  »
I have been looking at the marriage of Thomas Mulligan to Serah Mitchell on 8 January 1859 in Ryans Meeting House, Newry.

The groom's residence looks like Emdale but I have been unable to find this using the place name search at or anywhere else so far.

Does anyone happen to know whether this is indeed Emdale, and where it is or was?

Antrim / Looking for Araminta's daughter
« on: Monday 24 February 20 12:37 GMT (UK)  »
Araminta Erskine Leslie, date of birth unknown, daughter of William Leslie JP, manager of the Provincial Bank in Cootehill, County Cavan, mother's name unknown, married on 29 August 1879 Thomas Cunningham, Deputy Clerk of the Peace for County Antrim, of Clonsilla, Belfast, son of Thomas Cunningham.

An advertisement in the Belfast News-letter in 1888 seeks a governess for an eight-year-old girl at 4 Clonsilla, Belfast. So the daughter must have been born fairly soon after Thomas and Araminta's wedding, in 1880 or so.

Thomas died in a hotel in Liverpool on 1 August 1895 after being taken ill on the boat from Belfast, and was buried in Belfast Cemetery on 5 August 1895. Wreaths included one from his wife and one from his daughter Miss Cunningham. The burial record shows his address as 4 Clonsilla, Liverpool! There does not appear to be anyone else in the same grave (I119)

In his will he appointed guardians for his daughter, making several nominations in case the first people nominated were unable to look after the daughter. He does not name the daughter at all, just refers to her as 'my daughter', and he directs that she be sent to an English boarding school. He mentions his wife only once, to say that provision had been made for her under their marriage contract, so it is not necessary for him to make further provision for her. She is not named as a prospective guardian of their daughter.

I have not found Araminta in the 1901 census, but in 1911 she was living in a boarding house in Paddington, London, described as married 30 years, 1 child dead. so the daughter must have died before 1911. Araminta herself died in London in 1927, aged 75. Her executor was Thomas George Henry Maurice Moore, gentleman.

I have looked at every birth of a female Cunningham child in Belfast in 1880 or 1881, but have not found the nameless daughter. I have searched newspapers and the census, and have looked at the Belfast burials index, all, so far, to no avail.

Have I missed or overlooked something? Can anyone suggest another avenue of enquiry please?

Scotland / Tracing the parents of illegitimate ("natural") children
« on: Tuesday 18 February 20 09:13 GMT (UK)  »
It can sometimes be difficult to find out who the parents of an illegitimate child were, because the baptisms of such children are often missing from the parish registers.

The best chance of finding about more about them, at least until the middle of the 19th century, is in the records of the Kirk Sessions.

Every Church of Scotland parish has a Kirk Session, which is a committee nade up of the minister (usually referred to in the KS records as 'Moderator' or 'Modr') and elders. This committee manages the business of the parish kirk, including maintaining the kirk and manse, appointing minister and elders, sending representatives to the higher tiers of the kirk (Presbytery, Synod and General Assembly), collecting money, providing mortcloths, distributing money to the poor of the parish (until 1845 when the new Poor Law established Parochial Boards to look after the poor), and so on.

However almost every KS spent a lot of time on 'discipline', which was dealing with fornication and its consequences. If the KS learned that an unmarried woman was pregnant, she would be summoned to a KS meeting and asked who the father of the child was. The father would then also be summoned and the couple confronted with one another at a KS meeting. If he admitted paternity, and accepted responsibility for supporting the child, the couple would be rebuked, and often made to stand on the 'stool of repentance' in the kirk during up to three services so that the entire congregation would see them doing penance. They would them be fined, 'absolved from the scandal', and 'readmitted to church privileges'.

If the alleged father failed to appear, or absconded, or appeared and denied being the father, the KS would take various steps to try to determine the truth. Some of these processes can contain a lot of detail about the people involved and their circumstances and relationships to others. (They can also be extremely entertaining - I have not infrequently found myself stifling a giggle or a gasp of astonishment while perusing a case in a KS minute.)

Sometimes a recently married couple would be summoned to answer for the sin of antenuptial fornication, and dealt with in similar terms.

If it was a case of adultery rather than simple fornication (or might be - have found one where the KS decided to wait until the baby was born before they could work out whether it had been conceived before or after the death of its father's wife), the matter would be referred to the Presbytery, who rarely did much more than talk about it and then refer it back to the KS to deal with.

Note that the practice was dying out by the second half of the 19th century, so the KS records often don't help with illegitimacy after the start of civil registration. Also they are, as one would expect, more comprehensive in rural than in urban parishes.

So where does one get hold of all this information?

The KS records were almost all collected by the Scottish Record Office, which then became the National Archives of Scotland and is now the National Records of Scotland. They have all been digitised, and some of the original books have been returned to local archives where the NRS is satisfied that they will stored in the right conditions and well looked after.

To find out whether the particular KS records in whch you are interested have survived, go to the online catalogue at, type the parish name in the 'Search for' box and 'CH2' in the 'Reference' box. You can also search for dissenting kirks' KS records by typing 'CH3' in the 'Reference' box. You will need the full reference to look up the digitised version in the Virtual Volumes.

All the digitised versions are available to consult in the Historical Search Room in General Register House in Edinburgh, and in those local archives which have made an appropriate agreement with the NRS (Aberdeen, Alloa, Glasgow, Hawick and Inverness that I know of; there may be others).

Scotland's People has stated its intention of making the digitised KS records available online, but there are still some technical hurdles to be overcome. In the meantime, you either have to go in person to one of the archives which has access to the digital images, or get someone to go on your behalf. If you want to hire a professional searcher, see

Northumberland / James Black, born 1860
« on: Sunday 19 January 20 16:08 GMT (UK)  »
This is a follow-on, with a generation gap, of

James Black, born in Sunderland in 1860, was the son of the Rev John Black and Adaline Birley, and grandson of James Black and Jane Landells. I have loads of information about the Black family, but I am stuck with this James and his family.

He married Margaret Alice Burdes, born 1863, in Sunderland in 1888, and they had three children:
John, born 1889
Eleanor, born 1891
James Ashton, born 1895, killed in France on 21 March 1918.

All five are in the 1901 census at 9 Claremont Terrace, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and all except John are in the 1911 census at 12 North Terrace, Newcastle on Tyne. James was described as a shipowner, shipbroker and coal agent.

Margaret died in Newcastle in 1945. I don't know when James died, except that I can't find him in the 1939 register so I surmise that he died before 1939 (possibly 1932?). I also have no idea what became of Eleanor or John, except that John may possibly have emigrated to New Zealand.

I have scoured FreeBMD and searched the British Newspaper Collection on FindMyPast, but with such a common name it's not easy to home in on the right people. Also tried FindaGrave and BillionGraves for Margaret. (Not at all impressed with the latter, which produced, among other duff results, Alice Slack in Sefton, Ada Mary Flack in Letchworth and Merrill J Blanck in Cambridge when I searched for Margaret Black in Northumberland!)

Can anyone suggest somewhere else that I could try?

New Zealand Completed Requests / Who might Uncle John Black have been?
« on: Friday 17 January 20 21:04 GMT (UK)  »
I have a note that Joy Gertrude Hudson was born at Kirwee, mid Canterbury, on the road to Springfield, Uncle John Black's farm.

Joy was the daughter of Robert Hudson (1886-1960) and Violet Ivy Pratt (1892-1967). Robert's mother was Adalina Mary Black or Hudson, born 1957 in London, died 26 September 1915 in Christchurch, NZ.

I see that a John Black, born 6 May 1889, died in New Zealand in 1986. This would fit with Adalina's cousin John, son of James Black and Margaret Alice Burdes, whose birth was registered in the June quarter of 1889 in Sunderland, England.

For the avoidance of duplication, I have a thread looking for Adalina's husband (Robert's father) George Hudson at but this doesn't refer to Uncle John.

How might I find out if the John Black who died in 1986 was indeed the one born in Sunderland, cousin to Adalina?

Pages: 1 2 3 [4] 5 6 7 ... 46