Author Topic: Is "Cairdiscroft" the same place as Thurdistoft in Caithness  (Read 811 times)

Offline Munro84

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Is "Cairdiscroft" the same place as Thurdistoft in Caithness
« on: Wednesday 27 February 19 20:43 GMT (UK) »
Ok, so I was wondering if anyone familiar with the local place names in Caithness could help out with this.

I have a James Mackay and Janet Sinclair who had seven children baptised in the Thurso parish register between 1768 and 1778, with various spelling variations of the surname Mackay.

The last two children were George Mackay (b.1776) and James Sinclair Mackay (b.1778) who unlike all the previous children have their parents' place of residence given as Thurdistoft which I know is a farm in the parish of Olrig, even though they are recorded in the Thurso parish register.

The Thurso parish register entries for most of the previous children (1770, 1771 and 1773) state that they were then living "in town", presumably the town of Thurso. I think it is likely that with the last two children in 1776 and 1778 that although they were living in Thurdistoft, parish of Olrig that they wanted to get them baptised at the same church/minister as the previous children which is why they are recorded in the Thurso parish register.

I think that I may have found the mother, Janet Sinclair's parish baptism record as well dated 1756, daughter of John Sinclair, again in the Thurso parish register, but with the location given as somewhere called "Cairdiscroft". I have a theory that this is a mispronunciation/spelling of Thurdistoft and that James Mackay and Janet Sinclair had moved back to the place that she had come from when their last two children were born in 1776 and 1778.

Has anyone actually heard of Cairdiscroft ? to say that it is a different place to Thurdistoft ? I have scoured the web and books and can find no reference anywhere of a place in Caithness called Cairdiscroft, but there are no end of references to Thurdistoft.

To back up my theory that Cairdiscroft is a mispronunciation/spelling of Thurdistoft, noting that Janet Sinclair's father of 1756 was John Sinclair, there is also a parish baptism record dated 1730 for a John Sinclair, son of Henry Sinclair in Thurdistoft. Although in this case it is recorded in the parish register of the parish that Thurdistoft is actually in, Olrig.

You may have caught on to the fact that if the Janet Sinclair born in Cairdiscroft in 1756 is the correct one, then she would have only been 12 years old when her first child was born in 1768. However, I actually have evidence to show that her husband James Mackay was only about 14 years old when their first child was born in 1768 - and the law in Scotland at the time was that boys could marry at age 14 and girls could marry aged 12. So it would be within the bounds of the law, and a matching situation with the husband's age.

Offline Munro84

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Re: Is "Cairdiscroft" the same place as Thurdistoft in Caithness
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 27 February 19 21:04 GMT (UK) »
Woops, just realised I posted about the same thing a few months back. The above post does include new information that has since come to light though.

Offline Forfarian

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Re: Is "Cairdiscroft" the same place as Thurdistoft in Caithness
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 27 February 19 21:10 GMT (UK) »
I'd be surprised, but it's not impossible.

Are these baptism records from Scotland's People? Can you post extracts of the documents with these names in them so we can see them?

Also, I know girls could legally marry at 12, but the question is not really when the law allowed them to marry, but when they were actually able to do so. By the 18th century it was unusual for girls to marry at less than 18, and almost unheard of for them to marry at under 16. Most girls did not marry until they were in their 20s, because couples had to wait until they could afford to set up house before getting married.

Young men almost never married until well into their 20s.

The other question is whether they were actually capable of bearing a child at age 12. The average age of menarche in the 18th century is thought to have been about 14, and it has fallen over the years as health and nutrition have improved so that it is now about 12.

I really think you have to reconsider this idea, and I am sorry if it sabotages your story.
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AITKENHEAD, Lanarkshire; BINNY, Forfar; BLACK, New Monkland; BRYSON, Cumbernauld; BURGESS, North-East Scotland; CRUICKSHANK, Rothes; DALLAS, Botriphnie; DAVIDSON, Oyne; GUTHRIE, Angus; HOGG, Larbert; LESLIE, Rothes/Mortlach; MENDUM, England; MOLLISON, Lethnot; PATERSON, Larbert; RHIND, Forfar; SANG, Scotland; SCOTT, East Kilbride; STOR(R)I/E/Y, Shotts; THORNTON, Shotts; WADDELL, New Monkland; WILKIE, New Monkland; WILKIE, Tannadice; WYLLIE, Angus; YOUNG, Keith


Offline Forfarian

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Re: Is "Cairdiscroft" the same place as Thurdistoft in Caithness
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 27 February 19 21:13 GMT (UK) »
Here's the previous thread.

https://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=791874

And it's Gaelic, not Garlic :)
Researching

AITKENHEAD, Lanarkshire; BINNY, Forfar; BLACK, New Monkland; BRYSON, Cumbernauld; BURGESS, North-East Scotland; CRUICKSHANK, Rothes; DALLAS, Botriphnie; DAVIDSON, Oyne; GUTHRIE, Angus; HOGG, Larbert; LESLIE, Rothes/Mortlach; MENDUM, England; MOLLISON, Lethnot; PATERSON, Larbert; RHIND, Forfar; SANG, Scotland; SCOTT, East Kilbride; STOR(R)I/E/Y, Shotts; THORNTON, Shotts; WADDELL, New Monkland; WILKIE, New Monkland; WILKIE, Tannadice; WYLLIE, Angus; YOUNG, Keith

Offline Munro84

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Re: Is "Cairdiscroft" the same place as Thurdistoft in Caithness
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 27 February 19 21:59 GMT (UK) »
I'd be surprised, but it's not impossible.

Are these baptism records from Scotland's People? Can you post extracts of the documents with these names in them so we can see them?

Also, I know girls could legally marry at 12, but the question is not really when the law allowed them to marry, but when they were actually able to do so. By the 18th century it was unusual for girls to marry at less than 18, and almost unheard of for them to marry at under 16. Most girls did not marry until they were in their 20s, because couples had to wait until they could afford to set up house before getting married.

Young men almost never married until well into their 20s.

The other question is whether they were actually capable of bearing a child at age 12. The average age of menarche in the 18th century is thought to have been about 14, and it has fallen over the years as health and nutrition have improved so that it is now about 12.

I really think you have to reconsider this idea, and I am sorry if it sabotages your story.

All the baptisms are from Scotlands People. I have actually read in quite a few sources that it was mainly people in the south of Scotland who did not marry until they were about 18 in these times and that in the Highland areas they usually married younger, at the 12 and 14 ages in accordance with the law. I will try to post some images, George and James Sinclair Mackay baptisms from 1776 and 1778 first, located Thurdistoft which is in Olrig parish, but recorded in Thurso parish register. Followed by Janet Sinclair b.1756, daughter of John Sinclair, in Cairdiscroft, Thurso parish register. Followed by John Sinclair b.1730 in Thirdistoft, Olrig parish register, son of Henry Sinclair. Interestingly, on the 1730 baptism for John Sinclair he was presented for baptism by a Henry Sinclair who was not the same Henry Sinclair who was the father be cause he was deceased. Maybe the paternal grandfather or an uncle was the Henry Sinclair who brought John for baptism.

According to Wikipedia: From the sixth to the fifteenth centuries in Europe, most women reached menarche on average at about 14, between the ages of 12 and 15. Quoting: Amundsen Darrel; Dreis Carol Jean (1973). "The Age of Menarche in Medieval Europe". Human Biology. 45: 363368. So that says that it was possible at 12 even then.

Offline Forfarian

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Re: Is "Cairdiscroft" the same place as Thurdistoft in Caithness
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday 27 February 19 22:51 GMT (UK) »
William Mackie was baptised in 17 August 1768. Let us suppose that he was baptised on the day he was born, and that he was born a month prematurely. Then he would have been conceived in December 1867.

Janet Sinclair was baptised on 21 March 1756. Let us suppose that unlike William Mackie she was baptised when she was two months old. Then she would have been born in January 1756, and in December 1767 she would not have reached her 12th birthday and therefore could not have married.

The birth of William Mackie in 1768 requires her to have become pregnant in 1767, at which time Janet Sinclair born in 1756 was still only 11 years old.

I have not seen evidence sufficient to convince me that Cairdiscroft and Thurdistoft are one and the same, or that Janet Sinclair born 1756 could possibly have been the mother of William Mackie born 1768. But in the long term it doesn't matter what I think. You have to make up your own mind :)
Researching

AITKENHEAD, Lanarkshire; BINNY, Forfar; BLACK, New Monkland; BRYSON, Cumbernauld; BURGESS, North-East Scotland; CRUICKSHANK, Rothes; DALLAS, Botriphnie; DAVIDSON, Oyne; GUTHRIE, Angus; HOGG, Larbert; LESLIE, Rothes/Mortlach; MENDUM, England; MOLLISON, Lethnot; PATERSON, Larbert; RHIND, Forfar; SANG, Scotland; SCOTT, East Kilbride; STOR(R)I/E/Y, Shotts; THORNTON, Shotts; WADDELL, New Monkland; WILKIE, New Monkland; WILKIE, Tannadice; WYLLIE, Angus; YOUNG, Keith

Offline Munro84

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Re: Is "Cairdiscroft" the same place as Thurdistoft in Caithness
« Reply #6 on: Thursday 28 February 19 16:48 GMT (UK) »
Hey, I do have other candidates for the parish baptism record for Janet Sinclair and still quite a few to look at. The baptism records for her and James Mackay's early children mostly say that they were living in the town of Thurso and the ones which do not, do not give a location. I have often found that couples moved to the woman's place of residence to have children in these times, so she may have been from the town.

The problem I've got is that I am pretty much certain about the dates for her husband James Mackay. I am pretty certain that after their last child was born in 1778 that he joined the British Army in the same year and served in the 76th Foot under the Earl of Caithness, before moving to other regiments. He discharged twice from the army, first in 1802 aged "about" 48, and secondly in 1814 aged "about 60". The two records both match up with ages and suggest that he was born in about 1754, which in turn means that he would have only been about 14 when his first child was born in 1768. I know this is less of a problem with men, but it is still a bit on the young side.

The other problem is that I am pretty sure I have the same James Mackay on rent records in the village of Armadale, with his "widow" being recorded in place of him from 1833 onwards. This would mean that he lived to about 79, which is fine, but his "widow" appears in the rent records until 1849. I know women generally live longer than men but this is stretching it a bit, especially in those days.

Although the 1768 OPR for their first child does not give their location in the parish of Thurso, it does give the witnesses as William Mackay of Kinloch, who I know died in Thurso in 1772, and Patrick Doul of Oldfield which is very close to the town of Thurso. The 1770 OPR for their second child does say that they were then living in the "town" of Thurso and the witnesses are William Sinclair and Helen Sinclair. I am just wondering if this William Sinclair was Janet's father as there is an OPR for a Janet Sinclair dated 1743, daughter of William Sinclair, also "in town". This would make her 25 when her first child was born in 1768 and 35 when her last child was born in 1778 which fits nicely, but does not account for the young age of her husband James Mackay as per the military records.

It also does not account for the rent records in the village of Armadale where I believe they lived at a later date, but I am now thinking that this could have been one of the sons named James born to James Mackay and Janet Sinclair.


Offline Munro84

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Re: Is "Cairdiscroft" the same place as Thurdistoft in Caithness
« Reply #7 on: Thursday 28 February 19 16:50 GMT (UK) »
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