Author Topic: Murdochs in Colvend and Dalbeattie  (Read 1104 times)

Offline jamyam

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Re: Murdochs in Colvend and Dalbeattie
« Reply #9 on: Wednesday 03 July 19 13:09 BST (UK) »
Dear Margaret

Whether we are searching for one or two bakers called Alexander Murdoch, he or they are certainly elusive! I have also sent you a personal message through RootsChat so that we can exchange more extensive information on our family histories.

Unfortunately, we are in that awkward Scottish void before 1855 when we have to rely on Old Parish records which do not give a complete picture of Scottish BMD records.

First, let me clear up the question of the two Charles Donaldson Murdoch and Alexander Murdochís. I have Colvend OPR records of the baptisms of all four of these people and so I am sure that they all existed. Certainly, the separate careers of the two Alexanders as the mariner drowned in Hull and the baker living in Dalbeattie, is well established and they are both present in the 1841 census.  You mention searching in Dumfries, but the appropriate records are in the Colvend registers and Dumfries was in a separate County until comparatively recently. You also asked about Wendy, who is definitely part of my family tree.

Moving to Charlotte, it is intriguing to note that the transcripts of birth records of three of her five children give the motherís name as Branette, Barnet(t) and Burnett. Unfortunately, the OPR records for Edinburgh are not complete and the only Charlotte with any of these surnames, born around 1836 and indexed by Scotlands People, is Charlotte Carnegie Burnett who was baptised at Strachan Free Church on 26 July 1836. However, Strachan is near Aberdeen, more than 100 miles from Edinburgh and so this is unlikely to be Ďourí Charlotte. Amazingly, I cannot find civil birth records for son Charles or daughters Clara & Lena, although Lena might be Emma Ann Murdock, born in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1867 with motherís name Barnett.  I have found baptism records for Clara, Elizabeth & Charles but not for Alexander or Lena. The family name Rayner does not seem to help either, although this could be the motherís name of either Charlotte or Alexander the baker.

And so to Alexander the baker. The intriguing connection is that Alexander the baker in Dalbeattie in 1841 and 1851, disappears without trace in Scotland after that. The same or another Alexander the baker, born in Scotland, appears in Marylebone, Middlesex, married to Charlotte from Edinburgh and with 2 children, in 1861. This would seem to be a perfect match, apart from the recorded ages. Alexanderís birth/baptism record in the Colvend OPR is dated 9 September 1830, which ties in with his ages of 11 and 20 in the census records. Alexander in Marylebone in 1861 is recorded as 25 which would give a date of birth of 1835/6. However, it should also be noted that the ages of Charlotte in the 1861 & 1871 census records seem to be inconsistent at 28 and 32 when later evidence suggests that they should have been around 25 and 35, so we could still have a match. Not surprisingly, there are a number of Alexander Murdochs in the OPR records in Scotlands People and there will be more who are not in the extant OPRs. 1830 (6), 1831 (3), 1832 (1), 1833 (2), 1834 (2), 1835 (4) & !836 (0). None of these show a maternal connection with Rayner! The frustrating thing is that Alexander only appears in the Marylebone records once (1861) and so there is no further information to be had on his age or his town of birth. Also, it has been impossible to trace any information on a marriage of Alexander & Charlotte in England or Scotland between 1851 & 1861.

At the end of the day, I think I have taken at least part of a step forward and this new line offers some hope of finding a trigger to unlock the enigma. It still remains a mystery how so many BMD records for this little group of people just seem to be completely missing.

Best wishes, John Murdoch
Paternal: Murdoch, Riddick, Young, Lowden, Cumming, Thomson, Wilson, Copeland, Alexander, Anderson, McCraith
Maternal: Oliver, Smith, Barritt, Field, Thompson, Daniel, Collard, Jackson