Author Topic: Annie Johnston / Wilson  (Read 438 times)

Offline StephenA6

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Annie Johnston / Wilson
« on: Saturday 28 August 21 10:46 BST (UK) »
Hi all

I'm looking for some help / inspiration / advice in unravelling quite a tangled web of information relating to my 3 and 2 x great grandmothers. I've spent over a year and far too much money on scotlandspeople trying to work my way through this.

Background is :

  • my 3 x g grandmother is Elizabeth Johnston, born in 1836 in Colvend / Buittle
  • Elizabeth is the daughter of Hamilton Johnston and Cathrine Reid and can be found in the 1841 census living in Keir
  • by 1851, Hamilton, Cathrine and family had moved to Sanquhar with Hamilton a gamekeeper on one of the estates.  Elizabeth however is not with them and I cant find her anywhere in the 1851 census .. presumably she is working elsewhere
  • by 1861 Elizabeth, now aged 25, is back with the family in Sanquhar, is unmarried but has a 6 year old daughter listed as Annie Wilson, born in Sanquhar 
  • by 1871 both Elizabeth and Annie (now called Annie Johnstone) have moved out and are working as "live in "help" albeit in different locations. Elizabeth is a servant in Dunscore and Annie is a dairy maid in Durisdeer 
  • by the mid 1870s the majority of the Johnston family have moved move to the Glasgow area. in 1875 Annie marries a coal miner and moves to Kirkintilloch. I cannot though locate Elizabeth in any of the subsequent census records and cannot confirm whether she moved to Glasgow with the rest of her family
  • the next time Elizabeth appears is in 1892 when she dies at Annie's home in Kirkintilloch although she is not there at the time of the 1891 census
  • bewilderingly Elizabeth's death is registered by "W Johnston", her son who I cannot find in any previous record and given Elizabeth is on her own until 1871 can only guess was born at some point thereafter. 

So the major confusion is around Elizabeth's marital status and Annie's father. From the details above, I had come to the reasonable conclusion Annie was illegitimate, her father was a Mr Wilson, and given she was born around 1855/56, I would be able to confirm all of this by finding her birth certificate on  scotlandspeople.

How wrong I was ...
 
  • There is no birth record for Annie Wilson or Annie Johnston(e) in or around the Sanquhar area
  • Annie's marriage from 1875 and death certificate both list her father as James Johnstone (deceased) and her mother as Elizabeth Johnstone, ms Johnston which indicates Elizabeth was previously married and strangely to someone of the same family name
  • Elizabeth's death certificate, bearing in mind she died at Annie's house, instead lists her husband as William Johnstone not James
  • Finally, having again checked on scotlandspeople there is no corresponding marriage certificate for Elizabeth  to any person named Johnston (if anyone searches, I have purchased the certificate and ruled out the Johnston's married in Kirkintilloch) 


Of course all of this is compounded by the appearance of her son William on the death certificate.

Elizabeths death certificate lists the correct parents so I know this isn't simply mistaken identify.

I feel I have exhausted all possible routes and hoping someone can offer a fresh perspective on  how I might progress. Not sure if there are records in the Sanquhar area which haven't made their way onto Scotlandspeople which could help with this

All and any suggestions will be gratefully received. Many thanks
Diamond, Drumnavaddy and Banbridge (- 1890)

Offline Forfarian

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Re: Annie Johnston / Wilson
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 28 August 21 11:35 BST (UK) »
First, if Annie was aged 6 on the date of the 1861 census, the chances are that she was born in 1854, because the census was taken on 7 April, so if her birthday was after 7 April 1854 she would not yet have reached her 7th birthday by census day. Or, of course, her age in the census may be incorrect.

Unfortunately the records of the Sanquhar Kirk Session, which might have shed some light, do not appear to have survived.

I agree that Annie's father was probably a Mr Wilson. It is very common for illegitimate children to be listed by one parent's name in one census and the other parent's name in the next census.

There is plenty of time for another child. Have you found Elizabeth's parents in the 1871 or later census? Is there a grandchild with them who could be William?

As for the later information, it is not unknown for an illegitimate person to be economical with the truth about their parents on their marriage certificate, in order to avoid the stigma of illegitimacy, and Elizabeth herself may well have misled both Annie and William into believing that she had been respectably married and widowed.


Never trust anything you find online (especially submitted trees and transcriptions on Ancestry, MyHeritage, FindMyPast and other commercial web sites) unless it's an image of an original document - and even then be wary because errors can and do occur.

Offline Neale1961

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Re: Annie Johnston / Wilson
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 28 August 21 11:37 BST (UK) »
Milligan - Jardine Glencross Dinwoodie - Brown: (Dumfriesshire & Kirkcudbrightshire)
Clark Faulds Cuthbertson Bryson Wilson: (Ayrshire & Renfrewshire)
Neale Cater Kinder - Harrison: (Warwickshire & Queensland)
Roberts - Spry: (Cornwall, Middlesex & Queensland)
Munster: (Schleswig-Holstein & Queensland) and Plate: (Braunschweig, Neubruck & Queensland)

Offline StephenA6

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Re: Annie Johnston / Wilson
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 28 August 21 12:30 BST (UK) »
A marriage to consider?
https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XTY7-WJ8

Hi Neale. One of the many certificates I have bought from SP ... unfortunately this is a different Elizabeth Johnston. There is also a marriage of an Elizabeth and William Johnston in Kirkintilloch which I also got excited about bought the certificate only to find it was a different couple.

Thanks
Diamond, Drumnavaddy and Banbridge (- 1890)


Offline StephenA6

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Re: Annie Johnston / Wilson
« Reply #4 on: Saturday 28 August 21 12:36 BST (UK) »
First, if Annie was aged 6 on the date of the 1861 census, the chances are that she was born in 1854, because the census was taken on 7 April, so if her birthday was after 7 April 1854 she would not yet have reached her 7th birthday by census day. Or, of course, her age in the census may be incorrect.

Unfortunately the records of the Sanquhar Kirk Session, which might have shed some light, do not appear to have survived.

I agree that Annie's father was probably a Mr Wilson. It is very common for illegitimate children to be listed by one parent's name in one census and the other parent's name in the next census.

There is plenty of time for another child. Have you found Elizabeth's parents in the 1871 or later census? Is there a grandchild with them who could be William?

As for the later information, it is not unknown for an illegitimate person to be economical with the truth about their parents on their marriage certificate, in order to avoid the stigma of illegitimacy, and Elizabeth herself may well have misled both Annie and William into believing that she had been respectably married and widowed.

Hi Forfarian.

Thanks for the response. Your final paragraph is where I think I am trending towards ... there is too much information pointing in different directions.

I also agree on dates ... there is a chance that Annie  was born in 1854 rather than 1855. The age on later censuses  and marriage / death certificates position as 1855/56 but I'm aware people in the 1800s didn't track birthdays / ages as accurately as we do today.

I have found Elizabeths father in 1871 (her mother had died by then) and he is on his own. Its a good shout though and I will follow through on the 1870/1880 records for other family members to see if there is a "W Johnston" (we guessed at the son being called William) also listed.

Diamond, Drumnavaddy and Banbridge (- 1890)