Birth place of Alexander Stewart (born. c. 1804)

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Birth place of Alexander Stewart (born. c. 1804)

Post by doddie » Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:22 pm

Opinions appreciated. Trying to establish the birth origins of my g.g.g. grandfather. Alexander Stewart was living in the Cullen area of Banffshire when he got married in 1830. He spent most of the remainder of his life in Banffshire. I have a full set of census entries for him from 1841 to 1881. In all cases his birth place is given as Urquhart (sometimes given as being in 'Invernesshire' and sometimes in 'Ross-shire'). On his death certificate it states that his parents were Alexander Stewart and Ann Mclay. In my searches I have only come across one couple by those names who had a son named Alexander born (c 1805) in the Barony area of Glasgow. I have been advised that I should rely more on the information given in the censuses and that Alexander was indeed born up North and that it is just a simple case of his birth being unregistered. Is it the case that the trail may have unfortunately gone cold?



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Re: Birth place of Alexander Stewart (born. c. 1804)

Post by WilmaM » Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:49 pm

A few thoughts spring to mind.

I assume no other relations have cropped up in the census records - no convenient Elderly Mother or Brother tagged on at the end staying over that night.
[I've had a few breakthroughs that way]

Have you checked the census records for the supposed parents in a. the Banffshire area and b. the Urquhart end [parents could still be around in 1841/51]

Check the Urquhart area for any possible siblings born to a couple of those names.

I had a quick look on freecen in 1841:
There is an Anne Stewart aged 75 in Strone living with a young John Stewart and family [Place: Urquhart&Glenmoristn-Inverness-shire ]
she's no longer with the family in 1851.

Looking at Urquhart-Logie Westr-Ross and Cromarty there's an old Alexander, but his wife is Mary.

Maybe you can see something more obvious.

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Re: Birth place of Alexander Stewart (born. c. 1804)

Post by Moray_Lass » Thu Mar 09, 2017 4:23 pm

Just a thought but are you sure it was Urquhart in Invernessshirw/Ross shire? There is a Urquhart in Moray shire only 10-15 miles from Cullen. That Urquhart is on Speymouth parish

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Moray, Bellie/Boharm:- Symon, Thomson, Lobban, Davidson, Gordon, Laing, Dick, Thom and Geddes.
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And 'Finechty Flett's'

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Re: Birth place of Alexander Stewart (born. c. 1804)

Post by doddie » Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:51 pm

Hello Moray_Lass and wilmaM, thank you for your v. prompt responses. No such luck with convenient relatives I'm afraid. Even resorting to the Scottish child naming pattern hasn't been much help (Only managed to establish Alexander's father was probably Alexander too as my g.g.g. grandfather's first son was named Aleaxander). With regard to the specifics of the Urquhart location, the Invernesshire/Ross-shire references are exactly what appears on the census forms. 1851: 'Urquhart, Invernesshire', 1861: 'Urquhart, Ross-shire', 1871: 'Urquhart, Ross-shire', 1881: just 'Urquhart'. In the instances of 1861 and 1871 the transcriptions actually read as 'Orchard' instead of 'Urquhart'. Presumably being spelled as the relevant census enumerators heard the place name. I'm probably going to have to bite the bullet on this one and stop pulling out what's left of my hair.



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Re: Birth place of Alexander Stewart (born. c. 1804)

Post by AndrewP » Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:28 pm

Hi Doddie,

Have you seen the originals of the census pages on ScotlandsPeople? It could be that there have been assumptions made about which Urquhart in the transcription process. You would be best to see the original pages to see if they do have the counties that are given on the transcriptions.

All the best,


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Re: Birth place of Alexander Stewart (born. c. 1804)

Post by doddie » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:00 pm

Hi Andrewp, yes I have seen the originals. I am lucky enough to be living in Edinburgh so have been a regular visitor to the actual records office over the years. I have regularly revisited this issue and have looked for an Alexander born c.1804 - I always allow for a degree of latitude by two or three years either way - to parents Alexander Stewart/Stuart and Ann McLae (plus other surname variations) but have only ever come up with the Barony in Glasgow instance. My original thinking was that perhaps these were the right parents and that they moved to the North of Scotland when Alexander was v. young and so he just presumed that he was born in Urquhart. This is though mere speculation.



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Re: Birth place of Alexander Stewart (born. c. 1804)

Post by Lotsofbranches » Wed Aug 15, 2018 2:24 am

Hello Doddie,

It is some time since you posted this message, so you have already have solved the puzzle of birthplace of Alexander Stewart (born c. 1804). But if not, I think I may have some information to help you.

I believe that your Alexander Stewart (born c. 1804) and living in Cullen Banffshire, was the son of Alexander Stewart and Margaret McLeay / McLea / McLean, born 1802 parish Urquhart and Logie Wester, Ross and Cromarty.

Alexander Steurt and Margaret McLeay married in Urquhart and Logie Wester, Ross and Cromarty on 18 July 1789 ("Alexander Steuart in Balnabin was contracted with Margaret McLeay in this parish and were married").

So far I have tracked down 5 children I believe were born to this couple:
Hellen Steurt bap. 19 Aug 1781 ("daughter to Alexander Steurt in Balnabin and his spouse Margaret McLeay")
George Steuart bap. 25 Aug 1783 ("son to Alexander Steuart in Balnabin and his spouse Margaret McLeay")
Isobel Stewart bap. 3 Apr 1795 ("daughter to Alexr. Stewart in Balnabine and his spouse Margaret McLean")
Donald Stewart bap. 15 Jan 1800 ("son to Alexr. Stewart in Meikle Kinkell and his spouse Margt McLeay")
Alexander Stuart bap. 13 Dec 1802 ("son to Alexr. Stuart in Balnabein and his spouse Margaret McLea")
This is a slightly unusual birthing pattern, so I wonder whether there might have been other children born too?

My ancestor is Donald Stewart born 1800, an older brother of your Alexander Stewart of Cullen Banffshire. Donald also moved to Banffshire, and lived in Sandend, Fordyce.

Both Donald Stewart (born 1800) and Alexander Stewart (born 1802) seem to have given the name 'Alexander' to their first sons, and it appears that they also witnessed the baptism of their respective nephews:
Alexander Stuart son of Donald Stewart and Catherine Sutherland was baptised Fordyce 4 July 1830 ("Donald Stuart at Sandend had a child by his wife Catherine Sutherland baptised and named Alexander witnessed Alexander Stuart and William Sutherland")
Alexander Stewart son of Alexander Stewart and Elspet Grant was baptised Cullen 3 May 1835 (I don't have the original but FreeREG lists the witnesses as John Gaudie mason Cullen and Donald Stewart Sandend).

Kind regards

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