I'm new to this, please help!

Looking for Scottish Ancestors

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I'm new to this, please help!

Post by Jones274 » Wed Feb 24, 2021 11:39 pm

Im new to this site so I apologise if I've posted in the wrong place.
I have been trying to find my biological father and his side of my family for many years now with no success. However I have eventually found a copy of his birth certificate:

BROWN, Robert John. August third 1958. 1301 Govan Road, Glasgow.

Father: BROWN, Robert Stalker.

Mother: BROWN (nee MCDERMID), Isabella Evans.

With a bit of help from ancestry, who's DNA testing gave me a few 2nd/3rd/4th cousins, I have found they were married in Cathcart, Glasgow in 1957. Robert Stalker Brown was bron 1933. Isabella Evans Mcdermid was born 1937 in Port Glasgow.

I have tried to use SP site, ancestry, etc but I cant figure out how to find out if Robert and Isabella had any other children? I have vague knowledge of having a deceased aunt but other than that I'm not sure.

Also how do I then figure out if Robert or Isabella had siblings and who their parents are?

Im pretty new to this whole thing so any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.


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Re: I'm new to this, please help!

Post by AndrewP » Thu Feb 25, 2021 2:00 am

Hi 'Jones274',


In the death search screen on ScotlandsPeople, there is an option to search by a surname of the deceased and the maiden surname of deceased's mother. In your case, surname brown and mother's maiden surname McDermid. I used date parameters 1965 ± 10 years. There is only one result that comes up for a 2016 female death aged 58. As it is relatively recent, I won't put the name up on the open forum. This could be a relative of yours. As the death is less than 50 years ago, you don't have the option to download the death certificate. You can pay the price (£12, I think) to have an official copy of the certificate sent to you. It is an expensive option, and comes with no guarantee that the person is a relative. You would only know that by receiving the certificate and seeing the full parents names on it. This could be a relative; this could also be an unrelated stranger with the same surname and mother's maiden surname by co-incidence.

From the information on the death search, first name, middle name, surname, year of death and age at death, you can do a birth search. There is a likely birth record there (give or take a year - maybe the age at death was inaccurate), there is a strong candidate for the birth there and it is in Glasgow. As the birth is less than 100 years ago, you cannot download the death certificate. You can pay the price (£12) to have an official copy sent to you. That way you see the parents' names in full. Like with the death certificate, this could be a relative, or it could be an unrelated stranger with the same surname and mother's maiden surname by co-incidence.

For information - the 1958 birth you have at 1301 Govan Road - that is the address of the Southern General Hospital.

Another difficulty you have is the vast amount of Browns out there and the many spelling variations of McDermid. My searches were based on the spelling McDermid only.

As you have the 1957 marriage certificate, you should have the full names of the parents of that couple. You should be able to do a similar death search for the surname and mother's maiden surname from them and see how many results you get. Again, you are in the relatively recent years (births under 100 years ago, marriages under 75 years ago and deaths under 50 years ago, unless they died young), where downloading the certificates will not be an option. You have to judge if you want to spend the money gambling that these may be relations to you, with the possibility of them being unrelated with a similar set of names. Also, beware of the possibility of far too many results that would make it far too expensive to pay for the official certificates.

In more normal times, if you are in Scotland, you would have had the option to visit the ScotlandsPeople Centre or one of its outposts. In there, you could see the certificate and know if it it was a relation or a stranger within the cost of your entry to the search room. However under the current Covid-19 restrictions, the search rooms have been closed since March/April 2020 and not re-opening in the near future, that option is not available. In the search room, you can see the newer certificates and make notes of any or all of the the information on them. You cannot make a cheap print or download of them if they are within the 'recent' certificate years I listed further up this reply.

All the best,


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Re: I'm new to this, please help!

Post by Currie » Thu Feb 25, 2021 11:44 am

If you know the actual date of any event you could check the newspapers for a birth, death, or marriage announcement. Sometimes they can provide extra information.

Google has two Glasgow newspapers online. You would have to browse as the search facility is usually useless.

The Glasgow Herald up to 1990 - https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid= ... de=2&hl=en

And the Evening Times from 1951 to 1990. - https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid= ... de=2&hl=en

Here’s the 1958 birth announcement. The mother appears to be known as Eva. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=d ... %2C3708097

A funeral service in Ontario, Canada, has a February 2, 2011, listing for a Robert Stalker Brown but no other details. https://www.lakelandfuneralcentre.com/o ... bert-Brown

Best of luck,

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