Tuesday 22 October 2013

Pieces of Evidence Connecting My Family to Scotland – Part 2 – The Maitland Connection

I explained before about finding information about my Anderson ancestors, in particular my 3rd great-grandfather, Gilbert Anderson. The other (better?) half of the Anderson family, the ancestors of Margaret Maitland, also proved to be a challenge to locate. I did meet another cousin on the Internet who was also engaged in searching this line and who had a tree on Ancestry. She was a direct descendant of two Maitlands, first cousins who married each other in 1796. Through them we believe we share 6th great-grandparents. This “new” cousin was very helpful in showing me her side of the Maitlands. My research on the Scotlands People website appeared to tie the two lines together.

One of the things I found right away was that the surname Maitland was also shown in parish registers as Macklum, Maiklum, Maiklem, Mclam, Mclen, Mclum, Meiklem and Miekleholm. Through comparing a variety of birth, marriage and death records we did establish that they were all in the same family, just recorded by unknowing or uncaring clerks in a different way. For example, the cousins referred to above were shown as “Archd. and Jean Maiklum” in their marriage record. Seven children were baptized with the same surname and then four more were baptized as Maitlands, although I suspect the pluralized version of the name is a reference to both parents having had the same surname of Maitland not another variation.

I have not found the actual birth/baptism record for Margaret Maitland, my 3rd great-grandmother. There is a person of that name on the IGI listing of the right age, born in 1802 in Leven Wastes, Dunbartonshire,  but I believe this is a contribution from an LDS Church member, not an extraction from a register. In fact, this has been a problem with many of Margaret’s siblings as well. Only four entries in parish birth registers have been found for them: James in 1796 (Campsie Parish, Stirlingshire), John in 1797 (Campsie), another James in 1800 (Bonhill, Dunbartonshire) and Robert in 1813 (Campsie). The family obviously moved around in response to the father’s opportunities as a cloth block printer. Margaret is shown by one researcher as being born in Dunbartonshire as was two sisters, Janet, in 1803, and Jesse Mary, in 1804, and two brothers, Thomas, in 1798, and Robert, in 1806. Reasons why records cannot be found may be that they have not been preserved, the spelling of their surname was different or indexing of records has not been accurate. In any case, the BMD records have not been a lot of help yet.

Another James Maitland married a Margaret Russell in 1790, in Dunipace, Sitrlingshire. They also had a number of children in Stirilingshire and Dunbartonshire, including a Margaret in 1800. For a while I thought they might be the right family but other records finally surfaced to bring us back to James Maitland and Margaret Young. Their marriage was recorded in the Cadder parish (adjacent to Campsie) marriage register in 1795.

I looked for James and Margaret on census and burial records to try to expand on my knowledge of them. The only records I found that made sense were the 1841 census and a 1846 death record for James Maitland. The death record had him living in Lennoxtown, Campsie Parish and aged 78 when he died. That seemed to fit with the marriage to Margaret Young, the birth records for his children and the fact that Lennoxtown was the site of a large mill which produced printed cloth.

The 1841 census, however, showed him living with a presumed wife, Catharine, and two daughters, Agnes and Catherine. So was it the right guy? James was 70 and Catharine was 55, so his age seemed fine. He was recorded as a calico printer; so that fit, too. A search of other BMD records found their marriage in 1817 and the births of four children: James in 1818, Agnes in 1821, Catharine in 1823 and Peter in 1826. All were born in Lennoxtown. I did find a death record for Peter who passed away in 1826. Agnes and Catharine were on the 1841 census but what happened to young James is not known.

It appeared, then, that James’ first wife had died prior to 1817 but, unfortunately, the death records for Campsie Parish are missing for the years 1787 to 1816. It is presumed she died between 1813, the birth year of her last child, and 1817, when James remarried but we will probably never know when or how exactly.

The clincher came when my cousin ordered up a copy of the Testament for James Maitland which was basically a will (testament testamentary) with the wishes of a testator set out as to what he wanted to happen with his possessions. The testament for James Maitland contained his last will and an inventory of his personal estate assembled by his wife, Catharine. James of course left his wife as the main beneficiary but also provided for his daughters, Agnes and Catharine. He also left many of his personal possessions to his son, Thomas. The most important part of the document to me, though, was where is said, “. . . I desire my said Trustees that after the marriage or death of my said Wife Catharine Horn and death of my said daughter Catharine that the residue of my Estate be paid to my said daughter Agnes and her heirs and failing Agnes and her heirs to my son Thomas and my Daughters Margaret, wife of Gilbert Anderson, weaver, now in America and my Daughter Janet, wife of William Pollock, Labourer Lennoxtown share and share alike. . .” That phrase tied him to my family in Canada!

The list of children for James Maitland and Margaret Russell does not have either a Thomas or a Janet which adds to the conclusion that my 4th great-grandmother really was Margaret Young.

In the absence of BMD records, other information allowed me to find my Maitland ancestors. From James, who died in 1846 at the age of 78, I was able also to find his parents, James Maitland and Janet Wilson. One of their daughters, Jean, married Archibald Maitland, about whom I started this little story. Further back from 5th great-grandfather James Maitland, it all gets problematic. But I remain hopeful we will eventually find more about the lines of both he and Janet Wilson.

Copies of all records shown here were downloaded from Scotlands People and reproduced with the kind permission of the Registrar General for Scotland. The testament is reproduced by permission of the Scottish Archive Network Ltd.

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