The Works of Alexander Inkson
"Ben Muich Dhui and His Neighbours: A Guide to the Cairngorm
Mountains" - 1885
"Bennachie" - 1890
"Lochnagar" - 1891
"Deeside" - 1895
"The Royal Dee: A Description of the River from the Wells to the
Sea" - 1898
"The Book of Ellon" by James H Brown as edited by Alex. Inkson
McConnochie - 1901
"Donside" - 1901
"Strathspey" - 1902
"Guide to Aviemore and Vicinity" - 1907
[Evidence is supplied in the accompanying .pdf
Alexander Inkson (1850-1936), who, by the 1871 Census, had changed
his name to Alexander Inkson McConnochie, was the elder son of
William Inkston Jnr. (1823-1882) [Journeyman Shoemaker] and Jane
McConnochie (1829-1861) who had married on the 25th of May 1847 in
Rothes, Moray, Scotland.
Jane McConnochie, christened in Rothes on the 14th of June, 1829,
was an illegitimate daughter of William McConnochie [Farmer] and
William Inkston Jnr., born in Rothes on 25th September, 1823, was a
son of William Inkston Snr. and Elspat Ross.
Alexander, the subject of this mini-biography, was the first-born of
William Inkson Jnr, and Jane McConnochie on the 19th of February
1850 in Rothes, Moray, Scotland and he was christened there as
Alexander Inkson on the 23rd of March 1850.
Alexander’s younger brother, William McConnochie Inkson was born in
Rothes on the 25th of September, 1852, and his sister Helen Inkson
on the 22nd of July, 1855.
No more siblings were born until, on the 24th of December, 1861, a
premature baby girl arrived only to die 20 hours later on Christmas
Day. Sadly, four days later, on the 29th of December, mother Jane
died as a result of the problems caused by the premature birth of
her second daughter.
In the 1861 Census taken on the 7th of April, Alexander Inkson was
at school in Oyne, Aberdeenshire where he was living with his Aunt
Helen (McConnochie) Maitland [another illegitimate daughter of
William McConnochie and Janet Ledingham] and her Stationmaster
husband, Erskine Maitland.
Then, in the 1871 Census, Alexander is registered as Alexander
Inkson McConnochie [ Law Clerk] living with his unmarried
Grandmother Janet Ledingham at 75 Chapel Street, Old Machar,
Meantime, Alexander’s father, widower William Inkson Jnr., had
procreated an illegitimate daughter Isabel with an Isabella Burgess
in 1863, but then married another lady on the 24th of May, 1864 ….
nineteen year old Mary Gordon with whom he had four children in
Rothes by 1871, and another four by 1881, before he died aged c. 60
It thus seems a reasonable hypothesis that his father’s ‘behaviour’
caused his son, Alexander Inkston, to change his surname to his late
mother’s maiden surname, McConnochie.
The next sight of Alexander in official records appears with his
marriage to Wilhelmina Johnston Thom, daughter of Alexander Thom
[Journeyman Mason] and Elizabeth (Johnston) Thom on the 27th March,
1873 at 24 Regent Quay, St Nicholas, Aberdeen. But tragedy strikes
on the 24th of January, 1874 when Childbirth Peritonitis kills
Wilhelmina. Thus widower Alexander has not only lost his mother in
childbirth, but also his wife!
By 1881, Alexander is a qualified chartered accountant, but, as yet,
there is no sign from public records that he is developing writing
talent by publishing detailed descriptions gleaned from roaming the
highlands and lowlands of Aberdeenshire and neighbouring shires.
However, this changes with the success of his publication in 1885
of, "Ben Muich Dhui and His Neighbours: A Guide to the Cairngorm
Mountains". Two more books followed … "Bennachie" in 1890, and then
"Lochnagar" in 1891, when the 1991 Census shows him still following
his career as a chartered accountant in Aberdeen.
1896 was a happy year for Alexander, when he married a London artist
and sculptor, Catherine Henrietta Emilie SCHLESINGER, born in 1865
in Islington to Antoni Schlesinger, originally from Frankfurt,
Germany, and his wife Florence, originally from Florence, Italy. The
marriage took place in St. Pancras, London in the autumn of that
year. Then in the 1901 Scottish Census the couple are shown to be
living in the Rubislaw Parish of St. Machar District of Aberdeen,
with Alexander still a chartered accountant.
No doubt while Catherine was busy with her painting and sculpting,
Alexander must have been continuing with his trekking around the
neighbouring countryside gathering material for the following
"Deeside" in 1895 - "The Royal Dee: A Description of the River from
the Wells to the Sea" in 1898 "The Book of Ellon" by James H Brown
as edited by Alex. Inkson McConnochie in 1901, and "Donside" also in
1901. No children are listed with them in 1901, and again they are
childless in the 1911 Census in Glasgow; not surprising when
Alexander was by then 65 years of age and Catherine c. 46. The
following, probably last, publications, appeared in 1902 and 1907
respectively… v.i.z. "Strathspey" and "Guide to Aviemore and
Vicinity". It is clear that at some stage between 1911 and 1936 they
removed to live down South, as Alexander died, aged 86 in March,
1936 in Hendon, Middlesex, England. Thereafter, in due course, Widow
Catherine must have made her hometown Hove, Sussex, England, for her
death, in her late 80s, is registered there in June, 1952.
Aviemore and vicinity" by Alexander Inkson McConnochie in 1907
Book Of Ellon