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An Example of a Genealogy Search

I get so many questions asking me about genealogy searches using a professional that I thought I'd ask Tony of Scottish Roots to do a search on my own ancestry and use it as an example of what can be found.  It should of course be noted that depending on your own line of descent there may be more or indeed less information available but at least this will give you an idea. This Standard Search covers research into one line throughout the period of Statutory Civil Registration plus Old Parish Registers, Census Returns etc. and costs £185.00.  I asked Tony to give me his commentary on this investigation and suggest what might be done next and you can see this at the bottom of the report.

An Investigation into the Ancestry of Alastair McIntyre

The information given in advance was that Alastair was born on 31st January 1951 in Glasgow to John Gilmour McIntyre and Isabel Brown.

A search for the marriage of a John Gilmour McIntyre failed to reveal any likely leads. Instead the computer indexing system was used searching for a marriage between John McIntyre and Isabel Brown. This led to the discovery of the following marriage:

On 16th July 1937, at 421 Langholm Street, Glasgow, after Banns according to the forms of the Church of Scotland

JOHN MCINTYRE (General Warehouse Salesman – Bachelor) age 27, of 21 Plant Street, Glasgow, son of Alexander McIntyre (Lorryman) and Jessie McIntyre m/s Brock

[marriage to]

ISABEL FOWLER BROWN (Typist – Spinster) age 25, of 421 Langholm Street, Glasgow, daughter of James Brown (Engine Fitter – Journeyman) and Anne Brown m/s Reid

Clergyman: Francis Wm Rae, Minister of Yoker
Witnesses: Arichibald Stewart, 50 Acorn Street, Glasgow SE
Jessie F Brown, 421 Langholm Street, Yoker W4

(Ref: 1937m/Partick Glasgow 644/14-186)

m/s indicates maiden surname.

It can be seen that John did not mention a middle name of Gilmour at the time of this marriage.

No birth could be found for a John Gilmour McIntyre during the period 1909-1911. There was a considerable number of John McIntyre births during this period. All those within Glasgow (about 8) were examined but none of them was that being searched.

It was decided to put this search on one side for the time being and to search for the parents’ marriage. Using the co-ordinate indexing system, this was found as follows:

On 4th September 1903, at 40 Gateside Street, Largs, Ayrshire, after Banns according to the forms of the Established Church of Scotland

ALEX MCINTYRE (General Labourer – Bachelor) age 25, of 40 Gateside Street, Largs, Ayrshire, son of John McIntyre (Butcher) and Elizabeth McIntyre m/s Boyd

[marriage to]

JESSIE BROCK (Spinster) age 24, of 40 Gateside Street, Largs, Ayrshire, daughter of Robert Brock (Tinsmith and Gasfitter) and Elizabeth Brock m/s Gilmour

Witnesses: John Brown and Mary MacGregor

(Ref: 1903m/Largs, Ayrshire 602/1-14)

This indicates the source of the Gilmour middle name attributed to the couple’s son John.

A further search for his birth, this time in Largs, failed to reveal anything. A quick search of the death indexes showed that John Graham McIntyre died in Grangemouth in 1986. The certificate wasn’t examined.

In searching for the birth of Alexander it would be useful to know where he was born so a search was made for him in the 1891 Census when he would have been aged about 11. The census returns are house surveys carried out every ten years from 1841. They provide details such as name, age, occupation, place of birth, etc for each person living at the address on the night the census was carried out. Those for 1841 give far less information and the most recent open to public inspection are those for 1891.

Taking advantage of the name index to the 1891 Census, Alexander and family were eventually found as follows:

32 …*… Street, Largs, Ayrshire – 5th April 1891

John McIntyre Head Married 40 Butcher Ayrshire, Largs
Elisabeth McIntyre Wife Married 28 Ayrshire, Largs
Alex McIntyre Son 12 Scholar Ayrshire, Largs
Maggie McIntyre Daug 8 Scholar Ayrshire, Largs
(Ref: 1891Cen/Largs, Ayrshire 602, bk7, p19)

The property had 3 windowed rooms and John was shown as being employed.

* indicates illegibility or partial legibility throughout this report.

As the 1881 Census also has a name index the same family were also sought but surprisingly couldn’t be found. The following entry in Largs was however noted, it being assumed that two butchers in Largs with the same name are likely to be related in some way.

7 Townhead Close, Largs, Ayrshire – 4th April 1881

Jane McIntyre Head Widow 54 Ayrshire, Largs
John McIntyre Son Unmarr 27 Butcher Ayrshire, Largs
Hugh McIntyre Son Unmarr 24 House joiner Ayrshire, Largs
Agnes McIntyre Mother Widow 76 Ayrshire, Largs

(Ref: 1881Cen/Largs, Ayrshire 602, bk6, p22)

Surprisingly, no trace could be found of Alexander’s birth in Largs but his sister Margaret’s birth was discovered:

On 26th March 1882 at 8.20pm at Main Street, Largs, MARGARET BLAIR MCINTYRE was born, daughter of John McIntyre (Butcher – Journeyman) and Elizabeth McIntyre m/s Blair

Marriage of parents: 24th March 1882
Informant: John McIntyre (Flesher), father

(Ref: 1882b/Largs, Ayrshire 602-11)

It is assumed that the informant John gave his mother’s maiden name instead of his wife’s by mistake.

So this suggests that Alexander was born prior to the marriage of John and Elizabeth which was found as follows:

On 24th March 1882 at the Manse, Largs, after Banns according to the forms of the Established Church of Scotland

JOHN MCINTYRE (Butcher, Journeyman – Bachelor) age 27 of Largs, son of Archibald McIntyre (Butcher, Journeyman – Deceased) and Margaret McIntyre m/s Blair

[marriage to]

ELIZABETH BOYD (Domestic Servant – Spinster) age 20, of Largs, daughter of Crawford Boyd (Fisherman) and Alice Boyd m/s Wood

Clergyman: John Kinross, Minister, Largs
Witnesses: William Crawford and Agnes Wright

(Ref: 1882m/Largs, Ayrshire 602-7)

It is possible that Alexander could have been born under the name of Boyd but still no Largs certificates could be found. It was decided therefore to carry on with the search in the hope that further clues might shed light on Alexander’s origins.

In searching for deaths of married couples it is normally preferable to start with wives as they are indexed under both married and maiden surnames and it is possible to search for both names in co-ordination.

Elizabeth’s death was found as follows:

On 13th February 1926, at 5.15, at 9 Gallowgate Lane, Largs, ELIZABETH MCINTYRE, widow of John McIntyre (Flesher) died, aged 65, daughter of Crawford Boyd (Fisherman – Deceased) and Alice Boyd m/s Wood (Deceased)

Cause of death: Peritonitis, probably from malignant condition
Certified by: John Crow MD
Informant: Archie McIntyre, son, 9 School Wynd, Largs

(Ref: 1926d/Largs, Ayrshire 602/1-8)

It took some time to find John’s death but it was eventually found as follows:

On 9th September 1914, at 3am, at 1 Lade Street, Largs JOHN MCINTYRE (Butcher), married to Elizabeth Boyd, died, aged 63, son of Archibald McIntyre (Butcher – Deceased) and Margaret McIntyre m/s Blair (Deceased)

Cause of death: Enlarged prostate, Cystitis, Nephritis
Certified by: John Crow MD
Informant: Daniel Allan, Brother-in-law, 14 Bristow Road, Largs

(Ref: 1914d/Largs, Ayrshire 602/1-39)

John would have been born in about 1851 whereas Statutory Civil Registration didn’t start in Scotland until 1855. Before that one has to rely on the Old Parochial Registers (OPRs). There were almost 1,000 parishes in Scotland, and not all of the old registers have survived. It was not really until the early part of the 18th Century that the maintenance of OPRs became reasonably widespread. The registers were usually the responsibility of the Session Clerk and some were much more diligent than others. The secession of 1733 had an adverse effect and many of those who seceded refused, on principle, to register baptisms with the Established Church. In 1783, an act was passed imposing a tax of three pence on every entry; this also deterred many from registering.

John’s birth, and his parents marriage, were both discovered in Largs:

JOHN, 2nd child of Archibald MCINTYRE in Largs, and Margaret Blair his wife, was born 20th December 1851, and baptised on the 25th January 1852 by the Revd J Kinross

(Ref: OPR/Largs, Ayrshire 602/3)

AND: 1848

Sept 9th Archibald Macintyre [sic] and Margaret Blair both in this parish. Two-days

(Ref: OPR/Largs, Ayrshire 602/3)

No trace, using the OPR computer index, could be found of an appropriate Archibald McIntyre birth in Ayrshire. This could mean that he was born elsewhere or that his baptism simply wasn’t registered.

Although only the 1881 and 1891 Censuses have national name indexes, several earlier censuses have been indexed here and there by local enthusiasts. Luckily, Largs is the only Ayrshire district to have been indexed in respect of the 1841 Census. This led to the following interesting entry:

South Whitliburn, Largs, Ayrshire – 7th June 1841

James Crawford Head 73 Farmer Yes

… … … …. …

Archibald McIntyre 15 Agricultural Lab No
Peter McIntyre 12 Agricultural Lab No

(Ref: 1841Cen/Largs, Ayshire 602, bk 7, p6)

It can be seen that the 1841 Census provided much less detailed information than subsequent ones.

The household of James Crawford was extremely large in terms of family and servants. The right hand column indicates whether or not the persons were born in the County.

Although there is no name index for the Largs 1851 Census it was decided to search all eight books if necessary to find Archibald, mainly to discover his parish of birth. It took about an hour to find the following entry:

Nelson Street, Allan’s Land, Largs, Ayrshire – 30th March 1851

Archibald McIntyre Head Married 27 Flesher Argyllshire, Campbeltown
Margaret McIntyre Wife Married 25 Ayrshire, Largs
James McIntyre Son 2 Ayrshire, Largs

(Ref: 1851Cen/Largs, Ayrshire, bk8, p6)

No trace could be found in the OPRs of Archibald’s birth in Campbeltown. It is likely that it was never recorded.

The following interesting household was also found during this search.

Lade Street, Largs, Ayrshire – 30th March 1851

Margaret Boyd Head Widow 74 Ayrshire, Largs
Alexander Boyd Son Married 48 Fisherman Ayrshire, Largs
Ninian Boyd Son Unmarr 43 Fisherman Ayrshire, Largs
James Boyd Son Unmarr 38 Fisherman Ayrshire, Largs
Crawford Boyd Son Unmarr 32 Fisherman Ayrshire, Largs
Peter Boyd Son Unmarr 24 Fisherman Ayrshire, Largs
James Boyd Son Grandson 18 Weaver Ayrshire, Largs

(Ref: 1851Cen/Largs, Ayrshire, bk7, p29)

These were the only McIntyre entries in Largs and there is little doubt that the Archibald McIntyre shown was the husband of Margaret Blair and that Peter was his younger brother.

It would be useful to know the names of Archibald’s parents by discovering his death certificate. It is possible to restrict the search for death certificates by a spread of ages. No appropriate death for Archibald could be found in Largs. He may have died before 1855 or have died elsewhere.

Before leaving the McIntyre line a search was made for relevant Monumental Inscriptions in Largs. These are abbreviated tombstone inscriptions, covering a number of parishes throughout Scotland, compiled by dedicated family historians. If one is lucky, then a lot of useful information can be gathered from a family "plot".

The Ayrshire MIs are on microfiche, the only McIntyre entry was in respect of an Archibald who died in 1939 – possibly the son of John and Elisabeth who was the informant of his mother’s death (Ref: MI 9-1-97 Largs X 120 B). This death was examined but related to Archibald, son John McIntyre and Margaret McPhail (Ref: 1939d/Largs, Ayrshire 602/1-126).

The Mormon Family Search CD-ROM system provides integrated birth and marriage details for the whole of the British Isles. An attempt was made to find a McIntyre couple who had sons named Archibald and Peter in about 1826 and 1829 respectively. None could be found.

Switching briefly to the Boyd family. It was known that Crawford was still alive on the occasion of his daughter’s marriage in 1882. A search was therefore made for him in the 1881 Census leading to the following:

3 Gateside Street, Largs, Ayrshire – 4th April 1881

Crawford Boyd Head Married 61 Fisherman Largs, Ayrshire
Alice Boyd Wife Married 50 Fisherman’s wife Largs, Ayrshire
Elizabeth Boyd Daug Unmarr 21 Largs, Ayrshire
William Boyd Son Unmarr 16 Largs, Ayrshire
Alex Boyd Son Unmarr 14 Largs, Ayrshire
Mary Boyd Daug 10 Largs, Ayrshire
Helen Boyd Daug 8 Largs, Ayrshire
Jane Boyd Daug 3 Largs, Ayrshire
Alex McMillan Grandson 2 Largs, Ayrshire
James Boyd Son 23 Mason Largs, Ayrshire

(Ref: 1881Cen/Largs, Ayshire 602, bk 5, p19)

This was extremely interesting showing, as it does, no Alexander Boyd/McIntyre, but an Alexander McMillan. It is possible that this Alexander was an orphan to a son or daughter of Crawford and Alice or, much more likely, that this was an illegitimate child of Elizabeth who was later known as Alexander Boyd.

A search for Alexander’s McMillan’s birth in Largs proved negative but of course it is very possible that Elizabeth went somewhere else to have the baby.

Although there is a question mark concerning the paternity of Alexander McIntyre, there is no doubt that his mother was Elizabeth Boyd, daughter of Crawford.

Her parents’ marriage was found as follows:


June 7 Crawford Boyd, fisher and Alice Wood, both residing in this Parish.

Two days

(Ref: OPR/Largs, Ayrshire 602/3)

It is virtually certain that the following entry refers to Crawford’s birth:

CRAWFORD Crawford, lawful son of James Boyd and Margt BOYD

Crawford in Town born 14th, bapt 21st October 1821

By Mr Mitchell

(Ref: OPR/Largs, Ayrshire 602/3)

Crawford’s death was found as follows:

On 26th March 1892, at 8.30am, at Gateside Street, Largs, CRAWFORD BOYD (Fisherman) married to Alice Wood, died, aged 74, son of James Boyd (Fisherman – Deceased) and Margaret Boyd m/s Crawford (Deceased)

Cause of death: Cardiac valvular disease, Hemiplegia 6 days
Certified by: William A Caskie, MA
Informant: Alexander Boyd, son, present

(Ref: 1892d/Largs, Aryshire 602-20)

The 1851 Census entry shows Margaret as a 74 year old widow. Luckily she survived until 1862 when her death was found as follows:

On 9th September 1862, at 8.30pm, at 8 New Street, Largs, Margaret Boyd, relict of James Boyd, fisherman, died, aged 85, daughter of Ninian Crawford (Mason) and Margaret Crawford m/s Beith

Cause of death: Senile debility, dropsy and incipient gangrene of foot
Certified by: I Campbell MD
Informant: Ninian Boyd, son

(Ref: 1862)

There was no sign of Margaret’s birth, nor of her parents’ marriage.

Commentary on Alastair’s ancestral research

The information, as presented, is typical of a standard professional search in which the objective is to get back as far as possible within the allotted time. This means that, from time-to-time the searcher has to take short-cuts and to make value judgements as to what to look for and what to leave out.

The following points are worth noting:

1. Although life expectancy was low in the 19th and early 20th Centuries, it was still often the case that some people lived to a ripe old age, Margaret Boyd – Alastair’s 5 x great grannie lived to 85. Note that Crawford Boyd, who was born on 14th October 1821, was baptised a week later. This was common practice in those days of infant mortality.

2. As frequently happens, there was a coming together of Highland and Lowland families in the mid 19th Century. Whereas, in the 1841 Census, there were just "McIntyres" in Largs, by 1851 there were several, all originating from Argyllshire. Without a doubt, all of this migration would have been by sea.

3. There is at least one instance of illegitimacy. This was extremely common in Scotland at that time. When this occurs it is often extremely difficult to find out about the natural father unless of course the parents eventually married.

A search such as this should not be treated as an end in itself, it is really just the beginning. Ideally all the births of siblings should be followed up, as should the households in all the census years.

Each generation doubles the numbers of lines to be followed, so there is still scope for more work on Jessie Brock’s, and Elisabeth Gilmour’s ancestry as well as that of Alastair’s mother, Isabel Brown.

Once the genealogy has been done, it creates the framework on which to build the family history. This task could last a lifetime. Here are just a few suggestions as to what might be done:

a) Join the Largs and North Ayrshire Family History Society. This costs only £8 per year and would be worth every penny. They have their own lending library, they organise meetings, issue newsletters, answer enquiries and, most important of all, keep an index of local families which have been researched. This facility could lead to contact with "cousins" who may well have additional information.

b) Make contact with the Largs & District Historical Society. This is based within Largs Museum and is an invaluable resource containing, as it does, over 1000 photographs of Largs and the surrounding area. It is possible that all the addresses given in the report could be pinpointed and perhaps photographs would be found of the McIntyre butcher’s premises and of some of the relevant streets.

The Society holds back copies of the Largs & Millport Weekly News from 1877-1996. A glance through back copies will give a "feel" for life in the town.

Crawford Boyd must have been a well-known fisherman in the Town. When he died in 1892 it is probable that the local newspaper carried an obituary.

c) Visit the Scottish Fisheries Museum, Anstruther. What was life like being a fisherman in the 1800’s? What type of fishing operated out of Largs? Although Anstruther is on the East Coast of Scotland, this Museum includes material covering all aspects of Scottish fisheries.

d) Examine the Kirk Session records. These often provide much additional background information on families within a parish – particularly if they had misbehaved in some way! Most of these records are kept in the National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh.

e) Wills and Testaments – Relatively few people in Scotland owned anything of any value so there was really no need for them to leave a will. John McIntyre is shown as being a journeyman, not a master butcher. This means that he was employed and paid a daily rate so it is unlikely that there would be any legal documents relevant to his family.

f) Walk the streets of Largs – there is nothing to compare with actually visiting the place where one’s ancestors lived and worked.

This concludes the £185 search which is for one line of the family.

A comprehensive search costs £295.00 and for that you get another line of your family and in this case here is what was found out about my mothers line.

An Investigation into the Ancestry of Isobel Fowler Brown

The information provided in advance was that Isabel married John McIntyre on 16th July 1937. The marriage certificate showed that she was aged 25 and that she was the daughter of James Brown and Anne Reid.

Her birth certificate was found as follows:

On 21st October 1911 at 1pm at 5 Walter Street, Yoker
ISABELLA FOWLER BROWN was born, daughter of James Brown (Engine Fitter) and Annie Fowler Brown m/s Reid
Marriage of parents: 30th November 1894, Kelvin, Glasgow
Informant: James Brown, father, present

(Ref 1911b/Scotstoun & Yoker 575/2-307)

This led without any difficulty to the parents’ marriage:

On 30 November 1894 at 185 Hill Street, Glasgow, after publication according to the forms of the Free Church of Scotland
JAMES BROWN (Engine Fitter, Journeyman - Bachelor) age 27, of 4 Wilton Street, Glasgow, son of John Brown (formerly Colliery Manager) and Margaret Brown m/s Law [marriage to]
ANNIE FOWLER REID (Biscuit Factory Forewoman
Spinster) age 25, of 184 Bellfield Street, Glasgow, daughter of Reuben Reid (Tailor Deceased,) and Ann Reid m/s Fowler (Deceased,)
Clergyman: James Weatherhead BD, Minister of North Woodside Free Church
Witnesses: William Gebbie Aitken and Jessie Goldie

(Ref 1894m/Kelvin, Glasgow 644/9-526)

"James Brown" is such a common name that to search for his birth in about 1867 would be extremely time-consuming. An attempt to find the parents’ marriage certificate, which might have provided a clue as to where James was born, was unsuccessful. It was presumed therefore that the marriage occurred before 1855 which is when Statutory Civil Registration began.

An alternative line of approach was to first search for the death certificates of both Anne Reid and Margaret Law taking advantage of the co-incident indexing scheme (using maiden and married names) for the deaths of married women.

These were found as follows:

On 27th April 1956, at 12 noon, at 247 Langholm Street, Glasgow
ANNE FOWLER BROWN, widow of James Brown (Engine Fitter) died, aged 86, daughter of Reuben Reid Taylor (Tailor - Deceased) and Anne Reid m/s Fowler
Cause of death:  Acute pulmonary oedema, Myocardial degeneration
Witnesses: Alex Lawson, son-in-law, 2196 Dumbarton Road, Glasgow

(Ref: 1956d/Partick, Glasgow 644/8-482)


On 19th July 1904, at 8.25pm, at Mauchline Road, Hurlford
MARGARET BROWN (Widow of John Brown - Colliery Manager) Illegitimate, died aged 74, daughter of Janet Law (Domestic Servant - Deceased)
Cause of Death:  Senile decay, 6 months
Certified by:  Wm Baxter
Informant:  David Findlay, son-in-law, present

(Ref:  1904d/Hurlford, Ayrshire 611/2-37)

The term "illegitimate" refers to Margaret, not to her husband.

Searching for the birth of a James Brown in about 1867 using the computerised index to the Statutory certificates would be extremely time-consuming especially without a clear indication as to place of birth.

Instead, the Mormon CD-ROM based Family Search system was employed. This, amongst other things, permits searches to be made showing the recorded baptisms/birth to specific parents (up to 1875). This revealed the following births to John & Margaret, all in Riccarton, Ayrshire:

Mary 1856
George 1860
John Galloway 1862
Jessie 1865
James 1867

This led to Jame's birth certificate as follows:

On 27th September 1867 at 0.05 am at Barleith
JAMES BROWN was born, son of John Brown (Colliery Clerk) and Margaret Brown m/s Law
Marriage of parents:  22nd December 1848, Hurlford
Informant:  John Brown, father, present

(Ref: 1867b/Riccarton, Ayrshire 611-209)

This provided sufficient information to track down the family in the 1881 Census as follows:

Barleith Colliery, Riccarton, Ayrshire - 4th April 1881

John Brown Head  Married 58* Colliery Clerk Lanarksh, Hamilton
Margaret Brown Wife  Married 51 Clerk's wife Ayrsh, Galston
John Galloway Brown Son 18 Scholar Ayrsh, Riccarton
Jessie Brown Daug 15 Scholar Ayrsh, Riccarton
James Brown Son 13 Scholar Ayrsh, Riccarton

(Ref: 1861Cen/Riccarton, Ayrshire 611, bk5, p25)

Riccarton Road, Hurlford, Ayrshire - 30th March 1851

John Brown Head  Married 23 Labourer (Coal) Lararksh, Hamilton
Margaret Brown Wife  Married 21 Ayrshire, Galston
Janet Brown Daug 1 Ayrshire, Riccarton

(Ref: 1851Cen/Riccarton, Ayrshire 611, bk4, p22)

It had been hoped to discover the parents of John and/or Margaret living in the above household in one or other of these census years but, unfortunately, this wasn't the case.

The most important finding was John Brown's age in the 1851 and 1861 Census Returns. This indicates that his age in the 1881 Census should have been 53, and not 58 as surmised. In analysing the returns, the clerks used crayon to mark off ages and this has resulted in many of them being partially obliterated, especially when examined on microfilm.

In an attempt to narrow the period of search for John Brown's death a search was made of the Ayrshire name index for the 1891 Census in the hope that he, or simply, Margaret would be found. This took some time but the couple were eventually found in Ochiltree as follows:

Loudonabon* Cott, Ochiltree, Ayrshire - 5th April 1891

John Brown Head  Married 63 Colliery Clerk Lanarksh, Hamilton
Margaret Brown Wife  Married 61 Ayrshire, Galston
James Brown Son 23 Engineer Fitter Ayrshire, Riccarton

(Ref: 1891Cen/Ochiltree, Ayrshire 609, bk4, p7)

The Property had 6 windowed rooms.

John's death certificate shows that he pre-deceased his wife by just a couple of months:

On 10th May 1904, at 5.15pm, at Mauchline Road, Hurlford
JOHN BROWN (Retired Colliery Manager) married to Margaret Law, died, aged 75, son of George Brown (Gardener - Deceased) and Janet Brown m/s Leggat (Deceased)
Cause of death: Heart failure 1 year, 6 months
Certified by:  William Baxter MD Ed
Informant: James Brown, son, 13 Alexander Street, Clydebank

(Ref: 1904d/Hurlford, Ayrshire 611/2-23)

It is interesting to note, in the census returns, John is described as a "colliery clerk, even at the age of 63, however, on his son's marriage certificate (1894) and on both his, and his wife's death certificates, he is described as a "colliery manager".

John's certificate indicates the names of his parents, thus enabling his birth in Hamilton, and his parents' marriage to be found as follows:

18th Feb 1828
John lawful son to George Brown and Margaret Brown Legate [sic], Spouses

Ref: OPR/Hamilton, Lanarkshire 647/5)


George Brown and Margaret Legate both in this parish for 2 days 4 & 11 November 1827.

(Ref: OPR/Hamilton, Lanarkshire 647/5)

Note that the mother's name doesn't correspond exactly to that given by James at the time of his father's death. This often happens and it is not surprising bearing in mind that the grandparents were probably not known personally to the informant.

Note also that Margaret would have been 5 - 6 months pregnant when she was married.

An extensive search was conducted in the hope of finding Margaret Legget's post-1855 death. This was not successful, possibly because she died before then, or because another spelling variant was used.

There is a specific name index to the 1851 Census in Hamilton. There was no sign of any entry relevant to George and Margaret. Without knowing their parents' names it would be difficult to make further progress.

Further, as Margaret Law was illegitimate, it is not surprising that her death in Galston could not be found. It is possible that there is an entry, rebuking her mother, in the Galston Kirk Session records. These are however kept in the National Archives of Scotland and are unindexed.

As the time allocated for this search had expired the search was terminated at this point.

So in conclusion, all of the above information was obtained by paying a search fee of £295.00 which I figure is excellent value for money :-)

I hope this copy of my own family search has given you some indication as to what work goes into these searches and how a good professional firm can be of considerable help. I'd certainly recommend Scottish Roots to anyone looking to do a similar search.  Do remember however that this is just my results and your results could come up with more or less information. I might add that I was also supplied with a family tree chart and a photocopy of a map showing the Hurlford and Riccarton areas.

From my DNA I'm apparently part of the clan Jasmine, one of the seven daughters of Eve :-)

And this is my DNA Y-Line

And this is my DNA Y-Line

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