Do we have any Scot­tish an­ces­tors in our fam­ily tree?

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - READER STORY -

QFam­ily leg­end has it that we have Scot­tish roots. I’ve man­aged to get back as far as John Cleghorn (born about 1717) who lived in Mid­dle­sex and mar­ried Is­abel Courage in 1748. Dur­ing my re­search, I came across a let­ter writ­ten in 1879 by Har­riet Nis­bet (née Cleghorn), one of my an­ces­tors. She men­tions John (“our great grand­fa­ther”) and Is­abel, and states that John’s fa­ther was Ge­orge, a farmer from Mid­loth­ian. I can’t find any proof. Where was John Cleghorn born? Jackie Lowe, by email

AThere does not ap­pear to be a source for Har­riet Nis­bet’s claim that broth­ers Ge­orge and John Cleghorn were the sons of Ge­orge Cleghorn, a Mid­loth­ian farmer. How­ever, Har­riet was much closer to the 1700s than any of the re­searchers in­putting the same fam­ily on An­ces­try to­day, so I based my re­search on the premise that her state­ments were grounded in fact passed down.

I searched Mid­loth­ian birth in­dexes, 1700-1722, look­ing for a Cleghorn cou­ple with sons Ge­orge and John. There were only two op­tions: Richard Cleghorn and Chris­tian Clee­land, St Cuth­bert’s par­ish; and Wil­liam Cleghorn and He­len Pul­lans or Pil­lans, Cra­mond par­ish. The St Cuth­bert’s birth of John was in 1708, while the Cra­mond John was born in 1712, the lat­ter was a bet­ter match, es­pe­cially as some­where along the line 1712 could have been mis­read as 1717. A search of the bap­tisms of the Cra­mond chil­dren of Wil­liam and He­len Cleghorn showed: He­len, 1709; Robert, 1711; John, 1712; Wil­liam, 1713; Elisabeth, 1714; Ge­orge, 1716; and Agnes, 1718. So John’s fa­ther was un­likely to be Ge­orge. A closer look re­vealed that Richard Cleghorn was a tai­lor, rul­ing that fam­ily out. My sug­ges­tion there­fore is that John’s fa­ther might have been Wil­liam.

Was Wil­liam a farmer in Mid­loth­ian? Yes, he was! The bap­tism for his daugh­ter Agnes in 1718 stated “Daugh­ter to Wil­liam Cleghorn Ten­nent in Gran­toun Mains and He­len Pul­lans his spouse”. Wit­nesses to the Cleghorn chil­dren’s bap­tisms were “Robert Pil­lans in Roys­toun Mains and John Cleghorn in Muir­house Brae­head”. An­other wit­ness to the bap­tism of Robert Cleghorn in 1711 was “Ge­orge Pil­lans” – per­haps this is where the Ge­orge con­fu­sion be­gan?

Wil­liam and He­len mar­ried in 1708 – “July 12th 1708, Betwixt Wil­liam Cleghorn and He­len Pil­lans both in this paroch. Con­signed half a Guinea of gold, Mar­ried July 23rd 1708”.

He­len Pil­lanes was bap­tised in 1686 – “Daugh­ter to Robert Pil­lanes in Lau­ris­toun and Elisabeth Flint his spouse” – Lau­ris­ton is also in Cra­mond par­ish, not far from Roys­toun, where the Pil­lans lived later.

Wil­liam Cleghorn was bap­tised in 1681, the son of James Cleghorn and He­len Nimmo – “son to James Cleghorn in Muire­house Brae­head and He­len Nimmo his spouse”. Janet Bishop

Jackie’s grand­mother Caro­line Cleghorn (right) al­ways spoke of the fam­ily’s Scot­tish roots

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.