James Cheyne - putative father of Helen Cheyne

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imlincs
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Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 12:42 pm

James Cheyne - putative father of Helen Cheyne

Post by imlincs » Fri Oct 03, 2008 5:16 pm

I am seeking information about my great-grandfather. I am new to this site and hope that this is the appropriate place to ask for help.

Here is the story so far.

My grandmother was born Helen Cheyne, June 26th, 1886 in Kintore. Her mother was Christina Simpson and her father was named as James Cheyne, the birth being registered as illegitimate. James Cheyne was a ‘farm servant’ and Christina Simpson a ‘domestic servant’, both residing at St John’s Wells Fyvie.

In 1891, Hellen Cheye aged 4 (clearly the same as Helen Cheyne) was living in Kintore as a “boarder” with a family called Ramsay (household of mother, daughter and grandson on census day).

In 1901, Nellie Cheyne aged 14 was employed as a domestic servant to the Ewen family in Easter Logie Aulton, Aberdeenshire (close to Rothienorman which is the village that my grandmother told me she came from - before you ask it was some 50 years ago when she told me).

In 1915 Nellie Cheyne aged 29 married James Bunyan at Wandsworth Registry Office London, the certificate listing her father (apparently still alive at that time) as “James Cheyne Police Sergeant”.

I have been able to track down much of my great-grandmother’s family (Christina Simpson who was only 14 at the time of my grandmother’s birth) but cannot find a James Cheyne who ticks all the boxes as my putative great-grandfather. It seems likely that my grandmother knew him or at least something about him at some stage of her life as she retained his name and named him on her marriage certificate.

The nearest I have come to as a candidate is James Cheyne born Methlick 1862, employed as a groom at Haddo House Stables Methlick in 1881, employed as a police constable in Glasgow in1891, and in Glasgow as a private detective in 1901. In 1895 he married Annie Russell (12 years his junior). The marriage certificate verifies through his parents’ name and occupation that this is the same James Cheyne from Methlick. In 1901 Annie Russell is living with her mother and Russell siblings and son William Cheyne in Dunfermline while James is still in Glasgow apparently living alone.

Against him is the fact that he joined the City of Glasgow Police Force in September 1884 listing his former occupation as groom (which he was in 1881), making him difficult to place at St John’s Wells as a farm servant in October 1885. My conclusion is that he is not the right candidate although he is the only James Cheyne of around the right age from around the right place with any police connection that I have been able to find.

I haven’t been able to find another James Cheyne that comes anywhere near and have run out of ideas. Can anyone help or point me in a new direction?

Thank you for reading this far. You’re very patient!

Imlincs
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SarahND
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Post by SarahND » Sat Oct 04, 2008 8:11 am

Hi Imlincs,
Welcome to Talking Scot! [talkingscot]
I searched for your James Cheyne far and wide last night, to no avail. I was hoping someone else would have done something brilliant while I slept... :lol:

I think you have the right one. As you say, he is the only one that fits the profile. Any chance he might have gone home on holiday and got Christina pregnant, then used his old occupation in order not to have word get back to the police department about it?

Did he actually sign the birth record, or was paternity established later by RCE?

All the best,
Sarah

imlincs
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 12:42 pm

Post by imlincs » Sat Oct 04, 2008 11:31 am

Hello Sarah

Thanks for your efforts and rapid response.

I would like to think that he was the right one, if only because he seems to be the only one.

However there appear to me to be irreconcilable inconsistencies.

The birth certificate 'signature of informant and residence' column contains both Christina Simpson and James Cheyne with the single residence St John's Wells Fyvie (which incidentally I have visited but without positive result).

On September 28th 1885 (theoretically close to the time of conception, the birth being 26/6/86) the Glasgow James Cheyne aged 23 (compared to Christina's 14) was promoted from Constable 4th class to Constable 3rd class with a wage increase of 1/- a week. Like you I have considered the possibilty of this being an excuse for a holiday back north but the link to St John's Wells is tenuous (there is a link since St John's Wells was part of the same estate as Haddo House where JC grew up and was living in 1881, and there is plenty of evidence of servants moving from one part of the estate to another). If it were a brief 'holiday romance!' and he had returned to his policeman's job in Glasgow - which he did because he was promoted again in October 1886 - why would he appear on the birth certificate (it is not clear to me whether the 'signatures' on the copy I have are real or a transcript although a transcript looks more likely) nine months after the deed when safely back in Glasgow. Does citation as 'informant' indicate physical presence at the birth/and or registration?

The age difference, the distance between Glasgow and Fyvie and Christina's extreme youth make a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship unlikely (it seems to me). So how did they get together. And why would he appear as a farm servant living at St John's Wells when he is clearly an established copper living in Glasgow?

Finally, JC resigned from the Glasgow Police (rank by then Detective) in November 1899, bywhich time he was married with a child (or at least one on the way). In 1901 he was a 'private detective'. But by 1915 on my grandmother's marriage certificate her father is cited as Police Sergeant. The JC of this story died in 1929 at home in Glasgow still married to his bride of 1895. The death certificate gives him as a 'Law clerk'.

For these reasons I find it difficult to persuade myself he is the right James Cheyne.

Perhaps the 1911 census will shed a little more light. In the meanwhile. If any other Talking Scot members have any suggestions as to how I might pursue this research I would be very grateful as I have run out of ideas.

Thanks again for your interest and your help.

Imlincs

Currie
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Post by Currie » Sat Oct 04, 2008 11:43 am

Hello Imlinks and Sarah,

Glasgow Herald, Monday, June 21, 1886
Glasgow Police Sports Meeting the previous Saturday, James Cheyne appears to have won “Catch the Thief” and the 150 yards race and several others.

Glasgow Herald, Monday, June 27, 1887
Several similar feats at the following year’s event.

Glasgow Herald, Monday, June 25, 1888
There’s no stopping this boy, he’s still attracting attention at the Sports Meetings.

Glasgow Herald, Tuesday, January 7, 1896
Detective Cheyne arrests an Irishman who shot a Scotchman during a quarrel over their Nationalities.

The Illustrated Police News, Saturday, September 26, 1896
An International Fenian Plot is foiled. Detective Cheyne of Glasgow Police, Criminal Department, is involved in a Glasgow arrest.

Glasgow Herald, Thursday, July 13, 1899
Detective Cheyne of Glasgow gives evidence at Greenock Police Court regarding a criminal’s previous record.

None of the above gives him an alibi for 1885. It’s interesting to note that according to the newspaper he was a Police Detective in 1899 but not a Sergeant. Do you know whether he actually resigned from the Police prior to 1901 or could he have remained a member later to be promoted to Sergeant. Have you seen the Policeman’s death certificate and if so did it say if he was a Police Sergeant?

If you want any of the article images please let me know an email address via PM.

Alan

LATER
Our posts have crossed in the mail and you've answered the questions I asked.
Alan

imlincs
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 12:42 pm

Post by imlincs » Sat Oct 04, 2008 12:23 pm

Fascinating stuff Alan

Interesting to see that one week before the birth of Helen in Kintore, James Cheyne is competing in a Sports Day in Glasgow. Makes it a little less likely that he's the man on the birth certificate wouldn't you think?

Incidentally, another question I have asked myself in this story is how and why Christina gave birth in Kintore which would have been a pretty arduous journey from St John's Wells in 1886 and also why Helen was still in Kintore 4 years later. I realise we are in the land of conjecture here.

I live in hopes that one of these days I'm going to cross paths with someone else's family tree.

Any other descendants of Christina Simpson's siblings out there?

Maybe I'd do better starting a separate thread for that topic?

Any advice?


Ian
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SarahND
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Post by SarahND » Sat Oct 04, 2008 3:16 pm

imlincs wrote: Incidentally, another question I have asked myself in this story is how and why Christina gave birth in Kintore which would have been a pretty arduous journey from St John's Wells in 1886 and also why Helen was still in Kintore 4 years later. I realise we are in the land of conjecture here.
...
Maybe I'd do better starting a separate thread for that topic?
Hi Ian,
Maybe it's a good idea to start a separate topic, so that your original question here doesn't get buried. I assume you have checked for a link between Christina's family and the Ramsays in Kintore? If you lay out all you know about her, as you did so clearly for James above, perhaps someone can find a connection!

All the best,
Sarah

SarahND
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Post by SarahND » Sat Oct 04, 2008 3:48 pm

Okay, I think I have just answered my own question! :roll:

Here are the Ramsays in 1891. Note that it looks like Maggie also had a child at age 14... so she would have been sympathetic!

1891
Hill of Kintore, Kintore, Aberdeenshire
Margret Ramsay, 67, Head, born Auchterless, Aberdeenshire, Crofter
Maggie E Ramsay, 25, Daur, born Kintore, Aberdeenshire, General Servant (Domestic)
William A M Ramsay, 11, Grandson, born Kintore, Aberdeenshire, Scholar
Hellen Cheye, 4, Boarder, born Kintore, Aberdeenshire

Taking them back 10 years, here is the family:

1881
Hill of Kintore, Kintore, Aberdeenshire
William Ramsay, 60, Head, born Kintore, Aberdeenshire, Crofter 10 Acres
Margaret Ramsay, 57, Wife, born Auchterless, Aberdeenshire, Crofter Wife
Alexander Ramsay, 23, Son, born Kintore, Aberdeenshire, Quarry Worker
Maggie Ramsay, 15, Daughter, born Kintore, Aberdeenshire
William Mc G Ramsay, 1, Son, born Kintore, Aberdeenshire

I checked Maggie's birth in the IGI:

Margaret Imlay Ramsay
Birth: 24 Nov 1865 Kintore, Aberdeen
Father: William Ramsay
Mother: Margaret Simpson

Could Maggie's mother be Christina's aunt?

Regards,
Sarah

imlincs
Posts: 52
Joined: Sat Sep 27, 2008 12:42 pm

Post by imlincs » Sat Oct 04, 2008 5:45 pm

Thanks Sarah

I've just posted a new topic about Helen as you suggested but you've already answered part of it before I'd even asked.

I will now follow the new strand you have opened for me (William Ramsay/Margaret Simpson) - I'm getting to know "The Simpsons" quite well!

Regards,

Ian
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SarahND
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Post by SarahND » Sat Oct 04, 2008 7:31 pm

Sorry all,
I jumped the gun :oops: Please follow this discussion here:

http://talkingscot.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=12465

Cheers,
Sarah

nelmit
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Joined: Wed Dec 15, 2004 11:49 pm
Location: Scotland

Post by nelmit » Thu Nov 06, 2008 12:42 am

I don't know if this has been posted, but I stumbled across it completeley by accident while looking for George Murray of Peterhead, and I haven't found anything to help in the quest, but it's quite a comprehensive list.

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cheyne/p1648.htm

Regrads,
Annette

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