Knowing for sure...

Parish Records and other sources

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Knowing for sure...

Post by ninatoo » Fri Dec 28, 2018 3:02 am

Hi all,

I am fairly certain of my paternal grandmother's Easton line up until about 1752 with the birth of an Agnes Paterson. She married a John McCouat (var.) and their daughter Agnes married Robert Easton. On there is a public tree which lists Agnes Paterson's birth in March 1752 in Renfrew, Renfrewshire, and parents as Peter Paterson and Helen Rowands. I found the baptismal record for this at Scotland's People which matches in with the person's tree. Further I have found a marriage opr for Agnes and John McKwet in Renfrew which names Agnes' father as Peter, a farmer in New Kilpatrick. There is also a marriage OPR entry for New Kilpatrick which states John is from Renfrew, and Agnes is 'of this parish'.

I am hesitant to add these details to my tree because Agnes' baptism was registered in Renfrew, but then the father Peter on the marriage OPR is residing in New Kilpatrick. I know people didn't really move around much back then. Am I just being fussy?

Researching: Easton ( Renfrewshire, Dunbarton and Glasgow), Corr (Londonderry and Glasgow), Carson (Co. Down, Irvine, Ayrshire and Glasgow), Logan (Londonderry and Glasgow)

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Re: Knowing for sure...

Post by rossm » Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:10 pm

At the risk of teaching you to suck eggs, you can't know anything for sure this far back in the records. Apart from anything else you have to bear in mind the large gaps in the records prior to Statutory Registration, and you can never account for the records that might never have existed, or have been lost. Everybody has their own 'standard' of what is an acceptable level of certainty before you commit to adding something to your tree. Just because someone else has committed to having that record in their Ancestry tree doesn't make it right.

Personally, I wouldn't add this to my own tree without more evidence. I'd be looking for additional evidence that Agnes' parents were called Peter and Helen (either through naming rules for Agnes and John's children, or the use of Rowland as a middle name elsewhere in the descendant line), or that Agnes was born in Renfrew in 1752 (I suppose there's a tiny chance she survived to the 1841 census?). The other option is to message the other ancestry user on the off-chance that they have some additional information.

As for people not moving around very much in the 18th century, I sometimes think this is overstated. Farm labourers, in particular, might only be employed on a seasonal basis and it's not unusual to see them moving around between parishes - perhaps not huge distances in a single move, but over time the accumulation of moves could cover several neighbouring parishes. Also remember that New Kilpatrick and Renfrew may be in different Counties, but they are still effectively neighbouring parishes. The hamlet of Yoker, for example, sits across the boundary and is in both parishes. You could literally move next door and be in another County.


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Re: Knowing for sure...

Post by jgmills » Sun Dec 30, 2018 12:56 am

Also the Mother may have gone to family in Renfrew to give birth if there was no other family support in New Kilpatrick, especially as Peter is a Farmer, he wouldn't necessarily be able to be at home for the birth.


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Re: Knowing for sure...

Post by WilmaM » Sun Dec 30, 2018 2:21 pm

Looking at the actual Parish maps makes it all the more likely.

We think of Renfrew as being just the south-side of the River Clyde and Kilpatrick being on the North - a formidable barrier.
However in the past Renfrew Parish was actually on both sides of the river.
Making Ross's theory valid. - literally moving farm would put you in a different place.
Renfrew is the orangey in the centre right of the map and New Kilpatrick directly to it's North.

does that help?

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