The informant listed on my 3rd great grandmother Margaret McKenzie's death registration that I wrote about here was her son, John Mathieson. Yes, the surname spelling has the "i", but genealogy research is fun that way.
This was yet another exciting find. John was an older brother of my great grandfather, Frank Gillanders Matheson. Apart from birth and baptismal records, I'd never found any other solid information about my great grandfather's eight other siblings.
Off I went back to Scotland's People, now knowing that John had been in Kinloss, a small village then and now, in Moray, in 1865 when his mother died. While the floodgates didn't open, I did make more finds, starting with his own death registration, which confirms his parents' names and gave me new clues: a wife and a son-in-law, the latter who reported the death.
|Scotland's People death registration at Lesliefield, Rothes, Moray|
While my great grandfather could read and write, when John registered is mother's death, an X sufficed as his signature. I wonder how it happened that not all of the family could read and write.
More research revealed that John married Catherine McKenzie in Inverness on 16 Dec 1864, and he was by then living in Kinloss. Sharp eyes will tell you that is not the name of his wife recorded in his death certificate. More to come on that. My great grandfather Frank was a witness to the marriage. Coincidentally, Catherine had also been born in Urray, where my great grandfather and his siblings were all born. I wonder if she was related to my 3rd great grandmother Margaret. Early Highland records being what they are, I doubt I'll ever be able to determine that. But I would say it's likely.
|Scotland's People marriage registration, Inverness|
John remarried in 1879 to Jane Moir (1836-1901) in 1879. It was Jane's first marriage. They had no children. Catherine's mother remained part of the household in Kinloss until she died in 1888.
John's daughter Maggie married (at some point) James Robertson (1867-1937). By the 1911 census, they had four children: two sons and two daughters. From John's death registration, we know that he died at James and Maggie's home in Rothes. Likely after his second wife died in 1901, Maggie took her father in. Maggie lived until 1950. Her sons both served in the First World War, joining up in 1917 and 1918 as soon as they were old enough. Thankfully, both survived. One daughter came to Canada. I'm starting to look for her story.
I've not found any record of John and Catherine's son, Roderick, after the 1901 census, when he was 32, unmarried and working as a hammersmith at a forge. He must have been a very strong man. I'm still looking for Roderick.
Will my discovery of a sibling of my great grandfather lead to finding more of his siblings and learning their stories? I think one emigrated to New Zealand or Australia, but I'm not sure. Yet.
The never ending story continues....
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