Sunday, 24 June 2018

Gathering new found Scots cousin ancestors 2: Anne Smith & Angus Falconer and family

My 2nd great great aunt, Anne Smith (abt 1810-1852) was the eldest daughter of my 3rd great grandparents, Donald Smith and Margaret Davidson. According to censuses, Anne was born in Kingussie in the Highlands, which is where her mother was born and raised.

By about 1834, Anne had married Angus Falconer (1815-1872), also of Kingussie. A record of their marriage in Scotland's Old Parish Records has not survived, but the first of at least seven children was born in about 1835. They were:
  • Margaret abt 1835 - ?
  • Mary abt 1837-1901
  • Alexander 1839-1899
  • Donald aka Daniel 1842-1901
  • Duncan 1845-1881
  • Christian 1847-1900
  • Eliza Ormiston 1850-1930
By 1842, when their son Donald (aka Daniel) was born, Angus and Anne and their family were living in Midlothian -- in Edinburgh and thereabouts. Angus' occupation reported in censuses was sheriff's officer and justice of the peace. Did better employment opportunities drive them from the Highlands? Probably.

I quickly found marriage and other records for Mary, Alex, Donald (who went by Daniel for unknown reasons) and Duncan. Christian never married. Just a few days ago after searching unsuccessfully for a long while, I found Eliza Ormiston's marriage and her family. The life of the eldest, Margaret, remains a mystery. So far. I've got a couple of leads, but need to narrow down the right Margaret Falconer in my searches.

Mary married a man named a grocer and purveyor, in 1863 in Edinburgh, where they made their lifelong home. They had a family of at least ten children, three of whom died as young children. Some stayed in Scotland and a couple went south to the London area. One son emigrated to Australia, marrying and having a family there. One daughter became a nurse and made her home in South Africa, marrying and having a family there.

Alexander became a hairdresser in Glasgow, married, and fathered two sons, who also became hairdressers.

Donald/Daniel married and had at least five children in Edinburgh, but censuses tell us that he and his wife lived apart for several years. There appears to have been no divorce. I've had little success so far researching all of  their children. One daughter's husband was killed in action in 1917 in Belgium during the First World War, leaving her with two small children. I found the marriage of one son, but none for the other three sons.

Duncan was a ship steward who died at just 36, leaving behind a widow and four young children. His only daughter emigrated to Toronto with her husband in 1926, following several of their ten children who had preceded them here. I wonder if I've crossed paths with any Falconer cousins here in Toronto.

Eliza Ormiston married a man who was a commercial traveller, the censuses say, and together they had at least seven children, one of whom died at birth. A travelling salesman if you will. They moved south to London with their four eldest in about 1880. I wonder where the name Ormiston came from....the Falconer side or the Smith side? I've not encountered it elsewhere in my research.

Anne died in her early 40s in 1952 in Banffshire, old parish records on Scotland's People tell me. Angus survived her by 20 years, dying in Leith, outside Edinburgh in 1872. Their children gave her many grandchildren, and me many more cousin ancestors.

Their youngest, Eliza Ormiston, was less than two years old when Anne died. I found her living with Anne's sister Grace Smith Dow and her large family in Moray when the 1861 census was done. I found Anne's widower in Leith in 1861, with their youngest son, Duncan.

I wonder if the siblings remained close in adulthood. They seemed scattered. Did the Falconers know their other cousins, including my great grandmother Annie Ross? Questions never end in genealogy research, do they?

The never ending story continues....

© Margaret Dougherty 2016-2018 All rights reserved


  1. I have Falconer in Edinburgh - we are probably related!?! You are lucky when you hit the name Falconer, there is much about them - books and websites - back to 1200s.
    Try this book first, which includes.. Peerage of Falconers

  2. You never know, Dianne. I found several different Falconer families in Edinburgh during my research for this line. That book link promises me many lost hours of browsing. I'll have to do more research. I worked with a man named Falconer many years ago. Wondering now if we're related. Thanks....I think. LOL.