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Scotland 1853

Curling at Fingask, Perthshire, 1853

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Why this page was created.

1855 was the first year of compulsory birth, marriage and death registration in Scotland. Prior to this date, records are limited and incomplete. In 2009 happyHaggis decided to begin transcribing newspaper birth, marriage and death notices, as well as other personal events as mentioned in local Scottish newspapers prior to 1855. This project will never be 100% complete, and will continue until further notice. We hope this will be a valuable source of information for family history researchers.


The lists below are in order in which they were published in their respective newspapers. They may not be in strict chronological order. The majority of articles are from The Paisley Herald and Renfrewshire Advertiser. Where another newspaper was sourced, the date and name of the publication will be listed.

Note - birth announcements of the time did not mention the child's name or the first name of the mother. The mother is usually listed as 'Mrs John Smith'. If widowed, the mothers name will be mentioned. Sometimes the mother's name will be listed simply as 'Mrs Smith' without a first name.

Text in [brackets] has been added by us to aid and clarify the information offered.


DEATH OF A NEW-YORK BANKER: Mr David S Kennedy, formerly ranking among the old school merchants of this city, but for many years part, engaged in wall-street for the Bank of Montreal, and agent of one or more of the Banks of Upper Canada, died at his residence in Fifth-abenue yesterday morning of typhus fever at the age of 62. Mr Kennedy inherited a considerable property in Scotland, of which he was a native, but this he divided with his younger brother and sister in Scotland. - 3rd February 1853 - The New York Times

DIED: On Thursday, March 3, after a short illness, Alexander Lawrence, native of Scotland, aged 64 years. His friends and relatives, also those of his brother-in-law, John M Ludowick, his sons, James and Alexander, his son-in-law, John Orser Esq., the members of St John's Lodge, No. 1, the Granite Society, the Thistle Benevolent Society, Mechanics and Tradesmens Society, the American Institute, are requested to attend his funeral on Sunday next, March 6, at 1 o'clock PM., from his late residence, No. 17 Worster Street, without further notice. - 4th March 1853 - The New York Times

DIED: on the 7th instant [March], Morgan W Brown, district judge of the United States for the district of Tennessee, died at nashville. Judge Brown was born on the first day of this century. He was district judge about twenty years, and was the second district judge in Tennessee, having succeeded the Hon. John McNairy, who was appointed by General Washington in 1796. He was the great-grandson, on the mother's side, of that Stuart, who fled from Scotland after the battle of Culloden, in 1785, and who settled in South carolina. - 11th March 1853 - The New York Times

BROOKLYN CITY: death of a philanthropist - the sudden death of John B Graham, announced yesterday, cast a general gloom over the city. Of late he had been enjoying his usual health, with the exception of one day (Wednesday) of this week. He was advised to remain within his house, and not expose himself to the inclement weather. On Thursday, the weather being pleasant, he attended to his business as usual, and upon returning to his house at night, before retiring, he felt a slight pain in his breast, which was relieved by the application of external medicines, and he went to sleep. At an early hour yesterday morning, an attendant entered hos room, and found that his spirit had taken its flight, calmly and peacefully as he had lived. he had died apparently without pain, his features presenting only the appearance of a person in ordinary sleep. Mr Graham was but a few months less than sixty-nine years of age. he was a native of Scotland, and came to this country some forty years ago, and settled in this city when it was but a mere village, where he had resided up to the time of his death. In his worldly pursuits he met with more than usual success and amassed a large fortune, which he dispensed with a liberal hand. Among the many recipients of his benevolence, we remember particularly the "Old Lady House" or "Graham Institute". This project was particularly a favorite with him in the last few years of his life; he lived to see it in full operation but a few months. "Brooklyn Hospital" in this city, the "Home for the Friendless" in new-York, the "Mariners' Family Industrial Society" at Staten Island, the "Protestant Orphan Asylum" and "Brooklyn Institute" of this city, and many other kindred institutions received of his abundance. His heart and purse were ever open for charitable purposes. In this community where he was best known and appreciated his loss will be dearly felt. Mr Graham was originally engaged in the distilling business, but, we are informed, abandonded it from conscientious motives, and during the latter part of his life was engaged in the manufacture of white lead. Augustus Graham was a brother and partner up to the time of his death. Some time last year he, too, was a philanthropist. The names of John B and Augustus Graham will long live in the memory of the citizens of Brooklyn and vicinity. - 12th March 1853 - The New York Times

DIED: On Thursday, May 5, Isabella, wife of William Morrison Sen., a native of Kelso, Scotland. - 6th May 1853 - The New York Times

EXPLOSION OF THE JENNY LIND: The 'Jenny Lind' started from San Francisco on the 9th on a pleasure excursion to San Jose....The following is the list of the [Scottish] dead so fare as asscertained ... 10. Miss JB Winlae, born in Scotland, aged about 35; resided in Santa Clara where she was attached to the Santa Clara Female Seminary, as musical instructress. - 13th May 1853 - The New York Times

FATAL ACCIDENT; Yesterday, Coroner Hilton held an inquest at No. 87 Sixth-anevue, upon the body of a lad named James Sinclair, who on Saturday, while playing on a new building, fell between the beams to the ground, injuring himself so severely that he died shortly after. The jury rendered a suitable verdict. The boy was anative of Scotland, and was aged 7 years. - 5th July 1853 - The New York Times

MARRIAGE: - At Castle Menzies, Perthshire, Scotland, on the 3d of August by the Very Rev. E.R. Ramsay, Dean of the Diocese of Edinburgh, Robert Hay Esq. second son of Sir Adam Hay, of Hayston, Baronet in the county of Peebles, and Sally, eldest daughter of Alexander Duncan, Esq., of Rhode Island. (The New York Society Library www.nysoclib.org)

FATAL ACCIDENT ON THE HUDSON RIVER RAILROAD: - [eye-witness account] ...the deceased, William Robinson was in the blacksmith shop of the Hudson River Railroad Company, yesterday morning he came to the shop and said he did not feel well, and would not go to work. I did not hear anything more of the deceased until yesterday afternoon about 4 o'clock, when I heard he had been run over by one of the cars; the deceased had a wife and family in Scotland, and has been in this country about twenty years. / The deceased was a native of Scotland, aged 55 years and was employed in the machine-shop of the Hudson River railroad Compant. [death occurred on the 26th September 1853]. - 28th September 1853 - The New York Times

DEATH: - On the 19th of October, near Sydney, NSW, G.H.M. Alexander Esq, Civil Service, Bengal, only son of the late Major-Gen. James Alexander, H.E.I.C.S., leaving a widow and eleven children.

DEATH: - At Sydney, Australia, on the 20th October, Archibald, third son, and on his way to Port-Philip on the 9th of November following, Colin, eldest son of John Campbell Esq. of Glenmore in Argyllshire.

MARINE INTELLIGENCE: - Arrived - Ship Statira Morre, Lawton, Glasgow and the Clyde, Aug 26, mdse and 301 passengers to Durham & Dimon. Been 29 days from the Banks; experienced westerly winds the whole passage. Mr George Graham of Scotland, and Miss Mary Gallacher or Ireland died on the passage. - 20th October 1853 - The New York Times

DIED: At No. 5 Lewis Street, on the 14th instant, after four day's sickness, Barbara, only surviving daughter of John and Barbara Buckie, late of Glasgow, Scotland. The friends and aquantances of the family are respectfully invited to attend the funeral, on Saturday 15th instant, a 2 o'clock PM. - 15th October 1853 - The New York Times

BIRTH: - At the Free Church Manse, Hutt Valley, New Zealand, on the 4th october 1853, the wife of the Rev. William Dron, a son.

DEATH: - At his residence, Hawkesburn, South Yarra [Melbourne] on the 21st November, James Horatio Nelson Cassell, aged 39 years, collector of her Majesty's Customs for the Colony of Victoria, and eldest son of Lieutenant James Cassell, R.N.

MARRIAGE: - At Umbala on the 7th November by the Rev. JM Jamieson, John Adam Esq., assistant civil engineer, Punjab, to Henrietta, third daughter of the late Thomas Auld Esq., Paisley.

BIRTH: - At Pentridge, Port-Philip, South Australia [should read Victoria?], 3rd Nov, Mrs John C Kerr, late of Glasgow, a son.

BIRTH: - At Collingwood, near Melbourne, on the 19th November, Mrs John Thomson, a son.

MARRIAGE: - At Sacramento, California, on the 26th November, by the Rev. JA Benton, Mr Robert Aitken, late of Burnpoint House, Glasgow to Wilhelmina Depanau.

BIRTH: - At Melbourne, Victoria, on the 30th November, the wife of Mrs Charles Edward Bruce Mitchell, a daughter.

MAN KILLED - On Friday morning the 20th December, William Kennedy, a bottomer in the No. 3 Coal Pit, Kipps, was killed by falling down the shaft from the Main Coal to the Pyat Shaw seam, a distance of 30 fathoms. It is said that no blame can be attached to any one but deceased himself for the occurence. In the same pit, and under similar circumstances, a man was killed but a few month since. deceased was married, and has left a wife and family to regret his premature death.

DEATH: - At the Cape of Good Hope in December, Mr Robert Barclay, jun., aged 26 years, only son of [Mr Robert Barclay, superintendent of Police, Aberdeen, formerly farmer, Bankrug, East Lothian.]

DEATH: - At St Thomas, West Indies, on the 15th December, Captain Robert Gall on the barque California of Greenock.

DEATH: - At London, on the 31st December, Captain James Lamont, R.N. second surviving son of the late James Lamont Esq of Knockdow.

DEATH: - At Dumbarton on the 29th December, Mr John McKellar, wine and spirit merchant.

DEATH: - At 9 Springfield, Dundee, on the 29th December, Mary, youngest daughter of the late Mr Gilbert Baxter sen., merchant, Glasgow.

DIED: On Sunday morning, Dec 11, after a long and severe illness, AH Robertson, aged 38 years, 2 months and 17 days, a native of Aberdeen, Scotland. he died in the faith of a glorious resurrection. - 13th December 1853 - The New York Times

MARRIAGE: - Near Edinburgh, on 15th of December last, by the very Rev. Dean Demsay James Burrill Curtis, formerly of New York, to Mary Anne, daughter of James Tytler, Esq., of Woodhouselee, Scotland. (The New York Society Library www.nysoclib.org)

MARRIAGE: - At the Manse, Neilston, on the 29th December by the Rev. Hugh Aird, Mr William M Craig, to Janet, second daughter of Mr James Nairn, wood merchant, Uplawmoor.

MARRIAGE: - At Lochwinnoch on the 30th December by the Rev. W Graham, Mr James Orr to Miss Margaret McMillan.

MARRIAGE: - At Montreal, on the 22d December by the Rev. Dr. Mathieson, Walter Macfarlan Esq, merchant, formerly of Aberfoyle, Scotland, to Jessie, daughter of Walter Benny Esq., Montreal.

BIRTH: - At 3 Queens Terrace, Glasgow on the 27th December , Mrs James Gourlie, a son.

BIRTH: - At Mill of Boyndie, near Banff, on the 29th December, Mrs Henry A Rannie, a son.

BIRTH: - At Montgomery Street, Ardrossan, on the 30th December, Mrs DM Lamont, a son.

BIRTH: - At 3 Windsor Street, Glasgow, on the 31st December, Mrs Duff, a daughter.

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