27 April 2011

Frasers Part 12 (Inverness)

The Inverness Frasers are becoming my most challenging and interesting of brick walls. The blog serves as a testing ground before daring to assemble a family history. It may well be a fool’s exercise due to the absence of so many records.

The third of my three research objectives for John Fraser, my Scottish-Inverness-shire ancestor was:
Hopefully, find the baptism of a John Fraser using parameters around his age at the second marriage and various census returns, i.e. searches 1768-1780 for a father called Alexander or James.

Since finding John’s marriage to first wife Ann Fraser was a total bust, and determining the births of their first two sons in Scotland—Alexander and James—was inconclusive, why not go for broke on a luckless trifecta.

Then a funny thing happened on my way to develop this blog post. My original list of relevant baptisms was based on the IGI. Those notes I made ... how many years ago ... necessarily had to be checked against the more recently digitised ScotlandsPeople images. Comparison with search results on ScotlandsPeople did not turn up three of my four “star” candidate couples! It did yield three new couples.

Here’s an example of an IGI entry that doesn’t appear in an all-county search on ScotlandsPeople (SP):
✱ John Fraser born 7 February 1777, baptized 10 February 1777, son of Alexander Fraser & Anne McIntosh—allegedly an extraction from Petty parish, Inverness-shire (not a patron submission). It’s still there on FamilySearch.org, the old IGI being buried in the “Historical Records Collection.” Searching for John on SP for the year 1777 brings NO MATCHES.

The mother’s name in that entry had raised immediate interest because two of the sureties for the marriage bond of John’s daughter Nancy were a father and son called James McIntosh. Nancy and her intended groom crossed the Ottawa River from St. Andrews East to Prescott County in Upper Canada to complete the bond, probably at L’Orignal. The McIntosh men may have been merely friends of the couple, but it’s equally likely they were kin-related to the intended bride or groom. Our John named his second daughter Ann (Nancy); this fits with the (variable) custom of naming the second daughter after the maternal grandmother. 

“Making a case” that the 1777 entry could be my ancestor John and his parents took on a new twist. A kind soul identified only as Hamish responded to my Frasers Part 5. The two McIntosh men were his ancestors. James the son was a tailor who later became the county jailer at L’Orignal. James the elder had “recently emigrated” but alas, his place of origin in Scotland was not mentioned. Was it perhaps the same place from which my Nancy’s father John came?

More from Hamish: James McIntosh Jr’s wife Beatrice was the daughter of Hugh Fraser who emigrated from Breadalbane in 1815 to Lochiel Township, Glengarry County. Beatrice and James apparently married in Canada. Did her father Hugh Fraser and James McIntosh Sr know each other because of their Scottish origins? It's a tenuous connection to the imminent Fraser bridal couple. Still ... it has a resonance. In the meantime Hamish has vanished.

However. Nancy’s about-to-be husband was from the Breadalbane area (my Perthshire John Fraser). If my agonizing analysis had any merit, this is more likely a case of family associates of the groom. Nancy's father, Inverness John with a potential Inverness-McIntosh mother, got lost in the shuffle of possibly-Perthshire-McIntoshes. I'm reminded not only of regular traffic back and forth across the river, but also of spreading families with ties going back to Glengarry County.

Nevertheless, did the said John Fraser born 1777 in Petty ever exist?? Well yes, he did. There he is when I narrowed the search on SP to Petty parish only. But he still doesn’t appear in the all-county search. Duh?

I wonder if anyone else has experienced a similar disconnect in their search results? (Don’t be shy; tell me if I’m doing something dumb.) Scotlands People must be rosy with delight because I am going through credits like nobody’s business.


Anonymous said...

I did not realize I was missed. I have been busy sorting out Skinner ancestors.

I do not know exactly where my McIntosh ancestors came from. In my youth, before visiting Scotland, I asked one of my elderly great Aunts, but she could not remember where they were from. Upon my return she said "Did you visit... where our last known relatives live?" She named a town, which I never wrote down.

The children of the James McIntosh family who came to Canada were John, James, Hugh, Duncan, Peter (who drowned early on) Christie (settled in East Hawkesbury & Lochiel Twps) & Jane who was married to John McPhail (in Scotland I believe) and after a short stay in East Hawkesbury settled in Tayside, Roxborough Twp.
The mother, Margaret McDermid(McDairmid?) is not mentioned and I believe died in Scotland. Interestingly, there were lots of McDairmids in Roxborough.

I do not believe this McIntosh family all came to Canada at the same time, as some of the dates I have seen for John's Lochiel farm were earlier than the 1828 arrival of James Sr. The tree is posted on Rootsweb World Connect by Hamish

Hamish McIntosh

Anonymous said...

An addition to my earlier McIntosh comments: Most of the James McIntosh family were Baptist, though not all. After some reading I am surmising that they were converted in Scotland by the Haldanes. The Breadalbane Baptist Church and the Tayside Baptist Churches figure largely in the family history. James Jr. was Prebyterian & I believe James Sr. was as well. All this was quite a surprise to me as I had envisioned the whole lot of them as bagpipe playing Presbyterians. Hope this gives a few more clews.

Hamish McIntosh