19 January 2012

January Ancestors

For the sake of brief entries, I am not footnoting the facts in this ongoing memorial. Sources have been noted either in other blog posts or in my family history books.

20 January 1867: John Dougall, my emigrant ancestor from West Calder, Midlothian, Scotland, died on this day at the age of 86. Presumably he died at his farm located at Beech Ridge, just outside St. Andrews East, Argenteuil County, Quebec, now known as St-André Est. When he was 51 years old John came to Canada with his wife and children, two years after his oldest son had arrived. He is buried at St. Andrews East Protestant Cemetery. Had he lived another six months, he would have witnessed Canadian Confederation.

25 January [Julian calendar] 1881: Otto Freibergs of Ķonēni Farm on the Marzingshof (Latvian: Mārciņmuiža) estate, Riga District, Latvia, married Ilse Indricksons of the Wattram (Latvian: Vatrāne) estate, same district, in the Lutheran church at Suntaži, same district. They lived their married life at Ķonēni; Otto carried on the family farm where his father Ansis had been located since the 1850s. Otto was able to purchase the land in 1878 after modest reforms in Latvia allowed peasants to acquire and own land. By the turn of the twentieth century, he had become a local parish official and spokesman for further reforms. Otto and Ilse had six children, of whom four lived to adulthood.

27 January 1790: Marion Hastie was born, daughter of John Hastie and Margaret Brown of Heads Farm, Whitburn, Linlithgowshire. A baptism has not been found for Marion in relevant parish registers although most of her siblings were recorded at Whitburn. Evidence for her date of birth comes from two sources I have never seen. Her husband's family bible recorded her birth but the bible passed to the family of her youngest daughter, its whereabouts unknown now. Along the way, a transcript was made of the family dates it contained. When Marion was 14 years old, she embroidered a sampler with birth dates for herself and all her siblings—they concurred with the parish register entries when available.

Update: Missed these, first time around:
31 January 1895 Ann (“Nancy”) Fraser died at St. Andrews East. Nancy’s burial site, like that of her husband John Fraser, is not marked. The Renfrew Mercury of 8 February 1895 reported:
“Died Jan. 31, St. Andrews River Rouge, Que., Nancy Fraser, widow of the late John Fraser, and sister-in-law of the late Dr. Wm Fraser, Montreal, and mother of Mrs. P. Dougall, Renfrew, aged 85 years.”

January 1832 Ann (“Nancy”) Fraser married blacksmith John Fraser, both of St. Andrews East, Lower Canada, at the time. Their marriage bond was executed across the river in Longeuil township, Prescott County, Upper Canada, on 5 January 1832. The bondsmen were two men called James McIntosh, one a tailor and the other addressed as “Esq.” The witness was Alexander Fraser, probably Nancy’s eldest half-brother. The marriage probably took place the same day or soon after; an actual church record eludes me. A Presbyterian Church opened in 1832 at L’Orignal, the seat of Prescott County, and could have been the venue; it seems likely a clergyman was already residing in the town. I have not been able to discover where its records are now. The church itself (and its Scottish congregation) are long gone. Nancy, of an Inverness-shire family, and John, of a Perthshire family, were two of my great-great-grandparents.

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