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Saturday, 31 May 2014

John and Robert Brown, First Settlers of Berwick, Pennsylvania, USA

 In my blog, How Berwick, Pennsyslvania, USA, Got its Name, I asked if we can discover the first name and maiden surname of the wife, of John Brown or Robert Brown, as she was said to have come from Berwick-upon-Tweed.

Find A Grave has memorials to John, son of Robert and Mary McIntosh-BarrettJohn Brown, born 1760 died 1839, (which lists his wife as Amelia or Susan F.) and Robert Brown, died 1821, which lists his wife as Mary McIntosh-Barrett, died 1838.

On Family Search, I looked for John Brown and Robert Brown with various combinations of their birth, death, and residence but there are too many of them and I found no Mary McIntosh-Barrett, though lots of Mary McIntoshes and Mary Barretts, who died in 1838. There are no McIntosh-Barretts listed in FindMyPast.

Are this John and Robert Brown the first settlers of Berwick, Pennsylvania, USA ?

Mary McIntosh-Barrett was married to Charles Barrett who died in 1773, so her maiden name is presumably McIntosh, but I've not found a marriage to Robert Brown (except in 1873).

How Berwick, Pennsyslvania, USA, Got its Name

Thanks to Berwick St David's Masonic Lodge who sent me a link to Berwick, Pennsyslvania's history page.

In 1786, Evan Owen, an Englishman, decided to settle on the land which is now called Berwick. 

He persuaded fellow countrymen, John and Robert Brown to settle.   They called the settlement “Owensburg” but Owen renamed the land “Berwick” because the wife of one of the Brown brothers came from Berwick-upon-Tweed.

I wonder if we can discover this wife's first name and maiden surname and find her family in Berwick-upon-Tweed?

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Which Berwick ?

Berwick-upon-Tweed town centre from the Elizabethan Ramparts
I was talking to Linda Bankier of Berwick Record Office about other places named Berwick and she told me some interesting stories about the confusion with the other Berwick in England, the place in East Sussex as well as some of the people who think that Berwick is still in Berwickshire (in Scotland).

We see Berwick-upon-Tweed called Berwick-on-Tweed, and most often Berwick but there are other places named Berwick in the world.

Berwick, Columbus, Ohio, USA
Berwick, Louisiana, USA
Berwick, Maine, USA
Berwick, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Berwick, New Brunswick, Canada
Berwick, Nova Scotia, Canada
Berwick, Ontario, Canada
Berwick, Otago, New Zealand
Berwick, Pennsylvania, USA
Berwick, South Africa
Berwick, Sussex, England
North Berwick, Scotland

Find A Grave says that Berwick, Louisiana, USA was named after Thomas Berwick (1740-1792), a surveyor from Pennsylvania and Wikipedia states that he was the first white settler to trek through the wilderness in that part of America.

According to the town history of Berwick, Nova Scotia, Canada, it's named after Berwick-upon-Tweed, the bear on the Canadian town's arms being taken from Berwick-upon-Tweed's arms.

Berwick, Pennsylvania is a twin town of Berwick-upon-Tweed and is named after Berwick-upon-Tweed.

According to Wikipedia, the Berwick suburb of Melbourne is named after Berwick-upon-Tweed, as was Berwick, Maine (perhaps due to the transported Scots prisoners of war from the Battle of Dunbar in 1650 ?)

The origins of Berwick, Sussex, England and North Berwick, Scotland suggest that like Berwick-upon-Tweed, the name Berwick is derived from the old English words 'bere' meaning barley and 'wic' meaning farmstead or settlement.

I'm disappointed that I haven't managed to find out about why these places were named Berwick:
Berwick, Columbus, Ohio, USA
Berwick, New Brunswick, Canada
Berwick, Ontario, Canada
Berwick, Otago, New Zealand
Berwick, South Africa
but I hope you'll leave me a comment below or send me a tweet @Berwick900.

I've probably left out several other places named Berwick and if that's the case, please don't hesitate to let me know.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

John Hamilton Hall's Application to Join the East India Company

In my blog, John Hamilton Hall - Dangerously Assumed to be Unique, I noted that the Guild records show the admittance of John Hamilton Hall on 24 October 1840, when his occupation was Capt, East India Company.
  1. How did he become a Captain in the East India Company ?
  2. What kind of Captain was he ?
  3. Where did he work or where was he stationed ?
The huge and powerful British East India Company was originally formed to trade with the East Indies but at different times traded not only in India and Sri Lanka (Ceylon), but also in Hong Kong, Burma, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Singapore. By 1840, the Company ruled large areas of India and other places with its own private army and navy exercising military power and assuming administrative functions which lasted until 1858.
After that, its military and administrative powers came under the rule of British colonial power  - the 'Government of India' and the records of the Company before 1858, and of the Government of India up to Indian independence in 1948 are collectively known as the India Office records housed by the British Library.

The Families In British India Society (FIBIS) have indexed a huge amount of the India Office records and their database search is easy to use.

I searched for John Hamilton Hall on FIBIS and was delighted to find a reference to a cadetship application, however, was it the right one ? FIBIS states that images are viewable at FindMyPast.

The record should be visible at Find My Past but isn't, it's missing; as I later found out by phoning the British Library, it got missed out of the digitisation.

However, the diligent British Library staff kindly photocopied the application.

It's a preprinted application form with blanks for answers.

Page 1 shows the application from John Hamilton Hall, as a Cadet for the Bombay Infantry, nominated by John Bladen Taylor at the recommendation of Stewart Marjoribanks. It's signed by JB Taylor and Stewart Marjoribanks and dated 27 April 1819. I've used italic below to indicate handwritten entries.

Page 2 asks questions
Question 1: Is the Signature to this Petition in your hand-writing ?
Answer: It is

Question 2: At what School have you been educated ?
Answer: Christ's Church School

Question 3: Of what nature has your education been ?
Answer: Classical Education

Question 4: What is the profession, situation,  and residence of your parents or nearest of kin ?
Answer:  My Father is a Physician and resides at Berwick upon Tweed

Question 5: Have you read the Terms upon which you enter the Company's Military Service ?
Answer:  I have

Page 3
Question 6: Who recommended you to John Bladen Taylor Esq for this nomination ?
Answer:  Stewart Marjoribanks Esq

I've left out questions 7 and 8 but note the applicant's signature.

It's followed by a handwritten letter:

My dear Sir,
           The bearer JH Hall is the young gentleman for whom you were kind enough to give me a Bombay Cadetship form
I always am,
My dear Sir,
27th April 1819
Yours  sincerely
S Marjoribanks

Also in the application are some preprinted forms:

Birth of John Hamilton Hall

Agreement by John Hamilton Hall's father, John Hall

Confirmation of nomination by Stewart Marjoribanks

British India was divided into three territories (called Presidencies): Bombay, Bengal and Madras.
Bombay covered the smallest area in the west of present-day India, extending through Sind and to the coastal area of what is now Pakistan and also included Aden (now Yemen).

I wondered whether John would have gone first to be trained at the East India Company Military Seminary (Addiscombe Military Seminary), Addiscombe, Croydon, Surrey but I don't see his name in the cadet records.

  1. Who was John Bladen Taylor ?
  2. Who was Stewart Marjoribanks ?
  3. Where was John Hall's house at Berwick-upon-Tweed ?
  4. Where was Christ's Church School ?

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Bell Tower School, Berwick-Upon-Tweed

This is the last image in a set of photographs, relating to the McKay family of Berwick-Upon-Tweed, deposited in the Berwick Record Office.

The family lived in the Bell Tower area in the north end of Berwick-Upon-Tweed.

Bell Tower School ? (BRO2089/19)
Is this a school photograph ?
If so, is it Bell Tower School ?
We think the 3rd from right on bottom row is possibly a family member - do you agree ?
Do you recognise anyone on the photograph ?
There are no annotations and no indication of the reason for the photograph being taken.

For the other photographs, look at The McKay Family of Berwick-Upon-Tweed  and More Berwick-Upon-Tweed McKay Pictures.

Are you related to any of these McKays ?
These photographs, relating to the McKay family of Berwick-upon-Tweed, are in Berwick Record Office, waiting to be returned to the family.
If you can help us in any way to help track down descendants, do get in touch on 01289 301865 or leave a comment below. 

Monday, 5 May 2014

More Berwick-Upon-Tweed McKay Pictures

There are more pictures than I showed on The McKay Family of Berwick-Upon-Tweed.

Here's Constance (Connie ) McKay - she appears to be sitting on a cushion.
Constance McKay (BRO 2089/02)

Group of Girls (BRO 2089/09)
In this group of girls, the middle row, 3rd from right, is probably Nellie McKay and on the bottom row, far right, is probably Maud McKay. However, what's the occasion ?

We think this is probably Nellie McKay and Winnie McKay - do you agree ?

Are you related to any of these McKays ?

These photographs, relating to the McKay family of Berwick-upon-Tweed, are in the Berwick Record Office, waiting to be returned to the family.

If you can help us in any way to help track down descendants, please do get in touch on 01289 301865 or leave a comment below.  

Saturday, 3 May 2014

The McKay Family of Berwick-Upon-Tweed

From Linda Bankier:
Recently a member of the public brought into Berwick Record Office a series of photographs relating to a family. She has given us permission to digitise them but she has asked if the originals could be passed on to a descendant of the family. They were discovered when clearing out a friend’s house.
Easter 1902 (Picture ref: BRO 2089/01a)
Left to right at back : Nellie (25); Winnie (12); Eva (19). 
Left to right at front : Willie (23 ½); Emma (Mother) (50); Connie (6); Owen (Father) (52); Maud (17)
The photograph was originally framed. This information is taken from a piece of paper which was part of the back of the frame. We have the original and also a transcript.
In addition, I was told that the surname was McKay and that they lived in the Bell Tower area in the north end of the town.
On investigating the census and other records at the Berwick-upon-Tweed Record Office, it was possible to establish the following:
The father in the photograph is OWEN MCKAY who was born in Ireland and died in Berwick-upon-Tweed in July 1905, aged 55 years. He was buried in the Civic Cemetery, Berwick, on 22 July 1905 in a family plot. Owen was a member of the Royal Artillery – noted as a Battery Sergeant Major -  and appears to have undertaken service in Berwick at some stage, probably in the late 1880s. In 1891 and 1901, he is not listed with the rest of his family in Berwick. However, a note on the 1891 census states that his wife, was supported by her husband who was resident at Woolwich. 

The mother in the photograph is EMMA S MCKAY née WRIGHT, who was born in Woolwich in Kent in the early 1850s. She obviously met her husband whilst he was serving at the Royal Artillery in Woolwich and they married in the March quarter of 1876 in Woolwich. After living in Ireland, Emma appears to have moved to Berwick in the mid-1880s and then remained here with their children whilst her husband served in the Royal Artillery. She died in Berwick in the March Quarter of 1936 and was buried on 7th March 1936, aged 83 years. 

All the other children can be found on various censuses in Berwick. In 1891, the family were living in 8 Albert Place and the entry contains the following information:
Census 1891
EMMA S MCKAY, wife, aged 39. Supported by husband at Woolwich. Born at Woolwich.
ELLEN M MCKAY, daughter, aged 13, Scholar. Born in Ireland
WILLIAM O MCKAY, son, aged 12, Scholar. Born in Ireland
JOCELYN E MCKAY, DAUGHTER, aged 7, Scholar. Born in Berwick
EMMA M MCKAY, daughter, aged 5. Born in Berwick
WINIFRED C MCKAY, daughter, aged 5 months. Born in Berwick.

Census 1901
Still living at 8 Albert Place.

OWEN MCKAY, Head,aged 50, Sergeant Major, Royal Garrison Artillery,. Born Ireland
EMMA SARAH MCKAY, wife, aged  49. Born Woolwich, Kent
ELLEN MARY MCKAY, daughter, aged 23, Draper’s Assistant. Born Ireland
EMMA MAUD MCKAY, daughter, aged 15, Pupil Teacher. Born Berwick
WINIFRED CHARLOTTE MCKAY, daughter, aged 10. Born Berwick
At the time of the 1901 census, their youngest daughter, CONSTANCE ROSE  MCKAY, aged 4, was in Berwick Infirmary as a patient. It was said that there was something wrong with her foot.  

Census 1911
Living at 15 Bell Tower Park in 3 rooms.
EMMA SARAH MCKAY, aged 59, widow, Army Pension, Born Woolwich, Kent
WINIFRED CHARLOTTE MCKAY, aged 20,School teacher at Convent School. Born Berwick
CONSTANCE ROSE MCKAY, aged 14. At school. Born Berwick.

Are you related to any of these McKays ? 
We have a lovely set of photographs relating to them here in the Berwick Record Office which should be returned to the family. 
If you can help us in any way to help track down descendants, do get in touch on 01289 301865 or leave a comment below. 

Friday, 2 May 2014

More on Philip Whiteside MacLagan

Following my blog, Thomas Fraser's Neighbour, Dr Philip Whiteside MacLagan, Linda Bankier of Berwick Record Office sent me some research she did on his memorial statue a few years ago.

Dr Philip Whiteside MacLagan,a popular and well respected doctor in Berwick died on 25 May 1892, aged 73. He was a native of Edinburgh but had lived in Berwick since 1853.

After his death, the town's people decided to erect a memorial to Dr MacLagan.
A public subscription was started and on 14 June 1893, a statue, designed by DW Stevenson of Edinburgh and costing £150 was unveiled in Marygate, Berwick.
There is an account of the opening ceremony in the Berwick Journal, dated 15 June 1893. In the article, there is a verbatim account of the Mayor's speech at the opening ceremony which indicates that the statue was handed over to the Urban Sanitary Authority, part of the Council.

Councillor Young, ladies and gentlemen, subscribers to the MacLagan Memorial Fund.
On behalf of the Corporation and the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed, I accept this monument - a monument erected to perpetuate the memory of Dr Philip MacLagan, of this town.
Again ladies and gentlemen, permit me most heartily to thank you all in the name of the Urban Sanitary Authority of Berwick for this handsome monument you have erected to the memory of the beloved Dr MacLagan

The memorial remained there, beside the bus station until 1922, when the Town Clerk wrote to Berwick Infirmary saying that they wished to move it to a more suitable site.
The Infirmary committee agreed to this proposal and after June 1922, it was moved to the open space in front of the Infirmary buildings. At the meeting dated 16 June 1922, it was agreed to place the monument in front of the laburnum tree in front of the building and that the tree would not be removed. The memorial remained there until 1993 when alterations at the Infirmary caused it to be moved to its present site.

Use Find My Past for Free to Search the Ireland Census 1821 to 1851

It's not clear how long this is for but you can search the census for Ireland 1821 to 1851 for free on Find My Past.

That may seem great but it's not as marvellous as you might think.

The records are only for a few counties and some counties aren't complete:
1821: Antrim, Carlow, Cavan, Dublin, Fermanagh, Galway, Kilkenny, King's, Limerick, Mayo, Meath.
1831: Londonderry (Derry).
1841: Killeshandra, County Cavan.
1851: Parts of County Antrim

Most of these won't give you much useful information except to help you confirm that a person of that name lived there.

There's more information further down the search page (hint - click the chevron or arrow next to the census year).

You'll need to register if you don't have an account and sign in.