- Occupation: James was Warper.
- Birth*: He was born on 23 May 1817 at Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland; born 23 May 1817, baptised 27 May 1817; James Miller; parents James Miller auctioneer, Elisabeth Anderson, named for father.1,2
- He was the son of James Miller and Elizabeth Anderson.
- Baptism: James Miller was baptised on 27 May 1817 at Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland; born 23 May 1817, baptised 27 May 1817; James Miller; parents James Miller auctioneer, Elisabeth Anderson, named for father.1,3
- Occupation*: In 1845 James was Jute Factory Warehouseman.
- Church Records*: He was recorded in Tay Square Church 1876 Communicants record book : first time Oct 1845 ; deceased 14 June 1881 in October 1845 at 166 Scouringburn, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland.4
- (Groom) Marriage*: He married Janet Milne, daughter of James Milne and Marjory Matthew, on 29 December 1845 at Liff Benvie & Invergowrie, Forfarshire, Scotland; Liff 13th December 1845; This day James Millar and Janet Milne both in the eastern district of this parish gave up their names to be proclaimed in order to marriage; James Dickson, Session Clerk; Parish of Liff & Benvie, County of Forfar.5,6
- (Witness) Church Records: James Miller was recorded in Tay Square Church baptismal record book with Marjory Miln Miller on 25 January 1847.4
- (Informant) Death: James Miller registered the death of Elizabeth Anderson on 29 June 1857 at Young's Close, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland; 1857 deaths in the 2nd district of burgh of Dundee in the county of Forfar; Millar Elisabeth widow, 1857 June twenty-nineth 5h pm Young's Close Dundee, f, 78 years, John Anderson (dec), Elisabeth Anderson ms Bruce (dec), old age no medical attendant, Old Burying Ground Dundee as cert by Alex Linith (?) undertaker, James Millar son present.7,8
- (Informant) Birth: James Miller registered the birth of William Miller on 21 July 1861 at Louden's Alley, Hawkhill, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland; Extract of an entry in the Register of Births, ref 953; William Miller; 1861, July Twenty first 4h 45m pm, Louden's Alley, Hawkhill, Dundee; parents James Miller warper and Janet Miller ms Milne; marriage 1845 December 29th, Dundee; signed James Miller, father present; registered 1861 July 23rd, Dundee, signed Peter Smith asst registrar, initialled A L.9
- (Informant) Death: James Miller registered the death of Joseph Miller on 22 July 1867 at 10 Lowden's Alley, Hawkhill, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland; 1867 deaths in the 2nd district of burgh of Dundee in the county of Forfar, red 862; Joseph Miller single, 1867 July twenty-second 6h 15m am 11 Lowdens Alley Hawkhill Dundee, male aged 10 months; parents James Millers warper and Janet Miller ms Milne; croup 3 days as cert by Dd Lyell MD; signed James Miller father present; registered 1867 July 23 at Dundee James David asst registrar initialled AL.10
- (Witness) Death: James Miller witnessed the death of Marjory Matthew on 8 November 1873 at 18 Lowden's Alley, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland; 1873 deaths in the district of St Peter in the burgh of Dundee; Marjory Milne widow of James Milne foreman jute factory; 1873 November eighth 9h 30m pm 18 Lowden's Alley Dundee, f, 79 years, David Matthew gardener journym (dec) Agnes Downie prev Matthew ms Patterson (dec), old age no medical attendant, James Miller son-in-law present 18 Lowden's Alley Dundee; 1873 November 10th at Dundee Jas Young registrar.11
- (Deceased) Death*: James Miller died on 14 June 1881 at 166 Scouringburn, Dundee, Angus, Scotland, at age 64 1881 deaths in the district of St Mary in the burgh of Dundee, ref 334; James Miller jute warehouseman married to Janet Milne; died 14 June 1881 11hr 53m PM, 166 Scouringburn, Dundee; male aged 62 years; parents James Miller auctioneer (deceased) and Elizabeth Miller ms Anderson (deceased); cause of death phthisis pulmonalis 2 years, as cert by David MacEwan MD; informant Alexander Miller, son (present); registered 15th June 1881 at Dundee Jas Anderson Registrar.12
- (Spouse) Death: His spouse Janet Milne died on 6 June 1896 at 2 Heans Lane, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland; 1896 Deaths in the District of St Peter in the Burgh of Dundee; Janet Miller widow of James Miller, Cloth Stower; died 6 June 1896 9hr 30m am; 2 Heans Lane, Dundee; aged 72 years; Father James Milne, Cloth Stower (deceased); Mother Marjory Milne ms Mackie (deceased); Cause of death - Cancer of Stomach, 5 months; As cert by David MacEwan MD; Informant Jessie Miller, daughter & inmate (present); Registered 9th June 1896 at Dundee - D Young Assistant Registrar - initialled TYM.13
- (Witness) Photograph: James Miller is connected to this photograph taken in September 2017 at Tay Square Church, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland, showing the remains of the building; along with Charles Robert Kirkwood Lawson, Elizabeth Anderson Miller, James Milne Miller, Margaret Abercrombie Porter, William Miller, Charles Milne Miller, Marion McKenzie Conway, Janet Milne, Agnes Fisher Miller, Jessie Milne Miller, Marion McKenzie Miller, Alexander Miller, Lizzie Conway Miller, Margaret Ambrose Porter Miller, Kate Nicolson, Catherine Nicolson Miller, Hope Myra Conway Miller and Rhoda Nicolson Miller.14
- (Groom) Marriage*: James Miller married Janet Milne, daughter of James Milne and Marjory Matthew, on 29 December 1845 at Liff Benvie & Invergowrie, Forfarshire, Scotland; Liff 13th December 1845; This day James Millar and Janet Milne both in the eastern district of this parish gave up their names to be proclaimed in order to marriage; James Dickson, Session Clerk; Parish of Liff & Benvie, County of Forfar.5,6
- Residence*: James Miller and Janet Milne lived; The Gazetteer of Scotland by W Chalmers, published in 1803 gives this description of the Parish of Liff, Benvie and Invergowrie : The united parishes are about 3 miles in length and nearly the same breadth. The surface rises with an easy ascent from the Tay, except towards the south west where it joins to the parish of Dundee. The higher ground forms a ridge, stretching obliquely in a direction from East to West, and behind is an extensive tract of muir, where there are some plantations, but no marks of cultivation. The muir is bounded by the water of the Dichty, which rises in the parish of Lundie, and runs south and east through the valley of Strathmartin. There are several villages, viz, Locheye, Millhouse, Liff, Benvie and Invergowrie: the latter is noted as the site of the first Christian church erected on the north side of the river Tay.
The first Statistical Account of Scotland for the parish of “Liff and Bervie (sic)” written around 1792 by the then incumbent of the parish church, the Rev. Mr Thomas Constable, describes the parish in great detail. He states that the union of the parishes of Liff and Bervie happened in November 1758 and that Liff comprehended the old parishes of Logie and Invergowrie; both of which, as appears from the records of the kirk-session, were united to it before the middle of last century (which of course was sometime during the 17th century). From his descriptions, it seems that the amalgamated parish included parts of Lochee (written then as Locheye, although the pronunciation probably hasn’t changed) and Balgay Hill. Describing the land to the east of Balgay Hill he says it is either wholly planted or cultivated, and a low narrow dale, extending from thence westward through the village of Bervie …Along this agreeable exposure, are interspersed houses, trees, and fields in culture. Talking of the watercourses in the parish he describes the burn of Invergowrie, and here, in the months of March and April, sea-trout are sometimes found of 4lbs weight.
Commenting on the population, the Rev Constable notes that in cases of marriage here, it often happens, that the man is far less advanced in life than the woman he marries. The former depends much on the experience of the latter, and generally too on the savings of her industry, to enable him to begin with some comfort a married life: This disparity of years happening on the side of the woman, must needs be a hinderance to population. And in a footnote he continues The register of baptisms … is not to be considered as giving an accurate account of the births in it. Children that are still-born, or die unbaptized are never mentioned in the public register; besides there are parents, who sometimes from neglect, and sometime from parsimony, do not insert in it their childrens’ names, and by Dissenters this duty is often omitted entirely. He is equally critical of the recording of deaths – particularly due to a perceived rivalry over mortcloths with the church at Logie in the neighbouring parish of Dundee!
There then follows lengthy discourse on the state of the land, the methods employed in the agriculture of the time, the prices paid for horses for the plough and the numbers of “milch cows”. The areas described as Locheye and Milehouse (so called to mark the distance from Dundee) seems to have housed various manufacturers, mainly of the course linens, known from their breadth as “yard wides” and “three quarter wides”.
Familiar place and road names pop up throughout the text – Pitalpin ; known then as Pitalpie or Pit of Alpin and ascribed to being the scene of a memorable engagement in the 9th century between the Picts and Scots in which the latter were routed and Alpin their king slain. Apparently the king’s head was transported to Abernethy for public viewing, but his body was buried at Pitalpie. On top of a small hill east of Pitalpie there was still visible a stone called the King’s Cross.
The parochial school averaged 35 scholars, but it was noted that it was extremely difficult for the children to attend during the winter months as the roads were almost impassable. It appears that this was viewed by Mr Constable as a meagre school roll and he states the whole emoluments are too inconsiderable for a teacher of any merit or capacity. And he regarded the five private schools as for the most part indifferently taught. The poor did not seem the cause any major difficulty, seeming to have been provided for in the usual way from the income of the church from mortcloth hiring, proclamations of marriage, rents of a few seats in the church and collections at the church door.
In the Second Statistical Account written in September 1842 by the Rev. George Addison, DD, minister of the parish of Liff and Benvie we find some clarification (and disagreement with the Gazetteer of earlier years – or maybe there were further boundary changes) of the extent of the parish. He admits that the lands of Logie, Balgay and Blackness are indeed part of the parish and that a considerable portion of the suburbs of Dundee to the west and north is built on these lands. But dismisses unreservedly the inhabitants of the parish of Logie … as … having, from time immemorial, been connected with Dundee, quoad spiritualia, it will not be necessary to take any further notice of this part of the united parish! He also notes that for nearly two centuries the minister of Dundee had received an annual payment of twelve bolls of barley … expressly for the sacraments and marriage to the heritors and inhabitants of the lands of Balgay and Logie, and the lands of Blackness. Mr Addison describes the parish as situated at the south-west corner of the county of Forfar, being bounded on the west by the parishes of Fowlis Easter and Longforgan (both in Perthshire) on the on the South, by the river Tay; on the east, by Dundee and the United parish of Mains and Strathmartine; and on the north, by the Dighty, a small river which divides it from the parishes of Auctherhouse and Lundie. The extent is about 6 miles from east to west, and 4 miles from north to south. … There is no river in the parish. … Near the village of Benvie is a spring strongly impregnated with iron. It was formerly in great repute as a tonic, and was applied externally in cutaneous disorders, but is now entirely neglected.
There is tremendous discussion of the geology of the area, involving red and gray sandstone and a discovery of fossil organic remains in the den of Balruddery by Mr Webster, the proprietor. It is noted that there is nothing very peculiar or rare in the botany of this parish … but … the romantic dells and glens which abound in this neighbourhood are, in the season, richly clothed with the most beautiful plants and flowers.
There are four mansion houses briefly described – the House of Gray (owned by the Rt Hon Lord Gray), Camperdown House (the Rt Hon Earl of Camperdown), the mansion house at Invergowrie (Alexander Clayhills, Esq) and Balruddery House (Robert Webster, Esq). Other land-owners are noted as Frederick Lewis Scrimgeour Wedderburn, Esq. of Wedderburn and Birkhill, William Henderson, Esq. Of Mylnefield, Mr Thomas Watson, Liff and Mr James Waddel.
The population is discussed and from this it is apparent that some form of census was taken at irregular intervals from the middle eighteenth century, if not earlier. Genealogists are aware of nation-wide 10-yearly censuses taken from 1801, but are advised that the first one of any real benefit to them is the 1841 census. But it is interesting to read that the wrangle over the village of Lochee continues … that village now being politically connected with Dundee, or within the Parliamentary boundary, the population at the last census (June 1841) was taken in connection with Dundee, and not with this parish. On that account, the precise amount of the inhabitants of Lochee is not known to me; but it cannot be under 3000 souls. Mr Addison, in his concern with the moral and secular welfare of the parish, notes that seven illegitimate children were born within the parish in the previous three years, but in most cases the parents married afterwards; that three of the patients in the Dundee Lunatic Asylum are parishioners, as is one in the care of a family at the expense of the kirk-session and five by their relations; and that a brother and sister are deaf and dumb. He generously states that the character of the people is by and large peaceable and industrious, and, with a few marked exceptions, sober.
As to manufacture – Within the last sixteen or seventeen years, three spinning mills have been erected in the village of Lochee, and one at Denmiln, in the parish. Whatever advantages may accrue from these establishments, they have a very unfortunate effect on the morals and pauperism of the community. The chief, if not sole, product was coarse linen, principally for exportation, which had supplanted the weaving of household linen. Hand-spinning was almost obsolete. Many employed in the spinning and weaving found they had to supplement their income with agricultural employment when they could get it, mainly in spring and at the harvest time. Addison estimates that around 2000 folk in Lochee were employed in manufacture at this time and comments … The depressed state of the linen trade, for some time past, has been severely felt by the operatives in this quarter. Many families have, in consequence, been brought to a state of indigence and destitution. But he states elsewhere … At Bullion, near Invergowrie, an extensive work for bleaching and dying yarn and cloth has lately been established. The necessary erections have been made with great care, and at considerable expense. There is on the premises a water-wheel of 14 horses’ power, and a steam-engine of 6. A gasometer has been fitted up solely for the use of the work.
For the farmers, trade was brisk with near-by Dundee. Weavers and the like were persuaded by low feus to take up Mr Wedderburn of Birkhill’s offer of small portions of land on the turnpike road to Meigle and Coupar-Angus giving them a convenient location for their trade.
In about 1830, at last the parochial school was moved to a far better, but undisclosed, location (the writer assumes all readers will know where it is (the present spot)!) but it was recognised that having the school at Denmiln was most inconvenient and almost inaccessible in winter. Another school was built, in the questionable Lochee, in 1837. The year before the Account was written, a “school of industry” for young females was initiated under the patronage of Countess of Camperdown. In total, about 500 children were receiving education of some sort in the parish at this time.
Mr Addison describes his concern over the steep rise in pauperism, with the need in 1841 to recourse to a legal method of assessment. Including the upkeep of the inmates of the Lunatic Asylum and the fatherless babies, he indicates that 49 folk required some sort of aid, with an average of 7 shillings per head per month spent. He is critical of the apparent money-grubbing attitude that prevailed, and in particular, the difficulty of bringing absent fathers to account – nothing in this world is new!
His last comments support the recurring theme of “bad Lochee”! The number of public-houses in the parish of Liff proper is four, situated generally at considerable distances from each other. In Lochee there are at least twelve, including shops where spirits are sold, both in and out of doors. Poor old degenerate Lochee!23,24,25
- [S1] International Genealogical Index (IGI) (Salt Lake City, Utah, USA: International Genealogical Index), 7517538.
- [S35] Old Parochial Register of pre-1855 (General Record Office of Scotland) OPR Birth 1817 Dundee ref 282/0100 0229 [Mar 2007].
- [S35] OPR, pre-1855 282/0100 0229 [Mar 2007].
- [S21] Headstone Photograph; , Tay Square Church records at Dundee City Coucil Archives [Sept 2017].
- [S36] Old Parochial Register of marriage,pre-1855 (General Record Office of Scotland) OPR LIff & Benvie, ref 301 [Jun 2004].
- [S1] International Genealogical Index (IGI), M113014.
- [S50] Unknown subject, International Genealogical Index (IGI) (New Register House, Edinburgh, Scotland: General Record Office of Scotland), GROS deaths 1857 Dundee 2nd district ref 549, image held [Jun 2006].
- [S18] FDCA, online www.FDCA.gov.uk, FDCA (City Square, Dundee), Howff Records age 78, buried Old Howff.
- [S14] General Record Office for Scotland, online www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk, General Record Office for Scotland (Edinburgh, Scotland), GROS, statutory births ref 022811, 2nd district of the burgh if Dundee in the county of Forfar [digitised May 2004].
- [S50] General Record Office for Scotland, GROS statutory death 1867 2nd District Dundee ref 862 image held [May 2004].
- [S50] General Record Office for Scotland, GROS 1873 deaths in the district of St Peter in the burgh of Dundee [June 2006].
- [S50] General Record Office for Scotland, GROS statutory deaths St mary Dundee 282/2 334 [May 2004].
- [S50] General Record Office for Scotland, 1896 282/1 St Peter 244.
- [S21] Headstone Photograph; , AD [Sept 2017].
- [S13] Website FreeCEN UK Census Online Project (http://www.freecen.org.uk/) FeeCEN www.freecen.org.uk/ Piece: SCT1841/282 Place: Dundee -Angus Enumeration District: 33 Civil Parish: Dundee Ecclesiastical Parish, Village or Island: - Folio: 33 Page: 7.
- [S9] Website Ancestry.co.uk (www.ancestry.co.uk) Source Citation: Parish: Dundee; ED: 33; Page: 7; Line: 1030; Roll: ; Year: 1841. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1841 Scotland Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006. Original data: 1841 Scotland Census. Edinburgh, Scotland: General Register Office for Scotland. Reels 1-151. General Register Office for Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland. [May 2011]
- [S17] General Record Office for Scotland, online www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk, General Record Office for Scotland (Edinburgh, Scotland), GROS Mar 2007 282/00 0023/00 025 [June 2006].
- [S9] Website Ancestry.co.uk (www.ancestry.co.uk) Source Citation: Parish: Dundee; ED: 23; Page: 19; Line: ; Roll: 1175; Year: 1851. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1851 Scotland Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006. Original data: Scotland. 1851 Scotland Census. Reels 1-217. General Register Office for Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland. [May 2011]
- [S17] General Record Office for Scotland, Parish of Liff, Parliamentary Burgh of Dundee; 10 Lowdens Alley.
- [S17] General Record Office for Scotland, GROS census 1871 Liff & Benvie [May 2004].
- [S17] General Record Office for Scotland, 1881 British Census, 166 Souringburn, Liff & Benvie, Forfar, Scotland 0203482 282-2 17 24.
- [S9] Website Ancestry.co.uk (www.ancestry.co.uk) Source Citation: Parish: Liff and Benvie; ED: 17; Page: 24; Line: 13; Roll: cssct1881_83; Year: 1881. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1881 Scotland Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007. Original data: Scotland. 1881 Scotland Census. Reels 1-338. General Register Office for Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland. [May 2011]
- [S49] Website Web Site online (www.) http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/sct/ANS/LiffBenvieAndInvergowrie/index.html
- [S37] Directory Dundee (Dundee:, http://stat-acc-scot.edina.ac.uk/sas/sas.asp/?monospace=&twoup=&nohighlight=&account=1&transcript=&session-id=01fdc6d786cd0f5c91e3ca1daf3f081b&naecache=5&accountrec=7492&navbar=&action=publicdisplay&parish=Liff%20and%20Benvie&county=Forfar&pagesize=. Hereinafter cited as Dundee Directory.
- [S49] Website Web Site online (www.) http://stat-acc-scot.edina.ac.uk/sas/sas.asp/?monospace=&twoup=&nohighlight=&account=2&transcript=&session-id=01fdc6d786cd0f5c91e3ca1daf3f081b&naecache=5&accountrec=11148&navbar=&action=publicdisplay&parish=Liff%20and%20Benvie&county=Forfar&pagesize=
Mother*: Elizabeth Anderson b. c 1778, d. 29 Jun 1857
Alexander Miller b. 1852, d. 5 Jan 1893
James Milne Miller+ b. 20 Apr 1854, d. 12 Mar 1919
Janet Miller b. 3 May 1856
John Miller b. 14 Jul 1858
William Miller+ b. 21 Jul 1861, d. 8 Feb 1946
Charles Milne Miller b. 17 Mar 1864, d. 7 Nov 1951
Joseph Miller b. 27 Sep 1866, d. 22 Jul 1867