- (Witness) Anecdote: The Birth of William Lindsay Wishart
William Wishart was born in Letham and was baptized on 16 April 1801 in Dunnichen Parish, Angus County. He was baptized simply as William. The name William Lindsay Wishart first appears in the birth record of his second child, Elizabeth.
For years I thought perhaps Lindsay was a family name. I now suspect that he added the name Lindsay himself to honor or commemorate the Rev. William Lindsay of Letham, Forfarshire (Angus County). Rev. Lindsay was born in 1761 and died in 1841 and certainly would have ministered to the residents of Letham during our William’s lifetime and that of his father, James.
His name is written William Wishart in his birth and marriage record. It is written William Wishart in son James' birth record. It is written William Lindsay Wishart in all of the rest of his children's birth records, in his wife's death record, in his own death record and in the marriage and death records of his children. His name is written William L. Wishart in the 1851 Census of Dunnichen Parish; as William Wishart in the 1861 Census for Dunnichen Parish; and as William L. Wishart in the 1871 Census for Arbroath.
It is fairly certain that WLW grew up in Letham; the birthdates of his siblings locate his family in Dunnichen Parish through at least 1811. There is no reason to believe that his father, James, would have had any incentive to depart from the “in perpuity lease” he held with Lord George Dempster in Letham. WLW no doubt learned farming skills from his father as well as the skills that most people who lived in Forfarshire would develop– those skills and trades attendant with the flax industry. His occupation listed in his marriage license is Flaxdresser, which is a worker who prepared flax prior to spinning.
The Marriage of William and Elizabeth
After his birthdate the next date we have on WLW is his marriage record in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire on 12 March 1822. The following extract was found by Scots Research Society hired by Stanley Hess in 1978.
Extract of an entry in Old Parochial Register, Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages (Scotland) Parish of Aberdeen, County of Aberdeen, #40292,
12 March 1822 -
William Wishart and Elizabeth Barclay by the Rev. Mr. Alexander Thomson, one of the Dissenters in Aberdeen, were Lawfully Married in the Said Minister's house after due Proclamation of Banns. William Wishart, Flaxdresser in Aberdeen, and Elizabeth Barclay, the daughter of the deceased James Barclay, late Farmer in the parish of Dunottor.
Witnesses John Ramsay, Tailor, and John Duvall, Flaxdresser, both in Aberdeen.
Reading the Marriage Record
Dissenters in Aberdeen – The Quakers, also known as the Society of Friends, and as the Free Church of Scotland. To turn to a Quaker pastor to unite them in marriage is evidence that either WLW or Elizabeth Barclay was a Quaker. It is quite certain that the Wisharts were not Quakers. It is believed that Elizabeth Barclay may have come from a Quaker family, although we do not have any evidence yet to support that.
Rev. Alexander Thomson, the minister who united William and Elizabeth in marriage, was born 27 June 1798 in Banchory Devenick, Kincardineshire, Scotland and married 14 February 1825 Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire to Janet ‘Jessie’ Fraser. If you google his name will find him. He was a leader in the Society of Friends and is described as a man who pursued a variety of subjects from law, mathematics, language and literature, botany, geology and zoology. He traveled widely throughout Europe and amassed an extensive library which was donated to the Aberdeen University Library upon his death in 1868. Today he is regarded as a major player in establishing the Society of Friends in Scotland; Thomson’s learnings and writings contributed significantly to the establishment and growth of the Quaker religion in Scotland.
Due Proclamation of Banns – It was a requirement that when a couple desired to marry, they publicly announced their intention to do so three times. This obligation was fulfilled by making said announcements during congregational meetings of the church and frequently in two or three locations. This is why when searching for marriage records in Scotland you will often find a couple whose marriage is listed with the same, or smiliar date, in two different places.
William’s occupation is given as Flaxdresser. This occupation is described as “one who prepares flax for dressing” and the description of such ~
A person who carries out the early stages of preparing raw fibre (e.g. Jute and flax) for spinning. Hackle-pins and fluted rollers were used to comb and soften the fibre and, in the case of jute, an emulsion of oil and water (whale oil until the late 19th century) was applied to assist the process.
Witnesses to the Marriage were John Ramsey, Tailor. After some research I was able to identify him as the John Ramsey who married 13 June 1827 Saint Nicholas Parish, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire to Ann ‘Helen’ McGregor. John and Ann were the parents of Jane Elizabeth Ramsey, born 11 May 1828 Aberdeen. Jane would be the second wife of Thomas Wishart, b. 9 Dec 1827 McDuff, Gamrie Parish, Banffshire – the fourth child of William Lindsay Wishart and Elizabeth Barclay.
Elizabeth Barclay was baptized on 30 January 1795 in Farnell, Angus County, the daughter of James Barclay and Bell Crombie. Our family records, based on information from Mrs. Mary McQuiston, had her birth listed as 16 December 1797. Other branches of Wishart descendants had her birth as March 1797. I suspect these dates came from the woman herself who hedged a bit regarding her true age. Elizabeth was 27 years 1 month and 13 days old to William’s 20 years and 10 months and 26 days when they married.
Newlyweds Move to Macduff
William and Elizabeth were living in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire when their first child was born. They christened him James Wishart on 24 December 1822 in Saint Nicholas Parish/Church, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire. It is easy to see that he was named for both grandfathers. He added the middle name of Barclay later in life.
By 1824 the little family had moved to Macduff which is a coastal town about 35 miles north of Aberdeen. The website for the town of MacDuff states that it is located in the North Aberdeenshire parish of Gamrie, situtated on the Moray Firth at the mouth of the River Deveron opposite Banff. For the greater part of its history Macduff was known as Donne. Early attempts to develop the site as a seaport failed and it wasn’t until 1783 when James Duff (Lord Macduff and later Earl of Fife), acquired a royal charter, built a harbour and changed the settlement’s name to MacDuff. The occasion was celebrated with the erection of Macduff Cross. The Earls also lent their name to another popular attraction in Macduff – the Duff House.”
Our Wisharts lived in Macduff, Gamrie Parish, Aberdeenshire, but the birth records of the Wishart children were recorded in Gamrie Parish, Banffshire. The parish of Gamrie encompassed an area that included portions of both the counties of Banff and Aberdeen.
It is a mystery as to why the Wisharts chose to move to Macduff. Usually people move for work and one would assume that William would choose a location in which he could utilize his skills in the flax trade. There was no flax trade in McDuff. It is known that his occupation while the family lived on the Orkney Islands was that of Ship’s Chandler, so perhaps that was his livelihood while the family was living in MacDuff, as well.
Or they may have moved because of family ties, which is another common reason people relocate. Elizabeth had a sister named Helen Duff Barclay; given that there were Duffs in northern Aberdeenshire and in Banffshire – and that the name plays prominently in this area - there could be family ties to this region in the Barclay family. We know nothing about Elizabeth’s siblings beyond their names and baptismal records. We do not know if her mother was living or deceased during the 1820s. All we know is that her father died before she married.
The Wisharts lived about 15 years in MacDuff. With the exception of James, the oldest child, and Helen Wishart, the youngest child, all of William and Elizabeth's children were born here.
The second child of William and Elizabeth was a daughter, Elizabeth Wishart, born 22 November 1824 in Macduff with birth registered Gamrie Parish, Banffshire, Scotland. She was clearly named for her mother. It is Scottish custom to name the firstborn daughter after her maternal grandmother, in this case Isabel(la) "Belle" Crombie. However, it has not escaped the attention that the Wisharts seldom followed this established pattern of naming, and in fact never even bestowed the name Isabella upon any of their children.
The third child born to William Wishart and Elizabeth Barclay was William Wishart on 3 May 1826 with his birth registered in Gamrie Parish, Banffshire.
Thomas, the fourth child, was baptized 9 December 1827 at Macduff and birth registered in Gamrie Parish, Banffshire. His parents called him Tom.
Joseph Gibb Wishart was the fifth child, born 28 January 1829, also birth registered in Gamrie Parish, Banffshire. He was christened Joseph Gib, spelled with one “b.” The name Joseph does not appear amongst his grandparents or uncles on either side of the family. It is clear from research that Gibb is not a family name either. After much research, I suspect he was named for a family friend.
The sixth child and second daughter was Mary who was born 24 January 1831 in Macduff and birth registered in Gamrie Parish, Banffshire. She was probably named for her Aunt Mary Wishart, and if so, that would indicate a close familial relationship between siblings William Lindsay Wishart and Mary Wishart.
John Murker Wishart was born next, on 25 March 1833 in Macduff with birth registered at Gamrie Parish, Banffshire. As with Joseph Gibb, I suspect that John Murker was named for a family friend.
The youngest son, David Wishart, was born 6 November 1834 in McDuff and his birth registered at Gamrie Parish, Banffshire.
The third daughter, Margaret, possibly named for her Aunt Margaret, was born
7 November 1836 in Macduff, Aberdeenshire with birth registered in Gamrie Parish, Banffshire. Although baptized simply Margaret, there is some indication that she may have used the middle name of Shepherd later in life. The origin of this name, too, is unknown; it is not a family name.
The Orkney Islands
The Wishart family moved to St. Ola-Kirkwall, Orkney Islands probably in 1838, but no later than 1839 – the baby of the family, Helen, was born on 5 October 1839 in Kirkwall, Orkney Islands, Scotland. Her birth/baptismal record has not been found and the date comes down from family records.
Some Oral Family History
Harold Frederick Wishart was the first member in the US branch of the family who recorded any family history and created the original family group sheet. He began compiling this information in the late 1950s and continued through the early 1960s. Most of his work comprised the recording of oral family history – stories he had heard from his parents, and from Mrs. D.W. McQuiston (niece of William Lindsay Wishart). The following account was written by Fred.
At one time our Great-grandfather, William Lindsay Wishart was a ship chandler and lived in the Orkney Islands to the north of Scotland. Now a ship chandler is a merchant that sells merchandise and equipment to ships and in return buys what it might have to sell. In this instance it was mostly whale oil and blubber, which were necessary in those days for light and cooking, etc.
The catch the previous year had been very poor and gossip had it that the whaling crews were still way below par in their catch the present season. With whale oil worth at least 20PDs ($100 U.S.)* and hardly any luck again that year, living was going to be pretty slim for sure. All able bodied men were at sea leaving only the old men, women and children in the village. (*That equivalency was written into the story which was told to H. Fred in his youth; the equivalent sum today would be much, much higher).
Then one fine morning an early riser saw a number of whales washed ashore by the tide and foundered there. The next tide, due twelve hours later would wash the big fish back out to sea so the man aroused the villagers who under the tutelage of the old men set to work to kill the whales that were still alive then getting the carcasses up high enough that the tide would not wash the cadavers back to sea again. The blubber and whale bones (used to be part of women's corsets I am told) were removed while the juveniles were gathering firewood to put under the huge black kettles used to boil the oil out of the blubber. Father said when the whaling crews came back in the fall that the women had almost as much oil and whalebone ashore as the crews had aboard ship.
1841 Scotland Census~
counted on 6 June 1841
Location: High Street in Kirkwall, Orkney Islands
Willm L. Wishart, Head, age 40 (b. abt 1801), b. Scotland, Occupation: Hackler
Eliz Wishart, Wife, age 45, b. Scotland
James Wishart, son, age 15 (sic), b. Scotland
Eliza Wishart, dau, age 15, b. Scotland
William Wishart, son, age 15, b. Scotland
Thomas Wishart, son, age 13, b. Scotland
Mary Wishart, dau, age 10, b. Scotland
John Wishart, son, age 8, b. Scotland
David Wishart, son, age 6, b. Scotland
Margaret Wishart, dau, age 4, b. Scotland
Helen Wishart, dau, age 1, b. Scotland
Note: A google search for the definition of Hackler results in the information that a Hackler is a person who used a toothed implement (a hackle) to separate the course part of the flax. William’s occupation as recorded in this census certainly conflicts with oral history that he was a Ship’s Chandler (although it is possible he did work at that job during some period of time).
Missing from the above census is son Joseph. So where is Joseph?
1841 Scotland Census~
Heyman Street, Letham, Dunnichen Parish, Angus County
Elizabeth Wishart, age 35, Linen Hand Loom Weaver, b. Angus County
Margaret Wishart, age 25, Milliner, b. Angus County
Joseph Wishart, age 10, MS, b. outside Angus County
Note: Elizabeth and Margaret are the sisters of William Lindsay Wishart; their ages here are younger than their birth records reveal, although if they are both spinsters, and clearly are, it is no great surprise that they claim to be younger .
Note: MS was Joseph’s occupation – Christine Wishart Hoare tells me it means Man Servant.
Note: Heyman street is more properly spelled Hemming Street and appears as such in later records and maps.
Some Chronological Context
It is believed that the Wishart family lived in Kirkwall until 1850. Some changes occurred in their home during those years.
Firstborn James Wishart left home in 1844 to attend Kings College in Aberdeen.
Daughter Mary married on 3 July 1850 at the Congregational Church in Kirkwall to Orkney native John Taylor. John had gone to the United States two years previous, then returned to marry Mary. This couple departed within days after the wedding, settling first in Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvania. William and Elizabeth would never see their daughter again, nor any of the children that John and Mary brought forth in Pennsylvania and Kentucky.
Son Tom Wishart also married, on 8 September 1850 in Letham, Dunnichen Parish, Angus. His marriage location gives cause for some confusion, because it is known that the Wisharts were still living in St. Ola-Kirkwall when daughter Mary wed on 3 July 1850. Tom was only 19 years old when he married; this is young for a Scotsman to wed. I leave it to the reader to speculate how and when Tom went back to Letham, or why. Your guesses are as good as mine. But the birth of Tom’s first child offers a clue as to why he married so young:
Alexander Begg Wishart was born on 30 November 1850 in Letham. He was named for Elspet’s father, Alexander Begg. They called him Alick. He was the first grandchild born to William and Elizabeth.
Wishart Family Moves Back to Letham - 1850
by Dick Taylor
Note to reader: Dick is a descendant of John Taylor and Mary Wishart. He began working on the family genealogy in the 1970s. He compiled family stories based on old letters and historical research for locations and events that occurred during the lifetimes of our ancestors. His work is posted to the internet at several websites including http://piggar.com/nepawnee/ and
The Taylor family history can be found at
and the Wishart family history can be found at
“Probably sometime before May of 1851 (most likely by the summer of 1850), Mary's parents had chosen to depart from Kirkwall, taking her brothers and sisters down the mainland's east coast to the Scottish lowlands. 49-year-old WLW was returning as a mill master to the familiar turf of Forfarshire (also called Angus County) where he was reared. But the trip from the Isles drew mixed feelings: 14-year-old Margaret regretted leaving her cherished Shetland pony in Orkney when they boarded ship at Kirkwall for the sea cruise to their new home. The family settled within eight miles of the historic ancient Glamis Castle, where Macbeth had served centuries earlier as Thane of Glamis.
“The Wishart family set up their household possessions in the mill-house at Letham, near the home where William's sister Elizabeth still resided. James Wishart later lived at Letham, but the Reverend ultimately concluded the place was quite a ‘vile and vulgar and wicked’ city.”
The Scottish mill proprietor arose very early and started a pre-dawn fire to have the kiln sufficiently warmed before the sun's first rays glowed over the eastern horizon. Then he cranked the water gate open, supplying the flow which forced the big wooden mill wheel to whirl, and made the mill operation ready for customers bringing grain. Once the daily routine was underway, amidst the creaking and clacking of machinery, there was the initial setting of millstones to ensure the grain was being properly ground in the desired manner. The slumbering remainder of the miller's family awoke each day to these familiar sounds of morning down by the old mill stream.
Raising crops while attending the livestock and managing his business kept the miller occupied, requiring him to have at least two more workers to help run the operation. Although the customer occasionally transported his own grain down to the mill, the resulting meal was always delivered back to him by one of the mill-workers. Sometimes fresh grain brought to the mill needed drying before it could be dropped into the revolving millstones for crushing. While being processed, grain and meal were necessarily hauled about the place from one location to another. The worker operating the mill's kiln was called the dryster, and the assistant who moved the produce was commonly known as the ladester. WLW employed his sons, William and John, to share these essential duties at the Letham Mill.”
1851 Dunnichen Parish Census~
Address: Miller’s House, Letham Mill
William L. Wishart, head of house, aged 49, meal miller master, employing two men, born in Dunnichen.
Elizabeth, his wife, aged 54, born in Farnell.
Elizabeth, his daughter, age 26, dressmaker, born in Gamrie, Banffshire
William, his son, aged 24, meal miller assistant, born in Gamrie, Banffshire
John, his son, aged 18, meal miller assistant, born in Gamrie, Banffshire
Helen, his daughter, aged 11, scholar, born St. Ola, Orkney
Also found in the 1851 Dunnichen Parish Census~
Address: Letham, Dunnichen Parish, Angus County
Elizabeth Wishart, head of house, unmarried, aged 52, hand loom weaver, born in Dunnichen
David Wishart, nephew, aged 16, hand loom weaver, born in Gamrie
“Four Wishart children lived at Letham with their parents. Elizabeth, 26, was a dressmaker. Young William, 25, who would sail to America the next year, assisted in the adjacent millworks with 18-year-old John, one of two Wishart children who would elect to remain in Scotland. The youngest, 11-year-old Helen, who was also called "Helener," "Eleanor," and "Nellie," helped at home and was attending the local school.
“William's unmarried sister Elizabeth (b. 3 May 1798 in Letham) was a hand-loom weaver. The term hand-loom is rather misleading, with the bulky gadget having all its necessary components housed inside a large stationary box frame. Hands were employed in threading the strands and to work the shuttle; and the feet of the operator, who sat at one end of the machine, operated a combination of treadles. Weaving with the device was a cottage trade, the finished goods being produced right at home.
“David stayed at the Letham home of his spinster Aunt Elizabeth, where the 16-year-old lad operated the hand-loom each workday to make his living.”
Lisa Joy Stalnaker:
James, of course, was pastoring a congregation in Thurso and making plans to wed while figuring his bills and examining his income. Thomas was living in Aberdeen with his wife and baby boy, Alick. Mary, of course, was in Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvania with her husband and expecting her first child this year. Mary and John Taylor would move from Wilkesbarre to Hawesville, Kentucky in Hancock County by 1853.
Margaret, 14, oddly enough, was not counted with her parents in the census. The census taker may simply have overlooked her, or she could have been living with a neighbor and “working out” most likely as either a hand loom weaver or as a household servant tending an elderly individual or children.
Son Joseph Gibb Wishart is found in the 1851 Census living with the William Martin family (no relation) at Muirton Mill, Forfar Parish, Angus County. Joseph was working as a Labourer washing mill linen yarn. Joseph would marry on
5 March 1852 in Letham to Jessie Tarbat (also known as Jess and Jennie). Their first child was born on 3 September 1852 in Letham. They named him John Tarbat Wishart.
The Happenings in the Children’s Lives
Note: The following accounts (bits and pieces of info, really) were constructed from old letters and public records.
“William Wishart, Jr. was staying with John and Mary at Hawesville and dealing with the symptoms of ague. Magnus Taylor (John’s brother) was also living there in Hawesville. Fortunately Mary was healthy again at that time, and had become pregnant. She would give birth to a daughter, Mary Ellen, in December 1855.
“In late summer of 1855, Reverend James Wishart was contending with an illness, although the remainder of his family seemed to be presently enjoying good health down at Swanland by Hull in the county of Yorkshire, England. The community was located on the north bank of the River Hull and just to the west of the large shipping center of Kingston-upon-Hull.
“David Wishart was seeking a job. The 20-year-old young man had already been working many years, first as a hand loom weaver with his aunt Elizabeth, and then as an apprentice to a stonemason. He was engaged to labor the next couple years over at Arbroath on the coast. David's starting pay for the first year was puny at seven shillings a week, making a monthly value barely equalling a dozen Orkney geese. Brother John would collect enough income to purchase those same birds with his first week of grain-cutting in the fields. For the proposed second year, David's weekly wages were to rise slightly at eight shillings sixpence, beginning sometime in 1856.
“22-year-old John Murker Wishart took advantage of the break in the dusty work at his father's Letham Mill, and hired out to earn 29 shillings for each of the first three weeks in the warm sunshine of the approaching 1855 harvest. John's field work could net him about four and a half pounds sterling, probably equal to $21 at that time.
“Margaret Wishart, 18-year-old daughter of WLW and Elizabeth, was feeling poorly in the summer of 1855, too, and she decided a little bit of fresh clean seaside air might do some good. She left her parents' house at the Letham Mill for a visit about 15 miles up the road at the home of a Wishart family friend in the coastal town of Montrose.
“An attentive Andrew Forbis, son of her hostess, concluded that Margaret needed a holiday excursion and escorted the young lady over to Perthshire for some Scottish sightseeing. The pair drove their carriage up north of Dunkeld to look around the grounds at the Castle of Atholl, where the dukes had lived.
“Thomas’ wife, Elspet Begg, had died on 13 January 1855 in Dee Village, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire. The three now motherless sons – Alexander ‘Alick’, age 5, William ‘Willie’, age 3, and Frederick ‘Freddie’, age 1 year or less – needed someone to care for them while Tom worked all day.
“Alick had gone to live with his Grandpa Begg in Aberdeen. William and Elizabeth Wishart had taken the two younger boys. The paternal grandparents were giving Willie and Fredric a great deal of daily attention during their stay at the Wishart's Letham Mill House. William would refer to the small grandsons they were keeping as Elizabeth's "second family."
“On Sunday, August 26th, 29-year-old Elizabeth Wishart left her parents' mill-house, taking her nephew Willie up north to his grandpa Begg's home. Alick would join them for the trip back so he, too, could spend time with Grandpa and Grandma Wishart who were yearning for a promised visit with their grandson. (Thomas remained in Aberdeen and it is quite possible he shared the home with his father-in-law or lived quite nearby. There is no indication that Thomas had returned to Letham, but rather he would remarry in Aberdeen in 1857).
“Three of young Alick's uncles (in the Begg Family) had left Scotland for Canada, and one emigrant son of the "old grandfather" had reported the favorable economic opportunities awaiting over there. This brother-in-law of Alick's 27-year-old father was urging the bereaved young widower to join them in the western hemisphere. Tom extended the Canadian proposal to his father and mother, but the Wisharts (William and Elizabeth and their son Tom) ultimately chose not to emigrate to Canada.”
More Weddings and More Wisharts
David Wishart married on 12 March 1856 to Jane ‘Jean’ Thomson in her parents’ home in Muirside of Kinnell, Forfarshire (Angus). Family history is that they were 2nd cousins. I have traced all lines back far enough and do not find a connection. But there is usally an element of truth to oral history so perhaps they are 3rd cousins and the link occurs one more generation earlier. Their first child, William Thomson Wishart, was born 18 April 1857 in Dunnichen Parish.
Thomas "Tom" Wishart married for a second time, on 20 November 1857 in Saint Nicholas Parish, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, to Jane Elizabeth Ramsey. Jane was the daughter of John Ramsey and Ann McGregor. In all likelihood this was that same John Ramsey who stood as witness to the marriage of William Lindsay Wishart and Elizabeth Barclay in 1822 in the same parish. Tom and Jane's first son, Thomas, was baptized 18 October 1858 in Saint Nicholas Parish, Aberdeen. He joined three older half-brothers, Alick, Willie and Freddie.
Elizabeth Wishart, eldest daughter of WLW and Elizabeth, married on
28 January 1859 in Letham, Dunnichen Parish to James Dorward, the son of William Dorward and Elisabeth Malcolm. The first child of James and Elizabeth Dorward had been born on 26 January 1854 in Dunnichen Parish – five years before this couple wed. He was named George Roughhead Dorward. He had died at the age of five years on 12 January 1859, just two weeks before James and Elizabeth married. It is possible that the death of their son factored into their decision to marry. Their second child was born on 27 December 1859 in Dunnichen Parish. They named him William.
The 1860 United States Federal and 1861 Scotland Census Records
WLW and Elizabeth Barclay located, as expected, in Letham~
1861 Dunnichen Parish Census
4 July 1861, Village of Letham
Household #139 West Mill of Letham
William Wishart, Head, age 59, Corn Miller, b. Dunnichen Parish, Forfarshire
Number of Rooms with one or more windows: 3
Elizabeth Wishart, Wife, Mar(ried), age 64, b. Farnell, Forfarshire,
John Wishart, son, Unmarried, age 26, Miller, b. Gamory (sic), Banfshire
Margaret Wishart, dau, Unm., age 23, Linen Weaver, b. Gamory, Banfshire
Helen Wishart, dau, Unm., age 21, Linen Weaver, b. Kirkwall, Orkney
Son James Barclay Wishart located in Yorkshire~
1861 United Kingdom Census
England, Yorkshire, Swanland, The Village Street
Household No. 10
James Wishart, Head, Mar(ried), age 38, M.A. Independent Minister, b. Scotland
Margaret C. Wishart, Wife, Mar., age 39, b. Scotland
George D. Wishart, Son, age 8, Scholar, b. Scotland
William B. Wishart, Son, age 7, Scholar, b. Scotland
John S. Wishart, Son, age 4, b. Yorkshire, Swanland
James Eric Wishart, son, age 1, b. Yorkshire, Swanland
Ann McLeod, Servant, Unmarried, age 23, Cook, b. Scotland
Catharine Johnston, Servant, Unmarried, age 16, House Servant, b. Scotland
Daughter Elizabeth and husband James Dorward are located in Letham~
1861 Scotland Census
enumerated 7/8 April 1861
Address: 1 Swinton Street, Letham, Dunnichen Parish, Forfarshire (Angus County)
Indexed as: James Domand
James Dorward, age 32, Head, b. Kirkden, Forfarshire, Ag Labourer
Elizabeth Dorward (indexed as Domand), age 36, Wife, b. Macduff, Banffshire
William Dorward (indexed as Domand), age 2, son, b. Dunnichen, Forfarshire
Son William Wishart was found in Kentucky~
1860 US Federal Census
Kentucky, Union County, Morganfield
Enumerated 24 Jul 1860
Line 36, Household 1159
Wm. Wishard, age 29, Head, born Scotland
Eliza, age 25, Wife, born Illinois
Son Thomas Wishart and 2nd wife Janet Ramsey located in Aberdeen~
1861 Scotland Census
61 Hutcheon Street, St. Nicholas Parish, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire
Thomas Wishart, age 33, b. abt 1828, Head, b. MacDuff, Banffshire, Cabinet Maker
Jane E. Wishart, age 28, b. abt 1833 St. Nicholas, Aberdeen
Alexander Wishart, age 10, b. St. Nicholas, Scholar
William L. Wishart, age 8, b. Aberdeen, Scholar
Frederick Wishart, age 7, b. Aberdeen, Scholar
Thomas Wishart, age 2, b. Aberdeen
Robert W. Wishart, age 1, b. St. Nicholas, Aberdeen
Son Joseph Gibb Wishart and family located in Dunnichen Parish~
1861 Scotland Census
enumerated 7 & 8 April 1861
Address: 8 Guthrie Road, Dunnichen Parish, Angus County
Joseph G. Wishart, Head, age 32 (b. abt 1829), b. MacDuff, Banffshire, Ag(ricultural), Labourer
Jessie Wishart, Wife, age 29 (b. abt 1832), b. Dunnichen
John Wishart, son, age 8, b. Dunnichen, Scholar
William Wishart, son, age 6, b. Dunnichen, Scholar
George Wishart, son, age 4, b. Dunnichen
Alexander Wishart, son, age 1, b. Dunnichen
Daughter Mary Wishart and John Taylor located in Hawesville, Kentucky~
1860 United States Census
Kentucky, Hawesville, Hancock, enumerated 25 August 1860
John Taylor, age 33, Black Smith, personal property $50, b. Scotland
Mary Taylor, age 28, b. Scotland
Wm Taylor, age 9, b. Pennsylvania
Mary E. Taylor, age 5, b. Kentucky
A. F. Taylor, age 2, b. Kentucky
And one more child who had left home, David Wishart, was found in Letham~
1861 Scotland Census
Address: 3 Tollroad, Letham, Dunnichen Parish, Angus County(13)
David Wishart, Head, age 25, Slater, b. Banffshire, Gamrie, 2 rooms with windows
Jean Wishart, Wife, age 27, b. Forfarshire
William T. Wishart, son, age 3, b. Forfarshire, Dunnichen
Elizabeth Wishart, dau, age 2, b. Forfarshire, Dunnichen
David Wishart, son, age 9 months, b. Forfarshire, Dunnichen
Wisharts to New Mill ---and Old Turf
by Dick Taylor
“At the edge of the Fetteresso Forest four miles west of Stonehaven, Mid Hill marks the beginning of the foothills which grow upward into Scotland's huge Grampian mountain range. Three miles due south of the hill, the village of Drumlithie is located; and Carron Water flows through the little valley lying halfway between. The stream meanders northeasterly, lowering itself in a snaky path to connect with the North Sea at Stonehaven Bay. Revolving motion of millstones was generated by waterpower coursing eastward down from a nearby mill dam, where a station was situated in order to conduct neighborhood commerce in the broad Kincardineshire countryside of eastern Scotland.
“The William Wishart family had relocated there near the station at rustic New Mill, six miles southwest of the old Ury estate of the Barclays (who may be the ancestors and relatives of William's wife Elizabeth Barclay). The unique village steeple at Drumlithie, a mile and a half to the south, was obscured by a slight rise in the terrain. When the family of five had come up from Forfarshire to accept a sublease on the meal mill, perhaps during late May of 1862, they were planning to remain for up to 16 years at the location next to little Stony Hill, six miles from downtown Stonehaven.
Margaret Wishart, 26 years old, was presently employed as a dressmaker in Montrose, the town where her parents had earlier sent her to learn the trade. Having returned to New Mill to apply her newly-acquired skills, she had become discouraged by the seemingly slow demand for her work. Impatiently, she had already committed to accepting a Montrose job by the time abundant orders for her services started coming in at New Mill.
At the start of the year 1863, 33-year-old brother, Joseph Wishart, was working in a bleach field ten miles from his home near Letham. Scotland was a producer of flax (and Angus/Forfarshire was the lead producer of linen), a crop whose fibers were woven into cloth and whose seeds yielded oil for a variety of uses. The seed residue was also used to feed livestock, but the most important utilization of the plant was for making linen.
A Letter from Home
by Dick Taylor
The following letter is from William Lindsay Wishart who was responding to a letter received that same day from John Taylor & wife Mary Wishart, written 30 days earlier, Sunday, December 18, 1864. It has been transcribed by Dick Taylor, and forwarded to interested family members.
New Mill by Drumlithie 17th Jany 1865
My Dear Son & Daughter
Many thanks for your kind letter of the 18th Dcr which had just come to hand this day. I bless God for spairing you in the Mids of so much danger & for carring you to a safe distance from the seat of war. We have been ever praying he would keep his strong arm around you & protect you & your dear famley and now we have got a gracious answer for which we bless his holy name. I cannot make out where you are but so soon as I git a map & try to find you out I see what you say about the stream of water running through your land but cannnot mak it out the name of the great river into which it flows I think you say Nebraska. If that is right I shall find you out. You have gon into particulars this time that I am quit dilighted with you. You have had a weary flitting but with helth & dilligance you will soon git over your difficulties. The loss of the Maire was hard but I hope the colt will be a useful beast although it will not be able to do much the first seed time. If you had not had a Brother Robert to assist in time of need Verry glad that you are able to Say all will. I hope the children are all good & obediant & that they will soon be usefull. If at all within your power get them to School.
Let John be assured once for all that not one of the famley are forgetful of you they all look to me as the principle correspondant & I supose will do as long as I am Spaired but suing that you was anxious to git some of them to write I pressed them to do so & rather delayed myself on that account a few weeks ago James says I have got no word from John & Mary although I wrot them. Elisabeth wrot about harvest. John Wrote for I posted the letter & I think has written. It is about two months or better since my last went away & I expected to have had a reply by New Years day.
Confess like Man that you are wrong for harboring hard thoughts & then you shall be forgiven I shall now try & give you a brief summary of family News & first our selves. It is 14 years past July since you saw us. these years have told considrebly upon us. Infirmaties creap on reminding us that it is not here that we are to be always. it is no new thing with us to be looking beyond the boundry of time although we are often so much taken up with the things of earth that we frequantly forget ourselves & I much feare that in this respect you must plead gilty also. if so just take our plan fall on your knees before God & confess your gilt. he a forgiving God rich in Mercy to all that call upon him and Shoorly you have Many Blessings to thank him for.
Now taking the rest in order so far as I Know James & family are will I just posted to him this Morning before yours came to hand. Mr Dunnet died 3 Months ago. Elesabeth her husband & their two children are well. we had the oldest Boy Wm Doward a week with us at the Newyear. Tom & his Wife and Seven Sons are all well. Helen Spent the New year with them Most happily the oldest that is Alic Sent Me a splendid Map of Scotland his own penmanshap very pretty. Joseph has Moved in to Arbroath where he has a good situation as forman in a factury I saw him lately Wife & 5 Sons all well. John lives nix door to us. his wife & twin Daughters are well & thriving the were Born the 8th June last. David was here 3 weeks ago they are all well they five children 2 Boys & 3 girls. Margret teaches the Daft Femals in a Great Lunatic Asylum called Sunnie Side near Montrose. there are 350 patients. She has about 40 practising the nedle & she cutts out ther work & Keeps them in order. She got a week to spend with us at Midsummer. Helen the Barn the latest of you all has nearly recovered her wanted helth although we often feared she would never do so. a year past July she took Gastric feaver & for Many Months was alarmingly ill. we often talk about you and her during your childish days & Many of your infant Songs & by the way she is an addmirable singer & will accquinted with Music. she is up at Litham just now but will soon her from you for I shall blow the trumpet.
I have little room to tell you about the State of this country like you we had a dry summer & short straw but corn verry cheap. we are Selling Meal at twelve shillings pr boll & gitting the 4th loaf for five pence were it not that cattle are high priced farming would be runish as it is many of them are failing a good cow her is worth (English pound sign) 15 & a 3 year old shot twenty three pounds Manufacturing in Forfarshire was never so prospres nor Wages so high Receive from your now aged parents this wamenst & Most affectanat & never failing Love & till the children that they have Grandparents Wm L Wishart
Notes for the above letter ~
Regarding the comment “… for carrying you from the seat of war…” John and Mary had moved from Hawesville, Kentucky (a dangerous place to be during the Civil War) to Table Rock, Nebraska (beyond the boundaries of the Civil War).
Brother Robert – John’s brother Robert Taylor had come to the United States with John. Robert had married in Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvania to Isabella Robertson. Their daughter, Jennie Isabelle Taylor, married to David King Miller, the son of George Miller and Mary Wishart. Mary was the sister of William Lindsay Wishart. Robert had migrated with John & Mary Taylor to Hawesville and then to Table Rock, Pawnee County, Nebraska.
Mr. Dunnet died 3 months ago – Father-in-law of James Barclay Wishart, George Dunnet died on 8 October 1862 in Thurso, County Caithness, Scotland. He and wife Barbara Sinclair were the parents of Margaret Campbell Dunnet, James’ wife.
Another Letter…. Transcribed by Dick Taylor
New Mill by Drumlithee
14 Febr 1866
My Dear Son & Daughter
In writing to the other members of the family I said that I fully expected to have a letter from you at the new year but no We are now verry anxious to here from you especially to know If you have herd anything of your Brother Wm. in a letter from James the other day he sujest that you Should addvertise for him in one or two Newspapers Something like the following. Should this Meet the eye of William Wishart lat of __________ he is earnestly requested to write to his Father New Mill By Drumlithee Scotland as also to his Brother inlaw John Taylor Pawnee City Pawnee County Nebraska Territory Unitte States
you see I have left blank the place he last left which you can fill up. the above is not a long advertisement & I am shore on our account you will not grudge the expence. In my last I think I gave you full particulars of all the family so that no so fare as I know your Brothers & Sisters are all will. Joseph's family are now living at 5 Howard Street Arbroath & Jas Doward & Elisabeth 37 Smalls yard Dundee, Jams Rev Jas Wishart South Hill Road Toxteth Park Liverpool, Margaret Sunnyside Asylum by Montrose. Tom wrote you before harvest & has long looked for a reply. David is in Litham By Forfar. now one & all of us will be Much Pleased to have letters from you It is long since I posted a Newspaper to you because you never said if any had reached you.
now about our helth I am glad to say that we are as well as we can expect at our addvanced time of life. Mother suffers a good dale from Rhumitism but you at least--Mary will recolect---that this is no new begin affliction. otherwise she is tolerably helthy. As to our woraldly affairs we have little to bost. you will have noticed likey the sad callamity which has been visited both England & Scotland the Cattle Plague. whole destricts not fare from us have suffered saddly indeed. Many have been completly ruined it is Marching steadly in our direction inded it is within 3 or 4 miles of us & our neighbors. many of them are in great peace. people can scaresly be blamed for being anxious but our on lives as well as the lives of our beasts are in Gods hand & he will do all that is right. If men will sett their hartt on any object so as to Make and Idol of it is right & just that God should take it away. I fondly trust you are all well & prospiring you are never forgotten when asking blessings for ourselves. Your last letters were full of intrest. do just tell us again how you are gitting along & how the children are advancing. shorely some of them will be writing a letter to Grandfather some time soon. We were verry pleased when peace was restored to you. But we are rather anoyed by the combination among the Irash living in the States of whos Movement you have like herd. We have had a Mild Winter till now that it is frosty & Snowing How have you liked the cold in your new home. Accept kindest love from Helen as always.
yours Most Affectonately Wm L Wishart
Lisa Joy Stalnaker:
It is known to us that William Wishart died during the year of 1866 and sometime before October. In a letter written by John Taylor (brother-in-law of William) dated 27 January 1867 from Pawnee City to a family friend he recorded that they had received the sad news that “Brother William Wishart” had died. John writes that William had been sick for a long time, with chills and fever, and died of dysentary. Additionally, John makes the comment that William had been planning on “coming out here” when he died. We do know that John Taylor was responding to a letter he received in October 1866. We do not know where William died or exactly when, although I cannot imagine that whoever wrote to John Taylor and Mary Wishart to inform them of William’s death would have delayed in doing so beyond a few days or two weeks at the most. My best guess is that William died in late September or early October in 1866 and most likely in either Kentucky (hence the phrase “coming out here.”) William is last located (by us) in the 1860 census in Morganfield, Union County, Kentucky. Counted with him in the census was a wife, Eliza Wishart. We have never found a marriage record for William and cannot identify her. It is unknown to us if she ever produced a child or, in fact, William and Eliza were actually married. William’s grave…. Have not yet found.
In April 1869 David Wishart left family behind and traveled to the United States in hopes of finding work. He arrived in New York City on 3 May 1869 aboard the Columbia, and made straight-a-way for his sister’s family in Table Rock, Pawnee County, Nebraska. David initially lived with them and helped John & Mary build a new home while looking for work in the Nebraska-Kansas area. It would take him nearly two years to earn enough passage money to bring his family to the United States.
Helen Wishart was married on 10 December 1869 in Glenbervie, Kincardineshire, Scotland to William Andrew.
The following year Mary Wishart Taylor died in the family’s new home in Table Rock. She passed on 15 June 1870 and was buried in Pawnee City Cemetery. The two-story home that John and her brother David had been building for her in Table Rock had only just been completed, two months before she died. (The house was still standing into the 1970’s but has since been torn down).
And in September 1871 Jane Thomson Wishart, David’s wife, with children in tow sailed for the United States. They arrived in October and journeyed to Table Rock where they initially stayed with bereaved widower John Taylor and family.
1870 United States Federal and 1871 Scotland Census
William Lindsay Wishart and Elizabeth Barclay located in Arbroath~
1871 Scotland Census
Arbroath, St. Vigeans Parish, Angus
William L. Wishart, Head, Mar, age 69, Flaxdresser, b. Forfarshire, Dunnichen
Elizabeth Wishart, Wife, Mar, age 75, b. Forfarshire, Farnell
No other household members living with them or listed on same page. By 21 October 1871, when William penned a letter (see below) daughter Helen, her husband and children were living with them.
Son James Barclay Wishart located in England~
1871 United Kingdom Census
England, Lancashire, Toxteth Park
Municipal Burgh of Liverpool
Municpal Ward of North Toxteth
Parliamentary Bourgh of Liverpool
Town of Liverpool
Ecclesisatical District: St. Silas
High Park Street #33
James Wishart, Head, Married, age 48, M.A. Independent Minister, b. Scotland
Margaret Wishart, Wife, age 49, b. Scotland
George Wishart, Son, age 18, Unmmarried, Commercial Clerk, b. Scotland
William Wishart, son, age 17, Unmarried, Commercial Clerk, b. Scotland
Barbara Wishart, dau, age 15, Unmarried, Scholar, Yorkshire, Swanland
John Wishart, son, age 14, Scholar, b. Yorkshire, Swanland
James Wishart, son, age 11, Scholar, b. Yorkshire, Swanland
Margaret Wishart, dau, age 9, Scholar, b. Yorkshire, Swanland
Maria Wishart, dau, age 5, Scholar, b. Yorkshire, Swanland
Christian Alexander, Servant, Unmarried, age 26, Domestic Servant, b. Scotland
Daughter Elizabeth Wishart and husband James Dorward located in Letham~
1871 Scotland Census
Hymen Street, Letham, Dunnichen Parish, Angus, Scotland
James Dorward, age 42, Labourer, b. Kirkden, Forfarshire
Elizabeth Dorward, age 45 (b. abt 1826), Wife, b. Gamrie, Banffshire
William Doward, age 11, b. Dunnichen
Margaret Dorward, age 9, b. Dunnichen
Son Thomas Wishart, wife Janet Ramsey, and children are located in Aberdeen~
1871 Scotland Census
67 Hutcheon Street, St. Nicholas Parish, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire
Thomas Wishart, Head, age 43, b. MacDuff, Banffshire, Cabinetmaker Master,
Employing 2 men
Jane E. Wishart, Wife, age 38
William L. Wishart, age 18, b. Old Machar, Aberdeenshire, Cabinetmaker
Frederick Wishart, age 17, b. Old Machar, Aberdeenshire, Cabinetmaker
Thomas Wishart, age 12, b. St. Nicholas, Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Message Boy
Robert W. Wishart, age 11, b. St. Nicholas, Scholar
John R. Wishart, age 9, b. St. Nicholas, Scholar
Alfred Wishart, age 6, b. St. Nicholas, Scholar
Jane Ann Wishart, age 5, b. St. Nicholas
James C. Wishart, age 3, b. St. Nicholas
Frank Wishart, age 1, b. St. Nicholas
Margaret Wishart, age 1 month, b. St. Nicholas
Thomas’ son Alexander Wishart, missing from parents household, was found ~
92 Broomielaw, St. Peter’s Parish, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Registration District: Clyde
Alexander Wishart, age 20, b. abt 1851, Lodger, Male, b. Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Engine Fitter
Note: Alexander is lodging in the home of Donald Cameron, Packer in Warehouse.
Son Joseph Gibb Wishart and family located in Arbroath~
1871 Scotland Census
47 Green Street, Arbroath, Angus, Scoland(13)
Joseph G. Wishart, Head, age 41, b. abt 1830, b. Gamrie, Banffshire, Reeling Overseer
Jessie Wishart, age 39
Wm L. Wishart, age 17
George J. Wishart, age 14
Alex Wishart, age 12
Joseph G. Wishart, age 9
James Wishart, age 5
Jessie Wishart, age 1
Missing: John Tarbat Wishart, oldest son, about 19 years old, and probably already having “gone to sea”
Daughter Mary Wishart Taylor had died 15 June 1870, but her family is found in Table Rock, Nebraska, United States~
Table Rock, Pawnee County, Nebraska
Enumerated 9 September 1870, Line 30
Jno. Taylor, age 44, Farmer, Real Estate $5000, personal property $700, b. Scotland, has a father and a mother of foreign birth; is a US citizen
W. Taylor, male, age 19, Farmer, b. Kentucky
M. Taylor, Female, age 14, keeps house, b. Kentucky
Agnes Taylor, female, age 12, goes to school, b. Kentucky
Rob. Taylor, male, age 9, goes to school, b. Kentucky
Eliza. Taylor, male, age 7, goes to school, b. Kentucky
J.T. Taylor, male, age 2, b. Kentucky
Son John Murker Wishart and family located in Letham~
enumerated 2/3 April 1871
Address: Hymen Street, Letham, Dunnichen Parish, Forfarshire (Angus)
John Wishart, Head, age 38 (b. abt 1833), b. Gamrie, Banffshire, Yarn Bleacher
Mary Wishart, wife, age 35, b. Dunnichen, Forfarshire
Jane Ann Wishart, dau, age 6, b. Glenbervie, Kincardine, Scholar
William Wishart, son, age 5, b. Glenbervie, Kincardine, Scholar
Mary Jane Wishart, dau, age 4, b. Dunnichen, Forfarshire
John Wishart, son, age 2, b. Dunnichen, Forfarshire
Margaret Wishart, dau, age 8 months, b. Dunnichen, Forfarshire
Son David Wishart was located in Nebraska and Kansas during 1870 from old letters. He has never been found in the 1870 US Federal Census, and probably was never counted, as he was moving about during this time period.
David’s family, however, was found in Letham~
1871 Scotland Census
4 February 1871 Dunnichen Parish, Angus County, Scotland
Jean Wishart, Head, Mar., age 35, Housekeeper, b. Forfarshire, Forfar
William Wishart, Son, Unmar., age 13, Slater, b. Dunnichen
Jessie Wishart, dau, age 8, b. Dunnichen
George M. Wishart, son, age 5, b. Dunnichen
James Wishart, son, age 3, b. Dunnichen
John Wishart, son, age 1, b. Dunnichen
Eliza Thomson, Niece, age 6 months, b. Dunnichen (daughter of Jane’s sister Elizabeth, born illegitimate, we’ve never been able to identify her father)
Missing from the David Wishart & Jane Thomson Wishart household is daughter Elizabeth, about 13 years old, and son David, about 11 years old.
Elizabeth is found in Dunnichen Parish living in Vinney Edge, Dunnichen Parish~
Enumerated 4 Feb 1871
Annie Rew, Head, age 88, b. Forfarshire, Dunnichen
Elizabeth Wishart, Servant, age 12, Domestic, b. Forfarshire, Dunnichen
And son David Wishart is found living with his grandparents in Menmuir, Angus~
1871 Scotland Census
Address: Parkhill Farm House, Menmuir, Angus
William Thomson, age 65 (reads 15, sic), Head, b. Arbroath,
Farmer of 336 Acres 4 of Arable, Employing 1 Lab & 1 Boy
Jannet Thomson, Farmer’s Wife, age 65, b. Blairgowrie, Perthshire
Helen Thomson, age 39, dau, b. Forfar, Farmer’s Daughter
James Thomson, age 42, nephew, b. Arbroath, Ag Labo
David Wishart, age 11, grandson, b. Herhdew (sic, that’s gibberish; he was born in Letham), Forfarshire, Catle (sic) Boy
Alexander Thomson, age 8, grandson, b. Memnuir, Kinnell, Angus, Scholar
Note: David is the son of dau Jane ‘Jean’ Thomson & David Wishart.
Note: Alexander is the son of dau Elisabeth Wishart, Jane’s undwed sister (yup, that’s two illegitimate children).
Daughter Margaret Wishart has not been found in the 1871 census – she would marry 19 January 1872 Arbroath, Angus to first cousin George Wishart Miller. I suspect she may have been in Edinburgh around this time.
Daughter Helen Wishart has not been found in the 1871 census – she married
10 December 1869 in Glenbervie, Kincardine to William Andrew(s). Their first child was born 10 March 1872 in Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland. Maybe the two sisters are together… somewhere.
A Treasured Letter from the Past
The following letter was written by Alexander Wishart (son of Thomas Wishart and Elspet Begg) to his Grandpa Wishart. Alick was very near his 21st birthday; he had finished an apprenticeship and was now working in Glasgow. Letter in possession of Dick Taylor.
Glasgow 6th Oct. 1871
My Dear Grandfather
__(illegible)___a few nights ago since I was __(illegible)__ Grandmother had been so very poor ____n glad to see from your letters to Maggie, (which she enclosed to me). that she is getting betters and trust she may be in her usual health very soon again.
I hope also that you are always enjoying pretty fair health, and still working away, and that Mr Andrew has got employment & fairly settled in Arbroath, and liking the town as well as the country and that Hellen & he are in good health. As for Uncle Joseph and all my Cousins I don't know what's ado for I have not had any word from any of them since Jack sailed.
By the bye I may mention that I see the "Paruna" has arrived safely at Buenos Aires. Is there any word from him I was half expecting a letter myself. It was I____last to Arbroath, so that ___always waiting on expecting____ some word, and then I had not your new adress, so that I might you untill I got your (Maggie's) letters.
However I hope they are all well and that some of my Cousins may drop me a few lines in the course of next week, saying how Grandmother is keeping, for I hardly expect that you can have much time to write as you will have plenty of that and other things of more consequence to attend to. I have nothing of any consequence to say, so close with kindest love to my Uncles, Aunts and Cousins, as well as to Grandmother and yourself, and that you may both long be spared in the enjoyment of good health is the earnest wish & prayer of
Alick B Wishart
The Jack mentioned in the letter is John Tarbat Wishart, son of Joseph Gibb Wishart and Jessie Tarbat. Jack was Alick’s first cousin.
William L Wishart - Arbroath
William Lindsay Wishart is responding to the much awaited letter from his family telling of their safe arrival in the United States. It is fortunate that we have any letters, but the one which they must have sent to him – their journey, the fire, the arrival – would have been an interesting read, to say the least! The letterhead also reveals that by this date WLW & Elizabeth had moved from New Mill by Drumlithie to Arbroath, Forfarshire (Angus County).
15 Orchard Steet Arbroath
21st Oct 1871
My Dear John
We were all delighted to see the few lines from Davids Willie (William Thomson Wishart) dated from your place and I believe all the frinds here unite in thanking a kind providence for protecting care over them during there long jurny. I suppose they will be greatly in debted to you for shelter during the approaching winter. I would have writen you on receipt of your last but I knew that you was likely to have other corespondants. it is years since I began to urge your Brothers & Sisters to begin corrospondance with you. the more especialy as my increasing years gave me warning that my time here was drawing to a close of which we are gitting warnings from time to time. about a month ago Grand Mother became verry ill a pain at the breast & difficulty of breathing so much so that she for many night could not lay down her head her feet & leggs were much swollen. but I am glad to say that the Dr proscriptions have to a great extent releived her & as she is still taking medisine. we fondly hope she may soon regain her strength which at best can only be weakeness. It is a great privelage that we have Helen & her husband with us their attention & care are unremitting. We herd by Elisabeth that you had sore trouble in your family & that two of your Brothers family had been taken away by feaver but that all yours had been spaired. I fondly trust that Davids children & yours will take kindly to each other so that the winter may pass by comfortably. I was just saying to day that between you you could muster a good Sabbath class & I know you will not want a willing teacher. Margret inclosed a letter from your William of which she seemed verry proud & told me to return it which I did. I was also much pleased to see it the more especially as it told me that his education had not been altogether neglected in your making hast to get rich. I shall be verry glad to git a letter from my nameson & I know also that Sundry of his cousins here would also willingly correspond with him. I would especially recomend the writer of the inclosed Tom's Oldest son a lad about his own age. he finished his apprentiship in Aberdeen a little more than 18 months ago & has been in Glasgow more than a year he is an ingineer cheafly imployed I think making injins or at least that was the case in Aberdeen. he is a verry exalant lad and if William would write him telling him about both the family's and any thing else that might occur to him I know that he would ready write in return I hope you have had a bountiful harvest and got it all secured & that your four footed stock are thriving & increasing Here the potatoes are consederably deseased & are now high in price.
One of Tom's children died of Hooping Cough resantly. she was the youngest baby about five months old. James Wife has been dangerously ill but is expected to recover. he especialy wishes me to say how dissapointed he was at not meeting Davids family in Liverpool. he went to the Shipping office & also to the Rail way st & next morning to the ship's sid & did not find them .
I trust that what I have now writtin will in some measure make up for past neglect I have a great many letters to write & somehow by the time I git home I am not so ready as I had wont to be & besides I have a daly paper which in these sturring times clames attention Kindes Love from Myself Grandmother Helen & William to yourself & both family's yours Most Affectonately
Wm L Wishart
Note: The reference to James not meeting David’s family – James was living in Toxteth Park and Jane with the Wishart brood was sailing from Liverpool. He knew this was his last opportunity to see his nieces and nephews but evidently arrived too late to see them off.
Grand Mother Is Gone
William's prophetic utterances about their time on earth coming to a close proved to be correct. A few months after he penned the letter above, Elizabeth Barclay Wishart died.
As the previous letter reveals, William and Elizabeth Wishart were in Arbroath by October 1871. Living with them was duaghter Helen, her husband William Andrew, and their two children William and George. Joseph Gibb Wishart and his family had moved to Arbroath in 1865.
Daughter Margaret wed, at age 36, to her first cousin George Wishart Miller on
19 January 1872 in Arbroath.
Not long after those nuptials, Elizabeth passed on. She died in St. Vigeans, just north of and abutting Arborath, on 16 March 1872.
"16 March 1872 St. Vigeans, Scotland (St. Vigeans Road, parish of St. Vigeans
(near Arbroath); she was 76 years old when she died; she was married to William Lindsay Wishart, corn miller; she was the daughter of James Barclay, farmer in Dunnottar, and Isabella Crombie, both deceased; informant was her son, Joseph Wishart, flax mill foreman, of 47 Green Street (Arbroath)."
It is uncertain where she was buried. It is believed that she was buried in the St. Vigeans Churchyard; however, her name is recorded on the headstone located in Kirkden Parish, Angus County along with her husband’s and his sisters Elizabeth and Margaret. It was common practice in Scotland to erect commemorative stones, or to include the names of close family members on stones. It does not necessarily follow that the deceased was actually buried in this location. As of this writing I have not been able to access a cemetery listing for St. Vigeans Church to see if Elizabeth is buried there.
Our Wishart Grand-Father Goes to Heaven
Of the ten children born to William and Elizabeth, six were present to bury their father when he passed on 6 June 1880 in Letham. Sons Thomas, Joseph, and John and daughters Elizabeth, Margaret, and Helen.
"1880 Deaths in the Parish of Dunnichen in the County of Forfar, page 6:
William Lindsay Wishart, Miller, Widower of Elizabeth Barclay, died 1880 June Sixth 5:00 AM, Hymen Streeth, Letham, age 79 years, son of James Wishart, Feuar (deceased) and Elspeth Wishart, maiden name Brown (deceased); cause of death being bronchitis and fever last 6 days; certified by attending Surgeon William Edward; informant was John Wishart, son, who was present; death registered 1880 June 8th at Letham by Thomas Macbeth, Registrar."
William’s headstone was located in Kirkden Parish, Angus County, Scotland.
It is known that Joseph immigrated to South Africa in 1880 and that Margaret immigrated to Nebraska in 1880. It is my belief that they immigrated shortly after their father died.
Helen and her family immigrated to Nebraska in 1883.
Children Thomas, John, and Elizabeth would remain in their birthland and be buried in Scottish soil.
William Lindsay Taylor, born 2 June 1851 in Wilkesbarre, son of John Taylor and Mary Wishart.
William Lindsay Wishart, born 17 April 1852 in Aberdeen, son of Thomas Wishart and Elspet Begg.
William Lindsay Wishart, born 23 May 1854 in Letham, son of Joseph Gibb Wishart and Jessie Tarbat.
William Lindsey Andrews, born 10 March 1872 in Arbroath, son of William Andrew(s) and Helen Slater Wishart.
William Lindsay Hutton Wishart, b. 19 June 1878 in Port Elizabeth, son of William Lindsay Wishart (b. 1854) and Jane Hutton.
William Lindsay Wishart, born 9 July 1880 in Greenock, son of William Lindsay Wishart (b. 1852) and Catherine McKinnon Wilson.
William Lindsay Wishart, born 19 June 1905 in Glasgow, son of William Lindsay Wishart (b. 1880) and Mary Bryden McCartney.1
- Anecdote*: Helen Slater Wishart & William Andrew
Helen Wishart was born on 5 October 1839 in Kirkwall, Orkney Islands, the tenth and youngest child of William Lindsay Wishart and Elizabeth Barclay. Her birth record has never been found and her birth date comes from family records.
There has been some confusion regarding her name. H. Fred Wishart had her listed as Eleanor Wishart, with a nickname of ‘Elener’ or ‘Helen.’ Mary Miller McQuiston (daughter of George Miller and Margaret Wishart) gave her name as Eleanor Wishart. In contacting Helen’s descendants, however, her name was given as Helen, with the nickname of Nellie. Census records, marriage record, and references to her in old letters support that her name was Helen; her name appears as Elener Wishart in only one census record, but that is enough to support that at the time she was living some family called her by that name.
It is unknown if she was christened with the middle name of Slater, or if she, like some of her siblings, added it later on. Slater is a common name in the Orkney Islands and that may have been a link. To date we have discovered no ancestors by the name of Slater. She is identified as Helen Slater Wishart in her son George’s marriage record.
Helen married at the age of 30 years on 10 December 1869 in Glenbervie, Kincardineshire, Scotland to William Andrew,(1) born September 1847.(2,6) Her family was living at Drumlithie by Newhill; both of these villages were quite close to Glenbervie.
“1869 Marriages in the Parish of Glenbervie in the County of Kincardine, page 3”~
1869 On the Tenth day of December at Newmill After Banns according to the Forms of the Established Church of Scotland, William Andrew, Ploughman, Bachelor (signed), age 23 years, of Newmill, Parish of Glenbervie, son of John Andrew, Farm Servant (Catterman) and Jane Andrew (maiden name Leslie), AND, Helen Wishart, Domesti Servant, Spinster (signed), age 26 years, of Newmill, Parish of Glenbervie, daughter of William Lindsay Wishart (Miller) and Elizabeth Wishart (maiden name Barclay), signed by W. Gordon, Minister of Glenbervie, James Andrew (Witness) and John M. Wishart (Witness), recorded 13 December 1869 at Drumlithie by G. Main(?), Registrar”(6)
The Family of William Andrew(s)
William’s parents were John Andrew and Jean Leslie. Their marriage was recorded twice, as was the custom of the Scots, who recorded the banns and then the actual marriage. This were almost always recorded in two different parishes, one where the groom’s family lived and the other where the bride’s family lived.
John Andrew married on 21 November 1835 in Turriff, Aberdeenshire, Scotland to Jean Leslie(4)
John Andrew married on 22 November 1835 in King Edward, Aberdeenshire, Scotland to Jean Leslie (5)
There are four known children, with William the third eldest. Probably there were more kids, but no record is found:
1. James Andrew b. 1841 Turriff, Aberdeenshire, Scotland(8)
2. Jean Andrew, b. 1843 Alvah, Banffshire, Scotland(7)
3. William Andrew b. 20 Sep 1844 Alvah, Banffshire, Scotland(7)
4. Mary Andrew b. 27 Feb 1849 Alvah, Banffshire, Scotland(7)
William Andrew and Helen Wishart
When the Wishart family tree was begun, only two children were known for them: William and George. It has taken some effort to identify more kids and information for them. According to the 1900 census, Helen produced six children, two of whom were living; by the 1910 census only one child was still living (George). To date I’ve identified four of the six.
The first child born was John Andrew, probably named for his paternal grandfather.
"1870 Births in the Parish of Glenbervie in the County of Kincardine, page 10:
John Andrew, born 1870 October Twenty-Eighth, 0 h 30m (12:30 AM), son of William Andrew, Ploughman and Helen Andrew (maiden name: Wishart), m. 10 Dec 1869 Newmill, Glenbervie, William Andrew, Father (present), birth recorded 31 Oct 1870 at Drumlithie by Geo. Main, Registrar"(10)
And just as quickly as John was born he died:
"1870 Deaths in the Parish of Glenbervie in the County of Forfar, page 6
John Andrew (single), age 10 hours, son of William Andrew, Ploughman, and Helen Andrew, maiden name: Wishart, cause of death: from effects of severe labour of mother, death occurring 10 hours after birth; as certified by Nancy Robertson, Surgeon, informant: William Andrew, father, not present, recorded 31 October 1870 at Drumlithie by Geo. Main, Registrar"(10)
1871 Scotland Census
Address: Cottar House On Candy, Glenbervie, Kincardineshire, Scotland
William Andrew, age 24 (b. abt 1847), b. Alva, Banffshire, Ag Lab
Hellen Andrew, age 27 (b. abt 1844), Wife, b. Kirkeoall (sic), Kirkney (sic)
Should read Kirkwall, Orkney but the transcriber didn’t know and made a best guess at some old handwriting
Excerpt from a letter written by Alexander Wishart (nephew to Helen Wishart) which makes mention of William & Helen:
Glasgow 6th Oct. 1871
My Dear Grandfather
I hope also that you are always enjoying pretty fair health, and still working away, and that Mr Andrew has got employment & fairly settled in Arbroath, and liking the town as well as the country and that Hellen & he are in good health.
Twins Born to William and Helen
The second children born were twins, William Lindsay Andrew born first at 10:50 am, probably named for grandpapa, and James Andrew was born second at 11:00 am, possibly named for Helen’s grandfather James Wishart:
"1872 Births in the District of Arbroath in the County of Forfar, Page 43
William Lindsay Andrew born March 10th, 1872, 10:50 AM, St. Vigeans Road, St. Vigeans Parish, Arbroath, Forfarshire (now, Angus County), Scotland, son of William Andrew, Railway Porter, and Helen Andrew (maiden name Wishart) m. 10 Dec 1869 Glenbervie, William Andrew, Father (present), birth recorded March 11, 1872 at Arbroath, by Alex. Webster, Registrar"(10)
"1872 Births in the District of Arbraoth, in the County of Forfar, page 44
James Andrew, born 1872 March Tenth, 11:00 AM, St. Vigeans Road, St. Vigeans Parish, son of William Andrew, Railway Porter, and Helen Andrew, maiden name Wishart, m. 1869 Novr (sic) 10th Glenbervie, William Andrew, Father (present), birth recorded March 11th, 1872 at Arbroath by Alex. Webster, Registrar"(10)
James died within hours after birth:
"1872 Deaths in the District of Arbroath in the County of Forfar, page 38
James Andrew, died 1872 March Eleventh, 3 h 35 mn (3:35 am) St. Vigeans Road, St. Vigeans Parish, 16 1/2 hours old, son of William Andrew, Railroad Porter, and Helen Andrew, maiden name: Wishart, cause of death: weakness from premature birth, duration of condition: 18 hours, certified by Charles Findlay, Surgeon, William Andrew, Father, present, recorded 12 March 1872 at Arbroath by Alex. Webster, Registrar"(10)
George Wishart is the youngest known child. Given the dates, I suspect a child was born between the twins and George with the youngest unknown child born after George.
“1877 Births in the District of Arbroath in the County of Forfar, page 149
George Barclay Andrews, born 1877 August Nine, 2h 20 mn (2:20) AM, George? Street, St. Vigeans, son of William Andrews, Porter at ------ ? Railway, and Helen Andrews, maiden name: Wishart, (married) 1869 Oct (sic) 10th Glenbervie, William Andrews, Father (present), recorded 1877 August 16th at Arbroath by (name illegible) Registrar”(10)
1881 Scotland Census
Address: 9 Gowan Street, Arbroath, St. Vigeans Parish, Angus County, Scotland
William Andrew, age 33 (b. abt 1848), Head, b. Alva, Banffshire
Ellen Andrew, Wife, age 37 (b. abt 1844), Wife, b. Kirkmall (sic), Orkney
William L. Andrew, age 9 (b. abt 1872), Son, b. St. Vigeans, Scholar
George B. Andrew, age 3, (b. abt 1878), Son, b. St. Vigeans
Andrews Family Comes to Pawnee - 1883
David Wishart's family was living on their farm near Johnson Creek in southern Pawnee County (he and his family had moved from Murray Township, Marshall County, Kansas, to Johnson Creek, Pawnee Cunty, Nebraska, sometime just prior to Wednesday, March 8, 1884), and the family of his sister Margaret Miller was living just outside Pawnee City. After 13 years of marriage, one of their sisters in Scotland and her husband were thinking of America. William and Helen Andrew decided to bring their two young sons to Nebraska (they began spelling their name in the American version of Andrews after they arrived).
William L. Andrews had turned 11 years of age back on March 10, and younger brother George would celebrate his sixth birthday on August 9th. Little George had been given the middle name of Barkley, a variation in the spelling of his grandmother Elizabeth's family surname, Barclay. In the summer of 1883, the four members of the Andrews family arrived in Pawnee City. On Monday, December 10, William and Helen observed their 14th wedding anniversary. It was their first in the United States.
Note: As far as we can tell, they began using the Americanized version of their name after arriving in the United States, changing from Andrew to Andrews.
1900 US Federal Census
Pawnee Precinct, Pawnee County, Nebraska
Enumerated 21 June 1900, Line 79
Andrews, William, Head, W, M, b. Sept 1847, age 52, md. Age 22, b. Scotland, Farmer, Arrived in U.S. in 1883, been here 17 years, naturalized: no
Andrews, Helen, Wife, b. Oct 1842, age 57 (huh?), married age 29, 6 children born, 2 children living, b. Scotland, both parents b. Scotland
Andrews, George, Son, b. Aug 1877, age 22, S, b. Scotland, Farm Labor
Next Door: Line 76
W.L. Andrews, Head, b. March 1873, age 27, married 4 years, b. Scotland, both parents b. Scotland, came to U.S. 1883, been here 17 years, Farmer
Hattie S. Andrews, wife, b. Sept 1878, age 27, married 4 years, 3 children born, 1 child living, b. Nebraska, fb Michigan, mb Illinois
Hazel M. Andrews, dau, b. Apr 1896, age 4, b. Nebraska
1910 US Federal Census
Balderson Twp, Marshall County, Kansas
Enumerated 15 April 1910 Line 69
Andrews, George B. Head, Male, White, age 32, married once 8 years b. Scotland, both parents b. Scotland, came to U.S. in 1881, Naturalized, Farmer
Andrews, Lena A. Wife, age 28, married once 8 years, 1 child born, 1 living, b. Germany, both parents b. Germany
Andrews, Helen E., dau, age 3, b. Kansas
Andrews, Helen S., mother, age 64, widowed, 6 children born, 1 child living, b. Scotland, both parents b. Scotland
Andrews, Radford W., nephew, age 9, b. Nebraska, fb Scotland mb U.S.
Andrews, Milo G. nephew, age 7, b. Nebraska, fb Scotland mb U.S
Note: George's brother William had died in 1904; I assume Hazel is with mother who was still living.
Helen Slater Wishart Andrew died 13 April 1916 Oketo, Marshall County, Kansas in the home of her son George.
Notes from Dick Taylor:
Helen Slater Wishart was born at Kirkwall in 1839 and later married William Andrew(s) in Scotland before they came to America about 1882-83. She was a sister-in-law of the immigrant John Taylor, who died back in 1888. During springtime of 1916 at the age of 76, the widowed Helen passed away near Oketo , KS , at the farm home of son George Barkley Andrews. As an adult, Helen was a tall woman of six-foot-two. When only 12 years old in Forfarshire, she'd already matched the height of 27-year-old Elizabeth Wishart, her eldest sister. Her father, William Lindsay Wishart, thought she was indeed quite the musician during childhood.
My final notes:
I was able to fill in specific dates on births, deaths, and marriage from records downloaded at scotlanspeople.gov.uk.
William, Helen, and their son William Lindsay are all buried in Pawnee City Cemetery.
Evidently no photograph of any of them exists, or has survived to the present day (at least that is my understanding from Dick Taylor who made requests many years ago to descendants). If any pictures exist, please do share!1
- Birth*: Helen Slater Wishart was born circa 1839 at St Ola, Orkney, Scotland; from 1851 census Feb 2006.
- She was the daughter of William Lindsay Wishart and Elizabeth Barclay.
- Married Name: As of 10 December 1869, her married name was Andrew.1
- Marriage*: Helen Slater Wishart married William Andrew on Friday, 10 December 1869 at Glenbervie, Kincardineshire, Scotland.1
- (Deceased) Death*: Helen Slater Wishart died on 13 April 1916 at Kansas, USA.1
- [S9] Website Ancestry.co.uk (www.ancestry.co.uk) Ancestry contributor lisastalnaker2 Wishart Tree [Jan 2012].
Helen Slater Wishart1
Mother*: Elizabeth Barclay b. 30 Jan 1795, d. 16 Mar 1872