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Jessie Johnston

F, #5823, b. 2 December 1871
  • (Witness) Note for Web: Jessie Johnston and William Johnston, Christina Grubb, Henry Grubb, Janet Forgan, Lewis Johnston, Helen Grubb, Euphemia Stewart, Agnes Barrie Johnston, Margaret Woods Johnston, Christina Johnston, Euphemia Stewart Johnston, Isabella Thomson Black Johnston, Georgina Keir Paterson Johnston, Andrew McGlashan, Henry McGlashan, Janet McGlashan and Robert McGlashan was mentioned with William Johnston. Facts and Hypothesis re William Johnston born about 1848 who says his parents are William Johnston, shipwright, and Christina Grubb:

    From various records one could assume that William is born about 1848 in either Fife – maybe Crail, maybe St Andrews – or Dundee. All these possibilities have been explored in the name of Johnson, Jonsen, Johnston(e) and variants; and Grubb without finding a birth/baptism that fits.

    On the 30th March 1851 census there is a 4-year-old child recorded as William Normand living in St Andrews with Henry Grubb and his wife Janet Forgan and who is described as ‘Grandson’ and born in Crail, Fife. No marriage between a Grubb and Normand can be found, and no William Normand was recorded as born/baptised in Scotland in the time frame. So a query exists that this might be William Johnston. But there are likely to be other grandsons who could fit this description. But no other William Johnson or Grubb that fits the profile.

    On the 7th April 1861 census William is declared as 'nephew' aged 13 with Lewis Johnston as head and Helen Grubb as wife, who are living in Fish Street Dundee. William is described as a mill worker born in St Andrews Fife. So William is nephew to whom? It should be stated as relative to the head of the house - Lewis Johnston. Or is it his wife, Helen? Christina Grubb is Helen’s younger sister. Is she William’s mother? Does Lewis Johnston have a brother named William? – Not found.

    On the 2nd April 1871 census William Johnston is found boarding at 7 Keys Close (which is at 18 Nethergate) Dundee, with Elizabeth Morrison as head of the household. William states he is born Dundee, aged 22 and working as a brewer.

    On his marriage three weeks after the census night, on 24 April 1871, William Johnston signs his name and states his parents as William Johnston, shipwright & Christina Grubb, his address as 18 Nethergate Dundee (see census above), his age as 22 and his occupation as bottler.

    On informing of Lewis Johnston's death in 1878, William states he is nephew and his address is 27 Overgate, Dundee. William also states Lewis’ parents as Ormond Johnston, a ploughman, and Euphemia Pratt – no information about this couple or any other similar Johnston family can be found.

    When his 4th daughter (of 7) is born in March 1881, she is named Christina – but this is not an uncommon name of the time.

    On the April 1881 census William states he is 34, and iron work labourer and born Dundee.

    In 1886, on birth of twin daughters, William is living at 27 Overgate, states his occupation as marine stoker and his marriage date as 24 April 1871.

    On the April 1891 census William states he is 46, born Dundee and occupied as a fireman.

    But on his death in 1899, William's wife Euphemia Stewart states his occupation as builder’s donkey engineman, his age as 51 and his parents are Lewis Johnston, seaman, and Helen Grubb. (Because they raised him?)

    On his wife’s death in 1913, his eldest daughter Jessie, says that he was a merchant seaman – but she also records her mother’s age as 49, when she was probably about 62.

    So who to believe?

    If Christina Grubb was Wiiliam’s mother – how would that look?

    Christina Grubb was born about 1828 (no birth/bapt found, but other records suggest this)
    If William is born about 1847/8, then Christina would be aged about 19/20.
    Christina marries Andrew McGlashan in January 1849 in Liverpool. Christina is probably aged 21.
    Christina and Andrew have a son, Robert McGlashan, who is born in Dundee in August 1950.
    The family are recorded in March 1851 in Fish Street Dundee. Christina’s age is stated as 22, Robert as under 1 year.
    Christina and Andrew have a daughter, Janet, in November 1852 in Dundee.
    When both Christina’s parents die within months of each other in 1855, Christina’s age is recorded on both occasions as 27.
    The next time this family is found is in Australia when a headstone in Geelong Eastern Cemetery records Christina’s death in May 1885, aged 57, along with Andrew McGlashan, aged 74, in 1891 and a son, Henry, aged 28, in February 1886. In the absence of records, it is presumed that the family emigrated about 1853.

    It could be hypothesised that Christina Grubb, sister of Helen Grubb, and William Johnson, brother of Lewis, are the parents of William Johnston born about 1848 and that he was probably born in Dundee, probably whilst Christina was staying with her sister Helen and brother-in-law Lewis.

    Further – Christina marries far away from home in Liverpool, but returns to Dundee to live and have her family – at least for a while. In 1851 Christina is living close by to her sister Helen in Fish Street Dundee. Helen has only one surviving child at this time – Jessie – three others have died in infancy, followed by another two who do not survive after 1851. It would make sense for Helen to take in her sister’s child – William Johnston – especially when Christina and her husband emigrate to Australia.

    Extensive research has produced nothing to support any of this suppostition.
  • Birth*: Jessie Johnston was born on 2 December 1871 at Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland; Birth Jessie Johnston 02 Dec 1871 Dundee, Angus, Scotland. Father William Johnston; mother Euphemia Stewart.1
  • She was the daughter of William Johnston and Euphemia Stewart.
  • Married Name: As of 1892, her married name was Ballingall.
  • (Bride) Marriage*: Jessie Johnston married David Ballingall in 1892 at St Mary, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland.2
  • (Informant) Death: Jessie Johnston registered the death of Euphemia Stewart on 7 April 1913 at 1 Smalls Wynd, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland; Euphemia Johnston widow of William Johnston merchant seaman; died 1913 April 7th 6h 55m am at 1 Small's Wynd Dundee aged 49 years; father James Stewart, jute stower (deceased), mother Agnes Stewart ms Barrie (deceased); cardiac disease as certified by H Buist MB; informant Jessie Ballingall daughter 26 St Mary Street (present); registered 1913 April 8th at Dundee T Y Millar registrar.3
  • Address*: As of 7 April 1913, Jessie Johnston lived at 36 St Mary Street, Dundee, Angus, Scotland. 4

Census Events

Member of Household4 April 1881They was listed as a member of the household of William Johnston and Euphemia Stewart in the 1881 census at Yeaman's Close, 19 Overgate, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland. Jessie Johnstone, dau, 9, scholar, Dundee; William Johnstone, head, 34, iron work labourer, married, born Dundee; Euphemia, wife, 30, Dundee.5,6
Member of Household5 April 1891They was listed as a member of the household of William Johnston and Euphemia Stewart in the 1891 census at 27 Overgate, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland. Jessie Johnstone, daug, 19, jute spinner, Dundee; William Johnstone, head, 46, Dundee fireman, Dundee; Euphemia Johnstone, wife, 40, Dundee.7
Last Edited: 18 Oct 2016


Father*: William Johnston b. c 1848, d. 14 Sep 1899
Mother*: Euphemia Stewart b. a 30 Mar 1851, d. 7 Apr 1913


David Ballingall b. c 1870
  • (Bride) Marriage*: Jessie Johnston married David Ballingall in 1892 at St Mary, Dundee, Forfarshire, Scotland.2



  1. [S1] International Genealogical Index (IGI) (Salt Lake City, Utah, USA: International Genealogical Index), C112823/6035516.
  2. [S64] General Record Office for Scotland, online www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk, General Record Office for Scotland (Edinburgh, Scotland), GROS ref 282/02 0136 [Feb 2010].
  3. [S50] General Record Office for Scotland, online www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk, General Record Office for Scotland (Edinburgh, Scotland), 1913 Dundee St Peter 105.
  4. [S50] General Record Office for Scotland, informant on mother's death registration Jessie Ballingall daughter 26 St Mary Street.
  5. [S17] General Record Office for Scotland, online www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk, General Record Office for Scotland (Edinburgh, Scotland), FHL Film 0203483 GRO ref vol 282-3 Enum Dist 5 page 21.
  6. [S9] Website Ancestry.co.uk (www.ancestry.co.uk) Source Citation: Parish: Dundee; ED: 5; Page: 21; Line: 17; Roll: cssct1881_84; 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. [Sept 2011]
  7. [S9] Website Ancestry.co.uk (www.ancestry.co.uk) [Oct 2010].
  8. [S40] MB via Ancestry [Sep 2015].