The Douglas Archives

A collection of historical and genalogical records

Walter Sholto Douglas married Isabella Robinson - apparently

I was researching the author, W. Sholto Douglas (Cromwell's Scotch Campaigns 1650-51, et al) when I stumbled across the remarkable story of Walter Sholto Douglas.

My first discovery was that there was a marriage between Walter Sholto Douglas and Isabella Robinson, who married secondly Rev. William Falconer.  Was this my historical author?

Well, maybe not, although she (wait for it) was a writer.

Mary Diana Dods (1790–1830) was a Scottish writer of books, short stories and other works. She was also known under her pseudonyms as David Lyndsay and Walter Sholto Douglas. Most of her works were mainly under the pseudonym David Lyndsay.

She lived under the male identity of the diplomat and scholar Walter Sholto Douglas, ostensibly the spouse of Isabella Robinson Douglas, and was a friend of Mary Shelley. Correspondence between Dods and Jane Williams in the mid-1820s suggests that they too had a close relationship. In 1827 Shelley helped the two obtain false passports, enabling them to travel to Paris under the identities of Mr and Mrs Douglas.  Mr Douglas ended up in a debtor's prison and is thought to have died of his ailments between November 1829 and November 1830.

It is claimed that Mary Diana Dods and Georgiana Dods Carter were illegitimate daughters of Sholto Douglas, 15th Earl of Morton. However, the Earl died (1774) before Mary was born (1790).

Coincidentally, I am preparing an article of people who used Douglas as pseudonym. I have not yet reached Mary Dods.

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Making conections

The more information you can give about the people you mention, the more chance there is of someone else connecting with your family.

Dates and places of births, deaths and marriages all help to place families.

Professions also help.

'My great-grandmother mother was a Douglas from Montrose' does not give many clues to follow up! But a bit of flesh on the bones makes further research possible. But if we are told who she married, what his profession was and where the children were baptised, then we can get to work.

Maybe it is time to update the information in your profile?

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