The Douglas Archives

A collection of historical and genalogical records

Ann Douglas (married to Walter White), connected to Douglas of Ulston, Jedburgh


Selkirk Marriages has Walter White, Tenant in Brownmoor in Selkirk parish & Ann Dowglas in Jedburgh parish, on 8 Dec 1773. Cationer for the groom was George White, Tenent in Hangingshaw [Silkirk], & Cationer for the bride was Adam Douglas, Tenant in Houston.

I gather Houston was also known as Ulston, beings lands about 1 mile to the NE of Jedburgh town.

Walter White & Ann Douglas had at least 7 children: George (1775 Selkirk), Robert (1777 Selkirk), Helen (1778 Selkirk), Margaret (1780 Mertoun, Berwick), Margaret (1782 Eckford), Jean (Eckford 1785), & Walter (1789 Eckford).

Based on dates of marriage and kids births, I estimate Ann Douglas was born c1743-1753. I haven't found any birth record.

There are various records mentioning Douglas's in Ulston around that time, most of them involving Robert and Adam. As Ann's second son was named Robert, I suspect Ann's father was Robert Douglas, Tenant in Ulston.

Adam Douglas in Ulston & Isabel Hope were having kids in Jedburgh from 1773-1781, so he would be of similar age to Ann. Adam & Isabel's first son was named Robert. I suspect Ann and Adam are siblings; and that he was the Cationer in her 1773 marriage.

There are also a Robert Douglas of Ulston and Isobel Taylor having kids in Jedburgh from 1780-1797. This couple's first son was also named Robert. A probable further sibling of Ann and Adam.

NRS Catalogue has various records mentioning the Douglas's of Ulston. Teasing me are 2 particular documents: "Douglas of Ulston, Roxburghshire, 1651-1829" & "Pedigrees of the descendants of Adam Douglas, Portioner of Ulston, who flourished 1677". Unfortunately these records are only available for viewing at NRS in Edinburgh. Would anyone have any information from those two records?

And if anyone shares an interest in the Douglas's of Ulston, I would love to make contact.


New Zealand

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National Records of Scotland is closed due to the current health emergency, so no physical searches are possible, per temp.

Adam gets a mention in this: 


I have this note on Ulston:

It has been noted that in the seventeenth century the lands
of the Barony were scattered among different purchasers, and
among others of these portions, were the family of Douglas,
still represented at the present day in the person of Mr John
Douglas. Other proprietors were James Haswell, James and
Margaret Eobson, William Kirtoune, but of these there are
now no descendants, the ground being now part of that belonging
to Lord Stratheden. In the valuation of 1643 the amount
placed against John Douglas and William Douglas is forty
pounds each. From a Precept of Clare Constat, dated 16th
March 1677, granted by Robert, Earl of Lothian, in favour of
Adam Douglas, portioner in Ulston, as nearest lawful heir to
his father, John Douglas, it looks as if this were the valuation
of 1| husband lands in Ulston, with pertinents and pendicles
mentioned in the deed. On the same date there was also a
Precept granted to William Douglas, as heir to his grandfather,
of 1| husband lands in Ulston, with pertinents and pendicles.
In the proposed valuation of 1788 the property appears in the
name of Robert Douglas. This portion of the barony was
known as Mount Ulston, extending to 104 acres, and ultimately
in 1845 became the property of Lord Stratheden. The furthest
back laird was William Douglas, to whom succeeded John
Douglas, followed by, in succession, Adam Douglas, Andrew
Douglas, Adam Douglas, Robert Douglas, Adam Douglas,
Robert Douglas, William Fair, James Henderson,* James
Hunter, Margaret Hunter, John Marshall, Henry Black, Honble.
William Frederick Campbell.

This does not make it clear if the lands passed from father to son.

Thanks William. Nothing like plenty of generational Adams and Roberts to keep things nice and complicated for a researcher!

Hopefully someone will eventually reply with info from those NRS records.



I have added a bit more:  

It gives a bit of context to the generational descendancy - but not a lot


The Land Tax Rolls of 1803 and 1811 have one Adam Douglas as holding 2 portions at Ulston (valued at 40 pounds each). No mention of a Robert having a taxable holding at that time.

The above Adam, Portioner in Ulston, died c1811 (possibly at Tweedmouth, Northumberland) [suggested by 1811 record in NRS Catalogue); his death not found. Adam's wife, Isobel Hope, died on 10 Mar 1822 at Berwick, Northumberland [per Caledonian Mercury, 23-3-1822].

What is unclear is who succeeded to Adam's two Portions in Ulston. Commonly it would be his eldest son (Robert b1773).

The 1818 Settlement of Adam's brother Robert, describes that Robert as "Portioner in Ulston", so it seems brother Robert had by then acquired a "Portion" in Ulston, either from Adam or from a third party. Brother Robert's 1818 Settlement indicates he and Adam had previously exchanged some holdings, but the holdings acquired by Robert under that exchange are described in that 1818 Settlement as cot-houses, yards etc, they don't appear to be a "Portion".

I suppose it's possible that a Settlement (presumably by Adam & Robert's father) by which Adam acquired his Portions in Ulston may have contained a provision that on Adam's death, one or both Portions pass to brother Robert.

What I can glean from Robert's 1818 Settlement, is that he isn't the Robert Douglas who married Isabel Taylor, because that couple didn't have a "second son John" (at least according to the births indexed in ScotPeople & FamSearch). Further, the 1779 Marriage Record in Leith South for Robert & Isabel Taylor describes the groom as "Farmer in Ulston", and the 1780 Bap Record for their first son Robert describes the father as "Tenant in Ulston" - not as "Portioner", the proprietor of the land.

With Adams and Roberts appearing from some generations back, it's quite possible there are multiple "cousin" families still floating about Jedburgh, all containing Adams & Roberts as brothers.


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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