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Here's some of what I have on the Cockpen Duglass/Douglas people. At William's suggestion I'm putting this in a 'discussion' as there may be pieces that people want to follow up - I've seen several posts exploring this line.

William Duglass and Janet Witherspoon had ten recorded children born between
1695 and 1713. I have the baptism records for several, which show the parents in Dalhousie, in Cockpen parish, with the baptisms mostly recorded in Cockpen, one in Lasswade. Witnesses to baptisms, where I've seen the full record, include a John Witherspoon and one includes a William Duglass, one a George Duglass. In the Cockpen Kirk Session minutes for the 1690s and 1700s, William Duglass is the name of a Session elder, and from 1702 John Witherspoon is also named a session elder. There are various other Douglas and Witherspoon people about, including Margaret Duglass who married William Keddie and had several children - born in Dalhousie, and with baptism witnesses generally including William Duglass and John Witherspoon, two baptisms being in Cockpen, one at Newbattle and the earliest in Carrington.

My speculation is that the witness William Duglass is either father or uncle of both William (married to Janet Witherspoon) and Margaret (married to William Keddie) - possibly more likely an uncle of William, as the name 'William' occurs quite far down William and Janet's children, though there could be other reasons for that. (Sorry about the plethora of Williams in that sentence!) There is a George Duglass in Wester Melwill (Wester Melville in Lasswade) who appears also as a witness in at least one other Cockpen record (a child of John Thomson) and who may be a brother, uncle or cousin of the William marrying Janet W.

Of William and Janet's children, one, James born in 1697, became a tailor in Dalhousie and married May (or Mary) Marjorie Lindsay: my current thinking is that I'm descended from their son Robert (b 1736, Cockpen).

I know that there has been a suggestion that William's father was another William (presumably in that case the session elder) but haven't seen anything to make this more than a speculation.

Thoughts, queries, speculations, additions? I'll quickly add that I've only skimmed part of the Cockpen Kirk Session minutes, having only a short time at NAS in Edinburgh last time I was there. Would love to spend much longer with these.
I'll post some details of the births, from OPR, later.


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Isabel wife of john Knox died November 1664 but more than that I have yet to discover.

I am looking for any mention of two Douglas Xgrandmothers in this area. Sorry I do not have any other information except their names appearing on their childrens' birth certificates.

OPR for Cockpen, Ref 676/1 

  1. Ann lawful Daughter to John Reid and Jean Douglas his spouse was born at

Dalhousie the 13th and baptised the 19th of March 1775 in presence of the


AND Agnes Douglas married Joseph Torrance b1736 in Borthwick and their son Richard was born 1771 Dalhousie. OPR for Cockpen, Ref 676/1
1771. Richard lawful son to Joseph Torrance and Agnes Douglas his spouse was born at
Dalhousie the 21st and baptised the 28th of April 1771 in the face of the congregation.
I assume his father Joseph was the witness for the birth of Richard’s son George in 1793, but it
may have been a brother of Richard’s with the same name.
There is no sign of Joseph Torrance and Agnes Douglas’ marriage but their first child,
Margaret, was born in 1757 in Borthwick. Joseph Torrance’s parents were probably William Torrance and Margaret Brakenridge. OPR for Borthwick, Ref 674/1
1736. Febry 20. Joseph natural son to William Torrance and Margaret Brakenridge was
baptised. Witnesses John Laing and William Brunton.

So I speculate that these Douglas women were connected.  We cannot find marriage or birth certificates for them. Other connecting names:Mc Laren, Wilson, Ferguson

If anyone comes across these connections please get back to me.


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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