The Douglas Archives

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Cockpen Douglas and potential links to Edinburgh

William

My apologies at having to sign in again but I was having difficulty with the old e mail address.

You will probably recall some time ago, a debate about the Douglas footprint in Cockpen and adjacent parishes,

My personal interest in this is in Newbattle but having returned to the subject recently I think that I may have some information  which may be of more general interest. From that comes some issues with the research I was doing in Newbattle/Cockpen.

First the general bit which concerns an Alexander Douglas, a writer married to a Magdalene Murry in Edinburgh. By writer of course I mean a member of the legal profession albeit he does not seem to have been admitted as a Writer to the Signet or W S - all the reference on the births records have him just down as Writer.

There is of course another Alexander Douglas W S in the generation before who married a Pringle but as far as I can see they did not have a son called Alexander so possibly the same extended family but not direct.

So The Douglas Murray marriage had issue as follows

Alxr Douglas
Magdalen Murray
Margaret 1665 Edinburgh
Anna 1668 Edinburgh
James 1670 Edinburgh
David 1672 Edinburgh
Jean 1674 Edinburgh
Thomas 1675 Edinburgh
Emelia 1677 Edinburgh
Patrik 1681 Edinburgh
Mary 1685 Edinburgh

I do have more notes re the witnesses etc but to keep things brief I just wanted to confirm that regarding the birth of Mary a Sylvester Douglas (also a writer) was a witness at the baptism, This may be the Sylvester who is down in the Douglas archives connected to Glenbervie and descending from Bishop Robert, Query is that  credible

If so query what is the relationship between him and Alexander - if any.

Moving on, and if you bear with me, and I think this has some relevance to Newbattle/Cockpen, there are a number of other families living in Edinburgh at the same time who were all members of the legal fraternity and clearly linked by marriage. You can certainly see them all acting as witnesses in the births of their respective children

The first is a Lawrence Oliphant who married a Catherine Murry - I suspect a sister to Alexanders wife.

This Lawrence was. according to the WS archive the son of Lawrence Oliphant of Orcharmilne but is almost certainly linked to the Oliphants of Gask - because someone of that name appears in one of the birth records. in fact for the first born son William 

Lawrence was clearly connected in the legal establishment - and part of that may be down to the influence of another brother in law ?- of which more below.

This Oliphant\Murray marriage had issue as below and I suspect further children through a separate  marriage to Mary Hepburn (of Blackcastle).

Lawrence Oliphant
Catherine Murray
William 1668 Edinburgh
Anna 1670 Edinburgh
Lawrence 1673 Edinburgh
Thomas 1675 Edinburgh
Barbera 1677 Edinburgh
Catherine 1678 Edinburgh
Lawrence Oliphant
Mary Hepburn
Robert 1682 Edinburgh
Esther 1683 Edinburgh
Mary 1684 Edinburgh
Margaret 1687 Edinburgh

As noted above there is also another family linked to the above where the same first names keep on cropping up. 

This is the marriage of Thomas Murray and Barbara Hepburn, I strongly suspect but not yet ;proven that this Thomas was the brother of the two Murray wives noted above and in all probability with connection to Lawrence Oliphants second wife - particularly as a Hepburn of Blackcastle appears as a witness at births consistently.

And for general background this Thomas was descended from the Murrays of Woodend who were in turn a cadet branch of the senior Murray line of Athol. Thomas was in fact the second cousin of Elizabeth Murray  Countess of Dysart who firstly married a Tollemache and subsequently the Duke of Lauderdale . He was later raised to the bench as Thomas Murray, Baron of Glendoick but at the start he was just plain Thomas Murray advocate.

So a fair bit of high politics and influence there but I put it in to flesh out the picture because of the 

connection to what I will call the Murray sisters, including the Douglas marriage, and because Thomas of Glendoick had issue as follows - note some similar names

 

Thomas Murray
Barbara Hepburn
Thomas 1672 Edinburgh
Elizabeth 1674 Edinburgh
Amelia 1676 Edinburgh
John 1677 Edinburgh
William  1678 Edinburgh
Elizabeth 1679 Edinburgh
Patrick 1680 Edinburgh
Anthonie 1681 Edinburgh

So for context what we appear to have here are three families lined professionally and I suspect socially.

and from a wider Douglas perspective to what extent does this link back to Glenbervie.  

So moving on to my personal issue in 1688 in Newbattle we find a William Oliphant being admitted as an elder to the Kirk and in the same year he appears as a witness at the baptism of  Lawrence, son to John Douglas and Issobell Hardie 

This William Oliphant married a Scott and had issue as follows. 

William Oliphant
Chrystine Scott
Marion 1677 Edinburgh
Agnes 1682 Newbattle
Lawrence 1687 Newbattle
Magdalen 1689 Newbattle

 

Even on this I would be tempted to call a connection with the Oliphamt family in Edinburgh but the Lawrence Oliphant WS referred to above appears as a witness at the baptisms of Williams children both in Edinburgh and Newbattle. So that is baked in as they say

So this William in turn was also at least known to John Douglas in Newbattle - whatever the connection actually was.. 

Which in turn brings me to the issue of John Douglas and Issobell Hardie which is where the research started.

At the time I was frankly puzzled by the fact that the childrens names sounded rather grand and a bit out of tune with what you might expect in a rural parish in Midlothian. I did try and find some local connections but none of them carried conviction - given how important the Scottish naming tradition was.    

What I found interesting subsequently is that the names Amelia. Lawrence and Anna keep on cropping up in Edinburgh in the Douglas/Murray/Oliphant network but particularly in the Douglas Murray marriage. Even Robert Thomas and Elizabeth as well but these are not that unusual. The only name I could not find is Henreta

John Douglas
Isobell Hardie
Robert 1675 Newbattle
Henreta 1676 Newbattle
Amelia 1678 Newbattle
Janet 1681 Newbattle
Elizabeth 1685 Newbattle
Lawrence 1688 Newbattle
Anna 1691 Newbattle
George 1694 Newbattle
Thomas 1697 Newbattle

So to, eventually, to cut to the chase do you think there is any possibility that my John Douglas could be connected in some way to Alexander Douglas in Edinburgh. It would certainly be a departure from trying to establish a connection to the Douglas/Witherspoon marriage in the adjacent parish of Cockpen.  

Incidentally I did also find a Lawrence Douglas Married to an Elizabeth Carfrae in Dalkeith a generation later. He was a schoolmaster  so maybe that is a later connection from the Lawrence above.

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Comment by James Izatt on June 7, 2021 at 21:14

William

I was having a brief look at some SRO documents and came across this one GD40/31/570 which I think also appears in the Douglas archives. Dated 1679

Contract for tack by Robert Earl of Lothian to John Douglas portioner in Newbattle as Tutor to William Douglas portioner of Ulstoune of the teinds and husbandlands of Ulstoune

The context and an earlier precept in 1677 suggests that this William was heir to his grandfather

and in the same year there is a precept from Robert Earl of Lothian in favour of Adam Douglas portioner in  Ulstoune as nearest lawful heir of his father John Douglas

So query do you think that this could have any connection to the John Douglas I have been researching. having checked again I cannot find any other John Douglas with a footprint in Newbattle at the time.   My understanding of these situations is that a tutor or guardian would be a family member or some close connection  so maybe this is a pointer back to Jedburgh 

Comment by James Izatt on June 7, 2021 at 21:14

William

I was having a brief look at some SRO documents and came across this one GD40/31/570 which I think also appears in the Douglas archives. Dated 1679

Contract for tack by Robert Earl of Lothian to John Douglas portioner in Newbattle as Tutor to William Douglas portioner of Ulstoune of the teinds and husbandlands of Ulstoune

The context and an earlier precept in 1677 suggests that this William was heir to his grandfather

and in the same year there is a precept from Robert Earl of Lothian in favour of Adam Douglas portioner in  Ulstoune as nearest lawful heir of his father John Douglas

So query do you think that this could have any connection to the John Douglas I have been researching. having checked again I cannot find any other John Douglas with a footprint in Newbattle at the time.   My understanding of these situations is that a tutor or guardian would be a family member or some close connection  so maybe this is a pointer back to Jedburgh 

Comment by James Izatt on May 6, 2021 at 22:17

William

Thanks for that. And yes quite a lot of fraught debate based on DNA evidence. It seems that they have settled the Stichill claim but where that leaves the people who have been cut out! 

Anyway I hope that the information re Richard D adds something useful - I think the 'son' below re Pringle should probably be nephew of some kind by the way. 

 

Comment by William Douglas on May 6, 2021 at 19:23

Very useful research, James.  Thank you.

It is worth noting that there are rival claims as to Pringle genealogy.

Whichever I use, there was always someone putting forward an opposing view, not always in a friendly fashion!

Comment by James Izatt on April 24, 2021 at 22:40
Note
Sir George Lockhart Advocate 
Mr Walter Pringle Advocate  Could be son of Alexander D  Married Pringle in previous Generation
Mr John Eliot Ynr Advocate 
Henry Wallace ? Advocate 
Robert Bennet Advocate  Assoc Thomas Douglas
James Allan Writer
Chas Oliphant Writer
George Lawson Merchant
Mr Walter Pringle Advocate Could be son of Alexander D Married Pringle in previous Generation
Mr William Murray Advocate
Mr John Eliot Advocate
Mr Hugh Wallace Advocate
Sir William Benett
Thomas Douglas Merchant Of Cavers?
Mr William Murray Advocate
Mr David Dunmuir Advocate
Mr Walter Pringle Advocate Could be son of Alexander D Married Pringle in previous Generation
Mr Robert Benett Advocate  Assoc Thomas Douglas
David Dunmuir Advocate
Mr Walter Pringle Advocate Could be son of Alexander D Married Pringle in previous Generation
James Allan WS
George Lawson Merchant
Thomas Douglas Late Baillie Of Cavers?
Harie Douglas  Writer Association Alexander D and Magdalen Murray
David Dunmuir Advocate
James Allan WS
George Lawson Merchant
David Dunmuir Advocate
Mr Robert Benett Advocate  Assoc Thomas Douglas
James Allan of Dewar WS
John Campbell of Succoth WS
George Lawson Merchant
Henry Douglas WS? Prob Harie Douglas
Sir Archibald Murray of Blackbarony
Sir Hugh Paterson of B?
Henry Douglas  Writer Prob Harie Douglas
Comment by James Izatt on April 24, 2021 at 22:38

William

One additional thing concerning another Douglas/Murray Marriage, and in fact a Douglas/Douglas marriage because a Richard Douglas Advocate in Edinburgh appears to be married twice and had issue

This may help to inform some of the issues which arose in connection with Thomas Douglas former Baillie in Edinburgh because this Richard, if Indeed he is a cousin would be connected to Douglas of Cavers but also Garvald and Whittighame.

There is no clear connection with the other research I have done apart from the fact that Henry/Harie Douglas appears as a witness of some of the children and it is possible that Agnes Murray his first wife was connected to the Murrays of Blackbarony.

 So if it is of any use this is a record the births - note Thomas Douglas Late Baillie appears at least once, 

Richard Douglas Agnes  Murray Margaret 1673 Edinburgh Sir George Lockhart Advocate 
Mr Walter Pringle Advocate  Could be son of Alexander D  Married Pringle in previous Generation
Mr John Eliot Ynr Advocate 
Henry Wallace ? Advocate 
Robert Bennet Advocate  Assoc Thomas Douglas
Richard Douglas Agnes  Murray Anna 1675 Edinburgh James Allan Writer
Chas Oliphant Writer
George Lawson Merchant
Richard Douglas Agnes  Murray Helene 1676 Edinburgh Mr Walter Pringle Advocate Could be son of Alexander D Married Pringle in previous Generation
Mr William Murray Advocate
Mr John Eliot Advocate
Mr Hugh Wallace Advocate
Richard Douglas Agnes  Murray Archibald 1677 Edinburgh Sir William Benett
Thomas Douglas Merchant Of Cavers?
Mr William Murray Advocate
Mr David Dunmuir Advocate
Mr Walter Pringle Advocate Could be son of Alexander D Married Pringle in previous Generation
Mr Robert Benett Advocate  Assoc Thomas Douglas
Richard  Douglas Elizabeth Douglas John 1680 Edinburgh David Dunmuir Advocate
Mr Walter Pringle Advocate Could be son of Alexander D Married Pringle in previous Generation
James Allan WS
George Lawson Merchant
Richard  Douglas Elizabeth Douglas Elizabeth 1682 Edinburgh Thomas Douglas Late Baillie Of Cavers?
Harie Douglas  Writer Association Alexander D and Magdalen Murray
David Dunmuir Advocate
James Allan WS
George Lawson Merchant
Richard  Douglas Elizabeth Douglas Mary 1686 Edinburgh David Dunmuir Advocate
Mr Robert Benett Advocate  Assoc Thomas Douglas
James Allan of Dewar WS
John Campbell of Succoth WS
George Lawson Merchant
Henry Douglas WS? Prob Harie Douglas
Richard  Douglas Elizabeth Douglas Joanett 1690 Edinburgh Sir Archibald Murray of Blackbarony
Sir Hugh Paterson of B?
Henry Douglas  Writer Prob Harie Douglas

 

Comment by James Izatt on April 22, 2021 at 11:28

William

 

In the course of chasing up some minor issues – of which more below, I came across a reference to a Pittendreich after noting that there could be some confusion between two -places of that name in Moray and Midlothian.

I seem to have come across another same name place in Fife referred to in a retour for Robert Earl of Morton in 1649 – I think around the Loch Leven area. This land seems to have passed in the late 17th Century to Bruce of Kinross – which I take to be Sir William Bruce the architect. The papers referred to below are held by the SRO in the Bruce of Kinross archive.

The retour refers to Terris de Pittendreich which seems straightforward enough

Then following on from that some legal papers

 

1663

Decree pf poinding by the sheriff at the instance of Alexander Goldman and Anna Douglas against James Scot etc …. Proprietor of the Lands of Pittendreich

 

1667

Disposition and assignation by George Goldman brother of the deceased Alexander Goldman brother in law Anna Douglas his sister in Law of the annual rent contained in GD29/754

 

1670

Disposition and assignation by Anna Douglas to Harry (Harie) Douglas writer in Edinburgh –

 

GD 29/754

A cross reference to GD/1348 relating to a heritable bond by John Hynd to Alexander Goldman (Coldman Golman, Gouldman, Godsman) and Anna Douglas in respect of the Lands of Pittendreich

 

1650 -1684

I have had a look and I cannot find a record of the Goldman/Douglas marriage but they did have a son John born in 1650 in Kirkcaldy. Anna Douglas died in 1684 in Edinburgh

By the way the Goldman name is spelt in a number of ways so I could be missing something but from the look of it he was the son of a Goldman, burgess in Dundee.

 

So to summarise we seem to have property passing to a Harry Douglas writer in Edinburgh who seems to have some role in Collection of Crown rents – including Orkney where the record shows quite a lot of political action involving the Morton family at the time.

In turn, to bring it back to what was my starting point I think this is probably the Harry Douglas wo was witness to the birth of a son James to Alexander Douglas and Magdalene Murray in 1670.

 

That was two years after the birth of a daughter Anna in 1668 who was the second daughter. Yes I know that the naming tradition is not 100% but under the usual rules that would imply some sort of connection on the paternal side. Amelia by contrast is a name normally associated with the Murray family.

 

All straws in the wind of course but I recollect from work done by others on the Cockpen Douglass family that there could have been a Fife connection through the Ramsay family which in turn links to Dalhousie

Comment by James Izatt on April 17, 2021 at 22:30

William 

Thanks for the reply. Not quite sure what to make of the Thomas reference but it appears at the same time as a John Douglas which might be 'my' John Douglas. There could even be something in the Ker archive.

After all you generally find that people in that position had an interest or connection with the main family  

It may be one of these fragments of information which could be useful at some point,

Comment by William Douglas on April 17, 2021 at 20:41

I think that I may have had an email enquiry about Thomas Douglas Chamberlain to the Earl of Lothian  some years ago, but cannot turn it up now.

So, lets call it new information!

Comment by James Izatt on April 16, 2021 at 20:24

William.

I have not managed to find out much more about Magdalen Murray wife of Alexander apart from her burial record in Edinburgh 1708.

My skills are not up to editing it but you can see as relict of Alexander D Writer

It is a bit difficult to read but I think it ,means she was interred in a plot reserved for the Murray family

- maybe in Greyfriars because that is where Thomas of Gledoig is meant to rest, Certainly Edinburgh

One other small point I did come across a reference to a Thomas Douglas Chamberlain to the Earl of Lothian in the parish records around 1650 -1665. I just wondered if that was  new information.

The point of the entry was that he was making a gift of money.  

 

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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