The Douglas Archives

A collection of historical and genalogical records

This morning, I received a message from someone in Mexico, who was telling me about a fountain in Nacozari, Sonora, where he lives. This town was apparently founded by James Douglas in the late XIX Century. In the early 1920s, his son, James S. Douglas built a fountain as a monument in honour of his father. This fountain still stands today in the plaza in front of the Town Hall. It is a replica of a fountain in Dijon, Paris. James S. Douglas went to Paris in 1919 and brought with him the architect all the way from France to Nacozari to build the monument.

James Stuart Douglas (1837-1918) was born in Quebec City, son of Scottish-born father, Dr. James Douglas. The family already feature in the Douglas Archives, but I was keen to find out more. New, fuller biographies will feature soon, and further genealogy details will be added as my research into this family continues.

One of my new discoveries is a curious link to Diana, Princess of Wales, and to Princess Margaret (the Queen's sister), although I was already aware of that, and to President Roosevelt.

Lady Diana Spencer, as she was, was the daughter of Edward, 8th Earl Spencer, by his wife Frances Roche, daughter of 4th Baron Fermoy. One of 5 children, they were all deeply unhappy when their father re-married to Raine McCorquodale, whom they nick-named 'Acid Raine'.

Raine McCorquodale was born as the only child of novelist Dame Barbara Cartland and her first husband, Alexander McCorquodale, an Army officer who was heir to a printing fortune.

Her first marriage, in 1947, was to the Hon. Gerald Humphry Legge, who succeeded to the courtesy title Viscount Lewisham and later became the 9th Earl of Dartmouth. They had four children.

Raine, Countess of Dartmouth, married secondly, at Caxton Hall, London, England, on 14 July, 1976, Edward Spencer, 8th Earl Spencer. Deeply unpopular with her stepchildren, who included the late Diana, Princess of Wales, she was ridiculed by them and other family members and her time at Althorp, the Spencer family seat, — a period that saw the ancestral house operatically redecorated and numerous treasures sold — described as the "Raine of Terror". The Earl died in 1992, upon which event Diana and her brother allegedly put Raine's clothes into black rubbish bags and kicked them down the stairs, refusing to let her remove any furniture from the ancestral home without providing proof of purchase.

Raine married thirdly, in 1993, Count Jean-François Pineton de Chambrun, a descendant of the Marquis de La Fayette and a member of a prominent French family related to the presidential Roosevelts, after a courtship of 33 days. A younger son of Jean-Pierre Pineton de Chambrun, marquis de Chambrun (a deaf biochemist-artist) and a great-grandson of Ohio heiress Maria Longworth Storer Nichols (the founder of Rookwood Pottery), he was previously married to Josalee Douglas, an American debutante, a first cousin of the late Princess Margaret's intimate friend Sharman Douglas.

Josalee Douglas, daughter of James Douglas, was the great-grand-daughter of James Stuart Douglas, as is Sharman (1929-1996), daughter of Lewis Williams Douglas, one-time American ambassador in London.

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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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