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John Douglas, Provost Marshall General of Grenada

A tale of two Johns.

In 'The House of Commons 1790-1820' By Roland G. Thorne, History of Parliament Trust (Great Britain) an assumption is made that it was John Douglas of Grantham, an MP, who became Provost Marshall of Grenada in 1836, and died there in 1838.

However, following an enquiry drawing my attention to evidence on a gravestone in Kelton graveyard, I am now convinced that Thorne got it wrong.

The MP was an interesting character. He was gambling man, and fled to Sweden to escape his creditors. He was a descendant of Alexander Douglas of Reath - one of our mystery men, who is discussed elsewhere here.

The Provost Marshall General is another mystery man - we don't know his ancestry either. This john Douglas was Acting Clerk of Council, Acting Provost Marshall General and appointed Provost Marshall General of Grenada on 3rd April 1835. But we don't know what qualifications he had to get there.  It seems his grandfather, John,  was a labourer and his father, Robert, an inn keeper in Castle Douglas.

If you know more about either families, please get in touch.


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Comment by William Douglas on August 29, 2011 at 21:26
Sadly there were no locations attached to this list of family members.
Comment by julia kilfoyle on August 29, 2011 at 17:17

This is great, I really appreciate it. Thank you very much. The dates certainly fit, and there are a couple of names who are also mentioned in his will. Were this family also from Kelton?


Comment by William Douglas on August 28, 2011 at 16:45

Have just found this:

Father:    John Douglas, Sr.
Birth/Chris:     ... 1745 at ...
Death/Burial:    ... 1820 at ...
Mother:    Dorothy Barwise
Birth/Chris:     ... 1745 at ...
Death/Burial:    ... 1822 at ...
Married:    ... 1761/1792 at ...


1. Douglas, Annabella - Birth/Chris: ... 1764/1792 at ...
2. Douglas, Isobel - Birth/Chris: ... 1764/1792 at ...
3. Douglas, Robert - Birth/Chris: ... 1773 at ...
4. Douglas, John, Jr. - Birth/Chris: ... 1774 at ...
5. Douglas, Daniel - Birth/Chris: ... 1776 at ...
6. Douglas, James - Birth/Chris: ... 1779 at ...
7. Douglas, William - Birth/Chris: ... 1784 at ...
8. Douglas, Grace - Birth/Chris: ... 1786 at ...
9. Douglas, Alexander - Birth/Chris: ... 1789 at ..


Robert at No3 could be the father of your John.

Comment by julia kilfoyle on August 28, 2011 at 11:32

Thank you- I'm researching John son of Robert, and you've provided details of his career that I didn't know. Robert was married to Marion McClune, and in addition to John, they had the following children: Margaret (b1797-d1865), Jean (b1799-1873), James (b1803-d1832), William (b1806-d1863), Marion (b1810), Isobella (1812) and Walter (b1815 -d1853 . The children were all baptised at Kelton. John married Ellen Hardey. William was an iron merchant and spent time in Belfast, but was living in Largs when he died.

Robert had a brother, described in his will as the Reverend James Douglas of Castle Douglas, I've not been able to discover any thing else about him, or their father John, although as they are both mentioned in Roberts will, it would appear that they died after Roberts death in 1830.

I'd love to know more about their ancestry.

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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