The Douglas Archives

A collection of historical and genalogical records

Samuel Douglas, Windsor Castle Plantation, Jamaica

A recent discovery of family papers indicate a connection with Samuel Douglas of Windsor Castle Plantation Jamaica. I have a transcript of his will from which I can determine his immediate brothers and sisters and the negro slaves who were loyal to him and who were also beneficiaries. We understand he had immediate connections with Castle Douglas, Scotland and established the Douglas schools thee. Can anyone lead me to more information about this ancestor?. Thanks, Matthew Price

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Comment by Bob Henry on March 13, 2011 at 18:36

My information is that Susannah was the daughter of Nathaniel Heron and Elizabeth Douglas, Elizabeth being the sister of John Douglas, father of Sir William Douglas. The parents of Elizabeth and John were William Douglas and Grissel M'Keand. Susannah was born 7/11/1747 in Penninghame and died Wigtown 19/2/1834, in her 87th year.

William: This may be an opportune moment to enquire if there is any 'mechanism' within your website for Matthew and I to privately exchange email addresses, per our recent postings? 


Comment by Bob Henry on March 13, 2011 at 17:25


Thanks for this-some new names to ponder over. Very ineresting to learn that Samuel was born in Penninghame parish as I was of the impression his birth was in 'Craignine', Kirkmabreck'. This now suggests he may have been the eldest and born in 'Eldrick', Penninghame parish.

Many thanks meantime.


Comment by William Douglas on March 13, 2011 at 17:09


1st Cousins William, Samuel and George were brothers. There was a 4th brother, James. Mrs Margaret McKaffy (McHaffie) was their sister. I am unable to place 'first cousin Susannah Heron'.
Samuel Douglas was a partner in the firm of Douglas & Shaw, merchants of No1 America Square, Minories, London.


Comment by Matthew Price on March 13, 2011 at 0:12


Pleased to exchange copies of wills if there is a means of doing so.Thank you for all this detail today. my copy will identifies family and other beneficiaries in order as follows:

Brother William of County of Galloway; brother Nathaniel of County of Galloway; sister Merriam Murphy of County of Galloway; sister Susannah Douglas of County of Galloway; sister Jean Young (appears to be married to William Young). Other beneficiaries are; Deborah Anderson (widow of Captain George Anderson) residing in Georgia North America ; Polly daughter of Deborah Anderson and married to John Wallace a merchant of Georgia; first cousin William Douglas of Castle Douglas county of Galloway; first cousin Samuel Douglas merchant of city of London; Betsy - daughter of first cousin Samuel Douglas by his late wife (unnamed); first cousin Mrs Margaret McKaffy (county of Galloway); first cousin Susannah Heron  (county of Galloway); first cousin George Douglas (merchant, city of New York); friend John Rainer late captain of the ship London; friend George Franklyn (city of London); friend James Thomson (town of Kingston); Thomas Tucker (late clerk to SD of Spanish Town); friend John Mundock (surveyor); friend Alexander Forbes (physician); friend William Higginson; cousins Samuel & Hugh McClymonts (each of Girvon merchants); negro woman Francis; negro man slave Tony. Will mentions parish of Kirkmabuck as place of 'nativity' of his parents and parish of Penningham as his own place of nativity. Will makes reference to 'money lying at interest in hands of Messieurs Douglas and Shaw of London merchants...'; Executors in W indies were George Harrison & John Hart, Walter Pollock, Colonel John Douglas(of one of the bahamas islands); executors in Great Britain were first cousins William Douglas and his younger brother Samuel Douglas + Samuel MCClymont & Hugh McClymont

Comment by Bob Henry on March 12, 2011 at 22:38


On looking at 'our' Douglas ancestry, and their spouses, I thought I would offer you a snapshot of my understanding of the line starting with:-

Gilbert Douglas who married Margaret Milroy. I have no birth or death dates, yet, but Gilbert had tenancy of the farm, 'Glenrassie', in Penninghame parish, Wigtownshire, in the years 1679 to 1711. He is recorded as having fought at the battle of Bothwell Bridge and to have "suffered great losses following defeat". Their son:-

Peter Douglas married Margaret Ferguson. Again no dates other than Peter was born not later than 1672 and is found in 'Elrick' or 'Eldrick' farm, Penninghame parish, in the years 1700 and 1704. Their son:-

Nathaniel Douglas married Margaret Heron, 13/6/1727 in Penninghame. He had tenancy of the farm 'Craignine', in Kirkmabreck parish, and had three brothers and two sisters. He was born 18/4/1703, died 4/4/1776. Marg. born 2/9/1704, died, 1772. They had four daughters:- Mary b. 13/5/1737-9, d. 1771. Susanah(various spellings) m. John Douglas b. 19/6/1719, m. 8/10/1754 in Minnigaff. Jean b. abt.1750, d. 21/4/1841, m. William Young. Merriam m. Mr.Murphy. In addition to daughters, they had three sons:- Samuel (Jamaica), d. 9/1/1799 (as we know). Nathanial, d. 12/2/1804, at the farm of 'Bents', in Kirkmabreck. William b. abt 1741, d. 2/9/1814 in 'Little Park', Kirkmabreck, m. Margaret Hunter followed by Margaret Campbell.

So there we are, the Douglas line, according to my findings. You will also note the prevalence of the name, Margaret, throughout the generations!

Now, what intrigues me is the version of the will you have, how it fits with my version and if it gives any information which may expand on the above or fill any gaps? It appears that it may be a larger document and it may afford some clues to many of the 'dead-ends' lying in my files. Also, can you kindly confirm that the names of Samuel's siblings concur. 

I am uncertain how we may be able to exchange information direct between ourselves, e.g. exchanging copies of Samuel's will- given the size- via the Douglas Archives or even if this is possible but perhaps if our moderator, William, reads this he may be able to advise on a course of action always assuming, of course, that you would be willing to agree. Any thoughts?







Comment by Matthew Price on March 10, 2011 at 0:39


You are head and shoulders in front of me with this! Only one further comment to make - intersting that Barbara had sister and mother named Margaret - she also had a daughter born 1849 by Frederick McGregor who was Margaret Douglas McGregor. This lady married Matthew Price a mariner and they were my great grandparents.


Comment by Bob Henry on March 9, 2011 at 20:39


I thought I would share with you my understanding on what I have found just recently, particularly re. Barbara, all per Scotland's People.

Father:  Robert Highet, baker in Ayr.

Mother: Margaret Douglas, m. 24.6.1808, d. childbed 18.5.1822 aged 39, Ayr.

Family:  Campbell Douglas, b. 24.3.1809

             Jane, b.4.6.1810

             Margaret, b. 7.8.1811, d. 25.3.1836, Tarbolton (Ayrshire).

             Mary McKenzie, b. 9.11.1812

             Margaret McKenzie, b. 22.2.1814

             Robina McKenzie, b. 30.6.1815

             Matilda McKenzie, b. 17.12.1816

             Barbara Campbell, b. 13.4.1818

All children born Ayr. Don't know about your query on religion, possibly just went to bed early, being a baker!

At this moment, I believe Margaret Douglas, b. 8.4.1782, in Little Park, was the first of two daughters of Margaret Hunter, first wife of William Douglas (see my previous), brother of Samuel. This would make her a niece of Samuel and Barbara a grand niece, per your previous. Unfortunately, I have not researched Margaret Hunter but her second daughter to William was Mary, b. 21.10.1784, in Craignine (see my previous re. Craignine). More on this later.

You will also see in my previous, the repeat use of christian names, so I believe we are on the right track with the exception of Robert's children all being born in Ayr, rather than England - although I am srtuggling a little to fully understand why the name Campbell is so often repeated, given this was the m.s. of their father's second wife i.e. their stepmother, unless out of respect. Then there is Major Campbell, who is an interesting arrival for me and the jottings of Aunt Jane to intrigue me, although I have an idea who she may be, which I will follow-up.

My mind is beginning to buckle a little now, so will close for the moment in the hope all this makes sense to you!! Please let me know.





Comment by Matthew Price on March 9, 2011 at 0:12


The very crude hand written (and quite possibly inaccurate!) family tree I have been given that was drawn up I'm not sure when in 20th century suggests that Barbara Campbell Highet was "born before 1832 and may have been born in Stockton or Sedgefield in the counties of Durham and York". Further it suggests she had a male child in 1849. It seems she married Frederick McGregor a brass founder/moulder. Their son was Douglas McGregor. Her husband Frederick is noted as being "born before 1829 probably in Stockton." Barbara Campbell Highet's father may have been called Robert and it was him that moved the family to Scotland for relgious reasons and it was him who became a Burgess in the town of Ayr. Robert Highet apparently had 7 daughters of whom Barbara was one - does this all imply he was catholic?

Furthermore it appears that Barbara Campbell Highet may well have had an uncle who was "Major D Campbell 92 0r 3rd Highlanders. He was wounded at Waterloo- he was on Duke of Wellingtons staff. There was a photo taken of him from the large painting in London of the Duke and his staff..." (extract from the letter I mentioned dated 1929).


As far as the type written transcript of Samuel Douglas' will is concerned it is headed up " Island Record Office Jamaica. Wills Liber 65 Folio 165. 10 shillings" It was dated 10 May 1799. My transcript does not incude the chapter references or page numbers you refer to but I can quite see from the format that it was written in chapters. The transcript also records a note written on the margin of the original from which the transcript was copied as follows: " Note: my grandmother Margaret Campbell was the niece of Samuel Douglas founder of the school." It then says that this note was added by Aunt Jane. Does this make Margaret mother of Barbara and Jane one of the other 7 daughters?


I'm very grateful for all your expertise in tracing through these matters - if you think I can help further do let me know.




Comment by Bob Henry on March 8, 2011 at 22:07

Matthew- I am starting to make an inroad towards a firm link between Barbara Campbell Highet and Samuel Douglas but I am a bit taken aback, to say the least, by the number of Highets I am finding in Ayrshire, around her time!!

I meant to ask which copy of  Samuel's will you have as I believe there may have been more than one produced.  For example, the will in my possession is a typewritten document from the Island Record Office, Jamaica. This commences on page 25; "Chapter 3 The Douglas", then proceeds with a "Summary" extending to page 40.  I wonder if your document is the same?


Comment by Bob Henry on March 7, 2011 at 22:51

Matthew - Sorry about the delay.

Samuel mentions his brother, William, in the will whose second wife was Margaret Campbell. They had 4 daughters and 3 sons, one of which, Nathaniel, was a bit of a 'black sheep' and who had his legacies revoked at the end of the will. On the death of William, who farmed 'Little Park', Kirkmabreck, Margaret moved to Ayr where she died 28 Feb.,1823, aged 61. One of her daughters, Matilda, married James Tait, a farmer in nearby Wigtown, where they raised a family. They later moved to Ayrshire and presumably Margaret moved there to be with or near them, following the death of husband, William, in Little Park, on 2 Sept., 1814, aged 73.

The 1841 Wigtown census records James and Matilda with 4 children, Margaret, James, Campbell and Matilda, who probably subsequently all moved to Ayrshire.

The death cert. of Matilda, snr., records her parents and that she died 28 March, 1877, aged 88, at 18 Elba Street, St. Quivox, which is near the town of Ayr. The informant on the cert. is given as James MacWilliam, grandson, 20 Royal Terrace, Glasgow.

I have not researched the family further but I am fairly confident there is every chance that the name, Campbell, may be the link you seek, given that you now have the family papers and will.

Incidentally, the 2 other sons of William and Margaret, William and Campbell, appear to have been merchants/grocers in Charleston, S.C., at the time of their uncle, Samuel, who was the founder of the Douglas Academy in Newton Stewart.  Also, there is reference to a Samuel Douglas becoming a burgher in Ayr but I have been unable to pin him down to 'our' Samuel.

Hoping the above is of interest but please let me know if you discover any additional information or if I can assist further.          Bob.


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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