Family Tree

This section is intended as a family history of sorts. Dad wrote a brief monograph entitled "The Stewart Family of Glasgow", based on his researches into our Family Tree.
What follows is a transcript of this monograph, illustrated where possible.

This typed Family Tree was prepared in 1990 and is therefore far from up-to-date as regards the present generations.
I hope to rectify this before long and include assorted extra bods not noted here.

Research on the Stewart family began on the basis of the following information:

George Prince McKean Stewart of Dalbuie was born 2 November 1925 at Bothwell, son of George Stewart and Eileen Eva Atkinson, who were married in Belfast in 1923.
George Stewart Snr was born in Govan on 16 June 1896, his parents being George Stewart in Cambuslang and Annie McKnight who were married in Govan in 1894. According to their marriage certificate, George Stewart III, was son of George Stewart IV and Bethia Campbell who were said to have been married at Houston, Renfrewshire on 2 June 1855.

Civil registration was introduced into Scotland on 1 January 1855. Since that date registers of birth, marriages and deaths have been compiled by district registrars and forwarded each year to the General Register Office in Edinburgh where copies are prepared for district use and indexes made for each category of events - births, deaths, and marriages - covering the whole of Scotland. Scottish Certificates include a great deal of information. As the later history of the Stewart family is well authenticated, our research started by extracting all details from the birth certificate of George Stewart referred to as 'III' above and the following information was taken from it:

George Stewart, born 8 December 1867 at 36 Naburn Street, Glasgow. 
Son of George Stewart, engine driver and Bethia Campbell (maiden surname) who were married on 2 June 1855.

On consulting the index to marriages registered in Scotland in 1855, no entry was found under the names of George Stewart and Bethia Campbell. As birth certificates from 1861 onwards give details of the date and place [of marriage] of the child's parents, searches were now carried out to find the birth certificates of other children born to this couple. The family was a large one and the following were located:

John, born 13 February 1866 at 96 Rottenrow, Glasgow (presumably died young).
James, born 28 October 1869 at West House, Rutherglen.
William, born 31 August 1871 at 64 Mill Street, Rutherglen.
Sarah, born 3 December 1873 at 6 Mill Street, Rutherglen
Peter and John (twins), born 13 May 1876 at West House, Rutherglen
Andrew, born 25 February 1879 at West House, Rutherglen
Janet Boyd, born 28 December 1880 at Flemington Farm, Cambuslang,
Alexander, born 13 July 1884 at Dalton, Cambuslang

According to family information, there was also a younger son named Robert who died circa 1960, whose birth certificate has not yet been found. On some of these certificates it was noted that the date of marriage of George Stewart and Bethia Campbell was given as 2 June 1865, and on re-checking the index, this certificate was located registered in that year:

On 2 June 1865 at Houston, Renfrewshire, after banns according to the Forms of the Church of Scotland - George Stewart, aged 22, of Kilbarchan.
Son of John Stewart, joiner deceased and Janet McKean (maiden surname) deceased
Bethia Campbell (her mark - signed Alexander and Annie T McLaren, witnesses), aged 19, of Houston, Renfrewshire.
Daughter of James Campbell, agricultural labourer and Sarah Thomson (maiden surname).
Witnesses - Andrew Forrest and Jane Pearson

It was now necessary to find out in which parish George Stewart was born - information which could be obtained from the census returns. Decennial censuses were instituted in Scotland at the same time as in England - in 1801 - but the returns made between 1801 and 1831 were in most districts only numerical. The first census which named the whole population was taken in 1841. The details shown in that enumeration were rather limited, giving ages of adults within 5 years and indicating whether or not persons were born in the county in which they were living at the time, but omitting the name of the parish of birth. This information was given in censuses taken from 1851 onwards as well as precise ages and relationships of everyone in a household to the head of that house. At the time of the birth of Janet Boyd Stewart in December 1880, the family were living at Flemington Farm, Cambuslang and the schedules covering this district were now consulted.

Flemington Farm Houses, Cambuslang, Lanarkshire.
George Stewart, head of house, aged 37
tractor engine driver. born Glasgow
Bethia Stewart his wife, aged 33
born Airdrie
George Stewart his son, aged 14
farm servant, born Glasgow
James Stewart his son, aged 12
scholar, born Rutherglen
Sarah Stewart his daughter, aged 6
scholar, born Rutherglen
John Stewart his son, aged 4
born Rutherglen
Andrew Stewart his son, aged 2
born Rutherglen
Janet Stewart his daughter, aged 3months
born Rutherglen

It is an interesting commentary on housing conditions of this day that according to the enumerator the family were living in accommodation comprising one room with a window. Ten years earlier, the family were in Rutherglen:

64 Mill Street, Rutherglen.
George Steuart (sic), head of house, aged 28
engineman, portable thrashing mill, born Glasgow
Bethia Steuart his wife, aged 25
born Glasgow
George Steuart his son, aged 3
born Glasgow
James Steuart his son, aged 1
born Rutherglen

Their housing conditions at this time were better as their accommodation consisted of 3 rooms with windows.

Before the introduction of statutory registration in 1855, births and marriages - or baptisms and proclamations, which were the events more commonly recorded by the Church - were entered in the registers of each parish by the session clerk. These registers were - in the main - concerned with members of the Established Church of Scotland though sometimes non-conformists did register their marriages and the baptisms of their children in these records. Registration was not compulsory and for this reason, as well as on account of the large numbers of families who were not adherents of the Established Church, the Old Parish Registers are very incomplete.

For the purpose of keeping records of marriages and births, Glasgow was divided into four parishes - Glasgow, Govan, Gorbals and Barony. These parish registers have been indexed for both baptisms and marriages (or proclamations) and an entry for the birth of George Stewart was found recorded in Glasgow parish:

John Stewart sawyer and Janet McKean, a la(wful) son
George, born 20 April 1843.
Witnesses - George McKean and Peter McBryde

The births and baptisms of five other children were recorded to this family were recorded in Gorbals parish:

William (son of) John Stewart and Janet McKean in Hutchesontown, born 20 September, baptised 16 October 1827
Jean (daughter of) John Stewart and Janet McKean in Hutchesontown, born 19 September, baptised 18 October 1829
William (son of) John Stewart and Janet McKean in Tradeston, born 9 August 1832, baptised 2 September.
John (son of) John Stewart and Janet McKean in Tradeston, born 24 July 1834, baptised 10 August.
Janet (daughter of) John Stewart and Janet McKean in Tradeston, born 28 October 1836, baptised 20 November.

No witnesses were named in the case of the children born in Gorbals parish. The son William born in 1827 must have died young since another child was given this name - a common occurrence at this time. The indexes to the registers of the four Glasgow parishes were searched but no other children were found born to this family between 1836 and 1843. This was an unusually large gap between children and the family may have been living elsewhere for a few years.

John Stewart and Janet McKean were married in the Gorbals parish in 1827:

26 May 1827
John Stewart in Hutchesontown and Janet McKean in Tradeston
Married by .... (name blank)

At the time of their marriage of their son George, in 1865, both John Stewart and Janet McKean were said to be dead - which accorded with the family tradition that George and his sister Janet were orphaned as children. A search was however, made for the death of Janet McKean or Stewart from 1855 - when statutory registration commenced - to 1865, but no relevant entry was found. The death registers were not checked for the death of John Stewart as the indexes over this period do not give an age and the search would have involved looking up a great many certificates - a very time-consuming task.

It was unfortunate that no entries had been found for children born to this family between 1836 and 1843, as it was not known whether at the time when the 1841 census was taken, 
  • the family were living in Tradeston where the older children were born,
  • in some part of Glasgow parish where George was born,
  • or whether they had moved outside Glasgow after the birth of his elder sister Janet.
The information given in the 1841 census returns is somewhat limited but it would have indicated whether John Stewart was born in Lanarkshire - or outwith Scotland - and have given his approximate age. 

The 20 enumeration books covering the Tradeston district were searched but no entry was found for the Stewart family living there. The district covering the parish of Glasgow was covered by 278 books and these were not searched.

The various masonic documents in possession of the family were then studied as it was thought that the John Stewart mentioned in the earlier ones might be connected to the family in some way. John Stewart was admitted to the Ancient and Right Worshipful Lodge of St. John (described then as Lodge 971 - the first number is very difficult to read) on 11 April 1807 - the document being "given in the Grand Lodge at Dublin in the metropolis of Ireland." The next set of documents were dated 25 November 1814. It appears from these that John Stewart then was a master mason of Riccarton St. Clements Lodge No. 269 and was now admitted as Arch mason of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter in Kilmarnock when he was dubbed Knight Templar. This was given at No. 2 Grand Encampment of Kilmarnock. 

Masonic records are not centralised and are kept in a number of different places. Contact was made with the person who kept the records of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter in Kilmarnock who was very helpful, but on checking his archives found that no records are extant as far back as 1814. He carried out various searches but could find no reference to Lodge No. 971 - the Lodge to which John Stewart belonged in 1807. This Lodge was located in Dublin and was chartered by Kilwinning Lodge on 8 October 1779, but in a printed list of all masonic lodges no number was given to it.

The dating of these various certificates presents a problem. If John Stewart was admitted as a mason in 1807, one would have expected him to have been an adult at that time and he would therefore have been born not later than the 1780's. If this was the same John Stewart who married in 1827, he would then have been aged about 40 - unusually late for a first marriage - and therefore in his late 50's at least, when George was born in 1843. It is possible that this John Stewart was father to the John Stewart who married Janet McKean.

It appeared that John Stewart was in Ireland in 1807 and then in the Riccarton/Kilmarnock area but without more detailed knowledge about this John Stewart, the likelihood of being able to locate him in records and to prove the relevance of any entry referring to him is very small. The monumental inscriptions recorded for the three Kilmarnock burial grounds - the High Kirk, Laigh Kirk and St. Andrews - were searched but there was none of possible relevance.

According to family tradition, George Stewart and his sister Janet were believed to have been dispossessed of an inheritance while they were still in their minority. A search was therefore made to see if their father, John Stewart, had left a will, or whether there was an inventory of his moveable estate. There is a printed index to inventories recored in Glasgow Sheriff Court between 1846 and 1865 - prior to 1846 there is a manuscript index. There were several entries under the name of John Stewart between 1843 and 1865 and all these documents were consulted, but none found of possible relevance to the ancestral John Stewart.

All transactions concerning the transfer of land - whether by sale, inheritance or as security for a loan - were recorded in a register of sasines. From 1781 onwards, all sasines have been abridged and indexed, county by county. The Index to Persons for the register of sasines for Ayrshire was first searched for the years 1808 to 1820 and all entries listed under the name John Stewart checked. There was one sasine in the name of John Stewart, a hardware merchant in Kilmarnock but there was no means of determining whether this was the person who was the mason in Riccarton and Kilmarnock. 

The index to Persons for the register of sasines for Glasgow was then searched from 1841 to 1857. There were a number of entries concerning a John Stewart who was a partner in the firm of Stewart and Young, cabinetmakers and builders and these references seemed to be of possible interest since John Stewart, father of George Stewart, was described as a joiner. In 1841 this company was sequestered but according to references in the sasines, the John Stewart involved in the business was still alive in 1854, by which time he had become a house and land agent, his address being given as Violet Vale, Glasgow. Unfortunately, this indicated that this John Stewart was not the ancestral one, since it was believed that the latter had died before that time.

In 1857 there was a further reference in a sasine to John Stewart, house agent, to William Stewart, architect and to Peter McBryde Stewart. The mention of Peter McBryde Stewart was interesting since a Peter McBryde was witness to the baptism of George Stewart in 1843 - which made it possible that there was a connection between the two John Stewarts. Further research was then carried out to try to find out more about John Stewart, cabinetmaker and house agent.

Peter McBryde Stewart was baptised on 17 September 1836 in Glasgow, son of John Stewart and Ann Russell who were married in Glasgow on 22 June 1831. No entry was found for John Stewart and his family in Violet Vale (the address given him for the sasine) when the 1851 census was taken, but the family were located living in the vicinity when the 1861 enumeration was made, and the following details were taken from the return:

17 Myrtle Street, Glasgow, Lanarkshire
John Stewart, head of house, aged 53, house and land agent, born Stranraer.
Mary Ann Stewart, his wife, aged 53, agent's wife, born Stranraer.
Janet McBride, wife's aunt, aged 70, housekeeper, born Inch.
John Stewart, his son, aged 21, plumber, born Glasgow.
James Stewart, his son, aged 20, washhouseman, born Glasgow.
Anna McD. Stewart, his daughter, aged 18, born Glasgow
Sarah Stewart, his daughter, aged 16, born Glasgow.
Chas. R. Stewart, his son, aged 12, scholar, born Glasgow.
Lydia Stewart, his daughter, aged 10, scholar, born Glasgow.
John E. Stewart, his son, aged 8, scholar, born Glasgow,
and 2 servants.

John Stewart, husband of Mary Ann Russell, died on 9 November 1874. On his death certificate he was said to be the som of William Stewart, master shoemaker and Mary McRae (maiden surname). On consulting the Glasgow Sheriff Court records, it was found that he died testate but there was no reference in his disposition to John Stewart, husband of Janet McKean, or to any of the children of that marriage. His estate was still under sequestration. A typescript index has been compiled to all those declared bankrupt, covering the years 1839 to 1913 and John Stewart's name appeared on this list on 20 August 1858 and again on 16 January 1861.

Research was halted at this point - unfortunately without having established any connection between the two John Stewarts, or having identified the John Stewart who was a mason at Kilmarnock and Dublin. It is possible that further research into the business affairs of John Stewart, cabinetmaker and land agent, might reveal a connection with John Stewart, father of George Stewart - but this could be a false trail.

The parish registers of Kilmarnock and Riccarton could be searched for children born to a John Stewart after 1807 but there is no guarantee, even if such entries were found, that the family could be shown to be related to John Stewart, husband of Janet McKean. Searches could also be made of the burial records for Glasgow to see if there was an entry which gave an age at death for John Stewart after 1843 and also a wider search in the 1841 census schedules for Glasgow could be undertaken, but both sets of records are bulky and unindexed and it could be a time-consuming task. There is scope for further investigations, but no guarantee of success can be given.
GPMS  undated, possibly 1986.

Dad's researches ended at this point, and I remember him saying that he was disappointed not to get further back before 1800. He had wanted to confirm that we were indeed 'Stewarts of Appin' as Granny Stewart always maintained. (Not sure who 'Granny Stewart' was, although I assume this would have been Annie McKnight who died in 1937). The Appin connection therefore remains unproven, except by oral tradition, but with more and more records appearing online from the Registrar General, it may be possible to find out more than Dad was able to 25 years ago.
George John Stewart of Dalbuie
20th September 2012

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