Thomas Forrest and Marion Watt

Looking for Scottish Ancestors

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Thomas Forrest and Marion Watt

Post by Heidihei » Sat Aug 28, 2021 6:53 am

I have found 8 children for them Janet 1797 , George 1799, Alexander 1801, Marion 1804, Thomas 1806 all christened North Berwick, East Lothian John 1809 at Dirleton, East Lothian, Isable 1813, Isabella 1816 [my ancestor] last 2 at Preston Kirk, East Lothian. I have not yet found a marriage for Thomas and Marion. ](*,) I have Marion's death 14 Dec 1849 at Preston Kirk, East Lothian under both names Forrest and Watt. They are in the 1841 c with their daughter Marion living at Brownrigg Preston Kirk. I assume it may be a farming area as the daughter and 2 grandchildren from an other child are farm lab. I also noted that Brownrigg is mention on a couple of the christening records. Have been looking for Marion's parents. It is a possibility it is Alexander Watt and Janet Sanderson making Marion's birth 7 Mar 1773 at North Berwich. On Family Search this Marion is married to a John Lawson. :-({|= Who is right and who is wrong?? :roll: John Lawson and his Marion Watt married at Dunbar parish 1798. New eyes on the problem may help. O:)
Regards Heidi

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Re: Thomas Forrest and Marion Watt

Post by rossm » Mon Oct 11, 2021 8:41 pm


Based purely on naming rules it looks like either could be correct. According to the tree on familysearch, John Lawson and Marion Watt's second son and first daughter are named Alexander and Janet, so this Marion Watt may well be the daughter of Alexander Watt and Janet Sanderson. But the same is also true of your own tree, so it looks like a coin toss based on that information alone. The link to North Berwick is compelling, but as you've noted from the christenings of Thomas and Marion's children, this family weren't tied to a single parish, so there's no real evidence that your Marion was born in North Berwick. As you've spotted, these are farm labouring families, and if they didn't have a farm tenancy of their own, they would move wherever the work was available.

One obvious possibility would be to download the copy of the John Lawson/Marion Watt marriage, as they do very occasionally list the bride's father's name. However, familysearch haven't listed this in the transcription, so it's probably not mentioned in the original copy, and may shed no light.

The other outside chance is if this other Marion Watt survived past 1855 you may find her death register entry, and get her parents from that. However, I've carried out a quick search and I can't find any record which relates to her.

The other possibility is to track down the marriages/censuses/deaths of Alexander Forrest and Janet Forrest, and see if they've acquired any helpful middle names in later records. If either of them is calling themselves Alexander Watt Forrest, or Janet Sanderson Forrest, then you've strengthened your case.

Final option would be to email the tree owner on familysearch and ask if they have any additional evidence for claiming this Marion Watt as 'theirs'. You never know, it may be based on an old family bible or something other than naming rule guesswork.

Best of luck


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Re: Thomas Forrest and Marion Watt

Post by Heidihei » Sun Oct 17, 2021 9:07 am

Hello Ross
It was a lovely surprise to see your replay. Sadly none of Thomas and Marion's children had a middle name, at least not on christening records.
I looked at Alexander today, he died at Numgate, Haddington in 1856 age 54, sadly unmarried. He was a Cow and Feed Dealer. He did have a will on SP. Siblings Janet, John and George and George's son Alexander was mention in it. I also got Janet Hume's death cert.. The 1841 census has 2 of Janet 's boys Thomas 15 and George 5 living with the grand parents and being farm lab.
In Janet and Alexander's death cert their father Thomas was a land /farm steward. I am not quit sure what the job is, may be managing land for some one else? Marion's death was before 1855. I updated the info on Alexander on my family search and My heritage tree. I did note that one or 2 people had married him of, easy to do when you merge and do not check fact's. I will have a look at George and his family tomorrow trough SP to see if his children has middle names. And I will check with the other people on Fam. Search.
Janet husband James Hume and George Forrest was both Farm Steward's, John Forrest a Horse Hire. [from will]
Regards Heidi :-D

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Re: Thomas Forrest and Marion Watt

Post by Currie » Wed Oct 20, 2021 6:33 am

Hello Heidi,

The duties of the Farm Steward are defined in “The Book of the Farm” published 1854. ... frontcover

All the best,

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Re: Thomas Forrest and Marion Watt

Post by Heidihei » Sat Oct 23, 2021 10:20 am

Thank you Alan
A interesting book with amazing details. The farm steward was a responsible job with long working days. The farmers in Scotland even had to consider the wind blowing from Norway as the snow melted. :D Thomas son George was also a farm steward. Regards Heidi

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Re: Thomas Forrest and Marion Watt

Post by Heidihei » Sat Nov 06, 2021 6:22 am

Thomas Forrest abt. 1766- 23 May 1847, Prestonkirk, East Lothian
Marion Watt abt. 1772 - 14 Dec 1849 , Prestonkirk, East Lothian
Janet 30 Jul 1797 - 5 Aug 1873 ( Hugh Hume)
George 29 Apr 1799 - 27 Apr 1974, Farm Steward (Janet Nielson)
Alexander 8 Aug 1801 - 27 Jun 1856, UNMARRIED, Cattle & feed dealer, Will on SP (got)
Marrion 24 Jan 1804 - 19 Oct 1854, UNMARRIED, Age Lab and Deary
Thomas 20 Jul 1806 - 28 Jun 1864, Market Gardner, (Jean Manderson)
John 21 Apr 1809 - 3 May 1884, Coach Propreiter, Will on SP, (Christina Thomson)
Isabela 11 Jan 1813 no trace after christening
Isabella 20 Jun 1816 - 3 Nov 1893 (William Ferguson, James Downie) talked about in earlier posts
The children that died after 1855 has both parents on death certs.
Looking at 4 of the children and the naming of their children. :shock:

Janet & Hugh;
Hugh 1820
Euphemia 1827
Robert 1830
GEORGE Abt. 1836
Margaret 1839

George & Janet;
Jean 1823
Adam 1828
JANET 1831
Elisabeth 1834

Thomas & Jean;
Anne 1838
Jean 1846
JOHN 1848
JANET 1850
James 1853

John & Christina;
William 1843
JANE Huie 1851
William 1853
JOHN 1854

The same name are used and used again.

The other Marion Watt born about the same time died Jan 1849 again before parents name was put on death cert. She married John Lawson 21 Dec 1798. Just a quick look at their some of their children: JANET 1799, ISABELA 1803, ALEXANDER 1810, David 1812 and JOHN 1814. I ASSUME THERE IS MORE.
Alex Watt and Janet Sanderson is the parents of one of the Marion. Looking at all the children's names I would guess the 2 Marion's are cousin's and Alex Watt must have a brother who is the father the other Marion . ????

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