brian mckay's family tree
As with her husband, Alexander McKay, this is a bit of a longshot involving a lot of supposition and circumstantial evidence. It starts with David McKay. As I say on David McKay's record, I am short of a lot of information on him. However, I did find him in the 1851 Census and clearly identified him through his wife Eliza McKay (McCulloch). The Census gave me his age and place of birth, those being 32 and Edinburgh, St Cuthbert's, respectively. His age gave me a 'suggested' birth year of 1818 or 1819.
In actual fact, there are two contenders for his birth record. Firstly, there was a birth in 1819, in St Cuthbert's Edinburgh to a William McKay and a Margaret Manson. Secondly there was a birth in 1820 to an Alexander McKay and a Barbara McLeod, also in St Cuthbert's Edinburgh. Initially, I leant towards the first of these, as this would have made David 32 at the 1851 Census, the age that was recorded against him at the Census. However, as I thought about it a bit more, I started leaning towards the second, i.e. Alexander and Barbara. The information that pointed to them is all circumstantial, but somewhat persuasive:
- Alexander and Barbara lived in Stevenlaw's Close, Edinburgh. Now, although there are about 40 years between the two examples, the fact is that David's son, Robert McKay, married Ann Bueglay, whose family had a long history of living in Stevenlaw's Close. It may be that the two families lived side by side for many years;
- there is also the coincidence of names - David's son, Robert, called his daughter Barbara and my own father is called Alexander. As I said, all a bit speculative and tenuous, but I believe sufficient to support David as being the son of Alexander McKay and Barbara McLeod.
- I found an 1841 Census record for an Alexander and Barbara McKay. Because of the ages I am not at all confident they are the same people, but there are no other 'contenders'. They lived in Old Assembly Close, which is located very close to Stevenlaw's Close. Living with them was "Alexander Jnr" (aged 28), who I presume was their son and was described as a 'Type Founder'. This is a job in the printing trade and 10 years later, David McKay's entry in the 1851 Census identifies him as a Printer Compositor. In those days entry into the printing trade was a jealously guarded thing and it's perfectly feasible that it was 'kept in the family';
All a bit speculative and tenuous, but I am persuaded (just) that Barbara is the mother of David McKay and I will now pursue this line.
I have found a birth record that could be Barbara's. The place of birth is Killearnan, which is in Ross-shire, where her marriage certificate says her father lives and the father's name on the birth record, Alexander, is the same as his name on Barbara's marriage record. However, the year of birth is 1798, whereas if it was the same Barbara found in the 1841 Census, the year of birth would be 1782 or 1783.
So while I am reasonably confident I have the correct birth and marriage records for Barbara, I am not at all confident that the Barbara in the 1841 Census is the same person. That said, there are no other 1841 contenders. So, with that caveat, I'll record the 1841 Census details.
KEY EVENTS AND DATES
Birth - 9th May 1798
Barbara was born in Killearnan, Ross-shire. Her father is recorded as Alexander McLeod of Kilcoy and her mother as Isobel McDonald.
16th June 1819
Barbara married Alexander McKay in the parish of St Cuthbert's, Edinburgh. In a remarkably detailed record, Alexander is described as a "Wright" living at Castle Hill, Murray's Close, Edinburgh. His wife is recorded as being the daughter of Alexander McLeod, a farmer from Ross Shire. Barbara was living at 27 Roxburgh Place, Edinburgh.
1st July 1820
Barbara's son, David, was born in St Cuthbert's Parish, Edinburgh. Barbara's husband, Alexander, was described as a Wright (just as he was in his marriage record) and his mother was recorded as "his spouse Barbara McLeod". They lived in Stevenlaw's Close, Edinburgh.
I have real doubts as to whether this is the Census record for my Barbara because of the ages ascribed to her and Alexander, but it's the only contender. The Census records that Alexander, aged 65, lives with his wife Barbara, aged 58 and "Alexander Jr", aged 28, in Old Assembly Close, Edinburgh. I assume 'Alexander Jnr' is Alexander's son, but it doesn't say so.
5th April 1846
Barbara's son, David MacKay, married Eliza McCulloch at Trinity College Church, Edinburgh. This church, which is now demolished, was situated at the foot of Chalmer's Close, where David's son Robert and his wife, Ann, later lived (at No. 1). Both David and Eliza lived in Baillie Fyfe's Close at the time of their wedding.
I cannot find a record of Barbara's death that stands up to scrutiny. If the Barbara and Alexander I found in the 1841 Census is correct, then they both must have died before the 1851 Census, as I cannot find them there. However, if it is not correct, then the chances are that they may both have died quite young before 1841, but again, I cannot find an appropriate record. Who knows?