Hello Alex, Thank you for your message. I just got it now, as someone pointed it out to me. Perhaps my computer thought it was junk mail. In any case:
Margaret Smart Massie was married to Charles Massie in 1855 and she did pass away in 1913.
Their marriage record lists Charles as a bachelor and Margaret as a spinster.
On the 1861 census record my 9 year old great grandmother Margaret Mitchell Massie ( MMM) is living with her step mother Margaret Massie and her half brother William. Also Margaret's sister Ann Smart is staying with them. Charles is away working as a farm servant / ploughman at another farm.
MMM's marriage record in 1878 to my gr grandfather Alexander Pirie lists her parents as Charles Massie and Elspet Mathieson. The same is recorded on her death record. There are various accounts of where she was born including Boyndie, Gamrie and Banff. I have ordered in the church records on microfiche of these churches, plus Fyvie, Turriff and MacDuff, but didn't find anything, regarding MMM's baptism or a marriage of her parents.
My gut feeling is that she was an illegitimate child.
I have found a few leads on different Elspet Mathieson's ( some where married at the time), but the closest match seems to be an unmarried Elspeth Matheson who is staying with her sister and brother-in-law Margaret and Charles Park in the rural Portsoy, Fordyce area.
Charles Massie was working at a farm at the time between Alvah and Turriff, so although I would expect them to have been closer, I suppose they could have met. On his marriage record in 1855 he has his usual place of residence at the Hills of Boyndie, Boyndie, Banffshire, which seems to be a lot closer to the Fordyce area. ( although I have not pinpointed a farm of that name, only an area)
I'm actually relieved to hear that you have found so many of the births not recorded. I had figured that perhaps because she was illegitimate or the product of an affair, she may not of been baptized. It may have just been not recorded.
I know in England they often have a second set of records that were sent to the bishop, called Bishops notes. Did something like that exist in Scotland?
If you have any other ideas / theories / help, I would love to hear back from you.