The following information was sent from the Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency, Inc. on November 27, 1963, by George F. O’Neill, Asst. Director, Public Relations.
The Pinkerton Genealogy
The common origin of all Pinkertons is doubtless in England many centuries ago. The line of descent of the family of Allen Pinkerton, the Agency’s founder, stems from a Scottish branch. For the purpose of this study we have gone back to the grandfather of Allan Pinkerton, the Agency’s founder, named James Pinkerton (by trade a smith, or hammer man or nailer) of Gorbals, Glasgow, Scotland.
James Pinkerton married Margaret Love in 1766 and had the following issue:
William, born January 4, 1767
George,born September 7, 1771
Robert, born February 3, 1774
Margaret, born July 9, 1776
Allan, born September 17, 1779
James second wife, Mary Cochrane, by her he had the following children:
Janet, born August 26, 1783
James, born August 28, 1785
Mary, born December 12, 1787
Isabelle, born December 15, 1789
John, born November 11, 1791
The founder, Allan’s line continues through Jame’s son ,William Pinkerton, born January 4, 1767 and died 1827, married Isabelle McQueen born (unreadable), died February 4, 1853 (or 1858) and
had issue as follows:
John, born March 1813 (apparently died in infancy)
*Robert, born February 25, 1815; died September 6. 1868
Allan, born August 25, 1819; died July 1, 1884
There is a record of the birth on February 12, 1792, of Love Pinkerton, with the parents recorded as William Pinkerton, a weaver of Gorbals, and Isabella Stevenson. Isabelle McQueen, mother of the founder is referred to as a widow, and it is possible that she was known by the name Stevenson when she married William Pinkerton. But it seems more probably that Isabelle Stevenson was the first wife of William, the founder’s father, and that Isabelle McQueen, the mother of John, Robert, and Allan (the founder) was the second wife.
Allan Pinkerton, the founder, married Joan Carfrae 13, March 1842 and had the following children:
Isabelle McQueen Pinkerton born August 4, 1843, died Mary 23, 1863
William A. Pinkerton born April 7, 1846, died December 11, 1923
Robert A. Pinkerton (twin) born December 2, 1848, died August 12, 1907
Joan Pinkerton (twin) born December 2, 1848, died March 4, 1855
Mary Pinkerton born June 13, 1852, died July 17, 1854
Joan Pinkerton born July 22, 1855, died January 25, 1940
Note: A letter dated June 10, 1908, written by William A. Pinkerton, states that his mother Joan Carfrae had given birth to nine children. Available records indicated only six names. It may be that three died at birth.
Of the founder’s issue, Isabelle died at the age of twenty.
William A. Pinkerton married Margaret S. Ashling, of Adrian, Michigan, in 1866. Two children were born to the marriage--Isabelle Joan (born December 10, 1867; died April 2, 1942) and Margaret (born February 14, 1870; died 1932) Isabelle married J.O. Watkins and bore two children--William Allan Pinkerton Watkins who is married, has children and lives in lake Forrest, Illinois, and Isabelle Joan Watkins who is now Mrs. Alex Ravell, has children and lives in Lake Forrest, Illinois. Margaret married George M. Pullman, the sleeping-car manufacturer, and had two children--Margaret Pinkerton Pullman, now Mrs. Fred V. Burgess, living in Burlington, Vermont; and William A. Pullman, now married and has children, lives in Lake Forrest, Illinois.
Robert A. Pinkerton married Elizabeth A. Hughes (born November 22, 1850; died November 21, 1933), of Chicago, in 1874. They had six children:
Nellie Pinkerton born December 24, 1881; died January 29, 1882
Joan Pinkerton born August 3, 1879; died May 10, 1880.
Lily Pinkerton born March 4, 1886; died May 17, 1886
Allan Pinkerton born June 30, 1876; died October 7, 1930
Anna Pinkerton born ?,died March 7, 1942
May Pinkerton born ?, died November 17, 1937
Allan Pinkerton married Franc Woodworth (born St. Louis; died August 13, 1943) and had one child, Robert A. Pinkerton(born 1904).
Anna Pinkerton married Louis E. Gibb and had two boys, Louis and Robert Gibb.
May Pinkerton married Jay F. Carlisle (born ?; died November 17 1937) and had three sons; Jay F. Jr., Allan P., and Lewis J. Carlisle.
Joan Pinkerton, second daughter born to the founder and twin of Robert A., died in 1855 at the age of seven.
Mary Pinkerton, third daughter to the founder, died at the age of two.
Joan Pinkerton, fourth daughter of the founder, married William J. Chalmers, identified with the firm of Allis-Chalmers.They had two children--Thomas Stewart Chalmers (born August 23, 1881; died March 26, 1923) and Joan Pinkerton Chalmers (born November 25, 1879; died ?). Thomas Chalmers apparently remained unmarried. Joan Pinkerton Chalmers married Norman Williams, a Chicago manufacturer, in? A daughter, Joan (Mrs. Hamilton Morrill) and a son Norman Jr., both presently living, resulted from this marriage.
*According to a letter written by William A. Pinkerton on June 10, 1908, Robert (the founder’s
brother) and his mother (Isabella McQueen Pinkerton) joined the founder at Dundee, Illinois, in 1843. Both brothers conducted a cooperage business under the name of Pinkerton Brothers. It is unknown at this time how long they remained in business, nor is it known whether Robert married and had children or whether or not he immigrated to another locality.