Janice: Many thanks for your reply.I am delighted to discover a distant cousin. The Balgarnie name is indeed rare.The earliest reference I’ve found to the name is in George F. Black’s The Surnames of Scotland. He lists an “Andrew Balgarny, esquire of Scotland,” who is recorded as having had “a safe conduct to England” in 1389.There is no indication of where in Scotland Andrew came from.Yet, from other early mentions of the name (in various spellings) that Black records, the Balgarnies are clustered in the 16th and 17th centuries in East Lothian and Berwickshire. This leads me to wonder if John Balgarnie of Whitekirk and Tynningham was related to such contemporaries as, for example, the William Balgarney (b. c1725) of Dunbar, who m. Jean Dobie; and the James Begarney (b. c1727), who m. Agnes Mackdugal.But so far I have been unable to draw a connection.
On your specific questions, the death registry entry I have for William (1799-1873) identifies him not as a grocer, but a “farm servant” who d. May 2,1873, age 76, at Hardgate, Haddington.The witness was his son-in-law, William Hewit.When William’s wife Isabella d. Jan 26, 1872, age 74, at Hardgate Street, Haddington, daughter of Robert Murray, coachman, deceased, the witness was again William Hewit, of Hardgate Street.As I have it, William and Isabella had five children: William (1827-1869); Isabella (1828-1915) who m. William Hewit; Susan (1832-1908) who m. 1) Andrew Souter 2) Andrew Tulloch; John (1834-0000); and James (1833-1887) m. Catherine Jane Blair.
Here is how William’s occupation is listed in other records: when son William, Jr. d. in 1869, his father was listed as a “division sealer” (as nearly as I can make out, though the second word was obscure – I have no idea what a “division sealer” might be).When son James d. in 1887, his father was shown as a “grocer.” When daughter Susan d. in 1908, she was listed as a daughter of William Balgarnie, “ploughman.” And when daughter Isabella d. in 1915, William was again identified as a “ploughman.”
So, at one stage of his life, anyway, William indeed seems to have been a grocer. As for the three sons, William, Jr. was shown as single and a “tannery labourer” when he d. April 7, 1869, age 42, at 8 Pilles Close, Canongate; all I have on John is his birth record in 1834 – I’ve found no other record of him; and James was listed, at his death in 1887, as a “tanner (journeyman).
From the birth records of Susan and John, it appears that at least by the 1830s William and Isabella were living in Edinburgh, and by the end of their lives had moved to Haddington. Can you fill in anything more about them? Why might they have moved to Haddington?Do you happen to know where they are buried? Does my listing of their children agree with your records?
In the next generation, I have five children, all boys b. in Edinburgh, to James andCatherine Jane Blair (c1833-1907). They are William Blair (1863-1869); John Blair (1865-0000); James (1867-0000); Adam (1870-1875); and Robert (1873-1948).James and Catherine both d. in Canongate. Do you happen to know where they are buried?
All I know about John Blair is that married Jane Baker in 1898 in Glasgow, Dennistoun district, that he was listed as a stableman when their daughter, Mary Neil Baker, was b.. Sept 6, 1989, at Market Square, Glasgow, Calton, Lanark; and that Jane, aged 29, appears in the 1901 census at Dennistoun with Mary and a new-born daughter Catherine. Do you happen to know anything more about John and Jane?
The only record I have of Robert (1873-1948) is that he d. at age 75 at Haymarket, Midlothian. Do you know if he married and have children?
My knowledge of James and Janet Watson is extremely skimpy and I’d very much like to know whatever you can tell me about the names and dates of their large family.I do have their marriage record, the names of their sons William (b. 1899) and Edmund (b. 1901) and that’s about it. The names of their siblings will probably help to place a number of unattached Balgarnies I’ve come across.
Also of course I would be delighted to learn anything you can pass along on the families of William Balgarnie and Janet Hopkins, of Edmund and Jessie Ross Falconer, and of James Falconer Balgarnie and his wife.
I’m not sure how interested you are in the four brothers of William Balgarnie (1799-1873) – that is, John (1790-1862), Robert (1793-before1851), George (1796-0000) and William’s twin, James.Please do let me know if you’d like to hear about them.