Gary attached is a summary of the documentation we have. The family has some connection to India, but we have David an Helen in the US from thier immigration in 1840. Of course these are common names.
DAVID WEMYSS FAMILY IN THE UNITED STATES
Wemyss is derived from the Gaelic uaimh meaning cave.
It is believed to be taken from the caves and cliffs of the Firth of Forth in that part of Fife where the family made its home.
The Wemyss family have the distinction of being one of the few lowland families directly descended from the Celtic nobility, through the MacDuff earls of Fife.
David Wemyss and Helen Proudfoot are our GGG Grandparents
• Son William Proudfoot Wemyss is the GG Grandfather of Joe George
• Daughter Mary Agnes Hosten Wemyss is the GG Grandmother of Helen Carter and Ken Carter.
Birth and Parentage
David Wemyss emigrated from Govan, Lanarkshire, Scotland, with wife Helen Proudfoot and four oldest children (William Proudfoot, John, Catherine, and Margaret McGillowace) during May, June or July 1839.
“David Wemyss, the son of John Wemyss of Bennochie and Catherine Swine, married Helen Proudfoot of the parish of Govan on August 5th, 1832, the daughter of William Proudfoot of Glasgow.” This marriage was recorded in the Kirkcaldy Old Parish Register of Marriages. He immigrated to the USA with his wife and four children in 1839.”
“Obituary lists place of birth Kircaldy, Fifeshire, Scotland 1880 - Need verification..FamilySearch.com lists 13 Aug 1797, christening in Aberdour, Fife, Scotland, on 17 Aug 1797, parents James Wemyss and Janet Haldane. 1”
Note: Parental conflict both John Wemyss and Catherine Swine; and James Wemyss and Janet Haldane can be found, but I have not been able to document positively either.
Gary Wemyss shows David Wemyss, born 1806, married Helen Proudfoot and had a son John b. 1835.
US Census 1850, 1860, 1870, consistently verify David Wemyss who immigrated to the US was born about 1801.
Note: Birth year conflict
Two wedding dates found: 5 Aug 1832, Lanark, Scotland, and 6 Aug 1832, Kirkcaldy, Fife, Scotland. Does this represent a civil and a religious marriage??1
History in the US
• Immigration 1840 Boston, MA.Emigration was FROM Govan, Lanarkshire, Scotland (I was always under the impression they came from Glasgow) Emigration was between May and July 1839
According to one family member, David, his wife, and 4 children (1860 Census show children William, John and Catherine born in Scotland. Margaret was born in VA ~ 1838) arrived in the US in the summer of 1839 to work for Morris Polloch (sic) on his plantation in North Carolina. Not located in 1840 Census. Family is listed in Westerfield, Surry Co., NC, in 1850 census under "David Wimms". Occupation at that time listed as school teacher. 1
1850 census for Surry Co, NC, which lists David and family under "Wimms."
1850 Census, August 9, North Division Westfield, Surry County, North Carolina, Listed residents:
• Head, David Wimms, age 49, born in Scotland, School Teacher
• Wife, Helen Wimms, age 49, born in Scotland
• Son, William Wimms, age 16, born in Scotland, Farmer
• Son, John Wimms, age 15, born in Scotland,
• Daughter, Catherine Wimms,age 13, born in Scotland
• Daughter, Margaret Wimms,age 12, born in Scotland
• Daughter, Mary Wimms, age 9, born in Virginia
• Son, James Wimms,age 5, born in Virginia
• Son, Robert Wimms, age 3, born in North Carolina
1860 Census, July 7, Fayetteville, Cumberland County, North Carolina, Listed residents:
• Head, David Wemyss, age 59, born in Scotland, clerk
• Wife, Helen Wemyss, age 60, born in Scotland
• Son, William Wemyss, age 26, born in Scotland, Carriage Maker
• Son, John Wemyss, age 25, born in Scotland, Blacksmith
• Daughter, Catherine Wemyss, age 23, born in Scotland
• Daughter, Margaret McGillowace Wemyss, age 22, born in Virginia
• Daughter, Mary Wemyss, age 19, born in Virginia
• Son, James Wemyss, age 18, born in North Carolina
• Son, Robert Wemyss, age 15, born in North Carolina
• Son, David Wemyss, age 3, born in North Carolina
• ?, Agnes Wemyss, age 1, born in North Carolina
• G-Son William Wiley, age 3, born in North Carolina
• ? Mary Wemyss, age 25, born in North Carolina
Note: KC Note: In household – William Wiley is the daughter of Margaret McGillowace Wemyss. Father William Wiley deceased
1870 lists occupation as "Special Detective". In 1870 he is living with daughter Mary and her husband E. J. Kennedy in Cross Creek TWP, Cumberland County, North Carolina. Listed as Fayetteville Town Constable in 1860 City Directory; according to his obituary he also server two terms as Coroner which office he held at the time of his death in 1872.1
1870 Census, June 13, Cross Creek Township, Cumberland County, North Carolina, Listed residents:
• Head, David Wemyss, age 69, born in Scotland, Special Detective
• Son-in-Law Charles Kennedy, age 31, born in North Carolina
• Daughter, Margaret A. Wemyss Kennedy, age 27, born in Virginia
• G-son Edward Jones Hale Kennedy, age 9, born in North Carolina
• G-daughter Maggie Kennedy, age 7, born in North Carolina
• G-son Charles Kennedy, age 4, born in North Carolina
• G-son John Kennedy, age 1, born in North Carolina
• Sister Jane Kennedy, age 45, born in North Carolina
Copy of obituary – Fayetteville, NC
Obituary lists place of birth Kircaldy, Fifeshire, Scotland 1880 - Need verification. FamilySearch.com lists 13 Aug 1797, christening in Aberdour, Fife, Scotland, on 17 Aug 1797, parents James Wemyss and Janet Haldane. Is this our David Wemyss1 ?
Buried Cross Creek #1, Fayetteville, NC.1
Listed in WPA, Cross Creek Cemetery Records as buried in Cemetery #1. Not listed in later cemetery record by Anna Sherman. No grave has been found.1
David’s immediate family
David’s siblings were:
• John, who was born in 1802
o father of Sir John Wemyss, 5th Baronet,
? David’s nephew, Sir John Wemyss, 5th Baronet, was born in 1830, succeeded to the Baronetcy in 1849, assumed title in 1858 and became a merchant in India, where he died in 1878.
? After Sir John’s death, the title was claimed in 1878 by David Wemyss, merchant in India and Toronto, Canada. Since Sir John was only ten years of age when his parents died, he may have been reared by a relative and thus David might have been a step-brother
• James, who was born in 1810, and
• Robert, who was born in 1812.
• Elizabeth, who was born in 1804. 2
David’s children were:
• William, b. 4/26/1834 in Scotland, m. Mary Frizzell (b. 1833) d. 10/26/1909
• John, b. 11/2/1835 in Scotland, d. 7/11/1883
• Catherine, b. 5/12/1837 in Scotland, m. Robert Madden, d. 8/2/1864
• Margaret McGillowace, b. 10/6/1838 in Scotland, m. William R. Wiley 10/14/1856
o [Margaret's middle name was McGillowace ]
• Mary Agnes Hosten, b. 9/15/1842, near Danville, Pittsylvania, VA, m. 2/27/1862 Charles Archibald Kennedy (11/6/1833), d. 4/8/1926 Fayetteville, NC
• James, b. 4/14/1844 in NC, d. 9/8/1861
• Robert, b. 4/9/1847
American Civil War involvement:
David’s sons fought in the Civil WarCapt. W.P. Wemyss one of the Fayetteville Wemyss to enter into that skirmish between the North and the South in the early 1860's. Mary Agness Hosten Wemyss (Kennedy) had two and possibly three other brothers that also fought for the Confederacy:
William P. Wemyss - American Civil War Soldiers, Name: William P. Wemyss Side: Confederate Regiment State/Origin: North Carolina Regiment Name:2 Battalion North Carolina Local Defense Troops Regiment Name Expanded:2nd Battalion, North Carolina Local Defense Troops COMPANY:D Rank In: Captain Rank In Expanded: Captain Rank Out: Captain Rank Out Expanded: Captain Film Number:M230 roll 41
John Wemyss - "American Civil War Soldiers" shows a John Wemyss as a "full blacksmith" on 11/4/1863 and it also shows an enlistment date of 4/17/1861 Ancestry.com's, which is the same enlistment date as brother's William and James; consequently, I have concluded he is the James Wemyss from our family line;
Conflict with the Gary Wemyss information;
John Wemyss, a 25 year old blacksmith lived in the home of parents David and Helen Wemyss in the 1860 census; there was a John Wemyss who was a 35 year old blacksmith living in the Fayetteville household of Wm. P. & Mary Frizzell Wemyss in the 1870 census;
Gary Wemyss' information that shows he was with the railroad and married Letitia Langtry in 1864, married Sarah Hoblett Goulding in 1866, etc., etc. I am beginning to believe that the Gary Wemyss information may be questionable. However, I can't seem to find John in census information around Fayetteville after the Civil War. What happened to John after the war?
James Wemyss (b.1/14/1844, d. 9/8/1861) - American Civil War Soldiers Name:James Wemyss Enlistment Date:17 Apr 1861 Enlistment Place: Cumberland County, North Carolina Side Served: Confederacy State Served: North Carolina Service Record: Enlisted as a Private on 17 April 1861 at the age of 17. Enlisted in Company H, 1st Volunteers Infantry Regiment North Carolina on 17 Apr 1861. Died of disease Company H, 1st Volunteers Infantry Regiment North Carolina on 8 Sep 1861 at Yorktown, VA. Sources: 16 actually died of disease in the Civil War, at Yorktown9
Robert Wemyss (b. Abt. 1845, d. Abt. 1847)
Information from a booklet compiled by Willard Harris in 1992. Willard is descended from David's son Robert who moved to Warren County after the Civil War. Willard is the one who hired the genealogist from Edinburgh about 1985 to research the Wemyss roots based on the letter written by W.P. Wemyss in 1867.It was returned to him since his Cousin Sir John had already gone to India. He received the letter and other information from John Beaman Wemyss, Jrof Fayetteville who also had a passion for genealogy. It was this letter that led the genealogist to John Wemyss of Bennochie as father of David Wemyss who emigrated to America.
Helen Carter has photocopies of most of the pages in the book that were made from a copy of the booklet that Priscilla Wemyss Hooks loaned me. The first family tree that I sent you shows this early relationship. It and all the other pages come from Willard Harris booklet.
You asked why did I send you that part of the family tree first. Because it was new informaton to me and I thought to you. I met Priscilla in the fall at an exercise class being held at Hay Street Methodist Church. Neither of us belong to Hay Street. Such a small town is Fayetteville.Willard also repeats the early genealogy of the Wemysses back to MacDuff, Thane of Fife A.D. 1057. But I will not send that for now. There are about 50 pages in the booklet many of which name several generations of descendants of William's son John Beaman Wemyss&nb sp;and those of William's brother Robert Wemyss. Nothing about other descendants of David's children or William's children. So the Georges and the Kennedys are not represented in Willard's compilation. I know that John Beaman Wemyss spoke with Flossie at some point and shared information about David and his wife and children.
SCOTTISH ANCESTRY OF THE WEMYSS FAMILY
The history of the Wemyss Family of Scotland is included with this family genealogy. That history begins with ancestors of the Wemyss family; from Macduff, Thane of Fife, who was presumed to have sprung from Duffus, King of Scotland, whose reign began A.A. 962. “The Wemyss family has traced it’s descendent from Macduff to Michael, who first took the surname of Wemyss, and whose charter was confirmed by King William, A.D. 1185. He died in 1208”
The Wemyss family of Scotland also was traced from Michael (circa 1185) to Sir John Wemyss of Leuchars and Kircaldrum (1350-1428), who is listed as the 15th generation of the Wemyss family, according to the edition of the Fife Herald and Journal, dated July 22nd, 1908.
Through references to booth the “History of the Wemyss Family”, as published in the Fife Herald and Journal, and the “Pedigree of the Family of Wemyss of Wemyss”, the family line s traced to what referenced as the 23rd generation of the Wemyss family by the Fife Herald and Journal. It is at this point the family history branches, with one branch leading to the current residents of Wemyss Castle (1985) and the other branch becoming known as the Wemyss family of Bogie. The latter branch represents the immediate ancestors of David Wemyss (1806-1872), who migrated to America in 1839.
Circa 1560-1640 – “Sir James Wemyss of Bogie and Balforg, brother of Sir John Wemyss (ancestor of the family residing at Wemyss Castle in 1985), was the son of David Wemyss. David had married Cecilia, third daughter of William, second Lord Ruthven, on 2nd December 1556; and David had died on 22nd February 1597. Sir James, the son of David married Margaret, daughter of John Melville of Raith in 1585, and later married Elizabeth Durie in 1559. Sir James was the ancestor of the family of Wemyss of Bogie. He inherited lands from his father in 1583, and he died in 1640. His wife, Elizabeth Durie was from Bennochy, near Kirkcaldy.”
Circa 1600-1654 – “Henry (Harry) Wemyss, inherited lands from his nephew, Sir John Wemyss of Bogie, who died in 1673 without children. This land was called Wester Bogie. He also inherited East Cordland from his sister, Janet. He married, 1st, Isabel, daughter of Sir John Kirkcaldy of Grange in 1639; and 2nd, Margaret, daughter of Robert Durie of East Newton in 1653. He died 30th May 1654.”
Circa 1650-1720 – The lineage of the Wemyss family of Bogie has a gap, after the death of Henry/Harry Wemyss (d. 1654). “Henry/Harry Wemyss had daughters by each of his wives, but there is no direct reference to by son. The family line of Sir John Wemyss, Fifth Baronet, and list the next generation of the family as “James Wemyss, lessee of Bogie, supposed to be the disinherited son of Henry.”
Circa 1715-1795 – John Wemyss was born circa 1715. He married Cecil Durie, daughter of Robert Durie. John Wemyss had four sons. One son, James, born in 1747, was father of Sir James Wemyss, 4th Baronet. Another son, John, was born in 1754. (John Wemyss of Bogie, born circa 1715, is the earliest proven member of the Wemyss family of North Carolina [per research by genealogist Margaret Sinclair of Edinburgh]. There is no specific information to connect his family to the family of Henry/Harry Wemyss. The family of Sir John Wemyss, 5th Baronet, list James Wemyss, “lessee of Bogie and supposedly the disinherited son of Henry/Harry”. However, the genealogist stated in her letter of April 15, 1988 that the most likely candidates to be parents of John Wemyss (circa 1715) are David Wemyss and Margaret Smart of Bogie, whose son John was born in 1719. John Wemyss (circa 1715) called his first son David. It was common practice for the first son to be named after the paternal grandfather; so David Wemyss (who married Margaret Smart of Bogie) may have been the father of this John Wemyss.)
Circa 1754-1818 – “John Wemyss was born in 1754. He was a farmer in Bennochie. He married Catherine Swine, daughter of John Swine (Swayne) in 1801. He had four sons, including John, born in 1892, and David, born in 1806.”
Email Received 4/16/09
Hi Ken, Sorry we did not have time to get together when you were here recently. I could have loaned you the "David Wemyss" booklet that I have copied for my files. Hope your Dad does okay with the planned surgery on his foot. I plan to check in on him when I can. He says that he hopes to recuperate at home.
I did want to let you know that Joe's Aunt Emma Overby Faircloth, his mother's sister passed away at age 90. She would have been named for her grandmother Emma Wemyss Overby. You should be able to access an obituary at www.fayobserver.com. Also my Uncle Edward Jones "E. J." Kennedy died on April 11 after a long battle with lung cancer.
I have heard nothing from Gary Wemyss since I sent him documentation about our David's coming to America. Think that I will write again to find out more about the David Wemyss who died at sea. I did find an arrival date for Mr. Wemyss and Mr. Pollock of Scotland, departed Bristol, England on the Great Western steamship, arriving in New York on June1, 1839. I am assuming that since the names match the letters contracting for work in Virginia that it is our David Wemyss. I also found a website that has a photo of gravestone for William Rufus "Willie" Wiley, daughter of Margaret Wemyss. Have you seen that" I can sent you a copy if you would like.
Received 11/8/09 from Gary Wemyss –
I think Helen and David Wemyss emigrated to India although David Wemyss died at sea on 25 Jan 1840. John and Catherine were brought up in India by whom I don't know as I can find no record of Helen or the other 2 children. I think that I am a decendent of John but I'm unable to confirm the link between my ggf David Solomon Wemyss and his father John Wemyss to the same John Wemyss. I would be happy to share any information I have.