The Story of my Fleming Ancestors
My Fleming Connection
Robert Thom (4th) aged 22 years, of Dundyvan, engine keeper, married Margaret Fleming, aged 21 years, of Bathgate, domestic servant, on 6 February 1857, at the Church of Scotland, Baillieston, Old Monkland, Lanarkshire, Scotland (1). Margaret was the daughter of Alexander Fleming, plowman, and Janet Martin.
An extensive search for the baptism of Margaret and any other children of Alexander and Janet, found nothing.
Little is know about Alexander Fleming. The 1841 Census of Scotland for Bathgate revealed (2):-
Address: South Bridge Street
Alexander Fleming, age 25, maltster, born in the County of Linlithgow
Janet Fleming, age 25, born in the County of Linlithgow
Margaret Fleming, age 5, born in the County of Linlithgow
William, age 4 months, born in the County of Linlithgow
Note that the ages of adults were usually rounded down to the nearest 0 or 5, eg, 29 would be rounded down to 25.
Alexander and Janet had at least two more children, Jane born in about 1843, and Alexander in about 1846.
Alexander’s burial is recorded in the parish registers for Bathgate on 9 November 1847, aged 36, labourer, died of endocarditis (2).
A search for the baptism of Alexander revealed only one possible entry in the county of Linlithgow (West Lothian), namely Alexander Fleming, born 2 April and baptised on 12 April 1807 at Bathgate, father James Fleming, and mother Jean Stein. Alexander had a brother John baptised on 15 July 1805 at Bathgate (2, 3).
The ages given for the Alexander entries above makes it difficult to conclude with certainty that all of the relates to Margaret Fleming’s father. In searching for Margaret’s mother, Janet Martin, the same problem arises. It could be that, as in those days, the importance of your age was less than the present, both Alexander and Janet understated their ages.
What happens to Janet after Alexander’s death?
Within a year Janet married again to James Fairley on 26 June 1848 at Bathgate (4). James and Janet had at least two children, James, in about 1849, and Jeby in about 1852.
The 1851 Census of Scotland for Bathgate revealed (5) :-
Address : North Bridge Street
James Fairley, age 38, labourer, born Linlithgow
Janet Fairley, age 37, born Shotts, Lanarkshire
William Fleming, age 10, born Linlithgow
Jane Fleming, age 8, born Linlithgow
Alexander Fleming, age 5, born Linlithgow
James Fairley, age 2, born Linlithgow
The Fairley family continued to live in North Bridge Street, Bathgate, and another child, Jeby, was born to James and Janet in about 1852
The 1861 Census of Scotland for Bathgate reveals (6) that the Fairley family are still living at North Bridge Street, with no listing of Jane, and the inclusion of a daughter Jeby, age 9 years.
A search of the 1871 Census brings no results for Janet. A search for her death revealed (7) :-
Janet Fairley, married to James Fairley, labourer at chemical works, died of apoplexy at North Bridge Street, Bathgate on 28 November 1861, aged 54 years. Here parents are named as William Martin, tailor, deceased, and Margaret Martin, nee Taylor, deceased, and the informant was Jane Martin, sister and present when Janet died.
This means we can now establish the birth of Janet. We know that she was born at Shotts in Lanarkshire, possibly between 1806 and 1814, the daughter of William Martin and Margaret Taylor. A search found that Margaret Taylor the spouse of William Martin, tailor, of Eastern Hill, Murdostown, had a daughter Janet, born on 31 January 1807, and baptised at Shotts on 26 February 1807 (8)
William Martin married Margaret Taylor on 18 August 1805 at Shotts (9). The 1851 Census below revealed that William and Margaret had other children.
The 1851 Census of Scotland revealed (10)
Address : South Bridge Street, Bathgate
William Martin, age 62, Tailor, born Bathgate
Margaret Martin, age 58, born Airth, Stirlingshire
Thomas Martin, age 32, Hand Loom Weaver, son, born Bathgate
Jane Martin, age 21, daughter, born Bathgate
A search for the death of William Martin revealed (11)
William Martin, master tailor, widower, died of dropsy at South Bridge Street, Bathgate on 18 May 1856, aged 74 years. His parents are named as William Martin, deceased, and Jane Martin, nee Ferguson, deceased. The informant was his son-in-law (name cannot be read), who was present when William died. William was buried in the old Bathgate cemetery.
1. General Registry Office, Scotland, Marriage Certificate No 3/1857
2. The Scots Ancestry Research Society conducted research into my Scottish ancestors from 1972 to 1975, and this information has been extracted from their reports.
3. Search of familysearch.org on 19 December 2013, batch number C11662-4
4. Search of familysearch.org on 19 December 2013, batch number M11662-5
5. Search of familysearch.org on 19 December 2013, GS film 1042473, and ancestry.com.au, Roll CSSCT1851_173.
6. Search of ancestry.com.au on 19 December 2013, Roll CSSCT1861_120
7. Search of scotlandspeople on 15 December 2013, 1861 death 662/00 0201
8. Search of scotlandspeople on 15 December 2013, 1856 Baptism 655/00 0020 0056 Shotts.
9. Search of scotlandspeople on 15 December 2013, 1805 Marriage 655/00 0030 0200, and ancestry.com.au on 15 December 2013, batch M11655-4
10. Search of ancestry.com.au, on 14 October 2013, Roll CSSCT1851_173
11. Search of scotlandspeople on 15 December 2013, 1856 death 662/00 0088.