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Hi John - another aspect to consider - in the 1841 Census for
Inverness-shire my 2xgtgm was listed under her maiden surname and
children under father's surname. I investigated this and found
that the wife retained her surname where there was property
involved and in fact, husbands changed their name to hers in cases
of large heritable estates.
My gtgm buried in Inverness-shire in 1917 is known by her maiden
surname but it is stated that she was the wife of ......... who
died before her and thus is at the top of the inscription.
The take-away from this - don't be pedantic about what it
'should' be - just go with the flow.
Take care everyone as we navigate through these challenging
On 27/03/2020 7:37 pm, John Kemplen via
Interesting what different experiences and recollections we
have of this. In spite of what I said earlier about women being
known by their married surnames, I agree totally with what Ken
says about women being known informally among friends by their
maiden name. In island communities (my experience is almost all
of Islay), where you fit in to the scheme of things is very
important. Even now, when I visit, I get interrogated to
establish exactly who my mother was and which families we
connect with by birth and by marriage. It seems to play a major
part in bonding as a community.
Regarding records, I do not have enough knowledge of the
situation in the 1700s and early 1800s to agree or disagree with
Goldie's assertions, but in all the Scottish census records I
have seen from 1841 onwards, all family members including the
wife are identified by the surname of the husband, and where a
mother is identified in BMD records, the heading on the form
asks for "name and maiden surname", clearly implying that, in
official circles at least, the woman's current surname is that
of her husband.
We all seem to share the same experience of conventions
regarding headstones, with both maiden and married surnames
being identifiable by one means or another. My mother's
headstone in the beautiful graveyard at Luss refers to her as
"Mary Campbell MacKellar, beloved wife of Herbert R. Kemplen".
As has been said, that is very helpful for genealogical
On 27/03/2020 03:19, Ken Harrison
When my great aunt died in 1975 near Ft. William, her Will was
in the name of “maiden name OR married name”. She told me that
she was known informally by her husband’s name, but her old
friends still called her by her maiden name, even 60 years after
Most of my ancestors in Lanark, Orkney & Islay were
recorded in most records in the 1700s & 1800s with maiden
name only, including after they arrived in Canada, where their
headstones tend to show only the maiden name and “wife of ...”
I beg to differ.......in the 1700/1800 era most
women retained their maiden names after marriage.
You will see on some census info this is so..NOT
ALL, but for example, if the woman was a Smith, she
was known as a Smith, but she was also known as the
Wife of John Doe.....on the tomb stone you will
likely see his name first, if he died first and then
‘his wife .... Smith’. You are right to think it
makes it easier for us doing genealogy to find
folks. Again, NOT all women did this, but it was a
common thing for the woman to retain her maiden
name. She was likely proud of her forbearers. To
carry the man’s name is a more modern thing. The
maiden name also denoted the Clan or Sept of 5Clan
she belonged to. Goldie
John Kemplen via
Sent: Thursday, March 26, 2020 4:01
Subject: Re: [ScotGen]
I don't think it is quite like that. Most
married Scottish women have, for many years,
ALWAYS been known by their married surname while
they are alive and it is ONLY on their headstones
when they are dead that they are called by their
maiden surname. Because their husband's name also
tends to appear for one reason or another on the
headstone, it is usually possible to identify them
by either their maiden or their married name. It
is a relatively modern thing, and not just in
Scotland, for married women to continue to use
their maiden surname.
On 26/03/2020 22:10,
And, that is why, they are named by
their maiden name on headstones. So helpful, for
us into genealogy.
Hello everyone - I have found
from my Scottish ancestry that many women
retain their maiden surname even when
married which makes tracing them so much
easier, Gillie Lomax.
25 Mar 2020 at 03:22, Josephine Conray
search Ancestry and Scotland
people. And found the following
information it might be yours
and it might not, but it
something you can work on.
1901 Census it state Catherine
McEwing, age 44 her son Robert
born 1887in Campbeltown, he is
14 years old and a Gardener’s
Apprentice. It seems that she
used her married name most of
the time maybe it was it was
Robert or her family that buried
her under her madam name.
Aug 1846/7 Teasdale / Islay
Argyll and Died year 1921 age 74
Ref/no 507/7 Cambeltown, Married
1 Dec 1885 Catherine McEwing
parents are John Stewart 1814
Kilarrow, Argyll and Mary
McCaig b10 Dec 1816 Bowmore,
Islay, Argyll & died 2 Dec
1872 Bowmore, Argyll they had 5
Stewart 1814 parents were
Donald Stewart & Betsy
Brown. They were married 27 Mar
1806 Killarrow, Argyll.
10 May 1857 Campbeltown and died
18 May 1921 Campbeltown .
Death under the name of
Catherine McEwing, age 64 Death
1921 Ref/no 507/42 Campbeltown
Parents Joseph McEwing 24/7/1828
Campbeltown , Argyll and Died14
/6/ 1888, Campbeltowm, Argyll
married 13 Dec 1853 Campbeltown
Argyll Film No 1041005 to
Wallace 6 Jan 1829 Carradale,
Argyll and died 7 Nov 1895.
parents were John McEwing 28 Jan
1807 Islay and died 22march 1869
and Flora Stevenson 1797 Islay,
died 17 Oct 1866
Parents were John Wallace 5 Mat
1793 Killean & Kilchenzie
and deid about 1851-1855 &
Margaret Gilchrist born 26 March
1802 Kilcalmonell Argyll and
Died 10 Aug 1861 South
Beachmore, Argyll Scotland.
Hugh and his wife both died in
Campbeltown in 1921.
Still trying to find out what
happened to my elusive
Grandfather, Hugh Stewart,
born 1846 on Islay, married
Catherine McEwing 1885 in
Campbeltown then disappeared.
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