Topics

McKays in Moray


Anne Burgess
 

If you have a copy of the original document from Scotland's People, there is no point looking for anything different on Ancestry because it will be from the same document.

If


jwmmackay@...
 

Hi Josephine,

That is definitely the marriage; I have a copy of the record from SP. If that is from Ancestry, can you tell me if you see anything interesting there? Maybe an age? All I see when I click on Margaret’s name is an Ancestry ad.

The name Donald does sound familiar; probably something I found in 2016 that did not pan out.

If Alexander was in the army I would hope to find him in a later census - 1841, 1851, etc, and that has been my challenge. My suspicion is the family was in another county, not Ross and Cromarty. But if, with no birth year, it is that difficult to track them in one county, I don’t see finding them elsewhere - again, very common names.

But thank you for trying.

John


Josephine Conray
 

Hi John

 

I have been searching Scotland People for the last hour but only found one possible child for Alexander & Margaret and he is:--

 

Donald McKay to Alexander McKay ONLY no mother name birth 00/01/1807 Parish No 073 Parish 20/165 Knochbain.  (just going on the town)

 

 

I was wondering could Alexander have been in the Army and servicing over sea eg: India. Since he was married in 1806 and the only children found so far are Alex ten years & William fifteen years after they were married makes me think they were not in Scotland.

 

 

This is the only marriage I could find not sure if it is yours but it was the only one.

 

 

Name:

Alexander Mckay

Gender:

Male

Marriage Date:

17 Apr 1806

Marriage Place:

Urquhart and Logie Wester,Ross and Cromarty,Scotland

Spouse:

Margaret Simpson

FHL Film Number:

990660

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From: Scots@Scotland-Genealogy.groups.io [mailto:Scots@Scotland-Genealogy.groups.io] On Behalf Of jwmmackay@...
Sent: Tuesday, 21 April 2020 9:25 AM
To: Scots@Scotland-Genealogy.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ScotGen] McKays in Moray

 

Thank you all.

William’s 1903 death record confirms my work from 2016 pointing to Alexander McKay / Mackay and Margaret Simpson being my 4th great grandparents. All I have been able to find on them is an 1806 marriage record (Culbokie, Ross and Cromarty), and the births / baptisms of William (1821) and Alexander Jr (1816), both in Knochbain.

I have tried locating death records for Alexander and Margaret, hoping that would tell me their parents. But I don’t know their ages (don’t appear in the marriage record). And I haven’t found them in any Census. I have spent many, many hours trying to find them in 1841, focusing on Ross and Cromarty (which was flooded with McKays), with a range of ages. Many Alexanders married to many Margarets, both with and without sons named William and Alexander, who might be on their own by 1841, but no luck so far pulling it all together.

I’m left wondering, with such common names and no years of birth, is this a hopeless search? Maybe someone who hasn’t been staring at these names for hours on end can see things more clearly?

Thanks!

John




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jwmmackay@...
 

Thank you all.

William’s 1903 death record confirms my work from 2016 pointing to Alexander McKay / Mackay and Margaret Simpson being my 4th great grandparents. All I have been able to find on them is an 1806 marriage record (Culbokie, Ross and Cromarty), and the births / baptisms of William (1821) and Alexander Jr (1816), both in Knochbain.

I have tried locating death records for Alexander and Margaret, hoping that would tell me their parents. But I don’t know their ages (don’t appear in the marriage record). And I haven’t found them in any Census. I have spent many, many hours trying to find them in 1841, focusing on Ross and Cromarty (which was flooded with McKays), with a range of ages. Many Alexanders married to many Margarets, both with and without sons named William and Alexander, who might be on their own by 1841, but no luck so far pulling it all together.

I’m left wondering, with such common names and no years of birth, is this a hopeless search? Maybe someone who hasn’t been staring at these names for hours on end can see things more clearly?

Thanks!

John


Anne Burgess
 

Goldie is absolutely right. The way a surname is spelled has absolutely no significance, especially when it's a matter of Mc versus Mac.

Mackay is commoner than McKay (SP has 370,226 references to Mackay and 264,248 to McKay) but it's always important to search for both spellings because so many people's name are spelled differently in different sources.

Anne


DixieAC
 

YES. I have ancestors whose names were spelled several different ways within a quite short time frame. So many ways for that to happen. Did the person writing it come from that area or from far away? Did the recorder hear right? Did the person supplying the info speak clearly? And so on and so on.

Dixie Cutler
always seeking ancestors on Islay or in Wick.


On Apr 17, 2020, at 8:08 PM, Goldie & Lido Doratti <lidogold2@...> wrote:

MC or MAC....makes no difference .......times changed, and it has nothing at all to do with Religion, or being Canadian or American. It’s about having an ‘open’ mind.  People weren’t used to having their names written down, and whoever asked someone’s name wrote it the way they thought it should be.  On the grand scale of things, spelling was not important THEN.  When you are doing research, you are the person who needs to think ‘outside the box’.  Things THEN were not the way they are now.  This is a good lesson for anyone starting out doing genealogy..... Goldie
 
From: jwmmackay@...
Sent: Friday, April 17, 2020 6:25 PM
To: Scots@Scotland-Genealogy.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ScotGen] McKays in Moray
 
We’re going to need more credits. That’s a Jaws joke, which may not translate outside the US.



Goldie & Lido Doratti
 

MC or MAC....makes no difference .......times changed, and it has nothing at all to do with Religion, or being Canadian or American. It’s about having an ‘open’ mind.  People weren’t used to having their names written down, and whoever asked someone’s name wrote it the way they thought it should be.  On the grand scale of things, spelling was not important THEN.  When you are doing research, you are the person who needs to think ‘outside the box’.  Things THEN were not the way they are now.  This is a good lesson for anyone starting out doing genealogy..... Goldie
 

From: jwmmackay@...
Sent: Friday, April 17, 2020 6:25 PM
To: Scots@Scotland-Genealogy.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ScotGen] McKays in Moray
 
We’re going to need more credits. That’s a Jaws joke, which may not translate outside the US.

Thank you both so much. The inclusion of the Mackay spelling is really opening things up. I appear to have found the family in the previously missing 1871, 1881, and 1891 Censuses.

I knew that the spelling of one’s name wasn’t always consistent back then, but in my digging it was always McKay up to 1861. It seems there was a conscious decision to change it after that: I’m seeing death certificate registrants signing it like that and not going back to the former way (it wasn’t just a Census taker’s assumption).

Ironically, it was the McKay spelling that helped me first find my 2nd great grandfather years ago: I was told that looking for a John Mackay of interminate age of no known parentage and no known Scottish locality would have been much more challenging; the McKay spelling really narrowed things down.

Bear in mind, I am John Mackay. It was my 2nd g gf’s Canadian marriage record that said it was once McKay. This actually made sense to me: In the 1880’s the US was quite anti-Catholic; he would have changed it when he emigrated to NY - to look like what he was, a Scottish Protestant.

So far, it looks like all of the work I did years ago was actually correct - my initial inquiry regarding whether I had in fact found my 4th great g parents, and whether I was indeed tied to the Cobban branch documented back to the 1700s. It remains to be seen whether I can reach back further.

Maybe expect some small follow-up questions. For now I have a lot to chew on. Such a great quarantine project!

Regards,

John


jwmmackay@...
 

We’re going to need more credits. That’s a Jaws joke, which may not translate outside the US.

Thank you both so much. The inclusion of the Mackay spelling is really opening things up. I appear to have found the family in the previously missing 1871, 1881, and 1891 Censuses.

I knew that the spelling of one’s name wasn’t always consistent back then, but in my digging it was always McKay up to 1861. It seems there was a conscious decision to change it after that: I’m seeing death certificate registrants signing it like that and not going back to the former way (it wasn’t just a Census taker’s assumption).

Ironically, it was the McKay spelling that helped me first find my 2nd great grandfather years ago: I was told that looking for a John Mackay of interminate age of no known parentage and no known Scottish locality would have been much more challenging; the McKay spelling really narrowed things down.

Bear in mind, I am John Mackay. It was my 2nd g gf’s Canadian marriage record that said it was once McKay. This actually made sense to me: In the 1880’s the US was quite anti-Catholic; he would have changed it when he emigrated to NY - to look like what he was, a Scottish Protestant.

So far, it looks like all of the work I did years ago was actually correct - my initial inquiry regarding whether I had in fact found my 4th great g parents, and whether I was indeed tied to the Cobban branch documented back to the 1700s. It remains to be seen whether I can reach back further.

Maybe expect some small follow-up questions. For now I have a lot to chew on. Such a great quarantine project!

Regards,

John


Anne Burgess
 

My apologies, John. It is so automatic for me to search using wildcards that I completely forgot to say that I searched for M*c*k*y not McKay. In the 1901 census, and on both death certificates, William and Elizabeth's surname is recorded as Mackay not McKay so if you search using McKay you won't find them.

You have to buy a minumum of 30 credits which is enough to view all three deaths and the 1901 census, with enough left over for one more document.

Best wishes

Anne


Allan MacBain
 

Hi John,

Here's the link to the search results for Elizabeth Cooper MacKay, d 1935.

William McKay, d 1903 - at the very bottom of the results list:

You can quite happily make searches, and see the results listed, without having to purchase credits; but you need the credits to view the individual records.
The search methodology for ScotlandsPeople is not as intuitive as it was a couple of years ago.

Allan MacBain MBCS
Associate Genealogist (UK & Europe), Clan MacBean Association 


On Thu, 16 Apr 2020 at 12:30, <jwmmackay@...> wrote:
Hi Anne

I can see that you are clearly better at all of this than I am.  At this point I am 1 for 4.

When I search SP for William McKay deaths the closest I get is an 83 yr old in 1903, in Marnoch. Only one year off in age from what you said, but I trust your hunting skills more than my own. In fact, when I search all William McKay deaths in all of Scotland in 1903, I get just this one in Marnoch. I don’t find any Williams in Cromarty in any year.

I did find Margaret’s 1908 death record in SP. I haven’t bought credits yet to download, because I want to see how many total I might need.

For the 1901 Census I do find a William McKay in Ross and Cromarty in SP, but he is 80, not 79. If you think that is close enough I will download it, but, again, I trust your skills more than mine.

In SP I don’t find any Elizabeth McKays dying in all of Scotland in 1935 even close to the age of 78. And none in Inverness. When I look at Inverness specifically I find an 82 yr old dying in 1930 and a 74 yr old dying in 1945.

Thanks,

John


jwmmackay@...
 

Hi Goldie,

A few years ago, going through some US Census data, I came across some confusing data that, it seems, could only be explained by some combination of my great grandmother not wanting to admit she had aged 10 years since the previous one, and not wanting to say she was 2 years older than her husband. Made her great grandson laugh from the grave! So, I try to allow a little wiggle room while looking at these.


Goldie & Lido Doratti
 

Hi John!  You have a top notch lady helping you with this!!  Keep in mind that.... for example... if I asked you for census purposes what your age was today, you would tell me (hopefully the truth); BUT what if your b/day was next week....would you  tell me your age today or in a week?  Most census were done in the spring so when you search you look for a PLUS or MINUS 1 year.  Scotland’s 1841 census was supposed (big word) to give the ages of all children and over the age of 15 or 16 it was plus or minus to the nearest five.  BUT having said that, I have seen someone whose age was 22 put down as 25 instead of down to 20. What would you do with someone who was 23?  I’m sure you can see how easily it was to make a mistake. Some census recorded the actual age of adults, so it’s not written in blood.  The thing to do is keep an open mind and think outside the box. Good luck with the McKay family!!  Goldie
 

From: jwmmackay@...
Sent: Thursday, April 16, 2020 4:30 AM
To: Scots@Scotland-Genealogy.groups.io
Subject: Re: [ScotGen] McKays in Moray
 
Hi Anne

I can see that you are clearly better at all of this than I am.  At this point I am 1 for 4.

When I search SP for William McKay deaths the closest I get is an 83 yr old in 1903, in Marnoch. Only one year off in age from what you said, but I trust your hunting skills more than my own. In fact, when I search all William McKay deaths in all of Scotland in 1903, I get just this one in Marnoch. I don’t find any Williams in Cromarty in any year.

I did find Margaret’s 1908 death record in SP. I haven’t bought credits yet to download, because I want to see how many total I might need.

For the 1901 Census I do find a William McKay in Ross and Cromarty in SP, but he is 80, not 79. If you think that is close enough I will download it, but, again, I trust your skills more than mine.

In SP I don’t find any Elizabeth McKays dying in all of Scotland in 1935 even close to the age of 78. And none in Inverness. When I look at Inverness specifically I find an 82 yr old dying in 1930 and a 74 yr old dying in 1945.

Thanks,

John


jwmmackay@...
 

Hi Anne

I can see that you are clearly better at all of this than I am.  At this point I am 1 for 4.

When I search SP for William McKay deaths the closest I get is an 83 yr old in 1903, in Marnoch. Only one year off in age from what you said, but I trust your hunting skills more than my own. In fact, when I search all William McKay deaths in all of Scotland in 1903, I get just this one in Marnoch. I don’t find any Williams in Cromarty in any year.

I did find Margaret’s 1908 death record in SP. I haven’t bought credits yet to download, because I want to see how many total I might need.

For the 1901 Census I do find a William McKay in Ross and Cromarty in SP, but he is 80, not 79. If you think that is close enough I will download it, but, again, I trust your skills more than mine.

In SP I don’t find any Elizabeth McKays dying in all of Scotland in 1935 even close to the age of 78. And none in Inverness. When I look at Inverness specifically I find an 82 yr old dying in 1930 and a 74 yr old dying in 1945.

Thanks,

John


Anne Burgess
 

It depends how many years, but digital images of original Scottish BMD and census records have been available on a pay-per-view basis for about 15 years. Ancestry has a few of those, and some (notoriously error-prone) transcriptions of the census, but only Scotland's People has the complete set. There are other transcriptions available for example FindMyPast (1841-1901, with transcription errors) and FreeCEN https://freecen1.freecen.org.uk/cgi/search.pl which is more accurate but a long way from having full coverage.

See https://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=714261.0

Anne


jwmmackay@...
 

Thanks so much, Anne. I never came across any death records in Scotland. As I recall (and it has been a few years), the paper trail ran out after I found the above. I did not look specifically for death certificates, but I will now.

Your comment about Ancestry was interesting. I’ve always wondered what I may have missed by not joining.

Thanks again for these leads. It will be good to get back into this again.

John


Anne Burgess
 

PS Elizabeth Cooper McKay, aged 78, died in Inverness in 1935. If her death was registered by a relative, it might provide a clue to where her siblings went.

Anne


Anne Burgess
 

Have you found William McKay's death certificate? It should tell you the names of both his parents.

There's a death of Margaret Cobban, other surname McKay, aged 90, in Cromarty in 1908. Go to www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk, invest in a few credits, and use a few of them to download the certificate. That should confirm the names of Margaret's parents and the name and occupation of her husband.

The 1901 census (a transcription) shows William McKay, 79, steamboat agent, wife Margaret, 83 and daughter Elizabeth, 44, born Alves, living in Cromarty. You can get the original of the census from Scotland's People.

There is a death of William McKay, 82, in Cromarty in 1903. This looks like your William. Once again, get his death certificate from Scotland's People and it should tell you the names of his parents.

You were wise not to subscribe to Ancestry, as you would not have found any of this information there.

Happy hunting!

Anne


jwmmackay@...
 

Hello all.  Some years back, with Scotland’s People, familyhistory.uk, and some other sources, I attempted to find my McKay family roots, in Scotland, Ireland, or wherever the facts would take me. I never joined Ancestry, as money was tight at the time, but I did have some success.

John McKay is my 2nd great gf. I tracked him from New York, back to Canada, and ultimately Drainie, Morayshire. He appears in 2 Censuses, 1851 and 1861. In 1861, living on Ardgye Farm, his family is as follows:

William, head, 39
Margaret (maiden name Cobban), wife, 40
John, 12
Margaret, 9
Alexander, 7
Elizabeth, 4
William, 1

I have a William McKay, presumably my 3rd great gf, born in 1821 in Knockbain, Ross Shire. A birth record for 4 July lists a William born to Alexander and Margaret Simpson. If these are in fact my 4th great g parents, I have them being married 17 April, 1806 in Urquhart, with another son Alexander, born in 1816. That is all the documentation I was able to find, and that is as far back as I have been able to take the McKays.

I did find a Margaret Cobban b 1817 in New Spynie, Moray, to John and Elizabeth Cooper. My Margaret gave the name Cooper to her daughter Elizabeth as a middle name, so I made the leap of faith that this was her, which lead me to a Cobban branch in New Spynie going back to the 1700’s - thanks to the previous genealogical work of others.

What I would be interested in knowing is if I have traced my 3rd great gf William correctly, and, if so, if it is possible to take the McKays back further, to William's parents, etc.

And I would like to know the fate of my 2nd great gf John’s siblings - Margaret, Alexander, etc. I couldn’t find any promising McKays in Scotland in 1871 or 1881. Did all emigrate? If so, where to? Only my John appears to have made it to Canada.

And if anyone wants to disprove my Margaret Cobban being on this deep-rooted Cobban branch, I suppose I would welcome that too.

If there are any knowledgeable, resourceful people out there better at this than I am, I would appreciate any insights you can provide.

Regards,
John Mackay, Chicago USA.