These are notes and could be wrong. Please contact me if you are thinking of using them. I am also interested to hear from anyone with any ideas or questions about this family.
Lilly Melrose married David Peter Living and together they left Scotland and founded my Australian Livingstone family. David's ancestry is the subject of another webpage.
Concerning her ancestry, I’ll start by quoting my distant relative Malcolm Gain (copied in):
“Lily gave William Melrose, coachman in a private family, deceased pre 1838, as the name of her father on the parish register [at her wedding] and ship's records, but Adam was the name given on Lily's death record. It is more than likely that William Melrose, maybe Adam's brother, who had raised 8 or 9 children of his own in Temple, Midlothian (including a James, a William and a Robert) was foster father to Lily perhaps after her parents' early death.”
The shipping record for the Portland of 1838 shows that Lilly was a "nurserymaid" aged 21 years old (so born about 1817), who could read and write, was Presbyterian, and born in Temple Midlothian, outside of the city of Edinburgh. She named her father as William Melrose, and her mother as Elizabeth Stirling, although as we shall see below there are some doubts about the father's first name.
The marriage register, for the
--26th July 1838--
David Peter, Domestic Servant, Davies Lodgins, No. 309 Canongate Leith [*Wynd?] Parish, and Lilley Milrose, Kemlo's Lodgings No.241 Canongate, New Street Parish, and both in the Original Parish of Canongate, Daughter of the late William Milrose, Coachman, EdinBurgh, gave up their names for Proclamation of Marriage certified by William Kemlo, No.241 Canongate, Andrew Davie, Spirit Dealer, No.309, there, Mr David Allan, one of the Elders, of Leith [*Wynd?] parish and Mr David Arthur, one of the Elders of New Street, the above named Parties were three times regularly proclaimed in the Parish Churches of Canongate, Leith [*Wynd?], and New Street, on Sabbath the 29th Current, and no objections being offered.
It seems the 2 parishes of Leith
were North and South so I do not know why the word Wynd, a type of
street, might be inserted. Furthermore, although others have read
"Wynd" I find this only the most likely reading of the
There is no serious doubt about the baptism of Lily, but the father's name is wrong.
Adam Melrose & Betty Stirling his wife had a Daughter born 15 March 1813 and baptized shortly after named Alison Lilly Melrose.
They had a Daughter born on the 14 March 1815 & baptized in April named Lilly."
Why are these two far apart births and
baptisms mentioned together? Maybe Alison Lilly died, and Lilly's name
is meant to recall her? And why does this baptismal register give no
baptismal dates? Were they baptised elsewhere and mentioned in the
Temple district register?
There is at least one more sibling, William:
24/02/1817 MELROSS, WILLIAM son of ADAM MELROSS and BETTY STERLING in Borthwick, MIDLOTHIAN
"Melross. William Melross lawful son of Adam Melross servan[scan stops] Middleton and Betty Stirling was born 4th Feb. and Baptised 24th. Feb 1817 before witnesses Mr Allan and Mr Thirr(?)"
On the other hand, there appears to be more to this family! I have also been contacted by Sue Harvey, a descendant of Elizabeth Melrose who married Robert McGlashan 2/6/1831 in St Cuthbert's parish in Edinburgh, and came out to Australia in the same year as Lilly. (They even appear together in a newspaper article, described as relatives.) As Sue says: "Interestingly her marriage certificate suggests that Adam is alive in 1831":
McGlashan, coach wright, residing in No. 18 William St, and Eliza
Melrose, also residing in same place, both in this parish, daughter
of Adam Melrose, Gentleman's servant there, have been three times
proclaimed in order to marriage in the Parish Chrich of St.
Cuthbert's and no objections have been offered.
Married on the second day of June thereafter by the Reverend Robert Renwick Minister of the United Associate secession Congregation, Dean Street Stockbridge."
Elizabeth died in Lockwood in 1857 and her death certificate information would put her date of birth at about 1810. It is clear that Elizabeth is a fourth child in Lily's family (Elizabeth, Alison, Lilly, and William). There may be more, because we are clearly missing a thread.
The wedding of the parents of Lilly is clear:
01/06/1806 MELROSE, ADAM & BETTY STIRLING/FR2518 M Temple /MIDLOTHIAN 700/ 0030 0277
"Adam Melrose & Betty Stirling. Intimation of a purpose of marriage between Adam Melrose in this parish & Betty Stirling in the parish of Dalkeith was made the 1 June 1806, and after due Proclamation were married."
So who is William, presumed step-father of Lilly mentioned by Malcolm Gain above? Malcolm proposes that Adam and William were brothers. Or could Lilly have been naming her brother as a kind of next of kin, or maybe just to give a simple answer to all the questions? (We know she had a brother named William, who followed the same occupation as her father.)
Taking Malcolm's idea though, that William was her uncle, if we look for a family that might be William's find this group looking like a family, partly in Temple parish, and also using the name Adam for one child...
15/08/1809 MELROSE ADAM
2 09/07/1807 MELROSE ALEXANDER WILLIAM MELROSE/ELIZABETH HARPER Temple /MIDLOTHIAN
3 27/02/1803 MELROSE ELIZABETH WILLIAM MELROSE/ELIZABETH HARPER Temple /MIDLOTHIAN
4 01/01/1793 MELROSE JAMES WILLIAM MELROSE/BARBARA HARPER Penicuik /MIDLOTHIAN
5 05/07/1805 MELROSE ROBERT WILLIAM MELROSE/ELIZABETH HARPER Temple /MIDLOTHIAN
6 28/01/1800 MELROSE WILLIAM WILLIAM MELROSE/ELIZABETH HARPER Temple /MIDLOTHIAN
7 04/06/1799 MELROSS JAMES WILLIAM MELROSS/ELIZABETH HARPER Temple /MIDLOTHIAN
8 28/03/1797 MELROSS MARGARET WILLIAM MELROSS/ELIZABETH HARPER Temple /MIDLOTHIAN
...notice how one (but only one) of the Penicuik baptisms gives the mother's name as Barbara. Is it is the same family? I have my doubts about the two baptisms in Penicuik. Looking for a marriage I find two, making it clear that these were two Melrose/Harper couples, but at a very similar time...
02/02/1792 MELROSE WILLIAM
2 08/04/1792 MILROSS WILLIAM ELIZABETH HARPER Temple /MIDLOTHIAN
Both records, when examined, say
that both participants were of the parish where the marriage
occurred, so I think these are two families, which means the Temple
family did not use the name Adam, and that seems to weaken the case for
this being the William on Lilly's marriage registration. For now I am
not confident that we have any good explanation of the wrong name Lilly
gave for her father, two times in 1838. In 1838 though, we do know that
her father had actually been dead for several years.
It is possible to make wrong guesses, but one baptism stands out for Lilly's father, at least amongst those which still exist and are indexed...
14/11/1779 MELROSS, ADAM son of WILLIAM MELROSS and HENARTTA SMITH, West Linton /PEEBLES
(Born October 25 and baptised November
These seem to be the siblings, Adam and William included...
MELROSE JAMES WILLIAM
MELROSE/HENNY SMITH West
14/11/1779 MELROSS ADAM WILLIAM MELROSS/HENARTTA SMITH FR196 M West Linton /PEEBLES
30/07/1763 MELROSS ROBERT WILLIAM MELROSS/HENRIETTA SMYTH FR153 M West Linton /PEEBLES
21/04/1765 MELROSS WILLIAM WILLIAM MELROSS/HENRIETTA SMYTH FR154 M West Linton /PEEBLES
I don't find the marriage of his parents. Concerning Henrietta I
do seem to seem find a baptism, in Newlands, neighbouring on West
Linton. The parents must be
11/06/1725 SMITH WILLIAM AGNES RAMADGE/FR268 M NEWLANDS /PEEBLES:-
15/04/1728 SMITH JAMES WILLIAM
SMITH/ M NEWLANDS /PEEBLES
01/05/1726 SMITH JANET WILLIAM SMITH/ F NEWLANDS /PEEBLES
31/08/1735 SMITH HENRIETTA WILLIAM SMITH/ F NEWLANDS /PEEBLES (a tenant in Scotstoun, which is to the south of Newlands near Kirkurd)
26/02/1738 SMITH HELEN WILLIAM SMITH/ F NEWLANDS /PEEBLES
04/05/1740 SMITH WILLIAM WILLIAM SMITH/ M NEWLANDS /PEEBLES
31/10/1742 SMITH ROBERT WILLIAM SMITH/ M NEWLANDS /PEEBLES
02/10/1745 SMITH MARION WILLIAM SMITH/ F NEWLANDS /PEEBLES
Surprisingly, there are not only lots of candidates for William Smith in the area, but also for his wife Agnes Ramadge. The surname seems unusual, but Black's Surnames of Scotland mentions that it was "long associated" with Stobo in Peebleshire. The earliest mention Black found was in Perth in the 1200s.
Peebles seems to have been a big centre for the Melrose family. But in West Linton, there were two Williams having children there at the same time and two born about the same time. Here are the parish baptisms...
MELROSE JOHNE WILLIAM
MELROSE/AGNES WILSONE FR10
15/05/1659 MELROS WILLIAME JOHNE MELROS/
12/03/1665 MELLROS JOHN JOHN MELLROS/
19/03/1665 MELLROS JONET JOHN MELLROS/
01/02/1657 MELROSE AGNES JOHN MELROSE/
18/09/1698 MELROSS ANDREU ANDREU MELROSS/
15/12/1700 MELROSS BESSIE ANDREU MELROSS/
20/05/1673 MELLROS WILLIAM THOMAS MELLROS/CHRISTIAN TAIT FR21
10/08/1679 MELROS JEAN THOMAS MELROS/CHRISTIAN TAIT FR30
17/02/1678 MELROS JOHN THOMAS MELROS/CHRISTIANE TAIT FR28
16/02/1673 MELLROS AGNES ANDREW MELLROS/JEAN SCOTT FR23
17/06/1671 MELLROS ISOBELL ANDREW MELLROS/JEAN SCOTTE FR19
28/02/1686 MELROSS ANDREW ANDREW MELROSS/JEAN SCOT FR36
20/09/1676 MELROSS MARGARET ANDREW MELROSS/JEAN SCOTT FR26
11/08/1678 MELROSS JENET ANDREW MELROSS/JEAN SCOTT FR29
13/02/1681 MELROSS HELEN ANDREW MELROSS/JEAN SCOTT FR33
24/02/1684 MELROSS JAMES ANDREW MELROSS/JEAN SCOTT FR34
31/01/1703 MELROSSE WILIAM ANDREW MELROSSE/HELEN SHARP FR51
20/02/1704 MELROSSE THOMAS ANDREW MELROSSE/HELEN SHARP FR53
16/02/1707 MELROSSE ROBERT ANDREW MELROSSE/HELEN SHARP FR57
22/05/1670 MELLROS WILLIAM JAMES MELLROS/BESSIE PURDIE FR19
06/07/1672 MELLROS JAMES JAMES MELLROS/BESSIE PURDIE FR21
12/02/1667 MELLROS AGNES JAMES MELLROS/ELIZABETH PURDIE FR14
07/05/1678 MELROSS AGNES JAMES MELROSS/BESSIE PURDIE FR28
11/04/1686 MELROSS ARCHBALD JAMES MELROSS/BESSIE PURDIE FR37
14/04/1668 MELLROS GEORGE JAMES MELLROS/ELIZABETH PURDIE FR17
09/05/1680 MELROS JOHN JAMES MELROS/BESSIE PURDIE FR30
20/08/1676 MELROSSE ANDREW JAMES MELROSSE/BESSIE PURDIE FR26
03/06/1683 MELROS ROBERT JAMES MELROS/BESSIE PURDIE FR34
30/03/1673 MELLROS ISOBELL JOHN MELLROS/BESSIE RANKINE FR21
20/07/1675 MELROSE JAMES JOHN MELROSE/BESSIE RANKINE FR24
16/01/1670 MELLROS MARGARET JON MELLROS/BESSIE RANKINE FR17
09/06/1667 MELLROS JONET JON MELLROS/ELIZABETH RANKINE FR15
30/08/1668 MELLROS JAMES JON MELLROS/MARION PORTEOUS FR17
29/03/1671 MELROS HELEN JON MELROS/MARION PORTEOUS FR19
19/01/1697 MELROSS JAMES JAMES MELROSS/
15/09/1700 MELROSS JAMES JAMES MELROSS/
30/12/1711 MELROSS RICHARD JAMES MELROSS/BESSIE GOULDIE FR62
21/09/1701 MELROSSE AGNES JAMES MELROSSE/
21/02/1703 MELROSSE ELIZABETH JAMES MELROSSE/BESSIE GOULDIE FR51
02/07/1704 MELROSSE ISOBELL JAMES MELROSSE/BESSIE GOULDIE FR53
30/03/1706 MELROSSE WILLIAM JAMES MELROSSE/BESSIE GOULDIE FR56
14/04/1708 MELROSSE MARGRAT JAMES MELROSSE/BESSIE GOULDIE FR59
18/01/1728 MELROSS JOHN ANDREW MELROSS/... ALEXANDER FR81
06/06/1725 MELROSS AGNES ANDREW MELROSS/JANE ALEXANDER FR77
11/08/1741 MELROSS JEAN ROBERT MELROSS/HELEN WALLACE FR103
27/11/1743 MELROSS ANDREW ROBERT MELROSS/HELEN WALLACE FR106
09/11/1746 MELROSS JAMES ROBERT MELROSS/HELEN WALLACE FR111
15/01/1749 MELROSS MARGARET ROBERT MELROSS/HELEN WALLACE FR115
03/10/1751 MELROSS ELISABETH ROBERT MELROSS/HELEN WALLACE FR125
15/04/1740 MELROSS HELEN ROBERT MELROSS/HELEN WALLACE FR97
07/09/1735 MELROSS JOHN ROBERT MELROSS/HELLEN WALLACE FR91
11/09/1737 MELROSS WILLIAM ROBERT MELROSS/HELLEN WALLACE FR94
04/12/1747 MELROSS ANDREW WILLIAM MELROSS/ISABEL ALEXANDER FR113
14/04/1734 MELROSS BESSIE WILLIAM MELROSS/ISABEL ALEXANDER FR89
12/07/1741 MELROSS JAMES WILLIAM MELROSS/ISOBEL ALEXANDER FR103
03/07/1743 MELROSS WILLIAM WILLIAM MELROSS/ISOBEL ALEXANDER FR105
06/08/1732 MELROSS JEAN WILLIAM MELROSS/ISOBEL ALEXANDER FR87
24/07/1748 MELROSS ADAM /AGNES MELROSS FR115
29/07/1770 MELROSS JEAN JOHN MELROSS/JANET KECHEN FR169
05/07/1767 MELROSS MARGARET JOHN MELROSS/JANET KETCHEN FR160
12/05/1776 MELROSS JAMES JOHN MELROSS/JANET KETCHEN FR185
09/06/1765 MELROSS HELEN JOHN MELROSS/JANET KETCHING FR155
22/03/1777 MELROSE JAMES WILLIAM MELROSE/HENNY SMITH FR187
14/11/1779 MELROSS ADAM WILLIAM MELROSS/HENARTTA SMITH FR196
30/07/1763 MELROSS ROBERT WILLIAM MELROSS/HENRIETTA SMYTH FR153
21/04/1765 MELROSS WILLIAM WILLIAM MELROSS/HENRIETTA SMYTH FR154
17/12/1775 MELROSE ELIZABETH WILLIAM MELROSE/AGNES PATERSON FR183
10/11/1776 MELROSE ISOBEL WILLIAM MELROSE/AGNES PATERSON FR187
25/01/1778 MELROSE JEAN WILLIAM MELROSE/AGNES PATERSON FR191
12/09/1779 MELROSE JOHN WILLIAM MELROSE/AGNES PATERSON FR197
Notice how the name Adam was used often in this family. I believe that one way or another the West Linton Melrose's are the ancestor of Lilly, though this can not currently be considered proven.
Concerning Betty Stirling, I had long thought that I knew who she was until I found a family who also claim the baptism I found in Dalkeith. To quote a member of the Falconer family who contacted me:
Elizabeth Stirling I have was married to Andrew Falconer on the 20th
June 1795. According to the OPR records they married in the
Cannongate in Edinburgh however the marriage is also recorded in
Dalkeith on the same date. The only relative listed for Elizabeth is
her father James Stirling a Weaver in Dalkeith.
Census information in 1841 confirms that Elizabeth was born in Midlothian.
The only Elizabeth Stirling born in Midlothian with a father called James was born in Dalkeith in about 1776. (20th March 1776), parents James Stirling and Ann Witherspoon."
The marriage register 01/06/1806 in
Temple for Adam and Betty, transcribed fully above, mentions that
Betty was from Dalkeith. That certainly seems to be the daughter of
James Stirling and Anne Witherspoons. But I notice that indeed the
other Elizabeth's marriage to Andrew Falconer in 1795 also says she
is from Dalkeith! I also see that this marriage in was recorded in
the registers at both Dalkeith and Canongate, and the one in
Canongate says her father was James Stirling, weaver.
The marriage of James and Anne was 15/07/1773 in Dalkeith, but does not say if James was a weaver. At the baptism of his youngest children, the twins Ann and Jean, he is called a woolen manufacturer. In summary I'd say that the Falconers have a slightly stronger claim on the daughter of James Stirling and Anne Witherspoons!