Robert and Margaret ALLAN

David and Margaret ALLAN

Parents of:

James and Hannah MITCHELL

Parents of:

Robert ALLAN

b. 1798 - d. 1863

marriage 6th June 1825


b. 1801 - d. 1866


b. 1827 - d. (?)

Jane Pennington ALLAN

b. 1829 - d. 1900


Archibald and Jane CLARK
Hannah ALLAN

b. 1831 - d. (?)

Gervase ALLAN

b. 1832 - d. (?)

Mary Frances ALLAN

b. 1835 - d. (?)

Margaret ALLAN

b. 1837 - d. (?)

Frances ALLAN

b. 1842 - d. (?)

Biographical notes

Perhaps the crucial factor relating to the extremely varied geographical location of this family is revealed in a quote from the family reminiscences of Wallace Allan (1848-1931), written in 1930

quote : Robert [Allan], became page then butler to Sir Wm. Gibson Craig [2nd Baronet (2 August 1797 - 12 March 1878), Scottish Advocate and politician].

This occupation is endorsed on the death certificate of Robert's daughter, Jane Pennington Allan (d. 1900), where the occupation of her father is given as Butler.

Although the Parish Register entry of Robert's birth has not been traced, his birthplace of Dailly (Ayrshire) is recorded in the 1861 Census and the identity of his parents (David Allan and Margaret Boyd) on his death certificate. His four preceeding Siblings were also born in Dailly.

The first record of the family is the marriage of Robert to Margaret Mitchell in the parish of Duthil and Rothiemurchus, Inverness, in 1825. He was 27 and she was 24. Margaret was born at Nearby Abernethy. It is not been possible to verify if Robert was in the employ of Sir William Gibson-Craig or if Sir William was living in this part of Scotland at the time. Robert and Margaret's first child David Allan (named after his paternal Grandfather) was born in the same parish of their marriage, in 1827.

Just under two years later, in 1829, a second child Ann Pennington Allan was born in Oakley, Hampshire. The details of his employer are again unknown and no record has yet been traced establishing a connection between the Gibson-Craig family and Oakley. Oakley Hall was occupied at that time by William Wither Bramston Beach. The Allan family remained here for 6 years during which time Hannah Allan (1831, named after her maternal Grandmother), Gervase Allan (1832) and Mary Frances Allan (1835) were born.

By 1837, the family had relocated to Edinburgh where Margaret Allan (1937), was born. It may be significant that Riccarton, the ancestral home of Sir William-Gibson Craig, was located in the Parish of Currie.

The entry for the Allan family in the 1841 Scotland Census is puzzling. With the exception of Mary Frances Allan (for whom, apart for her birth, no further records have been traced, and who may have died in infancy), all the other children are living in a lodging house at 66 Thistle Street, St Lukes, Edinburgh. Their mother, Margaret Allan, is listed as Margt Allan F (40) Lets Lodgings (her occupation) born outside Census County. The children of Robert and Margaret are listed as David Allan M (14) born outside Census County; Jane Allan F (12) born England; Hannah Allan F (10) born England; Gervase Allan M (8) born England; Margaret Allan F (4) born Midlothian. The dates and places of birth fit well with the evidence cited above.

Two other Allans are listed who are quite possibly cousins of the children; Robert Allan M (23) Compositor [printing typesetter] born outside Census County. This could be a cousin of the children as a Robert Allan, (son of Robert's brother Wallace Allan and Ann Anderson), born 1817 in Ayr (which would give an age of 24 in 1841), is known from other records to have had the occupation of printer. The other possible cousin is listed as Ann Allan F (17) Female Servant born outside Census County. This matches with Ann Allan daughter of Wallace Allan and Ann Anderson, born 1824 in Ayr.

The mystery here is where is Robert Allan? It seems possible that if he was a personal servant (such as a butler), that he would have been expected to live in his employer's residence with no room for his wife and children who would have to be housed (lodged) separately. So far no definite matches can be found for Robert Allan elswhere in Edinburgh.

In 1842, Frances Allan, the last child of Robert and Margaret was born in Edinburgh.

In the Census of 1851 the situation has changed and the family are recorded living at 11 St James Square in Edinburgh. It looks as if Robert's employment has changed as he is listed as Robert Allan, Head, married, 52, Door Keeper Exchequer [born] Ayrshire. His death certificate and that of Margaret, his wife, give his occupation as Door Keeper Exchequer Court which is associated with the profession of his former employer Sir William-Gibson-Craig. It looks likely that Sir William found Robert that job when he was no longer required to serve as butler to Sir William.

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