Alexander and Mary PETTIGREW

John and Elizabeth PETTIGREW

Parents of:

John and Mary RICHMOND

Parents of:


b. 1797 - d. (?)

marriage 4th November 1821


b. 1788 - d. 1855


b. 1822 - d. (?)


b. 1823 - d. (?)

Biographical notes

This family appears in the St Quivox Parish Registers and also in the Census Returns for 1841 and 1851. Alexander was one of five of the children of Elizabeth Downie and John Pettigrew who married and, in the Census of 1841, the resulting families are all living in Content Street, Wallacetown.

The St Quivox Parish Register shows that Alexander married Mary Richmond in 1821 when he was 24 and she was 33. The registers also show that Mary was born in May 1788 to John Richmond and Mary Paton.

The first snapshot of the family is provided by the 1841 Census. Alexander (Senior), a hand loom weaver, is 50 (actual age 44), Mary is 60 (actual age 53). Alexander (Junior) is their son and this is verified by the St Quivox Parish Registers which record his birth in September 1823. His age in the 1841 Census is given as 15 (actual age 18), occupation Hand Loom Weaver. John Pettigrew of age 20 is also a Hand Loom Weaver and is inferred to be an older brother of Alexander (Junior) although no verification of this can be found in the Parish registers. His age suggests a birth of 1822, just after Alexander and Mary's marriage.

Interestingly the 1841 Census also shows an Archibald Pettigrew (25, Hand Loom Weaver) and Sarah Pettigrew (25) sharing the same house. Archibald is the brother of Alexander (Senior), and Sarah (nee Johnstone) is his wife; the St Quivox Parish Register records their marriage in December 1839. One inference is that Archibald and Sarah were sharing the house until they could afford to set up on their own.

The other occupant in the 1841 Census is an elderly female with the surname Pettigrew (of recorded age 70) with a first name recorded as Jn (Widow). The most likely interpretation is that the Jn is an abbreviation of John and she is the Widow of John Pettigrew (Elizabeth Pettigrew, nee Downie or Dounie), which has been used by the Census Enumerator instead of her given name Elizabeth. Other evidence supporting this is in the 'Where Born' column which is given as 'Outside Census County (1841)' which correlates with the Arran (Bute) place of birth given for Elizabeth in the same household in the 1851 Census. Interestingly a James Dounie (10), a male servant may be related to Elizabeth as is another male servant Daniel Pollock who is her grandson.

The 1851 Census of the same household records Alexander (Senior) as a farmer aged 54 (actual age 55), and his wife Mary as aged 75 (actual age 63). Alexander (Junior) is still a Cotton Weaver aged 25 (actual age 28). John Pettigrew is absent but an unmarried Hand Loom Weaver called John Petticrew, aged 30, appears as a lodger with a family in nearby Elba Street (Wallacetown), and is almost certainly the same person.

The fascinating and most significant member of the household as regards family history is Elizabeth Pettigrew (nee Downie, Pettigrew Jn Widow in the 1841 Census). In 1851 her status is given as Head of the Household and under Occupation the role is that of Housekeeper. Her age is 77 and her place of birth is given as Arran, Bute. The relationship between her and the other members of the household are unequivocal. Alexander (Senior) son, Mary (his wife) daughter-in -law, Alexander (Junior) is grandson.

Also of significance are two additional grandsons of Elizabeth; Robert Park (18), Cotton Weaver, and Alexander Park (14), Scholar. From the 1841 Census and from the St Quivox Parish Registers, we know that these are the two (of 4) youngest children of Elizabeth's daughter (also confusingly called Elizabeth), sister of Alexander (Senior), who was born in 1810 and who, although unmarried, had the children by James Chalmers Park. The 1841 Census return suggests that Elizabeth (Junior) who is classed as an 'Independent' was bringing up the children on her own (see entry under Elizabeth, 1810).

By 1855 (just 4 years later), Alexander, Mary and apparently Elizabeth Pettigrew have all died. There is a statutory death entry for Mary who died in November 1855 and this records that she was a widow at the time of her death so Alexander must have died sometime between the Census in 1851 and Mary's death in 1855. No further record has been found of Elizabeth Pettigrew which also suggests that she died in the same 4 year period.

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