WHEN RESEARCH BEGAN:Grandmother Margaret May (Robertson) Martin's Book for my Grandchildren told the romantic tale of how young Margaret Weir who was sailing with her family from Scotland to Canada said that she met First Mate William M. Robertson and the two fell in love. William promised to find Margaret in the "Queen's Bush" in frontier Ontario. He quit the sea and did find her. They married and started a life together.
FINDING THE IMMIGRANTS!: Also according to Margaret May (Robertson) Martin's Book for my Grandchildren, Margaret Margaret Weir, her parents, a sister and two brothers went from Scotland to Canada.
From where in Scotland? Where in Ontario? And what were her parents and siblings' names? Answering these questions took a letter with the name of the village of Morebattle which I could not find on any map, a genealogist we met in Scotland who located the village of Morebattle on the Scottisch Borders, a trip to Morebattle, and research in Selkirk. This research revealed an important book that named Adam Weir and Jane Hyndmarsh as the parents and Mary, Margaret, Adam, and John Weir as the children of the immigrant family I was seeking. An 1851 census record for Morebattle showed the mother and children still in Morebattle. The father Adam was not listed and had perhaps already started for Canada. Later there were more letters to Weir descendants discovered in Canada.
ENGLISH-SCOTTISH ANCESTORS: Research in Selkirk also revealed the birth and parents of the father Adam Weir who immigrated to Canada. His father John Weir, a Herd, i.e. shepherd, his mother Margaret or "Peggy" and their family including immigrant Adam lived on sheep ranches. They first lived on the sheep ranch Blindburn, in Northumberland close to the English side of the Border, and christened their children in the Presbyterian Church in Harbottle, Northumberland, England. Later they lived on a sheep ranch Bowndean Law in Roxburgshire just over the Scottish side of the Border, and their children were again christened in the Oxnam Parish Church of Scotland. Walking from on ranch to the other probably took the Weirs less time than driving around the around the peaks of the mountains today. We found the marriage records as well as baptism records for many chilren made years after the fact in the Parish Church in Oxnam on the Scottish side of the Border. And back in the US I found microfilmed individual christening records in Harbottle Presbyterian Church, made at the time of christening.
Adam Weir, a son of John Weir and Margaret/Peggy Rutherford, was born in 1788 in Earning Hall (which is now called Yearning Hall)on the sheep ranch Blindburn on the English side of the Border. This Adam Weir married Jane Hyndmarsh. They had four children who were born in Yetholm, Hounam, and Morebattle, Scotland.
TO CANADA AND KANSAS, USA: Adam Weir appears to have gone to Canada by himself, returned for his family, and they all moved to Glenelg Township, Grey County, Ontario, Canada. One married daughter Margaret Weir Robertson, her husband and children moved to Brown County, Kansas.
FINDING THE WEIR'S SHIP: In 2005 a search on Ancestry.com revealed that the Adam Weir family had immigrated from Glasgow, Scotland on the ship Conway and arrived in New York on 29 June 1852. When we visited the National Archive (TNA) in London, we found the ship's information in Lloyd's Registery did not have papers for the Conway. Thus we did not find the list of sailors and be able to prove that William Robertson was an officer on this ship.
SPECIAL THANKS TO: Margaret May (Robertson) Martin for her Book for my Grandchildren which gave names, dates, the birth place of immigrants simply aas Scotland, some early family stories, Donald William Martin and Frances Luella Picton Martin for their conversations about ancestors and creating the most treasured Picture Book of Martin Ancestors with dates and approximate places, Geneva Fiske gave Margaret's birthplace as Morbattle, Scotland, which eventually lead us to Morebattle, Lawrence Burness, the genealogist in Arbroath, Scotland, who found the Morebattle in his gazeteer, Donald Whyte for his first book A Dictionary of Scottish Emigrants to Canada Before Confederation which named the Weir parents and children who immigrated and listed a footnote for his informant and his sending me the name and address of John Weir, his informant, Jean Weir Maher, sister of John Weir who answered my letters and sent information, John Weir who shared his research from his hospital bed and Don Chapman, whose web site gave more information about the Canadian branch of the Weirs, and introduced me to Margaret Polloway, descendant of Mary Weir and George Anderson, who had done much primary research and who struggled with me about whether the Allexander Hindmarsh and Isablla Fretter were the parents of our Jane HIndmarsh, and who sent some letters from Winnie Brauen, descendant of William and Margaret (Weir) Robertson's oldest daughter "Jennie",who was the first to say that George and Maggie Robertson were twins, and gave shared some descendants of Jack Kirk and "Jennie" Robertson, Brad Wilson, who requested Canadian photos, shared his family line, and whose email inspired starting photo pages for Canada and the Border and a new look at the Weir history, Charmaine Bennie who invited me to see her private Ancestry family history the Bennie Family Tree - Aidan's Ancestor's through her screen name MountainHouseBennies and whose thorough, "amazingly amazing" research has found an 1851 missing Adam Weer of the right age to be our Adam Weir listed as a "shepherd for a short time" in Yetholm and has taken the Weirs back three more generations.
QUESTIONS: Where was Adam Weir in 1851 when his wife and children were living without him in Morebattle? Did he immigrate to Canada before his family? On what ship did he travel? Did he go to find out about travel? See Charmaine Bennie's history above.
What are the birth and death dates and places for Herd John Weir and Margaret Rutherford? Who are their parents? See Charmaine Bennie's history above.
Can anyone confirm that Alexander Hyndmarsh and Isabella Fretter are the parents of Jane Hyndmarsh Weir? Or was her birth not recorded in church records available through the LDS library? The Scottish naming pattern held for the parents of immigrant Adam Weir. The naming pattern would predict that Jane Hyndmarsh Weir's parents would have been Adam and Mary. Ah, speculation...And now an answer...A current look at Ancestry.com Family Histories with Jane Hindmarsh's birthyear as 1796 shows at least a dozen histories with the the Jane Hindmarsh, daughter of Alexander Hindmarsch and Isabella Fretter a different Jane from ours. This Jane was the wife of Adam Black and died in 1855 in Northumberland, England, not in Canada where our Jane died. Some of the histories list a Bible reference which gives them great credibility. Some show a Civil Death Registration for Jane Black in Northumberland, England, June 1855. What information is on this death registration?
When you search for Jane Hindmarsh with the birth year of 1795, the year on her stone, you get about a dozen entries with "our" Jane Weir. I think I may have been one of the originators of this connection.