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Georgina Pattulo was born in Edinburgh in about 1829 (according to census returns).  Unfortunately, I cannot find her birth record despite trying various spellings of the name.  She was the daughter of George Pattulo, a farmer, and Eliza Weir.  Nor can I find her on the 1841 census.

In 1851, she was boarding with the Allison family at Old Physic gardens in Edinburgh.  Her occupation was a house servant, age 20.  Evidently, she and the eldest son of the family, George, age 18, got on very well (they later married).

It appears that Georgina gave birth to a girl in 1853 – Mary Cook Allison.  I have been unable to find the birth of that girl with either surname.  Georgina and George (a plumber) married on 22 April 1855.

A year later, in April, Janet Simpson Allison was born. Two years later on 14 April 1858, Agnes Hay Allison was born.  Then a son, George, was born on  6 December 1859 in Paisley, Renfrewshire, so obviously the family moved, for what reason I don’t know (and will probably never know).

In 1861 the family were living at 9 William Street in Glasgow, with a 21-year-old boarder, John Muir.

Four more children were born before the next census: Eliza Weir, 13 January 1862; Georgina, 2 January 1864; James MacPherson, 15 April 1866; and lastly, Elizabeth, born about 1870, all in Glasgow.  I would love to know where the surnames of Cook, Hay, and MacPherson came from.

In 1871 the family were still living at 9 William Street.  The names of two children are missing: Agnes and the youngest, Elizabeth.  It appears that Agnes died the same year as her birth (yet to be confirmed) and Elizabeth may also have died the same year she was born (if her second name was Marsh).  Mary and Jessie (18 and 14) were working as callender workers and George (11) was a baker’s messenger boy.

The eldest child, Mary, married John Traquair Cowie on 1 December 1873.

Sadly, Georgina died on 17 November 1874, at age 45, from what looks like “disease of the brain”, which could be anything.

As for the children, the boys, George and James, were living with their sister, Jessie, and her family in 1881.  I have no further information on them. Georgina married Alexander Brown in 1888 (and may have worked as a servant in Eglinton Street in 1881).  From the period 1874 to 1881 I have no idea.


Sources: familysearch; scotlandspeople


Staying in Scotland, I turn to Jessie Allison’s father, George Allison.

He was born on 16 October 1832 in Edinburgh, son of George Allison and Janet Simpson, the eldest of six (known) children.

In 1841 he was living with his parents and two brothers at 27 Giles Street, Leith, Midlothian (or Edinburgh). Naturally, the original building is no longer there.

In 1851, George was living with his mother, four brothers, and a sister at Old Physic Gardens (although quite what they were doing living at the equivalent of the botanical gardens, I don’t know). His father isn’t listed but his mother is listed as a wife not a widow.  I haven’t been able to find him.  George is listed as a plumber’s apprentice.  Interestingly, one “Georgiana Pattalla” is lodging with them.  Two years his senior, Georgiana, or Georgina, was to marry George just four years later.

George married Georgina Pattulo (various spellings) on 22 April 1855 in Edinburgh.  However, their first child is listed in census returns as being born in 1853.  I have not been able to find her birth record, either under the name of Allison or Pattulo.

The couple had three more children by the 1861 census.  George was a plumber, and the family lived at William Street in Glasgow, so sometime in 1858 or 1859 they moved from Edinburgh to Renfrewshire (where a son was born), then to Glasgow.  The family had a young boarder, John Muir.

By the time of the next census in 1871, the couple had another three children and were still living in William Street, at number 9.  What’s there now is a newer block of flats.

Sadly, George’s wife died in 1874. By the 1881 census George was boarding with the Strang family at 393 Garscube Road.  Robert Strang was a foreman labourer with a wife and two baby girls.  Needless to say there’s nothing there now.  (Honestly, it won’t be worth visiting Glasgow to see where any ancestors lived – it’s all gone.)

George died on 29 October 1890, aged just 58.

Sources: scotlandspeople, familysearch, Google

I’m afraid I have even less information about George’s wife, Jessie (or Janet) Allison.

Jessie was born Janet Simpson Allison on 21 April 1856 at Perth, Perthshire, to George Allison, plumber, and Georgina Patullo (an unusual surname of ancient Scottish origin, it seems).  Jessie was the second child of eight, which included two boys.  While Jessie was born in Perth, the rest of her siblings were born in either Edinburgh or Glasgow.  Were her parents (or her mother) visiting relatives in Perth at the time of Jessie’s birth?  (But both parents were born in Edinburgh.) At some stage the family moved from Edinburgh to Paisley in Renfrewshire (Jessie’s brother was born there in 1859) and then had moved to Glasgow between then and 1861.

In 1861 the family of five were living at 9 William Street in Glasgow.  Nothing remains of what used to be there.  Some huge ugly building straddles the road now.  By 1871 three more children had been born and they were living at the same place.  Jessie and her older sister, Mary, were callender workers (they pressed cloth between heavy rollers) while their younger brother, George, was a baker’s message boy (at the age of 11).

In 1876 Jessie married George Sutherland at 109 Dale Street in Glasgow.  By this time, Jessie’s mother had died, but, strangely, her mother’s name is put down as Jane, maiden surname Wilson on the marriage certificate, but that was George Sutherland’s mother’s name.  Whoever wrote it down has put Jane Wilson for the mothers of both George and Jessie.

By the 1881 census, therefore, the family had split up.  Jessie’s father was a widower boarding with the Strang family; Jessie’s older sister, Mary, had married John Cowie and was living with in-laws, two young sons, and her sister, Georgina ; Jessie and George were living at 86 Hospital Street with a young daughter and Jessie’s two younger brothers.  I’ve been unable to find Jessie’s other three sisters.  Perhaps they died.  One at least, is supposed to have married, but I have been unable to find the marriage record.  That same year, Jessie’s second daughter was born.

By 1891, as mentioned in the previous post, Jessie had four children and they lived in George Street Glasgow.  By 1901 there were six children and they were living in Parson Street.  In 1911 they had moved to Taylor Street.  [Edit: It appears I haven’t mentioned the children’s names and dates of birth particularly. They were: Georgina (1880); Jessie (1881); Margaret (1884); George Archibald (1888); Jeanie (1890); Lizzie (1893); and Effie (1896).]

Since scotlandspeople changed their website to allow free searches, I have been able to find the death of Jessie in 1929 at the age of 73.  At some stage I will find out exactly when.

As I said before, there are many gaps.  I wish I could fill them.

Sources: family archives; familysearch; findmypast

I saw that scotlandspeople had 20 free credits.  This time I was more organised and searched for specific things.  I had enough credits for three searches.

The first was for the death of Archibald Sutherland.  I chose him, as his name is more unusual than John or George.  He died before the 1871 census but was listed in the 1861 census so he died between those times.  I found one for December 1861 which listed his father as John (deceased) and Margaret Fisher.  Hmm.  Pause for thought here.  I had the mother as Mary Mathay.  Younger idiot self had not noted where I found that information.  A search in my paper files revealed that I got the information from the IGI.  Evidently it was the only birth I could find for Archibald Sutherland.  Ironically I can’t find that same info on familysearch today.  My tree needs amending.  The informant was Archibald’s wife, Jane.

Having found that, I searched for John Sutherland’s marriage to Margaret Fisher and found that for 1820.  Unfortunately, there’s no information about their parents.

I had enough credits for one more search.  A search for the death of Jane Sutherland resulted in 5 pages of results (so 5 credits), so instead I searched for the birth of Jessie Allison in Perth.  One result for Janet Allison.  I had a look and the parents were the same as what I had.  Janet at birth, but evidently known as Jessie.  1856 corresponded with my estimate of 1857.  Result.  That left me with one credit.  I will have to wait until the next freebies.

Good result.  Slowly, with any luck, I will be able to knock off a few gaps, little by little.


I was watching another episode of the Australian “Who do you think you are?”.  In it Georgie Parker was looking at newspaper articles online and I saw the website had Australian Newspapers written on it with a map of the states, etc.  Inspired, I headed to the computer and searched for Australian Newspapers and ended up at the Trove website of the National Library of Australia.  I spent the rest of the evening until 11.30pm trawling through articles in the Sydney Morning Herald which mentioned my family name.  I found several of interest including the announcement of my aunt’s marriage and the death of my great-great-grandfather.  There was also a photo of what looked like my grandfather but the initial was wrong.  I’ll have to ask cousins and aunt about it.

This morning I thought I’d have another go looking for census returns which I don’t have yet – this time on Ancestry.  I had the devil of a time trying to get the correct results to show up as the browser kept going to and showing Australian census returns.  The browser just would not go to to show British results (as these are what I’ve subscribed to).  A plea of help on the forum got an answer which helped and I was off.

For some reason, I didn’t search initially for the missing census returns I’d noted down to look for.  I went off on a tangent from seeing the date of death of a great-grandmother on another branch of the family (from a fellow researcher’s tree) and went searching for her.  I found her on an 1871 census and adjusted my dates accordingly.

I was interrupted by a phone call by the old lady in England.  Unfortunately my cordless phone battery cuts off after about 3/4 of an hour and the other phone is rather crackly.  She’s not easy to understand because of the way she speaks so mostly I let her ramble.  I had no idea what she was saying when she rang back after the battery died and I answered on the crackly phone.  Thankfully she didn’t speak much more and rang off.

Back to the computer and I had been on the hunt for some Scottish relatives.  Ancestry has transcriptions of census returns but are unable to display the actual returns, which is a shame because the transcriptions are inaccurate.  I searched from 1851 to 1901 but found nothing for 1841.  I gained no new knowledge and am still stuck on Archibald Sutherland of Glasgow.  I can get no further back than 1851.  His father’s name is John but I haven’t even tried to search for a John Sutherland (and little other information) yet.

From Sutherland to Allison.  My grandmother always believed that through the Allisons we are related to Sir James Young Simpson but I haven’t been able to find any connection.  I searched the census returns for Allison for 1841-1871 but none of the names of my Allisons match the supposed brother-in-law? (I’m not even sure of the connection) of James Young Simpson.  Certainly one of the Allisons is named Jessie Simpson Allison so either there is a connection or my grandmother and her family believed there was because of the “Simpson” in the name.

I searched again briefly for my mother’s primary school in Sydney (of which I have a prospectus).  Previously I found no reference to it at all but through the Trove site I found a couple of articles mentioning the school.  In one there was a list of recipients of awards or prizes and there (I believe) was listed my uncle.  Another great find.  I sent this article off to my uncle’s daughter in Sydney who has contacted me recently about the family.

I finally went back to my initial purpose of looking for Powell in 1841 with no luck.  I had a look at a copy of my grandmother’s handwritten family tree which has many gaps in it.  She had Powell married to Bright (no first names).  I’d tried searching for the supposed brother William without luck so tried this unlikely search.  I found Thomas Bright married to Martha Powell in the 1871 census.  I know it’s the right result because she was born in “The Poles” in Shropshire.  My grandmother had written “The Poles” at the top of the Powell family tree.  My brother and I had never figured out what it meant.  I had presumed it was how Powell was pronounced and my brother wondered if they were Polish.  Neither of us had even thought that “The Poles” was a placename!  I searched on Google maps and it appears to be the name of a house (the little A is on a house) but apparently it’s an area in Bromfield, Shropshire.  I can’t find anything that actually says what “The Poles” is!  I wrote to my brother about the find.

A huge thunderstorm passed overhead and my daughter returned home from being away overnight so my searches ended.  I had come to a stop anyway and need a break.  Here comes the break…