Isabel Brown and Robert Philp, in Crail and St Andrews

There is a birth in Crail that fits Robert Philp the elder, and one for Isabel Brown. Given the gap in ages there may be a possibility that Robert Philp was married previously.

Isabel Brown was born on 11 Feb 1743, bap 13 Feb, parents Robert Brown and Jean Anderson or Andersone, who were married in Kilrenny on 4 July 1735 (possibly also recorded in Crail) and had various children there and in Crail. Their children included:

  • Alexander Broun 1735 Kilrenny 
  • James Broun, 1738 Kilrenny, 
  • Robert Brown Dec 1739/Jan 40 Kilrenny
  • Isabel Brown 11 Feb/13 Feb 1743 Crail 
  • George Brown 1745 Crail 
  • James Brown again, 1747 Crail 
  • Agnes Brown 1749 Crail 
  • David Brown 1753 Crail

Robert Philp was born 22 years before his wife Isabel, in St Andrews, son of David Philp and Ann Duncan, the youngest of their family. Their children were:

  • Janet baptised 5 December 1700
  • Margaret 1703 
  • Robert 1706 (presume died young) 
  • Agnes 1708 
  • David bap 25 Dec 1711 – became portioner of Boarhills 
  • Anna 1714 (presume died in infancy) 
  • John 1715
  • Ann 1718
  • Robert bap 2 Feb 1721

An LDS member gives a marriage date for David Philp and Ann Duncan in St Andrews on 15th January 1698, but I have not found a marriage record. Robert’s birth and that of his siblings are well attested, and the baptism entry for Robert reads:

David Philp Portioner of Byrhills & Ann Duncan his Spouse had a child bap[tised] called Robert wit[nesses] Alex[ander] Duncan & Jo[hn] Turpie.

David himself was baptised 20 November 1679 in St. Andrews, and a birth for Ann Duncan on 15 July 1668 has been suggested by an LDS member (though not found by me), also in St Andrews. David’s parents were Robert Philp and Margret Allen, in Byrhills or Boarhills, which finally connects the line of Robert Philp the grocer in Leith with the most likely ancestry of James Philp, ship carpenter in Leith. 

The children of Robert Philp and Margret Allen were:

  • Jenat Philp 01 OCT 1677 
  • David Philp 20 NOV 1679 
  • George Philpe 12 JUL 1683
  • Agnes Philp 02 FEB 1686 
  • Elspeth Philp 21 MAR 1689 
  • Robert Philp 26 MAR 1696 - likely to be the grandfather of James Philp the ship carpenter.

[Robert Philp who may be the one b. 1696 appears to have been married twice, first to Helin Malcom, in Logie, Fife, on 15 October 1734 (with much about this in the Kirk Session minutes) with a daughter Margaret baptised in Dairsie on 1 February 1735, with Helin Malcom dying on 6th of April in that year. In 1739, Robert married Helen Birston, having several children with her including Robert, 1745, who became a wright in Dundee before returning to Dairsie where his children, including ship-carpenter James, were born. This is a story for another page tracing the ancestry of James Philp. The identification of Robert as the child born at Boarhills in 1696 is however not entirely confirmed.]

The marriage of Robert Philp and Margret Allen is recorded on 14 December 1676 at St Andrews and also (as Robert Philpe and Margaret Allane) on that date in Crail. It is probable that Robert Philp was born in Crail, and he’s described as in ‘Carraill’ on the St Andrews marriage record, but birth registers in Crail are not extant before 1684. There is a birth of Margaret Allen with parents David Allen and Agnes Stevinsone, in St Andrews with baptism on 21 December 1641. However she would be old to have a child in 1696 – she would be 54, and though some women have a late menopause, it is very highly unlikely. There is a later baptism of a Margaret Allane in St Andrews, 18 Jul 1658, to David Allane and Agnes Scot, with siblings John baptised 12 March 1657 and Susanna 18 September 1660 – and the full record confirms that this Margaret is the daughter of David Allane in Byrehills. Therefore, the entitlement to part of Byrehills, continued through this family for some generations, came from David Allan.

Robert Philp and Margret Allen were at Boarhills (or Byrehills) near St Andrews according to the baptism record of Robert in 1696 (with witnesses William Brown and James Carmichel). Online there is some material about this family, though with little content until a later David Philp, son of James there, in the late 18th century, described as ‘late tenant of Boarhills’ in 1797. The Fife burials CD shows the death of a David Philp, portioner, at Byrehills 3 September 1794. James Philp who died there in 1800, aged 51 is described as both ‘portioner’ and ‘feuar’ and various other Philps were there for some time.  The inheritance of Byrehills or Boarhills passed from Robert Philp and Margret Allen to their eldest surviving son David, and in turn to his eldest surviving son, another David and then to (presumably his son) James who turns up in records. Meanwhile Robert Philp, youngest son of the first David Philp, and his nephew Robert Philp son of the second David, went their own ways in Kemback and Crail.

A table and summary of the descendants of Robert Philp and Margret Allen in Byrhills is in the next page of this part of the website.

NOTES: Robert Philp appears as witness on baptisms in St Andrews:
1680 Wm Kilgour in Byrehils and Margaret Carmichel - daughter Helin –witnesses David Allen and Robert Philp.

I’m interested that there are two George Philps in Crail with several children born in the 1690s and speculate there may be a family link between one or other of them and the Robert Philp who married Margret Allen.

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