The Ancestors of Marion Fisher

The baptism of Marion Fisher was recorded as 25th May 1845, in Muiravonside parish. Her parents were William Fisher and Margaret Whyte, whose marriage is recorded as 3 May 1844. Some details of Marion, her immediate family, and my early attempts to explore them are on my old site at http://www.wyrdswell.co.uk/ancestors/Additional/Fishers.html - though this also needs updating as more records have come to light since then.

The attached tree image shows four generations of ancestors of Marion Fisher. I’ve restricted this as some of these lines will be explored in new pages.

It is an outline. You’ll note that the top ‘line’, of Marion’s father and grandfather, is very short; I’ll discuss that now, then move to others for whom much more is known. 

Marion’s parents William Fisher and Margaret Whyte; and the mystery of the elder William Fisher (Marion’s grandfather)

Marion’s father, William Fisher, was initially a shoemaker (a well-established Linlithgow trade), later becoming a block printer as the textile industry expanded in the 19th century. He and his wife Margaret Whyte moved from Linlithgow Bridge to St Boswells in the borders (where their daughter Mary was baptised), back via Dalkeith (where their son William was said to be born) to Muiravonside (where he was baptised, and where next child Edmund was born and baptised), then to Elderslie in Renfrewshire, between Paisley and Johnstone in Renfrewshire, where youngest children James and George were born, and on to Milngavie, where they are in the 1861 census, though without Marion by this time.  

By the next census, William and Margaret are at Tottington Lower End, in Bury, Lancashire, in England, with Mary and the younger children James and George. Edmund had also moved to England with them, and married there, so has his own household. William and  Margaret, along with Mary, James and George, finally emigrated to Orange County, New York State, and descendants of George are there today.

All these movements can be clearly demonstrated through the baptism records and through censuses. My interest in these pages, though, is to look further, to explore who were Margaret Whyte (in other pages still to come) and, here, William Fisher.

William was the son of Mary Mcculloch (of whom much more in other pages) and her husband William Fisher. Their marriage is recorded in Edinburgh’s St Cuthbert’s parish on 2 September 1812:

2nd September 1812 William Fisher Gentlemans Servant at Hopetoun house and Mary McCulloch daughter of William McCulloch Innkeeper in Linlithgow, residing Queensferry Street, 6, gave up their names for proclamation of Banns Matrimonial. 
[Witnesses] William Dick Smith
Nottingham Place
Thomas Sharrat Hostler
Nottingham Place


This is almost the only information we have on the elder William Fisher. The archivist at Hopetoun house gave me the only material he could find - William’s 1812 pay of 17 guineas, with ‘extras’ of £1 17s 6d possibly as a tea and sugar allowance, or for special clothing, signed for on 18th January 1813; and he was also given an additional payment of five guineas ‘per Adm[ira]l Hope’s orders’, probably, said the archivist, relating to his marriage. In the earlier page already linked I speculated a bit on whether William had come with Admiral Sir George Hope, a cousin of the Hopetoun family, to Hopetoun from Carriden House, but there is nothing at all to say whom he was or where initially he was from.

William and Mary had children Ann (1813) and William (1817), and their names do not help as Mary’s parents were an Ann and William… And, William disappears from the records by the 1820s, when there is a series of Sasines relating to the transferring of the land around the Bridge Inn between Mary and her three sisters (her father having died in 1812 and her mother in 1823), which mention the spouses of the other sisters but not William. At the marriage of his daughter Ann in 1838, he is said to be ‘late William Fisher, Servant, Hopetoun House’. On Ann’s 1888 death registration he is mentioned only as deceased, with occupation ‘huntsman’.

However there’s one ‘possibility’ that I can lay to rest. There was a William Fisher, son of William, born about the right time (1785) in Gargunnock parish, Stirlingshire. THIS IS NOT HE! I tracked that Gargunnock William. By trade a mason, he had joined the Royal Artillery in 1804 in Glasgow, and served for ‘Thirty one years, One Hundred and four days’ as a ‘gunner and driver’, according to his discharge papers which give details of age, birthplace and his need for discharge with chronic rheumatism and being ‘worn out in the service’. The first nine years of his service were in North Anerica.

The Gargunnock William is clearly not the William Fisher, gentleman’s servant, who married Mary McCulloch in Edinburgh in 1812.

So now, to look at Mary McCulloch and her parents, William McCulloch and Ann Simson.

© Jenny Blain 2017, 2019 and 2020    email me