Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Youngs and Denoons

Old Toll Booth, Edinburgh 1811

In the previous post, I followed the ancestry of Jemima Jessie Foggo, first wife of James Denoon Young (my 3xgreat grandfather) back to Niel Gow. Now I return to my direct line through James Denoon Young himself.

This is material I've been sitting on for a while. More than two years ago (wow!), a correspondent by the username CasparV directed me to a possible birth record for James Denoon Young (and also two of his sisters). At the time I wasn’t convinced, but hadn’t ruled them out either. Now I am certain that this is just such a record, thanks also to an archaeologists from Scotland who sent me a transcript of the original document, and subsequently an image. So thanks to both for steering me in the right direction.

Scotland, Births and Baptisms is an index compiled from various sources, including microfilm of the original documents. The names of the parents in this record are given as James Young and Catherine Dinoon, but there is always the possibility of the original document containing more information than the index. The original document ( - OPR Births 685/03 0110 0356) consists of the certification of the births of three children of the Revd. James Young and his wife Catherine Dinoon (my 4xgreat grandparents). Unusually, the parents are not the ones attesting to the births, but the mother's grandfather and brother-in-law. As such, it has good deal more information than the index itself. Here is a transcript:

                                                 21st [April 1813]
              Revd James Young Edinr and Catherine Dinoon his
              Spouse had a Daughter Born the 30th of November 
              1809 named Mary.
              The said Parents had a Son Born the 16th of May 
              1811 named James.
              The said Parents had a Daughter Born the 11th of 
              December 1812 named Catherine. The above 
              Births are Certified by Daniel Dinoon Shipmaster 
              in Leith, Father to Mrs. Young, and Christian Rey-
              mer, Mercht. Foot of Leith walk, her Brother in law.

So, three birth records for the price of one, being those of Maria Denoon Young (later Peddie), James Denoon Young (my 3xgt grandfather), and Catherine Denoon Young (later Ponsonby, and then Smith). I wonder why the parents hadn't registered the older two earlier.

So, what convinced me? Having become accustomed to the imprecision of so many (especially pre-1837) documents, I wonder now why I was so cautious! However, there is additional information in the transcript, not present in the index, plus further information I discovered after I first received the tip, for which thanks are due to distant cousins in Belgium.

First, the occupational data for the father of James Denoon Young from other sources shows he was an ordained minister, and that after the Great Disruption of 1843, he joined the Free Church of Scotland. I have never been able to find him in any of the church histories, and this may be due to the fact that he never was the minister of a church. Family recollections refer to him as a "stickit minister". As part of the process of finding a pulpit, presumably after ordination, the ministerial candidate had to preach a sermon, and some were found to be unable to do so effectively - the sermon "stickit" in their throat, so to speak. This didn't preclude gifts in other areas of ministry - Revd. James Young wrote a whole volume on the Book of Revelation, for example - but they would not be the senior minister in a parish. Joseph Ebenezer Cupples, brother-in-law to Charles Denoon Young, writes in his genealogical biography (Cupples, JE, The Cupples Family: A Record and Family Memorial [Malden, MA 1887]) that the Revd. James Young was a Scottish Presbyterian minister in England. In any case, my prior information had the father of James Denoon Young as the Revd. James Young, and here the father appears on this birth record.

Second, there are many records for Catherine's father Daniel (or Donald, its Gaelic equivalent) Denoon, shipmaster of Leith, and no other for Dinoon, suggesting that Dinoon is merely an odd spelling of Denoon on this document, and not a distinct last name. The Edinburgh Advertiser during the 1780s and 90s mentions Donald Denoon frequently in connection with shipping from Leith to London; his ships are named: The Friendship, The Star, The Jemima, and the Minerva. Subsequently I have received from cousins in Belgium, the scan of a letter passed down through the family of Catherine Denoon Thomson from her cousin James Arthur Young, written in 1913. In the letter James Arthur Young mentions their common great grandfather Denoon as Shipmaster of Leith, who fortunes declined due to the disruption to trade caused by the French Revolutionary Wars.

The brother-in-law turns out to be Christian Reymert, who married Janet (or Jessie) Denoon, daughter of Donald Denoon. Christian Reymert was Norwegian, and the couple moved to Norway. Their son, James Denoon Reymert, emigrated to the USA, and became editor of the first Norwegian language newspaper in the country. Before he emigrated, he spent time in Edinburgh, where he lived under the care of his uncle, the Revd. James Young. Note that the Revd. James Young and Catherine Denoon name a child Jessie Sinclair Denoon Young, who later married David Purdie Thomson. They are the parents of Catherine Denoon Thomson noted above.

Likewise, the problems with the ages are small compared with documents I've found for other people. Of the three children of the birth certification, here is a comparison between ages on documents and their "correct" age, given their certified date of birth.

Ages on documentation for Maria Denoon Young or Peddie (only on this birth certification is she known as Mary; elsewhere as Maria):
          Date of birth given as 30 November 1809
          Census 1841 Age 30 (i.e. 30-34) should be 31
          Census 1851 Age 41 should be 41
          Census 1861 Age 50 should be 51
          Census 1871 Age 61 should be 61
          Census 1881 Age 70 should be 71
          Census 1891 Age 80 should be 81
          Age at death on 23 October 1893 given as 78-80, should be 83

Ages on documentation for James Denoon Young:
          Date of birth given as 16 May 1811
          Census 1841 Age 30 (i.e. 30-34) should be 30
          Census 1851 Age 38 should be 39
          Census Age 48 should be 49
          Age at death on 19 April 1868 given as 55, should be 56

Ages on documentation for Catherine Denoon Young or Ponsonby:
          Date of birth given as 11 December 1812
          Census 1841 Age 25 (i.e. 25-29) should be 28
          Census 1851 Age 34 should be 38

And this information matches the family pedigree produced around 1890, and passed on through James Arthur Young to Catherine Denoon Thomson and her descendants. The pedigree names as children of the Revd. James Young and Catherine Denoon: James Denoon, William Denoon, Charles Denoon, Catherine D, Jessie and Maria. This is the order on the document, but not their birth order, which is: Maria, James, Catherine, William, Jessie and Charles.

This pedigree also claims that the Revd. James Young's parents are James Young and Euphemia Craigh of Torryburn, Fifeshire. If so, the records of their marriage must be these two. First, from Falkirk, Stirlingshire, marriage banns for:

       Euphan Mcrach and James Young on 24 Jun 1774

And in Torryburn:

       Euphame Mccraich and James Young on 25 Jun 1774

The 1851 Scotland Census gives Falkirk, Stirlingshire as the place of birth for the Revd. James Young. And, while I have not found a baptism for the future Revd. James Young, I have this one from Scotland, Births and Baptisms for a presumed brother of his:
       John Young son of James Young and Eupham Mcreach on 8 Mar 1778 in Falkirk

The "Craigh" of the pedigree is presumably the Mccreach/Mccraich/Mcrach of these records. This would make sense if the pedigree passed down orally. Also in Torryburn are the following baptisms, the first, possibly for the future wife of James Young:
       Euphame Mcraich daughter of William Mcraich and Margaret Russel 29 Aug 1748
       Agnes Mccraich daughter of William Mccraich and Margaret Russel 15 Feb 1751

Prior to that on 13 May 1748 at Torryburn is the marriage of:
       William Mccraich and Margaret Russel

Interestingly, the family pedigree has Margaret Russel as the paternal grandmother of Revd. James Young. While the name is not uncommon, it would be curious if he had two grandmothers of the same name. More likely in my opinion, I wonder if the facts have been mis-remembered, and it is this maternal grandmother, Margaret Russel to whom the pedigree name really belongs.

Next up: continuing with Catherine Denoon and  the maternal lineage of James Denoon Young.

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