Friday, January 8, 2016

Shipmaster of Leith

Bernard Street, Leith
Continuing from the previous post, today I focus on the Denoons. As we saw in that post, the births of Mary [Maria], James (my 3xgreat grandfather), and Catherine were certified by Daniel Denoon, Shipmaster of Leith, their maternal grandfather, and Christian Reymer[t], Merchant, brother-in-law to their parents. From here it was very easy to find the following birth records for their mother, and her siblings. has the following records in Scotland, Births and Baptisms, all in South Leith, Midlothian.

                          Birth              Baptism           Father's name     Mother's name            
       Catharin    16 May 1764  24 May 1764  Daniel Denoon   Elizabeth Johnston
       Agnes        29 Apr 1767                          Daniel Denoon   Elizabeth Johnston
       Elizabeth   19 Sep 1768   22 Sep 1768   Daniel Denoon   Elizabeth Johnston
       Daniel        4 Nov 1770    14 Nov 1770  Daniel Denoon   Betty Johnston
       James        26 Feb 1773     7 Mar 1773   Daniell Denoon  Elizabeth Johnston
       Alexander  6 Dec 1774    24 Dec 1774   Donald Denoon  Elizabeth Johnston
       Katherine  19 Jul 1776     28 Jul 1776    Daniel Denoon    Elizabeth Johnston
       Charles      19 Dec 1778    3 Jan 1779    Daniel Denoon    Elizabeth Johnston
       Mary          12 Dec 1780  22 Dec 1780   Donald Denoon  Elizabeth Johnston
       Isabella      17 Jan 1783   19 Jan 1783    Donald Denoon  Elizabeth Johnston
       Janet          29 Sep 1785   31 Oct 1785   Daniel Denoon   Elizabeth Johnston
       Barbara      20 Feb 1788    6 Mar 1788   Donald Denoon  Elizabeth Johnston

These are preceded by a marriage in 1762. The transcript of OPR Marriages 692/02 0100 0291 from reads:

              Daniel Denoon Mariner in Leith & Eliz=
              abeth Johnston were married 13 December 1762.

Which unfortunately is not much information.

We can see among the birth records the interchangeability of Daniel and Donald. And this is confirmed here on the website, along with Elizabeth/Betty and Jane/Janet/Jessie. Of these twelve children, Catharin (born 1764) must have died young before Katherine (1776), and this latter must be our Catherine Denoon, who married the Revd. James Young.

Of the some of the remaining children, I can document the following records, starting with the youngest:

Janet (or Jessie) Denoon
Scotland, Marriages has:
      Janet Denoon (father Daniel Denoon) married Christan Reymert
              on 13 Jul 1810 in South Leith

              The Scot's Magazine Vol 69, p.637 notes a previous marriage
                      At Edinburgh, Mr. J. F. Ross, to Miss Janet Denoon, youngest
                      daughter of Capt. Donald Denoon, Leith
              For Janet to be the youngest daughter, Barbara (born 1788) must have died
              before this marriage.

Scotland, Births and Baptisms records that Christian Reymert and Jessie StClair Denoon had a child Christian Denoon Reymert, born 27 Mar 1813, baptized 17 May 1813 in South Leith. In addition, Norwegian records have other children, among them James Denoon Reymert, who studied in Edinburgh under the care of the Revd. James Young and Catherine Denoon, eventually emigrating to the United States of America.

The Phrenological Journal offers some biographical detail for James Denoon Reymert, although it's not clear where the information came from.

     His [James Denoon Reymert's] mother, Jessie Sinclair Denoon, was a Scotch lady
     of the Campbell clan, whose family grounds were a part of the present Argyle estate,
     near the Clyde, where the castle of Denoon yet stands. He had two uncles who
     participated in the American Revolution, one of whom fell in the naval service.
     Another uncle, on the mother's side, was an object of British dislike on account of
     his publications in favor of the independence of the colonies in America, and at
     length made good his utterances by emigrating to America during the war. He
     became afterwards the pastor of, and for upwards of fifty years preached in, the
     "Auld Stane Kirk" at Caledonia, N. Y. The name of Rev. Alexander Denoon is
     yet venerated by the Scotch of that place.

     At the early age of fifteen Reymert left his father's house, and being intended for
     mercantile pursuits, completed a course of study at the Commercial College at
     Christiania, the capital city of Norway. He was the youngest student at that term,
     and returned home with his diploma only to leave it again for Scotland. He entered
     the extensive commercial house of John Mitchell & Co., at Leith. Four years were
     spent there in active duties, partly in the office of Mitchell & Co., and more especially
     in the study of law and literature in Edinburgh, in the law-offices of Messers. Murdoch
     & Spencer. In Edinburgh he was under the guardianship of his uncle , Rev. James
     Young, a minister of the Presbyterian Church...

While the latter paragraph above makes chronological sense, the uncles of James Reymert Denoon (at least on his mother's side) were too young to be fighting or publishing at the time of the American Revolution. This may relate to Reymert's great-uncles Denoon, but of his uncles, including the Revd. Alexander Denoon of the "Auld Stane Kirk", see Alexander below.

Mary (or Maria) Denoon
Scotland, Marriages has:
     Maria Denoon (father Donald) married James Thomson
              on 4 Aug 1815 in South Leith

From, I have the following death record of 11 Aug 1818:
     OPR 692/01  0070 0235
     11/08/1818 DENOON MARIA THOMSON

Charles Denoon
National Archives in Kew has ADM73/212/92, relating to Greenwich Hospital School.
      Name: Charles Denoon
      Date of Admission: 14 Jan 1791
      Parents: Daniel/Donald Denoon nee Johnston
      Date of Birth: 19 Dec 1778
This has not been digitally imaged, and it's not in my budget to have it scanned, but it is definitely for the correct person.

An artist in the United States of America named Charles Denoon made at least three contemporary engravings of naval action during the Tripolitan War 1801-1805. I have not been able to find out much more about him, although the name and nautical connection are suggestive.

Alexander Denoon
US Mortality Schedules record the death of the Revd. Alexander Denoon of "The Auld Stane Kirk" in 1850, at the age of 80. This would be in the right ball park for Jessie Sinclair Denoon's brother, born in 1774. However, an obituary for the Revd. Alexander Denoon in the American Rochester Gazette claims that he was born near Inverness, whereas Jessie's brother was born in Leith. So, it seems unlikely to me that her brother is the Revd. Alexander Denoon, since I would tend to trust the obituary, rather than the unsourced genealogy of The Phrenological Journal.

James Denoon
Of greater certainty is the identity of James Denoon, born in 1773, who might just be the publisher mentioned in the Phrenological Journal, but who would have emigrated during the French Revolutionary War (and not the American). The Merrick Library has a 1796 deed naming James J Denoon and Thomas Condie, Booksellers of Philadelphia. records the partners in connection with the book:

     Sentiments upon the religion of reason and nature: carefully translated 
     from the original French, Philadelphia, printed for T. Stephens, and
     Denoon and Condie 1795.

Denoon is listed by worldcat as James Johnston Denoon. And Johnston, of course, is his mother's maiden name. The book would appear to have been regarded as subversive as narrated in a story from Judicial Records of Renfrewshire: Illustrative of the Administration of the Laws in the County, and Manners and Condition of the Inhabitants, in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries by William Hector (Ed.) (J. & J. Cook Paisley 1876), pp.170-176.

Briefly, in February 1796, a package containing unbound books, pamphlets and newspapers arrived in Glasgow from James Denoon of Philadelphia addressed to D. Denoon of Leith. Among these were several that the customs officers thought seditious enough that they requested permission to confiscate the package pending further inquiries. One of these was Sentiments Upon the Religion of Reason and Nature. The package turned out to have contents for several recipients, among them Elizabeth Denoon - sister of the James who sent them - and D. Denoons, Senior and Junior. Although the relationship of these latter two is left as "relatives" in Hector's history, I suggest they are the father and brother respectively of James Denoon, and that the father is Daniel Denoon, Shipmaster of Leith. As seen above, Elizabeth and Daniel, Junior are also children born to Daniel Denoon and Elizabeth Johnston.

Donald Denoon
       Scotland, Marriages has:
       Donald Denoon married Agnes Keir (father Stephen)
              on 25 Apr 1801 in South Leith

       Donald Denoon married Harriot Ballingall (father David)
              on 15 Jul 1804 in South Leith

      A "Testament Dative and Inventory of the debt and sum of money addebted to and
      owing remaining to [...] Donald Denoon residenter in Leith who died there upon the
      fifteenth day of April [1806]" was made by "Harriet Ballingall or Denoon Widow of
      the said Defunct".

      There is a postscript to the story of his widow, although not involving any progeny of
       the Denoons.
             The Edinburgh Weekly Journal of 17 August 1806 notes the marriage of
              Lieut. Alex. Anderson of the marines, to Mrs. Denoon, relict of Capt.
              Denoon, and sister to Col. Ballingall. On 11 Sep 1814, now-Captain Alexander
              Anderson R.M. of H.M.S. Confiance was killed in the Battle of Lake Champlain,
              and is buried in Plattsburg, NY. The probate record for his will is at the National
              Archives in Kew, and notes that he was a widower. A thread on
    , the writer of which has presumably seen the will, notes
              a son Alexander and his executor David Ballingall.
              FreeReg has transcribed the birth (7 May 1807) and baptism (12 June)
              record for the son, Alexander Anderson, at St. Margaret of Antioch, Rochester.
              There also is the burial of 27-year-old Harriet Bellinghall Anderson on
              11 February 1809. Alexander followed his father into the Royal Marines, rising
              to the rank of Lt. General. He died 21 November 1877, and is buried in
              Brompton Cemetery, London. His monument has an interesting arrangement of
              cannonballs on it, one of which has been stolen.

Agnes Denoon
       Scotland, Marriages has:
       Agnes Denoon (father: Donald) married James Thomson
              on 22 Sep 1786 in Edinburgh Parish

              Evidently, this is extracted from: The Register of Marriages of the City 
              of  Edinburgh 1751-1800, Francis J Grant (Ed.) [Edinburgh 1922],
              the entry for which reads (p.785):
                     Thomson, James, merchant, New Grayfriar's p., and Agnes, Tron p.,
                     d. of Donald Denoon, shipmaster in Leith, 22 Sept. 1786.

Returning to the father, Daniel/Donald Denoon, the Edinburgh Advertiser from the 1780s through to 1800 has many references to Captain Donald Denoon, Shipmaster of Leith in connection with the following vessels, plying trade between Leith and London:
       1781-83   Friendship
       1784        Raith
       1785-86   Star
       1789-92   Jemima
       1793-96   Duchess of York
       1796-97   Minerva
As to the fates of Daniel Denoon and Elizabeth Johnston,OPR692/01 0070 0190 transcript: 
      Johnson Elizabeth Relict Daniel Denoon Shipmr. S.L. died the 9th 
      & was buried the 12th June [1815] E.78.N.43. Old Age 68

Originally I had thought that her husband's burial might be recorded St Botolph, Aldgate, London on 16 Nov 1812 for one Donald Denoon. Our Shipmaster of Leith had London connections, while this London burial clearly had Scottish connections, noted as it is in The Scots Magazine and Edinburgh Miscellany, Vol 74 (1812), p.964 that "At London, Capt. Donald Denoon, in his 69th year". However, the date does not agree with the birth record of the three children of the Revd. James Young and Catherine Denoon, attested by Daniel Denoon and his son-in-law Christian Reymert. This record is dated April 1813, and latest of the births was December 1812, after the burial date. Thus, I am still searching for a death or burial date, sometime between 1813 (that is, after the birth record) and 1815 (before his wife's death).

City Directories and the advertisements for his voyages place his address at Bernard Street, Leith - the picture at the top of this post.