brian mckay's family tree
I found out about Alexander through his daughter, Robina Kerr's, birth record. Over a period of time that led me to Alexander's marriage to Margaret Paterson, the birth of his children and a number of Census records. Like Margaret, his age differs from record to record, e.g.:
1841 Census - gives age as 30 (making a birth year of 1810/11)
!851 Census - gives age as - 45 (making a birth year of 1805/06)
1861 Census - gives age as 52 (making a birth year of 1808/09)
1871 Census - gives age as 63 (making a birth year of 1807/08
Death in 1877 - gives age as 70 (making a birth year of 1806/07)
Particularly annoying, are the ages ascribed to Alexander and Margaret in the 1871 Census. I have no doubt that I have the correct people though, because of their respective places of birth - Linlithgowshire and Colinton. All the other records I have for them also have information that point to them being the correct person, but the different records of ages, are irritating.
His age at the date of his death and at the 1851 Census, suggest he was born in 1806.
KEY EVENTS AND DATES
Birth - 1806
Given his age at the date of his death and at the 1851 Census, it is likely that he was born in 1806, although no record has been found yet.
Marriage - 20th March 1826
Alexander married Margaret Paterson in Dalkeith. Alexander lived in the Parish of Dalkeith, while Margaret lived in Liberton Parish. Interestingly, one of their witnesses was called James Patterson, Named for the bride - is the double 'tt' a mistake and this is a relative of Margaret's, or is it a coincidence?
6th September 1827
Alexander's son William was born in Dalkeith
19th July 1831
Alexander's daughter Robina was born in Dalkeith. The entry in the Parish Record shows that Alexander was a Porter.
28th July 1833
Alexander's second daughter Margaret was also born in Dalkeith. This birth was recorded on the same page as Robina's birth.
27th September 1838
And his third daughter Marion was born in Dalkeith. This birth was recorded on the same page as Robina's birth.
The Census records that Alexander, aged 30 and Margaret, aged 35,lived in High Street, Dalkeith. Also living there were their children, William (13), Robina (9), Margaret (7) and Marion (2).
According to the 1851 Census Alexander's son Alexander was born in this period also in Dalkeith, although at this stage we have not seen the actual birth record.
The Census records that Alexander, aged 45, lived at High Street, Gray's Close, Dalkeith. Living with him were his wife Margaret (49) and his children William (23), Robina (19), Marian (12) and Alexander (8).
Also living at this address was Alexander's sister, Marian, aged 50. Alexander was employed as a "Porter (to Grocer)"., whilst Marion was described as a "Grocer". The record shows that Alexander was born in "Linlithgow, Bathgate", (as was his sister Marian).
Finally, Alexander had a lodger named James Thomson, who was employed as a "Labourer". (There was no indication whether James was related in some way though).
Although the age given for Alexander in the Census record I have found, is about 3 years younger than the other records suggest, I am confident this is the correct record. The evidence for this is that his place of birth is Linlithgow; his wife's name is Margaret and he has a son called Alexander at the right age.
The record, then, has Alexander as 52 years old, with a birth year 1809. His wife is Margaret, aged 56 having been born in 1805 in Colinton, Midlothian. Alexander lived in West Wynd, Dalkeith and was employed as a Carter, as was his son Alexander, aged 19.
This time Alexander's age is given as 63. Now he lives in Wilson's Close, High Street, Dalkeith with his wife Margaret, aged 68. Alexander was employed as a Coal Merchant and was born in 1808 in Hildeston, Linlithgowshire. Margaret's place of birth was originally recorded as "Collington" (sic), Midlothian, but an "l" and the "g" were scored through (possibly by a 'supervisor?), making the actual place of birth - Colinton).
Death - 8th September 1877
Alexander died at 7.30 p.m. at Wilson's Land, High Street East, Dalkeith. He was a widower at the time and aged 70. His occupation had been Coal Merchant. The death certificate records his parents as having been William Kerr, a Stone Quarrier and Margaret Fleming, both deceased. The cause of Alexander's death was Heart Disease and his death was reported by his grandson George Sutter (4).