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A Case Study: The Simpsons

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  • A Case Study: The Simpsons


    ScotlandsPeople was started in 2005 and took until now as I had to be patient in filling the gaps while I waited for the new records to be added to the site. Now that all the census indexes for Scotland are also available on Ancestry for 1841 through to 1901, the search would be much quicker!!

    The case study below gives you an idea of my search ... as the site allows you to save your searches and the images you have viewed, I did not have to purchase any extra units to re-create the search.

    As you will see, my search is incomplete but I hope that the case study will give you some ideas of the possibilities.

    1901 Census

    I knew that the Simpson family had come down to London before 1900 as Catherine was married in London in 1892. Although Catherine was already married, a search of the 1901 census on Ancestry1881 Census

    FamilySearch, so I turned to ScotlandsPeople and searched the Census 1881



    Finding Catherine's birth


    Now that I knew where Catherine was born, I was able to search for her birth.

    She was born after 1855, so I searched the Statutory Registers for Births 1855-1906



    Finding the marriage of Catherine's parents

    Statutory Registers Marriages 1855-1931



    From this search I was able to send for an extract of the certificate, although I could just have saved the image.

    1871 Census


    From the certificate, I realised that James was a widower and by searching the 1871 Census I found that James was at home with his parents, and already widowed.



    More out of interest than anything else, a trawl of the Statutory Registers Marriages 1855-1931Statutory Registers Deaths 1855-1956 gave me the death of his first wife. Isabella Chalmers had married James in April 1868 and had died in August 1868.



    Finding Catherine's Grandparents

    Old Parish Register Births & Baptisms ..... and I am still looking ....... !!

    I had more success with his parent's marriage by searching Old Parish Register Banns & Marriages. This gobbled up several units because of the variant spellings of her maiden name, and in many ways was disappointing because it was not very detailed.



    Finding Catherine's Great Grandparents


    By tracking down the deaths of David and Elizabeth, I was able to find the names of their parents.



    The next stage was to see if I could find their marriage and David's birth in the Old Parish Registers.

    Searching for a birth using the OPR


    Searching for births before 1855 is often a matter of luck as the birth may not have been recorded but you can search in a variety of ways.

    From the death certificate of David Simpson, we know that he was born in about 1813 and that his parents were given as Alexander Simpson and Janet Rae.

    Rae (Ray) appears as the second name of their grandson and later their great grandson.

    A search on the IGI to narrow down the possibilities gives a son born to these names, but this is an Alexander who was born in 1796; of course he may be a sibling ...



    N.B. The image for this birth on ScotlandsPeople currently gave the wrong page in the register - so I contacted the site and they sent me a copy of the image for no charge.

    An initial search of the Old Parish Register Births and Baptisms for David using the surnames of his parents gives one result, but it is not the correct person.





    A second search, putting the parents' first names in the surname boxes, gives different but still incorrect results.





    Using variant spellings of both surnames still gives no results .... If anyone reading this can can track him down in original records, I will be eternally grateful .

    OPR Banns and Marriages


    Using the OPR Banns and Marriages search I tracked down the marriage of Alexander Simpson and Janet Rae (Rea). Given the variant spellings of her name, I used the bride's surname to take advantage of the Soundex.



    Taking a deep breath because I was low on credits ... I found



    From the date of the marriage, it rather looks as though Alexander could possibly be the older brother of David, but there is more searching to do in original records before I can even be 50% sure that this is the same family.

    Catherine's Paternal Family Tree


    This research using a combination of FamilySearch, Ancestry and ScotlandsPeople has enabled me to construct a tree for Catherine's paternal ancestors, but there is still a great deal more research to be done from original records to be 100% sure about David's ancestors.




    Caroline's Family History Pages


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    • A Case Study: The Simpsons
      by Caroline

      ScotlandsPeople was started in 2005 and took until now as I had to be patient in filling the gaps while I waited for the new records to be added to the site. Now that all the census indexes for Scotland are also available on Ancestry for 1841 through to 1901, the search would be much quicker!! The case study below gives you an idea of my search ... as the site allows you to save your searches and the images you have viewed, I did not have to purchase any extra units to re-creat...
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