Details, where known, of the siblings of William Adam, born 25 April 1781 Dailly, Ayr, the son of James Adam and Jean Kemp with some additional notes to his ancestry.

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James Adam and Jean Kemp and details of their children (where known).

The following children were recorded in the Dailly OPR as born to James Adam. No mother's name is given in the OPR in any of these entries but it would seem that James Adam, his father, was married to a Jean Kemp, as there is a marriage of a James Adan and Jean Kemp recorded just over a year prior to the birth of James's first child on 7 November 1776 in Mauchline. The entry reads "Jas Adam - Mains - Jeam Kemp - Mauchline - Oct 18 (proclaimed) - Nov 7 (married))". As Bargeny where James was a smith was also known as "Bargeny Mains" I believe confirms this as the correct marriage. (NOTE: Mauchline is about 25 miles away from Dailly to the north of Ayr.)


Through a descendent of the son Matthew Adam, (b. 1780) I am told that James Adam was the son of John Adam and Jannet Brown, of Mauchline. There is certainly a record of the birth of a James Adam in the OPR for Mauchline for 1736 -  May 16 James, lawful son to John Adam, Mason, in Mauchline, and a record of the marriage of John Adam and Janet Brown on 12 February 1733 in the OPR for Mauchline - Jan 27 - John Adam and Jannet brown both of this parish were contracted and were married on Feb 12th married on 12th Feb 1733.  It would seem that this union had a place in the family history due to Jannet Brown being a relative of John “the Christian Carrier” Brown, a covenanter martyr. . According to the same source John Adam was the son of a James Adam, as recorded in the Mauchline OPR - James Adam in Mauchline has a child baptised Jan 2 1709 called John. Assuming this genealogy to be correct, it would seem possible that the James Adam, the Smith at Bargeny, was maried prior to his 1776 marriage to Jean Kemp, as he would have been 40 at the time of that marriage. (It is interesting to note that there was a William Adam who is also recorded as a coventanting marytr, although as he was killed prior to his marriage he could not have beena direct ancestor. However given our William Adam somewhat radical tendencies maybe a link there somewhere?


Interestingly shortly after James Adam married and whilst he was living and raising a family in Bargany in Dailly parish, another, more famous, Adam was "working" just up the road. This was Robert Adam the renowned Scottish architect who had been engaged to designed and build a new residence for Thomas Kennedy to replace their old castle at Dalquharran on the banks of the river Girvan. This site was only a few miles to the west of Bargany. The house was constructed 1782-1790 and the design was a smaller version of Culzean Castle on the Ayrshire coast built by Adam around the same time for another of the Kennedy clan, David Kennedy. Sadly unlike its illustrious relation at Culzean fate has been less kind to Dalquharran and it has not is now a roofless shell. However it is still an imposing structure when seen from the B741 across the valley of the river Girvan. Although one can never be sure it would seem unlikely that there was any connection between the two Adam families. Certainly Robert Adam the architect was not from Ayrshire being born in Kirkcaldy in Fife on 3 July 1728, son of William Adam also an architect. However it is not beyond the bounds of possibility that our James was involved in some small way with Dalquharran in his capacity as blacksmith and he would have certainly seen the imposing edifice grow to completion and no doubt marvelled at its grandeur.

For further info on Dalquharran go to -

Further details of the children of James Adam (and Jean Kemp?) where known.

James Adam born 6 September 1777, baptised 7 September 1777, Dailly, Ayr

James, a blacksmith, married Alison Waldie daughter of David Waldie and Barbara Wait. Alison was born on 10 February 1778 in Dunse, Berwickshire.

James and Alison had the following known children:

For the 1841 census Jane an Peter were living at 45 Crown Street, Gorbals, Glasgow. (Ref: 1841 - Gorbals - 644 - Enumeration District: 89 Page: 16). Peter was recorded as aged 30 employed as a "Smith" NOT born in Lanarkshire with Jane aged 30 born in Lanarkshire. Also listed were their four children Allison aged 9 George aged 7 Peter aged 2  and the recently born Elizabeth aged only 11 days all born in Lanarkshire along with an Alexander Fish aged 20 employed as a Smith Journeyman NOT born in Lanarkshire, and Margaret Rae aged 15 employed as a "Female Servant" born in Lanarkshire. Taking into account that Jean and Peter's son Peter born in 1839 was baptised Peter FISH Johnstone one might assume that Alexander Fish was a relation of some description.

Peter Johnstone died on 29 April 1849 in Govan, Glasgow, Lanarkshire. By the time of his demise he was described as a Smith, Bell-hanger, Gasfitter, Inspector of Weights and Measures for the Barony, and one of the City Councillors.

For the 1851 census the widowed Jane was recorded as aged 42 born in Glasgow, lanarkshire and living in Greenfield Cottage, Govan, Lanarkshire. (Ref: 1851 - Govan - 646 - Enumeration District: 4 - Page: 15). Listed along with Jane were her children - Alaison aged 18, George aged 17 employed as a "Clerk In Iron Foundry", Peter aged 12 a Scholar, Jane aged 7 a Scholar, Margaret aged 4, and Elizabeth aged 1, all born in Glasgow, Lanarkshire. Also in the household on the day was a Margaret Kellie identified as a "Visitor" aged 14 and employed as a Cap Maker. She too was born in Glasgow, Lanarkshire.

Jean Johnstone, nee Adam, died on 4 November 1854 in 75 Thistle Street, Glasgow, Lanarkshire.

There is a brief biographical sketch of Thomas and his family included in the "Portrait and Biographical Album of Washington, Clay and Riley Counties - Chapman Brothers, Chicago, 1890" which is available on the web For the complete sketch - Click here) The following is an extract -

"In 1840, Thomas emigrated to America, taking passage at Glasgow on a sailing vessel and after a tedious ocean voyage of seven weeks and three days landed in New York City. Thence he proceeded directly to Buffalo, where he remained, however, only a short time, going thence into Canada, of which he was a resident ten years and followed farming most of the time. In 1851 returning to the States he settled in Bureau County, Ill. Five years later, in 1856, he crossed the Mississippi into Des Moines County, Iowa, where he resided until coming to Kansas, in the fall of 1868. Soon afterward he homesteaded 160 acres of land on section 29, Blaine Township, where he opened up a good farm which he occupied about seventeen years. At the expiration of this time he removed to his present farm. He has done a large amount of pioneer labor, enduring the hardships and privations which were the common lot of those who settled upon the frontier. His career has been one eminently worthy, during which he has enjoyed the esteem and confidence of his fellow-citizens."

Barbara died on 18 May 1877 in Hebron, Kansas, USA.  (For an image of both Barbara's headstone and of the lady herself - Click here)

Thomas died on 9 March 1891 in Hebron, Kansas, USA.  (For an image of both Thomas's headstone and of the man himself - Click here)

Matthew, latterly a agent or the Metallic Packing Co., died on 18 Dec 1904 in Maygate, Dunfermilne, Fife. Euphemia died on 2 Apr 1930 in 28 Bellyeoman Road, Dunfermilne, Fife

Jane Jackson , nee Spence, probably died aged 73 in the Oct-Dec quarter of 1922 in Tynemouth (Ref: Tynemouth Vol 10b Page 302). It is believed that James died in Tynemouth in the Apr-Jun quarter of 1924 aged 78. (Ref: Tynemouth Vol 10b Page 341).

Joseph died on 5 Jan 1957 in 31 Satanita Road, Westcliff on Sea, Essex.

For the 1851 census Margaret and Alexander had moved to Dunfermilne where they were living at 80 Address: Reform Street, where Alexander was working as a Foundry Manager (Ref: 1851 - Dunfermline - 424 - Enumeration District: 10 - Page: 17). Both Alexander and Margaret were identified as aged 36 and born in Glasgow, Lanarkshire. Also in the household were their two older children Matthew aged 7 and James aged 5 both listed as "Scholars" along with their two younger children Allison aged 2 and Alexander aged 10 months both born in Dunfermline, Fife.  Recorded along with the family was a servant Margaret Paterson aged 16 and born in Kincardine, Perthshire.


Margaret died on 26 April 1872 in Woodhead Street, Dunfermiline, Fife.


For the 1881 census the widowed Alexander was recorded at 52 Woodhead Street in Dunfermline, Fife, (Ref: 1881- Dunfermilne - 424 - Enumeration District: 14 - Page 6). He was identified as an "Ironfounder Engineer Employing 15 Men 11 Boys" aged 61 born in Glasgow, Lanarkshire. Also in the household were five of his children - Mathew aged 37 described as an "Ironfounder Engineer's Son", born in Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Alison aged 32 described as an "Ironfounder Engineers Daughter" born in Dunfermline, Fife, Alexander.L. aged 30 described as an "Ironfounder Engineers Son" born in Dunfermline, Fife, Robert aged 23 described as an "Ironfounder Engineers Son" born in Dunfermline, Fife. Also included with the family was a servant - Margaret Robb aged 20 employed as a General Domestic Servant born in Hopeman, Elgin.


Alexander died on 23 September 1882 at Clifton House, Low Torry, near Dunfermline.

There is a record of what is almost certainly ths James Adam in the 1841 census, residing in McAdams Lane, St Georges Field, Glasgow. This is despite more than a few anomalies, This James is recorded as aged 60, a Blacksmith Journeyman, which fits (i.e. 63 rounded down to 60), but recorded as born in the county (Lanarkshire) as opposed to Ayrshire. His (presumably) wife in the census is named as Margaret, as opposed to Alison, and recorded as born in the county (Lanarkshire) as opposed to Berwickshire, although the aged given of 60 would match that of his wife Alison (i.e. 63 rounded down to 60), . Two of their daughters are recorded, Alaisen (Alison), aged 35, a Dress Maker, born in the county (Lanarkshire) and a younger daughter Margaret, aged 25, also a Dress Maker born in the county (Lanarkshire).

1841 Census (7th June) Glasgow (644-1) Book 7 Page 1.

McAdams Lane, St Georges Field, Glasgow.


Age Occupation Where Born
James Adam 60 Blacksmith Journeyman Yes
Margaret Adam 60   Yes
Alaison Adam 35 Dress Maker Yes
Margaret Adam 25 Dress Maker Yes

For the 1851 census the family were recorded as living at 70 Thistle Street, Gorbals. James is listed as aged 73, Receives Alms, Late Blacksmith, and born in Dailly, Ayrshire. As the date and place of birth are spot on, coupled with the profession of Blacksmith this is what convinces me that this Jamess is the eldest son of James Adam, and brother of William. Also recorded in the household for the 1851 census are Alaison (Alison), wife, aged 73, Receives Alms, born in Duns, Berwickshire, and a daughter, also called Alaison (Alison), aged 48, employed in a Furnishing Shop, born in Glasgow, Lanarkshire.

1851 Census (31st March) Gorbals (644) Book 4. Page 12.

70 Thistle Street, Gorbals, Glasgow.


Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
James Adam Head 73 Receives Alms, Late Blacksmith Dailly, Ayrshire
Alaison Adam Wife 73 Receives Alms Dunse, Berwickshire
Alaison Adam Daughter 48 Furnishing Shop Glasgow, Lanarkshire

There is an intimation in the Grenock Advertiser of 25 January 1853 of the demise on 15 January 1853 at Thistle Street, Hutchesontown, of James Adam, aged 75. Remarkably the intimation includes the demise of his daughter Alaison, aged 50, who died the following day!

Intimation of the death of both James Adam and his daughter Alaison
Grenock Advertiser - 25 January 1853

James and his daughter Alison were interred in a lair in the Gorbals cemetery (Southern Necropolis?) on 18 January 1853 as recorded in the Gorbals OPR. James was identified as aged 75, having died of Apoplexy, and Alison as aged 50, having died of Cancer of the Breast.

Gorbals Old parish Register of Burials - January 1853 Page 76

After the death of James his wife, Alison, would seem to have gone to live with her youngest daughter, Margaret, and her husband Alexander in Dunfermline . It was there on 5 November 1855 in Foundry Street, Dunfermline, Fife that she died and she was buried in New Burial Ground, Dunfermline. Her death certificate records her as Alison Waldo or Adam, aged 77, born in Dunse but having been in Dunfermline for abour two years, and the wife of James Adam, Blacksmith, deceased. Her parents names are recorded as unknown but her children are listed viz: "1. Alison deceased in 1853, 2. Jean deceased in 1854, 3. James aged 44, 4. Barbara aged 42, 5. Margaret aged 40, 6. Isabella died in infancy, Other four boys were born that died in infancy".

John Adam born 8 October 1778, Dailly, Ayr

Nothing more known

Matthew Adam born 20 February 1780, baptised 24 February 1780,  Dailly, Ayr

OPR entry - Adam - Matthew, son lawful to James Adam, Smith at Bargeny was born Febr 20th and baptized the 24th

It would appear that whilst a lad Matthew worked extra hours as a Blacksmith, making nails from cast off horse-shoes which he sold to earn money to take him to Glasgow University, from whence he graduated with a Master of Arts degree in 1808 as recorded in the "A Roll of the graduates of the University of Glasgow from 31st December 1727 to 31st December 1897, with short biographical notes" compiled by William Innes Addison, W. Innes (1857-1912).

Initially he seems to have taught at a school of his own in Glasgow at 2 George Street, from 1808 until 1811, but in 1811 he was appointed to the post of Rector of the Royal Academy of Inverness, Matthew took up the postition from August 1811, although very shortly thereafter he seems to have been in dispute with Directors concerning the terms and conditions due to his position, his possible dismissal and compensation for loss of situation. This was settled by the Court of Session in 1815 who decided in favour of life tenure. (Inverness Journal, 14 July 1815).

Whilst at the Royal Academy Matthew taught mathematics and geography and seems to have set up a meteorological recording "unit". Reference is made in the Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh to the "Register of the Barometer Thermometer and Temperature of Springs kept at the Royal Academy of Inverness for 1821" and "1822". He also published a description of a rain-gage of his devising - "Description of a simple, cheap and accurate rain-gage calculated to show the depth of rain falling around it to the ten-thousandth part of an inch by Matthew Adam ; communicated by the author. Published 1830 by William Blackwood, T. Cadell in Edinburgh, London . Written in English." His pressure, temperature and rain gauge readings from August 1829 were published in "An Account of the Great Floods of August 1829 in the Province of Moray and Adjoining Districts" by Thomas Dick Lauder. The readings for rainfall  over the three days, Sunday 2 August to Tuesday 4 August, were given as 2 1/2 inches, with 7 1/2 inches having fallen in the month as a whole.

Also during the 1820's along with his teaching duties Matthew was pursuing the development of his invention "An inverting sextant telescope with nautical eye-tube for taking altitudes at sea when the horizon is invisible". Matthew wrote to the Admiralty in London about his device and a number of letters between Matthew and the Admiralty are preserved within the "Papers of the Board of Longitude Collection" which is available on line from the Cambridge Digital Library. It would seem Matthew managed to solicit the support of the Duke of Gordon and having tested his instrument on land at Gordon Castle, and on the Inverness smack the "Alert", he managed to get the admiralty sufficiently interested to allow him to test the various versions of the device on a number of their ships. (The frigate Seringapatam (Captain Warren), HMS Cherokee (Captain William Keats), and the sloop of war Clio (Captain Parry?). I am unsure what the eventual outcome was but I rather suspect the device was never quite made the impact that Matthew would have hoped for. Success would, I assume, have brought with it relative fame and fortune. He published the details of the device in 1826 - "Description of an inverting sextant telescope with nautical eye-tube for taking altitudes at sea when the horizon is invisible invented by Matthew Adam ; communicated by the author. Published 1826 by William Blackwood, T. Cadell in Edinburgh, London". This is reproduced in a number of works available on line through Google Books eg. The Edinburgh Journal of Science, Glasgow Mechanics' Magazine, and Annals of Philosophy. 

On 3 July 1826 in the parish of Dyke, Moray, Matthew married Ellen Moffat Atkinson from England, on 3 July 1826. Ellen was the only daughter of the late William Atkinson, Esq., of St Anne, Jamaica.  (Click here for further details of Atkinson \ Jamaica.) The marriage was recorded in the parish register of Dyke and one of the witnesses at the marriage was a "John Smith R.N. Surgeon". One wonders if this gentleman was an acquaintance of Matthew from his time aboard the various ships during the testing his sextant telescope?

Parish Register for Dyke, Moray - 6th July 1826

Matthew Adam Esq'r. Rector of the Royal Academy Inverness, and Miss Ellen Moffat Aitkinson presently residing at Mount Pleasant in this Parish, only Daughter of the late William Atkinson Esq'r. of Rural Retreat, Parish of St Ann's, Jamaica after being these severval Sabbath Days publicly proclaimed were solemnly married agreeable to the Rules of this Church by the Rev'nd Mark Aitkin, Min'r of this Parish of Dyke in Presence of Will'm Hughes Jun'r C. E. Inverness, and John Smith, R. N. Surgeon, Joiner at Mount Pleasant, the sixth day of July Eighteen hundred and twenty six Years. A Certificate of said Marriage, signed by the Rev'nd Mark Aitkin Minister, and by Will'm Hughes Esq'r as a Witness, and also by John Smith Esq'r as another Witness, having been handed to me Session Clerk the 7th July 1826 for insertion.

"The Aberdeen Chronicle" of 22 July 1826 carried their marriage notice -

The Aberdeen Chronicle - 22 July 1826

MATTHEW ADAM, Esq. A. M. Rector of the Royal Academy of Inverness, to Miss ELLEN MOFFAT ATKINSON, only daughter of the late William Atkinson. Esq. of Rural Retreat, in the parish of St. Ann's, Jamaica.

Matthew and Ellen had five known children -

The Inverness Journal of 6 March 1835 carries the announcements of not only the death of the aforementioned "Ellen, infant daughter of Mathew Adam, Esq, rector of the Royal Academy, Inverness" but also the death of her mother "Ellen Moffat (Atkinson), wife, aged 31, of Mathew Adam, Esq, rector of Royal Academy". Several of the family are buried in the Chapel Yard, Inverness, where there is an inscribed headstone.

Adam Grave Stone - Chapel Yard, Inverness

After the death of his wife Matthew inherited the estate in Jamaica - Rural Retreat. With the Slavery Abolition Act which was passed in 1833 and enacted in 1834, owners of slaves were entitled to compensation and according to the data held on the Legacies of British Slave-Ownership pages on the UCL website Matthew applied for compensation for 16 freed slaves of £304 6S 8D. There was a subsequent counter claim by a Phillip Pinnock, who was the executor of James Dalhouse (Orange Grove, St Catherine, Middlesex, Jamaica?) who it would appear had been owed money by Mr Atkinson. However it would seem that Matthew had already got hold of the monies before the counter claim was decided. Despite a letter his attorney Charles Brown on 31 October 1836 about the origins of Pinnocks claim, where he stated "if satisfied I would not avail myself of the Decision in my favour." and a subsequent letter from Court of Chancery to Matthew dated 20 June 1837, recommending that he "refund the sum which you have received in this case", Matthew seems to have decided to invoke the age old tenet that possession is nine tenths of the law. The affair seems to have dragged on with Pinnock to pursuing Matthew through the court in Edinburgh though a Henry Todd, 39 York Place, Edinburgh, to whom he had granted a power of attorney. This is evinced in a letter dated 19 September 1842 from Henry Todd referring to Pinnock viz. "a poor proceed with an action here against Adam the claimant who had surreptitiously obtained an award and drawn payment of the compensation, pending a reference made by his Attorney and the counter-claimant to the Assis Commiss who preferred Pinnock." The affair dragged on into at least early 1844 as there is a further letter from Matthew Adam dated 26 January 1844 in which he referred to the rules of the compensation commission, and deadlines, asking if there were another set of rules as "the other side has produced a different set?" I believe that the action though the Edinburgh Courts was eventually withdrawn due to Mr Pinnock's lack of funds and one presumes that Matthew retained the monies.

Matthew retired from this position as Rector of the Royal Academy in May 1839 as recorded in the "Inverness Courier." of 8 May 1839 - Mr Matthew Adam, rector of the Inverness Royal Academy, resigned office on the directors agreeing to grant him a retiring allowance of £60 per annum. He then returned to Glasgow where he taught in his own house from 1840 to 1850

For the 1841 census Matthew was recorded in Glasgow working as a teacher and living in St Andrew's Square with his two surviving children Jane and William.

1841 Census (7th June) Glasgow (644-1) Book 105-1. Page 1.

39 St Andrews Square, Glasgow.


Age Occupation Where Born
Matthew Adam 60 Teacher No
Jane Adam 11   No
William Adam 8   No
Ann Allan 40 Female Servant Yes
Isabella Fraser 24 Female Servant No

For the census of 1851 Matthew had retired and was back in his home county of Ayrshire living at Park House, Maybole Road, Ayr.

1851 Census (31st March) Ayr (578) Book 12. Page 40.

Park House, Maybole Road, Ayr.


Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Matthew Adam Head 71 Retired Rector or Teacher Dailly, Ayrshire
Jane Wakefield Adam Daughter 22   Inverness, Inverness

Matthew died on 10 December 1853. In the inventory of his property after his death he was recorded as living at Sea View, Newton on Ayr prior to his demise and his children Willam and Jame Wakefield were named executors. He was described as "formerly Rector of Inverness Academy, thereafter teacher in Mathematics at Glasgow". Also as part of the estate there is mention of "the current years rent from a small plantation in the West Indies which belonged to his late wife" of "£40".

William Adam born 25 April 1781, Dailly, Ayr

OPR Entry - Adam - William son lawful to James Adam, Smith at Bargeny was born April 25, Baptized the 27th

William Adam married Elizabeth Nesbit on 7 May 1801 and this was recorded in the Dailly Old Parish Register - "William Adam & Elisabeth Nisbot, both in this parish were booked in order to marriage May 2nd were there proclaimed and married the 7th".  The births of William and Elisabeth's first two children, Jane born\baptised 24\25 February 1802, and Margaret born\baptised 19 January 1804 were recorded in the Old Parish Register of Dailly, with Jane's entry confirming William as a "shoemaker". Sometime shortly after the birth of Margaret the family seem to have moved to Newton on Ayr, as the birth of all William and Elizabeths subsequent 5 children were recorded in the OPR of Newton on Ayr, (latterly St. Quivox and Newton). The children were - James born\baptised on 3\5 January 1806, (next step in our family history), John born\baptised on 6 March 1808, Elizabeth born\baptised on 7 April 1811, Matthew born\baptised on 8 August 1813 and Mary born\baptised on 26 July 1818. The baptisms of James, John, Elizabeth and Matthew were recorded in the OPR of Newton on Ayr, and the baptism of Mary in the Old Parish Register of St. Quivox and Newton. born\baptised on 3\5 January 1806

See Main Text - Next Generation on our Family History.

Jean  Adam born 20 January 1784, baptised 22 January 1784 - Dailly, Ayr

Jane Adam was married to Alexander, a tool maker, on 1 July 1817 in Glasgow, Lanarkshire, by Dr Alexander Rankin. (As to why it is that I believe that this Jane Adam who married Alexander Mathieson was one of the children of James Adam and Jean Kemp - Click here

Jane and Alexander had four known children:

In 1822 Alexander opened his own Tool and Plane making business at 14 Saracen's Lane, Glasgow. It would seem he took over the business from a John Manner's who had a tool making enterprise running since 1792. I believe that John Manners and Alexander must have been friends as Hannah Manners Mathieson born about 1834 was named for Hannah Manners, nee Daniel, the wife of John Manners, and Alexander was named as the executor in the will of John Manner's. From 1826 the business was listed as running from 38 Saracen Street, and it was at this address the family were recorded for the census of 1841. Alexander and Jane and their three younger children were recorded in the household but their eldest child, John is missing. This census would seem to have at least four errors. Jane is recorded as Anne. The place of birth for both Alexander and Jane (Anne) is given as "within the county" i.e. Lanarkshire, whereas the later 1851 census has Alexander born in Leith, Edinburgh, and Jane was born in Dailly, Ayrshire. Finally even rounded down Jane's (Anne's) age should be 55.

1841 Census (7th June) (644) Glasgow Book 13 Page 6

38 Saracens Lane, Glasgow.


Age Occupation Where Born
Alexr Mathieson 45 Master Plane Maker  Yes
Anne Mathieson 45    Yes
Thos Mathieson 15 Journeyman Plane Maker Yes
Jane Mathieson 9    Yes
Hannah Mathieson 7    Yes
Jane Blair 15 Female Servant Yes

Jane Mathieson, nee Adam, died on 28 February 1849 at 38 Saracen's Lane, Gallowgate, Glasgow. According to a transcript of the Mathieson headstone commemorating her in the Glasgow Necropolis she was aged 55 which fits with her age given in the 1841 census but not with the date of birth we have for her of 20 January 1784. However the inscription on the Necropolis headstone also records the fact that Alexander, Jane and their daughter Jane Ogilvie were originally buried in the Anderson Burial ground and their remains transferred to the Necropolis location in March 1864. It is therefore not impossible that an age of 65 from an original headstone in the Anderson Graveyard, (which would fit with Jane born 1784), was misread and re-inscribed as 55.

For the census of 1851 the family are no longer living at the same address as the works, but at 22 Monteith Row. This census also states that Alexander was employing 8 men.

1851 Census (31st March) Glasgow (644) Book 13 Page 21.

22 Monteith Row, Glasgow.


Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Alexander Mathieson Head 56 Tool & Plane Maker Employing 8 Men Edinburgh. Midlothian
Thomas Mathieson Son 28 Tool & Plane Maker Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Jane Mathieson Daughter 19   Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Hannah Mathieson Daughter 17   Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Margaret McKinnon Servant 21 House Servant Glasgow, Lanarkshire

Alexander Mathieson died on 28 August 1851 at 22 Monteith Row, Glasgow. He was also commemorated on the headstone in the Glasgow Necropolis with his age given as 59.

MATHIESON Family Headsone in Glasgow Necropolis

Once again my thanks to for providing the transcription and images

In Memoriam

ALEXANDER MATHIESON, Tool Manufacturer Died August 1851 aged 59

JANE ADAM his wife died February 1849 aged 55

JANE OGILVIE their daughter Died March 1855 aged 23

Their remains were transferred from Anderson Burying Gound, March 1864

BARBARA PEDDIE Daughter of Thomas A. Mathieson Died March 1864 aged 3½

THOMAS ADAM MATHIESON Died 10th March 1899 aged 76

MARION GILCHRIST HARPER his wife Died 2nd November 1922 aged 84 


Deacon Convenor of the Trades House of Glasgow 1923 – 1925

Died 15th April 1926 aged 59 years

Son of Thomas Adam Mathieson

The firm founded by him went on from strength to strength under his son Thomas and by the 1881 census was recorded as employing 300 men. The firm continued until 1957 when it was acquired by William Ridgway in 1957 and transferred to Sheffield. Details and a brief history of the company can be found at

Margaret Adam born 4 June 1786, baptised 4 June 1786, Dailly, Ayr

Nothing more known

Helen Adam born 22 July 1787, baptised 23 July 1787, Dailly, Ayr

Nothing more known

Catherine Adam born, 13 March 1789, 14 March 1789, Dailly, Ayr

Nothing more known

David Adam born 29 August 1790, baptised 31 August 1790, Dailly, Ayr

Nothing more known

Agnes Adam born 1 November 1793, baptised 12 November 1793, Dailly, Ayr

OPR Entry - Adam - Agnes daughter lawful to James Adam, Smith at Bargeny was born Novr 16th and baptized 17th

Agnes married William Beaton, a hatter, on 21 November 1817 in Inverness, Inverness-shire and the event was recorded with the simplest of entries in the Inverness OPR. 21st - Mr. William Beaton and Miss Agnes Adam.

(NOTE: the confirmation that the Agnes Adam was the daughter of James Adam and Jean Kemp is provided by an obituary that appeared in the Grinnell Herald of Iowa on 22 January 1929 for their granddaughter Isabella Beaton (20 May 1870 - 19 January 1929). (Isabella was the daughter of William Beaton and his wife Loretta Hubbard). (See below and click here to read the full obituary). Although this states that Isabella's grandmother, Agnes Adam was born on 31 October 1796 in Inverness, it then goes on to say she had a brother Mathew Adam who was the Rector of the Royal Academy of Inverness. It is known that this Matthew was the son of James Adam and Jean Kemp, ergo, Agnes was also their daughter. This means that although the year of her birth given was 3 years out, the the day and month was only out by one day, and the assumption she was born in Inverness was presumably based on the fact that this is where Agnes and William were married, and where Matthew her brother taught.) It also names William's parents as Alexander Beaton and Isabella Johnstone.
The self same obituary names gives William Beaton's date and place of birth 26 September 1796 in Aberdeen and his parents as Alexander Beaton and Isabella Johnston. There is an entry in the OPR for New Deer in Aberdeenshire for on the 12 August 1803 for the baptism on that date of a William the son of an Alexander Beaton BUT with the date of birth of the child give as 26 August 1798. No mother's name was given. "Beaton - Alexander Beaton in Northseat had a son brought forth by his wife 26 Aug 1798 & baptized named William. Witnesses were James Johnston & Will. Henderson." As far as the mother's name goes this can be identified from the entries for the birth of two brother of William, - Alexander, born 1786 - "Beaton -July 22nd Alex'r Beaton in Northseat had a son brought forth by his wife Isabel Johnston baptized & named Alexander Witnesses were Jas Johnston & Will. Henderson." and George born 1791 - "Beaton - Alexander Beaton in Northseat had a son brought forth by his wife Isabel Johnston baptized named George Witnesses were James Johnston & Will. Henderson." As the entry for this Williams baptism was done at least 5 years after his birth and the individual making it did not know the wife's name, did he also get the year of William's birth out by a couple of years and the month also out by one. The day was correct! Throughout the various records the age given for William equates to a year of birth of 1794-1796 which maybe more likely taking into account the year of his marriage and details as to his Hatter's business in Inverness. There is an entry in the 1779 OPR for Huntly, Aberdeenshire for the marriage of Alexander Beaton and Isabel Johnston - "Beaton and Johnston - Alexander Beaton in this and Isabel Johnston in the parish of New Deer were matromonially contracted and after the Publication of their Banns were married."
The entry itself is not dated but comes between an entry dated July 18th and October 17th

Agnes and William had the following children: Agnes Beaton, nee Adam, died on 1 October 1863 in Vankleek Hill, Prescott and Russell, Ontario, Canada. She was buried in Greenwood cemetry, Vankleek Hill, Prescott and Russell United Counties, Ontario, Canada and her grave is marked by a headstone

It is believed William died on 3 March 1875 in Canada. I suspect he also passed away in Vankleek Hill, and although there is no headsone I suspect he was also buried in Greenwood cemetry, Vankleek Hill, Prescott and Russell United Counties, Ontario, Canada. There is an image of the gravestone of his eldest son, Alexander, in which the edge of Agnes's headstone can be seen, and next to it is what looks like a falled\recuumbent stone. It would seem possible that this was where William was buried.