LAW

This page is an attempt to outline what I know about our Law ancestry in as "readable" format as possible. Please note whereas I try to ensure that what I publish is correct, and to differentiate between what is supported by documentation etc, and what is, in my opinion, a reasonable assumption, everything should be treated with caution. IF you have come across information that you believe is relevant to your own research please either verify it independently or drop me a line to confirm its validity. Equally if believe something is incorrect, or if you wish to add any details or discuss please get in touch using the Contact Form.

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The first record of a Law in our family history is the entry in the parish register of Libberton, Lanarkshire, recording the marriage, on 6th December 1782 of Robert Law and Rachel Young.  Robert and Rachel had at least three children,  Janet born\baptised on 7th May 1786 in Libberton parish, Robert, (the next generation in our family history), born\baptised on 2nd February 1791 in Walston parish, and Elizabeth, born\baptised 25th April 1793 in Carnwath parish. 

Robert and Rachel seem to have settled in Carnwath parish, and sometime circa 1820, their son, Robert Law, married Janet Spence, the daughter of Hugh Spence, a tailor, and Marion Selkirk. Hugh Spence and Marion Selkirk were married on 3rd January 1790 in Carstairs, and Janet was baptised on 25th January 1795, also in Carstairs. Both these events were recorded in the Carstairs parish register. (For further details of the know children of Hugh Spence and Marion Selkirk - See Appendix A)

Robert Law and Janet Spence seem to have set up home in Carnwath parish, as it is in the register of that parish that the first record of the baptism of one of their children, a daughter Marion, on 25th August 1821 appears, followed by the baptism of a second daughter, Rachel , on 9th January 1823, and the baptism of their first  son, Robert, on 3rd April 1825.

On 7th February 1827 Rachel Young died, aged 72, at Gowmacmorn, (for further details of Gowmacmorran Farm - See Appendix B.), which may have been the family farm by this time, and was buried in Carnwath Parish Church graveyard.

The following year Robert Law and Janet Spence had the next generation in our family history, Hugh, baptised on 22nd June 1828. The baptisms of a further two sons followed, James on 24th October 1830, and John on 20th February 1834.  All these births\baptisms being recorded in Carnwath Parish.

On 1st March 1836 Robert Law senior died, aged 77.  He too died at Gowmacmorn and was buried in Carnwath Parish Church graveyard.  Neither his burial nor that of his wife Rachel are marked by a headstone as far as can be established, although both burials are recorded in the Carnwath Parish Church records.

Over the next four years the family of  Robert Law and Janet Spence was completed with the births of a final two children, a girl and a boy, William baptised on 22nd June 1837, and Anne baptised on 7th August 1839 both being recorded in Carnwath Parish. (For furhet details of the known children of Robert Law and Janet Spence - See Appendix C.)

At the time of the census of 31st June 1841 the family were living at Gowmacmorn farm, near Wilsontown, in Carnwath parish.

1841 Census (7th. June)  Carnwath (632)  Book 4. Page 15.  

Gowmacmorn Farm, near Wilsontown, Carnwath Parish

Name Age Occupation Where Born
Robert Law 45 Farmer Yes
Janet Law 45   Yes
Marion Law 19 Female servant Yes
Rachel Law 18 Female servant Yes
Robert Law 16 Male servant Yes
Hugh Law 13 Male servant Yes
James Law 10 Male servant Yes
William Law 3   Yes
Anne Law 1   Yes

Their son John, baptised on 20th February 1834, who would have been aged 7, is not listed in this census, and this may signify his death in infancy. For the census of 31st March 1851, ten years on, Robert Law and Janet Spence, along with four of their children, were still living at Gowmacmorran farm. Unfortunately Hugh Law, the next generation in our family history, is not listed and a search of all the census returns for Carnwath failed to find him. We do however get the information that the farm extended to 50 acres.

1851 Census (31st. March)  Carnwath (667)  Book 9. Page 1.

Gowmacmorran Farm, Carnwath

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Robert Law Head 59 Farmer of 50 acres Walston, Lanarkshire
Janet Law Wife 55   Carstairs, Lanarkshire
Rachel Law Daughter 27   Carnwath, Lanarkshire
James Law Son 20   Carnwath, Lanarkshire
William Law Son 13   Carnwath, Lanarkshire
Ann Law Daughter 11   Carnwath, Lanarkshire

Six and a half years after this census, on 14th October 1857, Robert Law died, aged 66. He was laid to rest in Carnwath parish church graveyard.  The inventory for his will valued his estate at 262 pounds 15 shillings and 10 pence. (For further details of Robert Laws "Inventory" - See Appendix G.)

Inscription on Law headstone in Carnwath parish church graveyard - (Obelisk)

SACRED
TO
THE MEMORY OF ROBERT LAW
FARMER AT GOWMACKMORN WHO
DIED THERE OCTr 14th 1857
AGED 66 YEARS
ALSO
HIS SON ROBERT DIED THERE
DECr 22nd 1879 AGED 45 YEARS
ALSO JANET SPENCE
THE WIDOW OF ROBERT LAW
WHO DIED AT MEDWINBANK
CARSTORPHINE ON THE 21st
MAY 1878 AGED 84 YEARS
ALSO ISABELLA HOWIE
WIDOW OF ROBERT LAW
WHO DIED AT SHOTTS FARM HOLYTOWN
16th OCTOBER 1912

Nine months later, on 9th July 1858, his son Hugh Law, now aged 29, married Susanna Robb at Upper Haywood farm, Carnwath. Hugh's address on the marriage certificate is given as Guildhouse, the farm adjoining Gowmacmorran, his family home. Upper Haywood, where the marriage took place, was the home of his bride, Susanna, and was a farm of 133 acres, worked by her parents, James Robb and Mary Donald. Susanna was baptised on 15th January 1836, along with her twin sister, Mary. (SEE ONLINE ROBB FAMILY HISTORY).

Hugh Law and Susanna Robb's first child, Robert was born at Guildhouses, on 7th July 1859, and it is there that we find them for the census of 1861

 

1861 Census (8th April)  Carnwath (632)  Book 6. Page 2.

Guildhouses Farm, Carnwath

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Hugh Law Head 31 Farmer of 120 acres Carnwath, Lanarkshire
Susanna Wife 24   Carnwath, Lanarkshire
Robert Son 1   Carnwath, Lanarkshire

There must have been an air of expectancy in its truest sense in the Law household when this census was taken as Susanna was in the advanced stages of pregnancy.  Four days later on 12th April their second child, James was born.  This birth was recorded as happening at Upper Guildhouses, and their were two separate farms, Upper Guildhouses, and Guildhouses 

Janet Law, nee Spence, Hugh's mother was still living Gowmackmorn farm, at the time of this 1861 census with Robert her eldest son, since the death of her husband Robert four years previously.

1861 Census (8th April)  Carnwath (632)  Book 6. Page 4.

Gowmacmorran Farm, Carnwath

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Janet Law Head 65 Housekeeper Carstairs, Lanarkshire
Robert Law Son 20 Farmer of 50 acres Carnwath, Lanarkshire
Mary Grogan Servant 17 Domestic servant Airdrie, Lanarkshire
William Mager? Servant 14 Agricultural labourer Glasgow, Lanarkshire

Hugh Law and Susanna Robb seem to have left Guildhouses about 1862 as by the birth of their third son, Hugh, on 28th June 1863, they had moved to Hartfield farm, Cambusnethan.  A fourth son, John, was also born there, on 9th March 1866.

By the birth of their fifth successive son, William, on 23rd May 1868, Hugh and Susanna had moved again, this time to Netherhouses farm, near Armadale, Bathgate, (for further details of Netherhouses farm - See Appendix D.), and this was to remain their home for the rest of their days. It was there, on 25th September 1870, that they had a daughter at last, Mary Donald, named after Susanna's mother.

The census of 3rd April 1871, six and a half months later, records  Hugh, Susanna, their five sons, baby daughter, and three farm workers living at Netherhouses, a farm of some 105 acres, most of which are arable.

1871 Census (3rd April)  Bathgate (662-2)  Book 3. Page 27.

Netherhouses Farm, Armadale, Bathgate.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Hugh Law Head 41 Farmer - 105 acres -100 acres arable Carnwath, Lanarkshire
Susanna Law Wife 35   Carnwath, Lanarkshire
Robert Law Son 11 Scholar Carnwath, Lanarkshire
James Law Son 9 Scholar Carnwath, Lanarkshire
Hugh Law Son 7   Cambusnethan, Lanarkshire
John Law Son 5   Cambusnethan, Lanarkshire
William Law Son 2   Bathgate, Lanarkshire
Mary Law Daughter 6 months   Bathgate, Lanarkshire
Mary Stewart Servant 15 Farm servant Bo'ness, Linlithgowshire
John Fraser Servant 17 Farm servant Polmont, Stirlingshire
Margaret Gracey Servant 19 Farm Servant Ireland

Back in Carnwath for this 1871 census Janet Law, nee Spence, Hugh's mother had moved from Gowmackmorn farm to Guildhouses farm, which was being farmed by her third son James.   (Gowmackmorn was being farmed by Isabella Law, the wife of her eldest son, Robert.   Where Robert was for this census I know not.)

1871 Census (3rd April)  Carnwath (632)  Book 6. Page 4.

Guildhouses Farm, Carnwath

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
James Law Head 36 Farmer Carnwath, Lanarkshire
Janet Law Mother 75 Housekeeper Carstairs, Lanarkshire
Marion MacCallum Niece 18 Farm servant Carnwath, Lanarkshire
Lillias McKenzie Servant 15 Farm servant Carnwath, Lanarkshire
Grace Waddell Servant 14 Farm servant Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire
Archibald Weir Servant 13 Farm servant Dolphinton, Lanarkshire

The Marion MacCallum, niece recorded in this census was the daughter of Marion Law, and James MacCallum.  Marion Law was the eldest daughter of Robert Law and Janet Spence.

Over the next ten years Hugh and Susanna's family increased with a further three children, Janet Spence, born on 8th April 1873, Andrew, born on 14th September 1875, and Thomas, the next generation in our family history, born on 16th September 1878. All were born at Netherhouses.

Shortly before the birth of Thomas, Janet Spence, his maternal grandmother, died, aged 83. She died on 21st May 1878, at Medwin Bank, Corstorphine, Edinburgh, the house of her second eldest daughter Rachel who had married a Thomas Dick on 24th November 1854 in Carnwath.  Janet was laid to rest next to her husband Robert Law, in the family grave in Carnwath parish church graveyard.  A headstone marks the grave.

A year and a half later, on 22nd December 1879, Robert Law, Hugh Law's brother, who had taken over Gowmacmorran  farm, on the death of his father, died, aged 45. He too was laid to rest in the family grave in Carnwath parish church graveyard.

For the census of 4th April 1881 Hugh, Susanna and their growing family are again listed at Netherhouses. The acreage of the farm has increased to 150, with 100 acres still remaining arable. The man and boy employed by Hugh Law would seem to be his two sons, Robert and John.

1881 Census (4th April)  Bathgate (662-2)  Book 4. Page 11.

Netherhouses Farm, Armadale, Bathgate

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Hugh Law Head 51 Farmer - 150 acres -100 acres arable, employing 1 man, 1 girl, & 1 boy. Carnwath, Lanarkshire
Susanna Law Wife 45   Carnwath, Lanarkshire
Robert Law Son 21 Farmer's son Carnwath, Lanarkshire
John Law Son 15 Farmer's son Cambusnethan, Lanarkshire
William Law Son 13 Scholar Bathgate, Lanarkshire
Mary Donald Law Daughter 10 Scholar Bathgate, Lanarkshire
Janet Spence Law Daughter 7 Scholar Bathgate, Lanarkshire
Andrew Law Son 5 Scholar Bathgate, Lanarkshire
Thomas Law Son 2   Bathgate, Lanarkshire
Jane Fram Hunter Servant 15 General servant Armadale, Linlithgowshire

Two sons are missing from this census, James who would have been aged 19, and Hugh who would have been aged 17. James became a surveyor with the Customs and Excise, and was presumably already away from home, learning his trade.  Hugh, was working for his late Uncle Andrew Robb's widow, Elizabeth on Glenend farm, Muiravonside, Stirling.

Hugh Law and Susanna Robb's family was completed with the birth, on 7th February 1883, of Alexander, making ten children in all, eight boys and two girls!! Sadly their youngest daughter, Janet Spence, died shortly before her sixteenth birthday, on 29th May 1889. (For further details of the known children of Hugh Law and Susanna Robb - See Appendix E.)

Sometime between 1881 and 1891 both Hugh Law's in-laws, James Robb and Mary Donald, now well into their eighties, came to live at Netherhouses farm. It is there that we find them, along with Hugh, Susanna, and four of their grandchildren for the census of April 1891.

1891 Census (6th April) Armadale (662-2) Book 4. Page 22.

Netherhouses Farm, Armadale, near Bathgate.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Hugh Law Head 61 Farmer Carnwath, Lanarkshire
Susanna Law Wife 54 Farmer's wife Edinburgh, Midlothian
Mary D. Law Daughter 19 Farmer's daughter Carnwath, Lanarkshire
Andrew Law Son 15 Farmer's son Carnwath, Lanarkshire
Thomas Law Son 12 Farmer's son Carnwath, Lanarkshire
Alexander Law Son 8 Farmer's son Carnwath, Lanarkshire
James Robb Father-in-Law 92   Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire
Mary Robb Mother-in-Law 90   Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire
Jessie Tweedie Servant 14 General domestic servant Crofthead, Lanarkshire

Also listed in the 1891 census for the Armadale district is Robert Law, Hugh Law's eldest son, who was farming at neighbouring Snypps (Snipes?) farm, along with his wife Jean Nisbett.

1891 Census (6th April)  Armadale (662-2)  Book 4.  Page 22.

Netherhouses Farm, Armadale, near Bathgate.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Robert Law Head 31 Farmer Carnwath, Lanarkshire
Jean Nisbett Law Wife 28 Farmer's wife Loudon, Ayrshire

Six weeks after this census, on 22nd May 1891, Mary Donald died, aged 89, followed six months later by her husband, James Robb, who died on 18th November 1891, aged 92. Both deaths occurred at Netherhouses farm, but the couple were buried in Carnwath parish church graveyard. Also in 1891, on 17th September, Hugh and Susanna's fourth son, John, died, aged 25. John had married an Anne Marshall and was a butcher in Craigneuk at the time of his death.

Four years later, on 26th March 1895, Hugh Law died, aged 65, and was laid to rest in Bathgate cemetery, alongside his two children, Janet and John, who had predeceased him.

For the census of 1901 Susanna was still living at and at running Netherhouses.  Thomas Law with little future at home, (the farm going to his eldest brother Robert on the death of his mother, was employed in the timber trade, in which he would remain for the remainder of his working life.

1901 Census (1st April)  Armadale(662/2)  Book 4 Page 16.

Netherhouses Farm, Armadale, near Bathgate.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Susan Law Head 64 Farmer Carnwath, Lanarkshire
Alexander Law Son 18 Bank Clerk Bathgate, Linlithgowshire
Thomas Law Son 22 Clerk in Timber Trade Bathgate, Linlithgowshire
Robert Martin Servant 23 Farm Servant Barrhead, Renfrewshire
Helen Easton Servant 19 Dairy Maid Bathgate, Linlithgowshire

By 1908 at latest Thomas had flown the nest as on 10th April of that year, whilst living at Little Park, 9 Chapel Lane, Falkirk, he married. His bride was Isabella Robb, born 1875/76, the daughter of James Robb, a farmer, and Margaret Wilson, who was living at the time of the marriage at Woodend, Carnwath. Susanna Robb, 

Thomas's mother, and James Robb, Isabella's father were brother and sister, and Isabella therefore was Thomas's cousin. Sadly Isabella died on 24th June 1908, nine days after the birth of a son, John Robb Law, on 15th June 1908, at Chapel Lane, Falkirk.

For the census of 1911 Thomas, a timber salesman, was recorded as living at St. Ives, Falkirk, along with his son John and his widowed mother Susanna.

1911 Census (2 April) Falkirk - 479 Book 28, Page 29

St Ives, Falkirk (5 Rooms with 1 or more windows)

Name

Relationship

Age      

Duration of

Marriage

No of

Children Born

No of Children

Surviving

Occupation

Where Born

Thomas Law Head 32       Timber Salesman - Woodyard - Worker Bathgate, Linlithgowshire
John Law Son 2         Falkirk, Stirlingshire
Susan Law Mother 74       Housekeeper Carnwath, Lanarkshire
Jean Taylor Servant 26       General Servant - Worker Muiravonside, Stirlingshire
Mary Marshall Allison Thomas Law (WW1)

On 16th April 1912 Thomas Law re-married. His bride, Mary Marshall  Allison, was the daughter of Andrew Allison, a farmer at Craighead, Salsburgh, near Shotts. Mary Marshall. Mary Marshall Allison was aged 25 at the time of her marriage, having been born on 4th October 1886, at Whitehill farm, near Shotts, the fourth of ten children. (SEE ONLINE ALLISON & MARSHALL FAMILY HISTORIES).

Thomas and Mary's first child, a daughter, Mary, was born on 10th November 1912, at Bankrigg, parish of Yester, but their second child, also a daughter, Susanna Margaret, born two years later, on 12th September 1914, was born at St. Ives, Laurieston, Falkirk. 

Sometime after this and before the birth of their next child, a son, Andrew Allison, on 23rd November 1916, the family had moved to 9 St. Ronan's Terrace, Morningside, Edinburgh, as it was there that the birth of Andrew was recorded. This was to remain the family home for over sixty years.

On 13 November 1917 Thomas was called up for active service with the 42 Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery. He was posted overseas and saw  action in France.

On 20th April 1918, Susanna, Thomas's mother, having outlived her husband, Hugh, by twenty-three years, died at Netherhouses, aged 81. She was laid to rest, alongside her husband, her daughter Janet Spence, and her son John, in the family grave in Bathgate cemetery. She was identified on the death certificate as  the daughter of James Robb, a farmer, and Mary Donald.

Inscription on Hugh and Susanna Law headstone in Bathgate cemetry

ERECTED
BY
HUGH LAW
IN LOVING MEMORY OF
HIS DAUGHTER
JANET SPENCE
WHO DIED AT NETHERHOUSES
29th MAY 1889 AGED 16
ALSO JOHN HIS FOURTH SON
AND BELOVED HUSBAND OF
ANNE MARSHALL
WHO DIED AT CRAIGNEUK
17th SEPr 1891 AGED 25 1/2 YEARS
THE ABOVE HUGH LAW
WHO DIED 26th MARCH 1895 AGED 65 YEARS
ALSO HIS WIFE
SUSANNA ROBB
DIED 20th APRIL 1918 AGED 81 YEARS
HIS ELDEST SON ROBERT
BELOVED HUSBAND OF JEAN NISBETT
DIED 29th DECr 1925 AGED 65 YEARS
AND THEIR DAUGHTER MARGARET
WHO DIED IN INFANCY
THE ABOVE JEAN NISBETT
DIED 13th AUGUST 1935 AGED 73 YEARS
THE RESULT OF AN ACCIDENT

After the outbreak of peace Thomas was eventually demobbed in the February of 1919, and was able to return his wife and family back in St. Ronan's Terrace. Back in Edinburgh, In the following years Thomas Law and Mary Marshall Allison's family was completed with the births of a further two children, Thomas on 11th April 1921, and Janet Allison Spence on 9th August 1927.