Probable Parentage of Agnes Scott

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Agnes Scott was almost certainly the daughter of the William Scott, shoemaker, and Elizabeth Thorburn whose first recorded child found so far is a Jean/Jane Scott baptised on 20th February 1820 in Selkirk. The baptisms of a further two children are to be found in the Selkirk Old Parish Registers - Walter on 3rd November 1821 and George on 7th Dec 1823. No actual record of William Scott and Elizabeth Thorburn’s marriage has yet been found.*

The family seem to have moved to Roxburghshire (Hawick?)** circa 1825 as it is there that they are found for the census of 1841 with a further three children all recorded as born in Roxburghshire - Elizabeth born about 1826, James born about 1830, and Catherine born about 1832. The birth and baptism of a further daughter, Janet, born on 26th September 1835 & baptised on 27th August 1836, is also recorded in the Old Parish Register of Hawick, but as she is not recorded with the family in either the 1841 or 1851 censuses, it seems reasonable to assume she died in infancy.

For the 1841 census the family were living in the Howgate in Hawick. William is of course listed as a shoemaker, with 3 of the children working in the woollen industry. The occupation of the second youngest, James, is however a little more unusual being recorded as a "tobacco wheel" - a spinner or twister of tobacco leaves. We are also lucky that this particular enumerator decided to give correct ages for all the family and not round down all ages over 15 which was the standard.

1841 Census (7th. June) Hawick (789) Book 4. Page 5-6.

Howgate, Hawick.

Name Age Occupation Where Born
William Scott 47 Shoemaker No
Elizabeth Scott 47   England
Walter Scott 19 Woollen H.L.W.I ** No
Jane Scott 21 Woollen Twiner No
Elizabeth Scott 15 Woollen Scribbler Yes
James Scott 11 Tobacco Wheel Yes
Catherine Scott 9   Yes

** Hand Loom Weaver - Independent

William and Elizabeth were still living in the Howgate for the 1851 census with Elizabeth obviously helping with the shoemaking, whilst Catherine worked in the woollens industry.

1851 Census (31st March) Hawick (789) Book 9. Page 8.

Howgate, Hawick.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
William Scott Head 57 Shoemaker Selkirk, Selkirkshire
Elizabeth Scott Wife 57 Boot & Shoe Binder England
Catherine Scott Daughter 18 Woollen Yarn Doubler Hawick, Roxburghshire

It is not yet known when William and Elizabeth died although no record of them has been found in the 1861 census for Hawick. From the information currently available all we can say about William and Elizabeth is that William Scott was born about 1794 in Selkirkshire, probably Selkirk*** and that Elizabeth Thorburn was born about 1794 in England.


*As Elizabeth was born in England her marriage to William Scott may have happened there and possibly even the birth of their first child ?Agnes?

**Agnes Scott was probably born in Selkirk but grew up in Hawick. This would make sense of the 1861 census giving her place of birth as Selkirk, (information supplied by her?) and the remaining censuses giving her place of birth as Hawick, (information supplied by her husband or grandchildren?) AND James Mathieson was recruiting for the 91st in Hawick from December 1838 to May 1839.

***There is a William Scott baptised on 7th August 1794 in Ettirick Selkirkshire, son of John Scott and Agnes Beattie who fits except for Ettrick not Selkirk as place of birth.