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Hello everyone.  I am contacting you from Australia.  

Agnes Seymour Douglas: 1842 Ireland (that is all we know)  --1891 Lanarkshire Scotland  (My 2nd great grandmother)

Susan Douglas 1843:  County Antrim---death unknown

Parents:  John Douglas: 1818 Antrim Ireland---1889 Lanarkshire Scotland

                Mary Francis/Francey:  1818 Antrim-----1892 Scotland


My cousins and I are trying to work out if Agnes and Susan are the same person.  The reason for the doubt is:

Agnes did not appear in the 1851 Census Susan did.  However in the 1861 one Susan is no longer recorded.  No death record can be found nor any other vital record for her.

Agnes Douglas was born in Ireland but on the 1861 census if this is the correct Agnes shows her as being born in Airdrie.  After checking and double checking this does appear to be my 2nd great grandmother.

So we are still in doubt as to Agnes and Susan being the same person.  My cousin has searched every which way but loose and can find nothing.  Is there possibly someone that might be able to shed some light on this for us please???

Thank you.  Gale Schreurs



Tuesday 4th Oct 2022, 12:15AM

Message Board Replies

  • Gale,

    Death registration only started in Scotland in 1855, so if Susan died between 1851 and 31.12.1854 there won’t be a death certificate.  If Presbyterian (ie Church of Scotland), there might be a burial record but not all parishes were meticulous in keeping them and there are many gaps. So she could easily have died and that fact not be recorded.

    Birth registration didn’t start till 1864 in Ireland, so tracing Agnes & Susan’s births c 1843 will be challenging. You really need to know their parish or townland and denomination to know where to look. And the records may not be on-line. Someone might need to go to PRONI (the public record office) in Belfast to look for them.

    Susan and Agnes are not normally regarded as interchangeable names, either here in Ireland or in Scotland, so I would be inclined to think it’s 2 separate children.

    Did John & Mary have a child born in 1855 or 1861 onwards? If they did, then the Scottish birth certificates for those years normally record where and when the parents married. Helpful in tracing Irish records. 1855 (the first year of birth registration is particularly helpful as it contains lots of extra information eg where the parents were born, and how many children alive and dead the mother had had.)

    If they both died in Scotland then their death certificates should record their parents names and occupations.

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Tuesday 4th Oct 2022, 07:25AM
  • Hi Elwyn

    Thank you for getting back to me.  We have a lot of BDM certificates for not only Agnes but also all the siblings bar Susan as we can not find anything for her whatsoever.  Oh hang on there is one census in 1851 for Susan and then she just disappears of the face of the earth.  We also have the death cert for Agnes' parents who died in Scotland.  A couple of places I didn't think to look until you mentioned is NLI if I can find Agnes then possibly Susan, also The Virtual Records Treasury of Ireland if I can ever work out how to use it properly.  Again thank you.  Gale 

    William Douglas (Agnes' older brother)  was born in Co. Antrim so I will try and find him in NLI and hopefully there might be some answers in there.  After that all the kids were born in Scotland   G




    Wednesday 5th Oct 2022, 06:04AM
  • gale,

    The baptism records on the NLI site are Roman Catholic. My guess from the surnames and the fact the family came from Co Antrim is that your family were probably a different denomination. Likely Presbyterian or perhaps Church of Ireland (ie Anglican).  Records for those denominations are not on the NLI site.  They are mostly held in PRONI (the public record office) in Belfast but are not on-line. A personal visit is required to view them.

    Douglas is a Scottish surname, so your family probably originated in Scotland and moved to Ireland in the 1600s, before returning to Scotland in the 1800s because of better work opportunities. Hundreds of thousands of people from Ireland moved to Scotland and England in the 1800s for that and many other reasons (overpopulation, lack of natural resources in Ireland eg no oil or coal, & famine etc).

    You say that most of the kids were born in Scotland. Any born in 1855 or 1861 onwards? That’s probably the easiest way of finding where the family came from. The parents date & place of marriage in Ireland should be written on the Scottish birth certificates. (It wasn't recorded for the years 1856 - 1860). If you can give me that information, I should be able to tell you what records to search in Ireland.

    Postscript. I can see that Agnes Douglas married in 1865, in the Free Church of Scotland.  (That a Presbyterian denomination).  Tradition was to marry in the bride’s church, so it seems likely that the Douglas family were Presbyterian. Therefore if looking for Agnes & Susan’s baptisms in Ireland, it’s those records you probably ought to focus on. Most are kept in PRONI in Belfast but there are lot of Presbyterian churches in Co. Antrim and without knowing where in the county they lived it’s a bit of a needle in a haystack.

    Elwyn, IrelandXO Volunteer ☘

    Wednesday 5th Oct 2022, 07:28AM
  • Hi Elwyn

    Oh my,,,,,what a steep learning curve I am on.  Thanks for the heads up on NLI I didn't even consider/know that.  I will stop looking now.  I have had a look at some of the birth/death certs we have and I think I am going to have to take some time just to go through them all.  I do know that on Agnes's father's death it states Airdrie in Scotland ad to where he died and that their son Peter was a witness, so I am totally lost now.  

    I will go through what we have and go through what you have just told me and try and work it out, and if you are willing I will get back to you.  Again thank you for the NLI tip.  Unfortunately I do not have anyone that can go to PRONI so onward an upward from here.    Gale


    Thursday 6th Oct 2022, 01:39AM
  • So sorry Elwin for taking so long .....not been well.  Will get onto it now and be back asap.  Thank you for you patients.


    Sunday 16th Oct 2022, 08:52AM

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