John Robb of Newbigging

It’s possible that John Robb of Newbigging was the brother of both Alexander (m. Mary Raeburn) and James (m. Barbara Raeburn). The first mention in the Auchterless OPRs of a John Robb is in 1742, when someone of that name marries Anne Williamson. This would make him roughly of the same generation as Alexander (who married a year later in 1743) and James (who married in 1750).

The first mention of  a John Robb associated with Newbigging (which was between Badenscoth and Gordonstown) is in 1745, when he is a witness to the baptism of the daughter of John Allardyce of Boggs. Then there are two events that place a John Robb in Inverkeitheny in Banff, but we don’t know if this is ‘our’ John. In 1749, a John Robb in Invekitheny marries a Martha Coilson of Auchterless, though it’s unclear whether this is the same John (of Inverkeithny, but late of Auchterless) who in the following year had a daughter Elspet ‘born in ante-nuptial fornication’.

It would appear that John Robb of Newbigging had no (other?) children. Perhaps he was married, but childless, or perhaps his wife (Anne? Martha? both?) died. At any rate, (almost) all the events associated with him in the following years involve him being a witness at the baptisms of other people’s children (if my speculations are correct, most of them were his nephews and nieces).

In 1753 John was a witness at the baptism of James, son of Alexander Robb of Scotackesfoord (his brother?), the other witness being the laird of Badenscoth (the landowner for whom they were both tenant farmers?). In 1755 he witnessed the baptism of Mary, daughter of James Robb of Bruckhills – his other brother? – and also the baptism of James, son of John Raeburn of Meiklebogs. (The other witness was Alexander Robb of Camaloun, suggesting that this might be the Alexander who was at Scotakesfoord previously.) In 1759 John witnessed the birth of another daughter, Grace, born to James Robb in Bruckhills. In 1766 he witnessed the baptism  of Jean, daughter of Alexander Robb of Logie Newton. 

In 1770 John witnessed the baptism of Margaret, daughter of Patrick Robb of Bankhead, and a year later the baptism of John, son of Peter Robb of Bankhead. This is the last mention in the records of a John Robb at Newbigging. 

It’s unlikely he’s the John Robb of New Gordonstown who witnessed the baptism of Peter’s daughter Barbara in 1772. The same (?) John Robb had a son, Alexander, baptised in the following year. In 1774 John Robb at Boggs had a son John, and in 1776 the same person – ‘sometime deceased’ – had a son James. However, one or possibly both of these relate to the John Robb, son of James Robb and Barbara Raeburn, who married Jean Murray. A James Murray was a witness to the first of these baptisms, as was Peter Robb. 

I don’t think Newbigging exists any more (or its name may have changed). But here’s a photo of a road near Gordonstown:

gordonstown© Copyright Les Harvey and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

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