George Robb of Fisherford

In the last few posts I’ve tried to sketch in some details of some of the key (male) members of the Robb family of Auchterless and the possible relationships between them. My current theory is that there were a number of brothers growing up together at Mains of Badenscoth in the 1730s and 1740s. They included Alexander (b. 1714) wo married Mary Raeburn in 1743 and ended up at Logie Newton, James who married Barbara Raeburn in 1750 and farmed at Bruckhills, and John who lived at Newbigging. It’s possible that the Alexander Robb senior of Badenscoth mentioned in some of the records was their father. Since there is no record of any of their births in the Auchterless records, it’s likely that they moved to Badenscoth from outside the parish. Either that, or they were Episcopalians: but then why do they turn up later in the Auchterless OPRs? (In an earlier post, I noted that no Robbs are to be found in the Auchterless Poll Book for 1696.)

Now we turn to the question of how George Robb, my probable 4 x great grandfather, fits into this emerging picture. The first record we have of a George Robb in Auchterless is in 1762, when he marries Jean Syme of Methlick. This means that George was probably born some time between about 1725 and 1740. I’ve always tended towards an earlier date, because of the family tradition that he played a part in the 1745 Jacobite uprising. If that story is true, it might explain the comparatively late date of his marriage. If indeed he was a brother of Alexander, James and John, then he was the last to marry: he may have been the youngest brother.

Then, in 1763, we find George living at Logie Newton, where he has his first son, William, baptized. This is the William who we suspect will grow up  to become firstly a schoomaster at Culsalmond and then an Episcopalian clergyman. Alexander Robb is mentioned as witness to the baptism. We know that, by around this date, the Alexander Robb who was born in 1714 and married Mary Raeburn, was living at Logie Newton. Was George a younger brother who farmed alongside him?

Two years later, in 1765, George had another son John at Logie Newton. In 1766  a George Robb at Bruckhills was a witness (alongside John Robb of Newbigging) to the baptism of Jean, daughter of Alexander Robb of Logie Newton. This is probably the same George.

In 1767 George is again at Logie Newton, for the birth of his son Alexander, witnessed by Alexander Robb younger – possibly his  nephew, born in 1746?

Two years later, in1769, at Logie Newton, George has a son, also called George, baptized. (This is the George Robb who we suspect will become a merchant in Glasgow and marry Penelope Thomson). The witness is again Alexander Robb younger.

In 1772, George is still at Logie Newton for the birth of his son James. (This is the James who would inherit the property in Fisherford on the death of Rev William Robb in 1730, suggesting that George’s older sons Alexander and John did not survive into adulthood.) The witness is William Robb in Newton. Presumably this is the William who would marry Agnes Cruickshank: possibly George’s nephew.

In 1774 George had a daughter Jean, the witness being Alexnader Robb, also at Logie Newton. In 1776 he had twin taughters Mary and Isobel, and Alexander and William at Logie Newton were witnesses.

The next, and final, record we have of George is from 1779, when he had a son, Charles, baptized. This is the person I believe to have been my great great great grandfather, Charles Edward Stuart Robb. He born at Fisherford – the first mention of the property in the Robb records – and the witnesses were Alexander Robb in Logie Newton and James Robb in Bruckhills.

It’s not quite true that this is the last mention of George in the records: there’s one posthumous reference. When his son James died at Fisherford in 1857, his death certficate mentioned that his father was George Robb, ‘flesher’, and his mother Jane Robb, maiden name ‘Sim (?). Jean and Jane seem to have been interchangeable names at this time, and her maiden name had various spellings, including Sim and Syme . (Though I notice that a modern photograph of Meikle Bogs farm at Gordonstown indicates that it’s managed by the Sim family.)

fisherford black burn

Fisherford – Black Burn

© Copyright Iain Macaulay and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

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