I’ve been trying to find out what happened to the Robb family’s property in Fisherford, Aberdeenshire, after the deaths of my 3 x great uncle James Robb (1772 – 1857) and his son George (1804 – 1880). It would appear that George inherited the property from his father James as the oldest surviving son: I can find no further record of the two sons who were born before George – John (1799) and William (1800). George’s younger brother James (born 1806) is probably the James mentioned in the William Robb memorandum of 1880, where he is described (mistakenly?) as the eldest son and as having gone to America ‘many years since’. I’ve yet to confirm this, or find emigration details, but other researchers seem to agree that this is the case.

As mentioned in my last post, George’s other younger brother Charles (born 1814) seems to have been the informant of both their father James’ death and of George’s death. This means it is likely that he remained in the area, and is probably the Charles Robb who married Agnes Wight and lived in Forgue. I’ve yet to find any record of children being born to Charles and Agnes.

I wondered whether any of George’s own children inherited the Fisherford property after his death. His eldest son, also George (born 1825) married Christine McFarland and, according to another family tree that I  recently found at Ancestry, emigrated to the USA. They seem to have lived firstly in Michigan, where their first child, Minnie, was born in 1857, and then in Minnesota, where they had three more children: John (1859), Christine (1865) and Anna Jeanette (1868).

As we know, George’s son James (1827) was executed for murder in 1849. According to yet another family tree at Ancestry, George’s son John, born in 1834, married Susan Davidson and worked as a ploughman and agricultural labourer in the Auchterless area and in Insch. John and Susan had six children: Ann (1858), Barbara (1862), Helen (1864), John (1866), William (1869) and Margaret (1870).

Another of George’s sons, Alexander (born 1836), married Bathia Hardie in 1858. In 1861 they were living in Chapel of Garioch, where Alexander was working as a ploughman, and in 1871 in Culsamond, where he worked as an agricultural labourer. Alexander and Bathia had seven children: George (1860), Alexander (1862), Mary (1863), Bathia (1865), James (1867), Elizabeth and Helen (both 1870). Alexander died in 1899 in Old Meldrum, Aberdeenshire. His daughter Bathia married James Brechin; John Brechin, with whom I have corresponded about our shared family history, is their descendant.

George Robb’s son Charles (born 1842), who worked as a ploughman while still living at home, married Mary Hay in 1863 , and if other family trees are to believed, had 16 children, whose names I won’t list here. They lived in Auchterless, Daviot and Chapel of Garioch, where Charles worked as an agricultural labourer / farm servant, and finally in Iverurie, where he was employed as a domestic gardener. 

George Robb had one son (William, 1848) and four daughters from his second marriage to Elizabeth McKenzie, but so far I haven’t managed to find out what happened to them.

It would be good to see census records for Fisherford for 1881, 1891 and 1901, but the Scottish census does not seem as easily searchable by place as the English equivalent. I’ll keep trying, but it could be that the Fisherford property was sold on George’s death. Certainly few of his descendants seem to have owned any land of their own – but I shall keep searching