Based on the information set out in the last three posts, I want to suggest some possible family relationships between the Robbs mentioned in the Auchterless parish records.

We know (from information on his tombstone) that the Alexander Robb who married Mary Raeburn in 1743 was born in about 1714. Mary was born in 1723, the daughter of Alexander Raeburn of Boggs. It seems likely that this is the same Alexander, at Mains of Badenscoth, who had a son born a year later, in 1744, and probably a daughter Elspat in the same year, at Scotackesfoord, when the witness was Alexander Robb senior of Mains of Badenscoth. Two years later, in 1746, Alexander junior had a son, also Alexander, baptised, and the witnesses were Alexander Raeburn (his father-in-law) and Alexander Robb in Mains of Badenscoth, who I assume was his father.

We also know that Mary Raeburn’s sister, Barbara, married a James Robb, of Mains of Badenscoth, in 1750. They had a daughter Elspet, born at Scotackesfoord in 1751, witnessed by Alexander Robb (though it’s unclear whether it’s the senior or junior one). They also had a daughter called Isobel born in 1753, at Meiklebogs.

Since the Alexander Robb who married Mary Raeburn in 1743 and the James Robb whom married Barbara Raeburn in 1750 both originate at Mains of Badenscoth, and have a link with an Alexander Robb senior also living there, I think we can assume that these are two brothers who married two sisters.

Although we cannot be absolutely sure at this stage, Alexander and Mary appear to have had the following children: Charles (1744), Elspat (1744), Alexander (1746), Sarah (1749) and James (1753).  Alexander seems to have moved from Badenscoth to Scotackesfoord, probably ending up at Logie Newton.

James and Barbara seem to have had these children: John (1747), Elspet (1751), Isobel (1753), Mary (1755), William (1757), Grace (1759) and Elizabeth (1761). James moved from Badenscoth to Scotackesfoord, then Meiklebogs, and finally Bruckhills.

Alexander and Mary’s son Alexander, born in 1746, married Amelia Cruickshank, daughter of George Cruickshank of Glenmellan, in 1779. They lived at Logie Newton and their son, yet another Alexander, born in 1782, farmed there until he retired to Aberdeen, where he died in 1865. It’s possible that it was another son, James (born 1753) who married Ann Maitland and lived at Overhill. They in turn had a son, also James, born in 1795.

It’s also possible that James and Barbara’s son William, born in 1757, is the William Robb who married Agnes Cruickshank in 1796 and farmed at Logie Newton. The date of his birth doesn’t quite fit the information on their tombstone in Culsalmond kirkyard, which would put William’s birth some 8 years earlier: however, I can’t find any record of a William Robb being born in Auchterless around that time.

William and Agnes had a son, Alexander, born in 1797, who farmed at Logie Newton until he died in 1864. It was this Alexander whose death was registered by Rev. John Robb of Longside, son of James Robb, wright and Convener in Aberdeen, and Barbara Milne of Pittrichie. The death certificate appears to claim that Rev. John was Alexander’s cousin, which would mean that their fathers were brothers. However, there is quite a wide discrepancy in ages between both Rev. John and Alexander, and between those of their fathers.

From the information on the Robb/Milne family tombstone in Udny churchyard, we can deduce that Rev. John Robb’s father James was born in about 1796. Is it possible that this was the James Robb who was born in Auchterless in 1795, the son of James and Barbara Robb of Bruckhills? If so, and my speculations above are correct, then they were not in fact cousins, but second cousins. It was Rev. John’s father James and Alexander’s father William who were cousins (their own fathers being the brothers, Alexander and James Robb, who married the Raeburn sisters).

Casting the net more widely, it’s possible that Alexander Robb senior of Mains of Badenscoth was the father not only of Alexander and James, but also of the John Robb who ended up farming at Newbigging, and of George Robb, of Logie Newton and later Fisherford, who was my 4 x great grandfather. Certainly the dates we have for them, the locations in which they can be found, and the fact that they acted as witnesses for the baptisms of each other’s children, would tend to support this theory. From the absence of records in the OPRs, it would appear that none of the brothers (if that is what they were) was born in Auchterless, unless of course their baptisms were registered by an Episcopal minister. The next step will be to find, either in the OPRs or Episcopal records, an Alexander Robb who had sons named Alexander, James, John and George, between about 1714 and 1730. If they came from Auchterless, why are they not in the 1696 Poll Book (though there is an Alexander Robb, grassman, in Culsalmond….?), and if they came from outside the parish, where did they move from?