William Robb (1749/1757 – 1817) and his son Alexander (1796 – 1865)

WILLIAM ROBB (1749/1757 – 1817)

We know from an inscription in Auchterless Kirkyard that William Robb, farmer in Logie Newton, died  in 1817, aged 68, which means he would have been born in about 1749. His wife was Agnes Cruickshank of Inverkeithny, who died in 1831 aged 75, meaning she was born in about 1742. They married in 1795 and their only son Alexander was born in the following year.

The only records we have of a William Robb being born in Auchterless around the middle of the century are of William, son of James Robb of Bruckhills, who was born in 1757, and William, son of George Robb of Logie Newton, who was born in 1763. Even if we didn’t strongly suspect that the latter would grow up to be Rev. William Robb, Episcopal clergymen, his date of birth is far too late to match this William.

It’s more likely that William was the son of James, who married Barbara Raeburn in 1750. (Perhaps the age on the tombstone is wrong, or perhaps the date of William’s baptism was a number of years after his birth?) This would give him a connection to the Alexander Robb who married Mary Raeburn, even if we didn’t also suspect that James and Alexander were brothers, which would mean that Alexander was William’s uncle. This might explain how William came to be farming at Logie Newton, perhaps alongside his cousin (?) Alexander, who also married a Cruickshank (Amelia).

 A ‘William Robb in Newton’ is mentioned as a witness at the baptism of James Robb, son of George, in 1772, and at the baptism of George’s twin daughters four years later. More curiously, there is a record of a William Robb marrying Elizabeth Jamieson in 1776. This is perhaps the same person who had a son George in 1783 and a daughter Ann (at Heatherybraes) in 1785. This might possibly be ‘our’ William, and Agnes might have been a second marriage. But this doesn’t explain the marriage of William Robb to Elizabeth Alexander in 1796, the same year that ‘our’ William married Agnes Cruickshank.   There appear to have been at least two adult William Robbs in Auchterless in the latter decades of the century, but it’s unclear who exactly was who.

Even if ‘our’ William was born as late as 1757, he would have been nearly forty when he married Agnes, which probably explains why they only had one child. It also makes it more likely that Agnes was not his first wife, and that an earlier partner (Elizabeth?) died prematurely.

ALEXANDER ROBB (1796 – 1865)

Alexander, son of William and Agnes, did not marry. He was farming at Logie Newton at the time of the 1841 and 1851 census, and he died there in 1864, aged 67. It was this Alexander whose death was registered by Rev. John Robb of Longside, said to be his cousin. I’m still trying to work out connections between them.Logie Newton photo

Logie Newton and the sign for Wells of Ythan.

© Copyright Steven Brown and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

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