Fisherford in the 1871 census

Everton farm

Everton Farm, Auchterless, Aberdeenshire

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

In the 1871 census Fisherford is preceded by Braestairie, and then by a number of households described as being in Overton:

35. Overton

Samuel Stephen, 71, farmer 170 acres

William Stephen, 35, farmer’s son

Ann Stephen, 32, farmer’s daughter

Margaret Stephen, 26, farmer’s daughter

Robert Ward, 22, farm servant

George Mitchell, 14, farm servant

James Peter (?), 12, farm servant

36. Overton

John Florence, 55, agricultural labourer

Isabella Florence, wife, 55

Mary Florence, sister, 62, assistant

37. Overton

William Robb, 23, farm servant

Ann Robb, wife, 25

George Robb, son, 4

Elizabeth Robb, daughter, 3

Mary Ann Robb, daughter, 3 months

Since the Stephen and Florence families were described in an earlier census as living ‘over Fisherford’, we can assume that this is synonymous with Overton, or Overtown as it appears on some maps. This was to the immediate north-west of Fisherford village and appears to be identical with present-day Everton.

In the census record, properties in Fisherford itself are listed immediately after those in Overton, as follows:

38.Fisherford

John Burns, 37, farmer 200 acres

Jane Burns, sister, 35

John Halls (?), 32, farm servant

Robert Gordon, 18, farm servant

Barbra Atkin (?), 17, general servant (domestic)

George ?? , 12, farm servant

39. Fisherford

George Gordon, 37, shoemaker and cooper

Barbara Gordon, wife, 30

Eliza Gordon, daughter, 10

George Gordon, son, 8

William Gordon, son, 3

40. Fisherford

Margaret Harper, wife, 29

William Robb, father, visitor, 63, agricultural labourer

Ann Harper, daughter, 7

Jessie Harper, daughter, 5

William Harper, son, 3

41. Fisherford

John Chalmers, 49, crofter of 6 acres

Mary Chalmers, 43, crofter’s wife

Charles Chalmers, son, 10

Arthur Chalmers, son, 8

Alexander Chalmers, son, 5

George Chalmers, son, 1

Robert Chalmers, son, 1

42. Fisherford

John Roy (?), 43, crofter of 6 1/2 acres

Mary Roy, 46, crofter’s wife

43. Fisherford

George Robb, 64, innkeeper and farmer 44 acres, all arable, employing 2 servants

Elizabeth Robb, 50, farmer’s wife

Barbara Robb, daughter, 25

Mary Robb, daughter, 21

Isabela Cruickshank Robb, daughter, 9

Jane Gammack Robb, daughter, 7

George Black, grandson, 4

44. Fisherford

Leslie Wight, 27, general merchant

Mary Ann, sister, 30, housekeeper

Fisherford is followed in the census by Auchinhove (home of Robert Porter and family) and then Ladybog,  farmed by Charles Booth, age 46, almost certainly a relation of the Charles Booth who was farming at Fisherford in 1861. The latter, who would have been 77 by now, had probably died in the interim: perhaps his large farm had been taken over by John Burns?

George Robb’s circumstances seem to have improved: he is now farming 44 acres, compared to the 20 in earlier censuses, and he’s prosperous enough to employ two servants. The William Robb living at Overton was almost certainly George’s son, who married Ann Wight at St Thomas’ Episcopal Church, Tillymorgan, in 1866. Interestingly, Charles Booth was one of the witnesses.

I haven’t yet worked out the identity of the other William Robb mentioned in this record – the father of Margaret Harper, said to be visiting her at the time of the census. It’s possible he’s George’s brother, born in 1800, but I can’t be sure.

Ladybog farm

Ladybog Farm

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

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