I’ve started a new blog – Merchant City Cousins – that grows out of my research into the family of my 4th great uncle, George Robb, a merchant in early nineteenth-century Glasgow and the brother of my 3rd great grandfather, Charles Edward Stuart Robb.

John Knox, ‘Old Glasgow Cross or the Trongate’ , Glasgow Museums, via artuk.org

Although my search for information about George Robb began as an attempt to establish his connection with my own family, I soon became intrigued by his story, and that of his extended family, for its own sake. I discovered that he and his wife and children were part of a nexus of families linked by marriage that included merchants, manufacturers, plantation owners, lawyers, artists and administrators – many of them implicated in the infamous ‘triangular trade’ that connected Glasgow with Africa and the New World.

It is the story of that extended family – of interest in its own right, but also providing a fascinating insight into life in Glasgow, and the city’s links with the New World, in the nineteenth century – that I plan to tell in the new blog.