Amy Johnson Crow of the No Story Too Small genealogy blog suggested a weekly blog theme of '52 Ancestors' in her blog post "52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks." I decided to take up the challenge of the 52 Ancestors blog theme as a means to prompt me into regularly sharing the stories of my ancestors. So over the course of 2014 I will highlight an ancestor, sharing what I know about the person and perhaps more importantly, what I don't know.
William Mathieson, my four-time great grandfather, was born according to family sources around 1794 and died in Fyvie, Aberdeen, Scotland on 28 Jun 1839. William was the son of William Mathieson (senior) and Elspet Mackie.
I specifically mention the lack of sources of records for William because the database search engines for the records of Scotlajnd do not sufficiently allow for a detailed enough search to narrow the results down to 'my' William Mathieson. There are four William Mathiesons who were born in the 1790's and who died after civil registration commenced in 1855. The Old Parish Registers that cover the period before civil registration tend to be spotty and a search of those records produces twenty-one William Mathiesons, three of whom died in the county of Aberdeen and none of whom died between 1835 and 1845. Looking at births, there were at least eighteen William Mathiesons born in Scotland between 1790 and 1815, six of whom were born in the county of Aberdeen. It's a similar problem for the marriage records, both pre and post civil registration. At some point in my journey, I will examine each of these records, in turn, until I hopefully find 'my' William but for now, there is nothing promising about these records and the cost of examining each of the records is a factor.
In spite of my dismay at not locating 'my' William's birth and death records, I do know of my connection to William because of the records about his daughter, one of my great grandmothers, Jane, or sometimes Jean, Mathieson. Jane's death registration from 1887 tells me that she died at the age of 55 as a result of breast cancer and that she was the daughter of William Mathieson, a deceased farmer and his wife, Jane Scott.
Jane Scott's death registration from 1867 tells me that William had predeceased her and that he was a crofter.
Although there isn't as much evidence as I would like, and while the search for additional evidence continues, I know that William Mathieson married Jane Scott sometime in the first half of the 19th century. They had a daughter named Jane Mathieson who married Alexander Hadden and then several generations later I appeared. And I hope they know, someone still remembers them.