Mary and Ann Rodger

Thanks to Anne Parkhill for raising questions about Mary Williamson (née Rodger) and her sister Ann. I went back to look at my sources, and found I had more information than I remembered, thanks to a discussion on the Rootsweb archive, from the year 2000. So if anybody would like to add to what I have on the database, please let me know. Mary first married her cousin Charles Robb, and later Stephen Williamson. (more details on the database)


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“the delight in store for the reader”

A very favourable review by Mary W Craig in the Scottish Local History journal of February 2012  – She gives a good summary of the book, mentioning the people, the servants, and the changes from the 1860s to the turn of the century.  “beautifully illustrated” “excellent reference section” and “must-read” are some of the phrases she uses – I’m thrilled!


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Robert Fullerton (1773 to 1830)

Robert Fullerton, brother-in-law to Alexander Falconar’s wife, was Governor of Penang from 1826 to 1829.  There are therefore quite a number of biographies for him available on the Internet.  Unfortunately many of them seem to repeat a mistake concerning his parentage.  Many report that he was the son of William Fullerton, Minister of St. Quivox and his wife Frances Stewart of Reece. However this William Falconar was the Minister in 1642[1], too early to be Robert’s father. His real parents were William Falconar and Isobel Johnstone (SP) and he was born in Edinburgh on 16 January 1773. In researching his parentage I came across a William Fullerton of Carstairs, whose daughter married William Fullerton Elphinstone of Carberry.  Since Robert’s son was named William Elphinstone Fullerton, I felt sure there must be a connection,  I eventually tracked down a references to a document relating to the “conveyance of residue of estate of William Fullerton of Carstairs Lanark by his son Robert Fullerton to provide portions for his unmarried sisters, Jun 1821”,[2] which confirms the relationship. Robert’s brother John Fullerton was a well-respected Scottish Judge.


The family tree of the Fullertons is now on the database.


[2] Bond of corroboration ACC7755/35 1821-1865 These documents are held at East Sussex Record Office (The National Archive)


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I have discovered another link in the Crescent – between Mary Gertrude Fraser, the daughter of Rev Robert William Fraser who lived at no 1 from 1868 to 1873 and the Cownie family. On 24th July 1894 Mary became the second wife of William Cownie, who was the brother of Thomas Ogilvy Cownie and James Gibb Cownie, both of who lived in the Crescent.

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Harriet who?

On 1 March 1797 Alexander Falconar wrote in his diary “Harriet about this time engaged herself to Fullerton”. Later, on 3 April 1798 he wrote”young Fullerton born”. From this we can work out that the Fullerton she married was Robert Fullerton, who later became Governor of Penang.  The son was William Elphinstone Fullerton.

Harriet died in Penang, and is buried in St Georges church there. On the 200th anniversary of the church (6 October 2001), the New Straits Times printed the following:

“An interesting story which occurred around that time was that Harriet Fullerton, then wife of the governor, was so mean to her workers that they vowed not to leave her soul in peace after she died. Her husband was so scared that a mock funeral was performed in a cemetery while a secret service was held in the church where her body was buried in a hole in the chancel floor in the form of a black marble slab”

However, we do not know her maiden name, or her connection with Alexander Falconar – Can anybody help?


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Mystery Davidsons

Thanks to Chenda for her suggestion about Alexander’s aunt’s nuptials.  I have two Davidsons who are probably related to Alexander, but but I can’t place them.

(1) Lydia Davidson who married  George Yeats, and died in Edinburgh about 1845.  A Louisa Yeats, aged 64, was staying at Falcon Hall (Alexander’s Edinburgh home) in 1841.

(2) George davidson, who was killed on 21 July 1790:

“Geo Davidson killd by a six pound shot on storming party of Dingigul”

Can anybody help?

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Mystery Nuptials

In his diary, on 26 February 1790, Alexander Falconar records “The Anniversary of my Aunts Nuptials 1768”.  I haven’t been able to track down the aunt in question – does anyone have any ideas?

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Diaries of Alexander Falconar 1790-1809

I have been reading the Diaries of Alexander Falconar, Chief Secretary of the East India Company in Madras.  They are very cryptic and have thrown up a number of questions, which I’ll report separately.

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Jane and Isabella Paterson – correction

First posted 28th July 2011

When I found their headstone in Grange Cemetery, I realised that I had the wrong Jane and Isabella Paterson! The parents of the Jane and Isabella who lived at no 14 Dalrymple Crescent were Thomas Paterson, and Anne Swinton. Anne was born Humbie, East Lothian around 1794, and by 1841 she was already a widow. At that time she was living in East Register Street with her five children: Thomas, Elizabeth, Alexander, Jane and Isabella. Thomas, aged 21, was a grocer, and Alexander, 18, was a linen draper journeyman, Elizabeth was 19, Jane, 14 and Isabella 6.

Ten years later they were living in Gayfield square, and David Swinton, Anne’s nephew was staying with them. He was 17, and a grocer’s apprentice.

In 1881, Thomas, Jane and Isabella were all unmarried, and living at 12 Arniston place. Thomas died in 1884, and Jane and Isabella moved to no 14 Dalrymple Crescent in 1888.

The headstone in Grange Cemetery records that Elizabeth died 1st Feb 1877, Thomas on 17 May 1884, Isabella on 25 May 1900, and Jane on 5 July 1904.

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Inglis-Aitken connection

First posted on 12th July 2011

Thanks to Evelyn Inglis for pointing out the connection between the Inglis family and the Aitkens. Robert Inglis bought the plot of land in which no 4 was built in 1862, although he sold it without building on it. His mother was Grace McClelland, from Orchardton in Wigtownshire. Evelyn confirmed that Grace was the sister of Thomas McClelland, and so the aunt of Elizabeth McClelland. Elizabeth was the wife of Alexander Aitken who rented no 2 in 1864 and 1865. From there the family moved to Chalmers Crescent, and in 1871 Elizabeth was visiting her Inglis cousins in Dick Place at the time of the census.

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