Coincidence, or did they all know each other?

I’m more and more convinced that my illegitimate ggg grandfather William Fraser’s father was William Fraser who served in the army, was wounded in the Napoleonic Wars, and then lived south of Peterhead. There are so many linkages between the families that surely can’t be just coincidences. Two more have recently emerged.

When looking at the census for Mosside Croft, I’ve long been intrigued by the Robert Fraser who, from 1861, was a very close neighbour of my Fraser ancestors. Then when researching the family of army pensioner William Fraser born 1778, what should I discover? Robert Fraser born 1819 who lived at Mossnook was the grandson of John Fraser born 1765, brother of William Fraser born 1778.

Then there’s Arthur Morgan born in 1841, son of the unfortunate Arthur Morgan who was killed by a large granite stone. Arthur Morgan junior married Margaret Brown in Cruden in 1861, and in 1871 he’s a farm servant in Peterhead but his wife isn’t with him. So I went looking for her and found:
Invernettie Brickwork, Peterhead
Elizabeth Fraser head age 55, crofter of 2.75 acres, born Peterhead
Margaret Morgan daughter age 35, born Peterhead
Arthur Morgan grandson age 9, scholar, born Peterhead
Andrew George Morgan grandson age 7, scholar, born Peterhead
Elizabeth Ellen Morgan granddaughter age 2, born Peterhead

This looked familiar – which it was as I’ve already added the very same census information to someone else! Elizabeth Fraser, age 55 and a crofter in 1871, was the daughter of Andrew Fraser and Jean Walker. In 1841 and 1851 she’s with her parents and her illegitimate daughter, Margaret Brown. Also with that family in 1841 and 1851 is William Fraser, brother of Andrew – who is the William Fraser who’d been in the army during the Napoleonic Wars and who I’m pretty sure is the father of my ggg grandfather William Fraser.

So there are two brothers whose descendants intermarried:
Andrew Fraser b. 1772 had a granddaughter Margaret Brown who married Arthur Morgan.
William Fraser b. 1778 had a great grandchild William Fraser who married Helen Ann Morgan.
Arthur Morgan was Helen Ann Morgan’s uncle.

And just to add to the tangle: the informant for the death of Arthur Morgan born 1841 was William Johnston, cousin. There is a Johnston family in the census living near Mosside croft. And Arthur Morgan’s daughter, Catherine Morgan, married George Hutchison – and Hutcheon/Hutchison is the surname of my ggg grandfather William Fraser’s wife. Yet more things to explore and attempt to untangle!

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2 responses to “Coincidence, or did they all know each other?

  1. Your doing a great job to untangle what you have so far. Keep going and good luck

    • Thank you. It’s not easy, though – after a bit of research I have to leave it alone for a while, as my brain starts to feel overloaded! Then, all of sudden, something goes click and it starts to make sense, so I can go back to it and look at everything anew.

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