Longside Kirk Session Minutes: Christian Hutcheon compeared

As I knew my ggg grandfather’s wife Christian Hutcheon had had an illegitimate child before her marriage to William Fraser, I was expecting to find it mentioned in the Longside Kirk Session Minutes – and sure enough, it was. She was compeared on 23 March 1823, and the father of the child, John Bisset, was also compeared and admitted he was the father. John Bisset sounds as if he was an agricultural labourer, and therefore moved from farm to farm, and was in the parish of Old Deer by 23 March 1823.

Hutcheon & Bisset A

This was very shortly before Christian gave birth, as her son John Bisset was baptised on 11 April 1823 at Longside.

Christian and John Bisset did not marry, however, and in December 1824 she asked to be absolved: interestingly there is no mention of a fine this time.

Hutcheon & Bisset B

Both her appearances in the Kirk Session Minutes, and the OPR baptism entry for her son, say Christian was from Innervedie. This was her parents’ home and was where Christian was born; the 1820 burial entry for her father also mentions Innervedie. It is close to Nether Kinmundy, where Christian’s future husband William Fraser was most probably brought up, and is not far from Mosside croft, where Christian and William Fraser were to settle.


Mosside Croft is to the south-east of Nether Kinmundy and Innervedie, at the other side of the moss.

Christian Hutcheon married William Fraser on 17 January 1828, at Longside, and there is no evidence there was a baby was on the way at the time! Her illegitimate son John Bisset is a farm servant in 1841, near Ellon, and is with his mother and stepfather in 1851, at Mosside croft, a pauper formerly ag lab. Nothing else found, and no death certificate, so it’s most probable he died between 1851 and 1854.

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