My Aberdeenshire great grandmother was born in the 4th and sadly died at 40 years old, leaving behind 5 young children. Also today, 2 Alexanders in Aberdeenshire, one I know very little about and the other who was had small farms in the parish of Rayne.
4 March 1741
Baptism of my gggggg aunt Helen Alexander at Westerhouses, Bourtie, Aberdeenshire, daughter of William Alexander and Ann Strachan (who is highly unlikely to be related to my Strachans of Ayrshire). Nothing further known so she may have died young.
4 March 1821
Baptism of William Alexander at Rayne, Aberdeenshire, son of my ggggg uncle John Alexander and Janet Morrison. He is with his parents in 1841 at Meikle Wartle, Rayne, his father a farmer, and married Isobel Brown at Rayne in 1849. In 1851 his father is described as formerly a farmer, and William is a farmer of 23 acres at Meikle Wartle, so it looks as though William took over his father’s tenancy. He and Isobel has a baby son in 1851 and also had a 3 year old described as a lodger and William’s 16 year old brother working as an agricultural labourer. William and his wife are still at the Meikle Wartle farm in 1861, with 4 children, the lodger from 1851 who is now described as nephew, and a female domestic servant. At some time in the 1860s William moved to a slightly larger farm at North Sunside, Rayne: in 1871 he and Isobel have their 2 youngest children at still at home and have a female domestic servant. They are at North Sunside in 1881, 1891 and 1901 and appear to have brought up their daughter’s illegitimate son. William Alexander died in 1914 and is buried at Rayne. There is a headstone in Rayne kirkyard which commemorates him, his wife and his two sons.
4 March 1863
Birth of my great grandmother Helen Hay at Ward Mill, Auchedley, Tarves, illegitimate daughter of George Hay and Helen Watt. Her mother was the daughter of a crofter and her father was the son of a neighbouring farmer. In both the 1871 and 1881 census Helen is with her maternal grandparents and it looks as if they brought her up, as her mother married and moved to Edinburgh. Helen married farm servant William Fraser in November 1889. They were married at Mosside croft, Hatton, but their wedding certificate gives Helen’s residence as Barrons Hotel (which is in Auchnagatt) and William’s residence as Mains of Elrick, a farm next to Barrons Hotel. In 1891 they are at Mains of Elrick and have a baby daughter. They then had 2 sons born at Aikenshill Farm in Foveran parish, and a daughter at Waterton in Ellon parish, and had moved to Mill of Brogan in Slains parish by 1901, where William was head cattleman. A daughter was born in 1901 at Mill of Brogan. Helen Fraser nee Hay died on 15 May 1903 at Mill of Brogan of chronic enteritis (most probably caused by a bacterial infection). She was 40 years old and left behind 5 children aged from 10 down to almost 2 years old. Most probably the children were initially looked after by their Fraser grandparents at Mosside.