Interesting ancestor – Alexander Marshall, evangelist

It’s always fascinating when you come across someone on your family tree who did something different – which in my case means not being a coal miner or a farm servant. So I was thrilled to come across evangelist Alexander Marshall when doing a recent bit of research into my Marshall from Ayrshire ancestors.
Alexander Marshall b. 1846

Alexander was a famous member of the Plymouth Brethren, which is a coincidence for me as the grammar school I went to in what was then North Yorkshire had a a headmistress who was a Plymouth Brethren. They are an evangelist Christian sect who believe that the bible should be the authority for all Christian religious practice.

My great great grandmother Sarah Marshall, who married John McAnarney or McInerney in 1842, was the daughter of Robert Marshall, a saddler of Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, and his wife Agnes Logan. Robert and Agnes had 11 children, and their eldest surviving son was Alexander born in 1794, who also was a saddler and who married Christina Wallace. They had several children, the eldest being John Wallace Marshall born in Galston. John Wallace Marshall became a tailor and clothier and settled in Stranraer in Wigtownshire, where he ran what sounds like a successful tailoring and clothing business.

John’s eldest son, born in Stranraer in 1846, was Alexander Marshall. There are a couple of online articles which give full details of his life and work. He started working as a solicitor’s clerk, then moved to Glasgow where he became a member of the Plymouth Brethren Church and a popular preacher. In 1879 he went to Canada, and became a full-time preacher, and there he married Amy Florence Tate and settled in Toronto, though there is no evidence of any children. He travelled extensively as his preaching tours were popular, and before retiring in Scotland he travelled in Canada, the United States, Central America, the West Indies, Australia, New Zealand and even Russia. He retired to the parish of Monkton & Prestwick, in Ayrshire, where he died in 1928.

More about Alexander Marshall can be found at:

Click to access marshall_alexander_bio.pdf

4 responses to “Interesting ancestor – Alexander Marshall, evangelist

  1. What an interesting find. You’re right that it is exciting to find an cap’n ester who did something different, and especially so when it means they also left evidence of themselves in written records. 🙂

    • So few of my ancestors left anything more about themselves than BMDs and appearances in the census, so it’s always a treat to discover anything else! But it does show what you can unexpectedly come across when your research the wider family instead of just sticking to direct ancestors. What will always be unknown,however,is what people who were living at the same time saw of each other, or even knew about each other.

  2. Not sure what a cap’cestor is … But I’m sure you know what I meant!

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