Finding them in the Scottish census.

Lately I’ve been reconstructing Fleming trees in the South Lanarkshire area of Scotland.  I love documenting all the connections and comparing my efforts to online trees and then working through our differences.

But today solving a puzzle, I discovered that transcriptions of the 1861 Scottish census at FindMyPast and Ancestry CAN BE VERY DIFFERENT and not just with their interpretation of  location names. 

  • In the 1861 census entry at for Andrew Fleming at Ancestry:
    Avondale Registration District and Avondale Civil Parish:
    Lambs Land, Back Road, Strathaven, Lanarkshire, Scotland
    At home on census night were
    Andrew Fleming / Head / Mar / 42 / Cotton Weaver / bn Lanarkshire, Strathaven
    Jane Fleming / Wife / Mar / 34 /  / bn Lanarkshire, Strathaven

Of course I could have gone straight to the census image at ScotlandsPeolple but at this stage, although I was also looking for two of older children, this entry seemed complete. Read more

Mrs Jane Fleming nee Marshall


Oh the treasures to be found in old newspapers! This one comes from

‘Death of a Pioneer: the passing of an iteresting personality was published in the New Zealand Times, 1st July 1912.  A time when most biographies were about men. 

I was tracing the story of John Stuart Fleming (1842-1904), a pioneer businessman at Westport on the wild, islolated west coast of New Zealand’s south island and later in Wellington. The obituary I found is actually of his widow but she is only named as as “Mrs Fleming” and “the widow of John Stuart Fleming”.  This practice of naming a wife as Mrs [husband’s name] was a lingering legacy of the law of coverture – when a woman and  man were married, she relenquished all her status rights to him and was considered to be under his protection. (for more on the law of coverture see Amazing Women in History) Read more