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THE BRICK WALL - John Jobson, Farmer, Bolton Mills near Alnwick.



John Jobson – Farmer, Bolton Mills near Alnwick, England, this is my Fourth Great Grandfather.


In genealogy very often, you will hit a brick wall in the quest to go back further in time, and indeed, I hit one while working through the Jobson branch of my family tree. I was able to go back as far as my 3x Great Grandfather Robert Jobson, but could progress no further. However, later with some luck, and attacking the problem from a different angle, I was able to progress, finding my 4x Great Grandfather to be John Jobson.

How did I find this out, well I started of with facts which were known to be correct, starting with my Grandmother.
My Granny was Annie Mclaren Jobson and from a copy of her marriage certificate to Richard Paton in 1922, I found her parents to be Robert Jobson and Mary Armour. Her birth certificate, which my father had, showed that the date of her parent’s marriage was 4th September 1891 and that her mother’s full name was Mary Arthur Armour. I also found out on Scotlands People web site that there was only ever one Annie Mclaren Jobson registered in the whole of Scotland between 1855 and 2009.




Extracted from the Marriage Certificate of Annie Jobson



Extract from Annie McLaren Jobson's birth certificate



















From Scotland's People, looking at the marriage certificate in 1891 of Robert Jobson and Mary Armour I found that Robert Jobson’s father was also called Robert Jobson and his mother was Isabella Brydone. This time, I knew I had the correct people, as the date of marriage from their daughter Annie’s birth certificate matches, along with their names. They were also from the correct part of the country e.g. Edinburgh. This was also the only marriage with these names registered in the whole of Scotland since 1855 through to 2009.



Extracted from the marriage certificate of Robert Jobson and Mary Arthur Armour in 1891

Extract from the Marriage Certificate of Robert Jobson and Isabella Brydon married 28th Feb. 1865

Looking on Scotlands's People for the marriage of Robert Jobson and Isabella Brydon, I found it was in 1865, in fact, there was only one Isabella marrying a Robert Jobson since the records began in 1855. The birth certificate of their son Robert, showed the date of his parents wedding, but this time I note that the marriage date given is one day out, looks as if the father has forgotten his wedding anniversary, only one day out though. We find that his father is once again called Robert Jobson and his mother is Margaret Riddle. You may have noticed the spelling of Brydone is changing, but this is nothing to worry about as many registrars would just write down what they heard and so the spellings of surnames would change through time. This would happen especially if those people being married could not read or write.


Brydone in the marriage certificate of Robert Jobson and Mary Armour.

Brydon in the marriage certificate of Robert Jobson and Isabella Brydon.

Bryden in the son, Robert’s birth certificate.

I now tried to get back one further generation by looking for the marriage of Robert Jobson to Margaret Riddle, but could not find it anywhere after 1855, the year official registrations started in Scotland. However looking through the OPR's (Old Parish Records), I found an entry for their marriage in 1835 at the Parish of St Boswells, but these records were not written down to any standard format, and unfortunately the parents of the bride and groom were not shown.Further reseach on this Robert shows that he has died prior to the official registration system starting in 1855, so no death certificate available and great difficulty at present finding a birth entry for him as census documents only show him to have been born in England, 
so now I was stuck and did not know the name of my 3xGreat Grandfather’s Father? 


Entry in an OPR document for the marriage of  Robert Jobson and Margaret Riddle during 1835
Robert Jobson and Family at Kelso in the 1851 Scottish Census

At this point I no idea if  Robert had any siblings, all I knew was that he had been born in England about 1815, as on the Scottish Census of 1841. Being unable to track down a birth entry in any parish records as this appeared to include the whole of England, so very much reached a "Brick Wall".

What did I do now, perhaps guess his father’s name I suppose, not much good that you may say, but it might actually provide a clue if we make an intelligent guess. So how did I do that?

This is where the Scottish Census, taken every ten years from 1841 through to 1911 can be very useful. I tracked down Robert, Margaret, and family in the Scottish 1851 census living in Kelso, Roxburghshire. Robert being shown as an Inn Keeper staying at Wood market Street Kelso. What I really needed to know though, were the names of his children shown in their order of birth:

John, Adam, Robert, Isabella, William, George, and Margaret.

Now for many years in Scotland, it was traditional to name the first-born son after the paternal Grandfather, and indeed, Robert and Margaret’s first son is John, so there is a very good chance that Robert’s father is indeed also John. The second son was usually then named after the maternal Grandfather, and in our case, this would be Adam. I have since been able to find Margaret’s Father who was also Adam, so this looks like they are following tradition. The third son was named after his father, and yes in our case, Robert’s third son has indeed been named Robert. The first daughter would then be named after the maternal Grandmother, in our case, she has been named Isobella, and indeed, I have since found out that the Grandmother was indeed called Isobella. The second daughter would then be traditionally named after her paternal Grandmother, so John and Margaret may be the names of Robert Jobson’s parents, but this is only a guess going on the fact that the family seem to be using traditional naming patterns?

I had now as mentioned earlier exhausted the traditional source of information through the Birth, Marriage and Death certificates so  I had to branch out and look at other available documents for clues and to advance this line of my tree.



From the Edinburgh Gazette 1850

I suppose a bit of luck would not go amiss, would it? Well actually, I did get lucky. While researching information about our Robert Jobson, I came across a document, dated 15th April 1850, found on the internet. It was a page from an 1850’s copy of the “Edinburgh Gazette”, indeed it turned out to be an absolute goldmine of information, but it still did not tell me Robert’s fathers name. Actually it gave me more questions to answer first, before I could move on.


The Edinburgh Gazette article was all about the Sequestration of a deceased John Jobson’s estate; ( at this point I have no idea whether he is related or not) he had died and owed people money. The document names all this John’s brothers and sisters and some in-laws as interested parties to the sequestration. The following people were named:


John Jobson Deceased This document is all about his estate.

Miss Susan Pringle Creditor Heiton Mill, County of Roxburgh

Joseph Jobson Brother Powburn, Northumberland, England

Robert Jobson Brother Residing in Kelso

Archibald Jobson Brother residing in Smailholm

George Jobson Brother presently in America, or elsewhere abroad.

Isabel Cameron Sister Hope-Park-End, Edinburgh

Dugald Cameron Brother-in-law Hope-Park-End, Edinburgh

Jane Loggin Sister Newcastle-on-Tyne

Edward Loggin Brother-in-Law Newcastle-on-Tyne

Mrs Mary Pringle Widow of John Larrichbane, Argyle


As you see from above it was quite an excellent find containing lots of information. There was only one problem though, I had yet to satisfy myself that the "Robert Jobson Residing in Kelso" in 1850 is indeed our one. If he is, then I have found many relatives for him all in one go. So how did I do that?


To start with where was my Robert Jobson in 1850? As mentioned earlier he was staying as an Inn Keeper at Wood market Street, Kelso during the 1851 census. I also discovered that his daughter Margaret was born here in 1850. This was a very good start, as we are looking for a Robert Jobson residing in Kelso during the 15th April 1850, being the date in the Edinburgh Gazette. The 1851 and 1861 census show his daughter Margaret to have been born in Kelso sometime in 1850 based on the ages given in both. Ideally, I would like to have found her birth entry in a local parish record, but have been unable to do so; perhaps she never had been registered, as this was before 1855. This information certainly places our Robert Jobson in the correct location and looks promising. In addition, above is Archibald Jobson who was residing in Smailholm. This is interesting because our Robert had been an Inn Keeper in Smailholm between 1841 census and 1844  before moving to Kelso. Archibald may now be staying where Robert used to stay in Smailholm it is only a small hamlet, I need to find more information.

Unfortunately, just to confuse the issue there is also a very young two-year-old Robert Jobson staying in Kelso in 1851, I needed more information on him to eliminate him from my enquiries. However without too much bother, it looks unlikely that this two year old was the “brother” as shown in the list of names above, as he is too young compared to the age profile of the other people, not to say he was a late baby, but less likely.

Ages of the people in the Edinburgh Gazette in 1850 are:

Mary Pringle 34, Susan Pringle 29, Isabella Cameron 45, Robert Jobson 34, John Jobson 39 (possible 39 if he was the one living in “Queens Head” hotel, Kelso as publican during the 1841 census? Indeed he was, see a future blog, still to come) As Jane Loggin, age unknown. As you see from the above ages, the Robert Jobson who is two years old is less likely to be the “brother” Robert Jobson in the 1850 Edinburgh Gazette. In fact, I now know that this young two-year-old Robert is not the one mentioned in the Gazette, more on this later. So in all it looks most likely that our Robert is the “brother” as mentioned in the Gazette article.

“My Robert” Robert Jobson, born in England somewhere and an Inn Keeper staying at Smailholm in the Scottish Borders during the census of 1841 so far had not revealed his father or mothers name through old documents, so I was indeed stuck could I get back another generation? Before finding the Edinburgh Gazette article, I knew none of his brothers or sisters, but now I even know some of his in-laws. My thoughts now are to see if I can find the parents by looking for information via Robert’s brothers and sisters.

I decided to start with John Jobson, and knowing his widow was Mary Pringle, did a search for their marriage which I found in the parish register of Kelso. They were married in 1845 at Fairington Roxburgh, unfortunately no mention of any parents. Moving on and sticking with couples as mentioned in the gazette I searched for the marriage between Dugald Cameron and Isabella Jobson and there in the document from the Parish of St Cuthbert’s Edinburgh it stated:
Daughter of the late John Jobson farmer at Bolton Mills near Alnwick....” I had found the father of Robert Jobson.


From the Parish of St Cuthbert's Edinburh 12th April 

From earlier you will recall I made a guess at the name of John Jobson based on the family following Scottish tradition with the naming of their children, this would appear so far to be correct.



Remember you can click all the pictures for a bigger view.

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