52 Ancestors 2014, ancestor story

Ancestor Story – Andrew Brown – 52 Ancestors

Thankerton, photo by Frieda Oxenham, used with permission.  Originally posted here.
Thankerton, photo by Frieda Oxenham, used with permission. Originally posted on her blog, see link below.

After my exciting breakthrough Sunday evening I thought I would revisit some of my old brick walls.  I pulled up my tree and went right to my fourth great grandfather Andrew Brown.  The last time I worked on him was many years ago.  I had to pull out a paper file as I haven’t digitized the records I have for him.  His file is pretty slim.  Here’s what I know.

Andrew Brown


Andrew married Mary Robertson in 1849 in Wiston and Roberton, Lanark, Scotland.  Their marriage record reads:

Brown – Andrew Brown in the parish of Wiston and Roberton and Mary Robertson in the parish of Sanquhar after proclamation of bans were married June * 1849.

Andrew and Mary had a son, William Brown, in about 1850.  Record not yet searched for.

Andrew and Mary’s second son, Alexander Robertson Brown – my 3rd great grandfather, was born in 1851 in Pettinain, Lanark, Scotland.  His birth record reads:

Brown – Alexander, son of Andrew Brown and Mary Robertson, was born 27 September and baptized 2 November 1851.

A third and final son, Andrew Brown, was born to this union in 1853 in Covington and Thankerton, Lanark, Scotland.  The record reads:

Brown & Gilchrist – Andrew Brown, son of Andrew Brown & Mary Robertson, Mainz, was born 27th Octr 1853, & baptized 6th Novr 1853.

Further research on Mary and the children reveals that Mary went on to have one illegitimate daughter in 1857  before marrying again in 1859.  She had three children with her second husband.  Mary’s death record reveals that she is the widow of 1 – Andrew Brown, Ploughman and 2 – Edward Wallace, Game Keeper.  Using the information gleaned from Mary’s life I was able to narrow down a possible window for Andrew’s death date.  Searching for Andrew Brown is similar to searching for James Young – lots of results.  But in Andrew’s case I have the added difficulty that he died before Civil Registration began in Scotland so the record would be found in the OPR – Old Parish Registers.  These records are far less detailed.  I did find one record in Covington and Thankerton I thought might be a possibility.  It reads:

1854;  Octr 26 – Andrew Brown, Mains – aged 25

That is frustratingly all it says.  Based on my previous research, it seems Mains or Mainz is a road or place – possibly a farm – within Covington and Thankerton in the county of Lanark in Scotland.  Because Andrew’s youngest child was born in the same place one year previously I felt this was a potential match.

So what do I do with this limited amount of information?  Well, here is my plan:

  • Because Andrew and Mary were from two different parishes I believe there will be a marriage record or proclamation record in her parish as well.  I need to find that record.
  • I need William’s birth record.
  • I need to learn more about Covington and Thankerton, the history, study the maps, figure out what ‘Mains/Mainz’ means and so on.
  • I plan to revisit the results list for possible death records for Andrew to see if the record I believe is his death record is the only possibility.  If not, I need to study the others and determine which record is a match.
  • Once I decide on a death record, I can use the age to approximate a birth year and then search the Wiston and Roberton OPR for Andrew’s birth record.  This step is likely the only hope of finding his parent’s names.  I am fairly certain his father was named William Brown as Andrew and Mary appear to have followed the Scottish naming pattern.  I hope to find Andrew’s birth record and see if I am correct.
  • And lastly, I need to find Andrew in the 1841 and 1851 Scottish Census.

While I don’t know much about Andrew, I do know that he lived part of his life in a beautiful place.  I know he was a Ploughman so he spent most of his time outside where he could enjoy the beauty of Covington and Thankerton.  His life may have been short, but he has a large posterity.  William had 11 children that I know of.  Alexander had 8 children.  Andrew had 5 children.  I haven’t completed descendancy research on William and Andrew.  Alexander has 153 descendants that I know of but my descendancy research is far from complete.  That means Andrew has at least 169 descendants.  For a man who likely died in his twenties with only 3 children, I think that is quite a lot!


Thankerton photo originally posted here.

6 thoughts on “Ancestor Story – Andrew Brown – 52 Ancestors”

  1. With regard to “Mains”. In Scotland it is most usually associated with a farm and the mains of “somewhere” being all the farm buildings. In England a similar farm would be called “home” farm.

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