Author Topic: Hunter Family Query  (Read 261 times)

Lydia L

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Hunter Family Query
« on: May 20, 2020, 09:19:53 PM »


I have a question about a woman called Isabella Johnston who married a James Hunter in Belfast.
The family tree shows that she was born in Graemsay, the Orkneys on August 15th, 1852
and that she died in Utah on -April 17- 1913. ( Her mother and father Isabella Green and William Johnston, became Mormons on Gramesay and eventually the whole family moved to Utah.) What puzzles me is how she got herself to Belfast, married an Irishman and then made her way to the USA after he died in1896. Her son William Johnson Hunter married Emily Carson Hunter in 1882. That bit is right for sure, but is the rest true? It just doesn't add up to me.

Hoping somebody can help, because it throws into question a lot of entries in our family tree
I found  this info on Ancestry in a recent search but I doubt the whole story
Greetings from British Columbia

Elwyn

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Re: Hunter Family Query
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2020, 02:35:10 AM »
     If Isabella Johnston was born in 1852, she couldn’t really have a son William who married in 1882. That’s only 30 years difference.   She’d have had to have given birth aged about 12 for that to be possible. I suspect someone’s got two different Isabella Johnstons mixed up.
 
There’s a marriage in Belfast on 24th May 1882 between William Johnston Hunter & Emilia Carson Alley. William was in the linen business and his father James was a book keeper. William was “full age” ie 21 or over.  The 1901 census gives his age as 42 so born c 1858, in Co. Antrim,  when the lady in Orkney would have been about 6. 
 
https://civilrecords.irishgenealogy.ie/churchrecords/images/marriage_returns/marriages_1882/10964/8007872.pdf
 
Here’s William Johnston Hunter (who was a Methodist by the way) in Belfast in 1901:
 
http://www.census.nationalarchives.ie/pages/1901/Antrim/Windsor_Ward/Eglantine_Avenue/975619/
 
I see a marriage on 30th October 1848 in a Presbyterian church in Belfast between James Hunter & Isabella Johnston. They were respectively Master & Mistress of Newtownards Workhouse. (A fairly distinctive occupation). Her father was William Johnston, farmer.  Tradition was to marry in the bride’s church so that suggests she was Presbyterian.
 
Hunter & Johnston are fairly common surnames and I suspect someone has been plucking possible marriages from the internet but they don’t relate to the right family.
 
Elwyn

JimG

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Re: Hunter Family Query
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2020, 11:27:24 PM »
hi Lydia L in BC and Elwyn

loads of further questions and some records from named sources
genes reunited has a tree including
Isabella Johnston b1852 Graemsey,Orkney Isl...treeholder Carol are you Carol?
familysearch.org has two isabella Johnston Greamsay edin brit one 1827 another 1828 both from Isabella Johnston
Utah, FamilySearch, Early Church Information File, 1830-1900

books Bryce Wilson's, Graemsay - a History.
or others onhttps://www.orcadian.co.uk/shop/19-history-and-archaeology

searching the 1851/1861/ 1871/1881/1891 Scottish census using my genes reunited subscriptioncensus enabled me to build a draft tree
1.  Mr Green bmd [m =>1828] Cecilia Green b 1798 age 53 in c1851 Head of Household   Head
Occupation   Annuitant Seamans Widow
residence 1851 Stang Broke. Hoy parish Co. Orkney
residence 1861 Island of Graemsay Hoy parish Co. Orkney, she continues thru 1881
children   
1.1.  Isabella Johnston [nee Green] Birth Year   1827 Age   24 in c1851 Co Orkney died before 1881Relationship To Head of Household Daughter married to William Johnston b 1823 Orkney Age 28 in 1851 Relationship To Head of Household  Son-In-Law OccupationFisherman a farmer in 1861   by 1881 returned to fisherman, now a widower the farm has 10 acres the Johnston familyin orkney
children
1.1.1. William Johnston b1851 Co Orkney Relationship To Head of Household   Grand Son   
1.1.2. Isabella Johnson b 1853 Co Orkney aged 8 in c1861  not found in 1881 census on Orkney  m James Hunter b  d 1896 please give death information there are other Isabella Johnson/Johnston b same year with different parents but also in Orkney area see the census
....1.1.2.1 William Johnson Hunter married Emily Carson Hunter in 1882 you are sure! so more info please where was marriage
1.1.3. Jannet Johnson b 1855 Co Orkney aged 6 in c1861 by 1881 aka JessieJohnston housekeeper
1.1.4. Margaret Johnson b 1857 Co Orkney aged 4 in c1861
1.1.5. Eliza Johnson b~1858-9 Co Orkney in 1861 aged 2 a farmers daughter
1.1.6. Peter Johnson b~1860-1 Co Orkney in 1861 aged 0 a farmers son also in c1881fisherman unmarried
1.1.7.  Gavin Johnston b~1863 Orkney aged 19 in c1881fisherman in 1881
1.1.8.  Isaac Johnston b 1867 Orkney aged14 inc1881 census
1.1.8.  James Johnston b 1869 Orkney aged12 inc1881 census
1.2. Henry Green b 1837 Age14 in 1851 Co. Orkney Occupation   Fisherman

Are you aware of
Name:   
Isabella Green Johnston Plummer Daniel C Plummer might have been witness rather than husband?Orknay S is entered on her death notice https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3Q9M-CSS5-29W2-G?cc=2576051&personaUrl=%2Fark%3A%2F61903%2F1%3A1%3AQLL6-JNSB
Maiden Name:   Johnston   Burial   American Fork, Utah, Utah, United States of AmericAge (Estimated):   61Photograph Included:Y
Birth Date:   15 Aug 1852Death Date:   17 Apr 1913Cemetery:American Fork Cemetery Affiliate Record Identifier:   44036239 Affiliate Image Identifier:   44036239

Elywns suggestion 'There’s a marriage in Belfast on 24th May 1882 between William Johnston Hunter & Emilia Carson Alley. William was in the linen business and his father James was a book keeper. William was “full age” ie 21 or over....'  the Alley family from  a Methodist minister the father was Dublin, the mother from Co.fermangh  The 1901 census gives his age as 42 so born c 1858, in Co. Antrim,  when the lady in Orkney would have been about 6. among the 1901 census is a maid from Birkenhead which made me wonder had a linen merchant regular contacts with Liverpool and more exploring sounds useful
wishing you a successful outcome ossible
I stop for your reactions

Elwyn

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Re: Hunter Family Query
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2020, 10:48:18 AM »
     It’s perfectly possible that someone from Orkney went to Belfast.  Many Scots worked and lived in Ireland for a wide variety of reasons. Looking at the 1901 Irish census, there were 26,754 people who gave their place of birth as Scotland. But in this particular case the dates, religious denominations and occupations don’t tie up.
 
Ancestry frequently throws up “hints” of possible census entries, marriages, baptisms etc and sometimes these get accepted without investigation leading to trees whereby the families apparently zig-zagged across the British Isles marrying and having children in the most unexpected locations.  This can lead to wildly inaccurate trees.
 
Something to bear in mind about the area around Belfast is that it was heavily settled by Scots in the 1600s, to the point that they were by far the dominant social group. Belfast was in effect built by Scots, even down to them bringing sandstone over from Scotland to build many of the commercial premises in the city centre. So Scottish names abound here, especially common ones like Johnston & Hunter. There will be plenty of Hunter-Johnston marriages in both Ireland & Scotland.
 
You need to go back through your tree verifying each generation, checking their places of birth, marriage and death against available census data, migration and other records.  Don’t rely on anyone else’s research. There is at least 1 major mistake somewhere in the tree.  The lady born in Orkney in 1852 cannot be the mother of the man who married in Belfast in 1882. (And if the family had converted to the Mormon denomination why was this son a Methodist?) I feel sure at least 2 different families have been mixed up.
 
As Jim says, we need your comments . Let us know how you get on and we’ll try and help both with the Irish angle and where possible with Scottish records.
 
 
 
Elwyn

Lydia L

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Re: Hunter Family Query
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2020, 06:53:01 PM »
 am not sure to whom I am replying, by rights it should be Elwyn methinks, as he replied first.
I am new to all this as I had to find something to do during the lockdown and I finished the tram research ( 200 pages) so I fled to genealogy. My husband's grandfather had left him a folder with 77 pages of notes and so I entered it all into the family tree. "Ga" did it the old way going around graveyards and checking parish registers. I am guessing as he was a dean, nobody ever said no to him:-) He was doing the paternal side. I found 5 writers, 4 of them women, an Irish feminist activist and a castle with an oubliette. By the way the error rate was less than 1%

Elwyn I did find that marriage you refer to" I see a marriage on 30th October 1848 in a Presbyterian church in Belfast between James Hunter & Isabella Johnston. They were respectively Master & Mistress of Newtownards Workhouse. (A fairly distinctive occupation). Her father was William Johnston, farmer.  Tradition was to marry in the bride’s church so that suggests she was Presbyterian." I looked up the workhouse, found it was operational from 1842 it gave me the shudders when I think of what it must have been like during the famines.

I too had done the math and just couldn't get it to fit, Isabella could not have been William's mother---- hence my post, but I never picked up on the fact that William was a Methodist, which is I think tres important.  Of course if they had become Mormons the son would have converted  too---I feel so silly. Yes I was aware of the Scottish influence in Ulster---funny story


I have always worked in museums( until of course COVID 19 when all the museums in BC closed)
One day I was chatting with a visitor about our tram and she asked me what part of Scotland I was from. Oh No!!!! I said I am from Ireland. "Are you sure?" was the reply, well I know I get bit ditzy  sometimes, but really I know where I was born. We were called the Stranraer Irish and the Ballycastle Scottish.It's interesting how the story in the Glens is so different from the rest of Ulster, but I digress.


I guess we all thought if it was on the sacred God of Ancestry it must be right, and I found other errors in my tree, but nothing as big as this. Yikes you are right Elwyn I must check everything.  I do check what I can but most of the tools I use are locked up tight in the local library due to Covid and get this, it's not going to reopen until next year. Ironically it just reopened after a huge make over to make it more people friendly !!!!


Now Jim has given me a lot of homework and I will get to it. I just wanted to reply at a reasonable time of day for you both. Jim--- I did look up the marriage of William Johnston Hunter and Emilia Carson Alley it was on May 24th 1882 in the Methodist Church at Donegal Place in the city of Belfast and her father George Alley was the minister. And that's been triple checked


Now another little story:

Isabella Johnston Green had a dream that a man came to their cottage and he had two books under his arm, one was the Bible, she did not recognize the other. She thought it was a message from the Lord. Her husband said if it was message form the Lord there would be another soon.

Then one day her husband was collecting bait on Hoy and he saw a young man walking on the seashore. It was Brother Petrie, a Mormon missionary, ( from the area) missionaries were not allowed to walk along the roads, (as there had been complaints ) so they had to walk along the beaches.

So when Petrie stated to talk about a great book,  William asked if he had the book with him. Of course he did.  So he asked him to come with him to his island, and they rowed over to Graemsay. William asked Isabella if this was the man in her dream and is this the book.? Yes she said and so they all became Mormons that very day. Isabella made William promise that they would all go to Utah and they did, one at time.
irGuess I need to look at passenger lists but from where?
My husband and brother-in -law love that story but I guess I'm going to burst the bubble. The residence by the way on the tiny island of Graemsay was Stane - a- bray which I guess got translated as Stang broke

Jim I cannot believe you used your own subscription to help me --that is more than generous and I thank you so much
Elywn thank you so much for all your help and advice
This took so much of your time Jim and Elwyn, you are both so kind.
After my chores I will get to more genealogy.

Byeeeeeee


Elwyn

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Re: Hunter Family Query
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2020, 12:55:01 PM »
     I have been to Hoy several times but never to Graemsay. Here’s a website maintained by someone who lives on Graemsay today.
 
https://sianthom.blogspot.com/p/about-graemsay.html
 
and a bit of information written by a day visitor:
 
https://www.orkney.com/news/graemsay
 
Elwyn

Lydia L

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Re: Hunter Family Query
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2020, 08:56:42 PM »
Once again I am indebted to Elwyn
I loved the post by the day visitor
We once lived on Islay, just for a year,  but I remember the wild flowers you could never find anywhere on the mainland. And when we lived in Donegal we loved walking the beaches and finding glass and sometimes old bottles. And then years later I found my family was from Donegal. So we will have to go to Graemsay.

Byeeeeee