abt 1816 - 8/5/1860
Janet was Calum's and Jamie's great
great great great grandmother.
Janet was more commonly referred to as Jessie. It is not yet known when she
was born, only that it was in Inverness.
Jessie married David MacGillivray at some stage in the mid 1830s, but prior to 1837, although there are no records of their marriage in the established
In the 1841 census she is noted
on the east side of Church Street as Jess, aged 25, and married to David, also 25 and a tailor. She had two daughters
also in residence, 6 year old Isabella and 2 year old Ann (SP/NRS 1841/068/3
p.19). In the 1851 census, Janet, listed as Jessie, was described as having been born in Inverness, and as being aged
34 (SP/NRS 1851/068/11 p.51).
After marrying David, Janet, or
Jessie, spent a few years raising a family with David in Inverness city. In 1851 they are recorded in the census living at
67 King Street in Inverness.
Tragedy struck in 1860, when one of their children, believed to be Isabella, died. Unable
to cope with this, Jessie committed suicide on May 8th 1860.
The Inverness Courier of May 10th 1860 tells us what
MELANCHOLY AFFAIR - A melancholy
circumstance took place on Tuesday evening. Some months ago, Mrs Macgillivray, wife of Mr D. Macgillivray, tailor, Friars
Street, lost a daughter to whom she was much attached, and has brooded on the subject ever since to such an extent that latterly
her friends considered it prudent to have an attendant, who should accompany her when going out. On Tuesday Mrs Macgillivray
went to see her daughter's child, and after sitting some time, she embraced it tenderly, and proposed to her attendant, a
stout young woman, to take a walk. They strolled by the river side as far as the Bught Mills, where they crossed the fields
to the banks of the Canal. They were only a few minutes here, when the unfortunate woman, without a word of warning, plunged
into the Canal. Her companion rushed in after, but the bank was so steep that she could not follow far; she screamed for help,
and Mr Hossack, lock-keeper, at the Tomnahurich Bridge, ran up with a boat-hook. This was not long enough, however, and a
sailor, no longer young, plunged into the water, and succeeded in bringing the body on shore. By this time it was too late.
Dr Mackay was promptly on the spot, but life was extinct.
Jessie's death certificate (GROS:
1860/098/201) tells us that she drowned in the Caledonian Canal, "and at or near that part thereof situated 300 yards or thereby
to the south of the Bridge of Tom Makurich (Tomnahuirich) in the Parish and County of Inverness". Her body was examined immediately
after her death by Duncan MacKay MD in Inverness, and based on his information, the procurator fiscal appears to have pronounced
the death as an accident. He also lists her age as "about 46".
According to her death entry, Jessie was subsequently
buried in the High Church burial ground in Inverness, without the service of an undertaker. The death was registered by the
registrar, James Davidson, on May 21st 1860. Strangely enough, the burial is not registered in the High Church register. After
a discussion with the present day Inverness cemeteries officer, Fiona Morrison, it seems that the most likely scenario was
that as her death was a suicide, Janet may actually have been buried outside of the cemetery walls, because of the social
stigma attached with such an act at that time. If this is true, it may explain why none of her family are listed on her death
of JESSIE FRASER and DAVID MACGILLIVRAY:
b: Oct 1837 c: 9/10/1837
b: 15 Jul 1839
Calum's and Jamie's great
great great grandmother - see MacGillivray page.
b: July 1844 c: 29/7/1844
All the children were born in Inverness, Scotland.
Connecting to Calum and Jamie
Jessy Fraser married David McGillivray, in the
Daughter, Ann MacGillivray, married John Brownlee McFarlane in 1860
Daughter, Jessie McFarlane,
married David Hepburn Paton in 1889
Son, Charles Paton, married Jane Currie in 1934
Son, Colin Paton, married
Charlotte Harper Graham in 1969
Son, Christopher Mark Paton, married Claire Patricia Giles in 2000
Graham Paton and Jamie Christopher Paton