Abt. 1720 - after Sep 1798
Calum's and Jamie's seven times great grandfather was likely to
have been John Paton, a resident of the Perthshire village of Kintillo within the parish of Dunbarney. It is possible,
however, that he in fact originated in the parish of Auchtergaven just slightly further north within the county.
|The location of Rimalton, from Stobie's 1783 map (click to enlarge)
The evidence linking our family to the parish of Dunbarney initially came from the birth records
of the children of Calum's and Jamie's six times great grandfather John Patton - these being Agnes
in 1772 and John in 1778 - as well as John junior's 1851 census record (see below). Both were recorded at
birth as being from 'Rimbletown', with subsequent research establishing that this was in fact Rimalton, beside
Craigend. This was located to the west of Moncrieffe Hill about two miles south of Perth, as depicted on Stobie's map of Perthshire
in 1783 (see right).
The initial pattern established was that our John had been resident in Rimalton from at
least 1772 to 1778, and that in the following year of 1779 he had moved to another cottage just slightly north at Sconieburn. By
the early 1790s he had then found his way to the Craigie district of Perth, where in addition to working as a salmon fisherman,
he had earned an income as a handloom weaver in the cottages at Carr's Croft (with salmon fishing being a seasonal activity).
Upon examining the kirk session records (both minutes and parochial accounts) for Dunbarney parish,
within which both Rimalton and Craigend were located, two siblings were identified for John. The first is James Patton,
who had at least four children between 1764 and 1772 at the Boat of Dunbarney, situated on the River Earn within Dunbarney
parish, before moving to Craigend, where between 1777 and 1783 he had three further children. James worked as a mason,
as did two of John's grandsons; and John worked as a salmon fisherman, as did at least one of James' grandsons, who also settled
Our John's first child Agnes was born shortly after his marriage, in 1773, but it is not until five
years later that we find a record for a son, called John, immediately followed by a William
the year after. If this was John's first child, then the Scottish naming pattern would suggest that his father was also called
John (eldest son named after the father's father). James' first known son, however, was called William, which
may go against this theory - if the Scottish naming pattern was adhered to, which was not always the case.
The second brother in Dunbarney is William Paton, based in Kintillo village, who,
like John, worked as a handloom weaver. As with James, William named his eldest son William in 1770, and
then his second son James in 1771. The first son called William died, and so a third son was given the name
when born in 1773. Whilst no record exists directly naming James as John's brother, a record has been identified confirming
William and John as siblings. Several kirk session records also name William and James as making joint loans together,
and this, combined with the circumstantial evidence surrounding James' movements and the occupations of his sons
etc, strongly suggest James was John's brother also.
But who was their father? The connection to Kintillo means that a record within the pre-1855 Monumental
Inscriptions for South Perthshire, Lower Strathearn Vol. 1 (ed. by Alison Mitchell) is quite likely that of the three boys'
father. The record contains the details of a headstone at Old Dunbarney Church, which reads as follows:
1790 - John PATON tenant Kintelow, w. Janet PEDDIE 2.1.1789 67
This is an abridgement of the actual headstone inscription, which more fully reads as follows:
Here lyes the dust of
JANNET PEDIE spouse to John
PATON tennant in KINTELOW
who died the 2nd of Jan 1789
aged 67 years
In other words, Janet PATON, nee PEDIE died on January 2nd 1789 aged 67, placing her birth
year at about 1722. A further entry for Janet's death is located within the accounts for the kirk session
of Dunbarney (CH2/100/6/318):
Jany 11th 1789
To the Cloth for John Patons wife 2s 6d
John and Janet had previously married in the Perthshire parish of Auchtergaven on December
17th 1756 (OPR M 330/10). The wording in the entry is very basic:
17th Decr (1756)
John Paton & Janet Peddy both in this parish
Whilst it is
highly possible that this John was the father of John, William
and James, Janet Peddy could not have been their mother, as they were born prior to this marriage. It would therefore
seem that this might have been a second marriage for John - the burial record for Janet suggests that she would have been
aged 34 when she married John, which stromgly supports this. The marriage taking place in Auchtergaven may point to this as
John's home parish, but as it was traditional to marry in the parish of the bride, it is entirely possible that this simply
points to Auchtergaven as Janet's home parish.
The kirk session records for Craigend Antiburgher Secession church (SP/NRS: CH3/415/1, 1783-1821),
which was founded in 1783, and which covered Dunbarney as part of its catchment area, would suggest that John later joined
this church, and became an elder.
Craigend May 5th 1793
The Session being met was constituted by the Moderator, all members (except
Robt Proudfoot) present. They proceded to receive any other nominations, which might be given in; then John Paton
was preferred by commissioners from Kintulloch. The Session then appointed Wednesday 15th curr[en]t at Eleven O Clock forenoon
for the Day of Election of those nominated to the office of Ruling Elders in this Congregation, and ordered it to be intimated
to the Congregation on Sabbath first. Closed with Prayer.
The meeting on the 15th merely set another date for the examination
of those nominated, May 22nd:
Craigend May 22 1793
The session being met was constituted by the Moderator, all members present.
Compeared before them in consequence of a previous intimation John Paton John Imrie and Adam Bell. After examination the session
adjudged their answers satisfactory. They then agreed in appointing a monthly fast to be observed along with the fast appointed
by the general Associate Synod on Wednesday the 12th of June...
A month later there was a follow up reference to John, as he took
up his office of Ruling Elder:
Craigend June 12th 1793
The Session being met was constituted by the Moderator, most members
present. They ordered their officers to go to the Meeting House and call for a return of the Edict from the members of the
congregation now met. This being done three different times, and no objection appearing, why the Session should not immediately
proceed to the ordination of these men John Imrie, John Paton, David Hay, and Adam Bell, formerly elected and examined to
the office of Ruling Elders in this congregation. They then went to the meeting house where the congregation were convened
when after Praise and Prayer the Rev Mr Howison preached from Isaiah C 22 V 12. And in that day did the Lord call to weeping.
The Sermon being ended after praise & prayer the Moderator preached from I Timothy V Chap and 17 verse Let the Elders
that rule well be counted worthy of double honour. Sermon being ended then after praise the Moderator called the congregation
in prayer for the Lords direction. He then proceded to read over the formula to which each of the candidates gave their assent.
The Session then set them apart by Prayer to the office of Ruling Elders in this congregation, and they were ordered to attend
the Session in the interval, which they did and being asked if they were ready to subscibe the Formula: They answered in the
affirmative & took their seat accordingly. Closed with prayer.
John is next mentioned in October 1795, as being appointed as an
elder to the Presbytery:
Craigend Octr 19th 1795
...proceeded next to nominate two members as a List for the
office of Ruling Elders to the Presbytery. These were Johns Imrie and Paton, the latter whereof was unanimously chosen.
There is no further mention of John until September 1798:
24 SEP 1798
...John Reid moved that one should be chosen to succeed him to
attend the Synod and Pres[by]t[er]y John Paton and Adam Bell were put on the List and the vote being put Adam Bell was chosen.
After this, John does not appear in the minutes again. Whilst no
date of death has been found for him, it would seem that it may not have been too long after this.
CHILDREN of John PATON:
1) John Paton
b: 1745 d: 1820
Calum's and Jamie's six times great grandfather - see
2) James Paton
b: abt 1745 d: abt 4/3/1804
James was a mason who came from Dunbarney and migrated his way north out
of the parish through the Boat of Dunbarney to Craigend in Perth. The
move to Craigend was likely to be because of the quarry established there.
Although a marriage record has not been found, it is believed that James' wife was called Janet
MacGregor, as noted in the death certificate for his son Joseph in 1862 (a record within which James is mistakenly
recorded as a mason called John - however, as there was only one Joseph born in 1783, or within that decade at all in
Dunbarney, it is obviously him). A marriage record for a James Paton and an Ann Gregor has been found in the Perthshire parish
of Auchtergaven from 9 APR 1761, as follows (OPR B 330/00 10 35 Auchtergaven):
James Paton & Ann Gregor both in this parish
As posited earlier, it is believed that James' son John Paton may have been from Auchtergaven also,
circumstantially adding to this as being a likely marriage record for James.
The following note in the Dunbarney kirk session records, dated 4 MAR 1804, is believed to be
for the hire of a mortcloth for James' burial:
Cloth on Ja. Paton 2s 6d
Children of James PATON and Janet MacGREGOR:
b. 29/11/1764 d.1???
Ann was born in Dunbarney in 1764 (OPR: 347/00):
Daughter to James Paton mason at the Boat of Dunbarney Novembr 29th
b. 21/7/1765 d. after 1790
Catharine was born in Dunbarney in 1764 (OPR: 347/00):
daur to James Paton at Dunbarne Boat bap Jul 21st
This would appear to be the Katherine Paton who was forced to appear before the kirk session at Dunbarney
on 30 JAN 1790 (Source: CH2/100/6/122 Dunbarney kirk session minutes):
Kirk of Dunbarny Jany 30th
The Session met and being constitute compeared David Allan and Katherine
Paton, and confessed themselves guilty of antenuptial fornication, they were rebuked for their Sin and Scandal, and ordered
to make their public appearance next Lord's Day.
b. 28/1/1770 d. 1???
William was born in Dunbarney in 1764 (OPR: 347/00):
to James Patton at Boat of Dunbarney Janr 28th
b. 19/4/1772 d. 1???
James was born in Dunbarney in 1764 (OPR: 347/00):
James son to James
Patton at Boat of Dunbarney Apr 19th 1772
Margaret daur to James Patton in [...] ffebry 19th
b. 14/9/1777 d. 1???
Janet was born in Dunbarney in 1764 (OPR: 347/00):
James Paton in Craigend had a Daughter
baptized September 14th named Janet
b. 25/7/1779 d. 1???
Alexander was born in Dunbarney in 1764 (OPR: 347/00):
James Paton Mason in Craigend had
a son Baptized July 25th named _____ Alexander
b. 29/6/1783 d. 15/12/1862
Joseph was born in Dunbarney in 1764 (OPR: 347/00):
James Paton mason in Craigend had a son Baptized
June 29th named Joseph.
Joseph married Mary Foote, from the parish of Rhynd (born abt 1785) and had at least
four children. In the 1861 census for Perth he was noted as a 78 year old fisherman from Dunbarney, with his wife Mary, aged
76 and from Rhynd.
Mary died on 18 FEB 1862 at 70 South Street, Perth, aged 77, with her parents listed as William
Foote, salmon fisherman, and Isabella Barclay, both deceased, and he rhusband Jospeh as a salmon
fisherman. Her son William Paton, of New Scone, was the informant on 19 FEB 1862 in Perth (SP/NRS D 1862/
387/ 132 Perth).
Joseph died on 15 DEC 1862, at 6.30am, at 12 Pomarium, Perth. He was noted as a widower of Mary
Foote, and the sone of John Paton (sic), mason, and Janet McGregor, both deceased.
The cause was apoplexy 3 days and chronic bronchitis, several months. His son William Paton of New Scone was again the informant.
(SP/NRS D 1862 387/ 594 Perth).
3) William Paton
b: about 1745 d: abt 30/10/1808
William lived within the small Dunbarney village of Kintillo, where he worked as a handloom
weaver, before relocating to Pottiehill circa 1791.
William's connection to the family is confirmed through a note in the Kirk Session minutes
for Dunbarney (Source: NRS CH2/100/6/40 Dunbarney kirk session minutes):
Bill conjunctly and severally to William Paton in Kintullo and John Paton his Brother payable three days after date three
There is a separate reference to a payment to William in the kirk session accounts ledger,
dated 17 JAN 1869 (Source: NRS CH2/100/6/210 Dunbarney kirk session minutes):
Lent upon Bill to William Paton in Kintullo
Ths appears to be a separate loan of £36 in William's name alone.
Along with his brother James, William again borrowed money from the Kirk Session in Dunbarney
two years later, and the session minutes record an interest payment on this that he subsequently made in return:
from William and James Paton six shillings sterling as two years interest preceeding the 6 of December 1770 years.
This would seem
to reinforce the suggestion that William and James were brothers, or at least related in some way. Another
entry in the accounts is likely also for William and James, dated 21 JAN 1772, although their surname is mistakenly recorded
as Panton (Source: NRS CH2/100/6/216 Dunbarney kirk session accounts):
Recd from James
and William Pantons 3.12.0
the end of 1775, a note in the kirk session records states that all future accounts will be kept in Sterling, due to the 'inconvenience'
of recording transactions in the Scots pound - therefore implying that, unless otherwise stated, the above payments to the
Patons were made in Scots and not Sterling (CH2/100/6/228).
payment on a bill in favour of William was made by him back to the session in January 1776 (Source:
NRS CH2/100/6/60 Dunbarney kirk session minutes):
January 1st 1776
Minister reported that he had received Twelve shillings sterling from William Paton in Kintullloh as four years Interest due
on his Bill preceeding the twenty third of December 1774.
Another entry concerning the same payment is in the accounts (Source: NRS CH2/100/6/236 Dunbarney
kirk session accounts):
Received from Willm Paton in Kintulloh four years interest due in his Bill preceeding Decemr 23rd
The kirk session account records list several more payments:
Jany 3d 1782
Recd Willm Paton’s
Recd Willm Patons
Ins preceeding Jany 12th 1784 6s 10d
further payment from William to the session in January 1787 was recorded in the minutes (Source: NRS CH2/100/6/236 Dunbarney
kirk session minutes):
The minister informed
the Session that he had recd 1 years Int on Mess Sandeman's Bill of £100 Str viz from Mich 1785 to Do. 1786 viz £15 Str
Also that he had recd from Wm Paton £2 Str in part payt of his Bill which was marked on the Back of said Bill
Again, this was also noted in the accounts (Source: NRS CH2/100/6/306 Dunbarney kirk session accounts):
Recvd in part payment
of Willm Patons Bill £2
By 1791 William had relocated from Kintillo to the Hill of Pottie (now Pottiehill), as noted
in the kirk session minutes (Source: CH2/100/6/120 Dunbarney kirk session minutes):
Also that he had received from William Paton weaver in the Hill of Pottie the Ballance of his
Bill of £3 9s £2 of which being formerly paid, the Ballance of Interest amounting to £11 17s Str which was given in to the
Again, there was also a brief mention in the accounts:
Recd Ballance of William Paton's Bill and Int £1 17s
It is believed that William
died in 1808, thanks to the following mortcloth hire reference in the Dunbarney kirk session accounts on 30 OCT 1808:
Cloth on William Paton 1s 8d
Children of William PATON and (UNKNOWN):
Margaret was christened in February 1768 (OPR 347/00):
dau: to William Paton in Kintullo ffebry 14th
William was christened in January 1770 (OPR 347/00):
William son to William Patton in Kintullo January 17th
appears to have died in infancy.
James was baptised in October 1771 (OPR 347/00):
to William Paton in Kintullo October 20th 1771
A note in
the Glasgow Herald of 23 FEB 1853 may possibly refer to this James:
At Kintillo, Bridge of Earn, on
the 19th inst., Mr James Paton, sen, in the 78th year of his age.
baptised in September 1773 (OPR 347/00):
William son to William Patton in Kintullo Septr 26th
baptised in September 1775 (OPR 347/00):
to William Paton in Kintulloh Baptized September 3d
Janet was baptised in May 1778 (OPR 347/00):
weaver in Kintullo had a Daughter Baptized May 3th named Janet
David was christened in May 1780 (OPR 347/00):
weaver in Kintulloh had a son Baptized May 7th called David
Ann was christened
in December 1783 (OPR 347/00):
in Kintullo had a Daughter Baptized and named Ann
Abt. 1745 - 4/5/1820
John is confirmed as Calum's and Jamie's
great great great great great great grandfather.
The possibility of John Paton being our earliest confirmed
Paton ancestor was first raised in March 2002 by distant cousin Pamela McLennan.
Follow up research at our end has since confirmed this possibility as fact, so many thanks to Pamela for the tip
John was born into a Scotland in approximately 1745,
as noted from the newsaper account of his death in 1820 (see below) which described him as a 75 year old man. This means that
he would have been born at the time when Scotland was making its last throw of the dice in an attempt to restore the
deposed Stuart royal family to the country's throne. The dream ended on the fields of Drummossie Moor, with
Bonnie Prince Charlie's defeat at the Battle of Culloden, the last battle to be fought on mainland Britain, and which
cemented the position of the House of Hanover as the new British monarchic line. In the aftermath of the failed Jacobite rebellion,
a series of punitive laws were decreed, banning any sense of Gaelic Highland identity - Gaelic was banned as the Highland
language, the wearing of tartan was forbidden and the carrying of arms made illegal. Whilst it is known that a few of Calum's
and Jamie's ancestors in Perth had Jacobite sympathies, it is not known where the loyalty of the Patons lay...
Little is known of John's early history, but it seems
now that he was indeed from the parish of Dunbarney, though working just over the parish border in Perth. What is known
is that he earned a living as both a hand loom weaver and a salmon fisherman, and that he married Agnes
Watson in Perth in May 1772 (OPR: 387/19):
Perth May 8th One thousand seven hundred & seventy
two contracted John Paton weaver and Agnes Watson both in this parish, Alex Tod Elder, Married May 28th by Mr James Scott
The kirk session minutes also record that John and Ann (noted as Ann and not Agnes) had previously
paid three shillings and fourpence as contract money for the marriage on April 23rd 1772 (CH2/521/21/439). This was a payment
paid in advance as a surety that the marriage would happen, and which would be returned if all had gone well. If they
decided to have a right old celebration after, they will not have bothered to ask for their money back! The following
comes from Dunbarney: A Parish with a Past (p.44):
A useful source of income to the kirk was the 'pledges' demanded
from couples who were being 'proclaimed' with a view to marriage, the pledge being returned if the wedding took place, but
retained if it did not. In 1728 an edict was read forbidding 'penny weddings', so-called because each person attending handed
over a small sum to help pay for the liquid refreshment. Penny weddings tended to become over-convivial, at least in the eyes
of the kirk, so it was decreed that if a penny wedding took place the pledge would not be returned. At Dunbarney most people
preferred to forfeit the pledge and enjoy the conviviality, so the session's finances benefited considerably...
By the end of 1772, the couple were probably in trouble with regard to obtaining food. Wet weather
and a poor harvest led to the people of Perth enduring a desperate shortage of grain towards the end of the year, a situation
which led to a great deal of unrest. When word reached the citizens of Perth that a foreign ship was loading grain in the
town's harbour, the townsfolk made their way purposefully towards the harbour, boarded the ship and retrieved the grain, throwing
it from the ship back onto the dock. By the time that the magistrate had oredred a detatchment of redcoats to the dock,
the townsfolk and forty sacks of grain had disappeared. Two stragglers were caught and sent to the town gaol, and on the following
day, the town's citizens marched onto the prison, demanding the release of the two. With several soldiers to back him up,
Provost Stewart read the Riot Act to the citizens, but soon capitulated and released the two prisoners, diffusing the situation.
Emboldened by their success, the mob soon marched on to Elcho Castle, where rumour had it that a huge store of grain was being
kept by a corn factor named Donaldson. Donaldson's troops fled at the site of the mob, and when the Perth folk discovered
the grain, he was forced to deliver it to the markets in Perth. After several more such excursions, the magistrates of
Perth soon restored control to the city with the aid of a detachment of dragoons, hastily brought to the city
from Linlithgow.Whether John was involved with the mob is not known, but he and his family
would almost certainly have had sympathies with them, suffering the same food shortage.
In the following year, Perth's citizens had another situation to face when the River Tay froze
after a frost set in on January 1st, lasting until February 11th. When the thaw set in, the ice blocked the flow of the water
being released, causing Perth to be inundated with a flood that covered several of the town's streets and the whole of the
North Inch, with five ships berthed in the harbour thrown ashore as well. The situation would undoubtedly have
disrupted John's ability to visit the Perth markets to sell his woven cloth and to pick up new materials for his
trade at his cottage.
|'Rimalton' and 'Scoonyburn' in 1783 (Stobie, NLS)
John and Agnes (also referred to as Ann)
may have had more than three children, but at the moment only three are confirmed, although evidence of a possible fourth
has also been found. The earliest child was their daughter Agnes baptised in
the parish of Dunbarney in May 1773. In the old parochial register, John is listed as being resident in Rimbltown.
For a while this caused considerable confusion, as the only Rimbltown that could be found was a Rimbleton located about ten
miles away in neighbouring Fife, situated in the Markinch area of modern Glenrothes. In fact, it now transpires
that Rimbltown was in fact Rimalton, located to the west of Moncrieffe Hill, beside Craigend, and about two
miles south of Perth.
By 1777, John's son John was also baptised in Rimalton ('Rimbletown'),
Dunbarney, as well, and by March 7th 1779 the
family had moved a few hundred yards further north, with their son William recorded as being born
at the edge of the town in Sconieburn, near the Craigie district, which was home to the town’s rapidly growing
weaving community. The placename of Sconieburn Hill still exists, and is just off the A912 into Perth, where the current
prison in Perth stands today.
It is not known how long the family lived at Sconieburn,
and it is entirely possible that the family in fact moved back into Dunbarney. Two records within the Dunbarney kirk session
records would certainly seem to suggest this. The first concerns what may well be the death of John's wife Ann (CH2/100/6/272):
By the Cloth
on John Paton’s wife 2s 6d
Ann certainly is not found in any subsequent
record after the birth of her son William in the previous year, which may support this.
The second record concerns what would appear
to be the death of a fourth, and unnamed, child to the couple (CH2/100/6/298):
Patons child grave making 6d
It seems further possible that John remarried again just a few months later in 1790,
with a record from Dunbarney kirk session minutes noting the payment of pledge money, as follows (CH2/100/6/324):
and Christian Gibb both in this parish contd 2s
No subsequent marriage record has been found for this event in the OPRs, and no children
have been established as having been born to the couple.
By 1795 John had certainly moved back into the parish of Perth, settling about
a mile north of Sconieburn at a weaver’s cottage in Carr's Croft, at the foot of Craigie Hill (as noted in his
daughter Ann's wedding in July 1995, where she is noted as Ann Paton daughter to John Paton, Fisher in Carrs Croft).
The cottage, one of ten, was to become home to four generations of Patons. Although the street name of Carr's Croft
remains in Perth to this day, only one of the original cottages remains, the rest having been demolished in the 1930s.
|Carr's Croft, pictured in 1904 prior to its demolition, once home to four generations of Patons
For John and family, work as a weaver at
this period was low paid, but there was plenty of it, and the industry was on the increase. In 1689, there were 34 hand loom
weavers recorded as working in Perth. But in 1758, two textile factories had been built by the New Row Company and the Mill
Wynd Company to create fine sheeting, resulting in plenty of work for hand loom weavers, and by the mid-1770s, there was such
a high boom in the trade of woven products that a vast trade existed between Perth and the West Indies, as well as Danzig,
the Netherlands and Glasgow. By 1794, there were some 1500 hand loom weavers in Perth.
On a daily basis, John and his family would have worked
as a unit. John would have operated the loom, a complicated array of shuttles, pedals, warps and frame, whilst his wife, along
with their children, would have helped to keep the weaving operation going by preparing the pirns, or bobbins, from which
the threads were woven, an essential part of the process.
George Penny's "Traditions of Perth", published
in 1836, gives a description on the state of the Perth weaving trade:
The Weavers were once a numerous and ancient body; but the act of
Parliament for the encouragement of manufactures, which gave liberty of trade to all engaged in any of its branches, rendered
the corporation of little value. They had a considerable property in South Street. At one time they held a seat in the council,
but they have long been deprived of it; they still, however, retain a vote in the convener court. About the time of Queen
Mary, they had been esteemed an important body, as we find that she presented them with a flag of fine silk, on which
the figures were wrought with needle-work of the richest pattern, by her Majesty's own hand.
This corporation was for many years very unfortunate in the management
of their business. Their deacons and boxmasters came out every year defalcators, frequently to a considerable extent, until
their funds dwindled to nothing; ultimately a heavy load of debt was incurred, which was followed by bankruptcy, and the breaking
up of the corporation. The consequence was, their whole property was put ot the hammer; even their seats in the churches,
and their ancient flag, were disposed of.
Besides their annual election dinner, the members met frequently in
their tenant's house, then a respectable brew-seat, where they guzzled away their funds. They had an ancient custom of meeting
there annually on Fasten's Eve, and having fortified themselves with fat brose in the morning, the rest of the day was devoted
to tippling. Since their bankruptcy, a new body has been formed, rather on the principle of a friendly society than a privileged
order; they, however, still retain their seat in the convener court, and elect their deacon annually.
There is a question mark over whether Ann survived long at Carr's Croft however.
An Ann Paton was noted as having died in Perth on August 7th 1796 and as having been buried at Greyfriars Cemetery two
days later. She was aged 34 and was a spouse to John Paton, with the cause of death being 'childbed'. There is no further
information in the Perth burial register to pinpoint her further, and there was at least one other Ann married to a John Paton
in Perth atthe same time, named Ann Gardiner, so the possibility exists equally that it could be her. No monumental inscriptions
exist for this burial.
As well as being a handloom weaver, John also worked in his later years as
a salmon fisherman on the River Tay. When his son John died in 1861, this was in fact listed as John senior's sole occupation,
and it was an industry into which John junior followed, as well as continuing his father's work as a weaver.
The reason for the change of job is unclear, although it may be that either William or John
had taken over operating his handloom, as both had become weavers in their own right.
Salmon fishing in 18th Century Perth was a huge business. The following from an internet article
entitled The Scots Centuries-Old Way to Conserve Salmon Privately by Iain A. Robertson describes the industry at that time:
Evidence strongly suggests that during the 18th century conservation of salmon
was not a matter of concern among those connected with the fisheries. Salmon were commonly seen as a plentiful resource. Thus,
above the netted portion of the Tay River (which forms the basis of this study) and throughout the year, the local population
helped themselves to salmon at will.
The general lack of concern must be put into context. By the 18th century, very
few fishing proprietors worked their own fishings. Instead, the tack (lease) of the fishing was auctioned annually to one
of a number of professional tacksmen (netsmen), seldom for a period of more than one fishing season. Clearly the price they
were prepared to bid was crucial, and an important element in calculating this was the catches likely to be realized. Catch
data were thus very valuable and no tacksman was willing to make known any catch information he might have, either to proprietors
or other tacksmen. In such a situation, no one was in a position to know whether total catches were rising or falling.
the second half of the 18th century, one tacksman, John Richardson of Pitfour, enjoyed particular success and established
a virtual monopoly of the Tay salmon fisheries as well as having tacks on many other Scottish salmon rivers. His unique advantage
was that he owned the boiling houses where the fish were kitted, and the salmon smacks that took the fish to southern markets.
Thus, other local tacksman wishing to participate in the much more profitable market for kitted salmon had to sell to Richardson.
The evidence strongly indicates that Richardson did not over-exploit the resource upon which the prosperity of his firm so
obviously rested. Richardson's rgime endured to the last years of the century, but the end of the 18th century brought radical
change to the Tay and other Scottish fisheries.
Stake nets were introduced in 1797. Stake nets were "fixed engines"
in that they were stationary barriers that diverted the salmon into enclosures, but the estuarial proprietors claimed that,
while these were banned in rivers, the firth (or estuary) where "the tide ebbs and flows" was not a river. The consequent
fall in river catches -- and river proprietors' rentals -- was dramatic and much resented. Almost immediately, river proprietors
sought to have stake nets banned and went to court. The river interest was ultimately successful and stake nets were banned
from the Firth of Tay and all other Scottish firths in 1812. Estuarial proprietors, though, were not going to surrender their
new-found prosperity without a fight. Thus, at the time when conservation emerged as a matter of general concern, joint action
became impossible because the dispute over stake nets was given priority by both sides, making it impossible for a consensus
about conservation to emerge. These animosities lasted for the remainder of the 19th century.
And the following, from Dunbarney: A Parish With a Past, by J. W. &
R. E. Seath, gives a further description of the industry (p.53):
Writing in 1769, Thomas Pennant, on a visit to Perth states "About
12,000 or 14,000 lbs (about 5.5.to 6.5 tonnes) of salmon are each season cured and sent to London".... By the end of the century
salmon for the London market were being packed in Ice. In Perth's Old Times and Trading (P. Baxter) we read that
this idea apparently originated in China. Mr. Dempster of Dunnechin, M.P. for Perth, heard of it and mentioned it to Mr. Richardson,
a well-known Perth salmon tacksman. He tried it out, and the trade prospered. Soon ice-packed catches from both the Tay and
the Earn were being despatched regularly from Perth harbour to the capital in fast "salmon smacks" that could make the journey
in fifty-two hours if winds and tides were favourable.
It was probably around this time that bothies began to be erected
for the salmon fishers. Previously they had made do with earthen shelters excavated from the river bank. An article in the
Dundee Advertiser a century later (1888) recalls an old story concerning one of these erstwhile shelters on the bank
of the Earn. Several fishermen were enjoying their brose, then the staple diet of the working man, made simply by mixing oatmeal or
peasemeal with water. Suddenly a frog fell from the grassy roof into the bowl from which one of the fishers was supping. Unwilling
to lose any of his good brose, the man seized the intruder by a leg, licked it thoroughly and then released it,
exclaiming, "Ye cam' clean and ye'll gang clean!"
John senior died whilst walking out on the Perth streets, as recorded in the Perthshire
Courier of May 4th 1820 (p.4 col.3):
This day an old man, about 75 years of age,
named John Paton, fisher, Carscroft, when walking at the corner of Marshall Place, fell down in the street, and instantly
CHILD of JOHN PATON and
(1) Agnes Patton
Agnes was baptised in the parish of Dunbarney in May 1773:
May 2nd 1773
Agnes daughter to John Patton in Rimbltown
Jean daughter to Robert Robertson in Myretown of Kinmoth
This entry links to that of John Paton born in 1777, with Agnes being named after
her mother, or possibly grandmother.
Agnes, or Ann as she was also known, married Robert Robertson in Perth in June 1795, with the following
recorded in the old parochial register for the event (OPR: 387/210/171):
Perth the Eighteenth day of June One Thousand Seven Hundred Ninety Five
contracted Robert Robertson, Weaver in Perth and Ann Paton, Daughter to John Paton Fisher in Cars Croft. Parties both
in this Parish, Elder John Eadie. The Persons before named were regularly proclaimed and Married the Third day
of July said year by Mr. James Moody Minister of the Gospel Perth.
Ann and Robert went on to have a family of at least six children
Ann eventually died aged 53 on September 9th 1827, with the burial register curiously listing
her cause of death as "nervous frite". In the register, Ann's surname was spelt as Patan. She was buried
in Greyfriar's Cemetery, Perth, on the same day that she died (A.K.Bell: PE1/202/21).
CHILDREN of ANN PATON and ROBERT ROBERTSON:
Ann was born in Perth on March 27th 1796 and christened on April 3rd (IGI).
Robert was born in Perth on November 5th 1797 and christened on November 12th (IGI).
Jean was born in Perth on January 12th 1799 and christened the following day (IGI).
John was born in Perth on August 31st 1801 and christened on September 6th (IGI).
Jean was born on June 28th 1803 and christened in the town on July 10th (IGI).
Catharine was born on June 23rd 1805 and christened on the 30th (IGI). In the IGI listing, Ann's surname
is written as Patton.
(2) John Paton
b: 4/1778 approx d: 21/5/1861
From the 1851 census, it is stated that John was born on the outskirts of Perth,
in the parish of Dunbarney. From the Dunbarney OPR, there is a John Paton born at approximately the right time:
Baptized April 27th, John, son to John
Paton in Rimbletown
There is no corresponding John Paton born in Perth at this time, so it is believed
that this is the correct entry.
John married 22 year old Jean Coupar, daughter of weaver
John Couper and Jean Valliance, in Perth on January 26th 1802.
Perth the Sixteenth day of January One Thousand eight
hundred and two years ____ Contracted John Paton Weaver in Carrs Croft and Jean Coupar Daughter to John Coupar Weaver in Leonard
Street in this Parish, Parties both in this Parish_____Elder Charles Gregor_____.
The Persons before named were regularly proclaimed
and married the Twenty sixth day of January said year by Mr David Sangster, Minister of the Dissenting Congregation in Perth.
After their wedding, the couple settled down at Carrs Croft, and had at
least three children. It is not known if they settled in the same house at Carrs Croft in which John's father and brother
lived, but it is known that by 1841 they lived two houses down from them in a cottage of their own. The 1841 census records John,
a 63 year old hand loom weaver, as living at Kerr's Croft (sic), along with his 60 year old wife Jean Paton,
and his son John, a 36 year old hand loom weaver as well. Also in the house is listed a 13 year old girl
called Grace Paton - this is in fact a wrongly named grandaughter of John's, whose real name was Grace
Low Robertson (Cen:1841/387/4/2).
The records of King James VI Hospital in Perth show that the Hospital was in fact the feudal superior
of the cottages at Carrs Croft at this stage, and from the rent book from 1847 to 1865, John Paton is listed as renting
No. 4 Carr's Croft, the annual rent for his cottage being £2 15s Sterling, which was payable viable two separate payments
of £1 7s 6d at the term days of Whitsunday (May 28th) and Martinmas (Nov 28th). The last recorded payment by John was
on July 6th 1850, for the rent payable at Whitsunday previous. Form the rental book it is not hard to see why the family left
the cottage - a description of the property later in 1858 describes the house as being "in very bad order at front".
Adjoining cottages faired no better. Number 2 (possibly his brother William's former house) was noted in 1856 as "now
in ruins and unlet"; Number 3 in 1861 as "house in very bad order, tenant had to leave and no rent paid"; whilst number 9
in 1848 was simply listed as "fallen down". An interesting tale also is mentioned concerning Number 19 - "This tenement fell
one stormy night in November 1848". Clearly Carr's Croft had been underinvested in for years by the feudal superiors at the
Hospital, a situation which would not be rectified by them until the mid 1850s and early 1860s.
In 1851, John and his family were recorded in the census as now living
in the weavers' district of Pomarium. In the census, John was listed as a 73 year old weaver, born in the parish of Dunbarney
in Perthshire. His wife, Jean was there, aged 70, as was his son John, aged 47 and still working as a weaver like his father.
But also in the house were six grandchildren, all belonging to his daughter Jean. Jean had died in 1849 of inflammation, and
it is assumed that her children were raised by her parents - it is not known yet what happened to the children's father, James
Robertson. The children were: 24 year old Alexander Robertson, a weaver; 22 year old Grace Robertson,
a servant; 20 year old David Robertson, a weaver; 18 year old John Robertson, a weaver;
14 year old Jean Robertson, a servant; and 10 year old Ann Robertson (GROS Cen:1851/387/1/47).
At 2.20am on February 21st 1859, John's wife, Jean,
died at the age of 79 of natural decay at her home on Leonard Street, Perth, as certified by Dr. David H. Stirling, who last
saw her on February 10th. The informant to the Perth registrar was Jean's son John on the 21st, and
she was subsequently buried in Wellshill Cemetery in the town (GROS:1859/387/1/105).
In April 1861, the census again recorded John, this time describing him as
an 82 year old widow living at 69 Leonard Street. With him were his son John, a 57 year old cotton weaver, and his three
grandchildren, Grace (30), Jean (23), and Ann (18), all unmarried, and all working as cotton weavers. In this census, John
describes his birthplace as Perth, Perthshire (Cen:1861/387/29/27).
John died himself at 10.55pm on May 21st 1861, at his home of Leonard Street,
Perth. The cause was simply listed as "old age", with no medical attendant. In the death entry in the register, John was listed
as being both a handloom weaver and a salmon fisher, and the widower of a Jane Couper (sic). His mother was
also listed as Ann Watson (sic). The informant to the registrar was John's son, John (GROS:1861/387/01/238).
John was buried on the 25th, at 3.00pm, in Wellshill Cemetery, Perth, in a plain coffin that cost 5 shillings (A.K.Bell:PE1/20/4).
CHILDREN of JOHN PATON and JEAN COUPAR:
(i) Jean Paton
b: 6/11/1802 d: 8/1/1849
Jean was born on November 6th 1802 in Perth, and christened the following week
on the 14th.
Jean grew up in the family home at Carr's Croft cottages, working with
her father in preparing the pirns for the loom. Growing up in the weaving district of Perth, it was perhaps inevitable that
she would end up falling in love with a weaver. On December 16th 1825, Jean married James
Robertson, and the OPR for Perth recorded the event (OPR:387/30):
Perth the Twenty sixth day of November One thousand
eight hundred and Twenty five years______ contracted James Robertson Weaver in the West Church Parish of Perth and Jane Paton
in the said parish Daughter to John Paton Weaver in Perth _____ Elder James Robertson.
The Persons before named were regularly proclaimed
and Married on the Sixteenth day of December said year by the Reverend Mr Daves Minr of the Methodist Chapel in Perth.
The couple settled in the Pomarium weavers district, and went on to have six
Jean died on January 8th 1849, the cause being listed in the burial register
as "inflammation". At the time of her death, Jean had been living in South Street, Perth. She was interred at Greyfriars Cemetery
on January 10th, in a coffin provided by the Kirk Session for 1 shilling and sixpence (A.K.Bell:PE1/20/3D/p.8).
In the 1851 and 1861 census returns, Jean's children are found listed as living
with her own parents. It is possible that James, her husband, may have died himself prematurely.
CHILDREN of JANE PATON and JAMES ROBERTSON:
(a) Alexander Robertson
According to the IGI, Alexander was christened on November 22nd 1826. A christening
record could not be found at GROS, so it is assumed that Alexander was baptised in one of the dissenter churches.
(b) Grace Low Robertson
b: 12/12/1827 d: 9/4/1877
The Church of Scotland OPR records Grace's birth and baptism:
Pomarium West Church Parish Perth the Twelfth day
of December One Thousand eight hundred and Twenty seven was Born Grace Low Robertson lawful daughter to James Robertson weaver
in the said parish and Jane Paton his spouse and Baptised on the Thirtieth day of December said year by the Reverend Mr Thomson
Minister of the Methodist Congregation in Perth.
In the 1841 census, Grace was mistakenly listed
as 13 year old Grace Paton, living at her grandfather's cottage at Kerr's Croft.
Grace married tenter James Angus, and settled down in
Grace eventually died at 3.00am on April 9th 1877, in her home of 59
Leonard Street. The cause was chronic bronchitis, as certified by Dr. David H. Stirling, and the informant to the registrar
on the 10th was her brother-in-law, James Croll (GROS:1877/387/200).
(d) John Robertson
(e) James Robertson
(f) Jean Robertson
(g) Ann Robertson
On July 29th 1864, Ann married 23 year old journeyman house painter James
Croll, at her home of 60 Leonard Street, Perth, in a ceremony according to the rites of the established Church of
Scotland. At the time of the wedding James, the son of mason Andrew Croll and Margaret Seton, was
living at 16 Kinnoull Commissary, Perth. The presiding minister was the Reverend Robert Milner, minister of the West Kirk
in Perth, and the witnesses were James Angus, and another member of the Croll family, whose
name was difficult to make out from the register. The marriage was registered on the 30th (GROS:1864/387/00/120).
Ann tragically died at the age of 39 on March 25th 1879 at 11.45am, at
her home of 59 Leonard Street, Perth. The cause of death was consumption, ie. tuberculosis. Her husband James informed the
Perth registrar on the following day (GROS:1879/387/241).
After Ann's death, James remarried to Perth woman Margaret
Reid, daughter of tenter William Reid and Elizabeth Fyfe (both deceased) on
August 30th 1880, the wedding taking place at 189 South Street, Perth, in a ceremony according to the forms of the Free Church
of Scotland. At the time of the marriage, James was resident at 59 Leonard Street, whilst Margaret wa sresident at 15 Thimbleorw.
.The couple continued to live at 59 Leonard Causeway after their big day. From the 1881 census we learn that in approximately
December 1880, Margaret gave birth to their first child, William R. Croll (GROS:1881/387/13/10).
CHILDREN of ANN ROBERTSON and JAMES CROLL:
(I) Jane Paton Croll
Jane was born at 11.00pm on June 18th 1865, at 69 Leonard Street, Perth,
Scotland. Her father informed the registrar of the birth on the 24th (GROS:1865/387/00/446).
In the 1881 census, 15 year old Jane was living in the family home at
59 Leonard Causeway, and was recorded as being a power loom weaver, and unmarried (GROS:1881/387/13/10).
(II) Andrew Croll
b: 8/7/1867 d: 10/8/1896
Andrew was born at 3.43am on July 8th 1867, at the family home of 69
Leonard Street, Perth. His aunt, Grace Angus (nee Robertson), informed the registrar on the 23rd (GROS:1867/387/00/474).
In the 1881 census, Andrew was recorded at the family home of 59 Leonard
Causeway, and was described as a 13 year old message boy (GROS:1881/387/13/10).
On March 10th 1893, 25 year old Andrew, at this point a house painter, married
20 year old dressmaker Mary A. R. Cumming, daughter of shop porter Alexander Cumming and Mary Gow, at
Mary's home of 82 South Street, Perth. At the time of the wedding, Andrew's home address was 120 Canal Crescent, Perth. The
ceremony, witnessed by James Croll and Jeanie Bell Simpson, was performed by the Reverend
James H. Cameron according to the rites of the United Presbyterian Church, and registered onthe 11th (GROS:1893/387/00/57).
Wedded life was to prove short and tragic. Things started on the up when
at the end of 1893, the couple had a baby boy, James Croll. Sadly, James only survived for sixteen months,
before dying of the measles.
Andrew was to tragically die himself just three years after his wedding
at 3.00pm on August 10th 1896, at Hillside Home, Perth, with his usual residence being 82 South Street, Perth. The cause was
disease of the heart, as certified by Dr. David H. Stirling. Andrew's widow Mary registered his death on the 11th (GROS:1896/387/357).
CHILDREN of ANDREW CROLL and MARY CUMMING:
b: 18/12/1893 d: 21/4/1895
James was born at 0.30am on December 18th 1893 at 88 South Street, Perth.
His father informed the registrar on January 1st 1894 (GROS:1894/387/00/1).
James tragically died on April 21st 1895, at 8.30am, in 82 South Street,
Perth, aged only sixteen months. The cause was measles, as certified by Dr. William Robertson. His father informed the Perth
registrar on the 22nd (GROS:1895/387/219).
(III) James Robertson Croll
James was born at 3.30am on November 5th 1869, at 69 Leonard Street,
Perth. His father informed the registrar on the 11th (GROS:1869/387/00717).
In the 1881 census, James was recorded as an 11 year old scholar, living in
the family home of 59 Leonard Causeway, Perth (GROS:1881/387/13/10).
James later became a fishing rope maker, and married Ellen Lawson or
James eventually died on January 18th 1946, at 0.40am, at the Royal Infirmary
in Perth. His usual residence was 12 West Mill Street in the city. The cause of death was chronic myocardial degenration and
chronic nephritis, as certified by Dr. J. Sanderson. The informant to the Perth registrar on the 18th was James' brother-in-law
John Reekie, also resident at 12 West Mill Street (GROS:1946/387/00/42).
(IV) Charles Seaton Croll
b: 21/7/1871 d: 5/1930
Charles was born at 11.30pm on July 21st 1871, at 69 Leonard Street,
Perth. His father informed the registrar on August 2nd (GROS:1871/387/00/480).
In the 1881 census, Charles was recorded as a nine year old scholar,
living at the family home of 59 Leonard Causeway (GROS:1881/387/13/10).
Charles remained unmarried throughout his life, working as a journeyman
fishing reel maker. He died in May 1930, aged 58, the cause being an operation for carcinoma of the stomach, as certified
by Dr. C. Charleston. The informant to the Perth registrar on the 26th was John Reekie, the husband of his
half sister, resident at 12 West Mill Street, Perth. (GROS:1930/387/237).
(V) George Davidson Croll
George was born at 6.30pm on July 28th 1873, at 69 Leonard Street, Perth.
His father informed the registrar on the 31st (GROS:1873/387/00/462).
In the 1881 census, George was recorded as a seven year old scholar,
living at the family home of 59 Leonard Causeway (GROS:1881/387/13/10).
In the 1891 census, George is recorded as a 17 year old farm servant, residing at Struthill
in Muthill, Perthshire, at the home of 59 year old widow Grace Sim (GROS:1891/Muthill/1).
(VI) Margaret Seaton Croll
b: 28/5/1875 d: 2/6/1875
Margaret was born at 5.40pm on May 28th 1875, at 59 Leonard Street, Perth.
Her father informed the registrar on June 3rd (GROS:1875/387/00/359).
Margaret tragically did not survive long. She died at 4.25pm on June
2nd 1875 at 59 Leonard Street, Perth. The cause was debility, as certified by Dr. David N. Stirling. Margaret's dad informed
the Perth registrar on June 3rd (GROS:1875/387/301).
(VII) John Paton Croll
b: 1/2/1879 d: 27/8/1880
John was born at 10.45pm on February 1st 1879, at 59 Leonard Street,
Perth. His father informed the registrar on the 29th (GROS:1879/387/00/123).
Tragically, John did not survive long. He died at 3.45pm on July 28th
1880 at his uncle's house of 16 Home Street, Edinburgh. The cause was congestion of the lungs, as certified by Dr. A. Blelven.
The informant to the Edinburgh registrar on the 29th was his uncle, George Davidson (GROS:1880/685/4/677).
(ii) John Paton
b: 1805 d: 15/10/1873
John was born in Perth in approximately 1804. He grew up to follow in his father's
footsteps as a weaver, and was recorded in the 1841 census as being a handloom weaver at the family home of Carscroft.
John died at 5.45pm on October 15th 1873, at his nephew's house of 69 Leonard
Street, Perth. The cause was diarrhoea, which he suffered for a week, and the informant to the Perth registrar on the 16th was his
nephew-in-law, James Croll (GROS:1873/387/00/511).
John was buried in Wellshill Cemetery at 3.00pm on October 18th 1873 in a plain
coffin, at a cost of 7s (A.K.Bell: PE1/20/7/p.87). John never married.
(iii) Alexander Paton
b: 5/11/1811 d: 26/2/1818
Alexander was born in Perth on November 5th 1811 and christened on the 10th.
Alexander tragically died young on February 26th 1818, the cause being listed
as "water in the head" in the burial register. Alex was buried in Greyfriars Cemetery two days later on the 28th (A.K.Bell:PE1/20/1/p.230).
(3) William Paton
b: 11/3/1779 d: 28/2/1849
William was Calum's and Jamie's
great great great great great grandfather - see Paton - Part Two page..
The story continues on the Paton Family History - Part Two page, with the exploits of Calum's and Jamie's great great great great great grandfather
William Paton in the Breadalbane Fencibles regiment, as well as the naming of Paton Street in Brisbane,
Australia, by one of his daughters...