Sunday, 9 October 2011

Robertson Family

Dr. Duncan Robertson is documented to have purchased, for just under two thousand pounds, the seventy acre Broomage Estate at Larbert. The estate had an existing six bedroomed mansion house which he extended by adding a lodge and two wings and re-named ‘Carronvale’. Much of the interior was furnished with mahogany which is said to have been sourced from his plantation in Jamaica.

Duncan married Susan Anne (or Anna) Jane Stewart, daughter of Colonel Robert Stewart of Fincastle in Callander in November 1818 and the couple had three children at Larbert:

Duncan Stewart Robertson, born 17th September 1819, christened 27th September 1819
Robert Robertson, born 13th October 1820, christened 2nd November 1820
James Peter Robertson, born 26th January 1822, christened 15th February 1822

The above birth, christening and marriage details were sourced from the IGI ( but all were submitted entries, so no verification will be found in the Parish Records.

However, Duncan’s date of birth matches the inscription on the Plaque in the Robertson Family Enclosure in Larbert Old Parish Churchyard and is also verified in the following newspaper clipping from The Edinburgh Annual Register for 1808-26, Volume 12, Page 520. (17th September 1818 – Birth of a son and heir).

Duncan Senior died on 12th February 1824.

Son Robert Robertson’s date of birth is unfortunately not listed. The inscription shows his date of death as 17th  February 1824, but a notice in the Edinburgh Advertiser (issue 27th February 1824, Page 135) lists the 19th February. Whichever the date, it was only around a week after his father.

On the death of their father, eldest son Duncan Stewart Robertson inherited Carronvale whilst another estate, Roehill in Perthshire, went to younger son James Peter Robertson.

Carronvale was advertised ‘for rent’ in 1826 and again in 1827.
The Stirling Journal of 2nd March 1826 advertised the house and it as described as follows:
"Modern, containing a dining room, drawing room, parlour, library, and a number of bedrooms, and other conveniences, all in the best order, having been lately painted and thoroughly repaired. The offices were large and complete and the Garden contained up-wards of a Scots Acre, well enclosed with Birch Walls, and completely stocked with Fruit Trees in full bearing."

The brothers both served in the army and it was when serving in India, that Duncan met his future wife Hariette Anne Mary Ogilvy, youngest daughter of Hon. Col. Donald Ogilvie of Clova and Maria Morley.
(Hariette was born c1818)

Duncan & Hariette married in September 1844 and had 2 children:

Julia Cecelia Ogilvy Robertson, born 20th October, 1845
Donald Ogilvy Morley Robertson, born 21st June 1847
(Both at Edinburgh Parish, Edinburgh, Midlothian)

Both births are listed on the IGI (extracted entries from Parish Registers) and are again verified on Plaques in Larbert Old Parish Churchyard.

Two years after the birth of his son Donald Ogilvy Morley Robertson, Duncan Stewart Robertson was left a widower with two very small children after wife Harriette’s death on 23rd April 1849.
Duncan himself died 7 years later on 20th October 1856 age 37.

The whereabouts of Duncan at the time of the 1841 and the 1851 Census is unknown, but his two children, Julia and Donald were living at Balnaboch in Glenprosen, County of Angus with 2 Aunts:

(Balnaboch being the home of the Ogilvy Family)

30th- 31st March 1851
Dorothea Maria Ogilvy, age 25 Daughter of Hon. Col. Ogilvy, Landed Proprietor (himself* being absent), born Kirriemuir, Forfarshire
Clementina Julia Ogilvy, age 23 Daughter of Hon. Col. Ogilvy, Landed Proprietor (himself* being absent), born Kirriemuir, Forfarshire

*Himself being Dorothea and Clementina’s father, Donald Ogilvy. Their mother was Maria Morley, so they were the sisters of Duncan Stewart Robertson’s wife Harriette.

Julia C. O. Robertson, Grand-Daughter, age 5, born Edinburgh
Donald Robertson, Grand-Child, age 3, born Edinburgh

Dorothea Maria Ogilvy (of Clova) was an author and amongst her work
was a book of Poems published c1873.
She was born in c1826, died in 1895 and is buried in Cortachy Kirkyard.

Clementina Julia Ogilvy was born c1828 , married Kenneth Bruce Stuart , c1855, died 12th August 1857 and is buried in St. Cuthbert’s Churchyard, Edinburgh although her place of burial is unverified.

Duncan Stewart Robertson age 36, died of Broncho-Pneumonia at The Manse, Lochmaben,
Dumfriess-shire on 20th October 1856 where he was temporarily resident,
but whose last domicle was in the West Indies.
There is no occupation listed on the registration – only that he was a widower.

His parents were Duncan Robertson, M.D. & Susan Ann Jane Liddell
(formerly Robertson), maiden name Stewart.
His death was registered by Rev. Thomas Liddell, his step-father.

Susan Ann Jane Robertson (nee Stewart), Duncan’s mother married Rev. Thomas Liddell
on 16th November 1835.

The Death Registration shows his place of burial was Larbert Churchyard.

Carronvale was sold by his trustees to John Bell Sherriff in April 1857.
Presumably the proceeds would be split between his 2 children, Donald and Julia.

In 1861, 15 year old Julia is listed as a Boarder in Clifton, Bristol, England - perhaps a boarding school?

The other individuals listed were:

Maria Pines, age 48, School Mistress, born Wiltshire
Amelia Learmonth, Boarder, age 64, Holder of Dividends, born Middlesex
Charlotte Condreux, Boarder, age 26, French Governess, born France
Helen E. Harley, Boarder, age 16, Scholar, born
Julia Robertson, Boarder, age 15, Scholar, born Edinburgh, Scotland

In 1871, 25 year old Julia is listed as a Visitor
(visiting with the lady who had been her School Mistress ten years previously)
at 1 ‘Freemantle’? Villas in Clifton, Bristol, England.

The other individuals listed were:

Maria Pines, age 58, School Mistress, born Wiltshire
Emily Harwar, Boarder, age 30, Goverrness, born London
6 Female Boarders, all Scholars.
Julia Robertson, Visitor, age 25, Annuitant, born Scotland

By 1881, 35 year old Julia is listed as a Church Worker,
living at  8 Ellenbro? Crescent, Weston Super Mare in Somerset, England.

The other individuals listed were:

Isaac Penruddock, age 70, Clergyman, born Bath, Somerset
Eliza Penruddock, age 54, wife, born Dublin
Elizabeth Penruddock, age 30, Daughter, born Ahton Keynes, Wiltshire
Julia Robertson, Visitor, age 35, Church Worker, born Scotland

1891 finds, 45 year old Julia is back in Scotland.
On the 1891 Census listed as living at ‘Winfield’, Whitsome, Berwickshire with 2 servants,
‘Living on Private Means’

1901 finds, 55 year old Julia has returned to England,
and on the 1901 Census she is living with 2 servants at 8 Arundell Terrace,
Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset,  again listed as ‘Living on Own Means’

Julia Cecelia Ogilvy Robertson died age 66 on the 12th November 1911.
Her death was registered at Axbridge district, Somerset (October - December Quarter)

Donald Ogilvy Morley Robertson is more difficult to follow
as he doesn’t seem to appear on the 1861 Cencus.

According to the information on the Plaque in the Robertson Enclosure in Larbert Old Parish Churchyard he married ‘Alice’.

At the time of the 1871 Cencus, Donald (age 23) and Alice M. L. (age 22)
were living at 29 Longford Street, Pancras/Marylebone, London.
His occupation is listed as ‘Writer of Guide Books
Donald’s place of birth is Edinburgh, Scotland, Alice’s as Frome, Somerset.’

By the 3rd/4th April 1881, when the next Census was taken,
the couple were living in Witham, Frome, Somerset.
Donald is listed as age 34 and a Gentleman of Independent Means
His wife is listed as Louisa. (Perhaps Louisa was one of Alice’s middle names?)

The couple appear not to have had any children and although listed on the Larbert Plaques,
both are buried at Witham, Somerset.

The Robertson Family Enclosure in Larbert Old Parish Churchyard, Stirlingshire.

James Peter Robertson, born at Larbert on 26th January 1822, younger brother of Duncan Stewart Robertson and youngest son of Dr. Duncan Robertson and Susan Anne (or Anna) Jane Stewart spent most of his life in military service.

He attended Edinburgh Military Academy where he studied military drawing and surveying and it was whilst at Edinburgh, he received a commission and was gazetted to the 31st Regiment in 1842.
His service took him to Asia, South Asia and India as well as serving throughout the Indian Mutiny
and Crimean War.

His book ‘Personal Adventures and Anecdotes of an Old Officer’ was published in 1906
and was dedicated to the Rt. Hon. R. B. Haldane, M.P., Secretary of State for War
“In grateful remembrance of the life-long friendship that existed between the author
and his noble-hearted and worth father, the late Robert Haldane of Cloaden.”

James was 81 years old when the portrait below was painted.

Lieutenant Colonel, James Peter Robertson, C.B., J.P.  died at his home at Callander Lodge,
Callander on Friday, February 25th 1916 age 94 years.
His Death Registration shows that he was the widower of Louisa Churchill.
(Louisa is believed to have died c1910)

Obituaries appear in:
 The Glasgow Herald of  February 28th, 1916 (Page 6)
The Falkirk Herald of 4th March 1916

A well as being an Indian Mutiny and Crimean War Veteran,
he was a Justice of the Peace for Perthshire
and at the time, the oldest Freemason in Scotland.

The Falkirk Herald also adds that he was a “keen sportsman both with rod and gun” and “at the age of 85 he could take a twenty-mile run on his bicycle without undue fatigue.”

It is unknown if James is buried in the Family Enclosure at Larbert
as there are no existing Burial Records for the Churchyard.


  1. A very well researched piece of work.

  2. This is my wife's family. Their Jamaican estate was Friendship in St Elizabeth, west Jamaica. Duncan is the brother & uncle of James & Peter ministers at Callander. Col James Peter is buried (but grave is not there!) in Callander cemetery & there is a window in the epispocal church. I have more information if you wish to contact me.
    Do you know where Roehill is? I believe Port of Monteathbut would like someone to confirm this.

  3. Thank you very much for your kind comments!

    Despite all efforts is trying to find any information on 'Roehill', all attempts have failed. The only reference I was able to find was contained within 'The Lands and Lairds of Larbert & Dunipace Parishes' by John Charles Gibson who states that Carronvale was purchased by the Honourable Duncan Robertson of Roehill, Perthshire.

    In this book, the Gaelic name for Roehill is written as 'Cnoc na h-Earb' apparently meaning 'The Hill of the Roe', but unfortunately there is no reference to exactly where this hill might be.

    Like you, I would think it would have been around the Aberfoyle/Callander/Port of Menteith area.

    1. Roehill: after much searching over the years I have only found one reference. The estate, "upwards of 800 acres" was sold on 3/3/1869 along with Blairhoyle & East Leniestonn. The estates are contiguous & are in Port of Monteith.
      Col James Peter also states in his autobiography that four estates meet at one point so perhaps an old map could confirm the location.

    2. Perthshire Archives to the rescue!

      Roehill was in the Port of Menteith Parish. It was originally part of the Napier of Ruskie lands, which passed over to General Alexander Graham Stirling. The Perthshire Cess Roll (land tax) for 1819-1825 when portioning out the tax states:

      “That portion of the said lands and estate [Napier of Ruskie lands] belonging to Dun[ca]n Robertson called Roehill - £70”

      The Perthshire Extracts of the Register of Sasines for 11 November 1874, in recording a Disposition by James Moffat of Blairhoyle, to Alexander Henderson Lee of 45 Moray Place, Edinburgh, mentions as part of the sale –

      “(III) the lands of Cassafuar and Duneverig, and the half of the lands of Lenystone (or Lenniestown) which third mentioned lands are now designed and known by the name of Roehill, all in the Parish of Port [of Menteith] …”

      The Perthshire Valuation Roll (VR) for 1855/1856, under the Port of Menteith Parish, discloses that Captain James P. Robertson of Roehill owned three farms, namely Lenniston, Cassafuir and Donaecraig [all as spelt in the VR], let out to different tenants. There is no mention of Captain Robertson anywhere else in the VR indicating that he could have been elsewhere or abroad and simply let out his property which was collectively known as Roehill.

      Shows Cassafuir & Lennieston(s) in south west corner of map.

      Shows Dunevrig (or Dunaverig) in the north west corner of map.

  4. Hi, how can I contact you directly? Andrew Warland

  5. you can e-mail me at