Old WALKER papers – JOHNSTON samplers

This is one in a series of blog post about some old papers of the WALKER family, from Kirkliston, West Lothian, Scotland. See a list of these papers HERE.

In the Walker family we have these two framed samplers which are full of genealogy information.

Sampler by Margaret JOHNSTONSampler by Mary YOUNG

One sampler was done by Margaret JOHNSTON (my paternal Gt-Gt-Grandmother, born in 1818), when she was “aged 8” (circa 1826-27). This sampler contains a series of initials on two rows, begining half-way down, which appear to be those of Margaret’s parents and siblings. Each pair of initials is beneath what appears to be a crown; IMG_2199_Margaret-Johnston-sampler_cropped

J.J. – M.Y. – M.J. – T.J. – J.J. – I.J. – J.J. – C.J.

  • J.J. = John Johnston, b. 25/9/1786, d. 9/5/1872 (father)
  • M.Y. = Margaret Young, chr. 14/11/1793, d. 29/6/1878 (mother)

Children;

  • M.J. = Mary Johnston, (dates unknown!)
  • T.J. = Thomas Johnston, b.abt. 1816, d. 8/12/1892
  • J.J. = John Johnston, b. 1/4/1821, d. 6/10/1906
  • I.J. = Isabella Johnston, b.abt. 1823
  • J.J. = James Johnston (twin), b.abt. 1826, d. 10/12/1845
  • C.J. = Charles Johnston (twin), b.abt. 1826, d. 24/10/1868
margaret-johnston-stood-photo_d-1890_200dpi
Photo of Margaret JOHNSTON (unknown date)

For further details of the above, please see the JOHNSTON family tree.

Here (right) is one of two photos I have of an adult Margaret JOHNSTON (I also have one of her husband, James WALKER, from the same date).

The date of this photo is unknown, but I guess about 1848. The name and address of the photographer, on the reverse, suggests a date between 1848 and 1865.

The second, older sampler appears to be by Mary YOUNG (b, 1777); the older sister of Margaret Johnston’s mother, Margaret YOUNG (b. 1793, Ecclesmachan, W.Lothian). At the bottom of this sampler there is a confusion of names and initials, some of which (it suggests to me) may be later additions to the sampler in an attempt to represent the whole family, including siblings not born when the sampler was origionally made! But at the top – 3rd line down – there is a clear set of initials of family members; IMG_2198_Mary-Young-sampler_cropped

3rd row;

  • * T.Y. – M.S. – A.Y. – J.Y. – M.Y. – A.Y. – T.Y. – J.Y. * A.S. – M.F. *

Bottom 1/3rd;

  • * THOMAS YOUNG * MARY SMITH *
  • MARY YOUNG / 1789 * JY * MK * AY *
  • CY * WY
  • JY, AY, TY, J(Y), – – – * TY, MS *
  • MY / A(LE)XA(—) SMITH * MARY FISHER *

Note; the letter “J” might alternatively be an “I“. I have transcribed it as a “J” because that is what fits with the matching records I’ve found; see below.

Using the initials identified in this sampler (above), I searched the IGI transcriptions of parish registers and was able to find what I believe to be closely matching details for birth/christening dates. Death dates are based on notes I’ve found among family papers about tombstones in Abercorn Churchyard, West Lothian, some of which I’ve been able to confirm through images available at BillionGraves.com as follows;

from the 3rd row;

  • T.Y. = Thomas YOUNG, b. circa 1747, d. 17/03/1824. (father)
  • M.S. = Mary SMITH, b. 01/02/1753, Muiravonside, Stirling. d. 27/04/1820. (mother)
  • A.Y. = Alexander YOUNG, chr. 04/02/1774, Ecclesmachan, West Lothian.
  • J.Y. = John YOUNG, chr. 09/01/1776, Ecclesmachan, West Lothian. d. 13/10/1844.
  • M.Y. = Mary YOUNG, chr. 11/12/1777, Ecclesmachan, West Lothian. d. 04/06/1845.
  • A.Y. = Alexander YOUNG, chr. 23/02/1780, Ecclesmachan, West Lothian. d. 18/12/1805.
  • T.Y. = Thomas YOUNG, chr. 24/01/1783, Ecclesmachan, West Lothian. d. 27/12/1811.
  • J.Y. = James YOUNG, chr. 06/06/1785, Ecclesmachan, West Lothian.
  • A.S. = Alexander SMITH, (dates unknown). (maternal Grandfather)
  • M.F. = Mary FISHER, (dates unknown). (maternal Grandmother)

Missing from this row of initials are 4 younger siblings, which might hint at the date when it was done. The missing siblings were;

  • William YOUNG, chr. 18/04/1788, Ecclesmachan, West Lothian.
  • Charles YOUNG, chr. 09/09/1790, Ecclesmachan, West Lothian. d. 05/07/1844.
  • Margaret YOUNG, chr. 14/11/1793, Ecclesmachan, West Lothian. d. 29/06/1878
  • Robert YOUNG, chr. 07/06/1796, Ecclesmachan, West Lothian. d. ? (an infant).

The bottom third of the sampler begins clearly with the parents’ names; THOMAS YOUNG and MARY SMITH, then the name MARY YOUNG (who’s handywork I believe this sampler is), and a year; 1789, which presumably represents a completion point for this sampler. The very bottom row appears to name the maternal grandparents; ALEXANDER SMITH and MARY FISHER.

If you could shed any more light on these families and their relations, perhaps through other original family documents, please leave a comment below or use the Contact Page to get in touch. Thanks.

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