This page is an attempt to outline what I know about my Mathieson ancestry in as "readable" format as possible. Please note whereas I try to ensure that what I publish is correct, and to differentiate between what is supported by documentation etc, and what is, in my opinion, a reasonable assumption, everything should be treated with caution. IF you have come across information that you believe is relevant to your own research please either verify it independently or drop me a line to confirm its validity. Equally if believe something is incorrect, or if you wish to add any details or discuss please get in touch using the Contact Form.

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The furthest back that we can trace our particular branch of the Mathieson family, so far, is to a James Mathewson, (henceforth referred to as James Mathieson I to avoid later confusion) and a Margaret Smith whose intention to wed was proclaimed on 4 November and the marriage recorded on 12 November 1808 in the parish register of Dalkeith, Midlothian as - "Nov. 4 James Mathewson Soldier Edinburgh Militia and and Margaret Smith in this Parish gave me their names for proclaimation in order to marriage. Cath: John Irvin for the man and John Smith for his sister - James Mathewson and Margt Smith marr'd 12 Nov.".

James Mathieson and Margaret Smith - marriage 12 November 1808, Dalkeith parish register

NOTE: Other than this marriage record the only other useful record I have of Margaret is that of her burial in 1835. This gives her age as 54 which would suggest that Margaret was born circa 1781. As to where she was born, although she was resident in Dalkeith at the time of her marriage that would not necessarily mean she was born there. As for James, again other than this marriage record, the only other useful record I have of him is his listing in the 1841 census where he was identified as born in Midlothian and aged 50. As ages in the 1841 census were rounded down to the nearest 5, this could be 50-54 and give an estimated date of birth of 1786-1790. However as his second wife, Robina, was recorded as 30 in the same census it would seem not unlikely that he may have shaved a few years of his actual age. With such vague details to go it would be little more than complete guesswork to attempt to identify the parents of either James Mathewson or Margaret Smith at this moment in time.

Interestingly there are other earler records of a James Mathewson, a soldier in the Edinburgh Militia recorded in the Dalkeith parish register. This individual had his earlier irregular marriage in Edinburgh of 24 August 1803 to a Joanna Begbie confirmed in the Dalkeith parish register of 1804. It is of course possible that there were two James Mathewsons in the Edinburgh Militia, but there is at least a possibility that Joana Begbie died and that the widowed James is one and the same as the James Mathewson who married Margaret Smith in 1808. For further details of this James Mathewson and Joan Begbie - click here.

It would appear from this that James was serving soldier with the Edinburgh Militia. Militias such as the Edinburgh one were formed all over the UK in response to the percieved threat from France and Napoleon, although this military requirement had looked like it was no longer required with the signing of the Treaty of Amiens 25 March 1802. However the treaty soon broke down and the need to increase Britain's military strength was renewed afresh. In 1802 an Act was passed placing the Scottish militia on a permanent basis, to be manned by ballot from men aged 18–45 (paid substitutes were permitted), to serve for five years in Great Britain; with 21 days training in peace time. In Midlothian the Lord Lieutenant of Midlothian (Edinburghshire) the Duke of Buccleuch raised the 51st, or Edinburgh Regiment of Militia, based in Dalkeith with himself as the Commanding Officer.

According to "A History of the Edinburgh, or Queen's Regiment Light Infantry Militia (now) Third Battalion The Royal Scots" by Major R.C. Dudgeon the regiment moved to Dunbar in the February 1809 and this would tally with the birth of James and Margaret's first child, Alexander who was born 2 September 1809 and baptised on 10 September 1809 in Dunbar, East Lothian. The event was recorded in the Dunbar parish register - "Born September 2 - Alexander Matheson, son of James Matheson, Soldier in the Edinburgh Regiment of Militia, and Margaret Smith, his wife. Witnesses Robert Philips and John Irvine. - Baptised 10 September."

Alexander Matheson - born 2 September 1809, baptised on 10 September 1809, Dunbar parish register

There is a population count for Dalkeith for 1811 and it does include 3 Mathieson\Mathewson\Matheson heads of household i.e. David Mathieson, ?????? Matheson and Lindsay Mathewson, but there is no James Mathieson. It would also appear the enumerator may have simply gone by the owner\feuer of the properties as the three Mathieson households all conssist of more than one family i.e. 5, 2 and 3 so it is possible that Margaret Mathieson, and her son are included in these families. For details of Mathieson families in these pre 1841 censuses for Dalkeith - click here.

Again according to Major Dudgeon in the July of 1811 the regiment left Scotland, sailing from Leith to Harwich where it went into barracks before being stationed at Colchester for nine months. James and Margaret's next child and the next step in our family tree, James Mathieson, born on 13 December 1811 and baptised on 1 January 1812 in Dalkeith, Midlothian which would suggest that Margaret stayed at home. The event was recorded in the Dalkeith parish register - "James Mathewson, Soldier Edinburgh Militia, and Margaret Smith, his spouse, had a son born 13th December 1811 and baptiised 1 January 1812 by the name of James. Witnesses Euphan Bell & Jean Pringle." (Note - the previous baptism was for Alexander Watherston, born on 10 Decemeber 1811 and baptised on the 1 January 1812, the son of Alexander Watherston, a soldier in the Edinburgh Militia, and Eupan Bell, with the witnesses being Margaret Smith and Jean Pringle. i.e. baby Alexander's birth and baptism dates match that of bay James and Margaret was witness to the baby Alexander's baptism as Eupan was witness to baby James's baptism.)

James Mathewson - born on 13 December 1811, baptised on 1 January 1812, Dalkeith parish register

Conversely it rather looks if James went with the regiment, as it is not unitl after its return in the March of 1815 and its subsequent disembodiment on 3 April 1815, that there is record of a third child born to the couple, Helen Mathieson who was born on 14 January 1816, and baptised on 4 February 1816 with the event listed in the parish register for Dalkeith. James the father was no longer recorded as a soldier but as a Mason. A further two daughters were born to the couple in the next four years, Euphemia Mathieson born 15 April 1818, baptised 3 May 1818, and Violet Mathieson born 3 February 1820, baptised 5 March, again both recorded in the Dalkeith parish register with James, the father, identified as a mason.

There is an entry for a James Mathison in the 1821 "Census" for Dalkeith, listed on page 58, between James Gray and D Johnston. This does fit with "our" James Mathieson i.e. 3 males = James Mathieson, the father, and Alexander Mathieson (b. 1809), and James Mathieson (b. 1811). - 4 females = Margaret Mathieson, nee Smith, the mother and Helen Mathieson (b. 1816) Euphemia Mathieson (b. 1818), and Violet Mathieson (b. 1820).

1821 "Census" for Dalkeith, Midlothian

Page 58 - between James Gray and D Johnston

Name of Person and\or house No of Inhabited Houses No of Families No of Families employed in Agriculture No of Families employed in a Trade, Manufacture and Handicraft No of Families employed in Other Occupation No of Males No of Females Total Number of Persons
James Mathison 1 1 0 1 0 3 4 7

There are records of a further 3 children born to James and Margaret recorded in the parish register of Dalkeith, after 1820 - John Mathieson born 13 February 1822, Jonathon Mathieson born 2 December 1823, and William Thomson Mathieson born 30 March 1826. Again in all records James Mathieson 1 is identified as a Mason. (For further details on the know children of James Mathieson and Margaret Smith - click here)

On 7th April 1831 James Mathieson II, at the age of nineteen years and seven months, enlisted in the 91st. Argyllshire Regiment of Foot for a bounty of £3.00, a payment of 2/6d. on "attestation", and a wage of 1 shilling and 1 pence per day thereafter. (For further details of James Mathieson and the 91st. Argyllshire Regiment of Foot - click here) At the time of his enlistment James Mathieson II was 5'7 1/2" tall, of fair complexion, with fair hair and grey eyes. He had been working as a labourer prior to his enlistment and his brave attempt to sign his enlistment papers shows him to have been more or less illiterate.

In 1834 there was a further population count compiled for Dalkeith which included details for all the members of a household. This identifies James Mathieson I along with his wife. Mrs Mathieson, his two younger daughters, Euphemia aged 16, and Violet aged 14, and his two younger sons John aged 10 and William aged 7. There is a further member of the household listed, Alexander Mathieson, but with no age given. This could potentially be James's elder brother or possibly his father.

1834 Census of Dalkeith, Midlothian

Wilsons Close (House number - 1116)

Name Age Occupation Place of Worship
James Mathieson   Mason Established Church of Scotland
Mrs Mathieson      
Euphemia Mathieson 16    
Violet Mathieson 14    
John Mathieson 10    
William Mathieson 7    
Alexander Mathieson      

Meanwhile was James Mathieson II was serving with the 91st regiment mainly in Ireland, but in the spring of 1838, while the regiment was in Scotland, he was hospitalised, possibly in Dundee. After his recovery he spent the next three years recruiting for the regiment in Central Scotland and the Borders, remaining behind when the regiment returned to Ireland in the summer of 1840.

It was probably during this time, in the period December 1838 to May 1839 whilst recruiting in Hawick, that James met and married Agnes Scott although no record of a marriage has been found. According to her later death certificate Agnes was the daughter of William Scott, a shoemaker, and Elizabeth Thorburn, and from her age given in later censuses and her death certificate, she was born in 1815/16. The 1851, 1871, and 1881 census records all have her born in Hawick, however the 1861 census is in disagreement and has her born in "Selkirkshire". Strangely this 1861 census may be correct. No actual record of the birth of Agnes Scott, nor of her parent's marriage, has yet been found. . (For further details of Agnes Scott’s probable parentage - click here)

On 5th January 1840, James Mathieson and Agnes Scott had a daughter, Elizabeth. This birth was recorded in the parish records of Ayr, where James Mathieson was recruiting for the regiment at the time. The entry records "Mathieson - Elizabeth, lawful Daughter of James Mathieson, Corporal in the 91st Regiment of Foot, and Agnes Scott, his spouse, was born on 5th Jan'ry and baptised 23rd Feb'ry 1840, by the Rev'd Mr. Cuthill". The inclusion of the word "lawfu" would suggest that the minister was that James and Agnes were married. As to the use of the rank of "Corporal" by James Mathieson. In the October of the same year he was awarded "the distinction of one ring", but this was not promotion, but an "honourable distinction". (A good conduct award without the bonus of extra pay!!), and throughout his service what records I have identify him as a "Private."

Elizabeth Mathieson - born on 5 January 1840, baptised on 23 February 1840, Ayr parish register


For the census of 1841, back in Midlothian, James Mathieson I seems to have moved from Dalkieth itself, and was recorded resident at Sandy Dean, Lasswade Parish. (Just "next door" to Dalkeith.) He was recorded as aged 50, an independent (self-employed?) Mason. and his two younger sons John Mathieson, aged 15, and William Mathieson, aged 14, are included in the household, both identified as labourers. The Rabennay Mathieson, aged 30, listed in the household was James's second wife Robina Adam, whom James had married on 18 August 1840 in Lasswade parish. It would appear, therefore, that his first wife, Margaret Smith, had passed away. There is a record in the Dalkeith parish register of the burial on 13 March 1835 of a JEAN Smith - "New graveyard of Dalkeith 13th (March) Jean Smith, Wife of James Mathieson, mason, died on 11 March 1835 of consumption aged 54". I would surmise that despite the forename being recorded as Jean, this was in fact Margaret Smith, James Mathieson's mother. This would also be consistant with her being included as "Mrs Mathieson" in the 1834 household listing referred to earlier. Also included in the household for 1841 was a further child, Robert Mathieson. Assuming that it was indeed James's wife Margaret who died in 1835 then it would seem that Robert, born about 1837, was either the son of James Mathieson I and Robina Adams, the marriage happening after the birth, (not uncommon), or he was the son of Robina Adams from a previous marriage or "relationship". Unfortunately neither a birth record or a death record has been found to ascertain which of the two is correct. However on all of his three later marriage certificates Robert is recorded as the son of James Mathieson and Robina Adams and also for the census of 1851 he is recorded as Robina’s son, not step-son which would make the former possibility "best" guess. NOTE: There is a record of what would appear to be Robina Adam in the 1834 Dalkeith listing, although with the surname listed as Adams not Adam. She was identified as Reubina Adams, resident at West Wynd Shoemakers Close, in Dalkeith, working as a "Hat Picker". Also included in the household was Margaret Brown, with no age or occupation given, and a Margaret Ross aged 1 1/2.

1841 Census (7th. June) Lasswade (691) Folio 10 Book 10 Page 6

Sandy Dean, Lasswade Parish

Name Age Occupation Where Born
James Mathieson 50 Mason I. Yes
John Mathieson 15 Labourer Yes
William Mathieson 14 Labourer Yes
Robert Mathieson 4   Yes
Rabennay (Robina) Mathieson 30   Yes
Alexander Dickson 17 Labourer Yes

For the same census James Mathieson II was recorded in Kilmarnock where he was recruiting for the regiment. The regiment itself was over in Ireland. Along with James are his wife Agnes, their 17 month old daughter Elizabeth and a James Lang, also a soldier, presumably a further member of the recruiting party.

1841 Census (7th. June) Kilmarnock (597) Folio 0 Book 23 Page 19

Sandbed Street, Kilmarnock

Name Age Occupation Where Born
James Mathieson 25 Army No
Agnes Mathieson 25   No
Elizabeth Mathieson 17 months   Yes
James Lang 20 Army No

James Mathieson II and Agnes Scott’s next child, and the next step in our family history, was a son James Mathieson III, born according to his baptismal entry in the Military Records, on 1st April 1842 in Newport, Isle of Wight, and baptised on 12th October 1842 in the St. James Chapel, Isle of Wight.

On the face of it, this would fit, as according to the regimental muster records, his father, James Mathieson II, had been recalled from recruiting in Dumfries on 12th March of that year, and by the beginning of April was back at the regimental depot at Parkhurst, Isle of Wight. (The main part of the regiment had gone to South Africa to fight in the "Kaffir Wars", with only the reserves remaining at Parkhurst.) However later census records give Dumfries as his place of birth. This would also make sense as James Mathieson's wife Agnes Scott, would have been heavily pregnant at the time of his recall, and may well have remained behind in Dumfries awaiting the birth of the baby before undertaking the journey to the Isle of Wight. However no record of the birth has been found in either the "Official Register of Births" which had started in England in 1837, or in the parish records for Dumfries, and without such confirmation as to the actual whereabouts of the event, James Mathieson's place of birth must remain as either Newport on the Isle of Wight, or Dumfries in Scotland.

James Mathieson II remained with the Reserves in and around the Isle of Wight, although he does seem to have spent six months in Mullingar, Ireland from the July to the December of 1845. He also seems to have spent sometime as a batman to the Company Commanding Officer, a fact refered to in his later obituary. Over this period his pay increased with the addition of "Good Conduct Pay", starting with an extra 2d. per day on 9th April 1845, increasing to an extra 3d. per day on 9th April 1846, and finally reaching an extra 4d. per day on 9th April 1849. Added to his original starting pay of 1 shilling and 1 pence, this would meaning him earning a wage of 1 shilling and 5 pence per day!!

Also during this time a further three children were born to James and Agnes - William Mathison, born 5 November 1844 and baptised on 29th November 1844 in the Isle of Wight, Alexander Mathieson, born 26 January 1847 and baptised on 14 April 1847 in the Isle of Wight, and William Mathison whose birth in Portsmouth in 1849 is recorded in the "Index of the Register of Army Births" under the 91st Argyllshire Regiment of Foot. The fact that James and Agnes have a second son William suggests that that the William born in 1844 died in infancy.

By the beginning of 1851 the main part of the regiment was back in the UK and following intensive recruiting to make up the numbers which had been severely depleted by war and disease in South Africa, it was set to be deployed to duties in Ireland. As a result we find James and his family resident in Liverpool awaiting the move across the North Sea. James was recorded as separate from his family in West Derby Union Barracks, in Liverpool, along with the Regiment.

1851 Census (31st March) Liverpool HO107/2190 Folio 623 Book 8 Page 14

West Derby Union Barracks, Liverpool

Name Position Condition Age Occupation Where Born
James Mathieson   Married 39 Private 91st Regiment Dalkeith, Edinburgh

His wife Agnes, daughter Elizabeth aged 11, and sons James aged 9, and William aged 2 were also recorded in Liverpool, but staying in the Birchfield Barracks along with another section of the regiment. The fact their son Alexander Mathieson born in 1847 is not recorded in the household would suggest that he had died in infancy and this would seem to be confirmed by a record of the death of an Alexander Mathison, aged 2, in the BMD index for the October-December quarter of 1849, for the registration district of Portsea Island, Hampshire.

1851 Census (31st March) Liverpool HO107/2185 Folio 729 Book 8 Page 14

Birchfield Barracks, Liverpool

Name Position Condition Age Occupation Where Born
Agnes Mathieson   Married 33 Wife of Pt. James Mathieson 91st Reg. Hawick, Roxburghshire
Elizabeth Mathieson     11 Daug. of Pt. James Mathieson 91st Reg. Ayrshire
James Mathieson     9 Son of Pt. James Mathieson 91st Reg. Dumfries-shire
William Mathieson     2 Son of Pt. James Mathieson 91st Reg. Portsmouth, Hampshite

It would appear that the month following this census William Mathieson, aged 2, died, as there is a record in the burial records of St John's Church, Liverpool, of the interment on 31 May 1851 of a William Mathieson, aged 2 1/2, with the address given as Everton Barracks. There is a corresponding entry in the BMD index for the death of a William Mathieson, aged 2, in the April-June quarter of 1851 in the registration district of West Derby, Lancashire.

Back home in Midlothian sometime in the period 1841-1851 James Mathieson I had died, and by 1851 his widow Robina was living in Dalkeith, where she and young Robert are recorded as living in Pursells Close, High Street, Dalkeith for the census of that year. (For further details of Robina Mathieson and her son Robert - click here)

1851 Census (31st March) Dalkeith (683) Book ? Page 25

High Street, Pursells Close, Dalkeith

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Robina Mathieson Head - Widow 45 Lace Worker Newton, Midlothian
Robert Mathieson Son 14 Iron Moulder Dalkeith, Midlothian#
Jessie Ronaldson Lodger 17 Paper Maker - Rag Cutter Dalkeith, Midlothian

By the summer of 1851 the 91st. were back in Ireland with James Mathieson II with them. They were initially stationed in Belfast, and whilst there James Mathieson II and Agnes Scott had their second daughter, Catherine Mathieson, baptised at Rosemary Street Church, Belfast, on 27th November 1851.

In the April of 1852 the regiment were moved to Enniskillen, and it was whilst stationed there that James Mathieson II was discharged from the 91st. as being unfit for duty due to "Pulmonary Consumption". He officially left the regiment on 29th November 1852, still a Private, having served 21 years and 235 days, and having been awarded, in the April of that year, a silver medal for "Good and Faithful Service". Also in recognition of his long service he was awarded a pension from the Chelsea Hospital, as an "out pensioner". According to his discharge papers it was James Mathieson II's intention to set up home back in Dalkeith, the place of his birth. Sometime around the June of 1854, James and Agnes had a son John. No record of the birth has been found but sadly we know of his existance as he died on 13 March 1855 at 43 Loan, Hawick aged only 9 1/2 months according to the death certificate. He was recorded as the son of James Mathieson, a Chelsea Pensioner and Labourer in a Nursery, and Agnes Mathieson, maiden surname Scott, and the baby was identified as buried in "Hawick Churchyard". As to where the child was born it would seem likely to have been possibly Dalkeith, but perhaps more lokely, Hawick. The following year on 6th February 1856, the birth of James and Agnes's final child, a daughter Euphemia, was recorded in the registration district on Hawick, Roxburghshire. The child was recorded as born at 3 Back Row, Hawick, the daughter of James Mathieson, a "Nursery Labourer".and Agnes Mathieson, maiden surname Scott(For further details of the known children of James Mathieson and Agnes Scott - click here)  

On 14th October 1859 at Cotgreen, Melrose, James Mathieson II's son, James Mathieson III, married Janet Dickson. The marriage certificate identified James as aged 19, a Farm Servant, resident at Kaeside farm, near Melrose, and the son of James Mathieson, a Gardener, and Agnes Mathieson, maiden surname Scott. Janet was identified as aged 20, an Outworker, resident at Cotgreen, the farm next but one to Kaeside, and the daughter of John Dickson, an Agricultural Labourer (deceased), and Euphemia Dickson, maiden name Murray. I am confident that Janet was actually the daughter of WILLIAM Dickson and Euphemia Murray born\baptised 25th February 1837, Melrose, Roxburghshire. (For further details of William Dickson and Euphemia Murray, Janet's parents - click here). There is a record of a William Dickson born on 25th July 1857 in Melrose, Roxburghshire, who was a "natural" child of Janet Dickson. No fathers name was given on the certificate but I suspect James Mathieson was NOT William's father. For further details of this William Dickson, his marriage and children - click here

It was at Cotgreen that the newly weds set up home, and it was there, on 29th March 1860, that their first child and the next link in our family history, a son James Mathieson IV was born. Sadly it was also at Cotgreen, only two months after the birth of James, that Janet Dickson died, on 28th May 1860, aged only 23. She was identified on her death certificate as the wife of an Agricultural Labourer (married), and the daughter of John Dickson, an Agricultural Labourer (deceased), and Agnes Dickson, maiden name Murray. She was laid to rest in Melrose Churchyard and the informant was James Mathieson, her husband. Once again there is an error with her parents names but this time with her mother being identified as Agnes instead of Euphemia! This explains why, for the census of 8th April 1861, we find the baby James Mathieson IV living with his grand-parents at 3 Back Row, Hawick. The whereabouts of James and Agnes’s daughter Elizabeth who would have been aged 21, is currently unknown but is is possible that she may well left home and possibly married. However no obvious records her death or marriage post 1855 have been found and my suspicion is that she may have died between the census of 1851 and 1855 possibly in Ireland or possibly back in Scotland.

1861 Census (8th. April) Hawick (789) Book 12. Page 3.

3 Back Row, Hawick. (2nd. back house)

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
James Mathieson Head 49 Chelsea Pensioner Edinburghshire
Agnes Mathieson Wife 45   Selkirkshire
Catherine Mathieson Daughter 8   Ireland
Euphemia Mathieson Daughter 5   Roxburghshire
James Mathieson Grandson 11 months   Roxburghshire

For the 1861 census the recently widowed James Mathieson III was working as a agricultural labourer for a John Shiell at Rowflat in Ancrum parish. 

1861 Census (8th. April) Hawick (780) Book 4. Page 13.

Rowflat, Ancrum, Roxburghshire

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
John Shiell Head 73 Farmer 230 acres employing 6 Labourers Eccles, Berwickshire
Hellen Shiell Wife 56 Farmer's Wife Roxburgh, Roxburghshire
Walter Shiell Son 29 Shepherd Weststruther, Berwickshire
Robert Shiell Son 27 Farm Steward Weststruther, Berwickshire
Margaret Shiell Daughter 18 Housemaid Weststruther, Berwickshire
Euphemia Shiell Daughter 16 Kitchen maid Weststruther, Berwickshire
James Mathewson Servant (widow) 19 Agricultural Labourer Dumfries, Dumfries-shire
George Robson Servant 18 Agricultural Labourer Jedburgh, Roxburghshire

James Mathieson III remarried on 20th January 1865, whilst resident at Hermiston, in the parish of Lilliesleaf.  His second wife was Elizabeth Cavers, the daughter of William Cavers, a shepherd, and Mary Hunter, and the marriage took place at Sinton Parkhead, in the parish of Ashkirk, where Elizabeth was living at the time. His son, James Mathieson IV, the next step in our family history, does not seem to have returned to live with his father after his re-marriage, but remained with his grand-parents, James Mathieson II and Agnes Scott, throughout his childhood.(For further details of James Mathieson III - click here)

For the census of 3rd April 1871 James Mathieson II, Agnes Scott, their two daughters, Catherine and Euphemia, along with their grand-son, James Mathieson IV, were living at Longtown Height, parish of Ashkirk

1871 Census (3rd April) Ashkirk (781) Book 3 Page 4.

Longtown Height, parish of Ashkirk

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
James Mathieson Head 55 Army Pensioner Dalkeith, Edinburghshire
Agnes Mathieson Wife 53   Hawick, Roxburghshire
Catherine Mathieson Daughter 19 Agricultural Labourer Ireland
Euphemia Mathieson Daughter 15 Agricultural Labourer Hawick, Roxburghshire
James Mathieson Grandson 10 Scholar Melrose, Roxburghshire

Eight years after this census Robina Mathieson died on 30th September 1879, aged 72. Her death of "senile debility" was recorded at Common Close in Dalkeith, the house of her son Robert. He was the informant, and although he could identify her late husband as "James Mathieson, journeyman mason", he could not supply his mother’s maiden name or her parents names.

For the census of 4th April 1881, James Mathieson and Agnes Scott were living in Appletreehall, a small hamlet in Wilton parish, a couple of miles outside Hawick.

1881 Census (4th April) Wilton (810) Book 8. Page 5

Appletreehall, Wilton Parish.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
James Mathieson Head 68 Chelsea Pensioner Dalkeith, Edinburghshire
Agnes Mathieson Wife 66   Hawick, Roxburghshire
James Mathieson Grandson 20 Railway Pointsman Melrose, Roxburghshire
Agnes Mathieson Granddaughter 7 Scholar Wilton, Roxburghshire

This census record shows James Mathieson IV, now a railway pointsman, (probably with the North British Railway Co.), still living with his grand-parents, plus a grand-daughter Agnes. Agnes was the "natural" daughter of Euphemia Mathieson, the youngest daughter of James Mathieson II and Agnes Scott. Agnes, the grand-daughter, was born at Parkhouses, Wilton, on 29th June 1873. No father's name is given on the birth certificate.

Just over a year and a half after this census, James Mathieson II died, on 17th December 1882, aged 70 and still resident in Appletreehall, Wilton. The Hawick Express of 23 December 1882 carried a brief obituary.

James Mathieson Obituary
Hawick Express of 23 December 1882

His death certificate is inaccurate, stating that his parents were Alexander Mathieson, a journeyman mason, and Robina Ramsay. I suspect the reason for this was that the informant was HIS grandson James Mathieson IV. He would probably never have met his grandfather’s father, James Mathieson I, and either didn’t know or couldn’t remember his christian name and wrongly guessed Alexander. (He did get the occupation, journeyman mason correct.) He definitely would not have met his grandfather’s mother, Margaret Smith, but may well have met his grandfather’s step-mother Robina, and seems to have believed that Robina was his grandfathers actual mother, although did not know her maiden name so guessed Ramsay, again wrongly, . This is a good example of how the parents names on a death certificate should not be relied on.

James Mathieson Rachel Grieve

A year later, on 6th December 1883, James Mathieson IV, now a railway guard with the North British Railway Co., which he remained all his working life married Rachel Grieve, a woollen power loom weaver. (For further details of James Mathieson IV’s' career on the railway - click here) James was living at the time at 8 Buccleuch Street, Hawick, and his bride, Rachel, at 2 Langlandsbank Place, Hawick, her family home. She lived there with her widowed mother, Elizabeth Young Rutherford, her father, Alexander Grieve, a woollen mill foreman, having died on 29th June 1868, when Rachel was only thirteen. Rachel Grieve was born on 11th September 1855 at Weensland, Hawick, and was the 2nd of 5 children, 2 boys and 3 girls. (SEE ONLINE GRIEVE FAMILY HISTORY).

After the marriage the couple seem to have moved to 5 Havelock Street, Wilton, Hawick, as it was there that their first child, a son James, was born on 8 May 1885. Sadly the baby James died only fifteen days later on 23 May 1885. Their next child, a daughter Elizabeth Young Rutherford, named after Rachel's mother, and the next step in our family tree, was born on 11 May 1886, at 8 Wilton Place, Hawick. Two years later the family had moved to Mansfield Crescent, Wilton, Hawick, as it is there, on 13 July 1888, a second daughter, Janet, was born.

The following year, on 1st April 1889, Agnes Scott, widow of James Mathieson II, and great-grandmother of Elizabeth and Janet Mathieson, died aged 73. The death is recorded as occurring at Spottsmain, Smailholm, and the informant on the death certificate is "Robert Oliver, son-in-law". Robert Oliver and Catherine Mathieson Agnes's daughter were married in 1880 in Wilton and it is possible that Spottsmain, Smailholm was their home at the time of Agnes’s death and she had been living with them in her old age.

James Mathieson IV and Rachel Grieve's fourth child, a son Alexander, was born on 18th August 1890, at 1a Arthur Street, Hawick, and it is at this address that we find the family for the census of 1891.

1891 Census ( April) Hawick (789) Book 5. Page 21.

1a Arthur Street, Hawick.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Rachel Grieve Head 35 Head Hawick, Roxburghshire
Lizzie Grieve Daughter 4   Hawick, Roxburghshire
Janet Grieve Daughter 2   Hawick, Roxburghshire
Alexander Grieve Son 7 months   Hawick, Roxburghshire

The father, James Mathieson IV is not recorded in this census, but at lodgings in Newbattle near Edinburgh presumably staying away as part of his job as a railway guard!?

1891 Census ( April) Newbattle (695) Book 6. Page 5.

119 Newton Grange, Newbattle.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
William M. Barclay Head 44 Gardener (Dom. Serv.) Cockpen, Edinburghshire
Annie B. Barclay Wife 46   Cockpen, Edinburghshire
John Barclay Son 12 Scholar Cockpen, Edinburghshire
Thomas B. Barclay Son 11 Scholar Cockpen, Edinburghshire
Jessie H Barclay Daughter 8 Scholar Cockpen, Edinburghshire
Charles Murdoch Lodger 27 Pit Engineman Kirkpatrick, Dumbartonshire
James Mathieson Lodger 30 Guard (Railway) Melrose, Roxburghshire

Sometime between this 1891 census and early 1894 the family moved to Springburn, Glasgow, as it is at 12 Wellfield Street, Springburn, that James and Rachel's fifth and final child, a daughter Barbara was born on 28th March 1894. It is at 12 Wellfield Street that we find the family for the census of 1901. Elizabeth the eldest daughter, aged 13, is listed as a tailoress, presumably working locally. (For further details where known of the children of James Mathieson and Rachel Grieve - click here)

1901 Census (1st April) Glasgow (644/3) Book 107 Page 35

12 Wellfield St., Springburn, Glasgow.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
James Mathieson Head 40 Railway Guard Hawick, Roxburghshire
Rachel Grieve Wife 43   Hawick, Roxburghshire
Lizzie Mathieson Daughter 13 Tailoress Hawick, Roxburghshire
Janet Mathieson Daughter 12 Scholar Hawick, Roxburghshire
Alexander Mathieson Son 10 Scholar Hawick, Roxburghshire
Barbara Mathieson Daughter 7 Scholar Glasgow, Lanarkshire

In 1903 the family moved from Wellfield Street, across the Springburn Road, to 158 Morrin Street, Springburn, and four or five years later they moved again, this time to 17 Endrick Street, Springburn.

For the census of 1911 the family was recorded at 15 Endrick Street, Springburn, with James is still recorded as a Railway Guard. 

1911 Census (2 April) St Rollox - 644/07 Book 18 Page 6

15 Endrick Street, St. Rollox, Glasgow (2 Rooms with 1 or more windows)




Duration of


No of

Children Born

No of Children



Where Born

James Mathieson Head 50       Railway Guard - Railway Company - Worker Melrose, Roxburghshire
Rachel Mathieson Wife 55 28 5 4   Hawick, Roxburghshire
Janet Mathieson Daughter 22       Knitting Machinist - Hosiery - Worker Hawick, Roxburghshire
Alexander Mathieson Son 20       Apprentice Engineer - Marine - Worker Hawick, Roxburghshire
Barbara Mathieson Daughter 17       Clerkess - Wholesale Merchant - Worker Glasgow, Lanarkshire

Cerificate of Proficiency in 

Mental Nursing 1909 

awarded to Elizabeth Y R Mathieson

presumably linked

to the Proficiency Medal 

from Cardiff Mental Hospital 

(below) also awarded 1909

Elizabeth the eldest daughter, (and next generation in the family tree), is missing from the census. She had become a nurse working at the Argyll and Bute District Asylum between 29 January 1905 and 29 February 1908. However in 1908 she had taken up a post with the newly built Cardiff City Mental Hospital where she commenced work on 7 April 1908 as a Sister on £20 plus £33 board, lodging, washing and uniform. The Cardiff City Mental Hospital was formally opened on 15 April 1908 and was a purpose built unit. It was far in advance of most other facilities for those with mental problems and was intended to provide accommodation for 750 in-patients, 414 women and 336 men. It had been built on the assumption that the wards would be locked, as up until then the function of mental hospitals had been chiefly of a custodial nature. However due to the forward thinking that went with the new building inmates were allowed to go more or less where they wanted to and the hospital was one of the first to recognise that mental illness in a lot of cases was a curable disorder rather than a permanent one. The weekly cost for an in-patient at that time was 13s 5d (67p). The nursing staff in 1908 consisted of a head male attendant, matron, their two deputies, a night inspector (male) and a night sister. There were 48 male attendants and 38 nurses on the day shift and four male attendants and five nurses at night. It would seem that as part of this forward thinking regime the staff were given training and encouragement, as in my possession I have a "Cerificate of Proficiency in Mental Nursing" awarded to Elizabeth, dated 5 July 1909, and signed by the examining Superintendent Dr E Goodall who was the medical Superintendent from 1906 until the late 1920's. I also a have a rather splendid silver "Proficiency Medal" from Cardiff Mental Hospital presumably awarded to Elizabeth at the same time as the certificate.

It would also seem that sporting activities for the staff were also encouraged as the Cardiff Evening Express of 23 April carried a photograph of the "Cardiff City Mental Hospital Hockey Team". This includes my grandfather H. Dart as Captain standing at tn the back row and L. Mathieson (Lizzie) bottom row second from the end. It transpires they had "Played 7, Won 5 and Lost 2". Currently this is all the information I have found regards this team. I wonder who they played and as a hockey team is consists of 11 played and there are only 9 women one assumes they payed as mixed gender! This seems quite remarkable? Should anyone come accross any further information, please get in touch using the contact link at the top of the page. (I believe the hospital also fielded a cricket team, a footbal team, and of course a rugby team!)

Cardiff City Mental Hospital Hockey Team
Cardiff Evening Express of 23 April 1910

Records show that Elizabeth was dismissed Cardiff City Mental Hospital on 14 April 1910. (This would suggest that the Hockey Team photo was taken at least a couple of weeks prior to its publication?) The reason for her dismissal is unknown but the next record we have of her is at the time of the 1911 census a year later working as a "Lunatic Attendant" at Stapleton Workhouse, Fishponds, Bristol. It is not impossible that the reason she was dismissed is included on the same census page, the young man from the Hockey team photograph the previous year - Herbert Dart. He had started work at the Cardiff City Mental Hospital on 8 April 1908 almost the same day as herself, as a "Night attendant" and had resigned from Cardiff six months after Elizabeth's dismissal. It is possible that her dismissal was due to a relationship having formed between her and Herbert. As relationships and even marriage between staff was not permitted this would have lead to her dismissal.

1911 Census (1st April) Fishponds, Bristol RG14 Book 20 Page 1

Stapleton Workhouse, Fishponds, Bristol


Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Wilfred Daking Head 33 Master Of Workhouse Boxford, Suffolk
Ethel Daking Wife 38 Matron Of Workhouse Stainford, Lincolnshire
Cecil Daking Son 6   Shifnal, Salop
Emmeline Daking Daughter 5   Litchfield, Staffordshire
Edgar Davies Servant 34 Assistant Master Of Workhouse Bristol, Gloucestershire
Maria Hodgkins Servant 36 Assistant Matron Of Workhouse Brown Hills, Staffordshire
James Nettle Servant 50 Sick Ward Attendant Lulworth, Dorset
Herbert Dart Servant 32 Head Lunatic Attendant Weston Super Mare, Somerset
Alfred Shattock Servant 47 Lunatic Attendant Bristol, Gloucestershire
Ernest Richards Servant 35 Lunatic Attendant Bristol, Gloucestershire
William Shiner Servant 32 Lunatic Attendant Bristol, Gloucestershire
Margaret Nixson Servant 48 Workhouse Cook Bristol, Gloucestershire
Rosa Williams Servant 39 Labour Mistress Llandavenny, Monmouthshire
Elizabeth Leahy Servant 35 Sick Ward Attendant Abergavenny, Monmouthshire
Annie Coleridge Servant 45 Sick Ward Attendant Teignmouth, Devon
Florence Flook Servant 31 Head Lunatic Attendant Bristol, Gloucestershire
Ellen James Servant 38 Lunatic Attendant Washford, Somerset
Alice Griffin Servant 29 Lunatic Attendant Bristol, Gloucestershire
Elizabeth Mathieson Servant 25 Lunatic Attendant Hawick, Roxburghshire
Ethel Hippisley Servant 23 Lunatic Attendant Cleveden, Somerset

Herbert Dart with his wife Elizabeth Young Rutherford

Mathieson and their daughter Phyllis c 1918

Herbert Dart - probably

c. 1914

Whatever the circumstance that had re-united Herbert and Elizabeth at the Stapleton Workhouse, Fishponds, Bristol and six months after this census on 11th August 1911, Elizabeth Young Rutherford Mathieson, married Herbert Dart, the son of Daniel Madge Dart, a tailor by trade, and Maria Dyer, who was born at 32 Palmer Street, Weston-super-Mare on 27th July 1877. After a brief apprenticeship as a butcher, he had joined the Coldstream Guards in 1896, and had seen active service in the Boer War. (SEE ONLINE DART / MADGE & DYER FAMILY HISTORY).  I was told by Elizabeth's sister Barbara many years later that she understood that Herbert Dart first met Elizabeth on a railway platform and it was "love at first sight", although she also believed that the size of Elizabeth Young Rutherford Mathieson’s chest formed a large part of that initial attraction!! (I suspect this may have been Cardiff railway station back in April 1908)

The following year back in Springburn, Glasgow, James Mathieson IV and Rachel Grieve seem to have moved again, this time next door to 15 Endrick Street, although this apparent move may have only been a re-numbering of the houses in the street (matches the census address of April 1911). In 1914 they definitely did move, this time round the corner to 152 Gourlay Street, Springburn. Sadly it was at this address the following year that Rachel Grieve died, on 1st December 1915, aged 60.

Two years later, Herbert Dart and Elizabeth Young Rutherford Mathieson, having moved from Bristol to the West Midlands, had their one and only child, a daughter, my mother, Dorothy Phyllis, born on 2nd May 1917, at 88 Hallam Street, West Bromich. Herbert Dart had rejoined the Coldstreams at the outbreak of the First World War, but had been invalided out a year later with a gunshot wound to the head. At the time of his daughter's birth he was working as a male nurse, presumably at Hallam Hospital, just down the road from their home address.

James Mathieson IV seems to have continued living at 152 Gourlay Street, Springburn, until 1929, after which time he is no longer recorded at this address on the electoral role. It was probably at this time that he went to live, along with his daughter Janet and her husband Jack Robertson, in a house provided for him in his old age by his son Alexander, at 33 Crosshill Road, Bishopbriggs. The house was called "Cotgreen", after James Mathieson III's birth place in Melrose.

James Mathieson and his two daughters Janet and Elizabeth,
outside what is assumed to be Cotgreen.

It was at "Cotgreen", in Bishopbriggs, that James Mathieson died on 21st August 1940, aged 80. He was commemorated on the headstone in Wilton Cemetery Hawick, alongside his wife, Rachel, and his son, James, who had died in infancy.

Inscription on Mathieson headstone in Wilton cemetry, Hawick