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Agnes Prentice of Biggar, Scotland

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Agnes Prentice of Biggar, Scotland
By Linus Joseph Dewald Jr., Editor
Summer 2004 and Revised 6 Feb 2008

We are helping Lorraine LaHay of Ontario, Canada, in tracing her Prentice roots of her great grandmother, and, with the generous help of Christine Hadden, here is we have so far:

1. Robert Prentice, was b. c. 1830-50 at an unknown location. His occupation in 1870 is not known, but he was a baker in 1891 (per dau. marriage record).

He may, or may not, have m. Janet Gray. They had 1 or more children, including (per Christine Hadden, email, 13 Apr 2004, citing Agnes Prentice's marriage record identifying them as the parents):

  1. Agnes Prentice, b. c. 1870, Biggar, Lanark, Scotland. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [2]

So far we have not located Robert and Janet in the 1881 census, nor has a marriage license been located, Christine Hadden did locate a birth record showing that an Agnes Gray was born out of wedlock to Janet Gray in Biggar on 11 July 1869 at 11:30 pm. Her mother was a domestic servant.

One can think of at least 4 possibilities:

  1. One possibility might be that the father of Agnes Gray is Robert Prentice and that Janet Gray, Agnes' mother, later married a Mr. Reid and had additional children(see below) and that Agnes Gray is the same person as Agnes Prentice.
  2. Another possibility might be that Janet Gray later married a Robert Prentice who gave Janet's daughter his Prentice surname and that Janet still later married a Mr. Reid and had additional children (see below) and that Agnes Gray is the same person as Agnes Prentice.
  3. A 3rd possibility is that Agnes Gray died soon after 11 July 1869, that Janet Gray thereafter married a Robert Prentice by whom they had daughter, Agnes Prentice, and that Janet still later married a Mr. Reid and had additional children (see below).
  4. By email of 15 Apr 2004, Lorraine LaHay has suggested yet another possibility. Perhaps Grandmother Agnes Gray may have had another daughter altogether (not Janet Reid) who had a child out of wedlock or who possibly died after giving birth to Agnes Prentice. If that daughter was no longer in the picture, perhaps grandmother Agnes Gray decided to take in her granddaughter, Agnes Prentice.

2. Agnes (nee Reid?) Prentice was b. c. 1870 in Biggar, Lanark, Scotland and d. c. 1960 in Glasgow.. She appears in the 1881 census as a granddaughter living with her grandmother, Agnes Gray, on Main St., Biggar. The census record for the grandmother's home is:

  1. Agnes Gray, age 69 and b. c. 1812, Culter, Peeble, Scotland
  2. Janet Reid, daughter, age 30 and b. c. 1851, Biggar.
  3. Agnes Prentice, age ll and b. c. 1870, Biggar (perhaps the same person as Agnes Gray, b. out of wedlock, above).
  4. William Reid, grandson, age 4 and b. c. 1877, Edinburgh.
  5. Robert Reid, grandson, age 2 and b. c. 1879, Edinburgh.
  6. John Reid, grandson, age 5 months and b. c. 1980, Edinburgh.

Reference to a map of Scotland shows that Biggar lies just to the east of the Clyde River and about 40 miles SE of Glasgow and perhaps 15 miles SE of Carluke.

Agnes Prentice m. Robert Brown on 28 Aug 1891 at 112 Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, after publication according to the Forms of the Free Church. That marriage identifies Robert Brown as a Printer's joiner, bachelor, age 21. He was the son of George Brown, a carter, and Janet Bruce. It also shows Agnes Prentice, laundress, spinster, age 21. Both lived at 112 Nicolson Street, Edinburgh. They were married by R. Mitchell, M. A. Witnessed by Bruce Thomson and Isabella Bain. Registered September 2, 1891 in Edinburgh. (Reference: 1891 Marriages in the City of Edinburgh, Page 216.) Agnes and Robert are said to have had about 10 children, but the only ones presently known are (per Lorraine LaHay, email, 15 Apr 2004):

  1. Agnes/Nan Brown, b. in Edinburgh, Scotland and d. in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. She m. John Bremmer in Scotland. They had 4 children, including:
    1. Janet Bremmer, living in 2004.
    2. Linda Bremmer, b. c. 1954 and d. 2001 at the age of 47..
  2. Janet Brown.
  3. Isabel Brown.
  4. Walter Brown, b. 12 Oct 1904 in Edinburgh and d. 30 Nov 1981 in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. He married and had children and is Rraine's grandfather.
  5. Robert Brown. He married and had children.
  6. George Brown.

Who are Robert Prentice and Janet Gray?

Investigation is continuing as to Robert Prentice.

We do also have perhaps a different Agnes Gray.

1. John Gray m. Janet Renwick on 16 Nov 1795. John & Janet were servants in Hartree House just outside Biggar (per Ronald Dingwell, email, 6 Feb 2008). They had 1 or more children, including:

  1. Agnes Renwick Gray, b. 16 Oct 1811 in Kilbucho. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [2]

2. Agnes Renwick Gray, b. 16 Oct 1811 in Kilbucho, and chr. 27 Oct 1811 in Kilbucho, Peebles, Scotland (per IGI). However, the 1851 Scotland census for Biggar, Lanarkshire, shows Agnes as b. c. 1815, Kilbucho. As an unmarried mother, she is shown with 3 children:

  1. John Gray, b. c. 1834, Biggar. At home in 1851.
  2. Janet Gray, b. 16 Nov 1846. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [3]
  3. David Gray, b. c. 1838, Biggar. At home in 1851.

3. Janet Gray, b. 16 Nov 1846. At home in 1851. She m. William Reid (Ronald Dingwall's great-grandfather) in 1873 and they eventually settled in Edinburgh.

If you have any information about the folks mentioned in this article, please send your information to us at the Prentice Newsletter. Be sure to give the full title and date of this article in the Subject line of the email.

Caution: If you don't use the above email link, your email to us may be deleted as spam by our email filter.


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