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James Prentice of Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland

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James Prentice of Biggar , Lanarkshire, Scotland
By Linus Joseph Dewald Jr., Editor
Summer 2013 and Revised 27 Mar 2013

We would very much enjoy hearing from you if you have any comments or information about any of the men or women mentioned in this Prentice Newsletter article. Please send your information and comments 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.


1. James Prentice was b. c. 1815 in Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland per Ancestry.com . 1871 in Colinton, Midlothian.

He m. Marion Scott who was b. c. 1811 in Arington, Lanarkshire. Children per Ancestry.com, above:

  1. Marion Prentice, b. c. 1835, Biggar. 1851 at home in Biggar.
  2. Christina Prentice, b. c. 1837, Biggar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [2]
  3. Alexander Prentice, b. c. 1839, Biggar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [3]
  4. Jane Prentice, b. c. 1841, Biggar. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . [4]
  5. Elizabeth Prentice , b. c. 1844, Biggar, Lanarkshire, and d. 25 Feb 1928, Schoolhouse, Longstone, Slateford, Scotland. 1851 at home in Biggar. 1871 at home in Colinton, Midlothian. She m. John Rogers Jr. on 29 Dec 1871, Longstone. He was b. 25 Jan 1846, Corstorphine, Midlothian, and d. 8 Jan 1917, Schoolhouse, Longstone, Colinton. Children:
    1. Marion Prentice Rodgers 1865–
    2. John Rodger 1872–1901
    3. Elizabeth Rodgers 1874–1954
    4. Susan Hamilton Rodgers 1876–1971
    5. Christina Rodgers 1879–1973
    6. James Rodgers 1881–1961
    7. Agnes Rodgers 1884–1890
    8. Jane Rodgers 1886–1969
  6. William Prentice, b. c. 1847, Biggar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .[5]

2. Christina Prentice, b. c. 1837, Biggar.

She m. Laurence Forrest. He was b. c. 1829, Lanark. 1881 census living at 69 St. Mary St., Edinburgh. He was then a General Labourer. Children per 1881 census:

  1. Margaret Forrest, b. c. 1860, Liberton, Lanarkshire.
  2. John Forrest, b. c. 1864, Lanark.
  3. Jamimie Forrest, b. c. 1871, Lanark.
  4. Agnes Forrest, b. c. 1873, Uphill, Edinburgh.
  5. Laurence Forrest, b. c. 1875, Carrington, Edinburgh.
Living with Christina and her family was her father, James Prentice, farmer, b. c. 1815, Biggar, Lanarkshire.

3. Alexander Prentice (son of #1 James and Marion) b. c. 1839, Biggar. 1851 at home in Biggar. He is almost certainly the Alexander Prentice who in 1863 was resident of Biggar Common, Lanarkshire, Scotland, and was the defendant in a paternity action brought by Margaret Scott who sought to have Alexander declared to be the father of her young son, Alexander Prentice Scott. (Ref: Ian Stewart email of 24 Mar 2013.)

The email from Ian Stewart of 23 Mar 2013 reads, in part, as follows (emphasis added):

    You will see a child death noted, one Alex. Prentice (Scott). . . This was in fact an illegitimate child of Margaret Scott (she was born 1836, age 27). . . The child who died, Alexander (b. 1 Feb 1863, Lanark, and d. 16 Apr 1869, age 6 years), was actually registered at birth as Alexander Prentice Scott with no father being recorded. Some time later Margaret Scott took out a paternity case against an Alexander Prentice of Biggar Common. The following is an extract from the actual Scottish Register of Corrected Entries.

      "In an action relating to the paternity of a child named Alexander Prentice Scott, born February 1st 1863, at the instance of Margaret Scott residing in Lanark against Alexander Prentice, residing at Biggar Common, in the Parish of Biggar, the Sheriff Substitute of Lanarkshire at Lanark, on the 9th day of March 1863 found that the said Child was the Illegitimate Child of the Parties aforesaid."

    Margaret Scott and Alexander Prentice never got together again, Margaret went on to marry a George Thomson in 1866 in Lanark with whom she had a large family.

Alexander Prentice is probably the Alexander Prentice found in the 1871 census in Uphall, West Lothian and shown in Ancestry.com as born c. 1841 in "Bicear, Lanarkshire". We do not find any such place on my map of Lanarkshire, so "Bicear" is an erroneous transcription of "Biggar." The different year, 1841 rather than 1839 does not appear significant since no other Alexander Prentice appears in Biggar in the 1861 census.

Assuming that the 1871 census is referring to the same Alexander Prentice in the 1861 census, the 1871 census shows he married Agnes G., b. c. 1845 in Kekewick, Ayreshire. 1881 in Kirkliston, West Lothian. Their children shown in the 1871 and 1881 census are:

  1. James Prentice, b. c. 1864, Bileas (probably Biggar), Lanarkshire. . . . . . . . . . [6]
  2. Janet Prentice, b. c. 1866, Bileas (probably Biggar), Lanarkshire. 1881 not home.
  3. Marion Prentice, b. c. 1868, Broxburn, Linlithgowshire. 1881 at home in Kirkliston.
  4. Margaret Prentice, b. c. 1870. Broxburn, Linlithgowshire. 1881 at home in Kirkliston.
  5. Christina Prentice, b. c. 1872, Uphall, Linlithgowshire. 1881 at home in Kirkliston, She is probably the Christina Prentice, servant, shown in the 11901 census in Alyth, Perthshire.
  6. William Prentice, b. c. 1874, Uphall, Linlithgowshire. 1881 at home in Kirkliston, 1891 single living in Kilmadock, Perthshire.
  7. Jean Prentice, b. c. 1876, Kirkliston. 1881 at home in Kirkliston.
  8. Alexander Prentice, b. c. 1879, Kirkliston. 1881 at home in Kirkliston.

Alexander Prentice and his family do not seem to appear in the 1881 and later Scotland census, so they either died, or more likely emigrated to another country.

4. Jane Prentice, b. c. 1841, Biggar . 1851 at home in Biggar. Died c. 1886, Liberton, Midlothian.

She m. William Robertson on 1 Jul 1864, Biggar. He was b. c. 1836, Liberton, Lanarkshire, and d. 18 Jan 1918, Liberton. Children per Ancestry.com and census records:

  1. Marion Robertson 1862 –
  2. James Robertson 1864 –
  3. William Robertson 1866 – 1935
  4. Anne Alexandrina Myles Barrie Robertson 1868 – 1945
  5. Alexander Robertson 1871 –
  6. John Robertson 1874 – 1940
  7. Lawrence Forrest Robertson 1877 – 1934
  8. Thomas Robertson 1881

5. William Prentice, b. c. 1847, Biggar. 1851 at home in Biggar. 1871 at home in Colinton, Midlothian. Not in 1881 census. 1891 in Edinburgh, Midlothian, as a Farm Grieve, with his wife and family. 1901 a Coachman in Edinburgh St. Michael

He m. Susan who was b. c. 1850, Corstorphine, Edinburghshire. Children per 1870 census.

  1. William Prentice, b. c. 1878, South Leith, Edinburghshire. 1891 at home Edinburgh. 1901 at home.
  2. James Prentice, b. c. 1881, South Leith, Edinburghshire. 1891 at home Edinburgh. 1901 at home.
  3. John Prentice, b. c. 1886, Colinton, Edinburghshire. 1891 at home in Edinburgh. 1901 at home.
  4. Alexander Prentice, b. c. 1887, Blairgowrie, Perthshire. 1891 at home in Edinburgh. 1901 at home.
  5. Charles Prentice, b. c. 1888, Blairgowrie, Perthshire. 1891 at home in Edinburgh. 1901 at home.

6. James Prentice (son of #3, Alexander), b. c. 1864, Bileas (probably Biggar), Lanarkshire. 1881 at home in Kirkliston. 1901 in South Queensferry, West Lothian, with his wife and daughter:

He m. Lydia who was b. c. 1861, England. Daughter:

  1. Edith Prentice, b. c. 1900, Cramond, M. Lothian. 1901 at home in South Queensferry, West Lothian.

Who are James Prentice's Parents?

In reviewing Glasgow christening records, we find the following Prentices living in Biggar, Lanarkshire:

  1. Alexander Prentice and Marion Robe:

    1. Rachel Prentice, chr. 31 Oct 1742, Biggar.
    2. Margaret Prentice, chr. 2 Sep 1744, Biggar. May have d. young as a later daughter has the same name.
    3. Agnes Prentice, chr. 1 May 1746, Biggar.
    4. Margaret Prentice, chr. 24 Jan 1748, Biggar. She m. James Wilson, b. c. 1750. Children per Ancestry.com :
      1. Marion Wilson 1775 –
      2. Grisel Wilson 1777 –
      3. James Wilson 1779 – 1784
      4. Alexander Wilson 1782 –
      5. James Wilson 1784 –
      6. Robert Wilson 1784 –
      7. Helen Wilson 1787 –
    5. James Prentice, chr. 8 Feb 1750, Biggar.
    6. Janet Prentice, chr. 27 Mar 1754, Biggar.
    7. Hellen Prentice, cghr. 14 Dec 1755, Biggar.
  2. James Prentice (probably son of Alexander, above) and Janet Young:

    1. Mary Prentice, chr. 19 Mar 1780, Biggar
    2. Alexander Prentice, chr. 23 Sep 1787, Biggar.

Since James Prentice was b. c. 1815 in Biggar, it seems reasonable to suggest that Alexander Prentice, chr 23 Sep 1787 might be James' father since Alexander would be 28 years old with his wife, Janet, being about 25-26 years old in 1815. Obviously additional research is needed to prove, or disprove, that suggestion.

Contact us: If you have any additional information about the Alexander Prentice 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.

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