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Who was Alexander Russel?

A problem shared is a problem halved. Post your brick walls here and see whether you can offer advice to others

Who was Alexander Russel?

Postby marmac » Mon Jun 19, 2017 10:00 pm

I am a new forum member and would greatly appreciate any help at all in breaking down the brick wall surrounding Alexander, my 3 x Great Grandfather. Here are the facts I know.

I haven't been able to trace a birth record but I have a record of his marriage to MARY MURRAY (1785-1869) on 22 Feb 1806 in Melrose, Roxburghshire.

I know of 2 children of the marriage; MARGARET RUSSEL (c1813-1896) & JAMES RUSSEL (c1817-1864). Although I haven't found birth records for the children, birth years are estimated from census records which also show both were born in Roxburghshire.

Surprisingly, there is a further marriage record for Mary to THOMAS SCOTT on 27 Feb 1820 and she went on to have 3 children with him.

I cannot find what happened to Alexander - did he die or was there such a thing as divorce in early 19th century Scotland?
I do know that he was a Cooper by trade as this was stated on the Death Certs of his children. It would be unbelievable if I could find out more about this man of mystery, having spent years researching in vain.
marmac
 
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Re: Who was Alexander Russel?

Postby Amazinggrace » Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:44 am

Hi marmac,
Scotlands people are listing 43 Alexander births in the relevant years.
Between 1817 when james was born and 1820 when Mary remarried there are only 7 Alexander
deaths and they are all too young.
If you can work out the birth it would help.
Good Luck
Grace
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Re: Who was Alexander Russel?

Postby Amazinggrace » Tue Jun 20, 2017 11:11 am

I had the same problem with one of my ancestors fron Dumfries. No death records anywhere.Turned out he died on the way to NSW on board the Brittania convict ship.Just something to think about.
He may have abandoned his family, emigrated.You may have to do a bit of lateral thinking.
Grace ;)
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Re: Who was Alexander Russel?

Postby marmac » Tue Jun 20, 2017 2:52 pm

Hi Amazing grace

Thank you for your reply and thoughts on this mystery!

I too investigated the births in the likely timeframe but there's not enough information to indicate whether I'm on the right track. I've also checked birth records where the father's name was James which would tie in with traditional naming patterns, but this didn't lead anywhere! Have also checked census and death records during Alexander's estimated lifespan. Again, many, many records to check and I wouldn't like to guess at the number of Scotlandspeople credits used!

I just thought that a fresh pair of eyes might lead me to answers but I'm not ready to give up yet!

Thanks for your interest!
marmac
 
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Re: Who was Alexander Russel?

Postby Amazinggrace » Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:03 pm

One thing that has niggled at me is the big gap between the marriage in 1806 and the first child in 1813. I feel there must be some missing somewhere.
Grace
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Re: Who was Alexander Russel?

Postby marmac » Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:45 pm

Yes, Grace, I've often thought that! I did a wild card search on Scotlandspeople and Familysearch for all children born to Alexander and Mary without success.

Unfortunately, the lack of records between Mary's second marriage and the first census in 1841 prevents me from knowing details of any Russel children living with her. However, in the 1841 census, as well as 2 of her Scott children there is also 5 years old grandson JAMES RUSSEL, ( my great grandfather), illegitimate son of her own son James Russel!

On Mary's Murray line, I have been able to go a further 4 generations back to the early 17th century so I am reluctant to accept not knowing more about the Russell line. I live in hope.
marmac
 
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Re: Who was Alexander Russel?

Postby Cmcquade » Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:51 pm

I too thought about the marriage and children gap. I have looked but none have come up. I'll keep trying for you though.
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Re: Who was Alexander Russel?

Postby marmac » Tue Jun 20, 2017 6:13 pm

I appreciate that, Cmcquade
marmac
 
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Re: Who was Alexander Russel?

Postby sparrow » Sat Jun 24, 2017 6:10 am

Not really any help in tracing Alexander but has anyone else encountered a female bigamist in their family tree? (Mine, totally bewilderingly, is in early 20th century Wigan and she subsequently appears to have returned to her first husband with the child from her second marriage).

Just thinking Mary's second marriage in your case does not necessarily mean Alexander was dead at that point.And although we always forget this if someone died elderly and alone it was difficult for anyone to record their death accurately.

Which makes it very frustrating for us!!
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Re: Who was Alexander Russel?

Postby marmac » Sat Jun 24, 2017 10:16 pm

Both of Mary's marriages have verified sources which SHOULD indicate that she was a widow when she married Thomas but I suppose anything is possible!

As I said initially, I haven't managed to find any records for the Russel childrens' births, basing the years of their births from census records and death records.

With regard to the 3 Scott children, born 1822, 1824 & 1828, all 3 births are recorded together on the same Old Parish Record ( in the same handwriting) together with a birth record for Mary & Thomas's illegitimate Grandson. I find that strange, but maybe it wasn't in those days!
marmac
 
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