Part 636rd – Smith Robertson Genealogy – 1845 Baptism – When is a Robertson not a Robertson?

01 February 2012

Good Day,

When is a Robertson not a Robertson? When three Robertsons are recorded as Donaldsons!

Isn’t genealogy fun? Doesn’t the search and research for what should be simple facts sometimes drive you crazy? It certainly does me.

The above-inserted is at the corner of Prince Edwin Street and Netherfield Road South in Everton in Liverpool, provided by Google in 2009. Sorry, about the laundry…

Let me give you a bit of background.

I have been researching and following my maternal Robertson Line. From Jamaica to London to Liverpool to North Shields in Northumberland to Glasgow to Oldhamstocks and Innerwick in Haddingtonshire (today East Lothian), Scotland… It has been quite a journey.

GG-Grandfather John Robertson, as a young man left the County of Lanarkshire in Scotland and traveled to North Shields in Northumberland, the most northerly County in England. From my research it was here in North Shields that he may have met his first wife, Margaret Ann (née Donnison).

In about 1839 Half-Great-Grandaunt Margaret Ann (née Robertson) Jaques was born. And then on 16 March 1841 Half-Great-Grandaunt Agnes Miller Robertson was born in North Shields.

At some point the family moved to Everton in the Parish of Liverpool, Lancashire. A younger brother, Half-Great-Granduncle William Donnison Robertson, on 12 September 1845, was born at Prince Edwin Street, in Everton in Liverpool Parish in Lancashire.

Sometime after the birth of William Donnison, gg-grandfather John Robertson’s wife is no longer identified on any family record. According to documentary proof, GG-Grandfather John remarries, 14 October 1849, to gg-grandmother Margaret (née Megwire) at the Parish Church of St. John the Baptist in Hoxton, in the County of Middlesex, England.

I have been slowly putting the pieces of this generation of my Robertson lineage together… but they are taking time.

Well my recent discovery is a puzzler. Is it an error in transcription? Or is it just a plain error?

Reviewing the Bishop’s Transcripts for St. Peter’s Church in Liverpool I discovered a Baptism Registration dated 23 November 1845 which, for all intents and purposes, is that Great-Granduncle William. And here is the issue…the surname is not recorded as Robertson but as Donaldson. Say what?

Here is my transcription of the identified entry –

No. 2788

1845 November 23

William // John & Margaret Ann Donaldson, Prince Edwin St. Everton ∫tone Mason

by whom
Tho. Halton
do (Curate)

Here is the image of the Register page from the Bishop's Transcripts as downloaded from Item 9 of the microfilm FHL [1068927].

In Part 72r I included a copy of great-granduncle William Donnison Robertson’s Entry of Birth. The information provided on the Birth Registration is the same, or close, in all cases, with the exception of the Robertson versus Donaldson surname.

My only guess is and please note, that this is only a guess as I do not think that I was on the face of this planet in 1845, is that the recording scribe of the Bishop’s Transcripts may have received incorrect information from or misunderstood the Curate when he received the actual birth information. The scribe may have heard Margaret Ann’s maiden name as Donnison and her married name as Robertson and got a wee bit confused…and created a new surname, that of Donaldson, for the family.

Check out the two documents… What do you think?




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