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“I acquired your sister’s letter saying the beginning of a thumping laddie” – Betsy’s court docket battle towards a lawyer! Get hold of US

Graham and I had been again within the Nationwide Data of Scotland this week. Being in so not often nowadays actually makes me admire getting my palms on authentic data. I really like working with data of ‘strange’ folks. Our ancestors, those who don’t pop up within the historical past books however are essential to us.

This week I found a hidden gem. On 13 June 1836 Elizabeth Aikman, an single mom, gave beginning to a wee boy. The daddy of this child was Mitchell Patison, a lawyer in Edinburgh. We already knew from the decree that Elizabeth had gained the case and that Mitchell was to pay £8 per yr to Elizabeth. The court docket processes nevertheless add extra element, giving us the background of the case (NRS reference SC39/17/846).

You’ll be able to search our index right here: Scottish Paternity Index

What did the court docket course of inform us on this case? We study that to start with, Mitchell paid for the kid’s care, the truth is, there have been some very candy letters. 

On 21 June 1836, Mitchell wrote,

“Expensive Betsy, 

I acquired your sister’s letter saying the beginning of a thumping laddie – I’m happy with it and I hope you and he shall be lengthy spared and the he’ll show a blessing and I right here solemnly pledge and bind myself to have him introduced up and educated in addition to another member of my household in so far as my talents will allow me to do…” 

By 19 April 1837 Mitchell was already behind along with his funds. He wrote to Elizabeth’s consultant:

“I enclose three kilos as I promised in my final, this pays you as much as the primary of June subsequent as far as board goes. I’m nonetheless your debtor nevertheless for £2 of bills incurred by you which of them I’ll ship a while subsequent month – Let me know the way the little fellow is getting on – I intend being out to see him quickly as I can spare time.”

The case papers additionally inform us how Mitchell and Betsy met. Betsy was a servant on the neighbour’s home and their paths crossed because the gate was opened. Though we see on this report that Mitchell had a change of coronary heart, we’re not advised why this occurred. Why was it that in the first place he was so happy concerning the beginning and glad to assist Betsy? What modified in order that Betsy needed to drag him by way of the courts?

Mitchell was a lawyer so it’s laborious to imagine that he merely could not pay. We can not say for positive why Mitchell stopped paying, however what now we have found is that on 1 June 1837 Mitchell Patison married Eleanora Mitchell Wilson, daughter of the late George Wilson, a farmer. It appears to be round this time that Mitchell grew to become much less supportive of poor Betsy and her ‘thumping laddie’.

That is simply one of many family tree gems hidden within the archives. What survives on your ancestors? To have the ability to study a lot a few lady and her circumstances within the 1830s is wonderful.

Seek for right here and see what you’ll be able to uncover: Scottish Paternity Index

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