Peasants to Puddles
My Family History - By Nicky Rowberry
This page was originally intended to be named The Camerons, but since a lot of this ended up being about the Frasers, I've left it as Fraser Page 4.
Donald Cameron & Ann Smith were 4xgreat grandparents on my mother's side. They've proved pretty difficult to research, mainly because a lot of the parish records for Daviot & Dunlichity haven't survived. I know they were the parents of my 3x great grandmother Ann Cameron as they were named (and both already deceased) on her death certificate from 1855. There is no surviving baptism record for Ann Cameron, nor for any other children for this couple, so it's hard to know how many children they had. So far I've found 2 other children who named Donald & Ann on their death certificates - William & Mary Cameron.
There is a possible son John born about 1801, who appears on the 1841 census with what I think is Ann Cameron (nee Smith), presumed to be his mother. They were living at Elrig in Daviot (with an Eliza & William Cameron), which is the same place the mother was living in 1851. Unfortunately this John disappears before the 1851 census and I can't find a death to confirm his parents, so I've left him as a dotted line on the tree below.
There is another daughter, Elizabeth Cameron, who appears on census returns with one or other of her siblings. For a long time I couldn't find her death certificate, but I've finally decided she is the one who died in Inverness in 1883. No parental names are given for her on the death certificate, the informant bring Eliza Forbes described as her grand-niece, who was probably too young to know who her elderly aunt's parents were. It took a bit of working out, but Eliza Forbes was born Eliza McBain (or McBean), the daughter of John McBain & Catherine Fraser. Catherine Fraser was the daughter of Alexander Fraser & Margaret Cameron - making Margaret Cameron another daughter of Donald & Anne Cameron.
So that's potentially 5 children of Donald Cameron & Ann Smith. Donald died before 1851, so there is no death certificate. There is also no obvious candidate for Donald in the 1841 or 1851 censuses. So all I know about him is from the death certificates of 3 of his children, suggesting he was some kind of Day Labourer. His wife Ann lived until at least 1851, but had died by the time of her daughter's death in 1855. The census transcription below shows Ann Cameron with 2 of her daughters and 2 of her grand-daughters.
| Parish of|
Daviot & Dunlichity
| Ecclesiastical District of||City or Borough of ||Town of ||Village of|
|Schedule||Name of Street, Place, or Road||Name & Surname of each Person who abode in the house, on the Night of the 30th March, 1851||Relation to Head of Family||Condition||Age||Rank, Profession, or Occupation||Where Born|
|55||Elrig||Ann Cameron||Head||Widowed||75||Pauper||Inverness Dunlichity|
| || ||Elizabeth Cameron||Daur||Unm||44||House Servant||Inverness Dunlichity|
| || ||Mary Cameron||Daur||Unm||40||ditto||Inverness Dunlichity|
| || ||Margaret Fraser||Grandchild||Unm||7||scholar||Inverness Dores|
| || ||Ann Fraser||Grandchild||Unm||4|| ||Inverness Dunlichity|
The 1851 census would suggest that Ann Cameron nee Smith was born around 1775 in Dunlichity; but since she died before a death certificate would have named her parents and since the records for Dunlichity have not survived, I am unlikely to get much further with this. The same goes for her husband Donald Cameron. Since at least one of their children was recorded as a gaelic speaker, it seems likely that Donald and Ann were too.
Initially when I was looking for the birth of Catherine Fraser to prove her link to the Cameron family, the only baptism I could find was one from 1813 in Woolwich near London. This seemed unlikely at first, although it was in a Scots church and the father Alexander Fraser was said to be a gunner in the Royal Artillery. That this was the correct baptism was confirmed when Catherine gave her place of birth as Woolwich in the 1861 census. She seems to be the only child of Alexander and Margaret to have been born in England; by 1815 when the next child Simon was born, they were back in Inverness and the father Alexander had returned to being a shoemaker. There were 2 witnesses at Simon's baptism John & Alexander Cameron - possible brothers to Margaret Cameron maybe?
Finding the deaths of most of these Frasers and Camerons has proved difficult. Most died before the introduction of death certificates and almost all were too poor to probably afford gravestones that would last. There is a grave in Inverness erected by Thomas Fraser to his parents Alexander and Margaret Fraser, which I hope to get a photo of one day.
The family tree below summarises what I know about the above generations of my Fraser and Cameron families. It is hopefully reasonably accurate, but if you spot any errors, or any relatives, please feel free to E-mail me It would be nice to be able to add some photos of some of these Frasers or Camerons, so if anyone has some, please do get in touch.
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If any of the above is of further interest, please feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
© Nicky Rowberry 2023
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Peasants to Puddles - My Family History. By Nicky Rowberry