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JOHN (1810?-c.1855) and MARY (1811? - c.1871) MORE?
The search for our ancestors who emigrated to Canada is very difficult. At this point in time I’ve resigned myself to the fact that there may not even be a “needle” in this haystack. What we know is that they emigrated in or about 1830 to upper Canada (Simcoe County) - Nottawassaga, Ontario, from Scotland. We have family lore that they came from the Aberdeen area and some evidence that they came with a group of settlers from Isle of Islay.
The origins of John More:
I have found records in the International Genealogical Index (http://www.familysearch.org) of the birth of four John Mores in Scotland, searching between the years 1808 and 1812. There were none in 1808, 1810 or 1812. Three of them were born in counties adjacent to Aberdeen, and one in Caithness (Northern tip of Scotland). There are many variables which have been considered but rejected at this point in the search. Among them is the possibility that the birthdate is out by more than 2 years and that the spelling of “More” is not the original (e.g. Moir, Moore, Mohr etc.). Assuming that our ancestors could spell and remember their birthdates within two years, I have come up with the following:
1. JOHN MORE, BORN: 07/18/1809 to: PETER MORE/ULIFF at BENVIE, Kincardine, SCOTLAND
2. JOHN MORE, BORN: 03/18/1809 to: RODERICK MORE/JANET DINGWALL, INVERNESS, SCOTLAND
3. JOHN MORE, BORN: 05/18/1809 to: JAMES MORE/HELEN ROBSON at WICK, Caithness, SCOTLAND
4. JOHN MORE, BORN: 07/18/1811 to: ROBERT MORE/MARY HAGGART at Perth, SCOTLAND
Further research into the the forebears of these “John Mores” in the IGI and Scotland People’s website (http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk) comes up with a dead end for three of them, but a lengthy pedigree in the case of the family of Janet Dingwall (see :”If......” at the bottom).
The marriage of John and Mary More:
I have found 3 records of marriages in Scotland between the years of 1823 and 1837. The first is unlikely since Mary would have been 11-14. The last is not possible if indeed they emigrated around 1830.
1. JOHN MORE MARRIED ON 11/1823 TO MARY MORISON at KING EDWARD, Aberdeen
2. JOHN MORE MARRIED ON 08/1827 TO MARY MURRAY at GLASGOW
3. JOHN MORE MARRIED ON 04/1837 TO MARY COLLIER at MARKINCH, Fife
My “money” is on number two, since they would have been approximately 15-18 years of age. Furthermore, Glasgow would be a likely place for their marriage preceding their voyage to Canada, which would have departed from Glasgow.
The origins of Mary Murray:
Most of us have known a “Mary Murray” at some point in our lives, so it is no surprise that I found a larger number of Mary Murrays born between 1809 and 1812 (marriage ages if in 1827 would be 15-18). We have 11 to choose from since I have sorted out and removed the Mary Murrays from counties not adjacent to Aberdeen. Those from counties more distant can be found on the data sheet. There seems to be no way to concretely link any of the following to a John More, however.
1. MARY MURRAY, BORN: 01/1809 to: WILLIAM MURRAY/MARGARET GOURLAY at KIRKCALDY, Fife, SCOTLAND
2. MARY MURRAY, BORN: 02/1809 to: WILLIAM MURRAY/ at FETTERESS, Kincardine, SCOTLAND
3. MARY MURRAY, BORN: 09/1809 to: JOHN MURRAY/MARY MOWATT at BENHOLM, Kincardine, SCOTLAND
4. MARY MURRAY, BORN: 01/1809 to: JOHN MURRAY/MARGT. LESLIE at CARMYLLIE, Angus/Forfar, SCOTLAND
5. MARY MURRAY, BORN: 12/1809 to: ALEXANDER MURRAY/JEAN MUCKART at MONTROSE, Angus, SCOTLAND
6. MARY MURRAY, BORN: 12/1809 to: WM MURRAY/MARY FERGUSON at ABERLOUR, Banff/Aberdeen, SCOTLAND
7. MARY MURRAY, BORN: 01/1809 to: ANNDAVID MURRAY/SALLY GREGOR at PERTH, SCOTLAND
8. MARY MURRAY, BORN: 01/1810 to: WILLIAM MURRAY/JANET BAIRD at MONTROSE, Angus, SCOTLAND
9. MARY MURRAY, BORN: 08/1810 to: JOHN MURRAY/ISABELLA DUTHIE at FETTERESS, Kincardine, SCOTLAND
10. MARY MURRAY, BORN: 08/1810 to: JOHN MURRAY/ISABELLA DUTHIE at FETTERESS, Kincardine, SCOTLAND
11. MARY MURRAY, BORN: 03/1812 to: WILLIAM MURRAY/HELEN BRAND at FORDOUN, Kincardine, SCOTLAND
Conditions in Scotland leading up to 1830
Assuming they were peasants (there is no family “lore” to suggest otherwise), our ancestors lived in extremely difficult circumstances at the end of the18th and beginning of the 19th centuries. The enclosure movement took place largely during the late 18th century and early 19th. In Scotland, it encouraged Lords to enclose their properties (usually with stone walls) for the purpose of raising sheep. The communal element was abolished and individual landowners and tenants took over separate private control of defined areas of land. The community no longer had rights over most of the land and the poorer members of village society were frequently disavantaged in consequence. (Not unlike today’s tendency of governments to sell off public resources to the private sector - ed.) This was much more profitable than the previous system which had peasants paying rent to the “Lairds”. The presence of the peasants on “their’ land was increasingly “incompatible” with the enclosure system.
From “History of Scotland” by Clifford Hanley, London, Bison Books, 1986, p. 157:
“The Highlander, although he had always paid tribute to the chief in cash or kind, regarded the land as his own. It was not........Steadily the glens began to be emptied of people and populated with Cheviot sheep. The peasants were not actually driven from Scotland. They were moved to miserable little plots on the rocky coastlines to scrape a living from miserable smallholdings and fishing; and, quite often, die......And it was a heavy burden. To move to the coast he had to take his dwelling with him, or at least the roof timbers, since there were virtually no trees in the area. (THIS MIGHT EXPLAIN A MOVEMENT FROM ABERDEEN HIGHLANDS TO ISLAY?) But for some, there was another removal available - removal to the New World.”
Most of the emigration at the end of the 18th c. was to the U.S.
pg. 165 “Even before the famine (early 1840’s), in 1831, 58,000 people emigrated to Canada. A year later more than 60,000.”
(THIS IS THE MOST LIKELY TIME OF EMIGRATION OF JOHN AND MARY MORE.}
The voyage to Canada:
The “inGeneas” website (http://www.ingeneas.com) which appears to be a definitive research repository for Canadian Immigration makes the following points:
- before 1865 there are very few passenger lists available.
- their search of available documents shows only two John Mores on passenger lists of 1821 (Glasgow to Upper Canada) one 31 years of age and one 40 years of age, and a less likely entry of John More (Arriving in Quebec City or Montreal), age 7.
- the normal passenger routing appears to have been Glasgow to Upper Canada.
- there is no entry for Mary More, but this is not surprising since only the head of household is included in this passenger list, with others listed only as “women or children”.
John More’s mother was Janet Dingwall - (see pedigree to the left of the family tree joined to John with a dotted line).