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1861 Census - Helen Mitchell- Domestic Servant

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  • Hester NicEilidh
    I wanted to know more about what my GG GM Helen Mitchell s living conditions and social status might have been, as a domestic servant at Artrochie farm in
    Message 1 of 5 , Feb 13, 2006
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      I wanted to know more about what my GG GM Helen Mitchell's living
      conditions and social status might have been, as a domestic servant
      at Artrochie farm in 1863, so I decided to look for her on the 1861
      census, hoping that it would show the household structure of
      Artrochie.

      Well, I couldn't find her in the parish of Logie Buchan, but I think
      I found her (right age, anyway) in the very nearby parish of Ellon,
      again working as a domestic servant. This time, she was at
      Auchreddie [Mains of Auchreddie on my OS map, I think], where she
      lived in a household headed by two older women (apparently sisters),
      Barbara Linn, unmarried, age 65, and Jean Linn (or Mitchell, the
      census taker notes), widow, age 58, and a 5 month old baby
      granddaughter, Jean Mitchell. Although by the surname she seems to
      be a relative of some sort, Helen Mitchell's relationship to this
      family is simply listed as "Boarder", and the census taker notes her
      occupation as "Domestic servant nursing the child". The two older
      women both have their occupations listed as "Stocking Knitter and
      Pauper". Paupers with a servant! Who would have guessed?

      Now, this census entry is fascinating and brings up many questions.
      First, who and where is the baby's mother (not to mention father)?
      What is Helen's familial relationship (if any) to Jean Linn
      Mitchell? Might Helen herself even possibly be the mother of the
      baby, sent away to live with an impoverished aunt-by-marriage and
      giving a polite fiction of being the baby's "nursemaid" to the
      census taker? Perhaps Jean's daughter or daughter-in-law was
      really the mother and died in childbirth, and distant relative Helen
      was simply called in to help the family out, since the grandma and
      her sister had their hands full (literally) trying to knit
      themselves out of poverty. Wow! It's better than the plot of a
      Catherine Cookson novel.

      I'm pretty sure that this is "my" Helen Mitchell, given her age,
      occupation, and location. However, her birthplace on this form is
      given as Old Pitsligo, while my Helen in the 1881 census gave her
      birthplace as Old Deer (then again, she apparently lied about her
      age on the 1881 census, claiming she was 39, even though her
      marriage certificate indicated that she would have been 42 by
      then). And I know I had the right woman on the 1881 census, because
      she had the right husband and son. Even the son's occupation jibed.
      Couldn't find a birth/baptism record for Helen in either Pitsligo or
      Old Deer, though, even using a liberal age range and spelling
      variations.

      What fun the quest is!

      Cheers, Hester
    • MARGIE DAVIDSON
      Hester NicEilidh wrote: Hester it may help to know that Old Deer and Old Pitsligo are very close to one another. Not sure which
      Message 2 of 5 , Feb 15, 2006
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        Hester NicEilidh <hesternic@...> wrote: Hester it may help to know that Old Deer and Old Pitsligo are very close to one another. Not sure which Auchreddie but by the sound of it- Mains of Auchreddie -I imagine it would have been the larger one near New Deer. There may be others,



        ---------------------------------







        Margie.........Cruden Bay


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Hester NicEilidh
        ... very close to one another. Not sure which Auchreddie but by the sound of it- Mains of Auchreddie -I imagine it would have been the larger one near New
        Message 3 of 5 , Feb 15, 2006
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          Margie wrote:

          >>>Hester it may help to know that Old Deer and Old Pitsligo are
          very close to one another. Not sure which Auchreddie but by the
          sound of it- Mains of Auchreddie -I imagine it would have been the
          larger one near New Deer. There may be others,<<<

          Hi, Margie:

          On the 1861 census, the "Auchreddie" where Helen is living is
          actually in the parish of Ellon. So, I think that would probably be
          the Mains of Auchreddie near Ythanbank and the Candle Stone.

          On my OS map, I see a Mill of Auchreddie and a Hillhead of
          Auchreddie further north, about 7 miles away, right around New Deer
          as you say. Odd that the placename should occur twice within this
          relatively small area.

          Perhaps Ray has some comments on this geographical issue.

          Cheers, Hester
        • Ray Hennessy
          ... Hi Hester I haven t looked at the Aberdeenshire places for a couple of years but below is my understanding of the sort of reasons applying here. The first
          Message 4 of 5 , Feb 15, 2006
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            Hester NicEilidh wrote:

            >>>>Hester it may help to know that Old Deer and Old Pitsligo are
            > very close to one another. Not sure which Auchreddie but by the
            > sound of it- Mains of Auchreddie -I imagine it would have been the
            > larger one near New Deer. There may be others,<<<
            >
            > On the 1861 census, the "Auchreddie" where Helen is living is
            > actually in the parish of Ellon. So, I think that would probably be
            > the Mains of Auchreddie near Ythanbank and the Candle Stone.
            >
            > On my OS map, I see a Mill of Auchreddie and a Hillhead of
            > Auchreddie further north, about 7 miles away, right around New Deer
            > as you say. Odd that the placename should occur twice within this
            > relatively small area.
            >
            > Perhaps Ray has some comments on this geographical issue.
            -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            Hi Hester

            I haven't looked at the Aberdeenshire places for a couple of years
            but below is my understanding of the sort of reasons applying here.

            The first one is probably the reason here:

            1. Regarding newly named places without other reasons:

            It seems that smallholders [i.e. Crofters and small farmers] in the N E
            would often take the name of their plot with them when they flitted.
            And "Agricultural Servants" who were set up in a croft elsewhere
            would equally often name their new home after their previous
            location, especially if they had been well treated there.

            2. Location-named places

            There is a tradition in the area of naming a place after the locality.
            Thus in Marnoch we have two places over a kilometre apart called
            'Milbethill', being on the north and south side of the Hill itself.

            We have found several places in Banffshire where the similarly-
            named places are well over a mile apart and many others where
            they are much closer. [Pity the poor postie!] In one case,
            'Finnygaud', the two locations about 500m apart are actually
            in different parishes but I don't know if OPRs fully reflect that.

            You'll often find two or more places named for a burn, valley
            or brae if it is a long one.

            3. Location-related places.

            In Methlick and Monquhitter parishes there are two farms named
            'Balquhindarchy' [pronounced "bal-why-nickee", stress on 'why'].
            The name means something like "View of Achie"; although
            Ben'Achie is actually some 40 km away it is certainly visible from
            the Methlick Baquhindarchy, and probably from the other one.

            4. Generic names

            'Hillside', Burnside' etc etc occur all over, sometimes three dispersed
            over a single parish! Usually they will get a local farm or croft or
            geographical feature added to distinguish them, but not always.

            In summary, nothing is ruled out! There are undoubtedly other reasons

            Best wishes

            Ray Hennessy
            www.whatsinaname.net
          • Hester NicEilidh
            ... Old Deer and Old Pitsligo are very close to one another. Not sure which Auchreddie but by the sound of it- Mains of Auchreddie -I imagine it would have
            Message 5 of 5 , Feb 19, 2006
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              Margie wrote:

              >>>Hester it may help to know that
              Old Deer and Old Pitsligo are very close to one another. Not sure which
              Auchreddie but by the sound of it- Mains of Auchreddie -I imagine it
              would have been the larger one near New Deer. There may be others<<<

              And Ray wrote:

              > It seems that smallholders [i.e. Crofters and small farmers] in the NE
              > would often take the name of their plot with them when they flitted.
              > And "Agricultural Servants" who were set up in a croft elsewhere
              > would equally often name their new home after their previous
              > location, especially if they had been well treated there.

              Hi Ray & Margie:

              I've just found this page on the parishes of Deer and the nearby hamlet
              of Auchreddie (with a lovely picture of the countryside):

              http://www.peterhead.org.uk/villages/new_deer.htm

              It makes sense that the Auchreddie farm further south on the banks of
              the Ythan may have been named by people who had "flitted" from the
              hamlet of Auchreddie near Deer.

              Indeed, my Helen Mitchell, who was born in either Old Deer or Old
              Pitsligo parish, seems to have moved south to Auchreddie farm on the
              Ythan to stay with relatives.

              Cheers, Hester
              P.S. I've sent e-mail directly to both of you on a couple tangent
              topics but received no reply. If you didn't receive these e-mails
              (sent via the Yahoo group), please check your "spam" or "trash"
              folders, as Microsoft e-mail programs sometimes screen out "gmail"
              addresses (since this beta programme is a potential competitive threat
              to Bill Gates' empire).
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