Faulder Family Genealogy Faulder Family Genealogy

24 October, 2022

Mary Faulder married to David Johnston, Blacksmith in Allonby

I received a somewhat brief comment from a researcher who was:

Looking into David Johnston marriage to Mary Faulder. David was Blacksmith 1871 census in Allonby Cumbria

Email comment sent in by Dwight Donaldson 23 April 2022 (UK Time, possibly 22 April in US)

Within my research into “Unlinked Faulders”, I had a number of Mary Faulders who could have been adults around 1871 in the Allonby area of Cumberland.

As so often is the case this did not turn out as straightforward as one might hope.


To get back to the potential Faulder family of David Johnston’s wife, I would initially view the census schedule referred to in the original comment and then try to find other census records for that specific family to get a consensus view on the year of birth and place of birth of Mary.

From the census records I could also get the names and approximate years of birth and places of birth of any children, and then by finding those children in the GRO birth indices discover their mother’s maiden name – and confirm the exact spelling of Mary’s surname. (The GRO indices, unlike FreeBMD and the Birth Registers on many online databases – such as Find My Past, give mother’s maiden surnames right back to the beginning of civil registration.)

Depending on dates I would then look for David and Mary’s marriage either in Civil Registration indices, or in Parish Records.

If the marriage was in the era of civil registration I would still hope to find the parish records as they would give access to details of Mary’s father (name and “rank or profession”) without having to purchase the marriage certificate. The parish records would probably also resolve the issue caused by Civil Registration marriage indices at the time only listing the (usually four or eight) individuals whose marriages were listed on the particular register page without listing the actual couples. (The indices are an index of people who were married not an index of marriages.)

Census information for David Johnston

David Johnston: 1871 Census

David Johnston, Blacksmith in Allonby is found unambiguously in the 1871 Census on Find My Past.

Name(s)RelationshipAgeImplied Birth yearOccupationBirth place
Mary Jane
1871 Census for Johnston family at Allonby & West Newton, Cumberland
RG10; Piece: 5230; Folio: 47; Page: 12;

The actual street address is not obvious from the schedules but it looks as if in 1871 the family lived on the southern edge of Allonby town.

Allonby is an Ecclesiastical Parish and a market town in the county of Cumberland, created in 1746 from [a] chapelry in [the] Bromfield Ancient Parish.

Family Search, England Jurisdictions 1851
North-West Cumberland (Allonby Highlighted) Family Search, England Jurisdictions 1851
North-West Cumberland (Allonby Highlighted)
Family Search, England Jurisdictions 1851
Registration Districts in Red, Parishes in Grey
Superimposed over modern map (believed to be © Google Maps)
Allonby parish measures about 5km East to West

Allonby is in West Cumberland in the South West of the Wigton Registration District (the border with Cockermouth Registration District is a few kilometres further South). On the census the page heading describes Allonby and West Newton as the “township” – the heading of “Civil Parish” being struck through. Allonby town is on the coast – West Newton being further inland.

Mary’s birthplace of Scotland does not look too helpful – thoughts of Gretna Blacksmiths and Scottish Marriages?

As an aside to note, the next Household on that page of the Census has Thomas Clark, a widowed 51yo mason, as Head of Household and after his children we find a Joseph Faulder (a 25yo Tailor and Draper), an unmarried nephew, as well as a Margaret Blaylock (a 28yo Laundress), noted as unmarried “Head” – possibly she was living in the same building but as a separate solo household. (Loose-end 1 – Joseph, and Loose end 2 – Margaret)
Also close by is the Household of Nancy Musgrave a 79yo widow. Within her household is her 52yo daughter Ann, and Ann’s husband Robert Graham, a Master Joiner and their daughter, 17yo Mary Ann. Graham is a surname that will appear later so this family may be significant.

David Johnston: 1861 Census

Working backwards in time I find the Johnston family in the 1861 Census (again on Find My Past):

Name(s)RelationshipAgeImplied Birth yearOccupationBirth place
Head461815BlacksmithKirklinton, Cumberland
Wife441817Blacksmiths wifeScotland
Mary Ann
Daughter151846ScholarAllonby, Cumberland
Daughter131848ScholarAllonby, Cumberland
Son41857ScholarAllonby, Cumberland
Daughter31858ScholarAllonby, Cumberland
Son11860Allonby, Cumberland
1861 Census for Johnston family at Bromfield, Allonby, Cumberland
RG09; Piece: 3929; Folio: 22; Page: 19;

Bromfield is, according the England Jurisdictions 1851 Map on Family Search, the next parish North East of Allonby. The census schedule describes the location as the “parish” (presumably civil parish) of Bromfield. However the National Gazetteer reports that Bromfield parish “includes the chapelries of Allonby and West Newton”1, so they may be in the same or close by location in both 1861 and 1871.

1 Genuki: “BROMFIELD, Cumberland” – Extract from National Gazetteer, 1868

In 1861 we also see neighbours or households nearby that may be significant.
Joseph Faulder is found again in the Household of Thomas Clark, a 41yo “Waller” – he is described as an Apprentice Tailor and a nephew of Thomas. Thomas’s household is on the next page on from David Johnston.
Common neighbours in both censuses support the idea that David Johnston and his family were in the same area in both 1861 and 1871.

David Johnston: 1851 Census

Going back further to the 1851 Census. I find the family again on Find My Past, although significantly David Johnson is described as a widower – which means his children come from at least two different relationships.

Name(s)RelationshipAgeImplied Birth yearOccupationBirth place
Head (Widower)331818BlacksmithBewcastle
Mary Ann
1851 Census for Johnston family at Allonby and West Newton, Cumberland
HO107; Piece: 2433; Folio: 159; Page: 31;

David’s recorded place of birth in the 1851 Census, Bewcastle, is a large parish in the extreme North of Cumberland, North East Of Kirklinton, the place of birth recorded in the 1861 Census.

In 1851 a near neighbour is a 73yo David Johnston (b Allonby c 1778), a lodger with the Blake Family – perhaps he is related to a member of the Blake family (possibly the wife, Jane); he might also be a relative (Uncle or father) of the David Johnston born in 1815 (37 year gap so unlikely to be a Grandparent).

David Johnston: 1841 Census

Finally we find David Johnston, Blacksmith in the 1841 Census, courtesy of Find My Past.

Name(s)Age (rounded)Implied Birth yearOccupationBirth county
1841 Census for Johnston family at Allonby, Cumberland
HO107; Piece: 160; Book: 17; Folio: 13; Page: 21;

The 1841 Census rounded down ages to the nearest multiple of 5 years, so “25 year-olds” could have been between 25 and 29 years old, implying a year of Birth between 1812 and 1816. It also only confirms whether they were born in their county of residence or not.

It is probable (but not directly provable) that Mary was David’s first wife – Mary(1) – and Martha their child. The 1841 Census does not record relationships or even specific places of birth. We might also initially assume that the children of the widower David in the 1851 census were also David and Mary(1)’s children. Of them we would expect John (born about 1839 according to the 1851 Census) to be present. We would also expect the Martha in the 1841 Census, who would be about 11 in 1851 to be with her parents in 1851. Both these anomalies need to be addressed. (Loose end 3 – John and Loose end 4 – Martha)

From the above we might initially assume David married at least twice and the two wives we know about were both named Mary.

Before trying to identify them, a small deviation to more fully identify David Johnston.

David Johnston

Date and Place of Birth and Parentage

David’s declared birth place (in the 1871 Census) of Eddersgill is not found in Cumberland; there is an Eddersgill near Barnard Castle in County Durham, or an Edderside about 2km North East of Allonby in the neighbouring parish of Holme Cultram.

In the 1861 Census, David’s declared place of birth is Kirklinton which is a parish in the North East of Cumberland near Longtown and the Scottish border. It is about 50km from Edderside outside Allonby (the previously assumed birth place – based on the 1871 Census).

There is no immediate explanation for this disparity in birthplace – but the other details (emboldened in the census extracts above) give confidence that we are dealing with the same David Johnston and an earlier configuration of his family.

However, looking at Kirklinton parish, we note that one of the villages is Hethersgill, a close homonym to “Eddersgill” (the birth place in the 1871 Census), between Kirklinton and Bewcastle.

Kirklinton Parish, Cumberland
Family Search, England Jurisdictions 1851
Superimposed over modern map (believed to be © Google Maps)
Note: Hethersgill in the North East of the Parish and Bewcastle further North East

I would therefore suggest that the most likely birth place for David Johnston is Hethersgill in the parish of Kirklinton. This is supported by the transcript of a baptism in Kirklinton parish of a David Johnstone found on Family Search. This is from the old IGI transcription parish records – which I have found to be reasonably reliable for Cumberland – when previously comparing them to the actual parish registers.

NameDavid Johnstone
Christening Date14 Nov 1815
Christening Place (Original)Kirklinton, Cumberland
Father’s NameJohn Johnstone
Mother’s NameJane
“England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975”, database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:JWFK-3M5 : 19 March 2020), David Johnstone, 1815.

This baptism would be consistent with the 1861 census declared place of birth and explainable in terms of the 1871 census declared place. A baptism date of November 1815 is also consistent with the birth date range 1815-1816 from these censuses.

Family Search also offers:

  • a baptism in Wigton parish on 19 October 1817 – parents again a John and Jane Johnston (this time without the “e”). We have no evidence of a link to Wigton parish.
  • a baptism in Allonby parish on 10 October 1813 – parents David Johnson, Betsy Work. If he had been born in Allonby, wouldn’t he have declared so when living in that same parish at the times of these (1851, 1861 & 1871) censuses?

The Kirklinton baptism therefore looks the most likely baptism and parentage record for the David Johnston(e) who is the subject of this note.

In the 1851 Census David is reported has having been born in Bewcastle. The settlements of Kirklinton and Bewcastle are about 15 km apart – the parishes themselves are separated by the parish of Stapleton which is 4 to 5km wide.

The whole areas is very rural and sparsely populated; The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870 [Ref: Parish Mouse] reported the population of the “township” of Bewcastle as 152 in 27 houses, and the earlier Topographical Dictionary of England 1848 [ibid] reports the parish as containing a population of 1274 of who 181 were in the township. For Kirklinton, the Topographical Dictionary of England 1848 reports the parish as “containing, with the townships of Hethersgill, Middle-Quarter, and West Linton, 1902 inhabitants”. Bewcastle, Stapleton and Kirklinton themselves are not much more than hamlets with churches, whilst Hethersgill is a small village.

It is possible that someone born into a family that may have been somewhat peripatetic labourers or tradesmen (such as blacksmiths) may not have been entirely sure of their birth place as opposed to where they were brought up.

The baptism in Kirklinton parish church (a Church of England church) remains the most certain indication we have of where David was born.

Wider Family of David Johnston

Searches for other baptisms or births for children of John and Jane Johnston(e) – in Kirklinton and Bewcastle 20 years either side of 1815, reveals for Bewcastle possible siblings whose birth was registered with the Scottish Presbyterian Church, with further potential siblings at Brampton and Stanwix – although these may be too distant.

Before the introduction of civil registration in 1837, most people were baptised, married, and buried in their local Church of England parish, regardless of their beliefs. Historically, many non-conformists used their local [CoE] parish church for registration purposes, despite their differences in belief, even after the Toleration Act of 1689 granted the freedom to worship. Some non-conformists did keep their own registers, particularly for baptisms and burials in the period between 1689 and 1837. Ref: Find My Past: Notes on “England & Wales Non-Conformist Births And Baptisms” Collection.

NameEvent Date & PlaceParent’s Name
MaryBirth: 1811, Scotch Church, Bewcastle1John & Jane Johnstone
– do –
“born Slacko parish Canoby 14 Jul [1811]”2“Jane Johnston Single woman & John Johnstone Single man”
Davidbap Kirklinton 14 Nov 1815 (as above)John & Jane Johnstone
Time gap of 11 yearsCould be different couples
Elizabeth“born at White Knowe, Nichol Forest & parish Kirkandrews, 18 November 1824″2“John Johnston and Jane his wife”
Jenny“born at White Knowe, Nichol Forest & parish Kirkandrews,
30 May 1828″2
“John Johnston and Jenny his wife” (“Jenny” is “Jane-y”?)
Nancy“born at White Knowe, parish Kirkandrews,
22 January 1830″2
“John Johnston and Jane his wife”
Sarah“born at White Knowe, parish of Kirkandrews upon Esk, 20 May 1834, baptised 29 May 1834″2“John Johnston and Jane his wife”
Geographic gap but still NE CumberlandCould be different couples
JaneBaptism: 29 May 1819, Brampton1John & Jane Johnstone
MargaretBaptism: 14 Jul 1832, Stanwix1John & Jane Johnstone
Results of a Search on Find My Past for Children of “John” and “Jane” Johnston born or baptised in Cumberland 1795 to 1835
possible siblings of David Johnston
(Manually Filtered to those in North East Cumberland)

1 Source: FMP: England Births & Baptisms 1538-1975

2 Source: Recorded FMP: England & Wales Non-Conformist Births And Baptisms; TNA/RG/4/684 Bewcastle, Nether Knowe Chapel (Scotch Presbyterian)

From the actual image the place of birth is hard to make out – but might be a contemporary spelling of “Canonbie” – a parish just across the border in Dumfriesshire. The National Gazetteer, 1868 [Ref GENUKI] confirms that Canoby is an alternative spelling.

Micro-extract of “CUMBERLAND: Bewcastle, Nether Knowe Chapel (Scotch Presbyterian): Births & Baptisms”
TNA/RG/4/684 accessed via Find My Past

There is a White Knowe in the Parish of Nichol Forest in Cumberland – about 7km East North East of Canonbie. “Nicholforest is an Ecclesiastical Parish in the county of Cumberland, created in 1744 from Kirkandrews on Esk Ancient Parish” [ref: Family Search: England Jurisdictions 1851] – hence the appearance of Kirkandrews in the place of birth. White Knowe appears to be an isolated farm [see Streetmap] which adds to our confidence that all those born at White Knowe were probably siblings to each other.

Part of North East Cumberland showing border Parishes of Kirkandrews on Esk, Nichol Forest and Bewcastle
Part of North East Cumberland showing border Parishes of Kirkandrews on Esk, Nichol Forest and Bewcastle
From Family Search England Jurisdictions 1851 Superimposed over modern map (believed to be © Google Maps)
The straight length of border running approximately East West is about 4km long and follows Scots Dyke which divided the Debateable Lands (north and south) between Scotland and England

Searches were done on Find My Past, FreeReg and Family Search and revealed records from the “England Births & Baptisms 1538-1975” collection on Find My Past (which originates from Family Search) and “England & Wales Non-Conformist Births And Baptisms; TNA/RG/4/684” (on both Family Search and Find My Past, although the only the latter has on-line images for Non-Conformist Births). FreeReg is a direct transcription of the same Non-Conformist Registers.

Most of the “Scotch Church” at Bewcastle records appear to be annual lists of baptisms detailing name, parents and place and date of birth – but not baptism details. I suspect that they are some form of transcript rather than the “baptism register” that Find My Past claims.

I believe that the “Scotch Church” at Bewcastle is actually the Knowe Church at Blackpool Gate [Streetmap] which is about 4km North West of Bewcastle hamlet and about 7km East of White Knowe Farm. It “was originally the local Presbyterian meeting house but on the formation of the United Reform Church in 1972 [it] became a congregation of that denomination”. [Ref: Friends of the Knowe Church]

Without further research it is not possible to establish whether these are siblings, cousins or unrelated. However a quick search of the 18411 and 18512 Census finds a sole entry for White Knowe, Kirkandrews on Esk / Longtown for a Farmer John Johnston with wife Jane and daughters Elizabeth (1841 only) Nancy, Sarah and Jane (1841 only) with details reasonably consistent with the births listed above for Bewcastle Scotch Church. In the 1851 Census John and Jane are 64 and 57 respectively, which means that in 1815 when David Johnston was born they would have been about 28 and 21.

1 1841 England and Wales Census: Class: HO107; Piece: 169; Book: 9; Folio7; Page: 9;

2 1851 England and Wales Census: HO107; Piece: 2428; Folio: 102; Page: 14;

It is currently beyond the scope of my research to go deeper into the probable ancestry of David Johnston.

That there should be cross-border links is no real surprise; this part of Cumberland was close to or part of the Debateable lands [ref: Border Reivers] and home to many Border Reiver families. Johnston(e) is a border reiver name and the Earl of Annandale and Hartfell is Lord Johnstone [ref: Hansard], chief of the Clan Johnston [ref: ScotClans]. Other than the probable geographic link no relationship to the main ancestral line of the Clan Johnstone has been found or claimed.

David Johnston’s Children

The censuses examined so far indicate that David had a number of children and these are listed in the table below. Using the GRO indices (using the implied year of birth from the census records +/- 2 years) we can determine their mother’s likely maiden surname and the approximate date of marriage. This will help substantiate the possible “Faulder” link. Initially we will accept the children’s reported census birth place as Allonby – which is in the Wigton Registration District.

The tables of children below were then augmented by searching the GRO birth Index for other children of the probable couples.

Children with First Wife

Marriage to Mary(1)1826 to 1841If the couple are those identified in the 1841 Census, With “men” able to marry at 14, the earliest marriage would have been 1812+14. However as a Blacksmith was “a trade” David would not have been able to marry whilst he was an apprentice so if he completed his apprenticeship at say 21, the earliest date could be 1833.
Birth of John
per 1851 Census
1839In 1851 Census, not in 1841 Census
Mother’s Maiden Surname:
Faulder (Q3 1838; Vol: 25; Page: 143;)
Birth of Martha
per 1841 Census
1840assumed to be daughter of David & Mary(1) in the 1841 Census – this would be supported by a baptismal record naming David and Mary as parents.
(Allowing for the Surname variation, Johnstone) Mother’s Maiden Surname either:
Faulder (Q2 1840; Vol: 25; Page: 168;), or
Graham (Q1 1841; Vol: 25; Page: 181;) – could not be aged “1” by the census on 6 June 1841
Given the frequency of other births, it is possible that around 1842 there was another birth of a child who died before the 1851 Census.
Birth of Sarah
per 1851 Census
1844Mother’s Maiden Surname either:
Saulder (Q4 1843; Vol: 25; Page: 167;), or
Wallas (Q2 1846; Vol: 25; Page: 197;)
Birth of Mary Ann
per 1851, 1861 Census
1846Looking for “Mary” births:
Mother’s Maiden Surname either:
Barwise (Q4 1844; Vol: 25; Page: 181;), or
Bewley (Q2 1846; Vol: 25; Page: 192;), or
Pattinson (Q2 1846; Vol: 25; Page: 211;), or
Milburne (Q1 1848; Vol: 25; Page: 166;), or
Simpson (“Mary Ann”, Q3 1844; Vol: 25; Page: 179;), or
Faulder (“Mary Ann“, Q2 1846; Vol: 25; Page: 196;)
Birth of Jane
per 1851, 1861 Census
1848Mother’s Maiden Surname either:
Milburne (Q2 1846; Vol: 25; Page: 193;), or
Nixon (Q3 1847; Vol: 25; Page: 179;), or
Ridley (Q3 1847; Vol: 25; Page: 170;), or
Faulder (Q2 1848; Vol: 25; Page: 187;), or
Longcake (“Jane Ann”, Q4 1849; Vol: 25; Page: 180;)
Birth of Joseph1850Found from looking for Johnston’s with Mother’s Maiden Surname of Faulder:
(Q4 1850; Vol: 25; Page: 181;)
Death of Joseph1850(Q4 1850; Vol: 25; Page: 115; Age at Death: 0 yrs;)
Death of wife Mary(1)1850 to 1851Alive for birth of Jane and Joseph, deceased before 1851 Census. GRO Death Indices Search gives:
Johnston, Mary; Age at Death: 35 yrs;
(Q4 1850; Vol: 25; Page: 115;)
Implies Year of birth of 1815 – which is consistent with 1841 Census
The same death index page as for Joseph’s death registration; looks like a death in Childbirth.
Time line of the children of David Johnston and his first wife
recorded in the 1841 to 1861 Censuses and their likely mothers
All births in Allonby (per Census) or Wigton Registration District (per GRO)

Children with Second Wife

Marriage to Mary(2)1851 to 1856Given this second Mary is recorded in the Census as being born in Scotland, we cannot exclude the possibility that she was married in Scotland. With a working assumption that they were married before the birth of their first child we can expect a marriage between the Census of 1851 and Q3 of 1856
Birth of Joseph
per 1861 Census
1857Mother’s Maiden Surname either:
Graham (Q3 1856; Vol: 10b; Page: 404;), or
Cook (Q2 1857; Vol: 10b; Page: 410;), or
White (Q4 1858; Vol: 10b; Page: 393;)
Birth of Margaret
per 1861 Census
1858Mother’s Maiden Surname either:
Gregg (Q2 1857; Vol: 10b; Page: 416;), or
Graham (Q4 1857; Vol: 10a/b; Page: 418;)
Birth of James
per 1861, 1871 Census
1860Mother’s Maiden Surname either:
Irving (Q4 1859; Vol: 10b; Page: 408;), or
Graham (Q2 1860; Vol: 10b; Page: 450 or 451;)1.1
Birth of David
per 1871 Census
1863Mother’s Maiden Surname either:
Graham (Q2 1863; Vol: 10b; Page: 484;), or
Unrecorded (Q4 1864; Vol: 10b; Page: 437;)
Birth of William1863Found from looking for Johnston’s with Mother’s Maiden Surname of Graham:
(Q2 1863; Vol: 10b; Page: 484;)1.3 – possible twin of David
Death of William1863Probable death of the above William
(Q2 1863; Vol: 10b; Page: 306; Age at Death: 0;)
Birth of Jane1864Found from looking for Johnston’s with Mother’s Maiden Surname of Graham:
(Q2 1864; Vol: 10b; Page: 484;)1.2
Death of Jane1865Probable death of the above Jane
(Q2 1865; Vol: 10b; Page: 291; Age at Death: 0;)
Birth of Granddaughter
Mary Jane
per 1871 Census
1864Mary Jane Johnston, “Grand-daughter of David Johnston” in 1871 Census – this would be either the daughter of a son of DJ, or an illegitimate daughter of a daughter of DJ
For “Mary Jane” births:
Mother’s Maiden Surname either:
Unrecorded (Q3 1864; Vol: 10B; Page: 471;)2.1, or
Pape (Q2 1864; Vol: 10B; Page: 486;)2.2, or
Dobie (Q3 1866; Vol: 10B; Page: 463;)2.3
Time line of the children of David Johnston and his second wife
recorded in the 1861 to 1871 Censuses and their likely mothers
All births in Allonby (per Census) or Wigton Registration District (per GRO)

1.1 There are two James Johnstons born in Wigton Registration district on subsequent pages of the register. The GRO indices reveal they both had a mother with maiden surname Graham. With the same first names, they can’t be twins, so unless there has been some double registration, this would indicate that there are two Johnston-Graham couples in the Wigton area. Both appear separately in the 1861 census; one with David Johnston, the Blacksmith and his wife Mary; one with John Johnston, Cordwainer and his wife Frances in Water Street Wigton. These two individuals’ birth registrations can only be distinguished by obtaining the birth certificates and establishing details of the parents.

1.2 Because of this “double couple” we cannot be certain which couple are the parents of Jane (b Q2 1864 d Q2 1865). Because of her death within the year she does not appear on any census. However for this Jane to belong to “our” David Johnston and Mary Graham, the Jane born to David Johnston and Mary Faulder (his first wife) would probably have died freeing her name for reuse. Jane(1) b Q2 1848 was in the 1861 Census, so would have had to die between then and Jane(2)’s birth in Q2 1864. No such record (with a suitable age at death) is found in the GRO death indices. (Loose end 5 – Death of Jane Faulder b 1848 to David Johnston and Mary Faulder)

1.3 We can be more certain of the parentage of William (b & d Q2 1863) because there is a baptismal record in Allonby on 17 May 1863 for both William and David Johnston; parents David Johnston and Mary. David appears in the 1871 census with his parents. (The Cordwainer Johnston already has an 8yo son called William in the 1861 Census and there is no evidence of him dying before 1863). It is possibly significant that a similar record in Allonby cannot be found for Jane. Searching for a baptism in Cumberland for Jane on Family Search and FreeReg fails to bring up any records.

2.1 In Family Search in the same indexing batch (i.e. same parish) as other children of David and Mary Johnston, we find a Mary Jane Johnston baptised – the apparently illegitimate daughter of Mary Ann Johnston.

2.2 In Q2 1863 in Wigton RD (Volume: 10b; Page: 699;) a George Johnston is married as is a Jane Pape. Whether they are a matched Bride and Groom has not been investigated.

2.3 In Q4 1865 in Wigton RD (Volume: 10b; Page: 779;) a Robert Johnson married a Hannah Dobie – they were the only two names indexed to that page in that quarter.

Birth of John1873Found from looking for Johnston’s with Mother’s Maiden Surname of Graham:
(Q1 1873; Vol: 10b; Page: 508;)
NB Mary Johnston (née Graham) would have been 53
Baptism of John19 Jan 1873Thursby (Indexing Batch C05873-1)
Parents: William and Mary
Death of John1873Probable death of the above John:
(Q1 1873; Vol: 10b; Page: 338 A;)
Birth of Margaret1874Found from looking for Johnston’s with Mother’s Maiden Surname of Graham:
(Q1 1874; Vol: 10b; Page: 499;)
NB Mary Johnston (née Graham) would have been 54
Baptism of Margaret8 Feb 1874Thursby (Indexing Batch C05873-1)
Parents: William and Mary
Death of Margaret1874Probable death of the above Margaret:
(Q1 1874; Vol:10b; Page: 370;)
Time line of possible children of David Johnston and his second wife
Births and Deaths found in the GRO indices for Wigton
Possible Baptisms for the births found on Family Search

The last two Johnston – Graham children, (John and Margaret – in the table immediately above) given the probable age of Mary, the presumed mother, might support the idea that there is more than one Johnston – Graham couple in Wigton. Since it looks as if neither survives we cannot look for them in the 1881 Census to find them with their parents and discover the mother’s first name(s). A search on Family Search turns up (single) possible baptism records giving parental first names of William and Mary. Since David Johnston already has children called John (b 1838 Mother: Mary Faulder) and Margaret (b 1856 Mother: Mary Graham) and no death record has yet been found for these two earlier children, it is very unlikely that the above two children were born to the David Johnston and Mary Graham who are the principal subject of this post.

QtrJohnson GroomPossible Graham BridesVol, Page
Q1 1860John JohnstonIsabella Graham
(only bride listed)
 10b, 510
Q2 1871William Johnston
(or Robert Nicholson)
Mary Jane Graham
(or Mary Guardhouse)
 10b, 821
Q2 1872William Johnston
(or Peter Hunter)
 Mary Graham
(or Catherine Little)
 10b, 844
Q2 1877James Johnston
(or Francis Kelly)
Margaret Graham
(or Mary Robinson)
 10b, 757
FreeBMD Search in Wigton RD for Johnston Grooms and possible Graham Brides
from beginning of registration (1837) to 1881

At the moment no further research is being done into these two children – their birth certificates could confirm many details.

David Johnson’s Wives

Ideally we now find the marriages of Mary(1) and Mary(2) to David Johnson

The most likely marriages are:

  1. A marriage of David Johnson to a Mary Faulder prior to the 1841 Census and after 1829 – which is the earliest possible date consistent with David’s approximate age in the Census records above and marrying at the age of 14. This assumes that the David and Mary Johnston in the 1841 Census were husband and wife (the 1841 census did not record relationships). If Mary was however, say a sister of David Johnson, the first name of his first wife need not be Mary.
  2. A marriage of David Johnson to a Mary Graham between 1851 when we know David was a widower and 1861 when they are recorded as married. 1857 would be the latest date if we assume they were married before the birth of their first child.

First Marriage of David Johnston: to Mary Faulder

In Q3 1837, in Wigton Registration District (Volume 25, Page 102) both a David Johnstone and a Mary Faulder are married. The Marriage indices at this time do not indicate the respective spouses, so from just the Marriage indices we cannot be absolutely certain they were married to each other.

Groom’s Surname, First name(s)Bride’s Surname, First name(s)
DUNN, Daniel FAULDER, Mary
Index of people married in Wigton RD Q3 1837 per FreeBMD
(Q3 1837; Vol: 25; Page: 102;)
NB no evidence to match grooms to brides

Given that we are looking for:

  • a marriage in the required time-frame (before 1841)
  • a Mary probably married to a David Johnston (per 1841 Census), and
  • the mother’s maiden name for the probable children of that marriage listed in the 1841 and 1851 Census records, and
  • a bride (per those census records) who was born in Cumberland,
  • in the 10 years following 1837, there were 5 Dunn children born in Wigton whose mother’s maiden surname was Messenger – probably the other couple recorded on that page of the marriage indices,

this is very likely to be the couple concerned.

Using this as a working hypothesis we can look for further information. No other possible marriages were found for Cumberland in the Marriage indices on FreeBMD. This does not exclude the possibility that they married when younger (from 1829 onwards when they would have been 14) before the beginning of civil registration in 1837.

Mary Faulder’s Parents

Tracing Mary Faulder back further would probably require purchasing the marriage certificate to discover her father’s name – or striking lucky with on-line Parish Records through a trawl of on-line databases – where the name and occupation of “The father of the bride” may be recorded.

Mary’s Marriage

No matching “parish record” for the above marriage (Q3 1837, Wigton RD) has been found on Family Search or Find My Past. An index search on Ancestry (without a subscription I can only establish if there is a record to be looked at) for the above precise marriage only returns the Civil Registration Index.

Mary’s Baptism

Given an approximate birth year of 1815 (from the Age at Death – see the tabulation of children above), online databases (Family Search, FreeReg and Find My Past – two free sources and my current chosen subscribed source) can be searched for a baptism of Mary Faulder – around 1815 +/- 2 years in Cumberland – preferably close to Allonby, on the assumption that she married from her parental home parish; alternatively any parish in the Wigton Registration District. Parish records usually give the first names of the parents, often the father’s occupation and their place of abode.

Searching with surname variations (Falder, Folder etc.) gives one hit on Family Search for a baptism in 1817 in Allonby:

NameMary Folder
Christening Date30 Dec 1817
Christening Place (Original)Allonby, Cumberland, England
Father’s NameJohn Folder
Mother’s NameMartha Graham
Family Search, “England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975”
result of search for Mary F[au|a|o]lder 1813-1817 baptism in Cumberland

Unfortunately no image is available (that would require a visit to Carlisle Record Office to view the microfilm of the register – or the register itself PR161 – currently via Cumbria.gov.uk1), so the end of 1817 date looks like a bit of a stretch to be consistent with the range of possible years of birth per the 1841 Census (1812-1816).

1 As I write a new Cumberland Council has just been elected to take office in 2023 – so this link may move to cumberland.gov.uk

FreeReg does not have complete geographical coverage yet so it is unable to help.

Find My Past carries the Family Search indices and curiously has two near identical records for this baptism, but one has a crucial extra bit of information not revealed by the native Family Search check.

Name:Mary Folder
Birth year (only stated in one record):1815
Baptism date:30 Dec 1817
Residence [abode of parents]:Allonby, Cumberland
Place [of baptism]:Allonby, Cumberland
Father’s name:John Folder
Mother’s name:Marth[a] Graham
Results of Find My Past Search for Mary Faulder (plus variants) 1813-1817 baptism in Cumberland
Record set: England Births & Baptisms 1538-1975 on Find My Past (originally Family Search)

This points towards Mary Folder baptised in Allonby in 1817 being the Mary Faulder who married David Johnstone in 1837. A wider search for other plausible records involving Mary Folder (b 1815 +/- 2yrs, in Cumberland) comes up with no likely records:

Mary FolderBaptism1
30 Dec 1817
AllonbyBorn 1815
The baptism under discussion
Mary FolderBaptism1
30 Dec 1817
AllonbyProbably the same event but without the YoB record
Mary Mc FauldMarriage2
18 Feb 1827
PlumblandTo Robert Humphreys; probably too early for a 1815 birth
Surname too much of a stretch
Mary Ann Faulder*Marriage2
20 Nov 1829
CrosscanonbyTo John Gorley; probably too early for a 1815 birth
Mary FaulderDeath3
3 Jan 1849
Holme-CultramGRO index (Wigton: Q1 1849; vol: 25; page: 149;) identifies this as a 74yo
(Mrs) Mary Faulder
(née Petterson?)
7 Apr 1861
Crosscanonby, CockermouthBorn approx 1814
47yo born at Parton (outside Whitehaven) wife of Blacksmith John Faulder
Mary FaulderMarriage2
13 Nov 1879
AllonbyTo James Williamson; possible at 64 but no prior census records for YoB criteria
(Mrs) Mary Faulder
(née Petterson?)
3 Apr 1881
Cross Canonby with Maryport, Cockermouthas above, also Wilkinson Patterson identified as John’s step-son (as “son-in-law” in 1861 census)
Results of Find My Past search for records
for Mary Folder (b 1815 +/- 2yrs, in Cumberland)

1 England Births & Baptisms 1538-1975

2 England Marriages 1538-1973

3 England Deaths & Burials 1538-1991

All the above alternative records can be excluded with the possible exception of one* (Mary Ann Faulder) which would require Mary Folder b 1815 to be marrying at a very early age (14) and away from her home parish. Looking for a (Mrs) Mary Ann Gorley in a subsequent census fails to show up any Marys born 1815 +/- 2yrs – although that does not exclude the couple moving away, it reduces the likelihood of that Marriage being an alternative marriage for Mary Folder of Allonby.

It is therefore highly likely that the Mary Faulder who probably married David Johnstone in 1837, is the Mary Folder, daughter of John and Martha, born in 1815 and baptised in Allonby on 30 December 1817. However we do seem to have drained the well when it comes to finding records prior to Mary Folder’s marriage.

Further consideration of Mary Folder would seem better handled as a separate post. One point worth checking is whether Mary’s mother, Martha Graham is related to David’s second wife Mary Graham. They may also be related to the near neighbours noted in the 1871 Census above.

Second Marriage of David Johnston: to Mary Graham

The 1851 Census shows a youngish widowed Blacksmith with 4 young children, a son aged 12, and three daughters aged 7, 5 and 3. It is likely that he would have looked either to foster the children out to relatives or to rapidly remarry to provide a step-mother for them.

Between 1851 and 1861 there are 3 potential marriages in Wigton of a male Johnston to a female Graham on FreeBMD (allowing any firstnames), but only one of a David Johnston – in Q2 1851 – shown below. Using the “phonetic surname” option on FreeBMD (to catch variants of “Johnston”) does not change the results.

Groom’s Surname, First name(s)Bride’s Surname, First name(s)
Brough, JosephBell, Prudence
Carr, JohnBrown, Jane
Graham, JohnBrown, Mary
Johnston, DavidWise, Mary
Possible Marriage partners involving David Johnston Wigton RD 1851-1881
(Q2 1851: Vol: 25; Page: 165;)
NB no evidence to match grooms to brides (due to the nature of the index)

Note the FreeBMD search is incapable of determining the gender of individuals – so the above return “matched” David Johnston and “spouse” John Graham – not possible back then. This therefore is a “false match” for a David Johnston to Mary Graham match and is only of interest to us if either Mary Brown or Mary Wise were widows remarrying and their original surname was Graham.

The other two returns (showing a male Johnston and a female Graham) don’t help; one is after the 1861 Census – which describes “our” David and Mary as married and Head of Household and Wife; the other is a John Johnston to an Isabella Graham in 1860 – by which time David and Mary already had two children.

It is therefore likely that either the marriage took place (1) outside Wigton Registration District – possible given Mary(2) came from Scotland, or (2) that the widower David Johnston, married a widow and that her first married name is the one recorded in the marriage indices. So Mary Brown or Mary Wise in the table above might have been born Mary Graham.

Before investigating the second line of research suggested above, a check is required to see if there are any other David Johnston to Mary <<anyone>> marriages in Wigton Registration District between the census of 1851 and the birth of his first “second brood” child in 1857 or the census 1861 at the latest when he was recorded as remarried. That check reveals only the Q2 1851 marriages tabulated above. So if he did marry a widow in Wigton Registration District it would have to be one of Mary Brown or Mary Wise. The check was also extended to the nearby Cockermouth Registration District and yielded no extra results.

If David Johnston did remarry (either of Mary Brown or Mary Wise) in 1851, it is perhaps notable that there was a six year gap before their first child. GRO index searches have not shown any Johnston-Graham births between 1851 and Joseph’s birth in 1857. There might be good reason for this – it does look as if David lost his first wife, Mary Faulder, in child-birth – so given he already has a number of children he may have been reluctant to have more.

(However, if he had married in Scotland, (i) his marriage could have been later and (ii) if there were earlier children born in Scotland they may not have survived to appear in the 1861 Census.)

Possible marriage to widows: Mary Brown or Mary Wise

Five entries in the GRO birth indices are worth noting – in case Mary(2) was registering children under her previous married surname rather than her maiden surname:

Maiden Surname
GRO Reference
Johnston, JaneWiseQ1 1853; Vol: 10B ; Page: 396;
Johnston, HannahWiseQ2 1855; Vol: 10B ; Page: 405;
Johnston, MaryWiseQ4 1857 ; Vol: 10A; Page: 415;
Johnston, JohnWise  Q4 1860 ; Vol: 10B; Page: 406;
Johnston, John WiseWise  Q2 1864 ; Vol: 10B; Page: 484;
Search of GRO Birth Indices in Wigton 1851-1861 for Johnston-Wise or Johnston-Brown Children

Most obviously these births could be evidence of a Johnston – Wise couple. Between 1841 and 1861, there is only one possible male Johnston and female Wise marriage (using FreeBMD with the phonetic option) in Wigton – the possible option listed above in Q2 1851. (In the same period and district there are 4 possible options for a male Johnston to female Brown marriage – with the phonetic option).

The 1871 Census probably shows four of the above children as children of David Johnston, Grocer and Bacon Curer, and his wife, Mary in “Mawbray, Holme St Cuthbert” (Wigton) – that is as a different family to the David and Mary that this post is researching.

First name(s)RelationshipAgeImplied Birth yearOccupationBirth place
DavidHead391832Grocer & Bacon CurerAbbey Holme
MaryWife491822Abbey Holme
John WiseSon61865Mawbray
David Johnston, Grocer & Family, 1871 Census
RG10; Piece: 5229; Folio: 37; Page: 22;

Mawbray is a few kilometres north of Allonby in the neighbouring parish of Holme Cultram. The 1851 England Jurisdictions map actually shows Holme St Cuthbert as an outlier of Holme Low parish (created in 1851 from the Holme Cultram ancient parish) entirely surrounded by Holme Cultram parish. Abbey Holme is recorded as an area in Holme Cultram parish.

The ages of the four children are consistent with the birth details in the previous table. The son, John born in 1860 is missing – there are two possible death records for him in the GRO indices between 1860 and 1871. There is a consistent 1861 census record for this family in 1861. This would tend to point towards the 1851 marriage record actually being between the Grocer David Johnston and Mary Wise and on Family Search I find a marriage in Holme Cultam (which is in the Wigton Registration District) on 7 June 1851 between a David Johnston and a Mary Wise – no image available to check other details – but I suspect if we purchased the certificate we would find that David’s profession was Grocer rather than Blacksmith.

This strongly points towards the 1851 marriage index entries not referring to the marriage of David Johnston and Mary Graham. Which leaves us looking for a marriage outside the Wigton and Cockermouth Districts.

Marriages in Cumberland potentially involving David Johnston and Mary

FreeBMD does record marriages in Carlisle Registration District in Q4 1863 (Volume: 10b; page: 683;) involving both a David Johnston and a Mary Graham. If in the 1861 Census David and Mary were an unmarried couple (despite Mary being recorded as Mary Johnston) who for some reason put off getting married before being quietly married away from their home district, this could be them – but the existence of a number of Johnston births in Carlisle Registration District in the years immediately following where the mother’s maiden surname is listed as Graham would suggest that this is a separate couple.

Marriages outside Cumberland potentially involving David Johnston and Mary

This leaves us without a second marriage record for our Blacksmith David Johnston. this may be because he married Mary Graham in her home parish in Scotland. However no such marriages in Scotland between 1851 and 1861 were found on Family Search, Find My Past or Scotland’s People.

Searching for records for just Mary Graham is problematic because we only know her country of birth and her birth year of about 1817 or 1821 (from the 1871 and 1861 Censuses). Even with a search restricted to Dumfriesshire, there are a lot of Mary Grahams – Graham is another Border Reiver name.

Diversion: Searching for Mary Graham by Naming Convention Analysis

If Mary was Scottish and Presbyterian (there is a chance that David’s origins may have been Scottish Presbyterian) we might expect their children to follow naming conventions and this might give an indication of their parents names.

Naming Conventions
For the first two children of each sex, they are named after their grand-parents – the paternal line taking precedence for male children and the maternal line taking precedence for female children.
For the third child onwards of a particular sex there appear to be two conventions.
1. In the first convention (“Parental”) the third child of a sex is named after their parent (father or mother) and subsequent children of that sex are named after their paternal uncles or maternal aunts (in order of birth of those uncles and aunts).
2. The alternative convention (“Ancestral”) appears to be to name 3rd and subsequent children after great-grandparents and one might expect this to follow the relevant practice of male children taking paternal line names in preference to maternal line names (and vice verse for female children). However the convention does not appear to be that rigid – and a paper that Find My Past cites by John Barrett Robb “The Scottish Onomastic Child-naming Pattern” shows a slightly contradictory pattern for the 4th son and 3rd daughter onwards in terms of preferencing paternal/maternal – this may however be due to a typo as the original source that Robb refers to is no longer available. In the analysis below I have when applying the Ancestral Convention preferenced maternal vs paternal in accordance with the child’s sex (so Great grandfathers appear in Ahnentafel Number order and Great Grandmothers appear in reverse Ahnentafel Number order.
Both conventions were modified:
a) where a name had already been used (the next in order being selected),
b) where a child had died (and its name may be reintroduced at the next opportunity),
c) where a wife had died and the first daughter of the next wife might be named after the deceased wife,
and less predictably,
d) where an ancestor had died shortly before the birth of a child and the child was given that ancestor’s name.

The variations on the Presbyterian naming conventions are summarised below – Parental seeming to be the most common.

Ax = Ahnentafel NumberParental ConventionParental ConventionAncestral Convention per RobbAncestral Convention per RobbAncestral Convention by AhnentafelAncestral Convention by Ahnentafel
Number of son or daughterSons take name of:Daughters take name of:Sons take name of:Daughters take name of:Sons take name of:Daughters take name of:
1stA4 Paternal GrandfatherA7 Maternal Grandmotheras parental conventionas parental conventionas parental conventionas parental convention
2ndA6 Maternal GrandfatherA5 Paternal
as parental conventionas parental conventionas parental conventionas parental convention
3rdA2 FatherA3 MotherA8 Father’s Paternal GrandfatherA13 Mother’s Paternal
A8 Father’s Paternal GrandfatherA15 Mother’s Maternal Grandmother
4thPaternal Uncles in age orderMaternal Aunts in age orderA14 Mother’s Maternal GrandfatherA9 Father’s Paternal
A10 Father’s Maternal GrandfatherA13 Mother’s Paternal
5thPaternal Uncles in age orderMaternal Aunts in age orderA10 Father’s Maternal GrandfatherA15 Mother’s Maternal GrandmotherA12 Mother’s Paternal GrandfatherA11 Father’s Maternal Grandmother
6thPaternal Uncles in age orderMaternal Aunts in age orderA12 Mother’s Paternal GrandfatherA11 Father’s Maternal GrandmotherA14 Mother’s Maternal GrandfatherA9 Father’s Paternal
Summary of Presbyterian Naming Conventions
1) Parental per numerous sources e.g. Scottish Kin, Geni.com
2) Ancestral per John B Robb, in his 2012 paper; “The Scottish Onomastic Child-naming Pattern” cited on Find My Past
3) Ancestral by Ahnentafel Number Order

In practice it is probably expecting too much for the convention to be followed exactly, but I have seen the above parental version of the convention being applied to the third son or daughter over a number of generations.

The convention is relatively easy to follow for the first Marriage of David Johnston (son of John and Jane) and Mary Faulder/Folder (daughter of John and Martha). Names in bold appear to be those where a convention is followed.

Child’s Name
Child number for namingConvention – named after relativeNotes
Son-1Paternal Grandfather:
John Johnston
Convention followed
(died age 0)
Taking rule for Son-3
Maternal Grandfather:
John Faulder
John already used therefore use convention for Son-3
— do —Rule for Son-3[p] Father:
David Johnston
[a] Father’s Paternal Grandfather:
Not David, therefore using convention [a]?
Was David’s Paternal Grandfather (John Johnston’s father) Joseph?
Daughter-1Maternal Grandmother:
Martha Graham
Convention followed
Daughter-2Paternal Grandmother:
Jane Baxter
Sarah might have been a paternal aunt (sister to David) – might this be the Sarah born at White Knowe in 1834?
Mary Ann
Daughter-3[p] Mother:
[a] Mother’s Maternal Grandmother:
or possibly Martha Graham’s mother was also Mary – following convention [a]
Daughter-4[p] Mother’s oldest sister:
[a] Mother’s Paternal Grandmother:

Reconciliation of Family names to Naming Conventions
David Johnston and his first wife
[p] Parental Convention
[a] Ancestral Convention

Just looking at David’s first marriage, neither convention is followed to the letter – which in itself is not unusual, but that makes it hard to argue against co-incidence! The use of Sarah’s name is the most problematic if we are to try to argue that any convention is being followed.

The convention is more difficult to reconcile with a second marriage. This is because sons of the second marriage when considering paternally derived names have to have the names of the elder half-brothers taken into account, whilst maternally derived names are derived from a different mother, so unless representing duplicates or a deceased brother’s name is interposing, they are drawing from a different pool. Similar considerations apply to daughters with the added possibility of the deceased wife’s name taking priority.

The children of the second Marriage of David Johnston (son of John and Jane) and Mary Graham (parents as yet undermined) are detailed below. Names in bold appear to be those where a convention is followed.

Child’s Name
Child number for naming per
Convention – named after relativeNotes
Father’s Son-3
Mother’s Son-1
Replacing deceased “son 3”See Son-3 in table above
Father’s Son-4[p4] Paternal Uncle:
James Johnston (2nd oldest)
[a4] Father’s Maternal Grandfather:
Is the name determined by reference to father’s 4th son “for naming” or
Mother’s Son-2
Taking rule for Son-1
[1] Paternal Grandfather
John Johnston
John it is in use, so take the next rule
— do —Mother’s Son-2
Taking rule for Son-2
[2] Maternal GrandfatherMary Graham’s father could, if following this convention be James
David &
(William died age 0)
Father’s Sons-5&6[p5&6] Paternal Uncles
[a5&6] Mother’s Grandfather’s
The mother’s grandfathers would seem strange given it is not the 5th & 6th sons of this mother
Mother’s Sons-3&4p[3&4] Father:
David Johnston
& Paternal Uncle:
William Johnston (oldest)
a[3&4] Father’s Grandfather’s:
Might David Johnston have had a brother William or Grandfathers David and William?
First daughter by new wifeDeceased wife:
Mary Faulder
1st daughter of a new wife could take the name of the deceased wife (Mary); but we already have a Mary (Mary Ann 3rd daughter of the first wife), so this would not apply.
Father’s Daughter-5[p5] Maternal Aunt
[a5] Father’s Maternal Grandmother:
A maternal aunt would seem strange given it is not the 5th daughter of this mother
David’s Maternal Grandmother might be a Margaret if following convention
Mother’s Daughter-1[1] Maternal Grandmother:
Mary Graham’s mother might be a Margaret if following a convention
For the child below to belong to this family the previous Jane (see previous table) would probably have died – no death record found
(died aged 0)
Father’s Daughter-6[p6] Maternal Aunt
[a6] Mother’s Paternal Grandmother
A maternal aunt would seem strange given it is not the 6th daughter of this mother; likewise for the Mother’s Paternal Grandmother
Mother’s Daughter-2[2] Paternal Grandmother:
Jane Baxter
David’s 2nd daughter (by his 1st wife) did not get his mother’s name
Reconciliation of Family names to Naming Conventions
David Johnston and his second wife
[p] Parental Convention
[a] Ancestral Convention

From the above analysis we might see a possibility that Mary Graham’s parents were James and Margaret. However even if we found a Mary Graham born in Scotland to a James and Margaret actually proving that Mary Graham was David Johnston’s second wife would be hard. At the moment we have a possibility without any corroboration. We have to be wary of finding “evidence” to support our “conclusions”, rather than drawing conclusions from the evidence.

A search of births in Scotland between 1815 and 1825 for a Mary Graham with parents James and Margaret on Family Search (Scotland Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950), Find My Past (Scotland, Parish Births & Baptisms 1564-1929) and the Search Results of Scotland’s People Pay-per-view site (Births and baptisms: Church of Scotland/Catholic Church/Other) produces three possibilities (bold names in the table below). These records then form the basis for a search for possible siblings in the same location.

At Ayrmatch on both parents
Jane GrahamChristening 6 October 1816James Graham,
Margaret Smith
Index Batch: C11578-91
Mary GrahamChristening 3 October 1819James Graham,
Margaret Smith
Index Batch: C11578-91
At Bonhill, Dunbartonshirematch on both parents
Mary GrahamBirth 19 Sep 1822James Graham,
Margaret Macallum
Index Batch: C11493-61
CoS Parish: 493; Record: 30 123
At Balmerino, Fifeinitial match on father only
Alexander GrahamBirth 28 Jan 1812James Graham (Shoemaker of Byers, Balmerino)2, –Index Batch: C11409-21
CoS Parish: 409; Record: 20 673
Elisabeth Graham10 Sep 1813James GrahamIndex Batch: C11409-21
CoS Parish: 409; Record: 20 693
13 Apr 1815James Graham, –Index Batch: C11409-21
CoS Parish: 409; Record: 20 733
Matilda GrahamChristening 01 Sep 1816James Graham (Shoemaker of Byers, Balmerino)2, –Index Batch: C11409-21
CoS Parish: 409; Record: 20 753
Mary GrahamBirth 30 Nov 1818James Graham,Index Batch: C11409-21
CoS Parish: 409; Record: 20 793
Jamesb 05 May 1820 &
bap 21 May 1820
James Graham (Shoemaker of Byers, Balmerino)2, Margt Auchterlonie2 aCoS Parish: 409; Record: 30 5 & 30 153
At Tundergarth, Dumfriesshireinitial match on father only
Mary GrahamChristening 29 Nov 1815James Graham (of Mosshead, Tundergarth), – Index Batch C11851-21
Search results for Mary Graham with parents James and Margaret, births in Scotland between 1815 and 1825 (bold)
Search then extended to look for possible siblings in the time-frame 1805 to 1835 in the same location

Find My Past2 has the same records but offers additional detail not seen in Scotland’s People search results (added above in italics).

1 Family Search (Scotland Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950)

2 Find My Past (Scotland, Parish Births & Baptisms 1564-1929)

3 Search Results of Scotland’s People Pay-per-view site (Births and baptisms: Church of Scotland/Catholic Church/Other – all records found were CoS)

a A marriage record for James Graham and Margaret Auchterlonie (of Creich) was found on Find My Past for 08 Feb 1811 in Balmerino (OPR 409/2, 7)

At this point a line was drawn as there is little hard evidence to link David Johnston’s wife Mary Graham to parents or siblings with anything approaching the degree of confidence required. It was hoped that one of the births or christenings above could (by reference to a wider family) be linked into the 1841 or 1851 Census.

It has been noted, however, that Mary Faulder’s mother was a Graham. It is quite possible that David’s second wife might be a cousin of his first wife, so when Mary Faulder’s ancestry is reviewed we might get an explanation for Mary Graham’s ancestry.

Post 1871

For completeness we need to look forward from the 1871 Census and try to find the family in the 1881 Census. We may find further relatives such as in-laws which may help confirm the families of David Johnston’s wives.

Individuals may not be found because they have died, left home, and in the case of unmarried daughters, married. If a substantial part of a household cannot be found it is possible that they moved away or even emigrated as a family unit.

David Johnston post 1871

Care has to be taken to correctly match records because there are a number of David Johnstons in Cumberland at this time born around 1815. “Our” David Johnston is the left hand one (*) in the table below.

RecordDavid Johnston(e)*
son of John & Mary
David JohnstonDavid JohnstonDavid Johnston(e)
Birth / BaptismBap 14 Nov 1815
b 1813-16
Ireland (1891)
b 1810-11
b 1812-13
Isle of Man
Possible wives &
Jane Irving
27 Dec 1838
St Cuths Carlisle
Mary Ann Armstrong
6 Dec 1834
OccupationsBlacksmithBricklayerCotton Hand-loom WeaverToll Collector (1841)
Fancy Waistcoat Weaver (1851)
Engine man and fitter (1861/81)
1841 CensusAllonby
HoH wife: Mary Faulder
HoH wife: Jane
HoH, single
HoH, Wife: Mary
1851 CensusAllonby
HoH widower
HoH wife: Jane
HoH, single
Crosthwaite (nr Keswick)
HoH, Wife: Mary Ann
1861 CensusAllonby
HoH wife: Mary Graham
HoH wife: Jane
HoH, single
Crosthwaite (nr Keswick)
HoH, Wife: Mary Ann
1871 CensusAllonby
HoH wife: Mary
HoH wife: Jane
HoH, Wife: Mary Ann
1881 CensusNot foundCarlisle
HoH widower
Boarder, Widower
1891 CensusNot foundCarlisle
B-i-L widower
Uncle, Widower
Death / Burial
Carlisle RD
Q1 1892 78yo
David Johnson per Census records found on Find My Past (HoH = Head of Household)
Initially Searching with Name Variants b 1815 +/- 2yr Cumberland+20miles
Marriages per Family Search

Using FreeBMD augmented by the GRO Indices (to gain age at death information) we know that in the North Western Registration Districts in Cumberland (Carlisle, Wigton and Cockermouth) there were the following possible deaths of David Johnstons after the 1861 Census:

NameDateGRO ReferenceAge at Death
David JohnstonQ3 1862Wigton  Volume: 10b; Page: 254;78 →YoB ~ 1784
(too old)
David JohnstonQ2 1891Wigton  Volume: 10b; Page: 380;74 →YoB ~ 1817
David Johnstone
(probably the
Bricklayer above)
Q2 1892Carlisle  Volume: 10b; Page: 407;78 →YoB ~ 1814

None of the above deaths seem probable for our David Johnston which would tend to indicate that he is not found in Cumberland after 1871.

Rolling forward those in the 1871 Census

In 1871 David Johnston’s household was as shown in the table below. Against each name I have summarised the result of looking for them on Find My Past after 1871.

  • in the 1881 and 1891 Censuses in Cumberland (using year of birth plus or minus 2 years, allowing name variants, and looking for a plausible combination of place of birth and occupation)
  • in the death indices for Wigton Registration District between Q2 1871 and Q2 1891 – using GRO indices as an additional check. If a death is found in the 1881 to 1891 gap, but the individual is not found in the 1881 census, we have something missing.
  • in the marriage indices for Wigton Registration District between Q2 1871 and Q2 1891 – using Family Search as an additional check.
First name(s)RelationImplied Birth yearBirth placeNote
DavidHead1816[Hethersgill], CumberlandNo 1881 or 1891 Census entry found in England
No Q2 1871- Q2 18911 Death Registration found in Wigton, Carlisle or Cockermouth
MaryWife1821ScotlandNo 1881 or 1891 Census entry found in England
2 Possible Deaths in Wigton2
JamesSon1860aAllonby, CumberlandNo records can be identified with certainty from a fair number of “possibles”
DavidSon1863bAllonby, CumberlandNo records can be identified with certainty from a fair number of “possibles”
Mary JaneGrand
1864Allonby, CumberlandIn 1881 probably visiting her mother, now Mary Ann Davidson3
David Johnston, Blacksmith’s family per 1871 Census
and their probable fates!

a In 1860 +/- 2 years there are three James Johnstons born in Wigton Registration District; Q4 1859 (Volume: 10b; Page: 408;) to a mother with maiden surname Irvine, and two Q2 1860 (Volume: 10b; Page: 450 & 451;), mother – Graham – one of them being the above birth in Allonby. See footnotes 1.1 to 1.3 under “David Johnston’s Children“.

b In 1863 +/- 2 years there are two David Johnstons born in Wigton Registration District; Q2 1863 (Volume: 10b; Page: 484;) to a mother with with maiden surname Graham and one in Q4 1864 (Volume: 10b; Page: 437;) with no mother’s maiden surname recorded – which usually indicates an illegitimate birth.

1 The 1891 Census was on 5 April 1891. There was a death registered in Wigton in Q2 1891 for a 74yo David Johnston (Volume: 10B; Page: 380;). This would have an implied year of birth of 1816-1817, against his date of baptism of November 1815. If the informant was not sure of his age, this might be him – but where is he in the 1881 census or possibly even the 1891 census? (If they were institutionalised – such as being in the asylum, they might only be recorded by initials – and hence unidentifiable.)

2 There are two potential deaths in Wigton for Mary Johnston, in Q1 1885 63yo (vol: 10b; page: 377;) and in Q4 1899 78yo (vol: 10b; page: 381;). Again there is no easily identifiable 1881 census record.

3 FreeBMD records a marriage in Wigton Registration District between Robert Davidson and Mary Ann Johnston in Q3 1871 (Volume: 10b; Page: 667;), The 1881 Census shows a Robert and Mary Ann Davidson with two daughters and two sons, all born in Allonby since 1871. Whilst Robert was born in Burgh, Mary Ann was born in Allonby. Checking for the births of the four children on the GRO birth Indices find births in Wigton with the mother’s maiden surname of Johnston. The “visiting” Mary Jane Johnston must surely be Mary Ann’s illegitimate child noted at the end of the discussion of David Johnston’s Children.

Given the difficulty in finding this family in the 1881 Census it is probably reasonable to assume that they have left the area or dispersed. Two scenarios might be explored:

  1. The family or members of the family have dispersed within the UK
  2. The family or members of the family have emigrated – which is probably where Dwight Donaldson first came across them

Dispersal within the UK

Further research of, for instance, the children found in the 1841, ’51 and ’61 censuses may find their parents living with them. The table below summarises the records in which they are found or not found.

NameYear & Place of BirthAppearances in England Sources
1. Children of David Johnston & Mary Faulder/Folder
JohnQ3 1838 per GRO (Wigton RD)
Allonby per 1851 census
Baptised: 14 Oct 1838 Allonby1
1841 Census: Not with family
1851 Census: with family
1852 Q3 Death Index: Possible death age 13
at Wigton RD (Volume: 10B; Page: 272;)
24 Sep 1852 Burial Allonby
1861 Census: Not with family
1871 Census: Not with family
Martha1840 per GRO (Wigton)
Baptised: Allonby
(NB Not Martha Johnson daughter of William & Mary
bap 14 Feb 1841 Allonby)
1841 Census: with family
1851 Census: Not with family
1861 Census: Not with family
1871 Census: Head of Household with 2 daughters & a son
Marriage: Allonby 26 Mar 1874
of “Martha Faulder Johnston” to Robert Scott2
1881 Census: Head of Household Martha Scott (married, Washerwoman b 1840 Allonby) with a mix of Scott and Johnston children
1891 Census: Head of Household Martha Scott (widow, Washerwoman b 1843 Allonby) with a mix of Scott and Johnston children
1901 Census: Maryport with one Johnston granddaughter.
1908 Q4 Death Index: Probable death @ 67
Cockermouth RD & 12 Dec 1908 Burial in Allonby
Sarah1843 per GRO (Wigton)
b (per 51 census): Allonby
Baptism: not found
1851 Census: with family
1861 Census: probable: House Servant at Allonby
Marriage: Allonby 02 Dec 1867 to John Fletcher3
1871 Census: Sarah Fletcher (b 1844/5 Allonby)
with Husband & 2 children @ Broughton
1881 Census: Sarah Fletcher (b 1843/4 Allonby)
with Husband & 3 children @ Bothel
1881 Census occupation: formerly domestic servant
1891 Census: not found
1901 & 1911 Census with husband @ Allonby
1921 Census: not found
1925 Q4 Death Index: Probable death @ 82
Cockermouth RD & 16 Nov 1825 Burial Maryport
Mary Ann1846 per GRO (Wigton)
b (per 51/61 census): Allonby
Poss Baptism: Allonby
(as Martha)
1851 Census: with family
1861 Census: with family
1871 Census: Allonby; General Servant with Jane Temple
Marriage: Wigton RD to Robert Davidson4
1881 Census: with husband & family @ Allonby
1891 Census: with family @ Allonby
Jane1848 per GRO (Wigton)
b (per 51/61 census): Allonby
Baptism: not found
1851 Census: with family
1861 Census: with family
1871 Census: Not with family
Josephb & d Q4 1850See tables of children above
2. Children of David Johnston & Mary Graham
(part list – the others having been discussed in the previous section)
Joseph1856 per GRO (Wigton)
b (per 61 census): Allonby
Baptised: Allonby
1861 Census: with family
1871 Census: Not with family
Margaret1857 per GRO (Wigton)
b (per 61 census): Allonby
Baptised: Allonby
1861 Census: with family
1871 Census: Not with family
Children of David Johnston who did not appear with him in the 1871 Census

1 In 1838 In Wigton Registration District three John Johnston’s were registered; care has to be taken to ensure that records are correctly matched and that the 1852 death and burial is that of David and Mary’s son. If two of them can be identified in records after Q3 1852, we can be reasonably confident that the other is the one who died in that quarter.

The three – all “John Johnston” in the GRO index – were:

Mother’s Maiden SurnameBirth QuarterGRO Reference
Volume 25
Parents’ Marriage &
Baptism Details &
Census Details
JEFFERSON1838 Q2Page 1582 Johns(t)on(e)-Jefferson marriages
Robert Johnson & Sarah Jefferson 1823 or
Joseph Johnstone & Hannah Jefferson 1824
See discussion following these footnotes.
FAULDER1838 Q3Page 143Documented in this note above
Baptised: Allonby 14 Oct 1838 son of David & Mary Johnson
GRAHAM1838 Q4Page 158Baptised: Allonby 09 Dec 1838 son of William & Mary Johnson
1841 Census at Salta, Holme Cultram showing Ag Lab. William & Mary Johnston and 2yo John + 5yo William & 0yo Martha
1851 Census at Allonby, Ag Lab Mary Johnston (widow) plus William, John & Martha
John Johnston’s born in Wigton Registration District and registered in 1838

2 Based on Martha’s second name (Faulder) this looks like a credible marriage for the daughter of David Johnston and Mary Faulder. From this we find her in the 1881 Census as Martha Scott with a number of children some of whom carry her surname and were born before her marriage. Martha and these children can then be traced back into the 1871 census. Because there is more than one Martha Johnston in Allonby at the time the details of these records will be considered as part of the post about Mary’s wider family.

3 On Find My Past: England Marriages 1538-1973 (ex Family Search) Part index only – no online images on FMP or Family Search

4 Husband identified because Mary Ann’s (illegitimate) daughter Mary Jane Johnston is a visitor in 1881 with the Household of Robert & Mary Ann Davidson, prompting search for his marriage.

Johns(t)on(e) – Jefferson exclusion

There are two Johns(t)on(e)-Jefferson marriages in the area in the early 19th century either of which could be the parents of the Johns born in Wigton Registration District and registered in Q2 1838.

The first couple Robert Johnston and Sarah Jefferson were married in 1823 and have (per the 1851 and 1861 Census) a son John born around 1838 who could be the one registered in Q2 1838. His baptism has not been found.

There is also a Joseph Johnstone marrying a Hannah Jefferson in 1824 in Holme Cultram. They are not found on subsequent census records. Was “Hannah” a miss-transcription of the registers for Sarah?

There is a John Johnstone son of Joseph and Sarah baptised in Kirkbride parish and then found in the 1841 and 1851 Census in Kirkbride.

Couple & MarriageChild’s baptism1841 Census1851 Census1861 Census
Robert Johnson & Sarah Jefferson
Married 12 Jul1823 in Wigton Parisha
Robert & Sarah Johnstone in Wigton (High St) with 12 yo son John b WigtonbJohn with parents in Wigton (High St)c
Joseph Johnstone & Hannah Jefferson
Married 23 Feb 1824 Holme Cultramd
03 May 1837 Kirkbride son of Joseph and Sarah JohnstoneeTailor, Joseph, 49 and Sarah, 49 Johnston in Kirkbride Village with 4 yo John and others including
70yo Ann Hewitson
Tailor, Joseph and Sarah Johnston in Kirkbride Village with 13 yo son John b Kirkbridef
Disentangling Johnston-Jefferson marriages and baptism of son John

Supplementary Sources:
a Family Search: England, Cumbria Parish Registers, 1538-1990
b 1851 Census: Archive Ref: HO107; Piece: 2432; Folio: 186; Page: 32 (on Find My Past)
c 1861 Census: Archive Ref: RG09; Piece: 3925; Folio: 9; Page: 11 (on Find My Past)
d Family Search: England, Cumbria Parish Registers, 1538-1990
e Find My Past: England Births & Baptisms 1538-1975
f 1851 Census: Archive Ref: HO107; Piece: 2432; Folio: 113; Page: 14 (on Find My Past)


A wider geographical search for the family or members of the family appearing in records in the USA or Canada, Australia or New Zealand etc – or in passenger lists to such locations may reveal what happened – if those records can be tied back to the Allonby family.

Future Work

  • Loose ends – in scope given my interest in the surname Faulder
    1. Follow up Joseph Faulder, draper, appearing in the above 1861 & 1871 Censuses
    2. Do the Same for Margaret Blaylock, laundress
    3. Where is John Johnston, David and Mary(1)’s eldest son in the 1841 Census
    4. Where is Martha Johnston, David and Mary(1)’s eldest daughter in the 1851 & 1861 Censuses
    5. Death of Jane Faulder b 1848 to David Johnston and Mary Faulder
  • Possible – out of scope, but still possible loose ends
    • Further checks on Family of John and Jane Johnstone of Kirklinton.
    • Follow up of John and Margaret Johnston (mother’s maiden surname), born in 1873 and 1874, suspected to be children of a different Johnston-Graham couple.
    • Looking for the family after 1871.


  1. David Johnston and Mary Faulder and maybe Mary Graham.

    I paid local genealogy person to spend 8 hours searching thru records in Carlisle. Her conclusion virtually same as yours. David married to Mary Faulder who died mid 1850 and he remarried another Mary. No record of marriage found.

    Number ifof DNA matches on Ancestry.com.

    Very confusing and interesting

    Dwight Donaldson
    [edit: formatting and correction of a possible typo. DSF]

    Comment by Dwight Donaldson — 24 July, 2023 @ 5:55 am

  2. According to my mother’s DNA matches (Ancestry.ca). Matches with Martha, Jane and Sarah Johnston. Been in contact with 2 of them. I believe all 6 live in Cumberland. My connection is David Johnston (1863) wedded to Margaret Ann Moffat.

    Part of the family moved pre WW1 to Vancouver and others to Argentina. John Moffat Johnston worked for Central Argentine Railway. Back to UK for the war and joined Border Regiment. KIA 3 Battle of Gaza. Somehow I got a headstone picture from GAZA through the British Consulate. He played football in 1908 for Junin Argentina. I have a team picture and located a long-lost Moffat relative with the exact same image.

    The 1871 census is very interesting and 1851 is confusing.
    [edit: formatting and correction of possible typos. DSF]

    Comment by Dwight Donaldson — 24 July, 2023 @ 3:36 pm

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