Category Archives: genealogy

Scotch marriage record of my ancestors (my Smith grandfather’s great-grandparents)



John Gilchrist-Agnes Christie marriage record.jpg



I am one fourth Scotch through my paternal grandfather Thomas Gordon Smith (1885-1967).

Posted here is the marriage record of my grandfather’s great-grandparents on his paternal grandmother’s side.

My grandfather’s great-grandfather on his paternal grandmother’s side was John Gilchrist of Scotland. John Gilchrist married my grandfather’s great-grandmother Agnes Christie. Their daughter Jane (Gilchrist) Smith (my grandfather’s paternal grandmother) emigrated to the United States in 1872.

The marriage of John Gilchrist and Agnes Christie took place in Paisley, Scotland in 1833. “MC” on the marriage record stands for Middle Church. Middle Church describes the area around a parish and also the religious denomination associated with that area. The couple were Presbyterian.

If any family member ever goes to Scotland, they might want to check out Paisley. The newlyweds John and Agnes lived on North Croft Street in Paisley in the late 1830. They later moved to Niddry Street in Paisley, where they were living as recorded in the 1841 Scotch census.

Paisley is where their daughter Jane, my grandfather’s maternal grandmother, was born in December 1834. She died in Boston, Massachusetts in 1907.

Paisley was at one time famous for its weaving and textile industries. Prior to emigrating, Jane (Gilchrist) Smith, my grandfather’s maternal grandmother, was employed as a “winder of cotton.”

Jane’s father John Gilchrist, whose marriage record is posted here, is described as a blacksmith in early records and later as a “boilermaker journeyman.” He was born 1811 to 1815 (a range of years deduced from ages shown on later records). The year 1811 is likely. There was a John Gilcrhis [sic] baptized to a John Gilcrhis and Jean Cameron on 1 Dec 1811 in Paisley (Abbey). This is probably my ancestor.


— Roger W. Smith

    May 2018





See also my post:


“Jane (Gilchrist) Smith (1834-1907)”


William Handy, Love Swain marriage record




William Handy-Love Swain marriage record



William Handy-Love Swain marriage record




William Handy (1762-1856) of Sandwich, Massachusetts — sea captain, whaler, ship owner, farmer — was the grandfather of my mother’s grandfather Henry Thomas Handy (1845-1916). He served in the Revolutionary War.

He married Love Swain (1779-1857) on August 25, 1796 in Sandwich when he was 34 years old and she was about 17 years old. They had nine children. Love (Swain) Handy was a direct descendant of Daniel Swain, one of the founding purchasers of Nantucket.

Posted here is a copy of the marriage record, which I have transcribed as follows:


August 25th, 1796

William Handy and Love Swain both of Sandwich were married by Revd. Jonathan Burr.


Rev. Jonathan Burr was pastor of the First Church of Sandwich and preceptor of Sandwich Academy.



— Roger W. Smith

    May 2018





See also my posts:


William Handy (1762-1856) of Sandwich, MA



“my Revolutionary War ancestor”

a trip to Massachusetts (and its disappointing aftermath)



During the month just ended, I took a trip to Massachusetts to attend the American Literature Association’s annual conference in Boston, and also to take photos of personal interest from the point of view of my personal history and also from a genealogical angle.

I grew up in Massachusetts, in the Greater Boston area.

Practically all of my relatives came from Massachusetts. My father’s ancestors, on his father’s side, emigrated from Scotland to Boston in 1872. His relatives on his mother’s side emigrated during the colonial period and lived mostly in Essex County, north of Boston, and subsequently in the Greater Boston area.

My mother’s relatives were originally mostly from Cape Cod; some of my relatives continue to live there.

The following is a trip itinerary with photographs.




Continue reading

genealogical notes: Hart family of Southeastern Massachusetts



Posted here in the form of downloadable Word file (below) are extensive notes I compiled over the course of several years on my New England Hart family ancestors. It was a very interesting family to research.

My maternal grandmother Annie C. Handy — nee Annie Congdon Hart — belonged to this family.

A key, but by no means my only, source was an indispensable, exhaustively researched, authoritative Hart family genealogy by James M. Hart that was published in 1903 and which carried the family genealogy right down to the family of my maternal grandmother. Interested family historians will see that I have mined just about every conceivable scrap of documentary evidence I could find in various archives and sources.

This report was compiled for the benefit of a Hart descendant who recently contacted me about a post on this site.


— Roger W. Smith

   April 2017



Continue reading

Jane (Gilchrist) Smith (1834-1907)



Jane (Gilchrist) Smith, wife of Thomas Smith (1837-1902), was my great-great grandmother.

She was born in December 1834 in Paisley, a town in Renfrew County, Scotland which is close to Glasgow, a distance of about seven miles.

Her parents – my great-great-great grandparents — were John and Agnes (Christie) Gilchrist. John Gilchrist was a boiler maker.

As a young woman, including early during her marriage to Thomas Smith — whom she married in Glasgow in July 1859 — Jane Gilchrist was employed as a winder of cotton. Paisley, her birthplace, was a center of the weaving industry.

Jane and her husband Thomas Smith emigrated to Boston with their five children in June 1872. Jane died in Boston on August 1, 1907 at age 72.

Jane was the mother of nine children, two of whom died in infancy. The five other children born in Scotland emigrated with Jane and her husband, Thomas. Two other children — William and Edward Smith, my grandfather’s uncles — were born in Boston in 1873 and 1875, respectively.

Jane could not read or write. She signed birth certificates for her children and her will with an “X.”


— Roger W. Smith

     April 2016



Paisley Town Hall.jpg





See also:


Thomas Smith and Jane (Gilchrist) Smith, from Scotland to Boston, MA, 1872



The family of Thomas Smith (1837-1902) and Jane (Gilchrist) Smith (1834-1907) of Boston, MA



Thomas Smith (1837-1902)

Thomas Smith (1837-1902)



My great-great grandfather, Thomas Smith, was born on May 25 1837, almost certainly in the village of Milton in the County of Dumbarton in Scotland. (One source confuses things by indicating that he was born in Glasgow; this appears to be an error.) His father, John Smith, was a weaver.

Thomas Smith, his wife Jane (Gilchrist) Smith, and their five children – ages one to ten years old – emigrated to Boston (taking passage on a steamer from Liverpool) in June 1872.

Thomas was a laborer; his occupation was brass finisher. In Boston, he found work at William T. Foster & Company in East Boston, who, in an advertisement in 1886, described their business thusly: “brass founders, ship plumbers, and metal dealers; ship bells, water closets, side lights, steerers, and every description of ship fastenings and trimming.”

Thomas and his family lived on Bennington Street in East Boston. Bennington Street is in the section known as Orient Heights, which is where my grandfather, Thomas Gordon Smith, was born. Orient Heights is on the Blue Line, which goes to Logan Airport, and is quite close to the airport.

The elder Thomas Smith, my great-great grandfather, died in Boston on October 16, 1902 at age 65.

Thomas Smith and Jane Gilchrist were married in Glasgow in 1859. They lived for a couple of years on James Street in the Bridgeton section of Glasgow.

In around 1863, they moved with their two young children to the city of Greenock. One of these children was Thomas Smith, Jr. (b. 1861), my great-grandfather.

The family lived for about ten years on Duncan Street in Greenock before emigrating.

I visited Greenock in 1999. It’s a nice town on a human scale. Its population is around 44,000. Many of the buildings are old. The town does not appear prosperous, quite; on the other hand, it does not seem to be gloomy or run-down.


Addendum: One additional fact of some interest. It is noted above that the father of my great-great grandfather Thomas Smith (1837-1902) was John Smith. The maiden name of Thomas Smith’s mother, my great-great-great grandmother, was Gordon. This is noteworthy because people in earlier times were more accustomed than they are now to use family surnames in naming their children. My grandfather, Thomas Gordon Smith’s (1885-1967), middle name was Gordon.


— Roger W. Smith

     April 2016











See also:



Thomas Smith and Jane (Gilchrist) Smith, from Scotland to Boston, MA, 1872



The family of Thomas Smith (1837-1902) and Jane (Gilchrist) Smith (1834-1907) of Boston, MA

George C. Smith, Sr., obituary


George C. Smith, Sr. (1892-1948) was my grandfather T. Gordon Smith’s brother and my father, Alan W. Smith’s, uncle.

He was the son of Thomas Smith, Jr. and Jennie (Wright) Smith.

His full name was George Caldwell (or Colwell) Smith.

George C. Smith, Sr obituary.JPG