Peter Lamont's Origins

in the

Parish of Kilfinan, Argyllshire, Scotland

1841 and earlier


When Peter LAMONT and Elizabeth STEWART's intimation to marry was publicized in the Kilfinan Parish Church on the 15th of November, 1828, he was said to be 'of Kilfinan' while she was living in Glasgow. When they were married in Glasgow a few days later, he was again said to have been 'of Kilfinan', and she was again said to have been residing in Glasgow. Kilfinan was/is an ecclesiastical parish in Argyllshire, in the western reaches of Scotland.

Peter and Elizabeth's first child - John, was born on 5 October 1830, in a place that was identified as 'Auchlech', as recorded when John was baptised in Kilfinan on the 30th of December at the end of that year.

Peter & Elizabeth [nee Stewart] Lamont's next 5 children were born and baptised in the Royal Burgh of Rothesay, in Buteshire, one of Scotland's western isles situated immediately south of Ardlamont Point in Kilfinan - the historical seat of the Chief of Clan Lamont. Peter and his family were enumerated in the Quad Sacra Parish of Rothesay during Scotland's 1841 Census enumeration. Both Peter and Elizabeth were said to have been born in some place other than Buteshire. It's believed that both Peter and Elizabeth died some time between 1842 and 1851. Click here for a full discussion about the Family of Peter & Elizabeth [nee Stewart] Lamont.

On Census Day in Scotland in 1851 (30 March) the four youngest of Peter & Elizabeth's children - Mary, Ivie, Adelaide, and Elizabeth, were found and enumerated within the household of their 'aunt' Euphemia McLACHLAN, a 57 year old 'fisherman's widow' who was residing at Stronduich in Kilfinan parish, the place that was shown to be where she had been born.

This paper establishes what the relationship between Euphemia McLachlan and the Lamont children was, and presents information that describes the parents, siblings and other relations of Peter Lamont himself - information that has been unknown to researchers and family members since Peter's apparent demise in the late 1840s.


First ......

What do we know about Euphemia McLachlan?

When she was enumerated at Stronduich, in Kilfinan, in 1851, it was recorded that she was the 57 year old widow of a fisherman [1851 Census of Scotland, Argyllshire, Parish of Kilfinan - Parish No. 518, Enumeration District 5, Page 1, Schedule No. 1,  Lines 1-5. LDS microfilm 1042351 DGS 4033894]. It was also recorded that she had been born in Kilfinan. The age recorded by the enumerator (undoubtedly based on answers to his verbal questions directed at the householder, as instructed) suggests that Euphemia was born in about late 1793 or early 1794.

Hugh McLachlan was married to Euphemia Lamont in Greenock, Renfrewshire, Scotland, on 15 January 1816 [Register of Marriages, Greenock, Renfrewshire, Scotland, 1698-1819, 1816, Page  48  222. National Records of Scotland: OPR 564-3/4. LDS microfilm 1041063 DGS 007908366 image 583 of 894]. They had publicized their intent to marry on the 6th of January. At that time, they had both declared that they were 'of this parish'. No age details were recorded in the Greenock marriage register. Nor were any occupational details recorded for Hugh.

A birth or baptismal record of only one person named Euphemia Lamont can be found in records that were created in the Parish of Kilfinan between 1790 and 1800 [Register of Baptisms, Parish of Kilfinan, Argyllshire, Scotland, Parish No. 518, 1728-1819, Volume 1, Page ?. LDS microfilm 1041069 item 3, DGS 7908472 image 345 of 848]. A girl named Euphemia Lamont was born at Milhouse in Kilfinan Parish on the 19th of August 1792. She was the daughter of John Lamont and his wife Mary JOHNSON, of that place. Euphemia was baptised on 22 August. So, if the aunt of Peter and Elizabeth [nee Stewart] Lamont's children was this woman - Euphemia Lamont, who married Hugh McLachlan in Greenock in 1816, then her age reported at the time of enumeration in 1851 (57) was a tiny bit 'off' (suggesting a birth in 1793 or 1794, rather than the last half of 1792). No other logical or reasonable candidates have appeared. It must have been Euphemia Lamont, daughter of John & Mary [nee Johnson] Lamont who was born in 1792, who married Hugh McLachlan in 1816, and took in the children of Peter & Elizabeth [nee Stewart] Lamont's children by 1851.

Two children followed Euphemia's marriage to Hugh McLachlan: Mary, born 4 December 1816, and baptised in Kilfinan Parish on 2 February 1817 [Register of Baptisms, Kilfinan, Argyllshire, Scotland, Volume 1, 1728-1819 [pages not numbered]. National Records of Scotland: OPR 518/1. LDS microfilm 1041069 item 3; DGS 7908472 image 472 of 848]; and Robert, born 4 May 1820, and baptised in Kilfinan on an unrecorded date some time in April or May of 1820 [Register of Baptisms, Kilfinan, Argyllshire, Scotland, Volume 2, 1820-1855, Page 2 [reverse]. National Records of Scotland: OPR 518/2. LDS microfilm 1041069 item 4; DGS 7908472 image 577 of 848]. When Mary was baptised in 1816, Hugh and Euphemia were said to be living in 'Corra Kerry'. When Robert's baptism was recorded in 1820, Hugh and 'Femy' were said to be living in 'Kildavaig'. Both are places in the Parish of Kilfinan. Neither of these baptismal records reveal what occupation Hugh McLachlan was engaged in.

Hugh McLachlan appears to have died some time between early 1820 and 1833, because no additional children are noted, And, in 1833, when the minister of the Parish of Kilfinan ventured to the homes of each of his parishioners during the year, he found Euphemia Lamont alone with her two children - Mary & Robert, at 'Moss Cottage' ['Kilfinan Parish Register made by the Rev'd Jospeh Stark when visiting and Catechising the people from house to house during the year 1833', bound within the pages of the 'Parochial Register', Kilfinan, Argyll (Volume 2), Births 1820-1854 & Marriages 1820-1854, Page 25 (a later page numbering). National Records of Scotland, OPR 518/2. LDS microfilm 1041069 item 4, DGS 7908472. Note that in the area and period, women were often known and described by their maiden surname, even after marriage - especially in rural areas by minsters of the established or High Church of Scotland.].

On 7 April 1841, Census Day in Scotland, Euphemia McLachlan and her two children - Mary & Robert, had returned to Greenock, and they were living at No. 9, on the west side of Smiths Lane in the West or Old part of Greenock. As a means of earning a livelihood, Euphemia's occupation was recorded as 'keeps lodgers' [1841 Census of Scotland, Renfrewshire, Greenock - West or Old Part, Enumeration District 70, Page 6. National Records of Scotland: Parish 564. LDS microfilm 1042724 DGS 4026124 image 98 of 688]. Three seemingly unrelated individuals who were living separately from Euphemia were enumerated within the household - Archibald FLETCHER, a 'joiner'; Robert CURRIE, a 'taylor'; and Donald McQUEEN, also a 'joiner'. Euphemia and her 2 children were both noted to have 'not' been born in Renfrewshire. Euphemia McLachlan's age was recorded on this enumerator's schedule as '45', which because of the rounding down of each person's actual age in early April of 1841 to the nearest fifth year, imputs that Euphemia was actually between 45 and 49 years old on Census Day. This implies that she was born some time between about April 1792 and April 1796. No other individual named either Euphemia Lamont or Euphemia McLachlan who even closely matches what we know about 'our' Euphemia appears to have been enumerated as a resident within the boundaries of either Argyllshire, Buteshire, or Renfrewshire on Census Day in 1841.

An 1851 Census enumerator, as noted above, found Euphemia McLachlan living at 'Stronduich' in Kilfinan Parish, Argyllshire, in company with four nieces and nephews named Lamont. Hugh & Euphemia McLachlan's daughter Mary had been married to painter Andrew LEE some time around 1843 [no obvious record of the marriage has been found - their first child, Christina, was born in about 1845] and they were enumerated in Partick, Parish of Govan (now part of Glasgow) in 1851. Hugh & Euphemia McLachlan's son Robert was married to Mary CAMERON in the Parish of Govan in 1853, he having been enumerated within his sister Mary's household in Partick in 1851.

Mary [nee McLachlan] Lee emigrated to join her husband in the town of Strathroy in Middlesex County, Ontario, Canada, via New York, in September, 1859. She travelled with their five children - Christina, Mary, Agnes, Robertina, and Andrew, and her mother Euphemia McLachlan emigrated with them [Passenger Manifest, Port of New York, S.S.Glasgow, from Greenock, Scotland, 14 September 1859, to New York [1 ?] October 1859, James Bett Thompson, Master: Mary Lee, wife, 59, children Christina, Mary, Agnes, Robertina & Andrew and Euphemia McLachlan, wife, 68 years. citing United States National Archives & Records Administration microfilm serial M237, List No. 986]. Euphemia was enumerated in Strathroy within the Lee household during Census events there in 1861 (January) and 1871 (April), but not in 1881 (April). Euphemia McLachlan's age as recorded at the time of her emigration, and in each of the 1861 and 1871 census records from Canada, is consistent with her having been born in Scotland in about 1792. Andrew Lee died in Strathroy on 13 December 1886, and his remains were buried in the Strathroy Municipal Cemetery on the 16th [email from Melonie Carson, Administative Assistant to the Chief Adminstrative Officer of the Municipalilty of Strathroy-Caradoc, 10 February 2023]. Mary's remains were buried beside Andrew's in Strathroy, on 13 July 1892, but no Ontario provincial death regisration record is extant. Mary had gone to live with her daughter Christina Thompson in Adelaide Township, Middlesex County, Ontario, after Andrew died. Curiously, Andrew & Mary [nee McLachlan] Lee's second child - Mary, married a man named John A Lamont in Strathroy in 1873, and they moved to Michigan! Other descendants of Andrew & Mary [nee McLachlan] Lee can be traced today throughout Canada and the United States.

Robert McLachlan appears to have died around Glasgow some time after 1891, leaving eight children, one of whom was named Euphemia. No obvious pointer to his Scottish statutory death record has turned up. Descendants of Robert McLachlan's have not been traced.

It's presumed that Euphemia McLachlan died in Strathroy, Middlesex County, Ontario, Canada, some time between April, 1871 and April, 1881, but no evidence of a Province of Ontario death registration record is evident [she was definitely not the 90 year old woman named Euphemia McLachlan who died in Ekfrid Township, Middlesex County, Ontario,  on 25 May 1880!]. Even if found, though, an Ontario death registration record from the 1871 - 1881 period would not provide us with her parents' names - there was no provision in the forms for such information in Ontario until 1910.

The Archivist at the Strathroy & Caradoc County Museum & Archives found extensive obituaries for Andrew and Mary [nee McLachlan] Lee, published in The Age, the sole newspaper published in Strathroy, shortly after their deaths. But no obituary was found for Euphemia, which the Archivist found curious. Given the prominence and detail given in Andrew and Mary's obituaries, she seemed certain that a similarly extensive obituary must have been published after Euphemia died - but there are no surviving editions of The Age for the entire period of 1872-1873. So, the Archivist suspects that Euphemia probably died in this 1872-1873 period, when she would have been about 80 years old, or so. Additionally, while the Stratford Cemetery is known to have been established in 1861, no records of interments there are known to have survived prior to 1878, so no evidence exists which indicates when Euphemia McLachlan's remains might have been buried in that Cemetery at any time [emails from Crystal Loyst, Museum Collections and Research Coordinator, Municipality of Strathroy-Caradoc, Strathroy, Ontario, Canada, 13 & 14 February 2023].

It presently appears as if one of Euphemia [nee Lamont] McLachlan's older sisters - Christian, and her husband John BLACK and four children, also emigrated to Middlesex County, Ontario, Canada - probably in the 1825-1833 period. The last Black child was baptised in Kilfinan in 1825, and this family is missing from the 1833 'Register of Parishioners'. John & Christian [nee Lamont] Black's son John was one of the pallbearers at Mary [nee McLachlan] Lee's funeral in Strathroy in 1892.


Second ......

What do we know about Peter Lamont?

Peter was shown in marriage records from two places to have been a native of Kilfinan, Argyllshire, in Scotland. His first son - John, was born in Kilfinan. And by 1851 his four youngest children were living in Kilfinan with an Aunt, who, as we've just seen, was Euphemia [nee Lamont] McLachlan, a daughter of John & Mary [nee Johnson] Lamont. Peter's second son (second child) was named Archibald James. His first daughter (third child) was named Mary. 

We're uncertain about the time of 'our' Peter's birth, though, because of the 'rounding down' nature of tallying ages in the 1841 Census of Scotland. Our best guess is that he was born in Kilfinan between about the 8th of June 1791 and the 6th of June 1796 [see The History of Peter & Elizabeth [nee Stewart] Lamont's Family for more detail about this].

Three boys named Peter Lamont were born and baptised in the Parish of Kilfinan, Argyllshire, Scotland, between about 1790 and 1800.

  • One, born Milhouse in May of 1794, was the son of John Lamont & his wife Mary Johnson.
  • The second was born in Stialag in August of 1794, the son of Archibald Lamont and his wife Mary Macrea.
  • And the third was born in Auchadalvaig on 15 Sep 1799, the son of John Lamont & his wife Mary Campbell.

The immediate suspicion is that Peter Lamont who married Elizabeth Stewart in Glasgow in 1828, was the first child just named.

But the notation in the Kilfinan Baptisms Register, where Peter & Elizabeth [nee Stewart] Lamont's 3rd son (fourth child) was named Ivie Macrae Lamont [see details about this in the 'Family of Peter & Elizabeth [nee Stewart] Lamont']. suggests that he might more reasonably have been the second child named above. Certainly this last suggestion - that 'our' Peter was the son of Archibald and Mary [nee Macrea] Lamont is the one that an early investigator - A G W Lamont, a great-great-grandson of Peter Lamont, came to believe in the mid 1980s.

We can eliminate the third child from our discussion - he seems to have died before about 1804, because another son was born to John & Mary [nee Campbell] Lamont whom they named also Peter.

Can we develop more substantial arguments today, for or against either parental scenario?

Of course! We'll start be identifying the names of all of the children born to each of the two remaining couples, and detail when and where they were born (as far as can be determined) [all details are from the Register of Baptisms (1728-1820) & Marriages (1779-1819), Parish of Kilfinan, Argyllshire, Scotland. National Records of Scotland Parish No. 518. LDS microfilm 1041069 item 3 DGS 7908472]: 

Children of John & Mary [nee Johnston] Lamont

  • Elizabeth, born Milhouse, bap 18 Jun 1786
  • Christian or Christina, born Mechnach, bap 6 Jun 1788
  • Georgina, born Mechnach, bap 13 May 1790
  • Euphemia, born Milhouse, 19 Aug 1792
  • Peter, born Milhouse, 27 May 1794
  • Norman, born Caolacha, 25 Dec 1801.

Children of Archibald & Mary [nee Macrea] Lamont

  • Sarah, born Corah, 5 Jan 1779
  • Mary, born Corrah, bap 11 Nov 1781
  • Duncan, born Corra in Kerry, bap 5 Oct 1788
  • John, born Kilbride, bap 22 May 1791
  • Peter, born Stialag 29 Aug 1794
  • Isabel, born Stialag Kerry, bap Milhouse 13 Apr 1797
  • William, born Stialag, bap Milhouse [14 Oct ?] 1792


We've already observed that Peter & Elizabeth [nee Stewart] Lamont's four youngest children - Mary, Ivie, Adelaide and Elizabeth, were living with their aunt Euphemia [nee Lamont] McLachlan in Stronduich on Census Day in 1851.

Peter & Elizabeth [nee Stewart] Lamont's daughter Mary was enumerated as a 'niece' within Hector & Georgina [nee Lamont] McLean's household in Knap, Kilfinan, when the 1861 Census of Scotland was taken. Hector was at that time described as 'carpenter'. Georgina Lamont had been married to Hector McLean in about 1819 [although no formal marriage register entry has been found; their first child was born in August 1820. The names Hector McLean & Georgina Lamont and 7 children - Christian, Lachlan, Augusta, Amelia, Mary, Sally & Rebecca were recorded in Rev'd Joseph Stark's 1833 'Family Register' from Kilfinan]. Also within the household in 1851 was Hector & Georgina's daughter Rebecca, and their grandson John Douglas. When she died on 26 November 1871, Georgina was identified as the 'widow of Hector McLean (joiner), and daughter of John Lamont & Mary Johnston'. Mary Lamont, daughter of Peter & Elizabeth [nee Stewart] Lamont, died a spinster in Killdavaig, Kilfinan Parish, in 1877, at the home of Georgina McLean's daughter Rebecca, and Georgina's grandson John Douglas reported the death.

Christian Lamont, second child of John & Mary [nee Johnson] Lamont, was married to John BLACK in Gorbals [Glasgow] on 28 November 1812. She emigrated with her family to the area around Strathroy, Middlesex County, Ontario, in the 1825-1833 period, and died there in [1864 ?]. This is the same place her younger sister Euphemia [nee Lamont] McLachlan moved to with her daughter & son-in-law - Mary & Andrew Lee, in 1859. 

Also enumerated at Stronduich on Census Day in 1851 was the family of Norman & Mary [nee McCallum] Lamont. Norman and his family were enumerated as residents of Knap in Kilfinan on Census Day in 1861. Also living at Knap in 1861 there were Hector & Georgina [nee Lamont] McLean, as seen above.

The family of the other Peter Lamont - the son of Archibald & Mary [nee Mccrea] Lamont, born at Stialag in August of 1794, is extremely elusive! No record of marriage between Archibald Lamont and Mary McCrea has been found (which unquestionably suggests that they were married before 1779, if they married in Kilfnan, because no records of marriage prior to this date are known to exist from this Parish). We may find sightings of some of Archibald & Mary [nee Maccrea] Lamont's children in the 1833 'Register of Parishioners', but beyond the baptisms of their children, few later records of marriage or death for any of the children have been found except for son John. Archibald & Mary [nee McCrea] Lamont's son John was married to Margaret Weir in Kilfinan in 1819. He and Margaret were enumerated in Otter Ferry, Kilfinan, in 1841, at which time he was said to be an 'ag[ricultural] lab[ourer]'. John was enumerated in 'Auckozie' Kilfinan in 1851, and at 'Achagayle' Kilfinan in 1861, when he was described as being a 'retired farmer'. Presently known children include Archibald (born about 1821), Janet (born about 1827), Duncan (born about 1837), William (born about 1838), Peter (born about 1843), and John (born about 1849). John Lamont the elder died in Kilfinan aged about 72 years. 

Contact Bruce D. Murduck   concerning any matter at all.