The Family History of

Peter Lamont


his wife

Elizabeth Stewart


Disappeared from Rothesay


the 1841 Census of Scotland


Peter LAMONT's intention to marry Elizabeth STEWART 'of Glasgow' was pronounced in the established church in the Parish of Kilfinan, Argyllshire, Scotland, where he was living, on the 15th of November 1828 [Register of Baptisms, 1821-1855, and Marriages, 1820-1876, Volume 2, Parish of Kilfinan, Argyll, Scotland: 1828, Page  9  73; Parish 518. LDS Microfilm 1041069 DGS 7908472]. They were married in Glasgow on the 17th, exceptionally by the Gaelic Minister Mr. Adam Gunn from the Parish of Barony, and not the regular minister of the church where the ceremony took place [Register of Marriages, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland: 1828, Page 24; Parish 644] [Post Office Directories from Glasgow in the early 1830s show that Adam Gunn was the Gaelic minister of the Hope Street Chapel of Ease, a 'Free Church' chapel. The fact that Gunn was the officiant at Peter & Elizabeth's marriage may offer some clue as to where in 'Glasgow' Elizabeth Stewart might have been living when she married]Peter was identified in the Glasgow register as 'of Kilfinan'. Elizabeth was said to be 'residing in Glasgow'. No age, occupational, or parent details were recorded.

Peter & Elizabeth's first child - John, was born on the 5th of October 1830, and baptised by the Kilfinan parish minister at Auchlick in Kilfinan on the 30th of December [Register of Baptisms, 1821-1855, and Marriages, 1820-1876, Volume 2, Kilfinan, Argyll, Scotland: 1830, Page 43; Parish 518; LDS Microfilm 1041069 Item 4; LDS DGS 7908472 Image 606 of 848; GROS 518/0000200064]. No occupation for Peter was recorded.

Peter and Elizabeth moved to the Burgh of Rothesay in Buteshire, a short distance away, a short while later, and four more children arrived. Their births and baptisms were all recorded in registers from the established Parish Church of Rothesay in the years reported below [Parish Registers, Rothesay Parish, Buteshire, Scotland, Parish 558: Baptisms, 1820-1855, and Marriages 1820-1854, Volume 4. LDS microfilm 1041086 Item 2, DGS 7908485]:

  • Archibald James, born 28 May 1833, baptised [6 ?] December 1833.
  • Mary, born 16 October 1835, baptised 15 December 1835.
  • Ivie, born 28 November 1837, baptised 1 April 1838. Curiously, Ivie's full name was recorded in the Register of Baptisms as 'Ivie Macrae Lamont', a name combination that has not appeared anywhere else in connection with this person, and there's no evidence of a Macrae in Ivie's presently known ancestry. It's strongly suspected that the inclusion of 'Macrae' as a middle name for Ivie Lamont was a clerk's error - the Baptismal Register that has survived has the appearance of having been written out all at once, well after the fact of the events, possibly from a "minister's day book" or something similar. The name of another boy named Ivie was entered in the register in the next month's records, only 10 entries after Ivie Lamont's, on the next page, as "Ivie Macrae Maclachlan". He was the son of physician Thomas MACLACHLAN and his wife Jessy MACRAE. The instance of Ivie Lamont's full name being 'Ivie Macrae Lamont' is more than likely an incorrect entry.
  • Adelaide, was born 24 July 1840, but not baptised until 29 April 1842. Records of her baptism can be found in both the formal Church of Scotland Parish Church registers as cited above, and in the registers of the Free Church [Baptisms, 1841-1849, Rothesay Free Church. National Records of Scotland: CH3/486/3. LDS DGS 4103781], even though the Free Church had not formally formed until January or February of 1843. It seems as if the powers behind the Free Church copied records from the established church registers which post dated 'the disruption' to their new registers.

The Lamont family was enumerated in Rothesay during Scotland's first fully nominal Census on the 7th of June, 1841 [1841 Census of Scotland, County of Bute, [Quad Sacra] Parish and County Burgh of Rothesay, Enumeration District 10, Page 2; Parish No. 558. Enumeration Date: 7 April 1841. LDS Microfilm 1042722 DGS 4026123]. The family was living at that time on Montague Street, within the boundaries of the Quod Sacra Parish of Rothesay. Peter was said at that time to be 45 years old - but we must recognize that the ages recorded during this census were rounded down to the next 5th year interval. So, Peter was anywhere between 45 and 49 years old on the 7th of June. This implies that he was born some time between the 8th of June 1791 and the 6th of June 1796. The only fact recorded about where Peter was from was the 'No' entry in the column headed "Where Born - if born in Scotland state whether in County or elsewhere". Elizabeth [nee Stewart] Lamont was said to be 35 years old on Census Day in 1841, so she was anywhere between 35 and 39 years old at the time [so born somewhere between about 8 June 1802 and about 6 June 1806. She, too, was said to have not been born within County of Bute boundaries. 

Another child - Elizabeth, was born in Rothesay on the 25th of June, 1842, and she was baptised in the established Parish Church on the 21st of August that same year, just four months after her 2 years older sister Adelaide.

Curiously, Peter was not named as the head of a family of Communicants attached to the established or High Church of the Parish of Rothesay in 1835 [National Records of Scotland: Rothesay Kirk Session - Communion roll, 1835-1841, CH2/890/9. LDS DGS4103119]. Nor did he cause his name to be listed in January 1843 as one of those ready to leave the old established congregation after the great schism of 1842 [National Records of Scotland: Rothesay Free Church, Names of parishioners of the parish of Rothesay who declared their determination to leave the established church if necessary, 4 January 1843, CH3/486/5. LDS DGS 4103787]. But he did allow his name to be added to the "Roll of Communicants, Adherants of the Free Church on the first occasion of Meeting after the disruption", in June 1843 [National Records of Scotland: Rothesay Free Church - Communion roll (scroll), 1843, CH3/486/6. LDS DGS 4103788]. Neither Peter's nor Elizabeth's names can be found in the lists of Communicants associated with the Free Church in Rothesay that were created in and after 1846 [National Records of Scotland: Rothesay Free Church - Communion roll, 1846-1848, CH3/486/16, LDS DGS 4103143; and Rothesay Free Church - Communion roll (scroll), 1848-1873, CH3/486/7. LDS DGS 4103335]. No traces of the name 'Peter Lamont' or 'Elizabeth Lamont' have been found in any of the Kirk Session minutes of the Parish of Rothesay, in the 1841-1851 period [National Records of Scotland: Rothesay Kirk Session - Minutes, 1825-1848, CH2/890/4, LDS DGS 4103055 and Rothesay Kirk Session - Minutes, 1848 - 1888, CH2/890/5, LDS DGS 4103076], nor in any of the other various Deacon's Court minutes or Accounts which were created within the Free Church of Rothesay in the 1841-1851 period. 

Peter was described as 'labourer' when each of his children were baptised in Rothesay. The cryptic notations in the 1841 Census of Scotland schedule shows that Peter was a "M[ale] S[ervant]". When his name was added to the Roll of Communicants of the Free Church in June, 1843, he was noted to have been "Mrs. Lee's Gardener [living on] Montague Street".

Mrs. LEE was, in April of 1841, Mrs Jane [nee HUNTER] Lee, the 61 year old widow of Robert Lee. She was noted in the 1841 Census to have been residing on Argyle Street in Rothesay, with her daughter Elinor along with 3 live-in male servants and 1 live-in female servant [1841 Census of Scotland, County of Bute, New Parish and County Burgh of Rothesay, Enumeration District 15, Page 6; Parish No. 558. Enumeration Date: 7 April 1841. LDS Microfilm 1042722 DGS 4026123]. Miss E Lee was one of the individuals named in the January 1843 Roll of those ready to leave the old established Church of Scotland in Rothesay. Mrs Lee and Miss E Lee, then said to have been of '[Culevin ?]', were named in the June 1843 Roll of Communicants at the first meeting of the Free Church in Rothesay. Prior to her death on 5 January 1846, the inscription on her Memorial Stone in the Rothesay Cemetery indicates that Mrs Lee had "lived many years as a Christian Widow" []. Her husband had been the Surveyor of Customs at Greenock for many years. Mrs. Jane [nee Hunter] Lee wrote her very detailed and extensive Testament or Last Will on the 24th of December, 1845. She died on the 5th of January, 1846, and her Will was proven in the Sheriff Court in Rothesay on the 20th of March, 1846. Dr. Thomas McLachlan, physician and surgeon of Rothesay, father of the above referenced Ivie Macrae McLachlan, was the principal person inolved in the iniventory of Mrs. Lee's Estate [National Records of Scotland: Rothesay Sheriff Court, Wills and Testaments, 1841-1847, SC8/35/4. ScotlandsPeople Images 375-393]. By her Will, she left a sizeable Estate to her spinster daughter Eleanor Stewart Lee and to many others, including several servants and other 'hired help'. Disappointingly, neither Peter Lamont, his wife Elizabeth [nee Stewart], nor any of their children, were mentioned in Mrs Lee's Testament.

And all indications are that both Peter Lamont and his wife Elizabeth died some time between the latter half of 1842 and early 1851 (although absolutely no proof of this has surfaced).

Elizabeth the elder must have been alive on the 25th of June, 1842, when her daughter Elizabeth was born. Did she die in childbirth? Peter was clearly alive as the head of a family of Communicants at the Free Church in Rothesay in June of 1843. Did Peter and Elizabeth the elder both die near the same time, because of illness. Or did he suffer a mortal accident? Did Peter and Elizabeth, or just one of them, return to Kilfinan Parish after their daughter Elizabeth was baptised in Rothesay in August of 1842?

We just don't know.

Of course, detailed registration of details of deaths (and births and marriages) only began in Scotland in 1855, so we have no recourse to this form of information in this case. And Presbyterian congregations in Scotland did not generally maintain death or burial registers of any kind in the 1840s and 1850s. There are no monumental stones in the Rothesay cemeteries which memorialize Peter and Elizabeth [Monumental Inscriptions - Rothesay & Croc-an-Raer Cemeteries; compiled by Doreen Ann Birrell of Greenock, 1/10/56. Original in the Principal Probate Registry, London, England. LDS microfilm 196783 DGS 7905026]. We suspect that Peter and Elizabeth (or their survivors) were just too poor to have had the resources that would have permitted such extravagance as a memorial stone.

By the 30th of March 1851, when the next Census of Scotland enumeration was undertaken, the children of Peter & Elizabeth [nee Stewart] Lamont had been dispersed. Several - the four youngest, Mary, Ivie, Adelaide, and Elizabeth, were living with an aunt - a 57 year old 'fisherman's widow' named Euphemia McLACHLAN, at Stronduich near the Lamont clan base at Ardlamont in Kilfinan Parish, Argyllshire [1851 Census of Scotland, County of Argyll, District of Corvale, Parish of Kilfinan, Enumeration District 5, Page 1; Schedule No. 1; Parish No. 518; Enumeration Date: 2 April 1851. LDS Microfilm 1042351]. The exact relationship of Euphemia to Peter & Elizabeth's children is not presently known, but it's looking increasingly as if she was an older sister of Peter's.

No obvious trace of Peter & Elizabeth's son named John has turned up anywhere after 1841.

Archibald James Lamont was enumerated in Rothesay in 1851 as a 17 year old lodger in the home of Daniel McLEAN and his wife Mary CAMERON - both described in the Census as elderly natives of Argyllshire [1851 Census of Scotland, County of Bute, Parish and Burgh of Rothesay, Enumeration District 17, Page 4; Schedule No. 21; Parish No. 558; Enumeration Date: 2 April 1851. LDS Microfilm 1042358 DGS 4016324]. Archibald James was working as a 'cotton piecer' in the cotton factory in Rothesay on Census Day in 1851. He joined the British Army in 1855, and served a stint at Peshawar, at that time in north-west India. Archibald was invalided home on a life-long monthly pension in 1861, which he received in Glasgow. He married in Rothesay in 1863 and the couple moved to Glasgow, where 3 sons were born. He died in Glasgow in 1901.

Mary died a spinster, at Killdavaig, Kilfinan Parish, in 1877, as reported by her cousin John Douglas.

Ivie married, had one child in Glasgow, was ultimately admitted to one of Scotland's burgeoning Insane Asylums, and died early in the 1900s.

Adelaide, a spinster, sailed on free passage from Plymouth, England, to Melbourne, Australia in 1863. There she married a man of Chinese origin - Willie Ah KIN, and a large family of descendants is known today in Australia and New Zealand. Read more about this here.

Nothing substantively tangible about the youngest daughter, Elizabeth Lamont, has been discovered after 1851. She may have been the 18 year old Scottish girl named Elizabeth Lamont - one of many single young women and a few single young men, who sailed from Liverpool to New York in July of 1860, on board the S. S. City of Washington. Certainly no 1861 Census of Scotland record seems to point to this Elizabeth - unless she was the 16 year old so named who had been born in Rothesay, who was residing as a 'general servant'  within the boarding house home of Marion SIMPSON at 2a Albany Street in St Mary, Edinburgh.

And here the story - at least as much of it as is presently known, ends.

Contact Bruce D. Murduck   concerning any matter at all.