Which last name would a widow use if she remarried in Scotland in 1833?

+3 votes
A female ancestor married aged 43 in Dumfriesshire, Scotland in 1833 (if her gravestone and death certificate correctly show her age). In the 1841 census, she and her husband are living with an 11 year old son. I am aware it is possible the son was illegitimate. I have wondered though if perhaps she had been widowed and the son took her new husband’s surname.

If she had been widowed, would she necessarily have her previous married name in the church records, or just been married with her maiden/family name?
WikiTree profile: Isabella King
in Genealogy Help by Fiona McMichael G2G6 Pilot (187k points)

1 Answer

+2 votes

Her birth record can be found on Family Search, based on a search for her WikiTree profile birth information and provides the names of her parents.  Note the variant spelling of names.

Her marriage record to William King is also found on Family Search for 1833.  A review of the sources for her profile on Family Search provides clues to a previous marriage to a Grier/Grierson, but I have not yet located a record for that.

I haven't been able to confirm the census information provided yet, as there are no sources provided.  I'll see what I can find.

Early modern Scotland Surname Use will help explain why women often retained their birth surname even after marriage.

I hope that helps a bit

by Amy Gilpin G2G6 Pilot (168k points)


Forename: ISOBELL

Spouse Name: MATHEW GRIER/FR184 (FR184)

Date: 07/02/1811

Parish Number: 840/

Ref: 10 338

Parish: Lochmaben


Great find, Mel!  Thank you smiley

Edit:  Scotland's People Search Results for Isobell Johnston 1790 to 1862 - Marriage Index 

Hah!  You had it easy getting that search link.  The (broad) search terms I used were :

Surname: Johns*on*

Forename: Is*bel*

Spouse's name: Ma*hew

(Because my first two attempts came up with zero results.)
Thank you so much, Amy. I didn’t realise those records were available on FamilySearch. I’ll have a look and amend her profile.

You're welcome, Fiona smiley and Mel is responsible for finding the first marriage to Grier via Scotland's People.  I only posted the link wink

If you buy her death registration on ScotlandsPeople, it ought to list her husbands and their occupations. 

840/ 50

 (Also registered with her maiden name.)

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