New to Scottish research... help?

+14 votes
I am just starting to attempt to find my Scottish ancestors back in Scotland. They immigrated to New York in 1848, so I am looking at years prior to this. Can someone tell me where I should be looking? I think they are from Dumfries. Should I sign up for this Scotland's People website? I have searched the indexed records (no images available) on FamilySearch and done the free preliminary search on Scotland's People, but I haven't found anything yet. Are the old parish records my best bet? The people I am looking for were born between 1815 and 1820. Three brothers. They were all married in the US, so I would mainly be looking for baptisms or a marriage record for their parents. Although, I only have a hunch as to what their mother's maiden name was and do not know either of their parents' first names. Any suggestions appreciated.
in Genealogy Help by Chelsie Burkhart G2G2 (2.3k points)

4 Answers

+8 votes
Best answer

Many of the Old Parish Registers in  Scotland have numerous problems  in that they are missing, have gaps, etc. see

Also, many parishes charged to perform christenings and many people did not have the money to pay the fee so children were not christened. Due to religious reasons there were many "dissenters" who did not belong to the "established" church and there are not many records of such churches nor were they included in the OPRs.


Since they were naturalized in NYC, your best bet might be to find their  naturalization papers which could give more information on their birth and places as well as time of immigration,  birthplace, parents, etc.

A place dedicated to helping with Scottish research is which is dedicated to research of Scots around  the world. They have some very dedicated researchers that go out of their way to help others. 

by Robert Colson G2G Crew (990 points)
selected by Chelsie Burkhart
+7 votes

Hi Chelsie - Yes

in theory should be able to provide you with birth info from the old parish records for this time period.   They should also have the 1841 census record for the family.   If you can provide the names of the three brothers and any other info you have, that will help us to assist you if we can.   We can try Ancestry for the census info to start off with as this should give the whole family.   Happy to help if I can.  Maria  

by Maria Maxwell G2G6 Pilot (168k points)

I tried Scotland's People and had no luck. I think maybe their records are lost or not there for some other reason.

This is the info for the three brothers:

Alexander Parker (b. abt 1817); naturalized NYC 1848; moved to Huron, Ontario, Canada; m. 1857 in Canada to Penelope Darlington (b. abt 1831, Ireland); later moved to Buchanan County, MO; died 1877 Missouri

Ramsay H. Parker (b. abt 1819); naturalized NYC 1848; stayed in NYC until death in 1868; m. 1845-ish in NYC to Catharine Henney or Kenney (b. abt 1825, England)--his middle name is probably Hanna, which I was thinking could be a mother's maiden name?

James Parker (b. abt 1821); unknown naturalization, but lived in NYC in 1850; m. 1850 in NYC to Ann (b. abt 1827, Ireland); moved to Huron, Ontario, Canada and lived there until his death--his religion is listed as Presbyterian

They all list their parents birth places both as Scotland on everything.


I guess I'm just going to keep hunting in US records for clues.


+5 votes
Hi Chelsie,  Struggled to find anything on Scotlands People.   There is however one family tree on Ancestry which has !!

Ramsey Hanna Parker born 30 May 1818 Dumfries Scotland.  Died 2 May 1868 New York.  Wife Catherine E Kenney born 1825. and listing seven children.

Brother Alexander  born c1819 - died 1877 Center, Buchanan, Missouri listed the wife you have and eight children.

James Parker 1821 to 1893 married to Ann "Annie" Clarke  1823 - 1900 with 4 children.

I'll go back to Scotland's people and try with the new spelling of Ramsey etc.

Sorry wasn't logged in - it's me Maria again Maxwell-1489 and below too !!
edited by Maria Maxwell
Found another tree which has Alexanders dob as 5 Aug 1821 unfortunately I don't have worldwide access to view the documents given as sources !!
+2 votes

Scroll down this list and you will see where in Buchanan County Alexander lived and when he came to Mo.

Probate case for Alexander Parker  *2569   If you would like to take a peek at the contents of any one of these files, email us:   (there is a rather long list of Parker surnames on their site at  Michael is a Parker researcher in St Joseph area of MO.

He is listed as having an obit in the St Joseph Daily Gazette of June 19, 1877 .  So his death is likely within a few days of that date.

In Scotlands People age in census records can be off as many of the census takers rounded the date of birth within a 5 year time period.

In 1841 Alexander would be about 24 so look between 20 and 25 age listings

Why do you think they are from Dumfries?  Do you have something that points you there?

by Laura Bozzay G2G6 Pilot (711k points)

Related questions

+15 votes
2 answers
0 votes
0 answers
+10 votes
2 answers
307 views asked May 23, 2015 in Genealogy Help by Anne B G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
+8 votes
2 answers
+2 votes
1 answer

WikiTree  ~  About  ~  Help Help  ~  Search Person Search  ~  Surname:

disclaimer - terms - copyright