Help with 1841 and 1851 Census Scotland

+5 votes
Good Evening!

I am researching my 3x great grandfather [[Ogilvie-862| John Ogilvie]]. (How is that for a common name !)

I have, I believe found him in the 1841 and 1851 Census in Perthshire.

The confusion I run into is his birth place, 1841 says Perthshire and 1851 says Leith, Midlothan.  

1841 Scotland Census about John Ogilvie

Name: John Ogilvie

Age: 30

Estimated Birth Year: abt 1811

Gender: Male

Where born: Perthshire, Scotland

Civil Parish: Bendochy

County: Perthshire

Address: Blacklaw

Occupation: Ag Lab

Parish Number: 332

Household Members:

Name Age

John Ogilvie 30

Marjory Ogilvie 30

Jean Ogilvie 7

John Ogilvie 6

Christian Ogilvie 11 Mo

Joseph Ogilvie 3

Source Citation: Parish: Bendochy; ED: 2; Page: 1; Line: 714; Year: 1841.


1851 Scotland Census about John Oglvie

Name: John Oglvie

Age: 41

Estimated Birth Year: abt 1810

Relationship: Head

Spouse's Name: M Oglvie

Gender: Male

Where born: Leith, Midlothian

Parish Number: 335

Civil Parish: Blairgowrie

County: Perthshire

Address: Rosmount

Occupation: Ag Lab

ED: 4

Page: 10 (click to see others on page)

Household Schedule Number: 38

Line: 16

Roll: CSSCT1851_72

Household Members:

Name Age

John Oglvie 41

M Oglvie 44

J Oglvie 17

(I find John aged 15 as a farm servant elsewhere, which makes a full count of heads)

J Oglvie 13

C Oglvie 10

D Oglve 28

Source Citation: Parish: Blairgowrie; ED: 4; Page: 10; Line: 16; Roll: CSSCT1851_72; Year: 1851.

I find many possiblites for parentage of John in Perthsire but a very few in Midlothian. I am wondering if I am missing something. I downloaded the census from Scotlands People and they agree with Family Search, so if it's a transcription error, then it is on the part of the census taker.  Would there be a resason in the early 1800's to move from Edinburgh area to the Perth area?  My history is weak for Scotland. Any insite thoughts or directions are more then welcome!  

Thank You
WikiTree profile: John Ogilvie
in Genealogy Help by Julia Hogston G2G6 Mach 1 (12.3k points)
He is an agricultural labourer. People did move about a bit though 60 miles is quite a long way at that time, though not impossible. People went where they could to work. It is also possible he worked for a large estate. The laird may have moved him to other land he owned of he was a valued worker.
I agree with Fiona. It is worth looking to see who he may have been working for and whether he has been moved between two estates owned by the same individual.
That would certainly be one explaination for the children being born/christened in different places in Perthshire.

How would I find who he worked for?  Could it be the place where I found his son John working at 15?

Thanks again!
Try looking at where they were living on the census. Ag. labs often lived in farm cottages owned by the folks they worked for.
I found some history of the Blairgowrie region :D  I thought I would share.

[ History of Blairgowre]
One thing I learned in looking up one of my Scottish ancestors, try researching them as two separate people. I think it was David Pringle that I found 2 of. At first I thought they were the same person, but then I decided to double check myself and researched the 2nd one as a different person, and they, in fact, are two different people (One born in Edinburgh the other born in Selkirk, on the same day and year). Everyone that was helping me kept insisting it was the 2nd one I was looking for, but I knew that was wrong, and I made sure to verify it through research.
Hi T Counce,

I am doing just as you suggest.  I have found a death record for John born in Leith and he died in Blairgowrie. Found his parents on the death certificate and they were married in Meigle, which is not far from Blairgowrie.  All of his children agree through 3 censuses. I actually find a granddaughter in living with them in 1861, on of which I believe I have record of. John's father was notated as a soilder, so this could be very well the reason he was born in Leith!

On with the search and I will surely keep in mind the duo possiblity!

Thank you so much for your input!
The Birth and death records prior to 1850 on Scotlands People are a great way to clear up who is who - you can narrow your search to a name and a +- 3 year date search for the parents and usually find those people.

But there wasn't a standard for recording births and deaths back then so I have been stymied by all the James' in my family line.

Happy hunting
The introduction of civil registration in Scotland was 1855.
You are most welcome Julia

5 Answers

+2 votes
Best answer
Julia I would suggest that the Leith, Midlothian entry is the more likely to be correct location for birth of John. The 1841 Census was new and only a Yes/no response to Born in Perthshire. On that basis made a search and suggest you look at 1861 census for Rattray (by Blairgowrie)  where John Ogilvy gives age as 50 born in Midlothian.

Most Ogilvy/Ogilvie people in Angus/ Perthshire but lots of reasons why folks moved. Father may have served with Militia in that area around 1810 and after Napoleonic Wars returned to homeland but could come up with a thousand other feasible options.

However best route to follow is to trace the death of his wife to see if John was still alive . In Scotland the wife is easier to find as she goes by her married surname and her maiden surname reduces greatly the numbers who fit names and birth date.

You have given John's wife's name as Marjory Ogilvie however she was Marjory Crawford. Their Daughter Christian was born at Bendochy on 25  June 1840 and son David on 21 Jan 1847 at Blairgowrie.

Margery appears with John in the 1861 Census so she died in the period covered by the Statutory Death records. Her Death Cert should give her parents names and state whether she was a widow of that her husband is alive and where she lived. Thereafter the harder search is reduced by knowing which way forward or back in time to look for death of John statring in same year and location area.  This should yield the names of his parents and whether they are deceased.

Scotlandspeoples is the best place to search for this on-line. Remember when searching that Ogilvy and Ogilvie are often interchanged so do not make search too tight.
by Jack Blair G2G2 (2.7k points)
selected by Julia Hogston
Hi Jack,

I am sorry, yes Majory/May Crawford is her name and I find her with John in the 1841, 51. and 61 census.

I actually at the start had more information on Marjory then John and as you said I found it very helpful.  

Marjory was born to John and Jean Robertson Crawford about 1807 per the census she is about 4 yrs older than John. She died in 1879 on croftland in Blairgowrie, Perth Scotland. Her mother died in 1860 and is buried in the Blairgowrie Church yard.  I am guessing that both Majory and John a buried there as well, but of course that is not certain.

John died also on/in croftland, Blairgowrie in 1864. His parents per the information on record (which I just found two days ago)  are David and Margaret Robertson Ogilvie/Oglvy. Yes I have found records is both spellings! Thank you for the heads up!

At this point I feel I am on the right road, I just need to find birth in Leith and perhaps a reason why David and Margaret where there, or why he was there, you are correct there are a myriad of reasons why and how this all came to be !

These are their children:

Jean b.20 Aug 1833  in Clunie, Perth
John b. Feb 1835 in Newtyle, Angus he is my 2x great grandfather. Who after Marjory's death soon set off for Canada and settled in Sarnia.
Joseph S. b. 19 Dec 1837 Newtyle, Angus
Christian b. 25 Jun 1840 Bendochy, Perth, Scotland
David b. 1847 in Blairgowrie

 Thanks so very much for your help! I will be digging in Scotlands People a bit I see...some records I need to verify!

Happy Hunting!
+6 votes

Hi John I have found a useful website you could try searching and its free.  This might or might not help


by Gail Mathieson G2G1 (1.5k points)
Thank you Gail! I will most certainly check it out!
+6 votes

Some interesting points on the first official census in Scotland that you may find helpful Julia .

Also, very likely not the fault of the census enumerator as they simply wrote down the information that they were given by household members who may or may not have known the correct information.  Have you found the family in the 61 census?  If John survived into the years following civil registration in 1855 you should be able to find his death through the government registry which will name his parents and spouse (living or deceased) at Https:// a. pay site but census records will give you an approximate date within 10 years of death with his absence from the census.

Hope this is if help Julie, wishing you the best with your search.







by Linda Bell G2G6 Mach 2 (29.3k points)
Thank you Linda,

I guess I should have checked that out before asking the question. I went all around that because it was after 1855, not thinking he could have died after that point.

I have not found him n "61" yet but will continue to look.  His wife lived till "79".

I really didn't mean the fault of the taker, just meant at that level. Taker or informant. I should have made that a bit clearer, thank you for the correcton.

Thanks again!

Hi Julie,

Thanks for the response.  I looked through the GRO for possible deaths of your John Ogilvie and found what may well be your John's death in 1864 Blairgowie, Perthshire.  Mother's maiden name given.  Some degree of confidence as he agricultual worker and living in Blairgowie on the 1851 census.  

Interesting enough, there were only 19 deaths of a John Ogilvie between 1855 and 1899  through all parishes in Scotland.  

Hope this helps.  










335/ 6


Hi Linda,

I found the same death record at Scotlands People.

I believe that is who I was looking for.

John Ogilvie  died of Cancer on 24 Jan 1864 signed by son John Ogilvie 

John Sr died in Crofland, Blairgowrie same as his wife Marjory. 

Now just to figure out who's land the Croft was on.  Also give his parents as David and Margaret Robertson Ogilvie. David's name was notated with Soilder. Could be the reason John Sr. was born in Leith. 

I found a marriage for a David and Margaret in Miegle 15/01/1804, I paid the 6 credits for the image and it was the wrong one, so I am not sure this the couple or not.  

Thank your time in looking up the information for me. It is so appreciated.


Hi Julie,    You can find Valuation Rolls available at scotlandspeople to search the Croft in Blairgowrie for ownership and tenants.

Valuation rolls are frequently used to establish proof of ownership, tenancy or use of buildings for legal and administrative reasons.  You can also use valuation rolls to research the history of owners and occupiers of property from Castle to Croft.    Researchers use valuation rolls to find trace ancestors who cannot be found in census returns or to provide a lead to tenancy records (for example to give the owner of a landed estate, which might lead to estate papers, or the owner of a row of colliers houses, which might lead to Coal Company records).

Hi Linda,

I did find some information on the Valuation Rolls, at a later date and for John (Jr.) I found him at Hatton of Cargill, Perthshire. This is where my great grandfather David was born. It was on the land of Baroness Willoughby de Eresby. I haven't found anything yet that is possitively his grand father (John) or great grandfather (David). There is still a farm called Hatton of Cargill in Perthshire, wondering if it is the same as the above.
That was in 1885-1886
Thanks again!


Hi Julie, yes I would think so.  

An inhabited place in the parish of Cargill

Located within Perthshire CountyPerth And Kinross DistrictCargill Parish

Also a really great and quick way to search some records that may or may not be missing in searches due to various reasons in the genealogy world is to conduct a search through

I just looked through some records for Cargill and you never know what you will find.  Great to hear that you were able to find your John jr. on the Valuation Rolls.   

More than 2.7 million new valuation entries for 1935 have been added to the ScotlandsPeople website. You can now search more than 118 million individual entries.




+8 votes
Before 1841 most people had never been asked their birthplace.

In 1841 the question was, Were you born in this county, and the answer was recorded as just Y or N.  The computer translates Y to Perthshire.

People said Yes if they didn't remember being anywhere else.

In 1851, people were asked to write down where they were born.  This took a lot of people by surprise, and they didn't have time to find out.  You can find a lot of cases where people seem to have guessed in 1851 and then had the right answer in 1861.

In this case, it's hard to think of any reason he'd say Leith if it wasn't the right answer.  Though I did come across one where the husband and wife had their birthplaces swapped somehow.
by Anonymous Horace G2G6 Pilot (568k points)
Thank you RJ,

I know that May/Majory was born in Blairgowrie, Perthshire. So it would not be a matter of a mix up between the two. I will search forward into the 1861 census and other records to see what I can find. Again thank you for your input.
Hi RJ,

I did get back to the "61" census and found John and family.  

In this census it says he was born in Leith also.

I found his death record and it states that his father David was a soilder and this might be the reason for being in Leith in 1810 when John was born.

Thanks again for the help!
Father was probably stationed at Leith Fort

Try 'Oldleithers reunited' on facebook for possible help about Leith Fort
+1 vote
The 1841 Census does not specifically state a county of birth. It has a column marked "born in county" and the answer is either a Y or N.
Are you sure the 1841 returns state Y?
If the two returns are different it may be that different people (wife?) gave the information to the enumerator. Remember these were not self-complete forms like today. Someone came to the door and took down the details.
by Gregory Lauder-Frost G2G6 (7.6k points)
Hi Gregory,

I went back to the 1861 Census and said Leith. See conversation with RJ above!

Thank you so much for your help!


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