Keithfield Cottages, Parish of Tarves, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

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Location: Parish of Tarves, Aberdeenshire, Scotlandmap
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Keithfield Cottages

This page has been created to document research undertaken to locate the final family home of Alexander Mann (c.1754-1864) and his wife, Christian (Christina) Sangster (c.1778-1855), which the author believes to have been "Keithfield Cottages" in the parish of Tarves, Aberdeenshire.

When the parish of Tarves was surveyed between 1865 and 1871, "Keithfield Cottage" was described as "A neat Cottage in two tenements with gardens etc attached, erected by the late proprietor, for workmen. The whole of this parish is the property of The Right Honble. [Honourable] The Earl of Aberdeen. [See: Ordnance Survey (1865-1871) Name Book for Aberdeenshire, volume 85, page 26. ScotlandsPeople reference: OS1/1/85/26].

Figure 1. Location of Keithfield Cottages from the Ordnance Survey, Six-inch maps of Scotland. Aberdeenshire, sheet XXXVII.NE. Surveyed 1899, published 1901. Reproduced with permission of the National Library of Scotland.

The cottages are located at DMS coordinates 57°23'32"N, 2°14'59"W. The Royal Mail website has two proterties listed there, at the following postal address: Nos 1 and 2 Keithfield Cottages, Methlick, Ellon, AB41 7HJ.

Did Alexander Mann and Christian Sangster live at Keithfield Cottages?

Entries in the statutory Register of Deaths for Alexander and Christian both record their place of death as "Keithfield" in the parish of Tarves, Aberdeenshire, which seems to have been the name of a local estate.

Alexander and Christian were recorded on the 1851 census in Tarves. [Census record on ScotlandsPeople: MANN, ALEXANDER; year: 1851; gender: M; age: 97; reference: 243/ 7/ 6 Tarves Aberdeen.]

The enumeration book lists the following dwellings on the relevant page:

Schedule NoPlaceHead of household
26.Lodge of KeithfieldMary Crombie
27.Mains of KeithfieldThedore Henderson
28.KeithfieldAlexander Mann

There is no reference to Alexander on the 1855 valuation roll for the parish, which may only have recorded more significant rented dwellings than he occupied.

By 1861, Alexander was widowed, and was recorded in the 1861 census in Tarves. [Census record on ScotlandsPeople: MANN, ALEXANDER; year: 1861; gender: M; age: 107; reference: 243/ 6/ 6 Tarves Aberdeen].

The relevant page in the enumeration book shows Alexander with his neighbours, as follows:

Schedule NoPlaceHead of household
28.KeithfieldWilliam Burr
29Mains of KeithfieldWilliam Henderson
30.KeithfieldAlexander Mann
31.Lodge of KeithfieldGeorge Burr
32.Mains of HaddoPeter MacLagan

NB: The 1865 valuation roll for the parish lists William Burr at "Croft of Wedderlairs, Lands of Keithfield", which are likely to have been to the south of the other properties listed.

Assuming that there is an order to the places listed in the census enumeration books, Alexander and Christian lived somewhere close to "Lodge of Keithfield" and "Mains of Keithfield", both of which can be located on Ordnance Survey maps.

Although it is not proved conclusively, they are likely to have lived at "Keithfield Cottages", which are the nearest properties shown on the earliest Ordnance Survey maps available.

As the available records describing Alexander's occupation state that he was a 'labourer' and 'agricultural labourer', it is plausible that he was living a dwelling that had been built by the landowner for workmen.

Research by Alexander and Christian's 4th great grandson, David Dobie.

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