Elijah Hibbert of Oldham, England

Generation 2:i

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Elijah Hibbert b. 13 July 1800 d.10 March 1846 at Lyon House, Oldham. More information

Son of Joseph Hibbert and his unknown wife.

Married, by Special Licence, 26 December 1822 Elizabeth 'Betty' Hilton[picture] d. 15 December 1864¹ aged 65; , daughter of Abraham Hilton of Cross Bank, Oldham¹.
¹Burke's County Families 1864 and Dictionary of National Biography pub. 1912 by Smith, Elder & Co. Marriage date corroborated on Lancashire online parish clerk project http://www.lan-opc.org.uk.

They had the following children:

M i John Tomlinson b.5 January 1824 at Lyon House, Oldham d.7 November 1908.
M ii Thomas Johnson d.9 June 1888 aged 59 at Broughton Grove, Field Broughton, Grange-over-Sands.
Married Harriet Margaret d.21 April 1893 at Aix-les-Bains, France, buried at Staveley-in-Cartmel
M iii Abraham Hilton life dates unknown.
M iv William life dates unknown.
M v James life dates unknown.
M vi Edward baptised 6 September 1838. Elijah's address given as "late of Cowhill Lodge, St Mary's Oldham"
M vii Henry b.20 July 1840 d.13 February 1913. Amongst other community involvement, Henry was the secretary of the North Lonsdale Archers club from its start in 1868 until his death in 1913.

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Other Information

There's an entry in the Parish Register of St Michael and All Angels, Ashton-under-Lyne as follows:-
Baptism: 25 Oct 1795 St Michael and All Angels, Ashton under Lyne, Lancs.
Ann Hibbert - Daughter of Joshua Hibbert & Betty
Abode: Woodhouses
Occupation: Weaver
Source: Original Parish Register
Baptism: 25 Oct 1795 St Michael and All Angels, Ashton under Lyne, Lancs.
Elisha Hibbert - Son of Joshua Hibbert & Margaret
Abode: Droilsden
Occupation: Weaver
Source: Original Parish Register

1822 : Marriage: 26 Dec 1822 St Mary, Oldham, Lancs. Elijah Hibbert (Parish regs, m/fm p56) Elijah Hibbert of Greenacres Moor of this parish, Iron founder Betty Hilton of Bottom of Greenacres Moor of this parish, Spinster married by licence 26 December 1822 In presence of : Frederick Reyner, John Hilton & Robert [?] Wilson. Register: Marriages 1822 - 1824, Page 56, Entry 167 Source: LDS Film 1656118
After Elijah died, she had to move out of their house into Chamber Cottage, where she eventually died.

Oldham Chronicle 17 Dec 1864
On the 15th inst., at Chamber Cottage, Oldham, in the 65th year of her age, Elizabeth, relict of the late Elijah Hibbert, Esq.

Oldham Local Chronicle 24 Dec 1864
Hollinwood. Funeral of the late Mrs Hibbert of Chamber Cottage. The funeral of the late Mrs Elizabeth Hibbert, of Chamber Cottage, relict of the late Elijah Hibbert, Esq., took place on Tuesday morning at St Margaret's Parish Church, Hollinwood. The cortege left Chamber Cottage at 11.30, passing through Csh Gate, arriving at the church at 11.45. As the procession moved slowly along, it was a scene of solemn grandeur. The hearse was drawn by 4 horses, which was followed by 4 mourning coaches and 4 private carriages. Her remains were interred in the new family vault on the north side of the new burial ground. The Rev John Robinson, incumbant of the place, and the Rev Thomas Ireland, incumbant of St Thomas', Werneth, officiating. Deceased [sic] who was the mother of our esteemed borough member, J. Tomlinson Hibbert, Esq., was in her 65th year.

Elijah's will

His will, made 8 Nov 1844, proved 10.10.1846
Leaves all household goods, furniture, books,linen, bedding, glass, china, etc to his dear wife Betty.
To his brother-in-law, Joshua Radcliffe, & his son John Tomlinson(JTH), the wines, etc.
Assigns to Betty an annuity of £250, payable in four equal quarterly payments, for her natural life. First payment to be made 3 months after his death. She has this independently of any husband she may marry, and may not be subject to his control, debts or engagements.
Gives to JTH all his shares in the freehold & leasehold premises which 'hitherto belonged to my late father-in-law', Abraham Hilton deceased. Also all shares, premises, etc with my partners in trade.
Gives to Joshua Radcliffe & John Tomlinson Hibbert upon trust for my 3 sons, JTH, Thomas Johnson HIbbert & Henry Hibbert and any future child I may have in equal shares, as tenants in common; but in case any of them (or any such future child of mine) shall either in my lifetime, or after my decease, die under the age of 25, without leaving any issue, the share of such child shall in each case be added to in augmentation of the other remaining shares. If under 25 when Elijah Hibbert dies, the interest of that child's share should be extended & applied for or towards the maintenance & education of such child until he or she shall attain the age of 25.
I direct that the surplus income of each share shall be invested at interest, augmented & accumulated.
I direct that it shall be lawful for any trustee to raise the sum of money, not exceeding £5000, by the transfer of mortgage of any part(s) of the expectant share of each & any of my sons, & to apply and dispose of the same for the placing of such son in or to any profession, business or employment.
In case there should be no child of mine who shall live to attain the age of 25 years, or who, dying that age shall leave your(?) living at his or her decease, Then subject and without prejudice to the trustees aforesaid shall raise or appropriate out of or from my said estate, the principal sum of £4000 ( the same to be considered raisable from the time when such failure of children shall happen) - and subject thereto my said estate shall be held in trust for my half brothers and sisters JOHN SHARPLES, JAMES SHARPLES, ELIZABETH RADCLIFFE and ANNE....LEES in equal shares as tenants in common, and their respective heirs.
The £4000 shall be held upon trust to pay the interest thereof to my said wife during her life, and after her decease, then £2000 to pay the interest to my brother-in-law Daniel Hilton during his life. After his decease to divide the same sum( of £2000) amongst his children in equal shares.
The children or any child of any of the said children ( of Daniel Hilton and Sarah Ashton) who may have died in my lifetime to be entitled (equally among them if more than one) to the share which would have belonged to their parents respectively if living at my decease.
I direct that it shall be lawful for my said Trustees for the time being at any time within the period of 21 years after my decease - or at any time whilest any child of mine shall be living & under the age of 25 - at the discretion of the said Trustees, to convey or demise or join in conveying any part / parts of the hereditaments & premises herein before devised & bequeathed to them, etc,etc.
I give & bequeath to Joshua Radcliffe, JTH and John Sharples all my stock in trade, capital & effects, and all my residuary personal estate Upon Trust that they ...carry on my business as a machine maker and Iron Founder now carried on by me in partnership with the sons of the late Henry Platt.
I bequeath unto my said half brother, John Sharples, the sum of £300 for his own use absolutely.
Probate granted 10.10.1846. £30,000 value.

[Manchester Times and Gazette, Saturday, December 22, 1838 announces Elijah was asked but refused to be appointed magistrate.

[The Leeds Mercury, Saturday, February 2, 1839] Elijah elected to board of Liverpool and Manchester and Liverpool District Bank, which had been in difficulties.

[Manchester Times and Gazette, Saturday, February 2, 1839] Elijah seconds vote of thanks for speaker against the corn laws.

[The Charter, Sunday, May 26, 1839] Elijah sits with Rev. James Horborn in petit sessions to appoint 520 suitable inhabitants as special constables to deal with the Chartist threat.

[Manchester Times and Gazette, Saturday, March 29, 1845] Elijah attends fancy dress ball in Public Baths and wash-house on April 29 at the Free Trade Hall, at which the band of Mr Jullien is engaged, tickets 1 Guinea each

[Manchester Times and Gazette, Saturday, July 26, 1845] Oldham and Districty Railway Company advertises for capital, with Elijah top of the provisonal committee listing. Capital sought: £300,000

[From the National Archives] In 1770, blacksmith Henry Platt was building textile carding machinery in Dobcross, Saddleworth. His grandson Henry was born in 1793 and founded a similar concern in Uppermill in 1815. Five years later Henry junior moved to Oldham, and re-established the business at Huddersfield Road. In 1822 Henry Platt and Elijah Hibbert formed Hibbert and Platt. When Henry's sons Joseph and John [picture] joined the firm, it became Hibbert Platt & Sons. Henry Platt died in 1842, and Elijah Hibbert in 1846. His shares were acquired by the Platt family, the company becoming Platt Brothers & Company. A new factory site in Werneth, Hartford New Works, was first opened in 1844. The company transferred its headquarters there from the "Old Works" in 1868, upon taking limited liability status. John Platt died in 1872, by which time the company employed 7,000 men. It became the largest machine-making firm in the world. During the 1890s an estimated 42% of Oldham's population was supported by the company [ website] [industry in C19th Oldham].

[John 'Jock' P.M. Hibbert spent a lot of time trying to prove that Elijah's mother (or grandmother?) was a 'warming pan baby' from the Earls of Atholl, bearing out a supposed Murray connection.

There was certainly a connection between the Ware-Hibberts and the Murrays, as on page 493 of A Genealogical and Heraldic History of Great Britain it mentions "WARE-HIBBERT, SAMUEL, M.daughter of Edinburgh, b. 21st April, 1782; m. first, 23rd July, 1804, Miss Sarah Crompton, of Bury, Lancashire, and by her, who died 13th April, 1822, had issue,"

"Titus Hibbert, 1. 17th September, 1810.

William Hibbert, b. 15th April, 1812, in the medical service of the army.

Sarah Hibbert."

"He married, secondly, 8th January, 1825, Charlotte-Wilhelmina, eldest daughter of Lord Henry Murray, son of John, 3rd Duke of Atholl, and by her, who died 1st August, 1835, has issue, Robert Green b.18 May 1826, Elizabeth-Jessie b.18 January 1833 and George-Henry b.9 November 1834"]

London Gazette Issue 19999 published on the 16 July 1841 page 1867

"NOTICE is hereby given, that the agreement subsisting between Elijah Hibbert and John Mayall, for working and turning the Cotton Mill or Factory belonging to them, situate at Hey, in the parish of Ashton-under-Line, in tire county of Lancaster, was put an end to, by mutual consent, on the 29th day of May 1838, at which time the share of the said Elijah Hibbert in the said mill, and the steam engines, boilers, steam pipes, and going geer therein, was let to the said John Mayall; and that the said mill or factory has been since the said period, and will continue to be worked and turned by the said John Mayall on his own account.— Dated the 29th day of June 1841. E. HIBBERT. JOHN MAYALL."

London Gazette Issue 19828 published on the 21 February 1840 page 397

"NOTICE is hereby given, that the Partnership lately subsisting and carried on by us the undersigned, Abraham Lees, James Lees, Daniel Hilton, James Greaves, Elijah Hibbert, James Colling John Lancashire, and Philip Norelli, as Coal-Merchants and Coal-Miners, at Swine Clough, within Oldham, in the county of Lancaster, under the firm of Abraham Lees and Company, was dissolved by Mutual consent, on the 14th day of-February instant.
Dated this 17th day of February 1840
Abraham Lees.
James Lees.
Daniel Hilton..
James Greaves..
Elijah Hibbert.
James Callings.
John Lancashire.
B. Novell."

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Further Information

Testimony of Dame Sarah Lees (Oldham Local Studies Library)

In Mrs Johnson's Will she mentions 3 nephews: John Sharples, James Sharples and Elijah Hibbert, who predeceased her, dying in 1846. Also a niece Ann Sharples who married Eli Lees and with whom Mrs Thomas Johnson lived at Werneth Park after her husband's death until her death in 1854.
This niece had been practically adopted by the Johnsons on her mother's death. Her mother first married Mr Joseph Hibbert and Elijah was presumably her son.
On Mr Joseph Hibbert's deaththis Mrs Hibbert married Mr James Sharples and in addition to the niece and nephews there was another daughter Elizabeth who married Mr Joshua Radcliffe and died in 1851.
Elizabeth was brought up after her mother's death by her aunt, Mrs Tomlinson of Soho, Oldham whose husband took Elijah Hibbert into partnership.
After the death of Mrs Hibbert - Sharples, Mr Shaprles married again and had children who went out to America.
The niece Ann, Mrs Eli Lees née Sharples belonging to the second or middle family was half sister both to the Hibbert and the third family of whom the American descendants are called Eadie and live in Staten Island New York.
Dame Sarah Lees in her testomony says she has a large bible which belonged to Thomas and Ann Johnson dated 1808 and a mourning ringgiving the date of Thomas Johnson's death as 3 December 1847.

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Historical Sketches of Oldham by Edwin Butterworth Pub. 1856

page 95
Amongst the earliest felt hat makers, of whom there is any record in the parochial books, was a Thomas Hibbert, living in 1654

page 145-6
Several changes took place both in the extent and proprietary of the cotton manufactories from 1796 to 1800. One of the earliest mills worked by steam power, subsequent to Lees hall higher mill, was Mount pleasant mill, and in the early part of the present century five of the principal manufactories, in addition to the two named above, were worked by steam power. Mr. James Lees, son of Mr. John Lees, the inventor of the carding feeder, and uncle of the late Mr. Earnshaw, of Mumps, erected a mill at Fowleach, about 1798, which was afterwards (when in the possession of Mr. Twemlow) named Hartford mill, and owing to this circumstance the adjacent extensive and celebrated machine making works of Messrs. Hibbert, Platt and Sons, received the designation of Hartford works. Mr. Benjamin Lees, of Elly clough mill, Royton, another son of the inventor of the carding feeder, was an ingenious mechanic, and one of the earliest constructors of a batting machine. Mr. Winterbottom, of Oldham, grandfather of Mr. Winterbottom, of Little town, Hollinwood, is alleged to have been the inventor of the slide, an instrument made use of for pulling down the faller of the spinning jenny.

page 153
The machine making business, afterwards a highly important branch of the trade of Oldham, was as yet in its infancy, and never became of more than ordinary extent till the great enterprise and perseverance of the late Elijah Hibbert, Esq., fully developed its capabilities. About 1797 Mr. William Rowbottom, brother of Mr. John Rowbottom, now of Hunt lane, established a small machine making workshop in School croft, and a roller making concern at Bell factory. In a few years afterwards Messrs. John Garnett and William Jackson, commenced machine making works, the former at Side of moor, and the latter in Manchester street. The first iron foundry established at Oldham was erected by Mr. John Mackie, a native of Scotland, adjacent to Buckley mill, Manchester street, in 1805.

page 185-8
Mr. Lees died July 10, 1845, aged 72 years. Messrs. Abraham Seville and Co. commenced in 1821 a roller making concern at Mumps, but in 1824 - 1825 the firm had been established at Lower moor, in partnership with Mr. Woolstenhulme, as roller and spindle makers. Prior to 1828 they became iron and brass founders ; and in 1846 employed in these several branches 250 operatives, and consumed weekly twenty tons of iron and other metal. Mr. Elijah Hibbert, a native of Ashton-under-Lyne, raised himself from an obscure condition in life to considerable opulenee, entirely by the power of his own perseverance and industry. In 1823-1824 he commenced a small iron and brass foundry upon his own account at Soho, Greenacres moor, and in 1824 had become not only a partner with his uncle, Mr. Tomlinson, in a millwright concern in Manchester street, but also a partner with Mr. Platt in a carding engine manufactory also at Soho, adjacent to Mr. Lees's works. Mr. Henry Platt proved a worthy co-associate with Mr. Hibbert in his career of enterprise. In 1828 Messrs. Hibbert and Platt possessed a machine making mill at Mount pleasant, whilst Mr. Hibbert was partner in several other concerns. In 1829-1830 the firm established an extensive machine making mill and iron foundry at Fowleach, Greenacres moor, named Hartford works. The construction of almost every description of machine used in the cotton manufacture formed the business of the concern, and the transactions of the firm were conducted with such celerity and skill as acquired for the establishment a widely spread reputation both at home and abroad. In 1843 the number of workmen employed at these works was upwards of 500; and in 1844, the spirited proprietors erected a new establishment at Barnfeld adjacent to the railway, on the west side of the town, named Hartford new works. This new mill principally constructed under Mr. Hibbert's own designs, is deservedly admired for its ample extent and excellent arrangements. In 1839 Mr. Hibbert was appointed a magistrate of the county, and in 1845 he became chairman of the Oldham District Railway Company. His actions invariably manifesting a happy combination of spirit and judgment, secured him considerable influence and general respect. This enterprising architect of his own fortune died at his residence, Lyon house, Oldham, March 10, 1846, aged 45 years. The procession which took place on the occasion of his interment at Oldham Church, on the 16th March, served to demonstrate most strikingly the universal esteem in which he was held. Upwards of 300 of his workmen, and 150 of the principal inhabitants, including the clergy, magistrates, and authorities, unsolicitedly paid the last tributes of regard. The great works of the firm are now the property of Messrs. John Hibbert, and John and James Platt. Messrs. Platt, the present principal acting partners, are the sons of the late Mr. Henry Platt, Mr. Hibbert's original partner. In 1846 the number of operatives employed at the old works was 473, and at the new 400 ; the amount of cast iron used annually at the former was 2300 tons, and at the latter 2600 tons, whilst both works consumed annually 5050 tons of coal. This establishment is similar in extent to the famous one of Mons. Tirlemont, at Charleroy, in Belgium, which in 1841 employed 900 workmen, The machine making mills and iron foundries of Messrs. Hibbert and Platt will not suffer in comparison with the first works of this description in the kingdom. The firm holds the foremost rank in machine making, whilst the greater part of other large iron works are engaged in different branches of the same extensive trade. Each of the vast iron works at Merthyr Tydvil employ rather more than 1000 hands ; the famous Soho works at Birmingham used to employ about 1100 hands; the Swalwell and Winlaton works, Gateshead, 1500 ; Butterley, near Alfreton, 1500 ; Carron works, Scotland, 1500; Masborough, Rotherham, 1000 ; Low moor, Bradford, 1200; Bowling, Bradford, 800 ; Messrs. Sharp, Roberts, and Co., Manchester, 800 ; Mr. William Fairbairn, Manchester, 600 ; and Messrs. Nasmyths, Gaskell, and Co., Patricroft, 500. The great body of workmen employed by Messrs. Hibbert and Platt are remarkable for the active interest they have manifested in every measure calculated to extend useful knowledge and rational recreation amongst the mass of the population, and their efforts in this respect, particularly in the projected establishment of a public park for Oldham, have been spiritedly supported by their employers. Various operations are conducted within these works. The whole is divided into departments, over each of which a foreman is placed, to superintend and direct the labour. Articles most varied, from ponderous machines to attenuated plates or rods, are produced, amidst a scene wherein the four elements are subjugated by human power and intelligence. The numerous departments of design drawing, pattern modelling, iron founding, iron and brass moulding, forging, turning, planing, fitting, filing, polishing, and adjusting, form such a combination of sights and sounds as are sufficient to raise even in the apathetic mind, the sentiment of admiration.

"_______The ponderous hammer falls,
Loud anvils ring amid the trembling walls;
Strokes follow strokes, the sparkling ingot shines,
Flows the red flag, the lengthening bar refines;
Cold waves immersed, the flowing mass congeal,
And turn to adamant the hissing steel."

The number of machine making concerns increased in proportion to the number of cotton mills, for in 1825 there were 21 firms of machine makers, I0 iron and brass founders, 5 roller and spindle makers, and 4 metal and wood turners in the town and neighbourhood. Several of these firms carried on almost all these processes in single establishments. The principal concerns of this description existing in 1825 in addition. to those previously named were Messrs. Charles and Spencer Suthers, Mount pleasant, Mrs. Garnett, Side of moor, Mr. John Tomlinson, Soho, and Messrs. Evans, Ince, and Co., King street.

page 196-7
Mr. Edward Bamford, senior head constable, presided. The speakers on this occasion were Messrs. James Mellor, John Clegg, Jonathan Mellor, James Holladay, James Hawkshead, Alexander Taylor, William Knott, Elijah Hibbert, Charles Harwar, John Knight, John Haigh, and the Rev. T. F. Jordan, Baptist minister. The meeting unanimously agreed upon memorial to government, requesting the grant of a member or members to Oldham, and appointed Messrs. Jonathan Mellor, sen., James Mellor, John Halliwell, and Edward Bamford, as a deputation to represent to the ministry the claims of Oldham to a share in the representation of the country. Meetings in support of the ministerial plan of reform became general in almost every township and village. In a few days after the second reading of the first reform bill in the House of Commons, March 21, and in the commencement of April, the ministry assured the deputation from Oldham that their claims to representation should be immediately considered. On the 10th of June following, a public meeting of the inhabitants of the three townships of Crompton, Royton, and Chadderton, was held at the Unicorn Inn, Royton, for the purpose of taking measures to secure the inclusion of those townships within the proposed borough of Oldham. Mr. John Robinson, of Shaw, presided. A memorial to government on the subject was adopted, and Messrs. Joshua Milne and William Fitton were appointed a deputation to represent to the ministry the claims of the places in question to parliamentary attention. Accordingly on the first reading of the second reform bill in the House of Commons on the 24th of June, Oldham was inserted in schedule D as a proposed borough, entitled to elect one member of parliament, and all the four townships of the parish were included within the parliamentary limits. Such was the extreme opposition to which this national measure was subjected, in the committee of the House of Commons, that its third reading did not take place till the 21st of September, when it passed by a majority of 109

page 95
By far the most extensive iron works in the town, or, indeed, in this district, are the Hartford Works, belonging to Messrs. Platt Brothers & Co. (formerly Hibbert, Platt, & Co.) Mr. Butterworth states that in 1846 the number of operatives employed at the old works was 473, and at the new 400 ; but some idea may be formed of the amazing progress of the business since that time when we state that the number now employed at the old works is 750, and at the new works, 1700, exclusive of boys. Some time before the outbreak of the war upwards of 2000 hands were employed at the new works. The astonishing success which has attended this firm is something wonderful, even in this age of steam and railways, but it shows what can be accomplished by the combined influence of science and art, enterprise and energy, and capital and labour. At the Great Industrial Exhibition in London in 1851, the contributions of machinery for the manufacture of cotton from this establishment fully maintained its reputation, far excelling everything in the same department, and a prize medal was awarded to the firm. In the more recent Exhibition at Paris the same superiority characterised their specimens of machinery, and at its close the French Emperor showed his sense of the benefits conferred on mankind by the products of science and art by bestowing on the most eminent men in each department a special honour, and amongst others Mr. John Platt was elevated to the rank of a Knight of the French Legion of Honour. It is gratifying to record such honourable tributes paid to genius and scientific skill, but it is still more gratifying to notice the warm interest the Messrs. Platt display in the social and intellectual elevation of their workpeople, as well as of the inhabitants of the town at large. In the year 1848 they established a library for the use of their workmen, consisting of 500 volumes of standard works, and promised to add 50 annually. They also fitted up a news room, which was supplied with the London and principal provincial papers, for the use of which the operatives paid a penny per week. At the time the unfortunate dispute above mentioned took place, the news room was broken up, and the library, which contains about 5000 volumes, was closed. Arrangements, we believe, however, are now being made to re-open both it and the news room.

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Betty Hilton, wife of Elijah Hibbert

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Elijah and Betty's marriage licence 19 December 1822 in John Hibbert's possession

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John Platt, partner of Elijah Hibbert

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Hibbert cotton machines at the 1851 Great Exhibition at Crystal Palace

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Notes on sources

Anderson family tree

Information is largely taken from the book 'The Andersons of Peterhead'. This was based on the records made by John Anderson 1825/1903 [VIII 32], known as 'China John'. This was brought up to date in 1936 by Cecil Ford Anderson [X 17] and Agnes Donald Ferguson [CS 45 X b]. Many photographs were taken and compiled in an album by Olive Edis (daughter of Mary Murray, daughter of Andrew Murray (2) of Aberdeen). Corrections to both Janet Innes Anderson's and Alexander Murray's death dates from Robert Murray Watt and Iain Forrest.

Forrest family tree

Iain Forrest kindly supplied material to update the Forrest family (progeny of William Forrest) details.

Hibbert family tree

The information is largely taken from a tree compiled by F.B. (she knows who she is!) with extra material found by the author.

Murray family tree

The 'Genealogical Table showing various branches of the Murray family', from which this information was taken, was prepared by Alexander Murray of Blackhouse, extended by Andrew Murray - advocate - Aberdeen circa 1880 and further extended by Arthur Murray Watt 1972. The generational notation is the author's.

Pike family tree

Information from family sources as well as 'Burke's Landed Gentry' 1875

Stevenson family tree and many Stevenson and Anderson photos

Deepest thanks for some fantastic pictures and for writing the wonderful book 'Jobs for the Boys' to Hew Stevenson, which you can see on www.dovebooks.co.uk.

And the rest

Thanks also to all who have written in with information, advice, help and, most importantly, corrections.

© John Hibbert 2001-2013

28 February, 2021