Wills and Williams

I was overjoyed to find the will of William GLAISTER (1816 – 1883) on the FamilySearch site in the Archives New Zealand probate records collection.  He was a {white & black}smith of Kelso in Roxburghshire, Scotland before emigrating to Dunedin, New Zealand in 1872.   [This William was also the subject of a previous post – Addressing Up]

In summary (from what I can make out):

  • All his tools were to be given to his son Edward
  • Ten pounds were to be given to each of his three (male) grandchildren
  • Janet was to be allowed to use and occupy his house and home and given an income for life (she was to die only 2 years later)
  • Section 235 & 236 of The Glen were to be given to his sons Edward & Thomas (as long as his debts were satisfied)
  • Everything else was to be sold off and the money shared between all his children

However, I was curious as to why only two of his sons, Edward and Thomas, and three of his grandchildren were mentioned by name in his will?  Also, his two executors, William Sinclair and Alfred Kingston Smith were not his sons so who were they?

Below is a transcription of the will (written 3rd of March 1883) with the names in bold typeface [indentation added by me for ease of reference]:

This is the last will and testament of me William Glaister of The Glen near Dunedin in the Provincial district of Otago and Colony of New Zealand Whitesmith. I appoint William Sinclair of Dunedin aforesaid Warehouseman and Alfred Kingston Smith of the same place Fishmonger Executors of this my will

I give and bequeath to my son Edward Glaister all the tools of my trade and to each of my grand children William Smith, William Sinclair the younger and William Glaister the sum of Ten pounds

I give devise and bequeath unto the said William Sinclair and Alfred Kingston Smith and the survivor of them the heirs executors and administrators of such survivor hereinafter referred to as my said Trustees all my real and personal estate upon trust to permit and suffer my wife Janet Glaister to use occupy and enjoy all my real estate whatsover without impeachment of waste and also all my household furniture and such of my personal estate (other than money) as my said attorney wife may require without being responsible for any loss or diminution in value which may arise therefrom

And as to the residue (if any) of my personal estate upon trust to sell and convert the same into money and after payment of all my just debts legacies funeral and testamentary expense to invest or apply the same as hereinafter appears

And from and after the death of my said wife as to section two hundred and thirty five (235) The Glen upon trust for my son Edward Glaister subject to the proviso hereinafter contained and as to section two hundred and thirty six (236) The Glen upon trust for my son Thomas Glaister subject to the proviso hereinafter contained

And as to all the residue of my real and personal estate upon trust to sell and convert the same (or such part thereof as shall not consist of money into money and shall stand possessed of the moneys to arise from such sale and conversion of my estate and such part thereof as shall consist of money upon trust for all my children equally share and share alike

And I hereby declare that any money in the hands of my Trustees may be invested by them of depositing the same in any Bank, Building Society or public Company or in any way which my said Trustees may seem desirable

And I hereby empower my said Trustees to pay the income thereof to my said wife during her life and if they shall deem it necessary so to do to apply the whole or any part of the principal sum then in their hands for her support and maintenance anything herein to the contrary notwithstanding.

And I do hereby declare that if my personal estate shall prove insufficient for the payment of my just debts, funeral and testamentary expenses and the legacies to my grand children the deficiency shall be paid by my sons Edward Glaister and Thomas Glaister in equal shares and if both or either of them shall fail or neglect to pay the sum necessary for this purpose within twelve months after the same shall have been demanded from them or him it shall be lawful for my said Trustees to sell the sections or section to which they or he would have been entitled and after payment thereout of all my expenses attending such sales or sale and the proportionate amount so required for payment of the said debts expenses and legacies to stand possessed of the proceeds of such sales or sale for the persons or person who would have been entitled to the said sections or section if such sale or sales had not been made [In witness] whereof I have hereunto set my hand this third day of March One thousand eight hundred and eighty three

Signature of William Glaister (1816 – 1883) as it appears on his last will and testament

 

William married twice; his first wife Margaret MURRAY died sometime between 1853 and 1857 when he married his second wife, Janet Waldie.  He had 8 children – 4 with each wife:

Children with 1st wife Margaret:
Robert 1844
Janet 1846
Margaret 1851
William Murray 1853

Children with 2nd wife Janet:
Barbara 1858
John 1860
Edward 1863
Thomas 1866

First step was to work out who was still alive at the time the will was written.

Janet died at just 2 years of age in 1848 and John died 2 years before the will was written at the age of 21.

Burial entry of Janet Glaister 1846-1848

 

Death notice of John Glaister, Otago Daily Times, Issue 6106, 5 September 1881

Next step, the surnames of the grandchildren were a hint that his executors were actually his sons-in-law.  Searching NZ BDM online gave a William Richard Smith born to Alfred Kingston Smith and Margaret in 1874 and William Donald Sinclair born to William Sinclair and Barbarain 1878.  This then led me to the marriages of William’s two surviving daughters, Margaret and Barbara confirming that they were indeed married to the two executors. I then searched for the grandchildren using the parents’ names:

Children of Margaret Glaister & Alfred Kingston Smith
Possible children of Barbara Glaister and William Sinclair

Children with 1st wife Margaret:
Robert
1844
Janet 1846 – 1848died at 2 years of age
Margaret 1851 – married Alfred Kingston Smith in 1874 (executor); their first son, William Richard Smith (b.1874) (1st grandson mentioned)
William Murray 1853 – 1917 – his son, William David Murray Glaister (b.1879) (3rd grandson mentioned)

Children with 2nd wife Janet:
Barbara
1858 – married William Sinclair in 1878 (executor); their first son, William Donald Sinclair (b.1878) (2nd grandson mentioned)
John 1860 – 1881 – died 2 years before the will was written
Edward 1863
Thomas 1866

[The names of people referred to in the will in green bold typeface]

So it seems as though only Edward & Thomas were specifically provided for as they were underage at the time (not yet 21); the 3 grandchildren were the eldest grandsons and possibly the only males alive at the time (though no deaths or other records have yet been found for James Robertson Sinclair); and the executors of the will were William’s daughters husbands. The daughters & grandaughters, as was often the custom in these times, were ignored.

It still doesn’t clear up why his eldest son, Robert (who appears not to have married) nor his second eldest, William Murray (my ancestor) were not the executors, let alone mentioned at all.

Next Steps:

  • Find out more about eldest son, Robert Glaister b. 1844

Genealogical Jurisprudence

Professor John Glaister (1856 – 1932)

Professor John Glaister (1856 – 1932) was a Scottish forensic scientist who often appeared as an expert witness in famous legal cases of the time. He authored A Text-book of Medical Jurisprudence and Toxicology which was apparently quite an important reference work in those medical/legal circles of the time.

There has been a long held belief in my family that we are related to him, however I have never been able to find evidence of this.  My grandmother had first mentioned it to me but there is also a reference to the relationship in a letter my grandfather wrote to his son in 1979:

When we were in N.Z. someone told us that Aunt Amy when she was in Scotland looked up the Glaisters & Gerard Glaister is one of our relations. My maternal Grand-father was the only Glaister that wasn’t a Dr – [written above: (he was a blacksmith & my cousin Tom Allan showed me his coach-builders hand book when were in NZ.) ] & we had one of his books on veterinary [surgery] with coloured plates of horses insides when I was a kid. Tom Allen had a photo of my Grand-dad Glaister’s FATHER’s house on a Scottish estate – the house was given to him on his retirement as vet. So it looks something like this:

Incidently my uncle Murray Glaister met Prof. Glaister before the war.

+ one of his two sons (my cousin) was in the N.Z. New Years Honours list for his contribution to the meat industry.

*I believe the uncle he refers to as Murray is actually William David Murray Glaister (a solicitor in Auckland) as he was the only boy of William Murray GLAISTER & Alice Ann WHITE that lived; Aunt Amy is likely Amy Glaister/Pile; Gerard Glaister seems to refer to the British television producer and director ; I’m not sure who cousin Tom Allen refers to or the ‘meat industry contributor’.*

Seemingly lots of family information to help me piece things together but unfortunately, I know immediately that Grandad was mistaken in a few things:

  1. It was actually his maternal great great Grandfather who was a vet (Robert GLAISTER).
  2. His grandfather’s father, William GLAISTER (missing from this sketch) was also a blacksmith and it was actually HIS father who was the vet.
  3. The DR S recorded as a brother to the coach builder (William Murray GLAISTER) does not exist (at least not as this relationship – He had a brother called Stephen Glaister who was also a blacksmith.)
  4. Professor John Glaister’s grandfather was a John Glaister NOT Robert GLAISTER the veterinarian
  5. ‘…only Glaister that wasn’t a Dr…’ – no known doctors in this part of the family apart from a few veterinary surgeons

So my general assumption was that the family were mistaken and there is no link to my family.

HOWEVER:

While trawling the NZ Papers Past website for the Glaister name, I came across this article from 1932:

 

Auckland Star – 19 December 1932

 

…His death reveals a link with Auckland and New Zealand. When his daughter, now Mrs. Woodruff, was passing through Auckland to Melbourne to be married in 1919, she accidentally came into contact with the name Glaister, and made the acquaintance of Mr. W. P. M. Glaister,barrister, of this city. Subsequently Professor Glaister, who was compiling a history of the Glaister clan, communicated with Mr. Glaister, and as a result was able to furnish a genealogical history of the New Zealand branch of the Glaister clan from about 1800. Besides his specialist work in criminology Professor Glaister had wide interests, medical and scientific.

So according to this, ‘Uncle Murray’ had contact with Professor Glaister’s daughter and eventually communicated with him.  It doesn’t say ‘met’ but this was certainly ‘before the war’ so there WAS some truth to that statement.  The comment, ‘as a result was able to furnish a genealogical history of the New Zealand branch of the Glaister clan from about 1800’ isn’t exactly clear but does seem to imply that there WAS some link between both families. So for now, my search goes on…

Next Steps:

  • Determine exactly who cousin Tom Allen was & the ‘meat industry contributor’
  • Contact relatives who may still hold the books, papers and photographs referred to in the letter
  • Prepare tree of descendants of Robert GLAISTER to compare to Grandad’s sketch
  • Find link to Professor John Glaister’s family

Addressing Up

It’s been a while since I looked into my Scottish forebears but was enticed back to search the Valuation Rolls held by Scotlands People. Happy to find William GLAISTER, smith, listed as occupier at the Smithy in Kelso (Bridge St & Abbey Row).  The owner of the property was David FLEMING, Blacksmith.

William Glaister appears in the 1865 Valuation Rolls

The next (and only other) Glaister mention was a Mrs Janet Glaister, occupying a house and stable at 56 Horsemarket, Kelso.

Mrs Janet Glaister appears in the 1875 Valuation Rolls

This threw me for a bit, as by 1875, William had emigrated to New Zealand.  The 1872 Hydaspes passenger list shows that his second wife, Janet, travelled with him so how could she be listed as tenant in Kelso?  Then I realised this Janet was the wife of William’s brother, Thomas who died in 1870.

William Glaister & family on board the Hydaspes (emigrating to New Zealand) in 1872

This encouraged me to find out more about exactly where the family lived and worked in Kelso.  I trawled the Kelso Chronicle for any GLAISTER mentions and managed to find address details through advertisements;

“W. GLAISTER begs to intimate that he has removed to those commodious Premises in Bridge Street known as FLEMING’S SMITHY.” (Kelso Chronicle, 03 July 1863, p1 c6)

Newspaper advertisement for William Glaister’s business (Kelso Chronicle 03 July 1863, p1 c6)

birth announcements;

“At Forest Field, Kelso, on the 9th inst, the wife of Mr William Glaister, smith and bellhanger, of a son.” (Kelso Chronicle 10 April 1863, p3 c6)

Edward Glaister’s birth announcement (Kelso Chronicle 10 April 1863, p3 c6)

and court reports:

Report of theft from the Glaister shop on Bridge St (Kelso Chronicle 21 February 1868, p2 c6)

The valuation rolls, birth records and newspapers have thus helped me to more accurately trace the movements of this family around the town between the census years and enabled me to pinpoint buildings in which they lived and worked.  The historical maps on the National Library of Scotland site, have allowed me to be even more precise.  For example, the Bridge Street smithy is actually labelled on the 1847 Kelso town plan.  Also, modern Forestfield is now a street name – old Forestfield seems to now be addressed as Inch Road.

[Fleming’s] Smithy as labelled on the 1857 Kelso Town Map

So, the addresses I have pieced together so far are:

1841 – Woodmarket, Kelso (with mother)

1843 – Kelso (marriage certificate)

1851 – Roxburgh Street, Kelso

1853 – Kelso (birth of son – parish record)

1857 – Forrestfield, Kelso (marriage to 2nd wife)

1858 – 9 Forrest Field, Kelso (birth of daughter)

1860 – 9 Forrest Field, Kelso (birth of son)

1861 – 4 Forrestfield, Kelso (transcription error for 9?)

1862 – Shop at the foot of Horsemarket, Kelso (May 26) (newspaper advertisement)

1863 – Premises at Fleming’s Smithy, Bridge Street, Kelso (June 3) (newspaper advertisement)

1863 – 9 Forrest Field, Kelso (birth of son – register & newspaper)

1865 – Smithy (Bridge Street & Abbey Row), Kelso (Valuation Rolls)

1866 – Foot of Bridge Street, Kelso (Abbey Row – birth of son – newspaper announcement)

1868 – Bridge St (theft) (newspaper article)

1869 – House and shop in Bridge St, Kelso (until Whitsunday 1869)

1871 – 4 Coal Market Square, Kelso (then R Glaister & Co 18 Woodmarket)

1872 – New Zealand

 

 

 

Not the George You’re Looking For

Isn’t it funny what you can come across by accident?

You may have noticed that I don’t just research my direct line of ancestry.  I like to get into the nitty gritty of their siblings as well.  Partly because I’m nosy,  but also to help locate other ancestors you may not come across otherwise, which can help you break down brick walls.  Sometimes, an incorrectly transcribed name will finally appear on a page with correctly transcribed relatives (I have found elderly parents living with their adult child’s family) and sometimes, the relation to household column can uncover a sister’s marriage (I have uncovered married names via nieces and nephews).

This is why when I received an email from a distant relative connected to William GLAISTER’s brother, George, I dived into collecting every detail I could about George and his wife, Isabella SHORT.  Although, I have so far refrained from collecting HER siblings marriages (more on that later), I have located census records for her parents.

I decided to revise my info on George GLAISTER (b. 1826) – son of Robert GLAISTER (b.1786) and saw that I was yet to find an 1841 census record for him.  I had all others up to his death but despite searching with a number of surname variants had always come up empty handed.  I tried again today and found a 10 year old George GLAISTER in Wooler where a lot of my GLAISTERS had resided.  His age was too young, but since that can often be mistranscribed too, I took a look – definitely not the George I’m looking for…

 

1841 census – Stephen & George GLAISTER
…but underneath in the next ‘household’ (probably just a different room) were Stephen and George GLAISTER – they had been transcribed as Elander.
Now to find out if the John Glaister above is an uncle, brother or cousin.
Next Steps:
  • Determine whether this John Glaister is Robert Glaister’s brother