Son of a Lunatic

I received another reply from the wonderful archivist at NHS Grampian archives. Apparently, Agnes’ brother Wilson was also admitted into the Aberdeen Royal Lunatic Asylum. Wilson was suicidal when he entered the asylum in June 1875. He was released under the authority of John BUCHAN in October 1876. He had either recovered from his ‘melancholia’ or was being cared for at home.

While I wait for the case notes to arrive, I’ve been looking into John BUCHAN as he seems to be playing a vital role in his families lives. I don’t know yet whether this John is Agnes’ son or another family member. There are 2 or 3 John Buchans of the right age in the Lonmay parish in 1881. One married to a Mary PIRIE and one to an Isabella. I downloaded the death record of the only appropriate Lonmay death record (between 1876 and 1930) – this John was married to Mary PIRIE and his mother is recorded as Nancy BUCHAN (father – Arthur).

Statutory Death Record of John Buchan, 1907

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At first glance, it seems the other John in the 1881 census is my man. HOWEVER, the names Nancy and Agnes do sound similar – could this be an error? The informant was the man’s son, who was 18 on the 1881 census and so very likely to know his grandmother well.

A quick google search reveals that Nancy seems to be a nickname for Agnes. This record is looking more likely to be a match. Hopefully, the case notes will give me a clue (at least to whether the John Buchan whom Wilson was released to was in fact Agnes’ son).

Then it dawned on me, dear readers, the case notes had also given son John’s occupation as ‘carter’. The same occupation is recorded on these records and so, in a village full of fisherman, I can be fairly confident this is my man.

1881 Census Record
John BUCHAN & family and FINDLAY servant
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Before I go, however, the census record and the name Mary PIRIE seemed very familiar to me. Then I noticed the name of their servant, Agnes FINDLAY – this was a direct ancestor!

I even blogged about this Agnes’ gravestone a few months ago. I had often wondered if this Agnes was related to her ’employer’ as her mother was a Buchan. It turns out young Agnes (Mad Agnes’ grandaughter) was living with her uncle. I will look into this situation more and report back. I LOVE genealogy!

If you’ve only just found this blog – this particular story starts here.

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