In the Dumfries Kirk Sessions of 1822 (which are searchable online), James BROWN was “named as the father of Jean Smith’s child; [and] gave satisfaction for this in the parish of Applegarth” (Archive Ref: CH2/537/12). I believe ‘gave satisfaction’ (in this sense), meant that the father gave monetary compensation to the parish for their support of the child.
Next, was he near enough to be involved? Applegarth is roughly 20 miles from Dunscore and about 30 miles from my James’ home, Glencairn. Not a short walk, but not impossible distances.
So I can’t rule out my James Brown as the father of Jean Smith’s illegitimate child and I have kept hold of this genealogical tidbit. To get any closer to proving this, I would need to check for further information in the Kirk Session records and the Applegarth parish records for any further information on Jean SMITH and her child.
- Check for further information in the Kirk Session records
Check Applegarth parish records for the child’s birth
Update: Checked Applegarth, Dunscore, Glencairn and Lochmaben parishes (via ScotlandsPeople) for any birth with Jean SMITH as parent (between 1800 – 1825) and any SMITH birth (between 1816 – 1825) – no likely entries found (all have listed fathers).