View Full Version : Andrew Porteous b.1814-1824 parent confusion?

27-08-2009, 4:12 AM
Looking for the parents of Andrew Porteous. He was married in 1844 in Sth.Leith Edin. to Jemima Todd Laing. There is a lot of confusion as to the parents of Andrew, there are some trees on the net that have one set of parents and other trees that have different parents. I think there were 2 Andrew Porteous, both went to Australia in about 1855. I am looking for the one who is the husband of Jemima, they had 4 children born in Scotland, Marion, Isabella, Elizabeth and Jemima and then a couple more children born in Australia. Andrew's birth was either 1814 or 1824. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

27-08-2009, 5:45 AM
Hello dotsage,

The first thing for you to do is to make sure of all the facts which you can check.

Do not rely on other people's trees unless the sources are cited and can be checked by you.

Do you have Andrew's death certificate (or even the entry in the index)?
If he died in Victoria, Australia, it should give the names of his parents.
Of course this would depend on the knowledge of the informant ...

Do you have the names and dates of birth of all the children of Andrew & Jemima? That is important.
I do not see an Elizabeth born in Scotland ...

A quick check suggests to me that Andrew was very likely the son of Peter PORTEOUS & Isabella SINCLAIR b 18 Feb 1814 in Borthwick, Midlothian, Scotland.

Did Andrew & Jemima happen to have a son named Peter??

I will enlarge on this in a separate email.


27-08-2009, 6:30 AM
1. From the IGI (International Genealogical Index) on FamilySearch (free, online) at:
All listed below are entries extracted from parish registers.

Andrew PORTEOUS m Jemima Tod LAING (father John LAING), 22 Apr 1844, South Leith, Midlothian

Children of this couple (enter Andrew PORTEOUS in the father boxes, Jemima in the mother given name box, select British Isles as the region).
This produces (all in St Cuthberts, Edinburgh, Midlothian):
Marion PORTEOUS, b 11 Apr 1845
Isabella PORTEOUS, b 14 Dec 1846
Jamima {sic} PORTEOUS, b 22 Sep 1850

2. Scottish Naming Patterns
Scots very often adhered to the following naming pattern:
1st son after father's father
2nd son after mother's father
1st daughter after mother's mother
2nd daughter after father's mother

So this would suggest that Jemima's mother was named Marion, and Andrew's mother was named Isabella.
Unfortunately they had no sons in Scotland.

3. 1851 census
A very poor transcription (I've amended the names and Jemima jnr's age) of the 1851 census shows the following PORTEOUS household at 5/1 Middle Arthur Pl, Edinburgh St Cuthberts.
Andrew, 37, House Carpenter (i.e. born ca 1814)
Jemima, 26
Marion, 5, Scholar
Isabella, 4
Jemima, 6 months
And also
John LAING, 15, Plumbers Apprentice
William LAING, 11, Scholar
All born in the county

The actual census image can be downloaded for a fee (reasonable in my view) from ScotlandsPeople (Google for this).

4. Back to the IGI to search for an Andrew PORTEOUS, mother Isabella, born ca 1814.
There is just one (extracted entry).
Andrew PORTEOUS, b 28 Feb 1814, Borthwick, Midlothian, parents Peter PORTEOUS & Isabella SINCLAIR.

5. To the PROV (Public Record Office of Victoria) to search the (free, online) passenger lists to Victoria at:
The following can be found:
Ship 'Success', May 1852
Andrew, 38
Jemima, 28
Marion, 7
Isabella, 5
Jemima, 1

6. I would now go to the Victorian birth indexes to check whether they had sons in Victoria. If they did, I would expect a first son to be Peter and a second son to be John. Unfortunately I don't currently have access to those indexes.

I hope this has been helpful

Good luck,


27-08-2009, 7:54 AM
Thank you for that info.
I also think that the parents are Peter Porteous and Isabella Sinclair, that is what I have written in my tree. But it seems that someone has looked at the death certificate of the other Andrew Porteous and decided that he was the one in our family and the following mis-information has gone onto other people's trees. When I emailed one person to correct this, they still maintain that they are correct, because they have seen the death certificate, and it has Robert Porteous and Jane Cranstone as the parents.
I will get the right certificate now so I can maybe correct this error.
I looked at the wrong list for the children (an old one), Elizabeth Porteous was born in Geelong and there was also a brother, Peter born in Geelong.
Thanks once again for your time, you're a wonder!

27-08-2009, 9:51 AM
Hi again dotsage,

The difficulty would seem to be whether the death cert for an Andrew PORTEOUS which the other researchers hold can - or cannot - be linked to the Andrew PORTEOUS who married Jemima LAING and had the children named in previous posts.

A quick free search on the Victoria BDM search found a death for an Andrew PORTEOUS, ca 1877, parents Robert & Jane.
It would be very interesting to know what other information is in that certificate - including who was the informant ...
Perhaps you could ask one of the other researchers?

I didn't find a death for an Andrew PORTEOUS with wife Jemima, or with father Peter, or with mother Isabella ...

Perhaps he did not die in Victoria ...

Perhaps someone on the Australia board who has various BDM CDs might be good enough to search?

Best of luck,


28-08-2009, 12:52 AM
Hi again dotsage,

You have mentioned (PM) that Jemima died in 1882 at which time Andrew was still alive.

Just for completeness ...
The Will of the wrong Andrew PORTEOUS (Settler of Carngham, died 1877) is digitised on the PROV site.
He was quite prosperous.
The Will mentions his wife Janet PORTEOUS and his stepson John DEMPSEY usually known as John Dempsey PORTEOUS. It also mentions his own children (sons and daughter/s) but does not name them.

The Will of this Andrew's presumed brother James PORTEOUS (Farmer of Carngham, died 1885) is also digitised as also is the Will of John D(empsey) PORTEOUS.
James leaves everything to his nephew Robert PORTEOUS subject to legacies to John Dempsey PORTEOUS, and also Legacies to Jessie PORTEOUS and Catherine PORTEOUS (these latter to be paid when they turn 20).


08-01-2010, 11:24 PM
I am related through John Dempsey Porteous wife Catherine Rosetta Fletcher. The information I have is that Andrew Porteous with his wife Jemima and their children settled in the Cargnham area in Victoria Australia. He died in Cargnham on the 1 March 1877. According to his death he was born in 1814. His second wife was Janet Gray. Still looking for marriage of them. Her son was 4 when he arrived in Australia with John & Janet in 1849. John Dempsey died in 1863. According to the Victorian BDM records Robert Porteous and Jane Cranston were Andrew's parents. Still trying to find out if he was actually born in Victoria as in 1840's he had a lot to do with the aborigines in Cargnham. My guess is he went back to Scotland married and came back to Australia. Only guess until I check it out more thoroughly. Hope some of this helps.

09-01-2010, 1:11 AM
You are from the other Andrew Porteous, which has caused a bit of confusion. Our Andrew Porteous married Jemima Todd Laing in Scotland, they had 4 girls in Scotland and a couple more children in Victoria. The parents of our Andrew Porteous were Peter Porteous and Isabella Sinclair.
Your Andrew Porteous had the parents, Robert Porteous and Jane Cranston, and he wasn't married to a Jemima, that was our Andrew. These 2 Andrew Porteous's have been confused in some trees on the net. Our Andrew Porteous died in 1890 (born in 1814), married only once and didn't live in Cargnham, he lived in Ballarat and Geelong. I have his death certificate (no.7380).

I don't think your Andrew was a relation of our Andrew, but perhaps they were somehow related back in Scotland, but I haven't found any evidence of that.
Hope that helps,