View Full Version : 93rd Sutherland Highlanders

21-01-2015, 12:00 AM
I am trying to find a record of my 2nd great-grandfather, William Crichton (or Alexander William) in the war. The 1851 Scottish census has him at Edinburgh Castle as a private with the 93rd. Regimental Birth Indexes show the birth of his son, William Palmerston Crichton, at Scutari in 1854. (Family legend has him born aboard the troop ship Palmerston. The wife/mother was Agnes Meek Crichton, supposedly a nurse.)

I have tried various spellings of "crichton" but cannot come up with any record of him. Any ideas or help would be greatly appreciated.


21-01-2015, 2:32 AM
Hello Martha and welcome to the British-Genealogy forums. :smile5:

It sounds as if you have landed here with us from the FWR site so reading This (http://www.british-genealogy.com/threads/82046-FWR-Members-Please-Read)will explain some things.

Is it just William's army records you are looking for?
I did take a look for your William Crichton to get a little background on him and the first census I came upon was the 1871 where the family is living at
Alexander Street St Andrew Angus.
William Crichton 42 Jute Cloth Inspector born Glasgow
Agnes Crichton 41 Glasgow
John Crichton 19 Glasgow
William Crichton 16 Turkey
James Crichton 12 Gifford Haddingtonshire
Robert Crichton 9 Haddington Haddingtonshire east Lothian
Georgina Crichton 14 England
Agnes Crichton 4 Dundee Forfarshire

The places of births of the children give a casual time line of William and Agnes' movements.

Looking at the ages of the children and where born it would appear that William and Agnes met in Glasgow and marrried there, had their first child there then Agnes and John accompanied William to the Scutari Barracks sometime between the birth of John and the birth of William
Looking at the history of the Barracks they were allocated to the use of British troops on their way to the Crimea 1854-1856 and when the last troops left the barracks became a hospital. Florence Nightingale and her volunteers didn't arrive at Scutari until 1854 and left in 1857.

I have assumed that this is your family in 1871 because of the name and son born Turkey. Can't be too many of those.

This has been an interesting history lesson for me :smile5: but I am still looking for William's records.

The National Archives has a guide Here (http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/records/research-guides/armed-forces-1522-1914.htm) to what records are held and where. Some they license out to specific sites so will not be found on any other site.

Using surname variations I did take a look on Findmypast to see if they have the record for William but it hasn't shown up for me as yet. There is a James Crichton born 1829 in the Gordon Highlanders - 75th and 92nd Foot


21-01-2015, 2:39 PM
According to the medal roll there was a Sgt. William Crighton (No.2199) serving with the 93rd, who was awarded the clasps 'Alma', 'Balaklava' (The Thin Red Line) and 'Sebastopol' to his Crimea Medal. In addition there are two other men on the roll for the 93rd named Crichton, but neither is a William or Alexander.


Peter Goodey
21-01-2015, 3:41 PM
Have you searched the service records on Findmypast which is where they (or at least the digital copies) should be if they have survived?

You'll find the service record of the chap Martin found there together with others named Crichton or Crighton born in or around Glasgow at about the right time (assuming the census record Christina found is accurate)

21-01-2015, 11:58 PM
Thank you so much Christina. Yes, you have the correct family. My great-grandfather was John (age 19 in the census you reference). It's so interesting that Agnes went with William. What would have been the reason if she was not a nurse? (And there was no reference to her having a profession...) And, yes, William Jr.'s birthplace certainly does make it easier for those of us trying to ensure we have the correct information.

I am happy I "landed" with you from FWR and look forward to availing myself of your kind help. My main interest is to learn the father of John, William, et al. Two people share the birth year and birth place in my searches. One for whom I can find a birth record is Alexander William Crichton, son of William Crichton and Frances Murdoch. In Ancestry.com Public Trees many have chosen Alexander William as the same person as William of the 93rd. However, I see no citations for this assumption. The fact that Alexander William had a rather lofty pedigree makes me think perhaps people seized upon him as a relative to "adopt" some of his titled forbears! If they are correct, so be it. I am not a revolutionary and will embrace those with titles as equally as those without! But....!

As I'm sure you can tell, I am new to all of this, but want to be as scrupulous as possible. Scotland's People has been of immense help, but I am at a stop until I learn the father of the 93rd's William.

Again, Christina, thank you so much for taking the time to respond!


22-01-2015, 12:01 AM
Thank you so much, Peter. I have just gotten in and will look at the reference you suggest tomorrow. You are very kind.


22-01-2015, 12:04 AM
Thank you, Martin, taking the time to both respond and research my question. I have just arrived home and will respond when I am able to find the medal roll you reference. How kind you all are to help!


22-01-2015, 12:46 AM
Wiulliam Crichton b 1839 Glasgow number 2199 service record is on Findmypast. He was a rope spinner by trade.He did serve in the Crimea. His intended residence on leaving the army was Haddington....which does tie in with the birth details of some of the children.

22-01-2015, 1:02 AM
is this his marriage ? would the actual certificate not show his parents names ?

First name(s)

Last name

Marriage year

Marriage date
25 Mar 1859

Marriage place

Spouse's first name(s)

Spouse's last name




22-01-2015, 1:20 AM
Hello Martha
being scrupulous about your research is an absolute necessity. No use doing it otherwise. We do sometimes go off track if there are too many choices but then we have to pull back and take another look.
Do you have William Crichton and Agnes Meeks marriage record? (Meeks is Agnes' maiden name?) Statutory registration didn't start in Scotland until 1855 but there are parish register records on ScotlandsPeople pay per view site. I did a basic search and there is a marriage of an Agnes Meek in 1850 to a William Cr*ton which looks interesting. I used the wild card as there is no result if using the Crichton.
Best to read all the information given on the site as to what to expect from these parish records.
Oh whilst I remember. Why do you think William used the name Alexander?

I did find this census record for possible family for William born 1829.But as I say a possible only at this stage.
St Ninian Street Gorbals lanarkshire
Robert Crichton 40 Engine keeper born Ireland
Janet 35 wife
Robert 15 Engineer's apprentice
William 13 gate keeper
Sarah 9
Janet 7
Margaret 5
John 3
Alexander 1

Janet and all children born Glasgow

1851 186 Maun Street Barony Lanarkshire
Robert 56 Engine keeper born Ireland
Janet 48
Janet 17 cotton drawer
Margaret 75 dau cotton drawer
John 23 son message boy
Alexander 11 pottery assistant
All children and Janet born Glasgow.

So Robert age 15, William age 13 and Sarah age 9 in the 1841 census have left home.

This is just a transcription off the original image and it appears the transcriber couldn't read the ages of the children clearly.:smile: Robert and Janet's ages are a little out also but some of that can be accounted for because in 1841 the enumerators were supposed to adjust the ages of anyone over 15 down to the nearest 5. Some did, some didn't.


22-01-2015, 1:34 AM
Hello gortonboy
Have I got the birthdate of William wrong. The 1851 census says age 42 so born 1829. All the details you have sound good it is just the 1839 birthdate and the 1859 marriage although people did marry sometimes a while after having children.


22-01-2015, 9:54 PM
I accessed "FindmyPast" as you suggested. Using William Crichton, Crighton, etc. with plus/minus of 20 years of his birth date, I find no one. I've inserted soldier #2199 and 93rd Sutherland Highlanders. Nothing! I must be doing something wrong. Help appreciated.


22-01-2015, 9:55 PM
Martin - where did you find the "medal roll"?



22-01-2015, 10:12 PM
I accessed "FindmyPast" as you suggested. Using William Crichton, Crighton, etc. with plus/minus of 20 years of his birth date, I find no one. I've inserted soldier #2199 and 93rd Sutherland Highlanders. Nothing! I must be doing something wrong. Help appreciated.


On Findmypast click on the Search Records in the blue bar at the top of page then scroll down and click on Military, armed forces and conflict.
Just enter the name William Crichton in the boxes and Tick the name variant box for surname (for safe measures) Then scroll down the page and enter the service number. Click Search and only one record comes up. Make sure to read the original image not just the transcript because the year of birth is wrong in the transcript. The image says attested in 1848 at the age of 19 years so was born c 1829 not 1839. I have submitted a correction to FMP


22-01-2015, 10:24 PM
Christina - Thanks again. At this point I'm not sure why I think there may have been an "Alexander" in the mix. Perhaps when I began months ago and was so excited by the Public Member Tree info, not realizing its fallibilities, I saw "Alexander William" as the husband of Agnes Meek on other trees and just assumed. I don't think I have any other evidence that Agnes' husband was, indeed, Alexander William.

Yes, I have the marriage record of Agnes Meek from Scotland's People's site. She was the daughter of Peter Meek and married William "Crighton" of the 93rd Regiment in Dundee in 1850. From family records and letters I am sure she is the correct person. Family records also have William as a member of the 93rd. So I think I'm correct to this point.

Thank you for the info on Robert and Janet. I will explore this avenue. It is interesting about the downgrading of the children's ages by five years. They don't make it easy do they?

As you can tell, I am an absolute beginner...am even having a bit of trouble following all these threads! But it's a thrilling hunt...I feel like a private detective for the first time in my life.


22-01-2015, 10:29 PM
Hi Martha
From all you have said and the records you have I think you have the correct family.
From William's marriage record what is his father's name and occupation?

It wasn't just children's ages that were marked down to the nearest 5, it was anyone over the age of 15. It didn't always happen but you can usually tell which enumerators followed the instructions as all the adult ages on a census page will end in 0 or 5. :smile5:


22-01-2015, 10:45 PM
When I enter the info, Christina, I get "zero results". Here's a screen shot....can you see something I cannot/ I'm new to genealogy but not to computers. And usually, I've been able to fill in blanks!


22-01-2015, 10:58 PM
Unfortunately, no parents are listed for William on the marriage record. Just Agnes' father. I tried to upload an image for you, but failed.

22-01-2015, 11:33 PM
Hi Martha
Don't put in the age because FMP have it transcribed wrongly so it will only show if you put born 1839.
Sometimes less information is better and then work your way through the results. :smile:

No worries about the image just the info was what I was looking for but it is no help is it?
Do you have William's death cert? if they are like Australian ones they name the parents, wives and children, if the informant knows them and of course there is plenty of room for error in this.

As you get the information from each post I find it is best to write it down in some sort of order, whatever is best for you. I do a very loose-knit tree usually with the couple I am starting with in the middle of the page so I can work up and down with the generations and add relevant info such as birth and death under each person and the woman they married to the right of them, adding info (in very small shorthand!) as I go. As I said - very rough but have the info to hand for quick look.

Do you have a family tree program? There are free versions out there which you can download and try and some of the pay ones have free versions. They just don't let you enter thousands of names etc.

23-01-2015, 1:10 AM
Yes, I got it. thank you! Too much knowledge (i.e. the correct birth year) can be a dangerous thing!

I don't have William's death certificate. But, yes, I am keeping detailed records of each person, what I think I know and why I think I know it! I am using the tree template provided at ancestry.com. which seems to be working pretty well. But, as you say, the notes are the important items as you can get overwhelmed with the disparate information. I like your idea, Christina, of the couple in the middle of the page so you can play with the possibilities "above and below" them.

I am going to explore the possible Robert connection you suggested. Thank you so much!


23-01-2015, 1:32 AM
The marriage was in 1850 in Dundee. Agnes' maiden name was Meek. Sadly, the marriage records show only the father of Agnes. thank you!

23-01-2015, 7:53 AM

I found him using the indexed medal rolls available on Ancestry. However, the National Archives have made these rolls available as free downloads, but the're not indexed. The roll you need is WO 100/33 http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C3763797, there are three separate entries for William.


23-01-2015, 3:53 PM
thanks so much, martin. i do see him on ancestry, and I shall try the archives. a wealth of information!

24-01-2015, 2:07 AM
Someone from another board suggested James Crichton and Isabella McFarlane as parents to William (b. 1829). I couldn't find a trace of these two on findmypast or scots people. William's grand-daughter, child of William's son, William Palmerston Crichton (the one born in Turkey), was named Alexandrina McFarlane Crichton (born 1882). So I would think that bodes well for a connection. (Alexandrina is, indeed, family as she and my grandfather used to correspond after he had mover to the states.) Any thoughts, Christina? Thank you.


24-01-2015, 2:24 AM
Hi Martha
Do you know when William died? You can actually purchase an image of the death register direct from the ScotlandsPeople website. This is what they say about them
" Images of Statutory deaths from 1855 to 1963 are available to view on this site. A digital image is a scan of the microfiche copy of the original register page containing the entry in which you are interested. It therefore contains the same information you would normally see when looking at the actual record"

They show a sample image and there is a column for the father's name and rank/profession and mother's name and maiden surname.
It would be worth a try to see if it does give a father's name but because there wasn't one for William on his marriage certificate it could be that he was actually illegitimate.

Reading This page (http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/content/help/index.aspx?561)about Scottish naming patterns may help but as it says, nothing was set in stone:smile5:


24-01-2015, 3:19 AM
Regarding Alexandrina McFarlane Crichton you mention. I did a search for her birth 1881- 1883 on ScotlandsPeople and I think you will find she was registered as Alexina in 1882.

Edited to add: I can't find William and/or Agnes in the 1881 census so I tried searching on ScotlandsPeople for deaths for them - using the basic search which says there are results but have to pay to view.
There was one death for an Agnes Crichton and I narrowed it down to the year 1883. I did not specify an area.
Using the year born for William 1829 +/- 2 there were no death results but if I widened the birth year to 1829 +/- 5 there were four results. Messing about with the birthdate there were two results for William Crichton born 1834. Again I did not specify an area.
Details on death certificates can be wrong as it is reliant on the knowledge of the informant so whether either of these two are your William could only be decided by purchasing credits.

24-01-2015, 3:42 PM
Thank you once more, Christina. In the past, I have purchased credits to try to find Williams birth and death to no avail. I'll have to go back and stretch the date parameters. The "Forename Variant" article was very helpful - especially about the interchanging of names like Agnes and Nancy as well as the naming patterns of families. And, yes, I do have Alexandrina(Alexina)'s info. Just wish it led me to her grandfather's parents!

Are Find my Past and Scot's People fairly interchangeable, that is, do they both access the same info? I know the fee structure is similar. I'm now on Find my Past for a month and access info on Scot's People via credits.

Thank you again, very much for you thoughtfulness, Christina.

24-01-2015, 8:59 PM
Hi Martha
FMP and ScotlandsPeople are, I believe, owned by the same company but are not interchangeable. Whilst you will find transcripts of some, limited, Scottish records on FMP - and ancestry - you will not be able to access the original images which is why ScotlandsPeople is such a great site. Instant gratification! :biggrin:


24-01-2015, 8:59 PM
HI Martha

NO, FMP and Scotlands People are fairly different. FMP and SP do have Scottish census records (FMP are only translations, SP are the original pages) but that is the only link. SP have BMD, census, valuation rolls and wills. FMP don't have much Scottish stuff, apart from census (up to 1901, not 1911) and service records etc, mainly for England. You need to look at both.



25-01-2015, 6:25 PM
Indeed....gratification, especially instant, is always good!