I would like to know if there is still any Aitken's in and around Midlothian Scotland. I trace my genealogy to James Aitken in 1622 around Dalkeith Scotland. His son Robert Aitken came to Philadelphia USA, and the off spring spread out. I am from the state of Missouri, and live in the middle of Jesse James (the outlaw) country.
Is it even possilbe to trace past 1622, and if so would the Aitken name be spelled the same or would it be different.
Of course I am interested in all the usual stuff like crest, clans, colors, logos
etc., but more on the personal histories of my forefathers,like what they did for a living, what was going on historically during their life, where did they come from originally, was the family members involved in anything important during their life.
Terry Aitkens (Aitken) I will explain if I get an answer.
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Thread: Aitken, Dalkeith Scotland
17-12-2008, 9:40 PM #1
- Join Date
- Dec 2008
Aitken, Dalkeith Scotland
17-12-2008, 10:26 PM #2
To take name spelling first, it was a very fuzzy thing as recently as WW1, and you'll find it written in vistually any way that it can be read aloud and still sound the same. It's not a rare name, and you're going to find a lot of people with the same surname are not related.
Black's "Surnames of Scotland" gives Aitken, Aitkin and Aitkens all as variants of Aiken (along with Atkins, etc), and goes on to say that the name derives from diminutives of Adam.
Only about half of scottish surnames have links to the Highland Clans that date to before Queen Victoria and Prince Albert made such things fashionable. Non-clan names are every bit as scottish, however. Black doesn't mention any Clan affiliation for people of this name, although no doubt small family groups pledged allegience to whatever Clan their landlord belonged to. Since your family seems to have been in the Lothians, and thus Lowlanders, that probably wouldn't apply. You may find, of course, that since Queen Vic's interest, your family has aquired an assication with one of the Clans.
There's a good website with a lot of information and links to sites about Clans and things called Rampant Scotland. All the known tartans (including fakes) are to be found on a site called Tartans by Air.
I suggest that you take a look at the 3 sticky messages at the top of this forum, then you'll get an idea of what's available. I'm afraid that there's not a lot in the 17th century - damp, neglect, poor materials and war don't do much to help document survival.
27-04-2009, 5:50 AM #3
- Join Date
- Aug 2005
Aitken's in Dalkeith
My Aitkens in that area in the 1700's were coalminers. As were most working people at that time. They were all slaves owned by the Duke of Buccleuch or other mine owners.
Other occupations in Dalkeith were farm laborers and linen weavers. Then the better classes may be shopkeepers or such like. It's interesting that you can trace your lineage all the way back to 1622. I would be fascinated to know how the son Robert managed to afford passage on an emigrant ship. Miner's were not allowed to switch jobs during the 1600's and those trying to escape were clasped in irons. My guess would be your family
may have owned a shop or some other business which gave them the opportunity to
save money for a ship's passage. Either that or Robert ran away to sea. Would love to know
who was left behind.
As there are no census back then it is entirely guesswork.
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