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Scots in Eastern and Western Prussia
Part III – Documents (1)


Birth-briefs and Legitimations

There were two ways for the Scottish settler to prove his identity and his legitimacy One was the birth-brief which was issued in the town of his birth, signed by one or more of the magistrates and duly sealed, another was the oral declaration of legitimate birth. It was accepted instead of a birth-brief. Two friends of the person concerned had to declare on oath before the magistrates of the German town, here Danzig, that they knew him (or her) to be the legitimate son (or daughter) of so-and-so, and his wife in Scotland.

Either of these proofs was needed for the acquisition of civil rights and in cases of succession.

The Royal State Archives at Danzig preserve a great number of these birth-briefs and birth-declarations, whilst the two Archives at Konigsberg, the Royal State Archive and the Stadt Archiv or Town Record Office, [The Stadt Archiv of Konigsberg has passed through a long period of shameful neglect. Owing chiefly to the energetic industry of Archivrath Doctor Joachim, the small remnants of records is now well arranged and secured from further spoliation. It is kept in the Kneiphofische Rathhaus, whilst the State Records are kept in the Castle.] offer none or hardly any material.

In the following list birth-briefs have been marked by the letters "Bb." The bracketed numbers after the names refer to the age of the witnesses. D. = Danzig.

1. Robert Ainslie, father James Ainslie, late barber at Jedburgh. Witnesses: James Ainslie, glover and soldier, and Albert Ainslie, a burgess and silk merchant at Stolp in Pomerania. (1649.)

2. A. Allant, witness: Ernest Maxwel. (1627.)

3. Alb. Anderson, from Perth. Witnesses: Thamson and Andr. Anderson.

4. David Anderson, father Jacob Anderson; mother Margaret Oggelberg, at Danzig. Witnesses: A. Löbel and Ernest Maxwel, stocking-weaver. (16?)

5. Fr. Anderson, father Gilbert Anderson, late skipper and burgess of Aberdeen; mother Isab. Carnegie. Witnesses: Ths. Gordon and J. Swien (?), from Aberdeen.

6. J. Bage (?), pastry-cook, from Edinburgh. Witnesses: Ths. Tamson and Matthew Frisell, from Edinburgh. 1586.

7. Jacob Balwray, father, John Balwray, from St Johannis Stadt (Perth). Witnesses: Chs. Andrew and Ths. Dundy, a glover of Danzig. 1653.

8. David Balfuhr, father Patrick Balfour of St Andrews; mother Agnes Inglis. Witnesses Robt Morris, a tailor, "near the Dominican Abbey Danzig," and John Gourlay, skipper and burgess of Anstruther 1652.

9 Robert Baylie, of Lamington, in Lanarkshire, his father a retired clergyman. Witnesses: W. Currie, of Barten in Prussia, and J. Ballentine from Edinburgh, now at Danzig. 1659. Bbr.

10 Andrew Bell, of Bamoyll, near Cupar Angus, mother, Catharina Blair. Witnesses: Captain A. Blair (65) and James Halyburton. 1637. Bbr.

11. Elisabeth and Agneta Bell, of Dundee. Bbr. 1603.

13. Andrew Black, from the village of Alreck (?), near Banff. Witnesses: Alb. Morrisson, an illuminator, and J. Robinson at Danzig. 1619.

14. Albr. Blackhall, son of the late A. Blackhall at Aberdeen. His brother William having died at Frauenburg in Prussia, he and his sister Catharine, who married Hans Forquart (Farquhar), became heirs. 1655.

15.. Jacob Black, father James Black, in Hirschberg, in Annaberg, Silesia. 1634.

16. James Bruce, son of Robert Bruce, in the town of Skellitoun (?), parish of Dunserf; John Bruce and Grizel Hamilton, daughter of Gavin Hamilton. 1673. Bbr.

17. Robert Bruce, in the parish of Erroll.

18. Mariot Bruce, wife of Ths. Mar, in Kilspindie.

19. Isabel Bruce, wife of John Robertson, Kinnaird. Nos.17-19 are certified to be brothers and sisters of the late John Bruce at Danzig. Bbr. Perth. 1654.

20. Will. Brown, father Henry Brown; mother Houston (or Hewiston), from Dundee. Witnesses: Robert Lesslie and Jacob Houston, burgesses of Dundee. Have been school-fellows. 1663.

21. Jacob Burnet, from Aberdeen, son of Thos. Burnet, "dominus a Campbell," and Margaret Keith. 1652. Bbr.

22. H. Buchanan, father Hans Buchanan, in Danzig. 1651.

23. W. Chishoim, father John Chisholm, in the town of Lamington; mother Christina Portiers (Porteous). Witnesses: Robt. Baillie and Ja. Anderson, glover, neighbours’ children. 1662.

24.. Geo. Cleghorn, from Edinburgh, son of John Cleghorn of Quhitsome (Whitsome), Berwick; mother Helen Innerwick. Witnesses: Revd. Geo. Cleghorn, minister of Dornick (Dornock), Alex. Kinnair, minister of Ouhitsome. Bbr.

24A. Jac. Jeffrey and W. Flockhart in Duns. Bbr. 1633.

25. Will. Clerk, parents John Clerk and Anne Porter, in Dunfermline. Birth-brief issued by the Consules Fermelinodum civitatis, Dunfermline. March 29, 1669. Bbr.

26. A. Grockart. Bbr. from Aberdeen, 1687. "Nos subscribentes Pastor et Seniores ecclesiae Fintriensis in Diocesi Abredonensi in regno Scotiae testamur praesentium laborem Alexandrum Crockart honestis apud nos parentibus defuncto Andrea Crockart agricola et Margareta Ray legitima ipsius conjuge natum esse. Alex. Taylor, senior; Robertus Smith, senior; Alex. Forbes, pastor; Georgius Melvine, senior; Alex. Sangster.

27. Geo Cuik, from Glasgow, son of J. Cuik and Janet Neilson of Glasgow. Sept. 8, 1645. Bbr.

28. Dan. Davidson, "Patricius" of Zamosc in Poland. Witnesses: John and Andrew Davidson, cives et mercatores; Jacob Ventour, Secretary of the King; William Forbes, famatus cives. 1680.

29. Geo. Davidson, father William Davidson of Aberdeen; mother, Elizabeth Menzies. 1668.

30.. John Davidson, father, Alexander Davidson of Marienculter (Maryculter), "about a mile’s walk from Aberdeen." Witnesses: Thos. Mengis from Collerlie, near Aberdeen; and Hans Brown, from Aberdeen, glover and indweller of Danzig. 1652.

31. Andr. Dellor, from the village of Alborti (?), ten miles off Aberdeen. Witnesses: Will. Anderson and Ths. King, from Aberdeen. 1592. Bbr.

32. David Demster, son of Geo. Demster and Isabella, from Brechin. 1631. Also written Dempster. Bbr.

33. Thomas Demster, son of the late Jas. Demster, "one of the nobility" (einer vom adell), domiciled in Engelsmead (Inglismaldie in Marykirk, Kincardineshire), near Brechin, and of Agneta Lyall, his mother. Witnesses: Alexander Demster, burgess and merchant of Danzig, and Alb. Demster, a braid maker. 1633.

34. R. Dempstarton, mother Christina Balfour, at Stirling. Witnesses at Stirling: Alex. Cousland, Geo. Norvel, Alex. Miller. Juli 3, 1610. Bbr.

35. Gilbert Dennis, father in Zamosc, Poland; mother Susanna Boyd, from St. Johannis Stadt = Perth. Witnesses: Gleghorn and Jacob Lyon, a glover. 1657.

36. John Duget, son of the "noble" John Duget, domiciled in Disblehr (Disblair in Fintray), "seven miles from Aberdeen"; mother, Margaret Siton (Seaton). 1655.

37. H. Duncan; 38. Jas. Duncan; 39.Thos. Duncan; Sons of Thomas Duncan in Konigsberg, 1652. Witnesses: Jacob Ruthven and Hans Short, of Konigsberg.

43. P. Forbes, son of Robert Forbes of Mowney and Margareta Farquhar. Witnesses: Duncan

Forbes of Camphill, and Joannes Forbes, burgess of Aberdeen.

44. William Forbes, son of Geo. Forbes and Catharine Reedfurth of Baltingtuhr (?) in Aberdeenshire. Witnesses: William Forbes and Alex. Mitchell, burgesses of Aberdeen. Bbr. 1632.

40. William Farguhar; 41. Rober Farquhar; Emigrated from Aberdeen in 1639. Sons of Arch. Farquhar, de Dillab infra parochiam de Monymusk et generosa femina, Marg. Ritchie. 1687. Bbr. [In the Kgl. St. Archiv, Posen, adorned with coat-of-arms.]

42. David Fermer, son of William Fermer, Kirkcaldy. 1616. Bbr.

45. William Fraser, son of W. Fraser, "magistri de Phoppachi." (Fopachy on the Beauly Firth.) 1670. Bbr. Inverness.

46. John Fyffe, son of Jas. Fyffe in St Andrews. Witnesses: David Brodie and Robt. Morrisson, tailor at D. 1652. ["Robt. Morrisson has been growing up with J. Fyffe, the younger, and was a schoolfellow of his."]

47. Ths. Gall, son of Ths. Gall in Montrose. Witnesses: W. Grub and W. Jeffrey at D., both from Montrose. 1632.

48. Hans Gilmore, father, burgess in Thorn. Witnesses: J. Ruthven and Jacob Lyon, burgesses and glovers at D. 1653.

49. James Grun (Green.) Witnesses: Hans Robertson and Gelletlie, burgesses of D. 1582.

50. Robt. Guthrie, son of the "noble" William Guthrie of Minus, not far from the town of Fervor (Forfar), and of Elis. Fenton. Witness: Henry Guthrie, merchant at D. 1662.

51. W. Halyburton, son of the "Magister" Andr. Halyburton of St Andrews and Cath. Lumsden.

Witnesses: Morrisson and Cassinus of D. (80). 1680. Bbr.

52. Andr. Hervie, son of William Hervie of Torreloyth (?) near Aberdeen. Witnesses: W. Anderson and Oswald Dirring, of Aberdeen, inhabitants of D. 1598.

53a. Al. Henderson, son of John Henderson, burgess of Perth, and Elis. Ellor. Witnesses: W. Anderson, Hans Snell, Alex. Salmon, natives of Perth, now of D. Alex. Henderson died 1597 at D.

53b. William Henderson, son of William Henderson, the Earl of Orkney’s late "Court Butcher" in Kirkwall, and of Anne Spens. Witness: Elis. Sinckler, widow of Peter Wilson. 1653.

54. W Hewison, son of W. Hewison, Aberdeen. 1650.

55. Dan Heij (Hay). Witness: Alex. Karkettle. 1690.

56. Hans Innes, son of Alb. Innes, an "arrendator" at Park in Banffshire and of Marg. Leitch. Witnesses: Jacob Stewart, a lieutenant, and Ths. Mackie, a tailor, both of D. 1660.

57. Albrecht Jack, son of Thomas Jack, merchant of D. Witnesses: W. Wadrop and David Hogg, burgesses of D. 1622.

58. Thos. Jamieson, son of John Jamieson, domiciled in Sklete (or Sklote), "about a mile’s walk from Aberdeen," and of Barbara Simson. Witnesses: Alexander Simson, burgess of Krakaw, and Will. Hewison, burgess of Posen. 1658.

59a. Andreas Kant, a tanner, now a musketeer under Sergeant-Major Goltz, son of And. Kant. 1661.

59b. W. Kant, son of the late John Kant, a tailor. Witnesses: Robt. Morisohu (80) and Alex. Stuhrt (73), in the Elizabeth Hospital, D. 1681.

60. Hans Kilau (?), son of the late I. Kilau, shoemaker and burgess of Aberdeen. Witnesses: Gilb. Tzamer (Czamer), and Will. Ellhus (Ellis) of Aberdeen, now at D. 1637.

61. Jacob Kingawer (?), son of Jas. Kingawer, late weaver at Wasserkarney (?), "three miles’ walk from Aberdeen," and of M. Young. 1666.

62. Jacob Leo (Lyon), son of David Lyon, burgess of Edinburgh, and of Cath. Patterson, a citizen of Danzig and a glover by trade. Died without male issue. One of the witnesses is Alb. Morris, a tailor of Danzig and son-in-law to David.

63. Jacob Lermont, father J. Lermont, late burgess and gunsmith of St Andrews; mother, Elis. Smith. Witnesses : S. Robertson, burgess of St Andrews, and Jacob Smith, burgess of Danzig. 1636.

64. Walter Leslie, from Aberdeen; father Patrick Leslie, Provost of Aberdeen; mother, Isab. Chien. Witnesses: Ths. Leslie, burgess of Danzig, an uncle, and J. Littgo (Lithgow), burgess and distiller, D. (73). 1683.

67. John Littko, son of Jas. Littkow, citizen and distiller of D. (formerly a "lieutenant" in Aberdeen), born in Aberdeen; mother Elis. Henderson. 1669.

68. Will. Litigow, from Sandwick (Shetlands). Witness: Jacob Lissko, stocking-weaver (48).1657.

65. Thos. Ledderdel (Litherdale?), father, Jas. Litherdale, domiciled on St Mary’s Isle, County Galway (Galloway). 1649.

66. Abr. Lindsay, son of Will. Lindsay and of Euphemia, from Edinburgh. 1598.

69. John Macallen. 1648. Bbr.

70. John Mackie. 1640. Bbr.

71. A. Marshall, Bbr. issued by the town of Aberdeen, son of Robt. Marshall and Marg. Mollisson. Witnesses: Alex. Davidson, "advocatus," John Tullydaff Hector Smith and Jas. Birnie. Dec. 1, 1634.

72. John Maxwell, son of James Maxwell, peasant, in the village of Auchtermuchty, "a two miles’ walk" from Fachein (Falkland), "a small town in the Kingdom of Scotland." Witnesses: Alex. Ross (75) and Hans Casin (90), labourers of D. 1682.

73. J. Mill, father burgess of D.; mother Anne Robertson. Witnesses: Hans Morton and Jas. Duncan (66), burgesses of D. 1675.

74. Robt. Mill, father Robert Mill, in Aberdeen; mother Jane Burnett. 1674.

75. Robt. Mitchell, son of Robert "Dominus de Preston Grange," and Janeta Wilson. 1697. Bbr.

76. G. Moir, from New Aberdeen. Mother Anna Paip, daughter of Alex. Paip of Mickley Rany. 1738. Witnesses: And. Turner (76) and John Marshall (56), burgesses of D.

77. Alex. Moncrieff, skipper, from Burntisland. Mother, Marg. Brown. Witnesses: Andr. Alexander and John Scott of Burntisland. Hennerson, an interpreter, "verstabet" = repeated and translated the oath to them. 1678.

78. Hugh Mongall, son of George Mongall, judge and burgess of Fallkirch; mother, Marg. Hall. 1664.

79. R. Morrisson, son of John Morrisson of St Andrews. Witness: David Brachy of St Andrews. 1655.

80. Ths. Murray, son of Al. Murray, late merchant in Aberdeen, and of Cath. Cullen. Witnesses: Robt. Chapman and J. Liddel. 1681.

81. Hans Ogilvie (boy), from Kopenhagen. 1685. Bbr.

82. Peter Ogilvie, father, the "noble" Thos. Ogilvie of Balgowen, near Gowrie (Perth); mother, Elis. Morton. Witnesses: Major Ths. Anderson and Hans Watson of D. 1649.

83. Al. Paip, from the town of Tania (Tain) in Ross-shire, son of Gilbert Paip of Mickle Rainy and Anne Munro, daughter of John Munro of Pitonachy. Witnesses: Alex. Ross of Cockenzie and John Fergusson "de Allan." 1686.

84. Al. Paip, son of the above. Witnesses: Geo. Buchan (70) and John James Gorman, burgess of D. 1696.

85. A. Patterson, from Kiling (?), Aberdeenshire. 1619.

86. David Patterson, son of Hans Patterson in Erbraht (Arbroath). Witnesses: Jacob Smith, "a horse soldier," and David Patterson. "Went to school together." 1656.

87. H. Pollock, from Glasgow. Bbr.

88. Archibald Rait, son of A. Rait and Elis. Abercrombie, parish of Rayne, Aberdeenshire. Left Scotland 1651. Bbr. issued by J. Gordon, ballivus, Geo. Cruikshank de Berrihill, Ja. Basken de Orde et Robt. Cruikshank de Rainystone. 1677. [In the Kgl. St. Archiv, Posen. The Bbr. Is adorned with the coat-of-arms of the Raits of Halgrein, Abercromby de Birkenbog, Cruikshank of Tullymorgan and Leith of Likliehide.]

88a. Samuel Ramsay, father and grandfather in Elbing. Witnesses: John Mallison, burgess and brewer, and Thos. Smeaton, burgess, both of Elbing. 1687.

89. William Ramsay, son of Patrick Ramsay, in the village of Wettray (?) Angus. Witnesses: Will. Ramsay and David Macrecht. "Scottish Krämers." Bbr. 1629.

90. Jacob Ramsay, father a small grocer at Praust near D. 1656.

91. Alexander Ramsay, son of No. 89. "Freyer deutscher art gezeuget." [Of free German offspring.] 1689.

92. Walter Ramsay, sons of Al. Ramsay of Gaire (?)

93. Gilbert Ramsay, near Coupar Angus, and of Marg. Halyburton. Walter is said to have died when journeying in Wallachia; Gilbert settled in Konigsberg. 1652.

94. Alex. Rennie, son of Al. Rennie. 1637.

94a. M. Riese from Edinburgh. 1701.

95. Jas. Robertson, son of Geo. Robertson, burgess of D. 1591.

96. David Robertson, from Pomerania. 1638. Bbr.

97. Thomas Robertson, from Brandenburg. 1638. Bbr.

98. Will. Robertson, son of Jas. Robertson (95) in D. Born at D. 1662. Bbr.

99. Jacob Ross, son of John Ross at D. and of Margaret Essken (Erskine). Witnesses: Jas. Lyon and David Dempster (60), glovers and burgesses of D. 1657.

100. Abr. Sinclair, son of W. Sinclair of D. Witnesses: Hans Fergusson and Jacob Söto (Soutar), burgesses and shoemakers of D. 1669.

101. David Skene, from Bahelwick (Balhelvie), near Aberdeen. Mother Mabel Kennett. 1586. Bbr.

102.. Jacob Sinckler, father Jas. Sinckler, a "seafaring man"; mother, Agneta Morton. Witnesses:

Hans Morton, burgess of D., and David Brady of St Andrews. 1659.

103. Thomas Smart, from Dundee. Son of David Smart and Elizabeth Smith. Witnesses: Geo. Brown and Mallisson from Konigsberg. 1639. Bbr.

104. Jacob Smith, son of James Smith at Dundee and of Marg. Gillin. Witnesses: Robert Lessli, burgess of Dundee, and John Cargill, clerk in D. 1664.

105. John Strachan, son of Al. Strachan, merchant at D., and of Barbara Schmidt (Smith). Witnesses: J. Smith, burgess and jeweller of D., and William Lumsdehl, burgess of D. 1680.

106. Alb. Strebren,[See Scots in Germany.] son of Matth. Strehren from Penketland (Pencaitland), "eight miles" walk from Edinburgh. Witnesses: Hans Cumming, burgess of D. 1665.

107. Jas. Steffen, from Glaskaw, son of the late B. Steffen. Witnesses: B. Hall and Hans Donnell, burgesses of Glasskaw. 1612.

108. Donald Sutherland, from Caithness. Bbr. 1751.

109. James Sutherland; ,, ,, Bbr. 1752.

110. John Thomson, son of Math. Thomson of Glasgow. Witnesses: Matth. Macleish, glover,. and Henry Simson, retail merchant, D., "neighbour’s children." 1667.

111. John Turner, [See about him above. The reader will do well to compare the lists above with those given in the Appendix of the Scots in Germany. ] son of John Turner and Marg. Keith, Aberdeen. Witnesses: William and Andr. Turner, merchants at Przemysl in Poland, the heirs. 1688.

112. Richard Turner, father in D. as clerk. 1684.

113. Hans Walles (Wallace), son of H. Walles in D., and Cath. Robertson. Witnesses: H. Morton and Geo. Cleghorn, burgesses of D. 1660.

114. Will. Watson, from Stolp in Pomerania, son of J. Watson, there. 1676. Bbr.

115. Andr. Watson, son of A. Watson in St Johnstown (Perth). Witnesses: P. Wadrup, a soldier, and William Puri (Pourie). 1649.

116. Jacob Watson, son of H. Watson, born in the village of O. (?), ten miles from D. 1686.

117. Jacob Wright, from Pomerania. Bbr. 1653.


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