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The family of James Cameron & Anne Watson 3.

GEORGE  Born 1848

As with so many younger sons there was little prospect for George in Boat-of-Garten so he had to look further afield.


Clearly working as an agricultural labourer on a casual basis was always there as a fall-back position for these sons of farmers. Having been born and raised on the family farm, they could do the job blindfold, and the job came with a place to live, even if it was just a shared room in a farm cottage, it was not with Mum & Dad, and yes that would have mattered to them for just the same reasons as now.  So like most of these young men the first few records show them at various different farms in their home locality, followed by a move and often a move into training for a more skilled job. This frequently is followed by a marriage within a year or two.  So the first couple of records show George at Milton and at Croft then the 1871 Census finds him living in Glasgow  working as a trainee Flesher (or butcher ). He can't have been too impressed by butchering as the following year he joins the Glasgow Constabulary, a career he sticks to for his working life.

In 1874 George marries Mary Harkins and they move from Maryhill where George had been living  to Anderstown, a better part of Glasgow. ( or so I am told ).  They had 3 children, John, Mary & Maggie.


In his early 40's in 1917, John joined the war effort. He was unmarried and I believe that it was around 1917 that the conscription net was widened to include unmarried men up to 45, presumably post Somme they were short of cannon fodder. I can find no further record of George. So far I have not seen anything to say he was killed in the war, but it has to be likely.  As noted above the records are patchy in places, especially around the war years, when the Civil Service was presumably short of manpower like the rest of the world.

So absence of evidence is not the same as evidence of absence, and we can't just assume that he never came home. For all I know he was whooping it up with wine, women and song for the next 30 years in USA or Australia.  If any more facts turn up then I will update this.

Grigory Cameron,

OPR Birth.


What was going on around Chapelton and Docharn around the 1880's ?

Click these images to expand and join the speculation !!

DONALD Born 1854.

Donald was the youngest son of James Cameron & Anne Watson so presumably got a raw deal, this being the traditional fate of youngest sons. Jokes aside, he seems to have done alright. He became a Gamekeeper moving to Gairloch on the West coast where he became head keeper for an estate.


Poor to this, in 1877 he had a daughter Jessie with Christina McLean, daughter of the McLeans who farmed at Avielochan.  As is noted with such subtlety, on Jessie's Birth Certificate, they were not married.  They may have married later, certainly later records give Christina as his spouse but then many have the so called Common Law Marriage. I can find no record of a legal marriage.

Until at least the 1891 census Jessie was brought up by her Grandparents at Avielochan, even though Christina was living with Donald in Gairloch. ( A long way from Avielochan ). By 1901 Christina's father had left Avielochan and he together with Jessie were living with Donald and Christina in Gairloch.

Donald died age 79 in 1933, he is buried at Carbridge cemetery. If he had come back to his roots to die or was simply buried in the family plot 

George Cameron,

OPR Birth.

GREGOR Born 1851

You will see on the full family tree that we have Gregor Cameron born 1851 and there is Grigory Colquhoun Grant Cameron also born in 1851. The question is, are these one person or two, if there are two then the date of birth of at least one of them is wrong. For ease of use I will refer to them as Grig and Greg from now on. I have the OPR entry for the birth & Baptism of Grig.


CAMERON & WATSON Grigory Colquhoun Grant Cameron son of James Cameron Farmer Deshar and of his wife Anne Watson was born on 19th December 1851 and baptised in 3rd February 1852 by Rev Shepherd Kingussie.

So far I have been unable to find an equivalent OPR entry for Greg. In addition the subsequent Census returns for 1861,71 & 81 just record a Grigor Cameron, and they appear to have his age correct. However the 1891 Census there is no Grig but there is a Greg though his Date of Birth has advanced to 1855. The returns for 1901 and 1911 continue this, recording it as Greg living at Chapelton and his age giving a DOB of 1855 not 1851.  So could they be two people but with Greg having been born later than I had thought ?  Having searched from 1850-1860 and found nothing, this too must be discarded.

There inevitable conclusion is that Gregor Cameron and Grigory Colquhoun Grant Cameron are indeed the same person and that whilst the names, like so many others, are interchangeable, the person is not ! From here on whilst his full name was Grigory Colquhoun Grant Cameron, I will refer to him as Gregor Cameron as once he is an independent adult this is the name on all records and clearly is the name that he used.

Gregor Cameron took over the running of Chapelton Farm after the death of his father James in 1888,  his name appears on the valuation roll as the tenant / occupier and he is recorded as head of the household in Census returns.  As his Father James was 82 when he died, for all practical purposes Gregor must have been running the farm for quite a number of years before he became officially in charge.

Gregor never married though he did have a son Peter born in 1876, by Barbara MacIntosh, daughter of the MacIntosh family who farmed at Docharn, the much larger farm up the hill behind Chapelton.  Poor Barbara seems to have been packed off in disgrace to have her baby as far away from home as possible. Peter was born at an address in Dundee whilst the rest of the family was clearly still at Docharn. Further investigation shows that the address in Dundee was an establishment run by Nuns where "Fallen Girls" could have their "Devil's Spawn" away from the gaze of the judgemental public.

Exactly what happened after this, it is hard to tell. Peter McIntosh is the Tenant of Docharn in 1875, typically for some reason the 1880 Roll is not available, or was never done, that of 1885 shows the tenant to be a McGilvray. On the 1881 census the McGilvray family are at Docharn, the only McIntosh is a shepherd called Alexander McIntosh, however McIntosh's are pretty thick on the ground in Duthil and this bloke is unrelated to Barbara and family. So whilst the McIntosh family drop out of the record, baby Peter does not and by the 1881 Census aged 5 whole years he is living at Chapelton with his Dad, James Cameron & Anne Watson (his Grandparents) and two uncles, John and Alexander.

Over the next 10 years things change. James Cameron & Anne Watson have both died and Gregor has taken over Chapelton farm, John has de-camped up the hill to the comely charms of the Widow McGillvray and their niece Elsie Cameron ( daughter of James Cameron & Elspet Grant ) is living with them as housekeeper together with her young son John. Before you ask, no there is not a Mr Elsie, John being the embarrassing consequence of her undoubtedly close friendship with Young Peter McGregor. Yes another one of the pesky McGregors of Balnacruie,  but more of all that later. By the time of the 1911 Census little had changed, apart from some turnover of Farm & domestic servants, the family members at Chapelton did not change. needless to say the world turned upside down a few years later when war broke out.

Gregor continued to live at Chapelton until he was 66 when he died of Leukaemia in 1917. At this time his son Peter and great nephew John were both in France fighting for their country and for their lives.  Prior to going to the war John Married Alice and had a daughter Elsie Cameron born 1915.  By amazing good fortune both John and Peter came home from the war alive and almost in one bit. Gregor was dead so Peter took over Chapelton Farm, John built a new house just on the other side of the lane for himself, his wife and growing family, George having been born in 1919.

Donald Cameron,

OPR Birth.

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