Adam Proctor b1765

Adam Proctor was born in Cockpen near Edinburgh in 1765, the son of Adam Proctor (b1736) and Margaret Auflect. He was married and brought up his children at Newton, also near Edinburgh. He was a carter by trade and died before official records began in 1855. The hypothesis, and it is no more than a hypothesis, is that his father came from Clatt in Aberdeenshire between 1736 and 1759.

Certainly there were a number of Proctor families in that part of Aberdeenshire at that time, and all seem to have left by 1764. Between 1550 and 1775, 36 marriages are recorded for Proctors in Aberdeen city, 17 in the parishes bordering Clatt of Insch (6), Ardindoir (3), Culsamond (3), Kinnethmont (3), Rayne (2),: and only 5 in any other parishes in Aberdeenshire. Virtually all the Proctors left Aberdeenshire by 1765. There is only two couples producing children in any of these parishes after that date. There were no Proctor marriages in Clatt.

Thereis a List of Pollable Persons in 1696 in the shires of Aberdeen. The Aberdeen and NE Scotland Family History Society have produced transcripts. I have the following parishes and results. Basically I got the data for the parished that had Proctor marriages in the next 70 or 80 years. Certainly there is no sign of a Adam among the Proctor names. I would have thought that "our" Adam should have come from one of the familes in 1696 listed below. Adams's father was John, who would probably have been born around 1700. Therefore the parents of this John should e found here. From the group below, you can take your pick of John, James or Alexander at Insch or Rayne; and John (weaver) at Kinnethmond. Just looking at the map I would suspect John Proctor and his wife Margaret Stephen at Earlefield to be the parents of "our" John (his home is under 2 miles from Bogend)

John Proctor 1795 William Proctor 1762 Elizabeth Roger 1807 AdamProctor 1797 Margaret Forrest 1765 Margaret Auflect 1730 Adam Proctor 1730

1736 Scotlands People and LDS give a reference to a baptism on 11 January 1736 of a son Adam Proctor to John Proctor at "Bogend", Clatt, Aberdeen. A Proctor family lived there over a limited period of time, but whether it is "our" family can be debated. There is nothing that will either confirm or deny that the family moved from Clatt to Edinburgh sometime between 1736 and 1759. However the evidence is fairly good circumstantially in that there is an Adam Proctor in Aberdeenshire and the Proctor family disappear from Aberdeenshire and appear in Edinburgh at the right times.

IGI shows the following Proctors born in the parish of Clatt between 1680-1865. The 1736 entry is the last Proctor entry, so one has to conclude that they moved within a year or so of 1736. Marriage records for the parish exist from 1707 to 1745 and show no Proctor marriages in Clatt Parish. The only possible marriage in Aberdeenshire is one of a John Proctor to Anna Braans 11 Apr 1724 Saint Nicholas, Aberdeen, which is probably too far away. One can say that the Proctors were established in Clatt between 1687 and 1736 with the following baptisms recorded.

Perhaps the most likely source of the Proctors prior to this was Insch, about 5 miles due west of Clatt, which has the most Proctor marriages of this group of parishes. Transcriptions for births 1683-1713, and 1720-1855 for Insch are available. No Proctor births after 1764 (the last Proctor marriage is John Proctor to Jean Ogg in 1759). Among other births there is one that could be our man. But either way there was an active Proctor clan here until the middle 1700s

A 1875 description of Clatt parish says - The whole parish of Clatt lies on the north side of the Suie and Correen hills, which form part of the mountain range which runs from Benachie to Lord Arthur's Cairn, in the top of the Vale of Alford. The ridge of these hills form the southern boundary of the parish with Tullynessle. The highest point on the Suie-hill is 1362 feet above sea level; the summit of the Suie-hill road (from Bridge of Alford to Kennethmont), is 1282 feet, and the top of the Correen ridge is 1568 feet, which is the highest point of land in the parish. The lowest point on the Gadie Water, on the eastern boundary with the parish of Leslie, is about 550 feet; the Tower-lodge of Knockespock is 665 feet; the church of Clatt is 730 feet; the Bridge of Kearn, on the western boundary with Auchindoir parish, is 642 feet; and the lowest point in the parish, on the Bogie Water, is about 545 feet above sea level. The northern slopes of the Suie and Correen hills extend into and form the low rounded hill on which the house of Knockespock stands, with its surrounding plantations, having the higher White-hill of Tillyangus on the west. The division of the parish, north of that branch of the Gadie which flows by the church, is intersected by a low ridge, which commences at the burn of Kearn, and runs eastward by Percylieu, the Auchlynes, and by New Leslie, also on the north side of the Gadie; otherwise, the surface of the parish varys little from a slightly undulating plain, only relieved by farm houses, and some old ash and plane trees around the church.

Clatt Kirk
View of Clatt area

Clatt Old Kirk, the present kirk, was built in 1799 on a small hill, is said to incorporate the fragments of the medieval kirk dedicated to St. Moluag. The design of the present kirk is of a small plain rectangular form with good crow-stepped gables and harled walls. The E. gable is crowned with a fine 17th - century bellcote decorated with four pyramidal finials at the corners. The bellcote is complete with a bell, reputedly dated 1640. The walls of the kirk are patch-harled which gives an untidy appearance though the kirk appears to be in good order throughout. Tombstones : There are approximately 36 recumbent tombstones of which 10 are significantly decorated. There are hundreds of standard 19th - century upright memorials. The history of Clatt Parish is very well documented by Jervise and his contemporaries.

Old OS map of Bogend, Clatt
Position of Bogend relative to Clatt

I suspect that the above Adam Proctor is in the frame for "our ancestor" because he is called Adam, and is born around the right date. A trawl of IGI yields 518 Proctors in Aberdeenshire, but no other Adam Proctors. Adam is such a rare name among Proctors that the chances are that this is him. ScotlandsPeople does not give the births of any other Adam Proctors outside Midlothian in their entire database.

Certainly we can definitely pick up "our" Adam Proctor just outside Edinburgh, and 1759 is the first mention of Proctors in Cockpen (in addition to Adam Proctor's marriage that year, a James Proctor marries Agnes White in Cockpen as well, and one assumes that this is his brother):-

Cockpen. A parish in the East of Edinburghshire, containing at its North West corner the village of Bonnyrigg (2 miles South West of Dalkeith), and also the villages or hamlets of Hunterfield, Poltonhall, Prestonholm, and Westhall with part of Lasswade. It is bounded West and North by Lasswade, North East and East by Newbattle, and South by Carrington. The South Esk, entering the parish from the South, intersects it for nearly 1 miles; traces afterwards part of its boundary with Newbattle, receiving there Dalhousie Burn; and the North Esk flows, for a brief distance, along the Lasswade border. The land-surface is flattish, though rising southward from less than 200 to over 400 feet above sea-level; it exhibits everywhere a rich and highly-cultivated aspect, and along the banks of the stream is often singularly picturesque.(Extract from Groomes Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland c.1895)

Old Church. Cockpen

The present church building dates back to 1820. The previous building which is about 3/4mile down the road past Dalhousie Castle is now a ruin. The name Cockpen has been variously interpreted as Red-hill, from the Gaelic Coch-pen, or Cuckoo-hill, from Scots Gowk-pen (Finlay 1960, 104). The church itself is situated on the brow of a broad, northfacing spur which overlooks the wooded valley of the South Esk river to the west, and to the east, its smaller tributary, Cockpen Dean Burn (illus 1). Dalhousie Castle occupies a prominent site on the opposite, or west bank of the river. The picturesque character of this setting was praised effusively for its 'wild and natural beauty' by the Revd Ebeneezer Marshall in 1790: 'Everywhere within the parish the banks of the river are bold and beautifully fringed with natural wood'

It is not until 1739 that any major construction work at the old church is actually documented. An account amongst the Heritors' Records of 1740 (SRO CH2.452/vol 28) details the expenses incurred by renovations in the previous year. Costs included both building materials and the carters' fees to Dalkeith and Edinburgh. The bill of goods - at a total cost of over 270 - represents a fairly thorough renovation of the building and includes quantities of timber dales, scaffolding boards and poles, slates, flooring and slate nails and over 30 cartloads of lime, 13 of which were used upon the Dalhousie Aisle. The tall, pyramidal, slate roof which surmounts the Dalhousie Aisle in Archer's drawing of the church(illus 2) may date to this period (NMR MLD/125/2). More minor repair and maintenance works are documented in the succeeding decades, including re-plastering in 1776 (SRO CH2.452/vol 28), but the works of 1739 appear to have been the last renovation on a major scale.

It could have been this work that attracted John Proctor and his family from Clatt to Midlothian. They stop being mentioned in Clatt after 1736, and this works was done in 1740

1759 Adam Proctor marries Margaret Auflect on 6 July 1759 at Cockpen, Midlothian

1760 John Proctor baptised on 4 May 1760 at Cockpens, Edinburgh

1762 William Proctor baptised on 29 Aug 1762 at Millholm, Cockpens, Edinburgh

1765 Adam Proctor baptised 22 Sep 1765 at Millholm,Cockpens, Edinburgh

1768 daughter Elizabeth Proctor baptised on 18 Dec 1768 at Cockpens, Edinburgh daughter of Adam Proctor and Margaret Auflect

After 1768 there is no sign of Adam Proctor b1736 in any of the records. One assumes that he stopped having children around then.

1794 Marriage — 19 Dec 1794 in Newton, Midlothian to Margaret Forrest of Dalkeith daughter of James Forrest & Unknown (note the IGS also record a marriage of an Adam Proctor to Christian Whyte on 8 June 1791 at Newton, Midlothian which is probably not the same Adam, the Adam Proctor, I assume "junior" as cautioner must be the man who marries in 1794)

So Adam Proctor has moved from where he was born in 1765 (Cockpen) to where he married (Newton) by 1794

"Newton, a parish of North East Edinburghshire, containing the post-office village of Millerhill, with a station on the Waverley section of the North British railway, 2 miles North North West of the post-town Dalkeith, and 6¼ miles South East of Edinburgh. Since the Reformation it has comprehended the ancient parishes of Newton (to the South East) and Wymet or Woolmet (to the North West). Bounded South West and North West by Liberton, North East by Inveresk, and South East by Dalkeith."

The Newton parish church has records for births dating from 1629, for marriages from 1639 and for deaths from1730. These are held in the General Register Office for Scotland in Edinburgh and copies on microfilm may be consulted in the Midlothian Studies Centre in Loanhead and also in LDS Family History Centres around the world.

Children of the marriage

1795. John Proctor 9 OCT 1795 in Millerhill, Newton, Midlothian

1797 Adam Proctor 19 DEC 1797 in Millerhill, Newton, Midlothian

1800 Elizabeth Proctor 7 FEB 1800 in Millerhill, Newton, Midlothian

1802 Helen Proctor 29 APR 1802 in Newton Midlothian

After 1802 there is no further information on him. He was a carter (information on his son Adam's death cert). He had died before official death records began in 1855, and before the 1841 census. I can find no other information on him

Proctor family index