A Smart Family

The marriage of William Smart and Jane Strachan (my 5th great grandparents) were just one of nineteen weddings registered in the local parish at New Deer, Aberdeenshire in 1798. Their marriage record in that old parish register is brief and to the point – “Aug. 30th William Smart and Jane Strachan.” There was no mention of witnesses, their parents weren’t listed, no ages, just the one line, like the other eighteen couples, listing their names – a testament to being frugal with no waste of paper or ink. They went on the have a family of seven children, based on records that I have found to date.

One son, William, whom I believe to be their youngest son based the traditional Scottish naming convention, was born about 1810. Their oldest was Joshua, named after William’s father and another son was John, the name of Jane’s father, was likely the second oldest of the boys. William (Jr.) eventually left the family home and moved south. On April 13, 1835 he married Ann Bennett Mackie. William and Ann settled down in Markinch, Fife, Scotland, a town not too far away from her family who lived in Kennoway, Fifeshire. Markinch is located just outside Glenrothes which now is a small city located between Dundee to the north and Edinburgh to the south. William made a living for his family and himself as a Markinch blacksmith according to the 1841 Scottish census.

William and Ann had three recorded children: a daughter, Ann born around 1835, and two sons, John born around 1840 and William born, according to his christening record, on July 31st, 1841 at Prestyhall (Prestonhall), Markinch. Something occurred however over the next ten years that seems to have ripped the family apart for in 1851, William and his son William (are you getting confused by all the Williams yet?) had moved back to Aberdeenshire where they are found in the 1851 Scottish census living on the Smart family farm at Allathan, New Deer with William (Sr.) and his wife Jane (and their unmarried, adult daughter Jane – but enough of the duplicate names!).

What happened to William’s wife, daughter and eldest son is not yet known. Only some ‘Smart’ additional research might reveal the rest of the story.

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