Puzzled...Dumfries Sheriff's Court of Paternity Cases

Discussion in 'Dumfriesshire' started by Figgs, Oct 20, 2018.

  1. Figgs

    Figgs Well-Known Member

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    OK....this is just puzzling, not scandalous, lol. I found this interesting site for Scottish Indexes (I will put the link below cuz it is FREE) (link made "unclicky" as it is commercial - they have a shop).....and the following daughter of MY William Bowness seems to be suing her Dad (who is NOT the father of her childen) for alimony, if that is what "aliment" means.
    She was married to William Chalmers and they had at least these 4 children, plus older ones I believe.

    This Index is called "Register of Extracted Decrees...and as William died in 1842, it seems she either got the money or it was thrown out of Court. She sued him for aliment/alimony for each child it seems.

    OK.....my educated Canadian guess is that her husband left her and as her father was wealthy, she wanted money from him. You will notice she was still living at William's home (Springvale, Kirkmahoe) when she sued each time. Just as an aside, William built 3 homes for 3 of his daughters on his large property. So I find this strange. :sceptical:

    I believe she and her husband are on the huge multi-name tombstone across the road from Springvale and will check. NO...they are not!! It is very hard to read and I should get a professional to do it. Names were added for many years so it is different engravers. I stood in front of it and it has to be 12 or 15 feet tall!! (Frugal Scots, lol).

    So any guesses here?? I could order the Record, but I am just rather puzzled by it. Why would she sue her father for child support when they were not his?? Plus he had a girlfriend around this time (the housekeeper) and a girl by her. Jealousy, maybe?? ;)

    I will put the link below this for this Free Scottish Site.....I found it tucked away in a spot I forgot about.....lol.


    Pursuer Anne Bowness or Chalmers, daughter of William Bowness Esq. (residing at Springvale, Kirkmahoe), Kirkton of Kirkmahoe
    Defender William Bowness, Springvale, Kirkmahoe

    Year of Child's Birth 1826
    Year Extract Issued 1840
    Sheriff Court Dumfries
    County Dumfriesshire
    NRS Reference SC15/7/27 p. 746
    Notes aliment case: for self and children from her father (Children: Thomas b. 1826, Robert b. 1828, [Agnes] b. 1830 and Marianne b. 1832)

    Code:
    https://www.scottishindexes.com/default.aspx
     
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  2. Half Hour

    Half Hour Well-Known Member

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    According to Mr. Google that is what ailment means in Scotland. I am wondering was she one of those 3 daughters? Sounds like she wanted her father to support her and her family in the lifestyle she was used to and maybe he was refusing because he figured her husband should or maybe she was the reason the husband let and her father sided with the husband.!
    OR..... maybe it was a case of incest. :eek: Order the record!!
     
  3. Figgs

    Figgs Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm, sorry, I fell asleep on the couch!! Now that I digest this, maybe you are right. The funny thing is that except for Thomas, the names of the children on Family Search are different, but another is close (Marianne vs Mary Ann). Now you DO have me wondering if it was incest........Scotland?? Where they shame people in church for fooling around? It slightly crossed my mind, but nah.........I thought!

    Ann was born in 1799, so entirely possible. Her 2 brothers and 1 sister came out to PEI, Canada in 1827 (we think) so they wouldn't really know about it either. Double "hmmm". Maybe I had better order the record. Thanks SuzyQ!! (and DB and Sis). It just seems so wildly unlikely! My strait-laced ancestors. The phrase "Go Big or Go Home" now comes to mind.......WOW!! I can't find much on this alleged husband....the records show him as either Wm. Chalmers or Chambers. Fictional?? :eek: :eek: :eek:

    PS....that is the house we and all of our family have stayed in over the years....if only the walls could have talked!! :D
     
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  4. Sis

    Sis Rootles out resources!

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    Sometimes they have the deepest secrets.;)
     
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  5. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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    Poke at the bricks & see if there are any hidden notes / memoirs. ;) .
     
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  6. Grizel

    Grizel Well-Known Member

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    I think aliment was maintenance money and in those days in Scots law could be claimed from a grandfather if the father was not paying support. I had a look on nrscotland catalogue but couldn't see any mention. There was one record relevant to you (which you may already have) but looked interesting.
    Ref CC8/6/1779 Edinburgh Comissary Court
    Date 1820
    Process of separation and aliment Bowness v Bowness
    Mrs Ann Tomlin or Bowness against Mr William Bowness of Springvale in the parish of Kirkmahoe, molecatcher, her husband.
     
  7. Figgs

    Figgs Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Grizel!! Another family researcher had heard they were separated or divorced, but I didn't know where to check. I think she died not long after that... I am on my tablet, so no tree!

    I came to the same conclusion re the money for maintenance but was puzzled as to why she sued him! I will pull out the "sasine" and see what that says re her! Those documents are goldmines, so will find it and see if he cut her out of his Will!! Big thanks!!

    ():-)
    PS...he made big money as a molecatcher!! Also called a Mowdieman!
     
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  8. Grizel

    Grizel Well-Known Member

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    I have no idea but perhaps suing for aliment was just a legal term and different from suing for damages as people do today.
     
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  9. Grizel

    Grizel Well-Known Member

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    And maybe pursuing is different from suing...
     
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  10. Figgs

    Figgs Well-Known Member

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    Nitpicking here!! Notice the Court calls him HER father....not the grandchildren's father...that meant no incest to me.

    Plus we have a government department here that goes after unpaid alimony or maintenance from court orders...so they too could be called pursuers. Just Olde English I think in the above case!!

    Plus one more "nitpick"...William had a large property with his house, 3 more for his daughters and their families...plus about 5-7 one room attached houses for the labourers which looked like a motel! I wonder if ALL of the above would be called Springvale...or just his own home.

    As I said...puzzling and I think I will write the present day owners and see if they might know anything!
     
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  11. Figgs

    Figgs Well-Known Member

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    Nope......but back in 2002 or so, late at night, Ron and I were sitting in the kitchen at the back of the main house with the current owners, having a drink or 3!! Bob LOVES Canadian Club whisky. And we were talking about the brick wall as to where William Bowness was born.

    I looked up and said loudly to no one in particular....."William......where in heck were you born??" We laughed first, and then were in shock......a huge BANG as the kitchen door slammed shut......hard!! Makes you kinda wonder, eh? No apparitions though. Darn it!! :D:D:ghost::ghost:
     
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  12. Sis

    Sis Rootles out resources!

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    :eek::nailbiting::nailbiting::nailbiting:
     
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  13. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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    Must have been telling you something. A pity your head is full of stuff William had no idea about, messes up the transitions. :D
     

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