Reid Family in Scotland

Alexander and Lillias Reid

The earliest known member of the Reid family is Alexander Reid, born in Scotland about 1773. On the 26th June 1796, he married to Lillias Ross, in Rathven, Banffshire, Scotland. They had eight children, all born in Rathven:

  • Alexander REID born 1798
  • Ann REID born 1800
  • Lillias REID born 1802
  • David REID born 1805
  • William REID born
  • Hugh REID born 1809
  • Isabel REID born 1811
  • John REID born 1813

Alexander Reid, Jane Craib and the Robb family

The eldest son of Alexander and Lillias was also named Alexander Reid. It is not clear whether he ever married Jane Craib, but they had one son, William Reid. The baptism record records that William was the natural son of Jane Craib indicating that she was not married to Alexander at the time of the birth.

William Reid baptism

As recalled by family history Alexander Reid died young. William’s mother Jane remarried David Robb in Huntly, Aberdeenshire in 1854, and she had reverted to her maiden name Craib. Jane had at least five more children:

  • Jane Robb – born circa 1828 in Rothiemay, Banffshire, died 27th March 1904
  • David Robb – born circa 1835 in Huntly, Aberdeenshire, married Elizabeth Gore (or Gove), died 12th July 1883 in Wanganui, New Zealand
  • Alexander Robb – christened 30th April 1838, in Huntly, Aberdeenshire, died 1st February 1876
  • Isabel Robb – christened 23rd March 1840
  • John Robb – died 11th May 1910
Robb – 1881 Census
Jane Robb death cert

In 1881, the census shows Jane Robb, aged 78 living at 68 George Street, Huntly, with her unmarried daughter Jane, aged 51, as her housekeeper.

A family story suggests that William Reid travelled back to Scotland to visit his mother, who had gone blind, and was living with her daughter. Jane’s death certificate shows that she died on 28th February 1886, aged 85. Her parents are recorded as John, a crofter, and Isabella Craib (nee Stevenson).

Hugh Reid and Elspeth Craib

Hugh Reid married Elspeth Craib who was born in Keith, Banffshire. They had nine children, the first two born in Scotland, and the remaining seven in Sorel, Quebec, Canada:

  • Margaret born about 1844
  • Alexander born about 1845
  • William born 1846 died 1848
  • William born 1848
  • John born 1852
  • Hugh born 1854
  • Henry born 1856
  • Caroline born 1858
  • George born 1860

In 1861, Margaret married Francois Connant at Notre Dame de Montreal. According to descendant Annette Conant-Reed, at this stage the surname should have changed to “Connant”. In fact many members of the family took the maternal name of “Reid” to save all the misspellings and mispronunciations.

Isabel Reid and Andrew Cumming, and the McCurrach family

Isabel Reid married Andrew Cumming. They had at least one child, Rebecca (or Rebekah) Cumming. On the 19th December 1863 Rebecca married George McCurrach,in Ordiquhill, Banffshire.

Alexander McCurrach death cert

It is likely that their son, Alexander McCurrach was born on the 22nd May 1873 in Findochty. His death certificate shows that he was born in Finochly (should be Findochty), Banffshire, Scotland, in about 1873. Sometime in the 1890s, Alexander emigrated to New Zealand. Alexander McCurrach was the schoolmaster at Kauangaroa, not far from his cousin William Reid’s farm, from 1896 until his death at the early age of 25, in 1898. (Source: Electoral Roll and Wises Directory).

Although the reason for the inclusion of Alexander McCurrach on the Reid gravestone in New Zealand is not immediately obvious, it helps to confirm that Isabel Reid’s brother was Alexander Reid – William Reid’s father.