Mysterious Women, Interesting Men

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anna annie moore

The night before last, I wrote a quick blog post which I later removed due to far too many spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and other reasons.

It was about some excitement I’ve been having in discovering relatives I didn’t know that I had, as well as information about ancestors of mine.

What really got me going on this “ancestor” kick was taking possession of the gold pocket watch that belonged to my great grandfather. I had always had an interest in the “family roots,” but figured one day, my dad would write out what he knew – but then he went and passed away on me. So all I have left are some written notes in an old Family Bible as well as rumours and rumours of rumours.

While trying to do some research on my great grandfather John Scott, I was totally surprised to discover a post on a website authored by someone who referenced my grandfather, grandmother, father and aunt. It was almost mind blowing to see my dad’s name along with his sister, father and mother authored by someone looking for information on the maternal line of my father. This was a “line” that I had very little knowledge of due to some “family secrets.”

What blew me away was the fact that I wasn’t even looking for information on that particular side of the family – but ended up discovering a second cousin (a cousin to my father) that I had no idea existed.

“My Grandmother Is Dead.” Or was she? Anna Moore

I did a bit more digging and realized that my father’s accounts of wondering if one of his grandmothers was an “Annie Moore,” a woman he met while doing “Gospel Visitation” at a hospital for the mentally insane, was correct. As the story goes, according to my father, he met a woman that was supposedly “insane” in Belfast who called him “Hugh Scott.” This took my father by surprise; his father was Hugh Scott. My father apparently told the woman that he was John Scott, son of Hugh Scott – and this woman – Annie Moore (today I’ve discovered her official registered name was Anna Moore) then told my father that she was his grandmother.

My father replied, “Oh no, that can’t be. My grandmother is dead.”

Annie Moore, according to my father then replied, “Oh, is that what they’ve told you?”

According to my dad, when he related this story to me, he hightailed it out of Annie Moore’s hospital room, went home, told his parents about the experience and was told to the effect, “You probably shouldn’t go back to that place.”

And that was that. Until yesterday.

Who’s Inquiring About My Family?

Yesterday, I came across someone attempting to find out more information about an “Annie Moore,” and listed one of her daughters as “Sarah Bailey, who married Hugh Scott in 1925 – who had two children, John and Maria.”

Well, 1925 was about the year my grandfather, Hugh Scott, married Sarah Bailey in Ireland. And they did have two children – a John and a Mari – who often had her name spelled incorrectly as Mary, Marie, or Maria.

I decided to email the person that I discovered making inquiries about “Annie Moore,” and low and behold, I received a response! Indeed, we have concluded absolutely that he is a first cousin to my father, and that Annie Moore was both his and my father’s common maternal grandmother.

It seems that Annie Moore’s husband, a John Watson Bailey – had her admitted to an insane asylum – her symptoms were Post Partum Depression after she had children. This John Watson Bailey then went on to marry two other women – but never was officially divorced from either Annie Moore or his second “wife.”

From this information, I have today been able to fill in some gaps as far as my “roots” are concerned, being able to now go back to 1850 in County Tyrone, Ireland and 1851, to a Sarah Clarke of County Monaghan, Ireland (with further information that has not yet been checked) on my father’s maternal side.

This information got me quite excited, so I thought I check out what information I knew of in regard to my father’s paternal side.

Let me tell you – if your ancestors are from Scotland, pray that there are odd names! The number of “Johns,” “Alexanders,” “Sarahs,” “Janes,” is just crazy – for trying to figure out stuff.

I know that my father did some genealogical work himself – but I don’t know that he ever wrote it down. He did tell me things – but there were no documents involved – so attempting to actually trace back, and going along with “hearsay” is both fun, exciting, and frustrating!

What I have discovered from documents available on line is that I can say with certainty that one of my great-great-grandfathers was a “Alexander Grieg,” Occupation ‘Seaman’, and his wife was an Ann Scott (unrelated it would appear to my paternal Scott line).

But I’ve hit a couple of dead ends that don’t make sense at the minute.


One of my great-great Grandfathers was a John Scott, apparently born about 1851 in Dysart, Scotland. He was the son of a James Scott, a cooper by occupation. Except that no record in the Scottish Census bares out a John Scott, born around 1851 in Dysart to a father named James.


I know that my great grandfather John Scott married a “Jane Greig,” who according to some census, was born about 1850 to Alexander Greig, a Seaman, born about 1805 in Fisherrow, Edinburghshire. This I can confirm both through official records compared to family written records. I have found an official record that corresponds to written family records with an address of 14 Melrose Place, Dundee – the official Census record indicates that Alexander Greig, father of Jane – lived with John and Jane in 1881.
Jane Greig’s mother was an “Ann Greig,” and I believe had the maiden name of Scott as well. But Scott’s from a different location than my paternal ancestors.

But this is where it gets a bit confusing – as I have located earlier Census records which show an Alexander Grieg, an Ann Greig, with a daughter Jane, but Jane is born in 1849. However, the birth places are correct and match up to the later records.

But to confirm earlier reports of Alexander Greig and Ann (Scott), I’m getting a bit lost. There are some good matches for an Ann Greig with the daughter Jane – but Alexander is missing.

But perhaps that could be because Alexander was a Merchant Seaman, and not at home when the Census was taken.

But the best guess as far as records are concerned have some anomalies too.

I have found a record for the birth of Jane Grieg, to a Alexander Greig, Seaman – and an Ann Scott Greig – but the official recording of that birth indicates Jane was actually born in 1848, but baptized in 1849. The record was not recorded until after the Baptism.

Maybe, Alexander – the father – was away at Sea at the time of Jane’s birth – so her baptism was put on hold, including any record of her birth, until Alexander returned.

In order to try to confirm some other thoughts, I went back to the Census record of 1881, where John Scott and Jane Greig are listed – along with my great grandfather as their son, at 14 Melrose Place.

And here I discover another mysterious woman – a “Mary A Low,” listed as a “Niece” to the household head, which would be John Scott.

She’s 14 years old, born in 1867, in Dundee – and a “Factory Worker.” If she is a natural niece, then she must be the daughter of either a brother or sister of John Scott or Jane Greig. This should be helpful in pinpointing out either who James Scott was exactly, or if I am absolutely on the right track as far as Alexander/Ann Greig.

A check of the 1871 Census reveals a Mary A Low, 4 years old, born in Dundee!

Oddly, and interestingly both – she resides with someone listed as the “head” of the household – but as a granddaughter, with the name of Ann H. Tervit, 57 years old. The Tervit surname means nothing to me – but that’s ok.. who knows?

It seems rather curious to me that in 1871 and then in 1881, a person would with the same name and date of birth AND place of birth would be found to be residing with relatives, and not parents.

So who were Mary A Low’s parents?

A check of birth registrations for Dundee, 1867 shows two different possibilities – an Mary Ann Low and a Mary Ada Low. That’s about it.

The father of Mary Ann Low is listed as David Low, Dairyman and her mother as Margaret Low, nee ***hill (I can’t make out the name).

None of those seem to be clicking here.

The next possibility, Mary Ada Low, born in 1867 in Dundee:

Father: William Low, Mother: (something I can’t read but looks like ‘Euphemid’) Low, nee Anderson.

And that’s it for ANY Mary Low’s, born in Dundee circa 1867.

So who indeed was this mysterious “niece,” named Mary A Low, but nothing seems to jive with other records, other than she may have been some Ann Tervit’s granddaughter?

Now if I could figure out a way to get paid for this stuff… heh..

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