Some Mysteries Solved – Alexander Grieg

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Previously, I posted about some of my genealogical research along with a couple of mystery persons. One mystery solved – yet more mysteries have been created.

There is one person that I’m fascinated with – one of my great-great-grandfathers, Alexander Greig – born in 1804, Fisherrow, Leith, Scotland, passed away in 1888 in Dundee, Scotland.

His father, a George Greig was, at the time of Alexander’s birth, apparently a Private in what appears to be the “Forfars Militia,” although I have not been able to find much useful information on this possible military regiment.

In my previous post, I mentioned a mysterious person by the name of Mary A. Low. It turns out that Mary Low was a grandaughter of Alexander Greig. He had a previous wife who likely died before he married Ann Scott (not of the same line of Scott’s as my paternal side of Scott’s). This previous wife, Ann McLaren and Alex Greig produced at least three daughters and possibly a son, George, who died at 3 years of age.

Alexander was a “Seaman,” who eventually was to become a “Shipmaster,” or Captain. In the old Family Bible that was handed down to my father, there is a photograph – a very old photograph on a tin backing, of a man, smoking a pipe, standing on board a ship.

My father used to tell me that this was an ancestor of mine who was a captain of a ship, possibly a whaling ship. I am 99% sure that this is an image of Alexander Greig.

At some point, Alexander Greig retired from sailing and lived in Dundee along with his daughter Jane and son-in-law, John Scott – my other great-great-grandfather, where Alexander became a “Foundry Watchman.” I wonder if it was the same place my great-grandfather (John and Jane’s son) worked as he was an Iron Moulder by trade.

In Alexander’s “Last Will And Testament,” his estate, after funeral expenses and the bill for the nurse that was hired for his last 17 weeks, amounted to just over 300 Pounds. This was split 7 ways among his grandchildren. This amount was from an investment made in the “Texas Land And Cattle Company.”

At the time, 300 Pounds was a good chunk of coin considering that the cost for a nurse for 17 weeks was just over 4 Pounds, and the funeral expenses were about 4 Pounds.

Now, it’s time to try to research more about Alexander Greig’s sailing career. I wonder what it would have been like, probably being at sea for periods of time, only to come home on some occasions to discover his first spouse had passed away, or one of his children or perhaps even a daughter and her spouse, orphaning his grand-daugher. I’m not certain of this yet – but it appears to be possible.
Someone once remarked to me that just about everybody’s life contains interesting fact that could be the basis of a best selling novel. I’m not sure that could be said about everyone – but there sure could be some interesting material here!

I wonder if someone like James Bow might be interested ;) .

The remainder of this post likely won’t be of interest to the (ir)regular readers here, but perhaps other descendants of Alexander Greig may some time try to research his life so I’ll list what I do know in regard to his family with the idea this post may appear – and the sharing information may be possible:


Alexander Greig, born at Fisherrow, Edinburghshire 6 July 1804 (this is according to the actual birth registration I have sourced – other sources suggest his birthdate was in 1805 or 1807 – seems the older he got, the earlier his birth date was reported!).


George Greig and Catharine Swan (although on his birth registration, this is spelled Katharine Swan – but other documents use the former spelling).

First Spouse:

Ann McLaren, date of birth, date of death and parents unknown at this time.

Alexander Greig/Ann McLaren Children:

Sarah Greig, born 1841

Elizabeth Greig, born 1843

Ann Greig, born 1846

It would appear that Ann McLaren must have passed away about 1846, for the following year, Alexander married Ann Scott. At this time, both were residing at 2 Carpet Lane, Leith.
Ann Scott, DOB: 1 DEC 1812 – Father: John Scott; Mother: Ann Gardener.

Alexander Greig/Ann Scott Children:

Jane Greig Born 3 NOV 1848 at Leith. Died 26 MARCH 1910, Dundee, Scotland.
At one point, Alexander, Ann and Jane lived at 6 Cable Wynd, Leith.


John Scott, born in Dysart, Fife, 1848, married Jane Greig 14 JUNE 1869.

Children of John Scott/Ann Greig:

John Scott born at what appears to be the Greig residence at 47 Princes Street, Dundee – 22 JUNE 1872, Died 1963 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Annie Scott – Born 1875, Dundee

James Scott – Born 1877, Dundee.
Alexander Greig Scott – Born 1880 , Dundee.

Elizabeth Scott – Born 1882, Dundee.

Sarah Scott – Born 1885, Dundee.


I am sure that one of those girls died at a young age; I don’t recall which one at the moment.

The only one of the John Scott/Jane Greig children that I know much about is the eldest, John Scott.

He was my great-grandfather, and who moved to Belfast, married Sarah McDowell (info not known), and had two children:

Hugh Scott

Millicent Scott.

My father was born to Hugh Scott.

It was also this John Scott that purchased the “Family Bible,” and recorded some of the family history. This Bible was passed down to my father.

When I was a boy, it was obvious to me that my dad had a great relationship with his grandfather, John Scott. I recall as a young boy wistfully wishing that my great-grandfather could have survived long enough to have seen me born – he passed away a few months before I was born.

I should probably write down my recollection of the stories my father told me regarding his grandfather, John Scott, before they are my own memory goes and the stories are lost. I’m sure many of them may have been exaggerated, added to, and some only partial information provided – but interesting nonetheless.

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