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From: Wayne Hannay <>
Subject: [WIG] Douglas family `of Wigtownshire
Date: Tue, 15 Jan 2002 08:50:37 -0800


----- Original Message -----
From: "Edward F. Douglass" <>
Sent: Tuesday, January 15, 2002 7:19 AM
Subject: Douglases from Wigtownshire

( Please Note: Ed Douglass is NOT a list subscriber, but may be contacted
directly for any discussion.. )


Actually, I am not certain where my ancestors came from! Allow me to give
you what information I have so that you might put me in touch with someone
on your list who may be able to help.

I am descended from a William DOUGLAS, b. August 9, 1610. I have not
discovered where he was born. He married an English woman from Ringstead
in Northamptonshire in about 1636. Her name is frequently reported to be
Ann MATTLE but since I have a copy of the Will of her father, it is more
likely that the family name was MOTLEY or MATLEY. From Ringstead, it looks
like William and Ann went to Middlesex, West of London and then in 1640
they emigrated to America with their first two children, landing in Boston.
I have information about their descendants, down to me and my children and
including several branches off what from my perspective is the "trunk" of
the tree. I am always willing to share what I have. Some of the branches
extend into Canada, by the way (Ontario).

Web sources list William's father as a Robert DOUGLAS, b. June 8, 1588.
Different sources list Robert's wife as either Nicolace JOHNSTON or Janet
ROSS. Nicolace is reported to have been buried in Castle Douglas. I have
no corroborating evidence for any of this.

A small group of Douglas searchers have been putting together a database of
the Red and Black Douglases, starting back in the 1100s. This includes the
Earls of Morton, the Barons of Drumlanrig, the Earls of Douglas, the Earls
of Angus, and the Dukes of Queensbury. Our hope was that we could learn
more about William DOUGLAS (b. 1610) by finding him a descendant of the
well known and fairly well documented Douglas family. We are within about
one generation of closing the gap. Alas, we haven't been able to document
a connection (although there are a couple of possibilities). Part of the
problem in documentation is that the "royal" Douglas family began to
disintegrate and fall from power and wealth during the 1500s and into the
early 1600s, just at the time our William was born. The record keepers of
the time lost interest in the family, or so it seems, and the records of
births, deaths and burials fizzle out. And since ownership of their land
was taken over by Dukes of Queensbury, the land records no longer mention
Douglases. (Incidentally, we are not interested in proving that we are
descended from royalty! Working forward in time from good documentation
seemed to be a useful, alternative way to find out about the origins of our
William DOUGLAS (b. 1610)).

We have no information at all about whether William had any brothers or
sisters and, if so, whether they remained in Scotland or England. Perhaps
some of your list members would know something about this.

Well, I think these are the main points. We have some more details. Your
suggestion of sources to check and people to contact would be very welcome.

Very best regards,

Ed Douglass


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