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Home: Surnames: Birnie Family Genealogy Forum

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Re: Birnie family of SC in the Civil War
Posted by: Sue Ellis (ID *****3191) Date: October 03, 2004 at 17:18:40
In Reply to: Re: Birnie family of SC in the Civil War by Dunbar Birnie of 142

I was wondering if you could help me from your knowledge of your family background.

I am trying to establish what happened to George Paul, born 6 Jan 1808 in Kirkudbright, Scotland, illegitimate son of Dumbar / Dunbar Paul and Dolly Neilson.

I think he may be the George Paul, Scottish joiner, who emigrated from Liverpool to Sydney on the Thomas Dougal in 1832. He died 5 July 1883 at Parramatta in NSW Australia. His age on his death certificate is given as 74, but amended on his gravestone to 75 which fits the Kirkcudbright George perfectly, but noone else on the Old Parish Registers.

Now George's father Dunbar ( b.19 Aug 1791) was the younger brother of John Paul (b. 18 April 1785), both of them the children of John Paul, joiner and Mary Kerr who married at Kirkcudbright in February 1771.

John Paul. joiner, died at Kirkcudbright on 2 Dec 1809. His son, John, died on 2 June 1864 and left considerable investments in Charleston and New York banks to his unnamed children. He had married Isabella Kerr McWhinnie in Kircudbright in 1829 and had 8 children, including Isabella (b. 10 March 1839) and Dunbar James (b. 24 Feb 1842).

To cut a long story short, I think George's father, Dunbar, was packed off to Charleston to live. He seems to be on the 1830, 40 and 50 US censuses and appears on the passenger list for the Martha (28), travelling Liverpool to Charleston in 1820, the Silvenus Jenkins (36) Liverpool to New York 1827, both naming him as a merchant resident in the United States. He also appears on the RMS Java (80) travelling Liverpool to New York in 1870. The writing is apparently very bad, but he is clearly accompanying Mary Bi?? il, 31, lady and children, William, 9, Isabella, 7, Dunbar P, 4, and John P, 11 months. Oddly, they are shown as German residents but I think the records are in a mess. There are other illogical assigning of residency in the list eg a child in Germany, the parents in England and vice versa and Mary's age suggests Isabella.

I think there's little doubt that the last letter is "e" not 'l", an easy handwriting mistake and those children all appear as Birnies living in Elizabeth Unon New Jersey in the 1880 census.

Anyway, to finally get to the point. If George was in the US in the 1840s and 50s and later, then he can't have been in Australia.

SoI just wondered what you have on your family history?

I'd appreciate any clues you may have.

Sue Ellis

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