William Forman/Foreman (spelled different ways in different records) lived in the Borders area of England/Scotland around the end of the 18th century and may have been one a ggggg-grandfather.
What’s known: William married (for the second time?) Barbara MacDougal in 1781 in Perth, Perthshire. They had at least four children, all sons born in Glasgow: John (1784), Robert (1789), George (1791) and Alexander (1794). In Alexander’s birth record his father is called a stocking maker. In the 1781 marriage record for William Foreman and Barbara MacDougal, William is referred to as a stocking weaver. They were definitely a “weaver” family.
The youngest of the children born to William and Barbara, Alexander Meldrum Forman, was born in Glasgow on June 5th, 1794. Witnesses to the birth were Robert McQueen and Alexander Meldrum. Alexander attended the University of Glasgow and became a surgeon/druggist who died in Glasgow in 1869. He married twice, first to Ann McIntyre of Calton (a daughter Ann was born in Barrhead but died unmarried; a possible son, Andrew, was born around 1822 but died of chin cough as an infant) and second to Barbara McDonald of Callender (buried with Barbara and William are infant girls Barbara Mason Forman and Margaret Morrison Forman). Barbara inherited the druggist business when William died. They had no surviving children so far as I can find.
Why this interests me is because my gggg-grandmother Jane Foreman appears for the first time in a marriage record in Felton, Northumberland, in 1802, and is referred to by two of her grandchildren as having been called “the bonny lass of Coquet-side,” but no birth record or parents can be found for her. Unofficial birth years for her are 1778 and 1780, with Shilbottle mostly given as her birthplace though “extraparochial chapelry of Brainshaugh” is given in her marriage record. She married into a Dissenter family of Alnwick, the Bells. She may have been raised by her mother’s family.
Meanwhile, William Forman married in Perth in 1781, which fits with Jane’s mother (unknown) having died during or shortly after Jane’s birth just south of the Scottish border. Also, a reference in an 1886 letter says “Dr Foreman was grandmother’s brother,” and if Alexander was Jane’s younger half brother, it would fit. Alexander had an office in Glasgow just a few blocks from where the author of that 1886 letter was living in the mid-1800s. All circumstantial but compelling.
But I can’t confirm it! Darned Dissenter records. Alexander was said to have been raised a Methodist and then to have joined the Swedenborgian church of Glasgow (Church of the New Jerusalem), where he served for some time as its president.
Alexander had no surviving children, and Jane’s descendants (including me) had little access to information about later-born half-siblings. But, Alexander had three, at least, older siblings, his brothers John, Robert and George. Hoping one of their descendants finds this query someday!
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