GENBRIT-L ArchivesArchiver > GENBRIT > 2003-06 > 1056007675
From: "Wedderburn" <>
Subject: John Wedderburn Dunbar Moodie
Date: Thu, 19 Jun 2003 09:27:55 +0200
Has anyone come across curious naming practices in the course of their
research, obvious exceptions to the standard rule within a family, in
particular the inclusion of surnames as 'middle' names? I have come
across a number of illegitimate Wedderburns born to Jamaican plantation
owners in the second half of the 18th c. and early 19th c., some of whom
remained in Jamaica, some disowned, a couple who were shipped back to
Scotland and brought up under a different name (Graham). Pure
speculation, but the fourth 'Moodie' son (see Moodie Book extract below)
might conceivably be one such example. The inclusion of 'Dunbar' could
be explained through John WDM's mother's maiden name (Elizabeth, eldest
daughter of Captain Thomas Dunbar of Grange Hill), but 'Wedderburn'
remains a mystery.
There are previous Wedderburn family links with the Grange Hill Dunbars,
with Thomas Wedderburn marrying Katharine Dunbar (of Grange Hill) ca.
1735. Their three sons - Alexander (b. 1741), John (b. 1743) and James
(b. 1751) all went out to Jamaica. James in particular was to mention
illegitimate children in his will.
All circumstantial I know, but it makes you think. The tradition of
concealment of family skeletons doesn't make our research any easier! I
know that there are perfectly acceptable alternative reasons for
including surnames as middle names, but it would be interesting to see
examples and explanations from the research of others.
From the Moodie Book, published 1906:
"Major James Moodie, 9th Laird of Melsetter, J.P., eldest son and heir
of the preceding was born and baptized at Melsetter, 12th February 1757,
succeeded his father 1769, Captain and Major of the 1st Battalion 8th
Orkney Fencibles from 1793 to 1798. He married Elizabeth, eldest
daughter of Captain Thomas Dunbar of Grange Hill, by his wife Janet,
daughter of Sir William Dunbar of Hempriggs, second Bart. and only child
of her mother, Elizabeth, sister and heir of Lovodick Dunbar of
Westfield, last Heritable Sheriff of Moray (the Dunbar connection) , and
by her, who died in 1798, he had issue:
1. Benjamin Moodie, younger of Melsetter, his successor as the 10th
2. Thomas Moodie .............. died at Culpee, 27th April, 1824.
3. Donald Moodie, Colonial Secretary of Natal
4. John Wedderburn Dunbar Moodie, born at Melsetter House, 7th Oct.,
1797. Entered the army in 1813 as 2nd Lieutenant of the 21st Foot, or
Royal North British Fusiliers, receiving his commission as 1st
Lieutenant 5th May 1814. When only 17 years of age he was present at the
disastrous night attack on Bergen-op-Zoom, 8th of March 1814, where he
was wounded. He was later invalided out of the army on half-pay.
5. Jessie (or Janet) Moodie, married Major Malcolm Nicholson.
6. Henrietta Moodie, married as 1st wife, Robert Heddle of Cletts, and
afterward of Melsetter.
7. James Moodie, born April 20th 1783, at Walls was an illegitimate son
by Elizabeth Taylor. He entered the Royal Navy in 1798 and as 1st
Lieutenant to Sir Josias Rowley, was killed in action in the attack on
Leghorn in 1813."
The Wedderburn Pages & G.H.O.S.T. glossary
Genealogy: Help with Old Scottish Terms
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