Aberdeenshire Raitts

As with other places in Scotland, especially Arbroath/St Vigeans and Dundee, there are a large number of Raitts to be found in Aberdeenshire, and I will attempt to provide detailed information of various families here. In fact, they pretty much all seem to be related! A number are already included on the early censuses (1841 and 1851) page. As with elsewhere the name fluctuates between Rait and Raitt and the forenames of people are pretty much always the same and similarly named sons are born in almost the same years! There seems to be almost a preponderance of females for some families, but I have here concentrated mainly on the males and not provided details of the spouses that these Rait(t) women married, nor their children. However, I trust that the information I have given will still help descendants trace their Raitt ancestors. I have given the various sons in date of birth order with details of their descendants in the same block.


The University of Aberdeen has in its Special Collections a Genealogical Chart (ref MS 1101) which seems to have been compiled in 1866 by James Rait of Castle Forbes, Keig, Aberdeenshire to show his ancestors. At that time, James was land steward to Walter, Lord Forbes at Castle Forbes. The University’s catalogue record notes that the exact provenance of the Chart is unclear. It was respectfully presented by the compiler (James Rait) to James Gregory Moir Byres of Tonley (Aberdeenshire) in November 1871 and came into the possession of the University Library sometime before its entry into the catalogue of manuscripts on 6 September 1937. The catalogue record describes the document as a “Printed genealogical chart of the Rait family entitled: 'Genealogical Chart, compiled from family Bibles, and other authentic sources, by James Rait, residing at Castle Forbes, parish of Keig, Aberdeenshire. 1866.' Printed, with manuscript additions and notes of source material respecting persons in north of Scotland bearing this surname.”

James Rait was born on 7 March 1824 in Dalweary, Kintore, Aberdeenshire. The Chart gives his ancestors (including those of his wife) on both his father’s and mother’s side and provides brief notes as to their occupation as well as details of dates and places of births, marriages and deaths, where known. However, as a prelude to the Chart there is a page entitled “Historical Notices of parties in the North of Scotland bearing the surname variously spelled Rate, Rait, Raitt etc.” The information given in this preamble (with sources) will also be found elsewhere on this website, but for the purposes of James Rait’s purported ancestry it is useful to summarize it here. It is interesting to observe that James does not mention Gervaise de Rait, although he does start off in 1297 with his brother Sir Andrew Rate. Next, he mentions Rait of Uras, Kincardineshire in 1341, the King’s Shieldbearer who acquired Dunnottar; Rait was succeeded in Dunottar by Sir William Keith; and in 1378 Thomas Rait of Uras had a confirmation charter for a portion of Arrat; then in 1383, David II gave his Shieldbearer, Thomas of Rait, a confirmation charter of the lands of Uras. Next comes Sir Alexander Rait of that Ilk who killed the Thane of Cawdor and fled to the Mearns (Kincardineshire). His son, Mark Rait, married Dunnet, heiress of Halgreen and thus got those lands.

Then there is a hotchpot of Raits mentioned between 1600 and 1700 in Kintore, Lentushe (parish of Rayne), Aberdeen, Mill of Craigie, Meikle Folla (Fyvie) as well as Halgreen. James Rait had no doubt that his earliest known ancestor, John Rait, tenant farmer at Stanryford, New Machar was identical with either John, son of John Rait and Jean Findlater of Meikle Folla or John, son of William Rait and Marjory Brown also of Meikle Folla. In the Aberdeen Journal; Notes and Queries, Vol II, published 1909, we learn a little more about these families (p152). In response to an earlier query about the Rait Family holdings of the estates of Folla, Aberdeenshire and Hallgreen, Kincardineshire, a reply is given as follows. "In the sixteenth century (it should actually be fifteenth century), Mark Rait, son of Sir Alexander Rait of Rait and Cawdor, married the heiress of Hallgreen, and succeeded to that property through her. In 1642, William Rait was proprietor, and on 16 March 1677, William Rait was served heir to his grandfather, William Rait of Hallgreen. In 1631, George Rait was laird of Folla, called Follaroul and Meikill Follay. He had a son, Archibald, whose son William Rait succeeded. The Poll Book of 1696 shows that the property was then held by three portioners - John Rait, who was married to Jean Findlater, with two sons, John and William; George Rait, who was married to Jean Collinson, with children, Robert and Elspet; and William Rait, who was married to Marjory Brown, with children, John and Janet." Further records reveal that a J. Rait was granted a charter of confirmation of the lands of Midaple (Aberdeenshire) on 28 August 1696 - this is probably the same Rait who made a declaration on the same date concerning the lands of Midaple/Smiddy burn. On 2 March 1696, G. Rait was clare constat [heir], lands of Follaroul. This followed a declaration by William Raitt of Midaple on 15 October 1660 anent [concerning] the division of the feu of Follarouell. And several early Raitts were educated in the colleges of Aberdeen and went on to become ministers (see Religious Raitts).

Interestingly, as will be seen, James Rait’s family married into the Rhinds of Dalweary, who, according to tradition, came from Germany and were employed by Keith, Earl Marischall of Dunnottar Castle. The Raitts, too, were said to have come from Germany to Keith at Dunnottar. In Aberdeenshire Epitaphs and Inscriptions by John A. Henderson and published in 1907, under Kintore there is a note about the families of Rhinds and Raits. The full inscription is given the bottom of this page.

The direct ancestors of James Rait of Castle Forbes as given in the chart are named below in bold. [It should be noted that The University copy of his chart has written on it that the father of John of Stanryford was a “James, son of William Rait who, on 6th March 1667 married Beatrix, daughter of James Leslie and E. Garden”. It is not clear to me whether it was James or William who married Beatix.] I have augmented his Chart with precise dates and places where found and brought it up to date by adding most of his (male) descendants as well as other members of the family. Another version of his chart has several of his descendants handwritten at the bottom. I have been helped in this by the extensive work done on members of his family by later descendants some years ago, but this information too I have updated and expanded. Indeed a direct descendant of James Rait's daughter Agnes Isabella has inherited a collection of papers from his great grandfather including a copy of the family tree he had drawn up and printed, plus his pocket notebook in which he described - and illustrated with pen and ink drawings - his visits as Land Steward, on behalf of Lord Forbes, to various landowners around the country. Also inherited was a number of "Cartes" collected by James Rait and annotated on the reverse with names and dates. These "Cartes" are mainly photographs of Raits, Bentons and Rhinds and they are shown in a separate gallery. Some Memorial Inscriptions will be found for the family under Aberdeenshire, and there are also some gravestones).

John Rait, tenant farmer at Stanryford, New Machar, Aberdeenshire (lands of Kinmundy), married Ann Burnett in Fyvie, Aberdeenshire on 6 June 1700. Ann was the daughter of Alexander Burnett, Chamberlain on the Meldrum Esate and later on the Leys Estate. John and Anna had two children, son James and daughter Elspet. Elspet married John Allan on 2 September 1725 in New Machar.

Son James was said to have been born at Stanryford - presumably not long after his parents married. In 1729 he was a tenant farmer at Little Kinaldie, Dyce, in 1739 his parish was Udny, and afterwards he was at Sittyton, Fintray and then tenant at Brae of Kintore in 1758. On 25 July 1732 he married Mary Rhind in Kintore. She had been born in Dalweary on 22 April 1707. Mary died in Brae of Kintore in 1767, and James died there about 1780 and is buried in the burial place of his fathers in the Churchyard of Fyvie. According to the Genealogical Chart, the children of James and Mary were: Alexander, William, Jane (Jean - born 18 December 1734, Cityton, Fintray), and Mary. [Later descendants also give two additional children (though their birth records, whilst giving the father's name as James, do not give the mother's name): Barbara Raite, chr 30 January 1739 in Kintore (married Peter Imlah in Turriff on 1 June 1766); and John, chr 1 May 1743 in New Machar, died on 9 August 1826 in Disblair, Aberdeen.]

James Rait and Mary Rhind's eldest son Alexander, born at Little Kinaldie, Dyce, Aberdeen on 24 April 1733 married Shushan (Susan?) Bothwell (recorded as Alexander Raitt) on 5 January 1786 in Kintore. They had a daughter named Jean, born on 18 December 1786 in Kintore - a witness was William Rait - presumably his brother. Alexander died on 4 April 1810 in Brae, Kintore.

William, second son of James Rait and Mary Rhind, was born on 19 June 1740 at Sittyton, Fintray and died aged 78 on 14 January 1820 (gravestone says 11 January, though the official record is not yet found). He became tenant at Dalweary in 1782 and married Elspet Rhind on 11 December 1783 in Kintore. Elspet had been born at Bogfechil, Udny in 1752 and she died on 27 December 1822 in Dalweary. The couple had two sons: William, born 27 November 1784 in Kintore, and James, born 28 September 1786 in Kintore. Alexander Rait was witness to both births - I'm assuming this is William's brother.

Son William (born 1784) was said in the Chart to have been married, with issue, and died in London in 1842 - though no details have been found yet to confirm this. A William Rait did apparently die in West London in 1844, but unfortunately no age is given. It is believed by later descendants of the family that William married Margaret Martin on 16 August 1807 in Belhelvie, Aberdeenshire. She was born on 8 June 1781 in Belhelvie and died in Mains of Denmore, Old Machar on 11 December 1860. William died in Belhelvie on 28 April 1848, aged 65. The couple had several children: Charles (chr 14 February 1808 in Belhelvie, died 6 October 1876, Aberdeen); Ann (Raet, chr 24 April 1810 in Belhelvie, married John Munro in Old Machar on 31 March 1831, died 16 March 1880, Aberdeen); James (Rett, chr 11 April 1813, Belhelvie; William (chr 6 January 1817 in Belhelvie, died 25 November 1875, Dyce); John (chr 1 January 1818 in Old Machar, died 28 March 1818 in Belhelvie); Margaret (Raitt chr 1 April 1819 in Old Machar, died 30 October1898, Mains of Denmore, Bridge of Don, Old Machar); and Jane Reat (born 28 May 1821, Old Machar, died 23 February 1911, Old Meldrum).

The family is found in the 1841 census for Clover Hill, Murcar, Clover Hill East, Old Machar, Aberdeenshire - William Rait, 55; wife Margaret, 55; children: William, 25; Margaret, 22; and Jane, 20. In 1851 for Clovers Hill, Old Machar we have Margaret Raitt, 68, widow, born Belhelvie, farmer of  28 acres; son William, 33, farm servant; daughters Margaret, 30; and Jean, 28 - all unmarried and born Old Machar.

The third son of James Rait and Mary Rhind, believed by later descendants to be named John Rait, was christened on 1 May 1743 in New Machar and died in Disblair, Fintray on 9 August 1826. The father of this child was James Rait, though no mother's name is provided on the birth extract. The birth is, however, only two years after his brother William. John was said to have married Margaret Walker, though no marriage record seems forthcoming. There were five children born in Disblair, in Fintray with father named as John Rait: William, chr 1 November 1776; Agnes, chr 18 April 1780 (married Peter Allan on 30 June 1804 in Fintray), died 1 January 1833 in Old Machar; James, chr 27 May 1784; John (Raitt), chr 3 June 1787; and Alexander, chr 5 January 1796. It seems likely that sons William and James did not marry.

John and Margaret's son John (Raitt) married Mary Mavor on 30 September 1826 in the house of the minister of Aberdeen after due proclamation of banns. John was a mason in Aberdeen and Mary was the daughter of the late George Mavor, labourer in Aberdeen. Witnesses were George Strachan and George Eiven (?). The birth record for Mary Mavor is not yet found. The couple had five daughters (Agnes Rait, 12 August 1828; Jane Raitt, 18 January 1830; Elizabeth Clark Raitt, 27 January 1834; Mary Rait, 1 June 1836; Margaret, 1 April 1838) and one son, James Raitt, 25 July 1831 - all born in Aberdeen. The birth record for son James notes that his father, John Raitt, was a mason and he was born and baptized on the same day in the presence of Alexander Clark, mason, and Elizabeth Low.

Neither John Raitt not his son James are not found in the census records, nor have their deaths yet been found. It is possible that both died before 1841 (or possibly John was working away) because in the 1841 census living in Chapel Street, Old Machar, is Mary Rait, aged 35 (thus born 1806), born Aberdeenshire and four daughters: Agnes, 12 (1829), Jean, 10 (1831); Elizabeth, 7 (1834); and Mary, 1 (1840) - all born Aberdeenshire. Given the names and dates of the children, this could be Mary Mavor. The anomaly is the Mary, aged 1 - unless the Mary born in 1836 died and her parents named another child for her. In the 1851 census, living at 46 Chapel Street, Old Machar, there is Mary Rait, 45 (1806), widow; and  daughters Jane, 21 (1830); Elizabeth, 17 (1834), and Mary, 11 (1840) - all born Aberdeenshire. The family is not yet found in 1861.  


Alexander Rait(t), youngest son of John Rait and Margaret Walker, christened on 5 January 1796 in Fintray, married Ann Buie (Bowie) on 19 December 1833. She was born in Drumblade, Aberdeen on 12 November 1811 and died after 1864. Alexander died on 30 September 1864, Place Croft, Lethenty, Chapel of Garioch (his surname on his death extract was given as Raitt and his mother's maiden name was Walker.) The couple had seven children, all born Disblair, Fintray: Helen, 21 October 1834; John, 11 February 1836; Alexander, 27 September 1837, died  12 March 1894, Aberdeen; William, 19 January 1840, died Woodside in 1886; Ann Walker, 29 January 1842, died 1871, Old Machar; James, 14 November 1844, Disblair, Fintray, died 8 May 1914, Aberdeen; and George, 27 February 1848, died 19 April 1850 in Inverurie (surname given as Rett).

In the 1841 census for Parkend, Fintray, Aberdeenshire we have Alexander Rait, 40; wife Ann, 25; children: Ellen, 6; John, 5; Alexander, 3; and William 1.

In the 1851 census for Rorandell, Monymusk, Garioch, Aberdeenshire we find Alexander Raitt, 56, unmarried, lodger, born Fintry, working as a day labourer on the farm of Alexander Fraser; also in the household is John Raitt, 15, born Fintry, also a day labourer. This will be Alexander's son. His son Alexander Rait, 13, is a (farm) servant, working presumably on John Argo's croft of 21 acres at Back Hill, Fintray. Son William, 10, is also working as an agricultural servant on George Clark's farm in Posnet, Fintray. Alexander's wife Ann, 38, born Drumblade; and children Helen, 16; Ann, 9; and James, 6 are to be found in George St, Inverurie, Garioch under the surname Reil!

The family is not yet found in the 1861 census.

In the 1871 census for 169 Barron St, Old Machar, we have Ann Raitt, 58, widow, born Old Machar; and sons William, 31, agricultural labourer, born Drumblade; and James, 26, general labourer, born Aberdeenshire. Son Alexander Rait, 33, is a farm servant at Sunhoney, Midmar, Aberdeenshire. Son John Raitt, 34, boilermaker, is married with children and living at 41 St Andrews St, St Nicolas, Aberdeen. His wife, Ann, is 30, born Daviot, Aberdeenshire; and son James, 5; and daughter Elizabeth, 1. Also in the household are brothers-in-law, Robert Simpson, 24, mason; and George Simpson, 21, stonecutter - both born Kintore; as well as boarder Alexander Snowie, 17, a stonecutter, born Woodside, Aberdeen and possibly related to Ann's mother, Agnes Snowie.

Alexander and Ann's son John had married Ann Simpson on 11 June 1864 in New Machar. She was born on 27 May 1840 in Daviot and died in Aberdeen on 27 September 1913. Her parents were James Simpson, born about 1821 in Aberdeen, and Agnes Snowie, born about 1816 also in Aberdeen. John had died on 1 February 1908 also in Aberdeen. They had eight children: James, born 30 April 1865, Aberdeen, and died 18 November 1960 in Aberdeen; Janet Graham, born in 1867 and died in 1869 in Aberdeen; Elizabeth Hendry, born 9 December 1869, and died 7 March 1933 in Aberdeen; Agnes, born 7 December 1871 in Aberdeen, and died 20 April 1958 in Aberdeen; Mary Ann, born 20 November 1873, and died 19 June 1957 in Aberdeen; Isabella Taylor, born 27 September 1876 in St Nicolas, died 11 October 1944 in Glasgow; John Alexander, born and died in 1879; and Helen Scott, born 1 March 1883; and died 20 December 1939 in Aberdeen.  

In the 1881 census for 21 Shoe Lane, St Nicholas, we have John Raitt, 45, boilermaker; wife Ann, 40; children Elizabeth, 11; Agnes, 9; Mary Ann, 7; and Isabella, 4 - all scholars. John's mother Ann R. Rait, 68, widow, born Drumblade, is a housekeeper living with son James, 36, unmarried, general labourer at the same address of 169 Barron St, Old Machar. John's brother Alexander, 43, unmarried, is a farm servant on John Dawson's farm, Walton farm, Newhills, Aberdeenshire. Their brother William Rait, 41, born Fintray, is a farm servant on the Mains of Sclattie farm, Newhills. He married Christina Mitchell that same year in Old Machar. She had been born in Rathven, Banffshire on 16 January 1833 and died in 1927 in Woodside. William had died in Woodside in 1886.

In the 1891 census for Urquhart Rd, St Nicholas, we find John Raitt, 56, engine driver; wife Ann, 50; and daughters: Elizabeth, 21, student at normal college; Agnes, 19, dress maker; Mary, 17, pupil-teacher; Isabella, 14, assistant in counting office; and Helen, 7, scholar. John's mother Ann Raitt, 78, farmer's widow and supported by family is still living in Narron Street, Old Machar, Woodside, together with son James, 45, unmarried, general labourer. John's other brother Alexander, 53, unmarried, is a farm servant on Alexander Singer's farm at Burnside, Skene, Aberdeenshire.

In the 1901 census for 58 Schoolhill, Aberdeen, there is John Raitt, 65, water inspector; wife Anne, 60; and daughters: Elizabeth H., 31, certified teacher; Agnes, 29, dressmaker; Mary A., 27, certified teacher and Helen S., 18, pupil-teacher. Brother James Raitt, 55, single, born Fintry, Aberdeenshire is a general labourer living at 699 Great Northern Rd, Aberdeen, Woodside.

In the 1911 census living at 16 Cairnfield Place, Rubislaw, St Ninian's, Aberdeen we have Ann Raitt, 70, widow, born Daviot; and daughters: Elizabeth H., 41, teacher; Agnes, 39; Mary A., 37. teacher; and Helen S., 28, teacher - all single and born Aberdeen. Ann's brother-in-law, James, 65, born Fintray, is still living alone at 699 Great Northern Road, Aberdeen Woodside and working as a labourer for the town council water department.


James Raitt, eldest son of John Raitt and Ann Simpson, was born 30 April 1865 in Aberdeen and died there 18 November 1960. He married Victorine Jane Gordon on 27 April 1894 in St Nicholas. Victorine was born on 8 March 1863 at 2 Anniston Gate, Inverkeilor, Angus where her father, Alexander Gordon, was head groom to Lt. Colonel James Rait of Anniston House. Victorine died in Aberdeen on 16 January 1933.  The couple had three children: James Lindsay, born 31 January 1895 in Kinmundy, Aberdeenshire, and died 20 December 1973 in Petersfield, Hampshire; Victorine Ouzo, born 21 May 1896 in Kinmundy, and died 22 August 1982 in Aberdeen; and William John, born 17 December 1897 in Mintlaw, Aberdeenshire, and died 3 July 1961 in Aberdeen.

In the 1901 census for School Teacher's House, West Street, Longside, Aberdeenshire we find James Raitt, 35, born Aberdeenshire, school master in a public school; wife Victorine, 34, born Inverkeillor, Angus; and children: James, 6, scholar; Victorine, 4; and William, 3 - all born Longside.

In 1911 the family is at the same address - James Raitt, 45, school master, born St Nicholas; wife Victorine, 44, born Coldstream, Berwickshire; and children James, 16; Victorine, 14; and William, 13 - all at school and born Longside. (Wife Victorine's father, Alexander Gordon, came from Coldstream which may explain why this is given as her place of birth.)

Son James Lindsay Raitt married Christina Elizabeth Gordon on 21 April 1928 in Morningside, Edinburgh. The couple had two sons: James Gordon and Robert Ian. James was born on 16 May 1930 in Singapore and married Elizabeth Evans on 11 September 1971 in Scaby, Scarborough. The couple had three children: James Edwin (1974, Worthing, Sussex); Catherine Elizabeth (1977, Chichester, Sussex); and Harold Gordon (1980, Chichester). He died in Kelso on 31 July 2015 aged 85. Brother Robert was born on 29 June 1933 in Southsea, Hampshire and married Helga Bartz in December 1965.

Son William John Raitt married Mary Ogilvie Stewart on 23 August 1930 in Edinburgh. Mary was born on 21 January 1904 in Edinburgh and died on 17 June 1992 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. They had four children: Kathleen Mary, born 21 November 1931, Dumfries; William Lindsay, born 21 November 1933, Dumfries; John Stewart, born 7 July 1939, Aberdeen; and David Gordon, born 28 March 1946, Aberdeen. William John joined the Army during the 1st World War and his service record will be found on a separate WW1 page.

William John's son, William Lindsay, married Diane Thorne on 4 September 1965 in Bourton on the Water, Gloucestershire, and they had four daughters, all born in Cheltenham: Elspeth Jane, 31 December 1966; Shona Mary, 22 April 1971; Verity Ann, 9 August 1976; and Katherine Amanda, 15 January 1985.

William John's son, John Stewart, married Irene Yvonne MacKay (born 1939, Aberdeen) in 1962 in Old Aberdeen and they had four children: Gordon, born 1963, Aberdeen; Julie, born 1965, Mount Gambier, South Australia; David, born 1966, Sydney, Australia; and Ian, born 1969, Woking, Surrey.

William John's son, David Gordon, married Elisabeth Shona Davies in Aberdeen in 1969 and then  Kay Grant in Leicester in 1981 and they had two children born there: Lucy May, 27 July 1982; and Stewart William, 20 September 1983.


Isabella Taylor Raitt was the only one of John Raitt and Ann Simpson’s six daughters to marry. Born on 27 September 1876 in St Nicolas, Aberdeen, she married Richard Wallace on 20 February 1904 in St Machar, Aberdeen. Richard was born on 26 Jun 1876 in Broxburn, Linlithgowshire (West Lothian), the son of Robert Wallace and Janet McVicar. Richard and Isabella had four children: Ann Simpson (born 5 June 1904, Edinburgh); Robert; Janet McVicar, born 1 March 1911 in St Rollox, Glasgow; and Agnes Raitt, born 8 December 1916, Dennistoun, Glasgow. Janet married Archibald Raitt on 4 November 1938 in Provan, Glasgow. Archibald was born on 8 September 1911 in Garngadhill, Glasgow to David Raitt and Annie Edward Duncan and he was my first cousin once removed! It appears that Archibald and Janet had at least two children: David Wallace Raitt who died on 11 December 1940 in College, Glasgow aged just 13 days; and Hilary Margaret. Hilary married Michael Montgomery in 1975 in Martha Street and appears to have had two boys: David and Michael. Archibald died in 1986 in Martha Street, Glasgow, while Janet had died some years earlier, in 1972 in Park Circus, Glasgow.

In the 1911 census for Townhead, St Rollox, Glasgow we find living, presumably in a tenement, at 79 Collins St in two rooms with one or more windows, Richard Wallace, 34, cabinet maker, born Linlithgow, Uphall; wife Isabella, 34, born Aberdeen, and daughters Annie, 6, born Edinburgh, at school; and Janet, 1 month, born Glasgow. Isabella had been married for seven years and had had three children, all of whom were still living, though at the date of the census there were only two in the household - son Robert was elsewhere.

William Rait, the third son of William Rait and Margaret Martin, christened on 6 Jan 1817 in Belhelvie married (as William Raitt) Jane Duncan on 9 May 1853 in Old Machar and they subsequently had five children all born in Dyce, Aberdeenshire: Ann Cheyne, born 30 December 1853;  unnamed daughter, born 1854 (and presumably died shortly thereafter); Margaret, born 8 July 1855; Charles Duncan, born 1 June 1857; and Jane, born 24 May 1859. Jane Duncan was born in Belhelvie on 2 August 1835 and died on 4 February 1860, not too long afterward her namesake daughter was born - possibly from childbirth complications. William died on 25 November 1875 in Dyce.

As noted above, unmarried William was at home with his parents in 1841 and 1851. In the 1861 census for Raiths, Dyce, Aberdeenshire we find William Raitt, 44, widower, born Old Machar, farmer of 163 acres employing four labourers and two boys; and children: Ann, 6, scholar; Margaret, 5, scholar; Charles, 3; and Jane, 1 - all born Dyce. Also in the household is Mary Ramsay, 28, unmarried, born Echt, Aberdeenshire, domestic servant.

Clearly needing someone to look after his young children, William married Mary Ramsay on 18 February 1862 in Dyce. She was born on 20 January 1833 in Echt, Aberdeenshire and died on 24 December 1882 in Aberdeen. It appears they had no children.

In the 1871 census for Raithes, Dyce, we have William Raitt, 53, married, born Old Machar, farmer of 163 acres mostly arable employing four men (one of whom was William Cowper, aged 28 (1843), agricultural labourer, born Tannadice, Angus - see below); wife Mary, 36, born Echt; and children: Ann, 17; Margaret, 16; Charles, 14; and Jean, 12 - all born Dyce. William died in Dyce in 1875. In the 1881 census we have Mary Raitt, 48, farmer’s widow, born Echt living alone at 74 St Clement St, St Nicholas, Aberdeen.


William and Jane's daughter Ann Cheyne Raitt married William Cowper, who was employed at the Raithes farm (see above), on 14 July 1871 in Dyce. Precise details regarding William's date and place of birth and parentage are sketchy - varying from Angus to Banffshire and from 1838-1843, but much has been pieced together by his wife Ann's great great granddaughter, Janine Behan. An interesting tidbit is that William's putative great grandfather, George Cowper, who died in 1831, founded the Glencadam Distillery in Brechin, Angus in 1825 (now the only distillery in Angus). He sold the distillery in 1827 and at his death was owed the equivalent today of £3.5 million in debts. William Cowper and Ann Cheyne Raitt seem to have had eleven children - the first eight born in Dyce and the last three in Kent, England.

In the 1881 census for Cottage Raithes, Dyce we find William Cooper, 43, agricultural labourer, born (1838) in Tomintoul, Banffshire; wife Ann, 27, born (1854) in Dyce; and children William, 9; Margaret [Lawson], 8; Charles, 7; Jessie [Ross], 5; and Jane, 3 - all scholars (except Jane) and all born in Dyce.

In the 1891 census for Johnsons Cottages, Belvedere, Erith, Dartford, Kent we have William Cooper, 56, foreman in a factory, born Banffshire; wife Ann, 37; and children: William, 19, labourer; Jane, 13, scholar; and Mary Ann [Touland], 10, scholar; James [Still], 7, scholar; George [Murray], 5, scholar - all born Aberdeenshire; Emily, 2 and Andrew [Ewart], 0 - both born in Erith, Kent. Quite why the family moved from Angus to Kent is not currently known.

In the 1901 census for Dartford Union Workhouse, Dartford, Kent, there is William Cooper, married, aged 62, born Scotland, general labourer and a pauper. His family are to be found living at Orient Cottages, 2 Picardy Manor Way, Abbey Wood, Erith, Dartford, Kent - there we have Ann Raitt Cooper, married, 46, laundress, born Scotland; and children: George, 15, general labourer, born Scotland; Emily, 12; and Andrew, 10 - both born Belvedere, Kent. Son Benjamin Gordon was born in the fourth quarter of 1893 in Erith, but had perhaps died young.

It appears that William Cooper died at home on 26 July 1901 in Erith, Kent. Ann married Edward Cross about 1905 and is found in the 1911 census living at 3 Wyman Terrace, Gilbert Road, Belvedere, Erith, Kent. She was 57, born Dyce; Edward was 62, general labourer (oil worker), born Erith, Kent. Also in the household is George Cross, stepson, 26, general labourer (boiler maker, milling and mining engineers), born Dyce and five children from a previous marriage of Edward. Ann and Edward had been married for six years and had no children together. Ann died on 5 April 1930 in Erith. Her daughter, Jessie Ross Cowper, born on 7 January 1876 in Dyce, married Patrick Terry in Erith in the fourth quarter of 1892, and died on 14 April 1957 in Erith.  


Willam and Jane Duncan's son Charles Duncan Raitt inherited the farm at Raiths. On 20 December 1879 in Dyce he married Mary Kemp who was born on 1 April 1853 in Dyce and who died on 25 February 1919 in Raiths, Dyce; Charles died in Skene, Aberdeenshire in 1925 aged 67. The couple had four children: James, born 1878, Dyce; John Thow, born 12 February 1880, Dyce and died 9 February 1935 in Belhelvie); William, born on 11 May 1881 in Dyce; and Charles, born in 1883 in Dyce.

In the 1881 census for Raithes, Dyce, we find Charles Raitt, 24,  married, born Dyce, farmer of 146 acres employing three men and one woman; wife Mary, 27, born Dyce; and son John, 1, born Dyce. In the 1881 census for Newtown Farm, Dyce, we find James Rait (sic), 3, grandson, born Dyce, in the household of James Kemp, 69, widower, farmer of 82 acres arable employing two men and two girls. This is the father of Charles’ wife Mary.

In 1891, still farming at Raiths, there is Charles Raitt, 34, farmer; wife Mary, 37; children James, 14; John, 11; William, 9; and Charles 6 - all born Dyce. Also in the household is James Kemp, 80, widower, retired farmer, visitor, born Belhelvie (i.e. Mary’s father).

In the 1901 census for Raiths, we have Charles Raitt, 45, farmer; wife Mary, 47; and sons John, 21 farm servant cattleman; William, 19, farm servant ploughman; and Charles, 17, farm servant ploughman - all born Dyce. Son James Rait, 23, born Dyce, is a horseman on the farm of John Burgess at Drumgesk, Aboyne, Aberdeenshire.

In 1911 at Raiths, there is Charles Raitt, 50, farmer; wife Mary, 57; sons: James, 31, horseman; John T., 31, shepherd; William, 29, horseman; and Charles, 27, horseman - all single, working on the farm and born Dyce.

It would appear that Charles Raitt (Jnr), farm servant, residing at Raiths, fathered an illegitimate son named William Raitt born at Woodland Croft, Dyce on 6 May 1910 - the mother was 18 year old Jessie Jeffrey, domestic servant. In the 1911 census the child is living with his mother (aged 19, born Dyce in 1891) and grandparents (William Jeffrey, 57, railway surfaceman and Christian, 44) and their other children at Woodland Croft, Dyce. The death in Buckie, Moray in 1982 of a William Raitt, aged 72, is probably this William.


James Raitt, the third son of James Rait and Agnes Rhind and compiler of the Genealogical Chart of his ancestors, as noted above, was born in Dalweary on 7 March 1824. He left there for Easter Elkies, Morayshire in 1849, and exactly a year later moved to Castle Forbes, parish of Keig, Aberdeenshire as estate manager. On 15 February 1855 he married Martha Benton in Keig. She was born on 12 January 1818 in Cattle, Keig, and she died in Elgin, Moray on 14 July 1903 having gone there to live with her son James Rhind Rait after her husband James died on 17 August 1881 in Oakbank, Keig. The couple had three children  all born in the Castle: James Rhind (born 30 Jan 1856, died 18 January 1924 Aberdeen); Helen Elizabeth (born 7 July 1857, died 16 June 1908); and Agnes Isabella (born 27 Nov 1859, died 1 November 1944).

In the 1841 census James was at home with his parents (see above). In the 1851 census living at Castle Forbes, Keig, Alford, Aberdeenshire we find James Rait, 27, unmarried, wood and farm overseer; and sister Elisabeth, 35, housekeeper - both born Kintore.

In the 1861 census living at the same address there is James Rait, 37, born Kintore, land steward; wife Martha, 43, born Keig; and daughter Agnes Isabella, 1, born Keig. Their other two children James Rhind (5) and Helen Elizabeth (3) are visiting their Uncle William in Dalweary (see below).

In the 1871 census for Oakbank, Keig, we have James Rait, 47, land steward, born Kintore; wife Martha, 53, born Keig; and children James Rhind, 15; Helen E., 13; and  Agnes J., 11, scholar - all born Keig.

In the 1881 census for the same address, there is James Rait, 57, land steward, born Kintore; wife Martha B., 64; children Ellen E., 23; and Agnes J., 21 - all born Keig.


In 1881, the son of James and Martha Rait, James Rhind Rait, age 25, was a factory and foundry business manager in a tweed factory living at 63 High St, Elgin, Morayshire.

In 1891 living in Seafield St, Elgin, we find Martha Rait, 74, widow, living on private means; with son James R., 35, unmarried, manager of woollen factory; and daughter Helen E., 33, unmarried - all born Aberdeenshire.

James Rhind Rait married Annie Jean Lawson on 23 August 1892 in Elgin. James's occupation was given as manager, wollen manufactory. His wife had been born in Roorkee, Bengal, India on 13 December 1866. She died on 12 December 1934 in Stirling. The couple had two sons: Colin Benton, born in Elgin on 16 June 1893 (the birth extract gave his name was Colin James Rait, but a marginal note gives an alteration dated 12 September 1893 to Colin Benton), and James Lawson, born 7 June 1896 in East Brora, Clyne, Sutherland.

In the 1901 census James Rait is married, age 45, born Keig, a woollen manufacturer, residing at Linkwood, Galashiels, Selkirkshire with his wife Annie J., 34, born India; and sons Colin B., 7, scholar, born Elgin; and James, 4, born Brora, Sutherland. Also in the household is Isa Black Rait, 16, born Galashiels, general domestic servant. Who this Isa is exactly is not yet known.

In 1911 James R. Rait, and family were living at 31 Whitehall Road, Rubislaw, Aberdeen. James is 55, born Keig, an Inspector of Agencies in the Insurance industry; wife Annie J., is 44, born Rurki, United Provinces, India and British subject by parentage; son Colin B, 17, bank clerk, born Elgin; and son James L., 14, at school, born Brora.

At the time of son Colin's marriage in 1921 James and Annie Rait were living at 41 Brighton Place, Aberdeen. They may have moved there nearly ten years earlier, for Colin was residing at this address in 1913 and was presumably living there with his parents. James Rhind Rait died at the address on 17 January 1924. His obituary states that he was an insurance inspector, "whose father was resident factor at Castle Forbes, and was educated at the Gymnasium, Old Aberdeen. For a number of years he was engaged in the wollen trade at Elgin and in the Border country. On retiring from that business about 14 years ago he joined the London Guarantee and Accident Company, Ltd. as its first inspector in Aberdeen, and in that capacity he worked up an extensive connection. He was well known in the counties of Aberdeen, Kincardine, Banff, and Moray, and was highly respected both in business and social circles for his kindly, gentle disposition, and other good qualities. He is survived by Mrs Rait and two sons, one of the sons being a banker in good position in the Federated Malay States."


In 1911 Colin Benton Rait successfully passed the Associates examination for the Institute of Bankers whilst working at the Bank of Scotland, Aberdeen. In December 1913, as a bank clerk living at 41 Brighton Place, Aberdeen, he was called upon to give evidence in a case of theft. During the 1st World War, he joined the Army and In early 1916 was promoted to temporary 2nd lieutenant on probation in the Gordon Highlanders. He married Olive Sullivan on 5 November 1921 in Singapore, and they had a daughter, Sheila, born on 14 October 1923 in Serenbarn, Malaya, and a son Alasdair James, born on 19 July 1927 in Cawnpore, Bengal, India.

On 21 October 1932, Colin Rait, 39, banker; wife Olive, 37; and son Alistair, 5, departed for Shanghai, China aboard the P&O ship Malwa bound for Yokohama, Japan. Their last country of residence was England and their address was The Haven, Manor Road, New Milton, Hampshire and their country of future permanent residence was China. [A Mrs C. Raitt is found travelling 1st class from Singapore to 41 Riverside Road, East Fremantle, Australia in January 1942 aboard the MV Charon.

It appears Colin died in Morningside, Edinburgh on 4 April 1960 aged 66 and his brother, James Lawson Rait, died in 1968 agd 71, also in Morningside.

Colin's son Alasdair returned from India to marry Anne Esson Stewart in June 1956 in St Andrew, Edinburgh and the couple had two daughters. He died in 1991 in Morningside.

James, youngest son of William Rait and Elspet Rhind and brother of William (see above), born 28 September 1786 in Dalweary, Kintore, married his 2nd cousin, Agnes Rhind, in November 1810. Agnes, daughter of Dr Robert Rhind, was born in Surgeonshall, Fettercairn on 10 May 1783 and died in Dalweary on 16 September 1856. He succeeded his father as tenant of Dalweary and was an Elder in the Kirk-session of the Established Church, Kintore from 1824 until the Disruption in 1843 and thereafter of the Free Church there until his death on 21 June 1856 in Dalweary. James and Agnes had six children: William (born 11 October 1811, died 9 June 1891, Elizabeth (Betsy) (born 9 September 1813, died 16 February 1886), Alexander (born 25 November 1815, died 27 December 1818, age 3), Agnes (born 7 November 1820, Kintore and died 26 March 1874, Brae, Kintore ), James (born 7 March 1824), Mary (born 29 May 1829, died 17 December 1908) - all born Kintore (Dalweary).

In the 1841 census for Dalwiry, Kintore, Aberdeenshire we find James Rait, 50; wife Agnes, 55; and children: Betsy, 25; Agnes, 20; Mary, 12; William 25; and James, 15.

In the 1851 census for Dalwerie, Kintore, Garioch, Aberdeenshire we find James Rait, 64, born Kintore, farmer of 60 acres employing two labourers; wife Agnes, 60, born Kincardineshire; children: William, 39, agricultural labourer; Agnes, 30; and Mary, 21 - all unmarried and born Kintore.


William Rait, the eldest son of James Rait and Agnes Rhind, born 11 October 1811 in Kintore does not seem to have married and/or had children. He lived with his sisters all his life and died on 9 June 1891 in Brae, Kintore. A piece in the Aberdeen Press and Journal for 8 March 1905 notes that William became successor in Dalweary, from where he removed to Brae of Kintore in 1864 - the Rhinds and Raits between them having thus occupied Dalweary for 407 years.

In the 1841 census for Dalwiry, Kintore, Aberdeenshire we have William Rait, aged 25, living at home with his father James Rait, 50; mother Elspet (sic), 55; and siblings: Betsy, 25; Agnes, 20; James, 15; and Mary, 12.

In the 1851 census for Dalwerie, Kintore, Garioch, Aberdeenshire we find William Rait, 39, unmarried, born Kintore, working on his father's farm - James Rait, 64, born Kintore, farmer of 60 acres employing two labourers; mother Agnes, 60, born Kincardineshire; and sisters Agnes, 30; and Mary, 21 both unmarried and born Kintore.

In 1861 living at farm Dalweary, Kintore we have William Rait, 49, unmarried, farmer of 58 acres employing one man and one boy; and his sisters Elizabeth, 47, unmarried; Agnes, 40, unmarried; and Mary, 31, unmarried - all born Kintore. Visiting them are their nephew James R., 5; and niece, Helen E., 3 - both born in Keig. Presumably William had inherited his farmer's farm after he died in 1856.

In 1871 living at Farm House of Brae, Kintore there is William Rait, unmarried, 59, farmer of 80 acres employing two men and one boy; and his sisters Elisabeth, unmarried, 57; and Mary, unmarried, 41 - all born Kintore.

In the 1881 census for Brae, Kintore we still have William Rait, 69, unmarried, born Kintore, farmer of 90 acres, employing one man, two boys and one woman; his sister Elizabeth, 67, unmarried; and his sister Mary, 51, unmarried.

In the 1891 census for the same place, we find William Rait, 79, farmer; and his sister, Mary, 61, housekeeper - both unmarried.

James Rait, the second son of William Raitt and Margaret Martin, christened as James Rett on 11 April 1813 in Belhelvie, died on 10 May 1896 in Cottown, Bridge of Don, Aberdeen. He married

Christian Crighton on 12 June 1832 in New Machar, Aberdeenshire. She was born in Methlick, Aberdeenshire on 4 March 1800, and died on 26 May 1871 in Old Machar. They had four children together - all born in Old Machar: William, about 1833; James, born 24 March 1835; John Monro, 26 February 1837; and George, 9 June 1841. James fathered a further three children, one by Eliza Sherriffs - Alexander, born 3 March 1843; but the mother(s) of the other two - Robert, 15 June 1844; and Jane, 6 November 1849 - is/are unknown. (The surname was spelled Rait for some of them). [Later descendants include a daughter Jane christened on 22 November 1837 and dying before 1849. I cannot find any record of this child - in any event, Christina would have had to become pregnant virtually on the day she gave birth to John Monro unless she was a twin and they waited for nine months to be christened!]

As alluded to above, there is some doubt regarding the mother of at least a couple of James's children. The records show that James Rait, labourer, Hazlehead, Newhills and his spouse Christian Crichton had a son born 8 March 1843 named Alexander and baptized 15 March 1843....The same parties had a son born 15 June 1844 named Robert, baptized 29 June 1844....The same parties, while residing at Springfield, had a daughter born 6 November 1849 named Jane, baptized 22 November 1849.... This information was entered on 29 December 1855 on the declaration of the father into the baptisimal records of Old Machar. If they were already baptized, why did they need to be (re)entered quite a few years later? Probably because Christian was not their birth mother, but nevertheless agreed to take care of them in her household. In fact, the birth certificate of Alexander shows his mother to be Christian Crichton, his death record of 1927 gives his mother's name as Eliza Sherriffs.

In the 1841 census for How of Mindurno, Parkhill East, Old Machar, Aberdeenshire we have James Rait, 25; wife Christina, 30; and children: William, 8; James, 7; and John, 4. Also in the household is  Jean Marr, 2 - presumably this is the daughter of James - her birth extract gives her name as Jane Rait and parents as James Rait and Christian Crichton. In later censuses her surname was given as Rait(t).

In the 1851 census for Springfield, Old Machar, Aberdeenshire, we find James Raitt, 38, labourer; wife Christina Crighton, 45; sons James, 16, labourer; George, 8, scholar; Alexander; 7, scholar; Robert, 5, scholar; and daughter Jean, 2 - everyone born Old Machar.

In the 1861 census for Clown Hill, Ellon Turnpike, Old Machar, Aberdeenshire, there is Christina Crichton or Raitt, 56, married, shepherd's wife; born Methlick, Aberdeenshire; son George, 19, shepherd's son living at home, born Old Machar; and daughter Jane, 12, living at home, born Old Machar. Presumably husband/father James was tending his flock in the hills.

In the 1871 census for Mindurno Cottar House, Old Machar, we have James Raitt, 58, labourer, born Belhelvie; wife Christina, 70, born Methlick; daughter Jane, 22, unmarried, born Old Machar; and grandson Peter Grant, 1m, born St Nicholas.

In the 1881 census for Mindurno, Old Machar, we find James Raitt, 66, widower, born Belhelvie, road maker; daughter Jane, 30, unmarried, housekeeper, born Old Machar; and grandchildren: Peter G., 10, scholar, born St Nicholas; and James Bruce, 7, scholar, born Old Machar.

At the same address is 1891 there is James Raitt, 78, married (!), formerly agricultural labourer; and daughter Jane, 42, unmarried. Jane's son Peter, 20, born Belhelvie, is a house carpenter, boarding with the Souter family at Village Millars House, Mill Road, Monymusk. Jane's other son James B., 19, saw millar, is a boarder in the Castell household at Tillybrachtie, Auchindoir, Aberdeenshire.


William Raitt, eldest son of James Raitt and Christina Chrighton, was born 30 November 1833 in Old Machar. He married Jessie Napier on 31 July 1860 in Aberdeen. She was born on 29 March 1836 in Durris, Aberdeenshire, and died on 5 January 1911 in Aberdeen. William was a ship's carpenter and died, possibly at sea, after 1871 - no record has been yet found. The couple had five children: Jane, born 6 February 1857,  Aberdeen, and died 5 September 1944 in Five Dock, New South Wales, Australia; William, born 5 March 1860, Old Machar; James, born 22 August 1862, Old Machar; Jessie Gordon, born 22 September 1865, Old Machar (married Robert Angus McDonald in 1908 in Blythswood); and John Thow, born 2 December 1867, Old Machar.

In the 1841 census William, 7, is at home with his parents. In the 1851 census for Craigie Butler, Bnchory Devenick, Aberdeenshire, he may be the William Rait, 17, farm servant, born Old Machar.

In the 1861 census for Strachans Close, Old Machar, we have Jessie Napier, 25, married, born Durris, Aberdeenshire; and daughter Jean Rate, 4, born Old Machar; and son William Rate, 1, born Old Machar. It is likely husband and father ship carpenter William Raitt was at sea.

In the 1871 census for St Clement Court, St Nicholas, we have Jessie Raitt, 34, married, ship carpenter's wife; born Durris; and children: Jane, 14, paper worker, born Old Machar; William, 11, scholar, born Old Machar; Jessie, 5, scholar, born Old Machar; and John, 3, born St Nicholas. Presumably William Snr was at sea and where son James was is not yet found.

In the 1881 census for 25 St Clement Street, St Nicholas we find Jessie Raith, 44, widow, petty grocer, born Durris, Kincardineshire; daughter Jane, 24, envelope maker, born Aberdeen; and son John, 13, scholar, born Aberdeen. Son James is not yet found in 1881, his brother William had already gone to the United States.


The eldest son of William Raitt and Jessie Napier, William Raitt, born 5 March 1860 in Old Machar, Aberdeen went to America in August 1880. He married Euphemia Hanton McDonald on 29 March 1888 in Chicago, Cook, Illinois - she was born on 29 June 1867 in Old Machar. The couple had three children: Jessie G., born about 1888 in Wisconsin; Euphemia, born 2 February 1891 in Aberdeen; and Arthur Taylor, born 11 November 1896 in the USA. It seems the family flitted back and forth between America and Scotland fairly frequently. In fact, the story of William's life and family in America is already told on the William Raitt, Granite Cutter page. I have now updated modified that page and related it back to this one for his ancestors.


Nothing definitive has yet been found for the second son of William Raitt and Jessie Napier, James Raitt (born 1862). As he does not seem to have died in Scotland, then like his two brothers and at least one sister he may have emigrated also - but no details are yet forthcoming.


The third son of William Raitt and Jessie Napier, John Thow Raitt (born 1867) married Mary Warrander on 29 December 1888 in St Nicholas. He was a boilermaker journeyman aged 21 living at 27 Park St, Aberdeen and his parents were named as William Raitt, ship carpenter, deceased and Jessie Napier. Mary was 20 and her father, George, was a stonecutter journeyman. [On his marriage extract his name is written as John Thom Raitt.] John and Mary seem to have had ten children: William (1889, St Nicholas); John (1890, St Nicholas; died 3rd quarter 1892, Barrow in Furness); Alexandrina (2nd quarter 1892, Barrow in Furness, England); Flora (August 1893, Barrow in Furness); Grace (1895, County Down, Ireland); Georgina (1896, ditto); Albert (1898, ditto, died last quarter of 1901, Belfast); another John (1900, ditto); Isabella (1893, ditto); and then Mary (1921, New York).

The family is to be found in England in the 1891 census living in Brig Street, Barrow in Furness, Lancashire: John Raitt, 23, boilermaker; wife Mary, 23; and sons William, 1; and John, 6m - all born Scotland.

The family, missing a son, but now with two daughters, moved to Ireland around 1894. They are found in the 1901 census for 4 Lena Street, Pottinger, County Down. John Raitt, 33, boiler maker, born Scotland; wife Mary, 33, born Scotland; children: William, 11, scholar, born Scotland; Alexanderina, 8, scholar, born England; Flora, 7, scholar, born England; Grace, 6, scholar, born County Down; Georgina, 4; born County Down; Albert, 3, born County Down; and John 1, born County Down.

John Thow Raitt emigrated to America on 2 January 1907 and his story is continued on the New York Raitts page. Daughter Flora followed in 1909, as did wife Mary with presumably other children. His daughter, Grace, remained in Belfast for a some years longer where she married and had children, but in 1922 the family also decided to emigrate to New York. Their story is also continued on the New York Raitts page.

Jane Raitt was the only daughter of James Raitt and Christina Crichton, born in 1849. Although I have not given details of the female Raitts' marriages and children on this page I have made an exception here for Jane because she was unmarried yet had three illegitimate sons (no fathers were named in the birth extracts - though is Bruce a clue - also Grant?) who bore her surname: Peter Grant; James Bruce; and William Bruce, born 10 May 1876, Aberdeen and died 8 November 1878, Mindurno, Old Machar. As noted above, Jane was born on 6 November 1849 and baptized on 22 November. The  extract notes that the parents were James Rait and Christian Crichton, residing at Springfield - and the baptism entry was made on 29 December 1855 upon the declaration of the father. Though if Christian was her mother then she would have been 48 or even 49 at conception. And James was, it seems, a known philanderer - furthermore, in the earliest census in which she is mentioned, Jane or Jean had the surname Marr (possibly that of her mother). So presumably Jane was taken into the Raitt, possibly like one or two of her brothers - see above), and cared for by Christian as one of her own. Jane Raitt, housekeeper, single, died on 22 November 1909 in Galleymoss, Skene, Aberdeenshire, aged 62. Her parents were given as James Raitt, general labourer, and Christine Crighton. The informant was her brother Alexander Raitt.

Jane lived with her parents (and father after the death of her mother) all her life and will be found above in the censuses for James Rait from 1841-1891. In the 1901 census for 539 Great Western Rd, Aberdeen, there is a Jane Rait, single, 50, born City, Aberdeen, acting as housekeeper for William Fraser, 49, widower, a baker, born Turriff, Aberdeenshire. This is probably her.

Jane's son, Peter Grant Raitt, was born on 17 February 1871 in St Nicholas, Aberdeen to Jane Raitt, domestic servant domiciled in Mindurno, Old Machar. He was illegitimate. He married Jane Milne on 31 December 1895 in Peterhead - Jane was born in Cruden, Aberdeenshire on 1 October 1871 and died in 1958 in Aberdeen. Their children were: Ethel Margaret born 12 January 1897, Bridge of Don, married John McIntosh Howe (1897-1968) in 1922 in St Machar, died 1975; Dorothea Walker, born 26 April 1898, Banchory Devenick; Joseph Milne, born 4 December 1899, Nigg, Kincardine; Norman Grant, born 17 October 1902, Nigg, Kincardine, died 13 April 1972, Aberdeen; Jeannie Jessie Milne, born 28 May 1906, St Machar, died 12 July 1966, Stonehaven; Ernest Harvey, born 3 March 1908, Nigg, Kincardine, died 7 November 1979, Forres; and James Schivas, born 10 September 1910, Nigg, Kincardine and died in Aberdeen in 1989. Peter died in on 3 November 1959 aged 88 in Stonehaven, though his usual address was Aberdeen. He was a retired master joiner and a widower. His son J. M. Raitt was the informant. Peter himself was the informant at his grandfather James's death in 1896 and at the time was residing at Barley Cottage, Bridge of Don.

In the 1901 census for Scorgie's Buildings, Nigg Landward, Kincardineshire we have Peter Raitt, 30, house carpenter (employer), born St Nicholas, Aberdeen; wife Jane, 29, born Cruden, Aberdeenshire; and children Ethel M., 4, born Old Machar; Dorethea W., 2, born Banchory Devenick, Kincardineshire; Joseph W., 1, born Nigg, Kincardineshire; and brother-in-law John Milne, 17, apprentice house carpenter, born Monymusk, Aberdeenshire. Peter's brother, James, is living in Ogilvy Terrace, Waggon Road, Scoonie, Fife - he is 27, a tailor, born Old Macha, with his wife Annie, 27, born Peterculter, Aberdeenshire. Also in the household is James Maxwell, 1, adopted son, born Wemyss, Fife.

In the 1911 census for Normandale, Nigg, Kincardineshire we find Peter G. Raitt, 40, house carpenter, born Aberdeen; wife Jane, 39 (married 15 years with 7 children, all living), born Cruden; and children: Ethel M., 14, born Old Machar; Dorothy W., 12, at school, born Banchory Devenick; Joseph M., 11, at school, born Nigg; Norman G., 8, at school, born Nigg; Jeannie J. W., 4, born Aberdeen; Ernest H., 3, born Nigg; and James S., 6m, born Nigg. Peter's brother James is at the  Thistle Golf Club, Scoonie, Fife - he is 36, gold club steward, born Old Machar, with wife Annie, 36, born Peterculter.


Peter and Jane's eldest son, Joseph Milne Raitt, married Jessie Willox on 5 June 1925 in Aberdeen. He was aged 25, a house carpenter journeyman, residing at Eldoran, Bridge of Dee; she was 26, a glove machinist assistant, residing in Aberdeen. Her father (William) was a tramway(?) motorman. Brother Norman Grant was a witness. Their daughter Norah Patricia was born in 1928 in Nigg, Kincardine.

Peter and Jane's son, Norman Grant Raitt, married Lizzie Jane Craig Shepherd on 28 July 1926 in Rubislaw, Aberdeen. He was 23, a joiner journeyman, residing at Eldoran, Bridge of Dee and his father was a master joiner.; and she was 22 and a commercial clerkess residing in Aberdeen. Here father (James Gordon Shepherd) was a master jeweller. Norman's brother Ernest H. Raitt was a witness. It is believed they had two children Norman and Jeannie. Norman could be the Norman Grant Raitt born in 1934 in Aberdeen Southern District.

Peter and Jane's son, Ernest Harvey Raitt, married Justina Mary Shearer Robertson on 14 September 1931 in Forres, Morayshire. He was 23, an ironmonger's assistant, residing at Eldoran, Bridge of Dee; she was 25, a shop assistant, residing at Whitemire Dyke, Forres (her father, William, was an estate labourer). They had two sons, both born in Aberdeen Southern District - Alistair Grant, in 1933; and Ernest William, in 1937.

Peter and Jane's son, James Shivas Raitt, married Mary Helena Anderson on 3 June 1939 in Rubislaw, Aberdeen. He was 28, a clerk of works, residing in Bridge of Dee and his father was a master house carpenter; she was 31, a stockbroker's secretary, residing in Aberdeen - her father, William, deceased, had been a grocer. It is understood they had a daughter named Sally - there was a Sally Anne Raitt born in 1939 in Portlethen, Aberdeenshire.


Jane Raitt’s other son, James Bruce Raitt, was born on 25 November 1873 in Aberdeen and died on 15 October 1913 in Scoonie, Fife. His death extract notes he was illegitimate and his mother was Jane Raitt, daughter of a road labourer. His occupation was the golf club house keeper. He married Annie Shivas on 5 January 1898 in Aberdeen. He was 24, a tailor's assistant residing in Leven, Parish of Scoonie, Fife and his mother was described as Jane Raitt, daughter of a road labourer; his wife was also 24, a clerk in baker mills, residing in Peterculter (her father, William, deceased, had been a farmer). It is not yet known whether they had any children.


Robert Raitt was the sixth son of James Raitt and Christina Crichton, born on 15 June 1844 in Old Machar and dying 7 May 1899 in Aberdeen. He married Barbara Robertson on 15 October 1870 in Kintore. She was born in 1848 in Macduff, Banffshire and died on 9 October 1928 in Aberdeen. Robert and Barbara had four children: George, born 1 November 1870, Aberdeen, died 9 February 1952, Toronto, Canada; Jane Robertson, born 1873, Aberdeen; Alexander Smith, born 7 February 1881, Aberdeen and died 13 December 1947, Westhill, Aberdeenshire; and John Robertson, born 22 December 1874, Aberdeen and died 20 September 1940, Aberdeen Eastern District.

In the 1851 census Robert Raitt was at home with his parents and siblings. In 1861 Robert Rait, 17, born Old Machar, is an agricultural labourer on the farm of James Barron at Middleardo, Belhelvie.

In the 1871 census for Boat Road, Kintore, we have Robert Rait, 24, agricultural labourer (on George Smith's farm), born Newhills; wife Barbara, 23, born Macduff; and son George, 4m, born Aberdeen.

In the 1881 census for 35 Whitehouse Street, Old Machar, we find Robert Raitt, 35, born Aberdeen, working as a wholesale grocer's carter; wife Barbra, 32, born Banff; children: George, 10, scholar; Jane, 8, scholar; John, 6, scholar; and Alexander, 2m - all born Aberdeen.

In 1891 the family is living at 28 Hill Street, Old Machar - Robert Rait is 45, a carter; wife Barbara, 43; children: George, 20, lithographic printer; Jane, 18, restaurant waiter; Alexander, 10, scholar.

In the 1901 census for 6 Cremin Place, Aberdeen, we have Barbara Rait, 51, widow; and son Alexander, 20, monumental mason, living in the household of her married daughter Jane (Jeannie Seivwright, 28) and her husband John, 37, ironmoulder; and daughters Barbara, 3 and Dorothy, 1)


It is noteworthy that the children of Robert Raitt and Barbara Robertson have retained the spelling Rait unlike most other members of the extended family - although James Shirran's death extract records him as James Shirran Raitt! The censuses fluctuate between Rait and Raitt.

Son George Rait married Maggie Smith (born 23 April 1873) on 3 July 1896 in Aberdeen. They had three children: Maggie Barbara, born 4 October 1896, Aberdeen; and Robert, born 9 September 1897 in Aberdeen; and Constance, born about 1904, presumably also in Aberdeen, though her record has not been found.

In the earlier census George was living with his parents and siblings. In the 1901 census for 14 Raeburn Place, Aberdeen, we have George Raitt, 29, lithographer; wife Maggie, 29; and children: Maggie, 4; and Robert, 3 - all born Aberdeen.

George Rait and his family emigrated to Canada in 1910 - their story is continued on the Canadian Raitts page under Ontario.


Son Alexander Smith Rait married Margaret Ann Dakers (born 1881) on 10 September 1915 in Westhill. They had a daughter named Kathleen Margue born in 1915 in Skene.

Son John Robertson Rait married Mary Shirran on 3 December 1897 in St Nicholas. She was born 12 May 1878 in Aberdeen and died there on 30 August 1947. John was a carter and died in 1940 in Aberdeen Eastern District. The couple had five children all born in Aberdeen: Jeannie Seivewright, born 9 December 1897, died 5 May 1977; John William Forbes, born 23 April 1899 and died 29 March 1961, Aberdeen Southern District; James Shirran, born 5 August 1901, drowned at sea 23 January 1925 in Porthleven, Aberdeenshire (death extract has him spelled Raitt); Isabella Shirran, born 16 January 1905 in St Nicholas, died 24 February 2001 in Aberdeen - married Duncan McCruvie Horsburgh in 1924 in Rubislaw, Aberdeen; and Annie Shirran, born 21 May 1907, died 21 May 1934, Aberdeen Southern District.

In 1901 the family was living at 17 Baltic Street, Aberdeen: John Rait, 26, shore labourer; wife Mary, 22; daughter Jeannie, 3; and son John, 1 (presumably this should be James)

John Robertson Rait's son John William Forbes Rait married Maria Helen Elizabeth Insh (born 1899) on 19 November 1920 in Aberdeen. They had five children: Jackie, Peggy, Betty, Forbes Shirran (born 1931 in Aberdeen Eastern District; and Albert Edward Insh (born 1935 in Aberdeen Eastern District).

Charles Rait, the eldest son of William Rait and Margaret Martin, christened on 14 February 1808 in Belhelvie, married Helen Mitchell on 26 August 1835 in Old Machar. Helen was born in Dyce on 13 February 1807 and died on 22 February 1874 in Old Aberdeen. Charles Rait died in Old Machar on 16 October the same year aged 65. The couple appear to have had eight children: unnamed (born 16 April 1836 and died the same day); Hellen (born 28 August 1837 and died 24 October 1837 in Belhelvie); William, born 2 November 1838 and died 10 April 1860 in Old Machar); Margaret (born 28 May 1841 in Old Machar and died 7 June 1922 in Aberdeen); Charles (born 8 May 1843 and died 31 October 1849 in Aberdeen; Barbara (born 24 September 1845 and died 17 September 1860 in Aberdeen; James (born 5 September 1847 and died 28 May 1848 in Aberdeen); and Jane (born 29 October 1849 in New Deer and died 6 August 1921 in Aberdeen).

In the 1841 census for  8 Catherine St, Aberdeen there is Charles Rait, 30, wright; wife Helen, 30; son William, 2; and and unnamed male, aged 10 days - this may in fact be daughter Margaret!

In the 1851 census for 6 Gerrard St, Aberdeen there is Charles Rait, 42, born Belhelvie, house carpenter; wife Helen, 43, born Aberdeenshire; children: William, 12, scholar, born Woodside, Aberdeenshire; Margaret, 10, scholar, born Aberdeen; Barbara, 5, scholar, born Aberdeen; and Jean, 2, born Aberdeen.

In the 1861 census, B Close, High St, Old Machar we have Charles Raitt (sic), 54, born Aberdeenshire, journey house carpenter; wife Helen, 55, born Aberdeenshire; and daughter Jane, 11, born Aberdeen. Son William, 21, born Aberdeenshire is working as a farm servants (orra worker) on George Webster’s farm at Newlands, Fintray, Aberdeenshire. [It is worth pointing out that William is said to have died on 10 April 1860, aged 21 - the record states his mother's maiden name was Mitchell - so this would appear to be him - though that he then appears in the 1861 census is a difficulty! Another William Raitt died in Woodside in 1887 aged 46.]

In 1871, the family is living at 100 High St, Old Machar - Charles Rait’s age is given as 51, house carpenter, born Belhelvie; wife Helen is 33, born Aberdeenshire; and daughter Jane is 21, general domestic servant, born Aberdeen.


Alexander Raitt was the fifth son of James Raitt and Christina Crichton, born in 1843 and there seems to be some confusion over his birth. The Old Parish Register for Old Machar states that Alexander Rait was born on 3 March 1843 and christened there on 15 March and that his parents were James Rait, labourer Hazelhead, Newhills and his spouse Christian Chrichton.

However, the Old Parish Register for Newhills gives an Alexander Rait, born the same day, but christened there on 18 March and that his parents were James Rait and Elizabeth Sherriffs. Elizabeth was an unmarried woman, with whom James Rait at Smithyhill had had an affair. She was born in Keig on 14 December 1823 and died there on 15 December 1864. In 1841 she was a female servant aged 17½ in the Munro household at Cloverhill, Murcar, Old Machar. Cloverhill was where James's parents were living in 1841.

The parish records of the time give an interesting insight into views of morals. On 16 April 1843 (i.e. a month or so after the christening of Alexander, the Parish of Newhills Register of Discipline noted that Eliza Sherriffs and James Rait from Smiddyhill confessed themselves guilt of adultery. They were suitably rebuked and admonished and upon expressing a desire to be received for discipline, the Session resolved to apply to the Reverend of the Presbytery of Aberdeen for their direction in the matter. Over eighteen months later, the Presbytery of Aberdeen ordered the pair to appear on 3 December 1844. Eliza Sherriffs, unmarried and James Raitt, married on a reference of Adultery from the Parish of Newhills were suitably rebuked and summoned apud acta to appear before the Session of Newhills on Sunday first, when the Session was authorised to do in the case as to them should seem for edification. The Parish of Newhills Register of Discipline for 8 December 1844 records that at the same meeting, compeared again James Raitt & Eliza Sherriffs, whose case of Adultery had been laid before the Reverend, the Presbytery of Aberdeen; and the Session finding from an extract Minute remitted to them from the Presbytery, authorising them to deal with them as was most for edification, resolved that it would be more for their edification after a serious and solemn admonition from the Minister to absolve them from Church Censure which was accordingly done.

Alexander Raitt was at home with his parents and siblings in 1851. In 1861, Alexander Rait, 18, born Belhelvie, is an agricultural labourer on John Craighead's Tarbethhill farm in Peterhead Road, Old Machar.

Alexander married Isabella Hardie on 19 June 1868 in Old Machar. She had been born on 15 May 1844 in Forvie, Slains, Aberdeenshire and died on 27 July 1912 in Gallymoss, Skene. Alexander died in Aberdeen on 14 September 1927. The couple had twelve children between 1869-1891: Mary Jane (born 4 September 1869, Old Machar; died 28 September 1946, Edinburgh); George Hardie (born 3 September 1871, Old Machar); Margaret Thow (born 23 August 1873, Old Machar; died 31 December 1941, Aberdeen); Alexander (born 3 July 1875, Old Machar; died 1 February 1963, California); Gracie Frost (born 26 November 1878, Old Machar; died 30 March 1957, Essondale, British Columbia); James (born 25 May 1880, Old Machar; died 1 April 1946, Aberdeen); Robert Slessor (born 2 May 1882, Old Machar; died 30 October 1960, Porirua, New Zealand); John (born 14 April 1884, Old Machar; died a bachelor on 27 April 1951, Aberdeen); Isabella (born 1 June 1885, Old Machar; died (as Isabella Hardy Anthony) 2 January 1923, Edinburgh - she was married to Thomas Anthony, railway guard); Eliza Sherriff (born 17 August 1887, Old Machar; died 15 March 1952, Edinburgh); Henrietta (born 7 August 1889, Peterculter; died 27 July 1976, Aberdeen); and Elsie (born 9 January 1891, Peterculter; died 12 June 1982, Aberdeen).

In the 1871 census for Upper Tarbothill, Old Machar Alexander Rait, 26, labourer, born Belhelvie, is son-in-law, visitor, along with his wife Isabella Hardie or Rait, 25, born Aberdeenshire, daughter in the household of George Hardie, farmer of 45 acres.

In the 1881 census for Denmore Lodge (North), Old Machar, we find Alexander Raitt, 38, born Belhelvie, gardener's assistant; wife Isabella, 36; and children: Mary Jane, 11, scholar; George H., 9, scholar; Margaret T., 7, scholar; Alexander, 5, scholar; Grace F., 2; and James, 10m - all born Old Machar.

In the 1891 census for Broomfold, Peterculter, we have Alex Raitt, 42, farmer; wife Isa, 45; children: Mary Jane, 21, farmer's daughter (i.e. presumably helping on farm); Margaret T., 17, farmer's daughter (i.e. presumably helping on farm; Alex, 17, farmer's son (i.e. presumably helping on farm; Grace Frost, 12, scholar; James, 10, scholar; Robert S., scholar; John, 6, scholar; Isa, 5; Eliza S., 3; Henrietta, 1; and Elsie, 2m.

At the same place in 1901, there is Alexander Raitt, 58, farmer; wife Isabella, 56; children: Alexander, 24, married, mason labourer; Grace F., 21, dairymaid; John, 16, farm servant horseman; Eliza S., 13, scholar; Henrietta, 11, scholar; and Elsie, 10, scholar.

In the 1911 census for Galley Moss, Skene, Aberdeenshire we have Alexander Raitt, 68, farmer, born Belhelvie; wife Isabella, 65, born Slains, married 42 years with 12 children, 11 still living; children: Grace Thomson, 32, married, born Old Machar, visiting daughter; John, 25, born Old Machar, horseman, at home; and Elsie, 20, servant, at home. Also in the household is visiting grandson Robert Thomson, 6 - Grace's son.


Alexander Raitt and Isabella Hardie's son George Hardie Raitt, born 1871, was at home with his parents and siblings in 1881. George is said to have died in Canada on 1 September 1906, though, as yet, I have found no records of him in or going to Canada (or his death in the UK).


Alexander Raitt and Isabella Hardie's son Alexander Raitt, born 1875, had married Isabella Scott Ritchie on 25 January 1901 in Ellon. She was born on 16 October 1873 in Udny and died on 28 April 1954 in Los Angeles. Alexander himself died 1 February 1963 in California. They had five children: Joan Ritchie, born illegitimate (as Johan Raitt Ritchie) on 10 March 1897, Skene and died in 1964 in Sunland, Los Angeles; Alexander James, born 8 April 1901 in Ellon and died 28 August 1965 in Sunland, Los Angeles; Isabella Hardie, born 24 August 1902, Aberdeen and died 2 October 1994, Orange County, California; Charles Ritchie, born 2 February 1906 in Aberdeen and died 1 January 1980 in Orange County, California; and Frederick Simpson, born 31 January 1908 in Aberdeen and died 26 May 1995 in Ventura, California.

Whilst Alexander Raitt is on his father's farm in 1901, his new wife Isabella Raitt, 27 is to be found at her parent's (David and Margaret Ritchie) home at Piketullin Cottage, Ellon in 1901 together with her daughter Joan Raitt Ritchie, 4. At the time of son Frederick Simpson's birth Alexander was a railway carter.

In 1911 they had moved to Leddach Cottage, Skene - Alexander Raitt, 35, born Old Machar, farm labourer (possibly on his father's farm); wife Isabella Scott, 37, born Udny, married ten years with five children all living; children: Johanna Ritchie, 14, born Skene; Alex James, 9, born Ellon; Isabella Hardie, 8, born St Machar; Charles Ritchie, 5, born St Machar; and Frederick Simpson, 3, born St Machar.

Alexander Raitt and his family emigrated to California in the 1920s. I have included some further details  about the family on the California Raitts page.


Alexander Raitt and Isabella Hardie's son James Raitt, born 1880, married Elsie Ann C. Arnott (born 1881, died 1959, Aberdeen Northern District) on 29 May 1905 in Aberdeen. The couple had three children: Annie Cruickshank, born 12 October 1905, Aberdeen and died there on 4 April 1985, aged 79; Isabella Hardie, born 2 February 1908, Aberdeen and died in St Nicholas on 10 August 1915, aged 7 (mother's surname given as Hardy); and Alexander Jamieson, born 9 February 1913, Peterculter and died 27 December 1969, Kilmarnock. He married Edith Williamson Muddle (born 7 June 1907, died 23 April 1968, Saltcoats, Ayrshire) on 13 October 1931 in Aberdeen.

In the 1911 census for West Caulton, Peterculter we have James Raitt, 31, born Old Machar, mill worker; wife Annie, 30, born Ellon, married five years with two children born and living; and daughters: Annie, 5, born Aberdeen, at school; and Isabella, 3, born Peterculter.


Alexander Raitt and Isabella Hardie's son Robert Slessor Raitt, born 1882, married Mary McPhee McColl in Porirua, New Zealand in 1915. The couple had eight children, all born Pirura, New Zealand, except the first, Alexander, who was born on 1 December 1914 in Greenock, Renfrewshire. Their descendants will be found on the New Zealand Raitts page.

The second son of George Raitt and Elizabeth Watt, Peter Raitt, was born on 7 October 1863 in Monymusk. He married Margaret Christie on 29 May 1885 in Overtown, Monymusk - he was aged 21, a farm servant; and she was aged 19, the daughter of a farmer (John Christie). Both were resident in Overtown. The couple had six children: George, born 27 April 1885, Monymusk; John, born 26 April 1887, Keig; Peter (Rait), born 1889, Keig, died 1892, Keig aged 3; James, 17 March 1891, Keig; Margaret Elizabeth, born 1893, Keig; and Mary Dyker, born 1899, Auchindoir.

In the 1871 census for Pitmunie, Monymusk, Aberdeenshire, Peter Raitt, 7, scholar, is living with his parents and siblings in the house of his uncle. There we find his father George Raitt, 28, agricultural labourer, born Old Machar, in the household of his unmarried brother-in-law George Watt, 48, born Monymusk, farmer of 80 acres, employing three labourers; together with his wife Elizabeth Watt, 37, born Monymusk (sister to George Watt); and his other children: George, 9, scholar; Jane, 4; and John, 2 - all born Monymusk. Also in the household is the mother of George Watt, Elizabeth Steel Watt, 80, widow, born Fyvie, Aberdeenshire; and his brother Peter, 54, unmarried, labourer, born Monymusk.

In the 1881 census for Overton Farm, Monymusk, Aberdeenshire, we find Peter Rait, 17, agricultural labourer, born Monymusk. The farm is run by John Christie, 50, farmer of 86 acres of which 74 arable, employing one man. In the household, besides John's wife (Margaret Smith) and six other children, there is also Maggie Christie, 14, doing domestic work, born Kincardine O'Neil, Aberdeenshire. This is Peter's future wife.

In the 1891 census for Glenton, Keig, Aberdeenshire, we have Peter Raitt, 27, agricultural labourer, born Monymusk, Aberdeenshire; and wife Margaret, 24, born Aberdeenshire; and children George, 5, born Monymusk; John, 3, born Keig; Peter, 1; and James, under 1 month - both born in Keig.

In the 1901 census for Powford, Auchindoir, Aberdeenshire there is Peter Raitt, 39, forester and crofter, born Monymusk, Aberdeenshire; wife Margaret, 34, born Kincardine O'Neil, Aberdeenshire; and children: John, 13, agricultural labourer; James, 10; Margaret E., 7; and Mary D., 1 - all born Keig.

In the 1911 census for 30 Powford, Auchindoir, West Aberdeenshire we find Peter Raitt, 47, crofter and forester, born Monymusk; wife Margaret, 44, born Kincardine O'Neil; daughter Margaret, 14, born Keig, assisting in the work of the croft; and Mary, 11, born Auchindoir, at school.

Son George Raitt emigrated to the United States in 1913 as a 27 year-old farm hand, following in the footsteps of his younger brother, John Raitt, who had emigrated five years earlier, aged 21. Further details about their life in America will be found on the Wyoming Raitts page.

Son James Raitt married Robina Jane Marnoch in St Machar, Aberdeen on 22 June 1923. He was 32, a blacksmith journeyman at the Menie smithy in Belhelvie, and she was 31, a domestic servant. James is not yet found in the 1911 census, nor in emigration records. He died on 20 August 1955 at Denside smithy, in Durris, Kincardineshire. He was 64 and a blacksmith and his son James Raitt was the informant. Robina Jane died in Banchory in 1978, aged 86.

George Raitt was the fourth son of James Raitt and Christina Crichton, born in 1841. He married Elizabeth Watt on 7 February 1862 in Monymusk, where she was born on 1 May 1834 and died on 2 August 1920. George died there on 16 November 1923. George and Elizabeth had nine children between 1861-1978, all born in Monymusk: George (born 14 Oct 1861, died Helmsdale, Sutherland on 16 February 1924); Peter (born 7 Oct 1863); Robert (born 1 Feb 1865, died 1867); Jane (born 8 Jan 1867); John (born 2 Dec 1868, died 24 June 1932, Monymusk); Elizabeth Still (born 12 Aug 1871, died 25 Nov 1937); Elspet Cruickshank (born 1 Jun 1874, died 6 May 1949, Cluny, Aberdeenshire); William (born abt 1876, died 1877); and Mary Ann (born abt 1878, died 7 Mar 1961, Aberdeen Southern District).

In the 1851 census for Springfield, Old Machar, Aberdeenshire, we find George Raitt, 8, scholar living with his father James, 38, labourer; mother Christina Crighton, 45; and siblings: James, 16, labourer; Alexander; 7, scholar; Robert, 5, scholar; and daughter Jean, 2 - everyone born Old Machar.

In the 1861 census for Clown Hill, Ellon Turnpike, Old Machar, Aberdeenshire, there is George Raitt, 19, shepherd's son living at home, born Old Machar; his mother Christina Crichton or Raitt, 56, married, shepherd's wife; born Methlick, Aberdeenshire; and sister Jane, 12, living at home, born Old Machar. Presumably his father James was tending his flock in the hills.

In the 1871 census for Pitmunie, Monymusk, Aberdeenshire, George Raitt, 28, agricultural labourer, born Old Machar, is living in the household of his unmarried brother-in-law George Watt, 48, born Monymusk, farmer of 80 acres, employing three labourers; together with his wife Elizabeth Watt, 37, born Monymusk (sister to George Watt); and his children: George, 9, scholar; Peter, 7, scholar; Jane, 4; and John, 2 - all born Monymusk. Also in the household is the mother of George Watt, Elizabeth Steel Watt, 80, widow, born Fyvie, Aberdeenshire; and his brother Peter, 54, unmarried, labourer, born Monymusk.

In 1881 living at Cottage of Younderton, Monymusk we have George Raitt, 39, born Old Machar, keeper of sheep (dealer); wife Elizabeth, 46, born Monymusk (as all children); and children: Jane, 14; John, 11, scholar; Elizabeth, 9, scholar; Elsie, 7, scholar; and Mary Ann, 2.

In the 1891 census for Ordmill, Monymusk there is George Raitt, 39, farmer; wife Elizabeth, 56; children: John, 21, farmer's son (presumably working on the farm); Lizzie, 19, assisting in housework; Elsie, 15, assisting in housework; and Mary A., 12, scholar.

At the same address in 1901 is George Raitt, 58, farmer, born Old Machar; wife Elizabeth, 62, born Monymusk; daughters Elizabeth S., 28, single; and Mary Ann, 27, single - both born Monymusk; and grandson George Raitt, 15, born Monymusk. Next door at Paradise Lodge, Ordmill, is George's son John Raitt, 31, farm servant (presumably on his father's farm); wife Agnes, 30; and children: Elsie Bella, 9, scholar; Elizabeth, 3; and Agnes Fraser, 1 - all born Monymusk. John had married Agnes Thomson in 1895 in Old Meldrum. She was born there about 1871 and died 9 April 1907 in Monymusk.

Still at Ordmill in 1911, we find George Raitt, 69, born Old Machar, farmer; wife Elizabeth, 77, born Monymusk, married 49 years with nine children, seven of whom still living; children: Elizabeth S,. 38, single, born Monymusk; and Mary A., 31, single, born Monymusk. Also in the household is a boarder, John Riddell, 26, single, born Skene, wood sawyer in a saw mill - Mary Ann married him in 1920 in Kemnay, Aberdeenshire. Next door at Paradise Cottage, Ordmill, there is George's son John Raitt, 41, born Monymusk, widower, traction driver and mill owner; daughters Elsie J. B., 19; and Agnes F. T.. 11, at school; and son John, 9, at school - all born Monymusk.

John Raitt's son John Raitt Jnr emigrated to Australia on 12 January 1926 - he is recorded as a 3rd class passenger from London to Melbourne aboard the Esperance Bay. He is aged 24, his occupation was engineer, and his last address in the UK was Paradise Lodge, Monymusk, Aberdeenshire. He was accompanied by his wife Agnes, aged 26. Since the only marriage between a John Raitt and an Agnes in Aberdeenshire was that of his parents, then I am inclined to think that the Agnes in question was actually his older sister Agnes. Sadly John died a few months after arriving on 14 November 1926. His sister, Agnes Fraser Thompson Raitt married Alex Malcolm Melvin in Melbourne in 1926. It's possible that she was going to Australia in order to marry him and her brother was to be best man. An A. Melvin, aged 26, a farm labourer from Aberdeenshire emigrated to Melbourne in 1923 - he is probably the husband-to-be Alexander Melvin, born 1896 in Kenmay.


Regarding the four sons of John Monro Raitt and Margaret Allan.....

Eldest son Alexander Allan married Annabella Russell on 31 October 1879 in Aberdeen. She was born in Kiltarlity, Invernessshire on 15 October 1853, though it seems she died in Morningside, Edinburgh in 1905, aged 50. They had four children all born in Newhills: John Munro, born 3 April 1880 and dying in 1968; Annabella, born 7 October 1882; Alexander, born 1888; and William C., born 1893.

In the 1891 census for Lower Buxburn (Bucksburn), Newhills, there is Alexander Raitt, 33, paper mill worker; wife Anna B., 36, born Invernessshire; children: John, 11, scholar; Anna B., 8, scholar; and Alexander, 3.

Some time after 1893 the family had moved to Edinburgh and in 1901 are to be found living at 7 Tay Street. Alexander A. Raitt is 44, and a stationer's warehouseman; wife Annabella is 44; children: John M., 20, stationer's cutterman; Annabella, 18, dressmaker; Alexander, 13, scholar; and William C., 8, born Newhills, scholar.

A few years after wife Annabel died, Alexander Allan Raitt, 45, widower, stationer, residing at 7 Tay St, Edinburgh, married Elizabeth Anderson, 25, in Pollockshields, Glasgow on 2 July 1907.

In 1911 living at 5 Livingstone Drive, Newington, Edinburgh are Alex A. Raitt, 54, born Newhills, stationer's warehouse man in the paper making industry; and wife Lizzie Anderson, 28, born Auchterarder, Perthshire. Son Alexander Rait (sic), 23, born Newhills, is a boarder with the Duncan family at 13 Bryson Road, St Michael, Edinburgh and working as a warehouseman for a stationer. It is not yet found where son William was in 1911.

Alexander Allan and Annabella Raitt's son John Munro Raitt, stationer's assistant married Margaret Mackenzie, paper mill worker, on 1 January 1904 in Woodside, Aberdeen. She was born on 13 April 1881 in Udny and died on 16 October 1966 in Bucksburn, Aberdeen. The couple had three children: Mary Russell (born 1907, Edinburgh); John Munro (born 20 June 1908, Woodside and died 20 November 1992 in Aberdeen); and Margaret Helen (born 1910, Newhills).

By 1911 the family had moved back to Newhills and is found living in St John's Road, Dalmore. John Munro Raitt is 30, born Newhills, working as a printer's warehouseman in a paper mill; wife Maggie, 29, born Udny, married seven years with three children all still living; and children: Mary Russell, 4, born Morningside; John Munro, 2, born Old Machar; and Maggie Helen, 1, born Newhills.

Namesake son John Munro Raitt married Margaret Emslie Cumming on 13 April 1940 in Bucksburn. She was born on 20 June 1909 in Bankhead, Aberdeen, and died on 5 April 1990 in Aberdeen. They had two daughters born in Aberdeen: June (1941); and Elizabeth (1945).


Second son John Raitt married Maggie Ann Hill on 28 February 1890 in her home at Woodbine Cottage, Buxburn, Newhills. He was a 29 year old stationer and she was 24. The occupation of John's father, John M. Raitt, was stoker in a paper works and at John's death in 1947, his father's occupation was given as papermill fireman and his own was commercial traveller. John and Maggie had two sons: John, born in 1891 in St Nicholas; and Douglas Stewart, born in 1903 in St Machar. Douglas married Jessie Ferrier in 1932 in Aberdeen Southern District and their son Douglas Ferrier Raitt was born in 1935 in Aberdeen Northern District. It may be him in turn marrying Violet Catto in 1959 in Aberdeen Northern District as Douglas F. S. Raitt. If so, then it is likely that the Ferrier Wiliam Raitt born in 1960 in Aberdeen Northern District is their offspring. He married Avril Reid in 1986 in Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, and thus the Darren Ferrier Raitt born in 1986 in Aberdeen is probably their child.

In the 1891 census living in Blackfriar Street, St Nicholas, we find John Raitt, 30, stationer; wife Maggie A., 35; and son John, 3m - all born Aberdeen.

In the 1901 census for 78 Powis Place, St Machar we have John Raitt, 42, commercial traveller (paper); wife Maggie, 35; and son John, 10.

At the same address in 1911, there is John Raitt, 51, commercial traveller in the paper industry, born Newhills; wife Maggie, 45, married 21 years with two children, both living, born Aberdeen; and sons John, 20, teacher student; and Douglas S., 8, at school - both born Aberdeen.  


Third son James Raitt, 21, day labourer, married Elizabeth McKessock (various spellings, eg McKissock), 26, paper mill worker on 21 July 1882 in Newhills. A witness was John Raitt, probably James's father. Elizabeth was born in 1864 in Peterhead, Aberdeenshire. They had a son William Wilson born in Newhills on 23 January 1884 (died in 1957 in Aberdeen Northern District). They are not yet found in the 1891, 1901 or 1911 censuses. However, in 1891 a William Raitt, 8, scholar, born Aberdeen, is nephew to Margaret Morrison, 28, married, engineer's wife at Auchmill, Newmills (also in the household is her son James, 5; and daughter Margaret, 2. The mother Margaret could be the sister-in-law of Isabella Morrison's brother.

James and Elizabeth's son William Wilson Raitt married Elizabeth Moir on 19 January 1912 at her home at 27 Rosemount Place, Aberdeen. He was aged 27 and a coal merchant labourer; she was also 27 and a domestic servant. William joined the Army during the 1st World War and his service record will be found on a separate WW1 page. They had four children, all born in St Machar: George Rennie, born 16 June 1913 in Aberdeen and died 1992 in Aberdeen; William Wilson, born 1920; Harriet Jessie, born 1921; and James, born 21 February 1925 and died in 1991 in Aberdeen. At the time of his son James's birth, William Wilson was a taxi driver. After his wife Elizabeth died in 1938 in Aberdeen aged 55, William Wilson Raitt remarried on 30 August 1940 in Mintlaw station, Old Deer. He was aged 56, a chauffeur and widower, residing in Banchory Devenick. His bride was Janet Paterson, 38, a domestic servant. residing in Mintlaw.

William Wilson's son George Rennie Raitt married Isabella Jane Brands Mortimer on 4 March 1937 in Aberdeen. He was aged 23. a motor lorry driver, residing at Ardoe Lodge, Banchory Devenick; she was aged 27, a glove machinist, residing in Aberdeen. His father was a chauffeur.

Namesake son William Wilson Raitt, 19, motor lorry driver, gunner Royal Artillery, residing at Ardoe Lodge,Bachory Devenick, married Elizabeth Ross Horton, 19, dental mechanic, on 28 October 1939 at the Royal Hotel in Aberdeen. His father was a chauffeur and his mother was deceased. It seems that the couple were divorced on 12 June 1947, for there is a corrected entry (dated 11 May 1848) to the marriage extract that states the degree of divorce was pronounced in an action at the instance of Elizabeth Ross Horton or Raitt (living in Hove, Sussex) against William Wilson Raitt, Driver, Royal Artillery (home address in Banchory Devenick). The insertion was made under the direction of the Registrar General on 19 June 1947.

Wiiliam Wilson and Elizabeth's third son James Raitt married Elizabeth Yeats Christie in 1950 in Aberdeen Southern District. It appears they had four sons, all born in Aberdeen Northern District: James, born 1951; William, born 1954; George, born 27 October 1956; and Douglas Gruer, born 1 September 1958. Son James Jnr is believed to have had two sons: Sean, born 21 December 1971; and Wayne, born 1979. Son George married Morag Elizabeth Mair on 13 June 1975 in Aberdeen and they had three children born there: Martin, born 8 December 1975; Alison, born 4 June 1977; and Lesley, born 9 August 1982. Son Douglas married Beatrice Jane Hutcheon in Aberdeen in 1985.


The fourth son of John Monro Raitt and Margaret Allan, Gordon Watson Raitt, married Louisa Tosh in Newhills in 1897. She was born in 1876 in Newhills and died on 4 August 1952 in Aberdeen Northern District. They had five children born in Newhills: Mary in 1899; Gordon Watson born and died in 1900; Alexander Allan in 1904 (died in Aberdeen in 1987); Jessie in 1906; and Walter in 1908 (died in Peterculter in 1995).

In the 1901 census for 101 Constitution Street, St Nicholas, Aberdeen, there is Gordon Raitt, 28 fireman stationary engine; wife Louisa, 24; and daughter Mary, 2 - all born Newhills.

In the 1911 census for Auchmill Road, Newhills, we have Gordon Raitt, 38, stationary engineman; wife Louisa, 35, married 13 years with five children born, four of whom were still living; and children: Mary, 12, at school; Alexander, 6, at school; Jessie, 4; and Walter, 2 - all born Newhills.

Alexander Allan Raitt, 32, coal company's storeman married Margaret Stewart Aird, 29, on 24 October 1936. His father, Gordon, motor lorry driver, had died a few months prior to his son's wedding. Alexander and Margaret had a son Kenneth Alexander, born in 1939 in Aberdeen Southern District, who married Sheila Mackie in Aberdeen Northern District in 1964.

John Monro Raitt was the third son of James Raitt and Christina Crichton, born on 26 February 1837 in Old Machar, and dying in Newhills on 5 November 1905. He married Margaret Allan on 15 February 1856 in Dyce, where she had been born about 1835. She died on 14 December 1916 in Newhills. It would appear that John and Margaret pleaded guilty to antenuptial fornication (premarital sex!) for which sin they were admonished, exhaled and absolved from Church censure. Since their first child was born some 16 months after they married, then it is difficult to understand why - unless Margaret became pregnant before marriage and the baby subsequently died. The couple had eight children born between 1857-1872 in Newhills: Alexander Allan (born 25 June 1857, died 2 May 1937, Edinburgh); John (born 24 March 1859, died 1947, Aberdeen); Margaret (born 26 April 1861); James (born 24 March 1863, died 1946, Aberdeen); Christina Henry (born 14 April 1865); Elizabeth Watt (born 18 August 1867, died 1868); Mary Ann Allan (born 1 January 1870, died 1870); and Gordon Watson (born 26 July 1872, died in 1936, Aberdeen).

In the 1841 census, John is at home with his parents. In 1851 he is probably the John Rett, 14, farm servant, at Cairnton, Peterculter, Aberdeenshire.  

In the 1861 census for Farburn, Newhills, we have John Raitt, 24, paper labourer, born Old Machar; wife Margaret, 26, born Dyce; and sons Alex, 3; and John, 2 - both born Newhills.

In 1871 the family is living at Rose Cottage, 35 Newhills - John Raitt, 33, born Aberdeen, stoker in a paper works; wife Margaret, 35, born Dyce; children: Alexander A., 13, paper worker; John, 11, scholar; Margaret, 9, scholar; James, 7, scholar; and Christina W., 5, scholar - all born Newhills.

At 1 Auchmill, Newhills, in 1881 we find John M. Raitt, 43, fireman at paper works; wife Margaret, 45; children: John, 22, worker at paper mills; Margaret, 20, general servant; James, 18, general labourer; Christina, 16, worker at paper mills; and Gordon, 9, scholar. At the same address is son Alexander Allan Raitt, 23, worker at paper mill; wife Annabella, 28, born Invernessshire; and son John Munro, 1.

In the 1891 census, the family is at the same address. The household contains John Raitt, 54 furnace stoker; wife Margaret, 55; son Gordon, 18, furnace stoker; and granddaughter Margaret Fraser, 6 - all born Aberdeen.

At 3 Auchmill, Newhills in 1901, there is John Munro Raitt, 64, born Old Machar, retired furnace stoker; wife Margaret, 65, born Dyce; and granddaughter Maggie Fraser, 16, born Newhills, paper bag maker.

In the 1911 census for Auchmill Road, Newhills, we have Margaret Raitt, 76, born Dyce, a widow living alone. Disappointingly, because she was a widow (and thus not married), the census does not give the number of children born alive and still living. So we cannot confirm whether she had her first child out of wedlock.

James Raitt was the second son of James Raitt and Christina Crichton, born in 1835. He died in St Nicholas in 1899 aged 65. He married Mary Paul on 18 July 1859 in St Nicholas. She was christened in St Nicholas born 22 October 1836 and died, aged 68, on 18 October 1905 at 6 St Clement St, Aberdeen. She was the widow of James Raitt, ship carpenter journeyman. Son William was the informant. James and Mary had four children: William A. (born abt 1860, St Nicholas, and died, single, on 3 February 1932, Aberdeen Northern District); James (born 22 December 1861, St Nicholas, and died, single, 18 October 1946, aged 84 in Aberdeen Northern District - his father was a shipwright); Christina Chrichton (born 23 October 1865, St Nicholas); and Alexander Paul (born abt 1875, St Nicholas)

In the 1861 census for St Clement Street, St Nicholas, there is James Raitt, 26, ship carpenter, born Old Machar; wife Mary, 23, born St Nicholas; and son William, 1, born St Nicholas.

In the 1871 census for 52 St Clement Street, St Nicholas, we have James Raitt, 35, ship carpenter, born Old Machar; wife Mary, 34, born St Nicholas; and children: William, 11; James, 9; and Christina, 5 - all scholars, born St Nicholas. Also in the household is nephew Alexander Paul, 18, brass moulder, born St Nicholas.

In the 1881 census for 18 Links Street, St Nicholas, we find James Raitt, 47, ship carpenter; wife Mary, 46; children: William A., 21; iron moulder; James, 19, ship carpenter; Christina, 15, milliner; and Alexander P., 6, scholar - all born Aberdeen. Also in the household is nephew William Cooper, 17,  labourer in harbour works.

In the 1891 census for Clement Street, St Nicholas, we have James Raitt, 55, ship carpenter; wife Mary P., 53; children: William, 31, iron moulder; James, 29, photographer; and Alexander, 16, merchants clerk - all born Aberdeen.

In the 1901 census for 12 Clement Street, St Nicholas, there is Mary Raitt, 64; and son William, 41, unmarried, iron moulder - both born Aberdeen. Son James, 39, born Aberdeen, is a joiner lodging at 19 Deanhaugh Street, Edinburgh St George.

In the 1911 census for 6, Clement Street, St Nicholas, we find William Raitt, 51, single, iron moulder in the ship building industry, living with his brother James, 49, single, joiner in the building industry - both born Aberdeen.


James Raitt and Mary Paul's son, Alexander Paul Raitt, married Isabella Stirling Smith Morrison, born St Nicholas in 1874, on 28 January 1896 in St Nicholas. His occupation at death, aged 61, on 26 November 1936 at 26 Broomhill Road, Aberdeen Southern District, was given as commercial traveller. The couple had nine children, one of whom died possibly at birth (this child may have been named John who was born and died in St Nicholas in 1896 - and thus likely a twin of Mary). Their six daughters: Mary Paul (born 1896, St Nicholas, died 1966, Aberdeen); Williamina C. S. M. (born,1898, St Nicholas, died 1953, Haymarker, Edinburgh); Joan Maxwell Morrison (born 1903, St Machar, died 1992, Aberdeen; Christina Chrichton Mat... (born 1904, St Machar, died 1989, Aberdeen, aged 84); Ada Morrison Ho... (1907, St Nicholas, died 1997, Aberdeen); and Isabella Stirling (1909, St Machar, died 1988, Aberdeen); then son Alexander Paul (1911 St Machar, died 1988, Banchory; and later daughter Margaret Milne Kelman (born 3 December 1916, St Machar).

In the 1901 census for 13 Mugiemoss Road, Newhills, Aberdeenshire there is Alexander P. Raitt, 26, railway clerk; wife Isabella, 27; and children: Mary P., 4, scholar; and Wilhelmina C. S., 2 - all born Aberdeen.

In the 1911 census for 36 Midland Rd East, St Machar, we have Alexander Raitt, 36, commercial clerk in cake and manure works; wife Isabella, 35, married 15 years with 7 children born live and 6 still living; and children: Mary, 14, message girl for a fruiterer; Williamina, 12, at school; Joan, 8, at school; Christina, 6, at school; Ada, 4; and Isabella, 1 - all born Aberdeen.

Namesake only son Alexander Paul Raitt, 26, distillery worker, married Elizabeth Marshall Watson Murray, 25, commercial clerkess, on 4 September 1937 in Aberdeen.  


The eldest son of George Raitt and Elizabeth Watt, George Raitt, was born on 14 October 1861. He married Jessie Stewart on 15 October 1884 in the village of Alford, Aberdeenshire. He was aged 23 and a journeyman baker residing in old Meldrum, while she was 28, a baker's assistant, residing in Alford. Her father, David, deceased was a baker and crofter. George's death extract on 16 February 1924 gives his age as 62 (later corrected to 61), his occupation as baker, he was a widower and his father, George, was a farmer (deceased). His son, George Harvey Raitt, was the informant. George and Jessie had six children all except the first born in Elgin: George Harvey (1885); Elizabeth (born 1887); Mary Stewart (born 1889); Janet Stewart (born 1892); William Stewart (1896); and Christina Stewart (born 1889).

In the 1871 census George Raitt is at home with his parents in Monymusk. In 1881 he appears as George Rait, 18, apprentice baker, born Monymusk is the household of master baker Robert Geils in the village of Monymusk.

Around 1887, for reasons as yet unknown, the family moved to Morayshire. In the 1891 census for Hay Street, Elgin we have George Raitt, 28, baker, born Aberdeenshire; wife Jessie, 33, born Aberdeenshire; and children: George, 5, born Aberdeenshire; Elizabeth, 3, born Morayshire; and Mary, 1, born Aberdeenshire.

In the 1901 census for 156 High Street, Elgin there is George Rait, 38, baker, born Monymusk; wife Jessie, 44, born Alford; children: George, 14, scholar, born Aberdeenshire; Lizzie, 13, scholar; Mary, 11, scholar; Janet, 9, scholar; William, 6, scholar; and Chrissie, 2 - all born Elgin.

In 1911, George Rait, 48, married, baker, is a lodger at 1 Lochgorm, Millburn Road, Inverness. Meanwhile living at 2 Leslie Place, Forres, Inverness we find his wife Jessie (Raith), 34, married 26 years with six children all living, born Alford; and children: Elizabeth Milne, 23, married three years no children, born; Janet, 20, home duties; William, 15, grocer's shop assistant; and Christina, 12, at school - all born Elgin.


Son George Harvey Raitt was born on 25 September 1885 in Old Meldrum. He married Jane Shirras on 26 July 1907 in Elgin. At the time, he was a baker journeyman, aged 22, living at 156 High Street, Elgin; while she was aged 20, living at 233 High Street. Her father, Robert, was a blacksmith journeyman. George Harvey Raitt died in Elgin on 18 March 1940 aged 54. His occupation was given as baker journeyman. His son George S. Raitt was the informant. Jane died in Elgin on 6 December 1943. The couple had at at least two children born in Elgin: Jessie Stewart in 1907; and then George Sherras in 1921 (died, possibly unmarried, in Elgin in 1988, aged 67).

In the 1911 census for 28 Abbey Street, Elgin we find George Raitt, 25, baker, born Old Meldrum; wife Jane, 23 (married three years with one child), born Kintore; and daughter Jessie, 3, born Elgin. Also in the household is mother-in-law, Clementina Shirras, 56, born Skene.


Son William Stewart Raitt was born in Elgin on 14 December 1896 and died there on 12 September 1958 aged 62. His occupation was given as retired gas meter inspector and he was the widower of Catherine Thomson whom he had married on 1 July 1921 in Elgin. He was aged 25, a grocer's warehouseman, residing in King Street, Elgin; and she was 32, living in Greyfriars Street - her father, James, was a baker. In 1911 William was at home with his mother and siblings (see above).

James Rait, the compiler of the genealogical chart above, was clearly a knowledgeable man as is evidenced not only from a book he wrote during his stewardship at Castle Forbes, entitled “The Relative Value of Round and Sawn Timber, shown by means of table and diagrams, with explanatory remarks” published by William Blackwood and Sons in 1862, but also from a letter he sent from Castle Forbes, Whitehouse, Aberdeenshire on 20 July 1869 to a certain George Cupples Esq residing at The Cottage, Guard Bridge, Fifeshire In it he replies more fully to Cupple's letter of 5 July which the latter wrote, on behalf of Charles Darwin! Cupples asked certain questions relative to the comparative numbers of the sexes born from any flock of sheep or herd of cattle, in any one or more years, also whether there was noticeable any excess of mortality in either sex over the other, at birth or afterwards (independently of castration) that cattle or sheep are not bred at Castle Forbes to any extent. James answered this with information provided to him by a number of farmers in the region. Cupples, who had been compiling information on sheep and cattle bred in Scotland (as well as other animals) in turn, wrote to Charles Darwin on 13 September 1869 including this information. Darwin was himself collecting information on the proportion of sexes for his chapters on sexual selection of rats and moles and Cupples seems to have been a correspondent who tried to answer many of Darwin's questions.


There are several inscribed gravestone in the Kintore kirkyard for members of the family namely Alexander Rait (1733-1810), William Rait (1740-1820) and Elisabeth Rhind, James Rait (1786-1856) and Agnes Rhind, James Rait (1824-1881) and Martha Benton.

They are included under the heading Rhind and Rait Families [in Kintore] in Aberdeenshire Epitaphs and Inscriptions by John A. Henderson and published in 1907. Following, there is also a piece about the two families.

"The Rhinds who settled in Dalweary as tenant farmers in 1457 are traditionally reported to have come from Germany in the beginning of the fifteenth century in the capacity of engineers to Sir William Keith, afterwards Earl Marischal. A descendant, John Rhind, before 1680, married Margaret Bannerman, but he died before 1696, when his widow's name as tenant appears in the Poll Book. They had two sons—John and William. The latter (born in Dalweary 20th June, 1680) married, on 19th November, 1704, Jane Bruce, probably a daughter of Robert Bruce, Baillie of Kintore. He graduated M.D.,and was alive in 1758. He was succeeded by his son, William, who became an eminent doctor. The latter died without issue. The tenancy of Dalweary ultimately fell to the Raits, who had intermarried with the Rhinds long before.

James Rait, referred to in the first part of the second inscription, in November 1810, married his second cousin Agnes Rhind, daughter of Dr Robert Rhind, of Surgeonshall, Fettercairn. They had issue William, Betsy, Alexander, Agnes, James and Mary. The first named became successor in Dalweary, from where he removed to Brae of Kintore in 1864, the Rhinds and Raits between them having thus occupied Dalweary for 407 years.

James Rait, who was well known in Aberdeenshire as the enterprising land steward of Castle Forbes, had considerable literary talent. He was originally a poet and wrote a treatise "On Timber", which was published by Messrs Blackwood.  His wife, Martha Benton, was a daughter of Joseph Benton, farmer, Cattie, Keig."‬

An article in the Aberdeen Press and Journal dated 8 March 1905 repeats the information about James Rait and adds "It is to his genealogical research that we are indebted for a few of these particulars."

James Rait apparently compiled his genealogical chart partly from family bibles and in this respect it is gratifying to note that in the Kintore Parish newsletter for January 1905 there is a paragraph that states:

"Through the generosity of Miss Rait (late of Brae Farm, Kintore) a very old and valuable Bible has come into the possession of the Kirk Session of the Parish Church. This is a gift that the Kirk Session greatly appreciate, and while they have offered their warmest thanks to Miss Rait, they have assured her that this relic of a long-past age will be carefully preserved and treasure by them. On the fly-leaf there has been written the following interesting note: - "This Bible, one of the first editions printed in Scotland, was the Family Bible of the Rhaids [sic = Rhinds] and Raits, tenant farmers in Dalweary, Kintore, for (it is believed) four hundred and seven years, ending 1864, and was re-bound by their descendant, its owner, William Rait, farmer, Brae, Kintore, in 1868." A further note gives this additional information, viz that "the whole is a reprint of the Geneva translation of 1561, but more correct, and that it was printed at Edinburgh by Alexander Arbuthnot, printer to the King's Majestie, dwelling at the Kirk of Field, 1579." Any one desiring to examine this ancient copy of the Scriptures will find it at the Manse." [The Miss Raitt in question would probably be William's unmarried sister, Mary.]

Inside the Bible itself is a note, presumably in James Rait’s hand since he has signed it, which amplifies the information obviously summarized above, viz. that “The titlepage of the Old Testament which unfortunately has been lost in the course of time, read as follows - “The Bible and Holy Scriptures contained in the Old and New Testament. Printed at Edinburgh by Alexander Arbuthnot, printer to the King’s Majestie, dwelling at the Kirk of Field, 1579. cum gratia et privilegie regie Majestratis. Price 7 Marks.” The whole is a reprint of the Geneva translation of 1561, but more correct, Thomas Bassandyne, a native of Scotland, having acquired the art of printing in Paris and Leyden returned to his own country and began business in Edinburgh. He finished the New Testament in 1576 as will be observed on turning to it, but delayed publishing it till the Old was completed in 1579; dying that year the book was finished at the press in July and came out with the name of Arbuthnot. In the Advocates Library, Edinburgh there is another copy of the same edition.”

The Bible is now in the Special Collections section of the Divinity Faculty Library, Edinburgh University. It is assumed that James Rait based his Genealogical Chart on the list of names, births and other details contained within, though sadly the list is no longer inside.

As a footnote, it is perhaps of interest to note that the 6000 acre estate of Castle Forbes in the seat of the Forbes Clan - the lands being granted to Sir Alexander Forbes (later the 1st Lord Forbes) in 1411. In addition to its traditional activities of farming, forestry and fishing, the Castle now develops and markets an exclusive range of fragrances and shaving products for men bearing the Castle Forbes name. The former dairy building behind the castle was converted into the world's smallest perfumery in 1996.