Jane Martin Mid 1700's
Ireland 1790's - 1873
Portpatrick 1818 - 1898
Dewarton 1835 - 1918
Currie 1871 - 1953
Corstorphine 1905 - 1983
Walter Maltman
Maria Cassar
Edinburgh 1930 - Present
William Maltman
Edinburgh 1951 - Present
Scott Kirsty Claire Fraser

So far I have managed to trace my family name back to Alexander Maltman, Rope maker, and his wife Elizabeth Beggs who lived in Portpatrick in the early part of the 19th Century. The date of birth and the parents of Alexander are unknown however Elizabeth's year of birth can be guessed at from the 1841 census return where she is reported to be aged 48 years giving her a birth year of 1793. This should be taken as a rough guide as the accuracy of the 1841 and subsequent census returns, as far as individuals ages are concerned, is suspect to say the least. As an example Elizabeth's age is recorded as 60 in the 1851 census and 67 in the 1861 census giving years of birth of 1791 and 1794. Nor is it only the Census returns that are inaccurate in this respect. Elizabeth's Death Certificate of 1873 records her as being age 86 making her year of birth 1787. On the death certificate of Elizabeth Cosh, her daughter in law, I found the age was out by 30 years. This was an obvious error on the part of the registrar taking down the details rather than the bad memory of Emily, her daughter, who was the informant. She was unlikely to believe her mother was 57 years old when her true age was nearer 87. I learned very quickly that great care had to be taken when searching for individuals, using years of birth as a reference.


Elizabeth's Beggs parents were James Beggs, seaman and Jane Martin. This is all that is known of them. According to the 1841 census Elizabeth Maltman, MS Beggs, lived at Main Street Portpatrick, Wigtown along with her children John 27, James 10, Margaret 12 and Elizabeth 4. The gap between John and James seems excessive for the times but I am quite sure that John is her son though he could be the brother of her husband Alexander Maltman. Elizabeth is recorded as widowed at this time so Alexander, presumably, died some time after the conception of baby Elizabeth (1836) and before the 1841 census. I cannot find any trace of his death in the Old Parish Registers and statutory state recording of Births, Marriages and deaths did not begin till 1855. Also staying at this address is John's wife Elizabeth Cosh and their children Alexander 6 ( later to move to Currie to start the Maltman line in the Edinburgh area ), James 4, John 2 and Nathaneil 4 days, along with Elizabeth's cousin Agnes McKenzie 29 and son Thomas 3. The house in Main Street, Portpatrick must have been cramped with 4 adults and 7 children. The family was to split by 1851, Elizabeth Beggs moving with her children to 57 South Crescent, Portpatrick and Elizabeth Cosh with her children to 24 Blair Street, Portpatrick. John Maltman is not recorded in the 1851 or subsequent census returns and though Elizabeth is not described as widowed in the report he probably died some time before the1851 survey. This survey shows an addition to John Maltman's family, Emily aged 6 years old, born 1845. So John may have died between 1844 and 1851.


Portpatrick Harbour


Elizabeth Beggs, John Maltman and Elizabeth Cosh's cousin Agnes McKenzie were all born in Ireland making it difficult for me to trace further back though I have managed to find the names of the parents of both Elizabeth Beggs and Agnes McKenzie from their death certificates. It is worth noting that Agnes's mothers maiden name is Cosh therefor this surname also has a strong connection with Ireland.

So some time before the family moved to Portpatrick, Maltman, Beggs and Cosh were based somewhere in Ireland. I have recently heard from a specialist in Irish genealogy that there were only 4 Maltman householders in Ireland circa 1863, 3 in County Down and 1 in County Antrim. Furthermore, there were only two Cosh householders, both from the same parish in County Antrim. He also reported that Beggs is a Northern Ireland name and that many of the Beggs householders are also in Antrim. This is obviously the county of origin of the Maltman line in Ireland.

Elizabeth Beggs was born and raised during some interesting times. The French revolution had just taken place and as she grew up she must have heard about the rise and exploits of Napoleon Bonaparte perhaps knowing some of the men and boys who went on to take part in some of the many famous battles ending with the battle of Waterloo which took place when she would be around 20 years old. Also the building of the famous locomotive Puffing Billy by George Stephenson, around the same time, must have been a talking point in the streets of Portpatrick.

Without a male bread winner she must have struggled to bring up her family however by 1851 her son James was earning money as an apprentice Blacksmith and her daughters earned money as seamstresses. Elizabeth herself was employed as a rope maker. Things got worse by 1861 when she could no longer work and only Mary was still living with her making what she could as a general worker. Elizabeth Cosh her Daughter in law and John Maltman.s wife, was in similar shape.

Her husband was no longer in the household and only she and her cousin Agnes were able to make a living, as Pamper Seamstresses, to provide for 6 children all being described in the 1851 census as scholars. By 1861 the oldest child Alexander Maltman was to leave home to become a Forester in Currie.

Elizabeth Beggs and Elizabeth Cosh both lived to a ripe old age. The former dying in Portpatrick on the 1st June 1873 aged 86, the latter in Portglasgow, where she was being taken care of by her daughter Emily, on 12th May 1898 aged 87 though as I stated earlier the death certificate shows an age of 57 years. Her parents were James Cosh, Seaman and Sarah Templeton or Pentleton. James Cosh is described in Elizabeth Cosh's death certificate as a Sailor and in her sister Mary's, later to become Mary Campbell after marrying John Campbell, as a Sea Captain. James possibly died 29th November 1846 taken from an obituary in the Wigton Free Press " COSH, James - D29/11/1846 - At Donaghadee, Ireland, on the 29th ult., Mr James Cosh, mariner, aged 52 years. He was beloved and respected by all who knew him, and is now deeply regretted by a wide circle of friends and acquaintances". Donaghadee is a town in County Down situated on the east coast, about 18 miles from Belfast. It's harbour was designed to be deep enough for ships plying the 20-mile crossing of the Irish Sea to Portpatrick in south-west Scotland. For at least two centuries it served as the Irish end of the short sea passage with Portpatrick. James Cosh's daughter Elizabeth and John Maltman were to have a son Alexander who would take the Maltman line to the East of Scotland and the Edinburgh area.

Donaghadee Harbour

Alexander was born to John Maltman and Elizabeth Cosh on 29th November 1835 at Portpatrick. The oldest child of 5 children. He is recorded still living in Portpatrick with his mother in the 1861 census but moved to the Edinburgh area by 1857 where he married Issabella Herriot from Dewartown at Cranston Parish on 26th June 1857. On the marriage Certificate Alexander's father John is described as a Sailor. It is worth noting that John is not described as deceased.

Number 22/23 Dewarton

Cranston parish is located on the North East border of the old county of Edinburghshire containing the villages of Cousland, Edgehead and Ford. It is bounded North by Tranent, East by Ormiston, South by Borthwick and West by Dalkieth. Their Marriage Certificate states that both Alexander and Isabella were living at Dewarton, Borthwick. Borthwick parish is next door to Cranston containing the villages of Fushiebridge and Gorebridge. Dewarton is a village on the Vogre Estate in Borthwick parish 11/2 miles west of Ford. It is described in the Ordinance Survey Circa 1850 as a row of dwelling houses, the property of J Dewar Esq occupied by Colliers and Agricultural Labourers. In fact they are a row of cottages which still stand today though modernised. The cottage Issabella spent her childhood years, number 23, seems to have been swallowed up by either number 22 or 25 as the cottage numbering jumps from number 22 to 25 and former door entrances look to have been bricked up. Alexander is described as a Forester so the area was probably heavily wooded in 1857. A map of around this time shows a saw mill about 11/2 miles from the village.

The 1841 Census shows Issabella as a 3 year old living with her parents John and Ann at number 23 Dewarton along with sister Helen 15 and brothers Peter 8 and John 6. Ten years later in the 1851 survey they are still at Dewarton with an addition to the family George, now aged 9 years. Some time after this, probably around 5 years, Alexander arrives in Dewarton and meets Issabella where they were to get married.

I wonder why Alexander found himself in Dewarton. Portpatrick is a sea port and Alexander came from a line of seamen or people connected with the sea. Dewarton is a long way from Portpatrick and a good distance from any other port. Dewarton is also a tiny, almost inconspicuous, place and Alexander is unlikely to have had any knowledge of it while at Portpatrick. His chosen occupation as a forester in this part of Scotland seems to be against the odds. It also seems that Alexander made the move to the East on his own sometime between 1851 and 1857.

The 1861 census shows Alexander and Issabella living at Dewarton along with their son John aged 2. The document indicates that Alexander was born in Wigtown Portpatrick and Isabella as being born in Edinburgh, Borthwick. She was born to John Herriot, Road Contractor and Ann Porteous on 4th February 1838. John and Ann were married April / May 1833 at Borthwick. I could not find the death certificate of John Herriot but Anne Porteous died on the 5th March 1880 aged around 88 of general debility. Her parents were Peter Porteous and Issabella Sinclair., No other details are known.

By 1871 Alexander and Issabella had moved to Rosebank Cottage, Currie,A Foresters cottage about 100 meters from the local Currie Kirk. The cottage still stands today as part of a line of cottages, the others traditionally known to be occupied by farmers. Number 17, which is known as the Foresters Cottage, is still occupied by a retired Forester. In front is a field of a few acres which came with the Cottage and was probably farmed by Alexander for additional income and food. The 1871 survey reports that Alexander is still a Forester, the cottage probably came with the job. The local parish Kirk is situated as stated about 100 meters away.

Rosebank Cottage Currie

( Known locally as the Foresters Cottage )

The parish of Currie lies about 6 miles West of Edinburgh. It includes a tract of country from 5 to 6 miles in every direction, but its greatest extent is from East to West where it advances even to 9 miles in length. It may be considered as classic ground, being situated in the neighbourhood of that little romantic dale that formed the scene of the Gentle Shepherd, the favourite pastoral of the Scotch nation. From its name, (anciently Koria or Coria) it seems to have been one of those districts that still retain its ancient Roman appellation. The name of this parish also has probably given rise to the surname of Corrie or Currie, for anciently it was the practice of men of property to take their surnames from the lands they possessed, of which there are numerous examples in Scotland.

The 1871 census return shows the family has grown with the addition of Annie 9, Elizabeth 7 and Issabella 10 months. Alexander is born after the census on 26th September 1871 and by the 1881 Census Georgina and James have come along but John and Annie are both missing from this return. They would have been aged 22 and 19 respectively and may have taken up homes elsewhere. Young Alexander was to go on to continue our family line in Edinburgh.

Also reported on the 1881 return is William Maltman Walker aged 2 months , grandson of Alexander. He was born to Elizabeth, now 17, and William Walker, Sailor, at Rosebank Cottage on 18th January 1881. His birth was registered at the Parish of Currie and witnessed by a Jenifer Gun.

In the 1891 Census return for Currie Alexander senior is still described as a Forester aged 55 and young Alexander, aged 19, as a Farm Labourer. There is a new addition to the family Peter aged 9.

Issabella Herriot died age 75 on 28th March 1913 at Kinauld Cottage, Currie of Pnumonia. Alexander senior died aged 82 on 4th October 1918 at 21 Fingerwood Road, Newtongrange. His parents were described as James Maltman, Fisherman and Elisabeth Cosh. The death was reported by William Walker, grandson, of 15 Canal Cottages, Currie.

Young Alexander went on to marry Jane Burns Liddel of Treelands Parish, Ratho on 30 October 1891 at 10 Panmure Place, Edinburgh. Alexander is described as a Paper Maker on the Marriage certificate and probably worked at the Paper Mill in Currie which nestled in the valley where the Water of Leith flows a few hundred yard from Rosebank Cottage. The Paper Mill was in service up to the 1960's and is now demolished .

Jane Burns Liddel was born on 21st June 1868 at Carlowrie Parish of Dalmeny the Daughter of John Liddel, Ploughman and Christina Hogg married on 28th July 1865 at Colington Manse. As stated above Jane married Alexander junior in 1891 a national census year. This census return shows young Alexander aged 19 as a farm Laborer still living with his parents at Rosebank Cottage, Currie. It appears that Jane had been married before as the 1901 Census return shows the couple living at 27 Drum Brae Road, Corstorphine with step son James Liddel aged 16 along with their other children Christina 6, Alexander 4 and John 3. William Walker Maltman, my Grandfather, wasn't born till 1905 so missed this census return. Alexander has been variously described as Paper Maker, Ploughman, Farm laborer and Fisherman. He died on the 15th April 1953 aged 81 of Myracardial Degeneration at 75 Beacleugh Street, Edinburgh 6 years after his wife Jane who died 25th September 1947 aged 79 of Cerebral Trombosis also at 75 Beacleugh Street, Edinburgh.


To be continued..................... If anyone can add more information on this Maltman line please EMAIL wilmomedia@btinternet.com.

William Maltman