Surname Saturday

Surname Saturday – Bain

The ancestor in my tree with this surname was Isobell Bain.

The ancestral line is

1 My ex-husband

2 Murray Irwin Willis (1931-1964)
3 Shirley Patricia Casey (1935-2013)

4 Thomas Arthur Willis (1900-1957)
5 Dorothea Isabella Sinclair Smith (1904-1979)

10 Thomas Mansfield Smith (1873-1935)
11 Louisa May Clyne (1881-1949)

22 David Clyne (1825-1896)
23 Isabella Kerr (1837-1896)

44 David Clyne (1787-1866)
45 Elizabeth Sinclair (1803-1890)

50 James Sinclair (1760-?)
51 Elizabeth Meiklejohn (1764-?)

102 John Meiklejohn (1736-?)
103 Margaret Sinclair (1730-?)

204 John Meiklejohn (1714-?)
205 Hellen Water (1700-?)

408 John Meiklejohn (b ca. 1670-)
409 Isobell Bain (b ca. 1670)

Before preparing today’s post, I had her name as Isabel Burn.  In preparation for this post, I decided to confirm the marriage entry, and try and see if there were any earlier entries for the Meiklejohn family in Caithness, since the earliest entry I had in my tree was the marriage of John Meiklejohn to Isobell in 1698.  It was when checking on ScotlandsPeople that I found the index listed her as Isobell Bain.

I downloaded the image of the parish register, and found that the name could have been either Burn or Bain.

So, I decided to look for any baptism entries for an Isobell Burn on FamilySearch, and there were no results in the Historical Records.  There were, however, a few possibilities for Isobell Bain:

  • Isobell Baine christened 14 August 1662 at Thurso, Caithness, Scotland, father Donald Baine.
  • Isabell Bain christened 31 January 1676 at Thurso, Caithness, Scotland, father William Bain
  • Isobell Baine christened 27 June 1681 Thurso, Caithness, Scotland, father Robert Baine
  • Isobell Baine christened 7 December 1681 at Thurso, Caithness, Scotland, father Wm. Baine
  • Isobell Bayne christened 26 February 1665 at Canisbay, Caithness, Scotland, father Adam Bayne

In my research on the Meiklejohn family, the name Adam doesn’t appear, and the name Robert only started appear in the 1800s, so I can probably disregard these two entries. The first William I found in my database was born in 1760.

The following are the only baptisms in Caithness between 1698 and 1720 for the surname Meiklejohn (using wildcards M*k*l*j*n* to pick up variations).


It therefore appears that the most likely baptism was for Isobell Baine in 1662, father Donald Baine, however, when checking the Condition of the original registers section on the FamilySearch Wiki for Thurso, Caithness, Scotland Genealogy, there are gaps in the registers for this period of time:

Births: No entries exist for October 1648-August 1660, February-August 1663, August 1666-October 1670, June 1696-November 1699, May 1706-Sep 1713, March 1718-May 1721, November 1725-May 1726, and August 1743-January 1744. Only two entries exist between March 1748 and November 1755.
Marriages: There are no entries between June 1675-June 1684, November 1695-December 1697, October 1704-October 1707, February 1713-February 1721, July 1733-April 1736, and July 1747-May 1782.

There therefore may have been another Isobell Bain born between 1666 and 1670, and John and Isobell may have had more children between 1706 and 1713.  Since I can’t determine which baptism entry is for my Isobell, I haven’t been able to trace this family any further back at this time.