Skip to content

#AtoZChallenge: U – Urquhart Rebecca

April 26, 2022

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is an annual challenge put out to bloggers, to publish a post from A-Z, every day in April, except for Sundays. April 1 is A, and so on throughout the month. Participants can post on a chosen theme or do random posts with no theme at all. The theme I have chosen for 2022 is Family Stories. I have done this theme before, but this time, I’m choosing to research people who are more distantly related family members.

Rebecca Urquhart

Rebecca URQUHART gave birth to a son out of wedlock, named Duncan MORISON. My second great grand uncle Duncan MORISON was named as the father. . It appears that Rebecca gave her child to the Morison family to raise. This post is to record information that has been found. It is nowhere near the entire story of Rebecca URQUHART.

John Morrison

John MORISON was born on 4 July 1857, at Glenelg, Inverness Shire, Scotland. The birth certificate records that his name was originally Duncan and was changed to John on 20 July 1857. His birth was recorded as being illegitimate.
The father’s name was given as Duncan MORISON, archdeacon of Kintail. The mother was Rebecca URQUHART.

1851 Census

At the time of the 1851 census, Rebecca was about 15 years old and living with her mother and two siblings. Also present were two lodgers, Mary MacRAE, nurse , and Duncan MacRAE, farm servant.


When the 1871 census was taken on Sunday 2 April, John was 13 years old and staying with his uncle, Alexander MORISON, who was the census registrar. Alexander was a bachelor, and it appears that he took responsibility for his brother’s child.


When the 1881 census was taken on Sunday 3 April, John was 24 years old and with his grandmother Janet MORISON at the Leckachan Wester Private Hospital. His occupation was given as Farmer’s son.


When the 1891 census was taken on Sunday 5 April, John was 34 years old and staying with his uncle Alexander MORISON, and his aunt Jane MORISON, at Leckachan Wester. His occupation was given as postmaster.

Death of John Morison

John MORISON died aged 34 years, on 18 December 1891 at Glenshiel, Ross Shire, Scotland. On the death certificate he was stated to be illegitimate. Parents: Duncan MORISON, retired farmer and Rebecca URQUHART, Domestic Servant.
Cause of death was chronic asthma and heart disease.
Informant: Alexander MORISON, uncle. Registrar: Alexander MORISON. Alexander is John’s uncle.

Death of Rebecca Urquhart

Rebecca URQUHART died at age 75, on April 19, 1918 at Inveraray in the district of Glengarry, in the county of Inverness, Scotland. Rebecca never married and was described as a retired domestic servant. Rebecca’s parents were John URQUHART and Catherine URQHART, maiden name MacRAE.


1857 MORISON, JOHN (Statutory registers Births 097/1 16), Scotlands People
1891 MORISON, JOHN (Statutory registers Deaths 067/ 3), Scotlands People
1851, URQUHART REBECCA, (Census 097/1/18, Page 18, Scotlands People
1871 Census Parish: Glenshiel; ED: 2; Page: 1; Line: 4; Roll: CSSCT1871_12. 1871 Scotland Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2007.
1881 Census: Parish: Glenshiel; ED: 2; Page: 1; Line: 6; Roll: cssct1881a_103237. 1881 Scotland Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2007.
1891 Census: Parish: Glenshiel; ED: 2; Page: 1; Line: 2; Roll: CSSCT1891_18 1891 Scotland Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2007.

Graham Sleeth, family researcher

The official images for the A to Z Challenge in 2022 are in memory of the late Jeremy Hawkins, the official badge designer since the the first challenge.

©2022 copyright. All rights reserved

  1. Sounds like a short, sad life for John Morison. I know someone whose surname is the same spelling (one s) which is unusual.

  2. It’s interesting that Rebecca never married. I’m a bit confused. Was Janet Morison, John’s grandmother, Rebecca’s father’s mother? Kintail looks beautiful but of course is very remote. Have you ever seen the movie Breaking the Waves? It’s not easy viewing (stars Emily Watson) but gave me a sense of the religious community in the highlands.

    • Hi Alex thanks for telling me about Breaking The Waves. I’ll try to get hold of it as I haven’t seen it. Janet Morison was John’s grandmother, his father’s mother.

  3. What a sad story for John/Duncan carrying the illegitimate tag all his life. At least he seems to have had some connection with his father’s family. I wonder what the Kirk sessions may have had to say about this event given he was an archdeacon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

And Anyways...

Author, Baker, Sunrise Chaser

Barroworn Succulents

Succulents, Geraniums, Iris and much more. All grown on our local property

Kerryn's Kin

A Tribute to my ancestors by Kerryn Taylor

Next Phase In Fitness & Life

Over 60 and living my best life

'Genealogists for Families' project

Family History and Genealogy


Family History and Genealogy

Western District Families

Family history from the Western District of Victoria, Australia

%d bloggers like this: