Ancestors of a 21st century British family

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  • ID: I131
  • Name: Alexander Russell
  • Suffix: 3rd of Montcoffer
  • Sex: M
  • Birth: 1723
  • Note: On portrait by Forbes
  • Death: 1798
  • Note: Portrait by Forbes says 1799
  • Residence: Moncoffer & Aden
  • Baptism: 3 JAN 1723 King Edward, Aberdeenshire, Scotland 1
  • Note: 2 2 3 4

    Only son.
    Sold Moncoffer 1752 to his cousin (by his mother, Katherine Skene), Lord Braco, afterwards Earl of Fife, and in 1758 purchased Aden from James Ferguson of Kinmundy and other estates in Aberdeenshire.
    ?Sale of the lands of Aden, Deir and Biffie? by the Fergusons was as a consequence of ?a runaway love-match by the young [Ferguson] laird?
    Portrait by Forbes has death date as 1799.

    Arms of Russell of Montcoffer were registered in 1778. (After sale of Montcoffer?)
    National Archives of Scotland has:
    GD36/48 Copy Crown precept of sasine in favour of Alexander Russell, now of Moncoffer, as heir male and of provision to Alexander Russell of Moncoffer, his father, in town and lands of Moncoffer or Coteholms, half of Mains of Moncoffer and others in parish of King Edward, sheriffdom of Aberdeen, and lands of Inverichnies and others in parish of Alva, sheriffdom of Banff 3 Apr 1744.
    IGI also has a George (see Alexander?s son George by Eliza Innes)
    In 1748 took the qualification to bear and use arms.
    [Lord Byron?s mother] Mrs Byron?s ... uncle Alexander Russell of Montcoffer had aided her as administrator when she was trying to stem the tide of her husband's debts.
    (Byron: A Biography?. by Leslie Alexis Marchand. 1957. Page 40.)
    See: The Pepys Ballads By Samuel Pepys, Hyder Edward Rollins, Harvard Univ Press, vol VI (?) page 19-21. Index reference to Russell of Montcoffer.
    Among the Duff House/Earls of Fife papers in Aberdeen UniversitySpecial Libraries and Archives is:
    Plan of Montcoffer (Moncoffer) Mains, the seat of Alexander Russel, Alvah parish. Surveyor: William Anderson. (145 cm x 7.5 cm)
    A curious echo of the note of dismay which Captain Byron struck among the Aberdeenshire gentry has come down to us in the shape of a diary kept by Alexander Russell, Mrs. Byron's cousin, the son of the
    co-commissioner on her estates. In this document, now owned by his grandson, the present laird of Aden, Russell describes a visit he paid the Byrons in September, 1785, when he was seventeen. Russell was " much struck by the extravagance of the establishment, and much impressed by the descriptions of fashionable society given by Captain Byron ". No doubt the gallant captain entertained the lad of seventeen to an account of his own amours including his flight with Lady Carmarthen ; while the exploits of old Q., who was then the man-about- town, would be related. Boys, however, will be boys, for the laird of Aden tells us that his grandfather joined in " dancing the lands of Gight awa' " to the sound of the pipes in the "ha'," which scandalised the ballad writer, and gives a graphic account of these merry meetings :
    He was also greatly edified, and not a little shocked, by seeing a copy of a recently published work, called La Nouvelle Heloise, which he discovered on Captain Byron's table, and which in no way harmonised with Tillotson's sermons, which, to judge by previous entries in his diary, had been the young man's favourite reading.
    He also relates how greatly alarmed he was one Saturday night lest wild Captain Jack should dance on into the Sabbath. He therefore retired to bed at 11.30, but, to his great relief, the reels left off before the clock struck midnight. It would appear that Mrs. Byron and her young son paid frequent visits to her aunt and uncle at Aden.
    The Aberdeenshire "gentry " could not tolerate Byron (the clash- ing of his reckless temperament with their cautious outlook on life must have been very comic), although he seems to have gone half way to
    meet them, by living at Gight and adopting his wife's name, by calling
    himself " John Byron Gordon ". Their repudiation of him was shown
    when he tried to vote in the Parliamentary election of February, 1786,
    when George Skene of Skene, backed by the Whig Duffs, offered him-
    self as member for Aberdeenshire against James Ferguson of Pitfour,
    the nominee of the Tory Gordons. Byron's vote was disallowed,
    although he put himself forward as " John Byron Gordon of Gight ".
    Very soon after this Mrs. Byron suffered further degradation.
    Unlike her mother, her grandmother, and her great-grandmother, she
    had no marriage settlement which shows how little she had profited by
    the Duff strain in her ; and her husband's creditors fell upon her income.
    The stocking was very soon emptied. The Aberdeen Bank shares went
    for 600. The timber on the estate was cut down and sold, to the
    amount of 1,500. Monkshill was sold in 1787 to James Hay of
    Brigend, Lord Aberdeen's factor, bringing in (with the superiority of
    the Dee fishings) 480. Meantime 8,000 had been borrowed on the
    Gight estate, and it too had to go Byron and his wife having left it for
    good in the summer of 1786, when they went to Hampshire in the first
    instance, and then to Cowes (not to France, as Moore makes out).
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  • OBJE:
  • FORM: jpg
  • FILE: ~/Documents/Ged Pics mstr/Russell, Alx 1723-99.JPG
  • Title: Russell, Alx 1723-99.JPG
  • _PRIM: Y
  • _SIZE: 1602.000000 2045.000000
  • Change Date: 16 AUG 2011

    Father: Alexander Russell b: 1697
    Mother: Catharine Skene b: 16 JAN 1701

    Marriage 1 Margaret ?Peggy? Hay
    • Married: 1747 in Banff 5
    1. Has No Children Alexander Russell b: 1748
    2. Has Children Helen Russell

    Marriage 2 Eliza Innes
    • Married: 1767
    • Note: On portrait by Forbes
    1. Has Children Alexander Russell b: 1768
    2. Has No Children James Russell
    3. Has No Children George Russell
    4. Has No Children Mary Russell
    5. Has Children Anna Russell b: 1770

    1. Text: IGI
    2. Type: Book
      Periodical: Burke?s LG
      Date: 1875
    3. Type: Book
      Periodical: A Book of the Parish of Deer
      Author: Alexander Lawson, Minister of Deer
      Publication: Free Press, Aberdeen
      Date: 1896
    4. Type: Book
      Periodical: The Gordons of Craig
      Author: John Malcolm Bulloch
      Publication: 1900
    5. Type: Book
      Periodical: The Annals of Banff
      Page: Extract from Banff marriage registers
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