Fàilte! (Welcome!)

Fàilte! (Welcome!)
This blog is the result of my ongoing research into the people, places and events that have shaped the Western Isles of Scotland and, in particular, the 'Siamese-twins' of Harris and Lewis.
My interest stems from the fact that my Grandfather was a Stornowegian and, until about four years ago, that was the sum total of my knowledge, both of him and of the land of his birth.
I cannot guarantee the accuracy of everything that I have written (not least because parts are, perhaps, pioneering) but I have done my best to check for any errors.
My family mainly lived along the shore of the Sound of Harris, from An-t-Ob and Srannda to Roghadal, but one family 'moved' to Direcleit in the Baighs...

©Copyright 2011 Peter Kerr All rights reserved

Monday, 28 June 2010

The Bousfield/Thomas Family of London & Leith

This is a summary of the 12 members of these two families that came together in 1827 when the widower George Thomas and the widow Elizabeth Dingley were married. The wedding of only-child Frances Sarah Thomas Bousfield to eldest-child Frederick William Leopold Thomas in 1841 further strengthened the bond. Where a range of dates is given, or a '?' shown, I have been unable to establish the event with certainty but I am reasonably confident that the two Thomas children for whom I can only find their Birth recorded died, probably in infancy, not least as their names were each used for a second time.

GEORGE THOMAS (b. 1780s?- d.1846?)
PRISCELLA FRIMBLY (b.? - d. 1825-27

GEORGE WILLIAM BOUSFIELD (b. 1798 - buried. 9 Mar 1823 St Peter, Frimley, Surrey)
ELIZABETH DINGLEY (b. 1798 - d. poss1852)

The Thomas's had six children, the Bousfield's just one, and only one grandchild.
All twelve people are listed here by the year of their Death:

George Howard Thomas b. 12 Jan 1814 d. ?
Ellen Dinah Thomas b. 1819 d. ?
PRISCELLA FRIMBLY b. ? d 1825-27
GEORGE THOMAS b 1780s d. 1846?
George Hurd Thomas b. 1820 d. 1848 Single
George Bousfield Thomas b1844 d 1850 Rose Cottage, Trinity, Leith
ELIZABETH DINGLEY b. 1798 d. 1852?
Ellen Sarah McBain (MS Thomas) b. 1825 d. 1877 North Leith
(James McBain b 1808 Kirriemuir d. 1879 North Leith) No children
Frederick William Leopold Thomas b. 2 May 1816 d. 1885 Rose Park, Trinity North Leith
Frances Sarah Thomas Beckett (MS Bousfield) b. 1821 d. 1902 Craighouse, Edinburgh
(m. 1st FWL Thomas m. 2nd James Flowers Beckett 1902, who had no children)
Georgiana Martha Thomas b. 1823 d. 1904 Newington, Edinburgh Single
(1901 28 Sciennes Road, Newington, Edinburgh)

It does seem remarkable to me that in less than 90 years both of these family lines had ended but as only three of the children married (and only one of these outside of the two the families) perhaps it is not altogether surprising. James McBain had been George Thomas's Surgeon on HMS Mastiff and very likely with him when he died but, despite marrying into the family, he left no issue. Frances Sarah, when she remarried, chose a man she had known since early on in her many years living in Edinburgh but he too died childless. There are a couple of nieces that might prove a link to the present but otherwise Georgiana's death in 1904 marked the end.

However, the work they left behind them in the form of pioneering hydrographic surveying, archaeological investigations and supporting the development of Harris Tweed, Stocking Knitting, the building of the Free Church at Tarbert and the Manish Victoria Cottage Hospital should ensure that their memories will live on...

Note: Summary of the seven children in order of their Birth:
George Howard Thomas1814-? No further record
Frederick W L Thomas 1816-1885 Married Frances
Ellen Dinah Thomas 1819-? No further record
George Hurd Thomas 1820-1848 Single
Frances Sarah Bousfield 1821-1902 Married Frederick
Georgiana Martha Thomas 1823-1904 Single
Ellen Sarah 1825-1877 Married James McBain – No children


  1. Wonderful account. Thank you very much. George William Bousfield was my 2xgreat-grandfather's brother. I'll be getting back to you once I've taken it all in. I'm related to

  2. Sorry about the above - I meant I'm related to Fanny! I could hardly be related to myself!!!

  3. Hi Gillian,
    Many thanks for your kind words and for getting in touch.
    I would love to learn more from you so would you please contact me by email sometime?
    All the best,