Alexander and Isobel

       (ca1740-after 1812)            (1 January 1747-12 November 1812)

If you wander through Broughty Ferry’s Old Graveyard, just over the road from the waters of the Firth of Tay, you will find headstones erected by Robt Kid (1711-)(CR) and Alex Anderson (CR) for their respective wives, Margaret Webster (1717-1784)(CR) and Isobel Kid (CR), and the children who pre-deceased them. Well, you might not find both of them. Josephine and I found the headstone for Isobel but not for Margaret although we suspected it may be been one put to the side (under a tree against the river side wall).

Alex Anderson head stone.png
BF old burial ground map.jpg

Isobel's headstone

Margaret's headstone

By Alex Anderson shipmaster Broughty Ferry, w Isobel - - - - 12.11.1812 65 & two of their chn

Erected by Robert Kid Shipmaster of North

Ferry (in) Memory of Margaret Webster His

late spouse who died 20th December 1784,

aged 68 And his son, Robert, 7th June 1763

at 111/4.

Survived 1785, Isobel, Margret, Thomas and William Kid

Now she for whom this stone is laid was

in virtue ever steady/When asked the reason

for her hope Had ay the answer ready.

Tho’ silent and forgotten here, She smoulders with the clod.

The day will dawn, a voice she’ll hear, say, Come and meet your God.


(reverse side)

Images and texts used by permission: Friends of Dundee City Archives


Alexander and his father-in-law, Robert, were shipmasters at a time when Broughty Ferry was a small maritime community, long before its transformation in the C19th into an enclave of the rich and a holiday playground for the rest. There is a sizeable number of shipmasters in the graveyard records. Shipmasters could be wealthy men or, presumably, not so much, depending on the size and number of their ships, what their ships carried, and what financial interest they had in their cargo. I have found nothing, as yet, to indicate what spot on the spectrum Alexander and Robert occupied.

Scotland’s People finds eight Alexander Andersons born in Angus between 1735-1745. The closest to 1740 was baptised in the

parish of Rescobie, 19.5 miles from Broughty Ferry on 12 December 1738. His father’s name was John, which was also the name of our Alexander’s eldest son. According to Scottish naming traditions, the firstborn son is named after his paternal grandfather but that’s a tenuous link to a definitive identification. Another possibility is the one born in Dundee (including its satellite villages and parishes such as Broughty Ferry) in 1743 to Alexander Anderson and Margaret Doig. Of course, the births of many children were never registered at all.  

Alexander and Isobel married in Dundee on 8 August 1765. I originally reported they had at least five children but I can

confidently identify only two and even then I have no definitive link to son James other then circumstantial evidence from ScotlandsPeople, naming traditions, and the relationship being recorded by several families (including the Websters and Kidds) on The dubious Celtic Royalty Register also records the lineage.

With no confirmation of Alexander's parentage, it is through Isobel that I have traced our earliest known ancestry. Her

grandfather was Thomas Kid (1690-1750); I haven’t found any certification but suggests his wife was Isobel Asplen. This couple married in Dundee the year before Isobel’s father, Robert, was born in 1711. Robert Kid married Margaret Webster and their first daughter was named Isobel. This suggests that may be right and Thomas Kid and Isobel Asplen were her grandparents. An Issobell Assplen (parents John Aspen and Mart. Couper) was baptised on 22 March 1690 in the parish of Mains and Strathmartine, a parish abutting the north border of Dundee, but this is not enough for me to claim this person as an ancestor. We're on somewhat stronger ground with Isobel's other grandparents, assuming you can follow the below chart.

With a bit of luck, Captain William Kid, the pirate, born in Dundee in 1645, was somewhere in Isobel’s line; much preferable to

the royalty people often ask if I've found in my research.

Captain William Kidd, pirate



Thomas Watsone - Christen Cargioll       James Lanceman - Margaret ?    

  (ca 1580-)               (ca 1580-)                (ca1610)         (ca 1611-)         



                Elspeth Watsone - David Lanceman              Andrew Webster - Jean/Jane Mill

                     (1631-)               (ca 1631-)                       (ca 1636-)        (1630-1680)



                               Margaret Lanceman                  James Webster

                                    (1660-1725)                            (1661-)



                                                             Andrew Webster - Christian Smith

                                                                 (1685-)              (no dates)



                                                  Robert Kid   - Margaret Webster

                                                (1711-1784+)     (1717-1784)



                                   Alexander Anderson - Isobel

                                     (ca 1740-1812+)  (1747-1812)