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Gentlemans Servant - William Boyd


New member
Hi all,

Apologies if this is posted in the wrong thread - feel free to correct it.

I've been working on my paternal lineage for the past couple of years and keep returning to the same wall. I've traced my family back to a William Boyd (1) born in Ayr in 1799. His parents were William Boyd (2) , a Gentlemans Servant, and Janet Manson. The record is also listed as William (1) being born "nat" to William (2) which I believe means they were not married.

I was hoping there may be a record of William (2) in some sort of servant tax record or something but ironically the only ones I can find go from 1777 - 1798 and the only known date I have (above) is him in 1799. So it may just miss out.

William (1) has records in the Galston census right up until his death in 1881. There is no mention of mother or father on the certificate. Only that he was born in 1799 in "Ayr, Ayrshire" and by process of elimination and using naming patterns I am almost certain that the birth record I have is correct.

My primary aim is to find out the birth, death and parents of William (2) so I can continue the line back.

So, my question is basically does anyone have any suggestions for me as to where to look for records of William (2)? I'm struggling to find any deaths in Ayr or Galston that match up.

And secondly are there any historians that can tell me a little bit more about the role of Gentlemans Servant? As in what ages were most common, could they still marry, would he be able to up and leave at any point and change occupation and so on...

I really appreciate the help with this! If anyone fancies having a crack at finding anything out it would be most welcome.

To be honest, the only real choice is............. https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/ . You can do basic search, but to see any original documents you will need to purchase credits. 30 credits cost £7.50. You can buy a larger quantity if you wish, but the credits aren't any cheaper the more you purchase.
Depending on which records you need see, it may 2 credits, or possibly 3. The credits can be soon gobbled up, if you are thin on information when you search.
Charges; https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/content/our-charges

If find you the correct records, you can download them. If the image isn't clear enough, you can ask for re-scan for free.

I have moved your thread to Scottish Genealogy Roots.(y)

Thanks, Steve.

I've already sunk quite a lot into Scotlands People but nothing concrete to confirm anything.

I'm currently looking at other Boyds in Galston to see if there are any potential siblings for William (2) as a reason why William (1) moved there.