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Professor John (Old John) Shand
C.M.G., LL.D., M.A.
1834 - 1914

Notes on Alexander Shand and Isabella McKenzie

Alexander Shand, 1796-1876
Father of John Shand

John’s father, Alexander Shand, was a son of Alexander Shand and Elizabeth Taylor. He was born 7th January 1796 at Greens of Muirton in the parish of Drainie, Moray. From Drainie Old Parish Register, we have:


Alex’r Shand in Greens of Muirton had his lawful children by Elizabeth Taylor born 7th and baptised 10th January: the one named Alex'r witnesses Alex'r Russel Muirton, Alex'r Petrie Ballormie and Jane Sharp Muirton; the other named Elspet witnesses James Shand, smith and James Anderson both in Muirton and Elspet Russell Drainy.


The family show up first in the 1841 Census for Westertown, in the parish of Elgin:

1841 Census, Westertown, Elgin

By the time of the 1851 Census, most of the family were still living at Westertown and Alexander was listed as a farm steward:

1851 Census, Westertown, Elgin

By 1861, though, the family had moved to Pitgaveny Street, Lossiemouth (parish of Drainie) where is Alexander is now described as a general agent and only James, their youngest son, of the children is living at home with his parents:

1861 Census, Pitgaveny Street, Lossiemouth (parish of Drainie)

In 1871, the family are still living at Pitgaveny Street, and Alexander is still a general agent. This time, only Alexander and Isabella are listed:

1871 Census, Pitgaveny Street, Lossiemouth (parish of Drainie)

Alexander died on 23rd September 1876, aged 80 years. His death was announced in the Forres Gazette of 27th September 1876 (page 3):


Alex. Shand, commission agent, Shand Place, Branderburgh, died suddenly on Sunday evening. He was in his usual health, and following his ordinary occupation, and nothing unusual was apprehended. He dropped down in his garden walk, and expired suddenly. He was 80 years of age. For many years he was grieve to Colonel Hay of Westertown, near Elgin, and he has been about twelve years in Lossiemouth.


He is interred in Kinneddar Cemetery, Lossiemouth, the headstone reads:


Erected by his grateful children in memory of Alexander Shand who died at Lossiemouth 23rd Sept. 1876 aged 80 years. His son-in-law Walter Ross who died at sea March 1870 aged 45 years. His son James H M Shand who died at Glasgow August 19th 1873 aged 32 years, also Isabella McKenzie wife of Alexander Shand who died at Glasgow July 16th 1884 aged 84, interred here.


Isabella McKenzie, 1800-1884
Mother of John Shand

John’s mother, Isabella McKenzie, was a daughter of Donald McKenzie and Jane Forsyth. She was born 21st March 1800 at Monaughty in the parish of Alves, Moray. From Alves Old Parish Register, we have:


Isabella daughter to Donald McKinzie & Jean Forsyth in Monnaughty was born March 21st 1800 & baptized 23rd. Witnesses John Adam Monnaughty & Alex’r Oulton in Wester Alves.


On 18th June 1830, Isabella McKenzie married Alexander Shand, the marriage being recorded in Elgin Old Parish Register:


After being contracted and their matrimonial banns publicly intimated in the parish Church of Elgin were married at Kinloss by The Rev'd Mr Robertson. Alexander Shand, farm servant at Westerton, and Isabella McKenzie before a competent number of witnesses.


Outliving her husband, Isabella thus appeared in the 1881 Census, but now living with her grandson, daughter and two nieces at Bay View, Lossiemouth:

1881 Census, Bay View, Lossiemouth (parish of Drainie)

Isabella on 16th July 1884 died at 220 Hope Street, Glasgow, aged 84 years, and was interred in Kinneddar Cemetery, Lossiemouth (see above).

Alexander Shand, 1831/32-1902Brother of John Shand

Alexander Shand was John’s elder brother. From details found in census returns (see above, and below), we can work out he was born in 1831 or 1832, probably at Westertown, near Elgin.

By 1858, Alexander had move to Chorlton, Lancashire where, late that year there is the birth of a daughter named Jemima Margaret Hay Shand. Alexander did not marry the mother, Sarah Jones, until early the next year, 1859.

Alexander and Sarah had at least 11 children:


Jemima Margaret Hay Shand, 1858-1937
Jessie Ross Shand, 1860-
James Alexander Shand, 1861-
Alexander John Shand, 1863-1868
Julia Shand, 1866-1893
Edith Alice Shand, 1868-
John Alexander Shand, 1870-1881
Sarah Annie Shand, 1871-1881
Charles Edward Shand, 1874-1914
Elizabeth Alexandra Shand, 1875-1907
George Shand, 1880-1888
Isabella Shand, 1880-


By 1861, the family were living at 130 Bedford Street, Hulme, Manchester:

1861 Census, 130 Bedford Street, Hulme, Manchester

Moving on 10 years to the time of the 1871 census, the family are now living at 74 Gawthorpe Terrace, Blackburn and Alexander is no longer a banker’s clerk, he’s now a bank accountant:

1871 Census, 74 Gawthorpe Terrace, Blackburn

At the time of his father’s death in 1876, Alexander must have either been in or travelled to Lossiemouth. He is witness on the death certificate; he’s described there as a Bank Accountant, Manchester & Liverpool District Bank, Blackburn.

By 1881, the family had moved to 64 Whalley Road, Blackburn:

1881 Census, 64 Whalley Road, Blackburn

The family address in 1891 was 49 Bicknell Street, Blackburn:

1891 Census, 49 Bicknell Street, Blackburn


Alexander may have had a child in 1854 before leaving for England. The 1881 census return for his sister, Margaret (see below) includes Hellen Shand, a 16 year old boarder, banker’s daughter, born Miltonduff - that is, born 1854 or 1855.


Sarah died, aged 63, at Blackburn, Lancashire early in 1899; Alexander died, aged 71, at Stockport, Cheshire late in 1902.

Margaret Shand, 1836/37-1913
Sister of John Shand

Margaret Hay Shand was John’s only sister. From details found in 1841 & 1851 census returns (see above), we can work out she was born in 1836 or 1837, probably at Westertown, near Elgin.

On 1st February 1859, Margaret married Walter Ross, Shipmaster & Mariner (recorded in the parish of Drainie, Moray) and they seem to have had only one child:


George Ross, 1860-


Margaret and her son show up living in the village of Lossiemouth in the 1861 census returns for the parish of Drainie:

1861 Census, Village of Lossiemouth (Parish of Drainie)

Walter Ross does not show in these census returns, being a shipmaster he might well have been away from home on enumeration day.

Walter Ross died in March 1870, aged 45, drowned at sea; he was master of the ship or vessel Jack of Lossiemouth, captained by his brother George. The Forres Gazette of 11th May 1870 (page 3) carried the report:


Considerable anxiety is felt for the safety of the ship 'Jack' 300 tons, belonging to Mr Ferguson, East Grange, which left the Firth of Forth six weeks ago with coals for Copenhagen, and has not since been heard of. The 'Jack' is only four years old, and the captain, Mr George Ross, and crew, belong to Findhorn.


Walter Ross is commemorated by a monumental inscription in Kinneddar Cemetery, Lossiemouth (see above).

Interestingly, in the 1871 Census returns Margaret is described as, living on interest of money:

1871 Census, Port of Lossiemouth (parish of Drainie)

And by 1881 as a, bank stock holderv:

1881 Census, Bay View, Lossiemouth (parish of Drainie)

But in 1891 she’s only a milliner or dressmaker, living at 16 Muirhall Terrace, Kinnoul, Perthshire in the company of her nieces Julia and Edith A Shand (children of Alexander Shand & Sarah Jones):

1891 Census, 16 Muirhall Terrace, Kinnoull, Perthshire

In 1901 she’s living at Burmah Street, Ormeau, Down:

1901 Census, Burmah Street, Ormeau, Down

And in 1911 at Newington Avenue, Duncairn, Antrim:

1911 Census, Newington Avenue, Duncairn, Antrim

In neither set of returns does she have an occupation listed:

Margaret died, aged 74 years, on 23rd May 1913 at 20 East Hermitage Place, Leith. From the Elgin Courant of 30th May 1913 (page 1) we have:


Ross. At 20 East Hermitage Place, Leith (the residence of her son) on 23rd inst., Margaret Hay Shand, widow of Walter Ross, Shipmaster, Lossiemouth, aged 74 years.


James Shand, 1841-1873
Brother of John Shand

James Hay Mackenzie Shand, John’s younger brother, was born at Westertown, near Elgin, on 5th April 1841. From Elgin Old Parish Register, dated 20th April 1841, we have:


Alexander Shand, Grieve at Westerton, and Isabella MacKenzie, his spouse had a son (born 5th April 1841) baptised by The Rev'd Robert Dunbar named James. Witnesses James Petrie and James Macdonald


James shows up in the 1841 census, which was taken on 6th June that year, as 2 months old (see above).

Like his brothers Alexander & John, James was also educated in Elgin Academy; the Elgin Courier of 3rd July 1857 (page 3) tells us, like his brother John, he was awarded the Allan Reward for the best Mathematical Scholar. He was also awarded the McAndrew prize in Latin.

At the time of the 1861 census, James is still at home living with his parents at Pitgaveny Street, Lossiemouth where he’s listed as a student, aged 20, born in the parish of Elgin. In the University of Aberdeen, Roll of Graduates, 1860-1900 (page 479) he is listed as attaining his M.A. in 1863.

By 1871, though, he’d moved to 64 Oxford Street, Tradeston (which is in the Laurieston area of Glasgow) where he’s described as a lodger, aged 29, clerk of the 3rd class customs, born in the parish of Elgin.

James died at Glasgow, aged 32 years, on 19th August 1873 and is commemorated by a monumental inscription in Kinneddar Cemetery, Lossiemouth (see above).


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