The addition of the mother's maiden name to the historic Scottish birth indexes (from 1855) on ScotlandsPeople certainly makes it easier to find extended family members.
It's been five years since the General Register Office in England added the maiden name to the English and Welsh births (1837-1910). I wrote about using these indexes here to solve mysteries.
Introducing Walter Baxter
A line that I had done a little work on was Walter Baxter born 1858, Bothwell, Lanarkshire, Scotland, younger brother of my ancestor Thomas Baxter.
When I was last looking at this branch of the family it was because of finding an Euphemia Gibb Baxter in New Zealand. Euphemia Gibb is the mother of Thomas Baxter (and Walter of course) and so I was pretty sure it couldn't be a co-incidence to have that combination of names.
In trying to trace Euphemia Baxter I had written a couple of notes in my family tree program (Brother's Keeper), that she may be the daughter of Walter Gibb.
Purchasing her birth certificate proved that and also gave me her mothers name and the date of her parents marriage.
And that's as far as I ventured on this part of the family tree.
So let's have a look with the new search facilities and find out more about the family.
Searching the Scotland Birth Indexes
After logging into ScotlandsPeople I selected a search of the Statutory registers and within that collection a search of the Births.
In the search screen I entered a Surname of Baxter and a Mother's maiden name of Mongomerie and clicked on Search and these were my results.
You can tell from the green button beside Euphemia's line that I've already bought that certificate - so handy to prevent duplicate purchases.
But it looks like I've also found an elder brother for Euphemia, John Montgomerie Baxter born in 1884.
Looking at what I now have, Walter and Isabella married in 1881 in Larkhall, Lanarkshire. They have John in 1884 and Euphemia in 1891 - that seems a big gap between marriage and children's births. Montgomerie also appears to be a name that could be spelt in multiple ways. So let's try that search with Montgomery as the Mother's maiden name.
Those top few look like possibilities. James born in 1882 in Larkhall, follows on from his parent's marriage in Larkhall in 1881. Then three births in Dalziel which is where John and Euphemia's births were registered, so also good possibilities.
Note: The bottom list of names (that I've privatised as they may still be alive) have no mother's maiden names as they are considered "modern day birth records".
So to summarise, so far I have children: James (1882), John Montgomerie (1884), Margaret Kerr (1886), Euphemia Gibb (1891), Finlay McDonald (1893) and Donald McKillop (1896).
At this stage some census research is well worth it. Children, John, Finlay and Donald don't appear in either the 1891 or 1901 census records and sadly I was able to find their deaths in the death indexes.
Using the Search options for the mother's maiden name made this easier (as is also something you can do in the birth search).
The 1901 census also showed another son, John Baxter, born c1899 in Motherwell, Lanarkshire, Scotland, that I hadn't found previously.
So, it's back to searching again.. .does research ever end?
Well maybe research at least needs to pause so that you can share it with other family members. Have a look at the ideas in the Plan to Publish programme.