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Charles Moffat and Jane Bowhill

Article about Charles Moffat and Jane Bowhill written by Marion Doidge.

by Marion Doige

With some certainty we can say that “our” Moffats came from the Borders, and that they were generally not landed nor wealthy folk. Between sketchy or nonexistent or inconsistent records, and the custom of using the same names over and over, there are errors and omissions in the history of the family; what follows below is the best I could do under the circumstances.

Charles Moffat (c1760 -18 May 1828) and Jane Bowhill (c1768-13? May 1841)

From a copy of the death certificate (obtained from New Register House in Edinburgh) of Charles Moffat (01 Apr 1804-07 July 1887) we know that his parents were Charles Moffat, farm servant, and Jane Bowhill, her surname not being plainly readable. However, various other sources such as parish death records and gravestone suggest that Bowhill is correct.

Old Parish Records (OPRs) indicate that Charles Moffat and Jane Bowhill were married in 1786. According to Robin Moffat, Charles was from Gordon Parish and Jane was from Lauder Parish, both in Berwick County, Scotland.

The proclamation of the banns was recorded on 19 June 1786 in the OPRs for Lauder
(OPR 748/1 ), found in the New Register House in Edinburgh. It is recorded that they “deposited one shilling for the poor.” Although it was more common for a wedding to take place in the bride’s parish, in the case of Charles and Jane, it appears they were married in his parish on 06 July 1786 at Gordon. (OPR 742/4).

Hazel Crammond, Secretary and Newsletter Editor of Clan Moffat UK and Eire, used International Genealogy Index (IGI) lists and Monumental Inscriptions (MIs) for Berwick to “find” the following family members of Charles and Jane Moffat:

  1. A daughter Janet Moffat , born to Charles Moffat and Jean Bourhill (sic), was baptized 18 May 1787 at Lauder, Berw. Possibly born 30 Apr 1787.
  2. A son Archibald Moffat, born to Charles Moffat, (no mother named) was baptized 24 July 1791 at Gordon , Berw. Born 24 Feb 1791?
  3. A son Thomas Moffat, born to Charles Moffat, (no mother named) was baptized
    17 Nov 1793 at Gordon, Berw.
  4. A son George Moffat, born to Charles Moffat (no mother named) was baptized
    13 April 1797 at Gordon, Berw.
  5. A daughter Ann Moffat, born c1801.
  6. A son, Charles Moffat, born to Charles Moffat and Jean Beverhill (sic) was born on 01 Apr 1804 at Eccles , Berw. Hazel Crammond located this entry in the Old Parish Register Index of births for Berwickshire. Ref. No.737/4. Jenny Hull found baptism record 12 April 1804.

From personal observation Robin Moffat, Jenny Hull and Hazel Crammond say that the gravestone of Charles and Jane is in the cemetery of St. Michael’s Parish in Gordon. Wording on the gravestone is hard to read due to weathering, but they saw a booklet in the church with the following information about the grave under listing #198:

"Charles Moffat, resident in Spottieswood, died 18 May 1508 (sic), aged 68 years."
(Spottieswood is in the parish of Westruther-3 miles south of Lauder.) Obviously, Charles could not have died in 1508. From close study of the gravestone and death records in July 2004, Gordon and Hazel Crammond’s best guess was that Charles died in 1828. This is a most reasonable suggestion. Jenny Hull confirmed 1828 after her visit to Gordon in 2005.
"Jane Bowhill his wife who died in Edinburgh 13 or 15 May 1841, aged 73 years."
The Crammonds wondered if Jane’s age at death was 75. We do not know how or why Jane was in Edinburgh at the time of her death. Visiting? Medical attention? Moved there?
Also George Moffat , his son, who died 31 Mar 1814, aged 19 years."
( Note if George was indeed 19 , he must have been born c1795. Also note his bp date was 13 April 1797.Sometimes children were not baptized straightaway.)

From MIs Hazel Crammond says the grave (No. 198) of Charles and Jane included the following children as well as the parents:

  1. George Moffat, died 31 Mar 1814, aged 19.
  2. Archibald Moffat, died 02 Apr 1828, age 37.
  3. Ann Moffat , died 17 Jun 1829 ,age 28.
  4. Thomas Moffat died 10 Aug 1829, age 35

The monumental inscription booklet for Gordon, Nenthorn and Westruther gives the details of the parents Charles and Jane together with George, Archibald, Ann and Thomas all included in inscription No. 198.

Charles Moffat 1804-1887 married Margaret Watson 1815-1887. See separate pages for them.


  • IGI indexes
  • Monumental inscriptions
  • Old Parish Records
  • Statutory Records-New Register House, Edinburgh
  • Hazel Crammond , sec Clan Moffat UK and Eire
  • Jenny Hull Norwich , England
  • Sandra McGinn
  • Robin Moffat

Compiled by Marion Doidge, 1141 North Hill Drive, Swift Current, SK. S9H 1X8

25 Jul 2005 Subject to revisions, additions, corrections 

Linked toDocument titled “Moffat Family”; Jane Bowhill; Ann Moffat; Archibald Moffat; Charles Moffat; Charles Moffat; George Moffat; Janet Moffat; Thomas Moffat

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