Following a request for help from someone in Australia, I went back to a branch of the family I had not looked at for several years. Let me put Robert Sim into his place in my family.
Robert Sim was the son of my great great great grandparents, William Sim and Jane Jaffray; you will find him on the family trees section of this website in the family of William (grandfather). I had traced his birth and death but had not tried to expand this section of the tree. However, the new information that was sent to me revealed that Robert had been a schoolmaster at Stonehaven and was known as Rev Robert Sim in the 1841 census. I checked the records of Aberdeen University and found that Robert had graduated in 1815.
Robert married and had two daughters, Jane and Eliza, and a son, Robert. By 1851 Robert snr is a widower – but he had fathered an illegitimate son, James, who later went to Australia and was therefore the basis of the family who had contacted me.
Jane married and had six children; Ann Easton Thomson was born 1863 and I have traced her to the 1891 census; Edith Jane Thomson was born 1865 and I know she died in 1906; Eliza Katherine Thomson was born in 1868 and I am sure she died in 1949; William Alexander Thomson was born in 1873 and died in 1937; David Easton Thomson was born in 1876 and I cannot trace him beyond 1891; Jane Sim Thomson was born in 1879 and died in 1951. I have not found any issue into another generation from this family. Eliza did not marry.
What happened to Robert Sim jnr, born in 1844? He is mentioned in a newspaper report of a picnic for young people in August 1860, when he would have been 16 years of age. I have not found him in the 1861 census, or in any later Scottish records. He is not listed as a graduate of Aberdeen University. What happened to him? Where did he go? I have found someone who might be him in US records – but is this the correct person and did he have any family who may still be alive?