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Thread: Cormack Ancestors - Roadside, nr Wick Caithness

  1. #1

    Default Cormack Ancestors - Roadside, nr Wick Caithness

    Hello
    This is a long, long long shot inquiry and I hope somebody can help. Family hearsay is that my branch of the Cormack Family, at some stage (don't know when) moved from Caithness to London. My family have lived in London since at least 1730 and my 5th great grandfather, John William Cormack was living at 8 Whitechapel Road,Bermondsey in London. His name, and that of his wife Jane appears on the baptism records of his son John born in 1762. He is also listed in Desmond (Dictionary of British and Irish Botanists and Horticulturalists). John William was a nurseyman with land at North Road, Whitechapel. Over the next 100 years and over 4 generations, the Cormacks built up an acclaimed Nursery and seeds business on 40 acres of land at New Cross, near Deptford on the outskirts of London. They opened the first flower shop in Covent Garden and developed a range of grass seeds that greatly improved the productivity of permanent pasture and the fattening of cattle and sheep and the production of Milk. In 1788 the business Cormack and Son was joined by a Mr Crombie as a partner. In 1827, Mr Sinclair became another partner who had been head gardener to the Duke of Bedford. Both Mr Crombie and Mr Sinclair came from Caithness. We have not been able to trace the timing of the family move from Scotland to London which is a source of great frustration. It would have been helpful if we knew if John William spoke with a Scottish or English accent! I have reached a brick wall and any further knowledge that I can gain through the Caithness Forum will be greatly appreciated.

    David Cormack

  2. #2

    Default John William Cormack

    Quote Originally Posted by djcormack View Post
    Hello
    This is a long, long long shot inquiry and I hope somebody can help. Family hearsay is that my branch of the Cormack Family, at some stage (don't know when) moved from Caithness to London. My family have lived in London since at least 1730 and my 5th great grandfather, John William Cormack was living at 8 Whitechapel Road,Bermondsey in London. His name, and that of his wife Jane appears on the baptism records of his son John born in 1762. He is also listed in Desmond (Dictionary of British and Irish Botanists and Horticulturalists). John William was a nurseyman with land at North Road, Whitechapel. Over the next 100 years and over 4 generations, the Cormacks built up an acclaimed Nursery and seeds business on 40 acres of land at New Cross, near Deptford on the outskirts of London. They opened the first flower shop in Covent Garden and developed a range of grass seeds that greatly improved the productivity of permanent pasture and the fattening of cattle and sheep and the production of Milk. In 1788 the business Cormack and Son was joined by a Mr Crombie as a partner. In 1827, Mr Sinclair became another partner who had been head gardener to the Duke of Bedford. Both Mr Crombie and Mr Sinclair came from Caithness. We have not been able to trace the timing of the family move from Scotland to London which is a source of great frustration. It would have been helpful if we knew if John William spoke with a Scottish or English accent! I have reached a brick wall and any further knowledge that I can gain through the Caithness Forum will be greatly appreciated.

    David Cormack
    Hello David
    Unfortunately I cannot answer your big question as I have reached the same brick wall. My sister and I have been working on this for a number of years. As you know, there is a wealth of information from the end of the 1700s through to the demise of the nursery business around the middle of the 1800s but prior to that it is very thin. If my memory serves me correctly, Ray Desmond links John William to 8 Whitechapel so I am interested to see that you refer to his address as 8 Whitechapel Road, Bermondsey. My sister found a deed in the Bethnal Green Library where John (junior, we believe) gave his birthplace as Roadside. We thought this was the Scottish link until we found out that 'Roadside' also referred to part of the Whitechapel Road' from its start at Aldgate up to the point where Brady Street joins. So it made sense to us that John junior was born at 8 Whitechapel (Road) - which is in Stepney, not Bermondsey.


    You say that John William had land at North Road Whitechapel. I'm pretty sure that the North Road you refer to pinpoints the site of the nursery in New Cross. North Road in St Pauls, New Cross became Goodwood Road at a later date and this is exactly where the nursery used to be. I found a map of 1833 which actually shows the site of the nursery in New Cross.


    I know that the Cormacks were, and are, 'big' in Caithness but I was told from a very early age that we hailed from the Isle of Skye. Perhaps this refers to even further back in time or was just a fanciful bit of embroidery. However I did establish that the ratio of Cormacks in Portree to the total population of Portree(capital town of Skye) was 46 times higher than the equivalent for ratio for Glasgow.
    My link is me (Roger) 1947 Donald 1916 Harold 1874 Cecil Bratt 1846 William 1813(?) William 1782 John 1762. We didn't have this date of 1762 so thank you for that. My sister estimated it as 1760 ish.


    I would be interested to compare notes and to see how 'closely' we may be related.
    Regards
    Roger Cormack

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Wick, now England (maiden name -MORE)
    Posts
    481

    Default

    I have Cormack from Caithness - like so many others in here.
    My earliest direct line is Magnus Cormack b c 1717 in Orkney and he moved to Caithness where he had a son Magnus my 4 x g grandfather.
    Many of the family moved south to various parts but I can't help further.

    here is a page with Caithness and Orkney Cormack births. http://www.cursiter.com/txt-exe-files/Cormack.txt there is also one with Marriages . http://www.cursiter.com/txt-exe-files/Cormamar.txt I note there are some early marriages of John to a Janet/Jane. pre 1730... just a thought!

  4. #4

    Default

    Hello Roger
    Your reply to my inquiry is much appreciated. It is a small world. My brother, Tony, who emigrated to Perth Australia some 23 years ago was researching our family history when he came across an inquiry from your sister Carol asking if "there was anybody out there who is related to Cecil Bratt Cormack. They corresponded quite intensively during 2004/05 and shared a great deal of information. Your grandfather, Arthur Harold and my grandfather, Cecil Frank were brothers. Your father, Donald and my father, Harold Owen were first cousins and that makes you and I second cousins. I live in Southport and was born in 1937. The Scottish origins of our family remains a mystery. I was aware that your father was of the opinion that our family originated on the Isle of Skye. I am aware that the two partners who joined John Cormack's (1762-1837) nursery, Mr Crombie and Mr Sinclair came from Caithness. The connection with Roadside Whitechapel, in Caithness is uncanny. My brother has also researched the family tree of Mary Ann Sutherland (Wife of Cecil Bratt) and found that the Sutherland's in her ancestry originated in Stromness in Orkney. Her grandfather (1788-1857)and great grandfather (1766-1845) were both born in Stromness but died living in Southwark and buried in St. Olave church (as was John Cormack). Perhaps John William and his parents made a similar move from Stromness to London - but who knows. I have fully documented the period of 1762 up to the present.

    I have received one other reply in which writer is a Cormack living in Caithness who informs me that her 4th great grandfather was born in Stromness and moved from there to live in Caithness.

    Nice to make your acquaintance. My e-mail is djcormack@hotmail.co.uk. If you would like to forward your e-mail address then I can contact you should I uncover any further information re. our ancestors prior to 1750.

    Kindest regards

    David

  5. #5

    Default

    Hello Tricia

    Thank you for replying to my inquiry. I will certainly explore the Cormack birth and marriage sites you have highlighted. My 5th Great Grandfather would have been born around 1740 and married around 1760. It is interesting that your ancestors originate from Orkney. My great grandfather (born 1846) married Mary Ann Sutherland in 1868 in London. However, Mary Anne's grandfather and great grandfather were both born in Stromness in Orkney(1788 and 1766 respectively) but died whilst living in London. If I have no luck researching in Caithness then I might extent my research to Orkney. I will keep you posted.

    Many thanks for contacting me

    Kindest regards

    David

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