William Runciman1

(circa 1804 - 28 Dec 1858)
Father*Thomas Runciman (m. Jean SIMPSON)2 (circa Jul 1762 - bet. 1841 - 1851)
Mother-Poss*Jean Simpson2 (bet. 1756 - 1761 - bet. 1841 - 1851)


     Does a tailor become a hind? Are there two families here or one?
With the differences in occupation I had doubts about my identification of these family connections, however "reasonable" they seemed when I first made them.
My answer is now yes, as at least the son of a taylor does indeed become a hind/land steward. I had the answer all along, the death cert. of son John clearly shows his father (John married to Marion Weatherly) as a land steward.

The tailor connection:
1783: Thomas Runciman and Jean Simpson marry in Haddington, Thomas a taylor, (recorded in the Dunbar OPR)
1784: John, son of Thomas and Jean (Simpson), taylor at Broxburn born/baptised
This John is linked to the one married to May/Marion Weatherly through the latter 's marriage which gives John's father as Thomas, albeit with no occupations listed for either father or son.
An earlier Thomas was a tailor, eg 1770 bap. Alexander s/o Thomas and Barbara Wallis - which latter surname features as a witness somewhere (yet to be refound)

The farming connections (which may or may not indicate a different family despite the same wife's names):
1798: at Crawhill: a son George born to Thomas a hind.
1808 Isabella born to John and May (Weatherly) which may be the link crossing the boundary between tailor Thomas and hind Thomas.
1871 death of John son of John and Marion (Weatherly) in Edinburgh, father John shown as a land steward, deceased.

1869 Robert (married to Agnes King) is linked because his death cert states his father as Thomas, ag labourer, but mother not named
1885 Thomas (married to Mary Redpath) is linked because his death cert states his parents as Thomas, general labourer, and Jane, albeit without a surname for Jane.

Alexander (married to Joan Manderson) is linked to farming Thomas by naming pattern of his children, and because a Thomas, hind was witness to several of his children's baptisms, at Mickle Pinkerton, which place features in several earlier entries in the Dunbar OPRs, eg birth of George 1734 to Thomas and Helen (Stevensone).

Alexander, possibly this one, is linked as witness to marriage of John and Marion Weatherly at Oldhamstocks (banns Innerwick where father Thomas was cautioner for the groom)

Once Alexander is linked in, this also links in the George married to Janet Darling, as their respective children Agnes and George are documented on their 1861 marriage cert as first cousins.
With large gaps in the known children for George and Janet there was room to fit in a son Thomas, who has now been found (died Edinburgh 1877) to add naming pattern into the evidence for the prosecution

Until I found the Crawhill connection I was coming to the conclusion that there were two families, but even with the Crawhill connection between Alexander's and John's families, it still isn't really "proof" that they are one family but could be indicative of two Johns, one son of the tailor, the other married to May Weatherly.3,4,5


     William Runciman was born circa 1804 Dunbar, ELN, SCT.1,2
     William Runciman married Janet Paxton, daughter of John Paxton and Margaret Morrison, say 1825 ?ELN, SCT, not immediately obvious ELN/BEW, earliest recorded child 1829 Thomas, N Berwick.1,2
     William Runciman died on 28 Dec 1858 Brewery, Par. of Borthwick, MLN, SCT; cert. shows William as 55, farm servant, married (no wife shown, Janet had died 3 yrs prior); d. 3am of cancer of stomach; s/o Thomas RUNCIMAN farm serv and Christina m.s. SIMPSON (neither shown as dec'd); Bur. Borthwick burying ground; Inf. son Thomas; Reg. 30th.2,1
We have a conundrum.
Admittedly incomplete paper trails led to the inclusion of the following as children of Thomas and Jean:
John who married to Marion/May Weatherley,
Alexander who married Joan Manderson,
Thomas who married Mary Redpath,
Robert who married Agnes King,
George who married Janet Darling,
and of the William who married Janet Paxton.

The initial three sets of dna results for some of the above showed the theory might be a bit flawed, three kits, none matching the other, but one (descendant of John) matching others in Lineage 1 overall
However as of Jun 2014 a fourth kit, from the line of son Thomas, gave us a match between descendants of John and Thomas, both matching the rest of Lineage 1.
Jun 2016 brought in a representative from son George, and yet another match, so 4 lines now tested with 5 kits, with John, Thomas and George now looking good as sons of Thomas and Mary.

We still need Robert and Alexander represented, and a confirming dna signature from son William however.

As the line of William and Janet (Paxton) Runciman appears to have "daughtered out" on the lines other than the 1st cousins of the participant already tested, it may be that we have to look for descendants of any lines willing to try autosomal dna (FamilyFinder) - although that may be a bit of a long shot, given the randomness of atDNA inheritance, especially when trying to find DNA matches on relationships beyond 3rd cousins.6


     William Runciman appeared on the census of 7 Jun 1841 Bonnington, Par. of North Berwick, ELN, SCT, with Janet Paxton, as RUNCIMAN: William 35 ag l; Janet 35 ; Assumed children: Thomas 15 Ag L, John 12, William 8, George 6, Margaret 6 mos all b ELN (NB enumerators were instructed to round ages down to the nearest multiple of 5.)7
     William Runciman appeared on the census of 1851 Dirleton Station, Kingston, Par. of Dirleton, ELN, SCT, with Janet Paxton, enumerated as RUNCIMAN: William 47 farm serv b Dunbar; wife Janet (PAXTON) 49 b Gifford, Haddington; Children: Thomas 25 farm lab b Athelstanford, Haddington; George 16 farm lab, Margaret 9 scholar both b N Berwick.1

Names/other info

     William Runciman was the informant for the death of his wife Janet Paxton on 21 Jan 1855 Congalten? Mains, Par. of Dirleton, ELN, SCT.1,8

DNA Info

     William belongs to a tested line in the RUNCIMAN Surname DNA Project. Follow this link for further DNA information.


     Current research indicates that the only line that looks like still having direct male line RUNCIMANs available for representation in the DNA project to solve the above conundrum is that already in the project.9


     Click here to see William's page on WikiTree, a (free) collaborative on-line tree.10


Janet Paxton (circa 1802 - Jan 1855)
  • Thomas Runciman1 (circa 1826 - aft. 1858)
  • John Runciman7,11 (Apr 1829 - Jun 1894)
  • William Runciman7,12,13,14 (Sep 1832 - Sep 1912)
  • George Runciman1 (circa 1835 - bet. Jun 1872 - Sep 1872)
  • Margaret Runciman1 (Apr 1841 - aft. 1851)
ChartsLineage 1d: Alexander & Janet (HENDRIE) RUNCIMAN of Dunbar, ELN
Lineage 3a: William & Janet (PAXTON) RUNCIMAN of Dunbar, ELN
Wanted: Thomas and Jean (Simpson) Runciman
Wanted: William and Janet (Paxton) Runciman
Last Edited4 Mar 2012


  1. [S203] 1851 Census transcripts, Scotland, via Ancestry.com, Kingston, Par. of Dirleton, ELN Par. 705 ED 3 Pg 4 Sched 9, hsehold of William RUNCIMAN & Janet PAXTON, extracted Mar 2010.
  2. [S56] Scottish BMDB entries (from 1855), http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/index.php, Dth 28 Dec 1858 William RUNCIMAN, reg. Par. of Borthwick, MLN, 674/00 Pg 10 #30, copy d/loaded Jun 2010.
  3. [S3] Lorna Henderson, "RUNCIMAN Analysis", Apr 2010.
  4. [S56] Scottish BMDB entries (from 1855), http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/index.php, Dth 1871 John RUNCIMAN, Dist 685/2 Pg 102 #304, Edinburgh St Andrew, MLN, copy d/loaded Apr 2007.
  5. [S15] RUNCIMAN DNA Project online at http://dnasurnames.info/lineages/spRUNCIMANLineages.htm, Oct 2011.
  6. [S15] RUNCIMAN DNA Project online at http://dnasurnames.info/lineages/spRUNCIMANLineages.htm, Apr 2010, updated Mar 2012 and Jun 2016.
  7. [S201] 1841 Census transcripts, Scotland, via Ancestry.com, Bonnington, Par. N Berwick, ELN Par. 713 ED 3A Pg 4, hsehold of William & Janet RUNCIMAN, extracted Mar 2010.
  8. [S56] Scottish BMDB entries (from 1855), http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/index.php, Dth 21 Jan 1855 Janet PAXTON, wife/o William RUNCIMAN, reg. Par. of Dirleton, Haddingtonshire (ELN), 705/00 Pg 2 #4, copy d/loaded Jun 2010.
  9. [S3] Lorna Henderson, "RUNCIMAN Analysis", Mar 2012.
  10. [S3217] WikiTree online at http://WikiTree.com/, Oct-11.
  11. [S2562] Ros Runciman, "RUNCIMAN Corres.," e-mail to Lorna Henderson, Birth 19 Apr bap. 10 May 1829 John s/o William RUNCIMAN & Janet PAXTON, Nth Berwick OPR rcvd/extracted Jun 2010.
  12. [S2903] Lawrence FLETCHER, "RUNCIMAN/WISHART/JAMIESON Corres. ex Lawrence F," e-mail to Lorna Henderson, Marr. 3 Jun 1856 William RUNCIMAN & Catherine GARDNER, Whitburn, Linlithgow 673 #7, copy rcvd Mar 2010.
  13. [S2562] Ros Runciman, "RUNCIMAN Corres.," e-mail to Lorna Henderson, Transcr. Birth 25 Sep bap. 30th Sep 1832 William s/o William RUNCIMAN & Janet PAXTON, Nth Berwick OPR rcvd/extracted Jun 2010.
  14. [S2903] Lawrence FLETCHER, "RUNCIMAN/WISHART/JAMIESON Corres. ex Lawrence F," e-mail to Lorna Henderson, Dth 17 Sep 1912 William s/o William RUNCIMAN & Margaret (sic) PACKSTON, wid/o Catherine GARDNER, Dist of Whitburn, WLN 673/01#37, copy rcvd Feb 2010.
  • Whenever I hear anyone arguing for slavery, I feel a strong impulse to see it tried on him personally.

    Abraham Lincoln
  • My formula for living is quite simple. I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night. In between, I occupy myself as best I can.

    Cary Grant
  • Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it.

    E. B. White
  • I'm living so far beyond my income that we may almost be said to be living apart.

    e. e. cummings
  • What then is time? If no one asks me, I know what it is. If I wish to explain it to him who asks, I do not know.

    — Saint Augustine
  • Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.

    Mark Twain
  • If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.

    Henry David Thoreau
  • If two things look the same, look for differences. If they look different, look for similarities.

    John Cardinal
  • In theory, there is no difference. In practice, there is.

    — Anonymous
  • Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.

    John Adams
  • People who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like.

    Abraham Lincoln
  • History - what never happened described by someone who wasn't there

    — ?Santayana?
  • What's a "trice"? It's like a jiffy but with three wheels

    — Last of the Summer Wine
  • Inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened

    — Terry Pratchett
  • I'll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there's evidence of any thinking going on inside it.

    — Terry Pratchett
  • .. we were trained to meet any new situation by reorganising; and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illuson of progress

    — Petronius (210 BC)
  • The time we have at our disposal every day is elastic; the passions that we feel expand it, those that we inspire contract it; and habit fills up what remains

    — Proust
  • So just as it is not the desire to become famous but the habit of being laborious that enables us to produce a finished work, so it is not the activity of the present moment but wise reflexions from the past that help us to safeguard the future

    — Proust "Within the Budding Grove"
  • You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves.

    William J. H. Boetcker
  • Only a genealogist thinks taking a step backwards is progress

    — Lorna
  • No man ever believes that the Bible means what it says: He is always convinced that it says what he means.

    — George Bernard Shaw
  • A TV remote is female: It easily gives a man pleasure, he'd be lost without it, and while he doesn't always know which buttons to push, he just keeps trying.

    — Anon
  • Hammers are male: Because in the last 5000 years they've hardly changed at all, and are occasionally handy to have around.

    — Anon
  • The right thing to do is to do nothing, the place to do it is in a place of concealment and the time to do it is as often as possible.

    — Tony Cook "The Biology of Terrestrial Molluscs"
  • All that mankind has done, thought, gained or been: it is lying as in magic preservation in the pages of books.

    — Thomas Carlyle "The Hero as Man of Letters"