Monday, 5 May 2014

I've Hit A Brick Wall(er)

Last week I posted about Elizabeth Waller, wife of Forbes Scott Brown. I quickly found she was the daughter of George Waller, early harbour master at Penang, and I found he was married to Harriet Scott. Harriet turned out to be the great granddaughter of Jean Scott, who was a first cousin of Sir Walter Scott. After that, the tree just grew rapidly. The Scotts were part of Clan Scott with links to many branches of the Scottish nobility, and eventually I traced their descent back to the royal Stewart line in Scotland, and from there to the Plantagenets and their descent from King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine (my personal heroine). And then I realised that there is little likelihood that Elizabeth Waller is the daughter of Harriet Scott for a couple of reasons:
1) There is only about 13 years between them in age
2)  Harriet Scott only married George Waller two years before Elizabeth Waller married Forbes Scott Brown.

I feel quite sure that Harriet isn't Elizabeth's mother, but she could be her stepmother. My other theory is that there are two George Wallers in play. One is the father of Elizabeth, and the other is a relation - a brother, perhaps, or a cousin. I don't  know this for sure, but it is my hunch that it is unlikely that there were several unrelated Waller families in Malaysia at that time.

So what now?

I'm at a loss. I've tried to find George Waller's death record in the hopes that it will give me a lead, but I've come up blank. I've looked for Elizabeth's birth record in vain. I've searched Malaysian records, UK records, Indian records - I even searched Panama thanks to a census transcription error (the record said Penang, the transcript said Panama).

I've searched the site, the Strait Times newspaper archive, Ancestry, I've tried numerous Google searches with a variety of keywords. I've looked at Nothing useful anywhere.

I did find something on - a birth for an Elizabeth Ann Waller in 1821, to a father named George. The birth was in Newark Upon Trent, Nottingham. This George Waller and his wife,
Elizabeth, seem to have had about half a dozen children between 1813 and 1825. My next project will be to try to definitively prove or disprove a link to our Elizabeth Brown, nee Waller. If this doesn't pan out, it will be back to the drawing board and I have no idea where to go next.


  1. Hi Carol, I have been researching the Scott/Brown family in Penang and in particular James Scott. I share your frustration as the records for this time period are sparse and do not show the detail that would confirm the relationships :( Hopefully some day, new information will surface to assist all of us who are stuck on branches of this family!

  2. Thanks for reaching out, Jan. I wish you all the luck in the world with your search, because you'll need it! The Singapore Straits Times online archives have been a wonderful resource for me, given that there are so few real records from the time to work with.