Masterton Curiosities

Masterton Curiosities

Records are bland and faceless - but in an attempt to brighten them up, here are a few curiosities. Readers are encouraged to send in any updated examples, or to suggest other categories.

The oldest written references to a Masterton

The earliest Marriage in the Old Parish Records

The earliest Birth in the Old Parish Records

The earliest Death in the Old Parish Records

The earliest Family in the Old Parish Records

Whilst Hugo and William, father and son, were the earliest known family inferred from chartulary records, the earliest family record in the Registers of Scotland Old Parish Records is:

The most prolific male Masterton parent

I have not yet found a Masterton who fathered more children (according to official records!) than Francis Masterton of Parkmill. All the more remarkable given that all of his 15 children were borne by one wife, Christian Keirie. Francis himself was 35 years old when his first child, Marie, was born in 1678 and 53 years old when his last child (who didn't survive) was born in December 1696.

The most fecund female Masterton

Elizabeth Masterton, third child of Alexander Masterton, a carpenter from Kincardine who emigrated to Australia, and Anne Bradley married John Morris Telfer in 1878. Between 1879 and 1898 she then had twelve children - ten boys and only two girls! Elizabeth was 21 when she bore her first son Archibald Alexander Telfer, and 40 when she gave birth to Charles G Telfer.

The most fecund wife of a Masterton

This may well be Christian Keirie daughter of John Keirie of Gogar who married Francis Masterton of Parkmill on 13th January 1678. Christian produced 15 children with Francis over the next 18 years. Her first child, Marie, was born in November 1678 when Christian was 22 years old and her fifteenth was born and died on 1st December 1696 when Christian was 40.

The most-married male Masterton

David Masterton, linen hand loom weaver, and son of Robert Masterton and Helen Samson of Forfar, was married three times and, in addition, had a child to a fourth woman he didn't marry. David first married Elizabeth Ramsay Robertson on 1st August 1830 and had two boys. He married Mary Boath on 19th August 1835 and had another two boys. He had a daughter, Annie, to Julia Whyte in 1844, and then, at the age of 39, he married Elisabeth Clark, 18 years his junior, and had eight more children , the youngest Charles Smith Masterton, being born when David was 59 years old.

What's more, when David's last child Charles was born on 15 Oct 1866 he was already the grandfather of 4, between the ages of 4 months and 9 years: Abram born 15 Apr 1857 (see below - youngest Masterton marriage), Allan born 12 May 1861, Alexander born 12 Jan 1864, and Lavina born 26 Jun 1866.

This fairly active breeding does not seem to have sapped his strength (unless it's because his good women did all the work). David lived to a good old age of 87, finally succumbing to "softening of the brain" in 1894.

The most-married female Masterton

Yet to be researched

The youngest Masterton marriage

This may well be the marriage of Abram Masterton and Helen Whyte in Forfar, Scotland on 18th February 1876. Abram was nearly two months short of his 19th birthday, and Helen was 15 years and 8 months old. By the time Helen died in 1935 at the age of 74, they had been married for 59 years and had ten children. Abram was a son of the much-married David Masterton (see above).

The longest-lived male Mastertons in the Records

There are several Mastertons who lived well into their 90's. The longest-lived male identified so far is William Masterton, an analytical chemist born in 1902 in South Leith, Scotland and died in 2000 at the age of 98.

The longest-lived female Mastertons in the Records

Maisie Ella Masterton, daughter of William Robert Masterton and Ella Louise Smith, was born on 25th April 1904 in Australia, and died on 11th September 2008 aged 104. She married Benjamin Clarke in 1923.

Elizabeth Masterton, daughter of Robert Masterton and Helen Samson, was christened on 13th November 1806 in Forfar, and died in 1903 aged 96. She married James Samson on 11th October 1829.

Ann Stark Masterton, daughter of Alexander Masterton and Elizabeth Farquhar, was christened on 24th September 1837 in Forfar and died in 1933 in Dundee at the age of 95. She married William Ogilvie on 24th June 1864.

Jessie Fleming Masterton, daughter of George Masterton and Ann Croft Simpson Duncan, was born in Dundee in 1896 and died on 23rd June 1991 aged 94.

Bessie Masterton, daughter of Robert Masterton and Agnes Douglas, was christened on 13th March 1610 in Alloa and died on 4th November 1704 in Alloa, making her 94 and almost 8 months old. She too is a member of the Parkmill Masterton family. She married William Philp in 1639.

Dorothy Gertrude Masterton, daughter of James Masterton and Jennie Esther Raynor, was born in Boston, Mass on 6 October 1896 and died on 26 April 1991 aged 94.

The earliest Will and Testament in the Scottish Records

Agnes Maistertoun, relict of John Menteith in Alveth, dated 21st February 1572. Testament, testamentar and inventory recorded at Edinburgh Commissary Court.

Analysis of 1851 Scottish Census

Using "scotlandspeople" index as a source, and the search field M*S*T*R*N* gives 620 possibles. Of these, 11 are not related (eg "Masterman" or "McSutherland"). There are 77 Mastersons but of these, at least 16 should have been recorded as "Masterton". So that makes 548 Scottish Mastertons to account for. I have studied them all and made my best effort to allocate uniquely to one of the Masterton trees. My current research places them as follows:

Ayrshire - 14 Bathgate - 18 Biggar - 34 Cramond - 72
Culross - 134 Dumfriesshire - 22 Dunfermline (1) - 8 Dunfermline (3) - 1
Dunfermline (4) - 7 Dunfermline (5) - 2 Edinburgh (2) - 0 Falkirk - 25
Forfar - 72 Grange - 0 Kinghorn - 6 Kirkcaldy - 0
Largo - 29 Linlithgow (2) - 0 Newburgh - 18 Parkmill - 0
Peebles - 13 Records not linked - 19
Athelstaneford - 6 Leith - 4

That adds up to 504. 13 of the remaining 44 Mastertons were born in Ireland and are not yet in any of the trees (and may indeed be "Mastersons" wrongly recorded). This leaves 31 Mastertons not yet allocated into any of the trees, or at the very least associated with one of the groups of unlinked records.

Analysis of 1911 Scottish Census

Using "scotlandspeople" index as a source, and the search field M*S*T*R*N* gives 1036 possibles. Of these, 24 are not related (eg "Masterman", "Mastrangelo" or "McSutherland"). There are 123 Mastersons, but at least one is wrongly recorded and should have been Masterton. One "Masterton" is wrongly listed and should have been "Martin" and a further 13 should have been "Masterson". So that leaves 876 Scottish Mastertons to account for. I have studied them all and made my best effort to allocate uniquely to one of the Masterton trees. My current research places them as follows:

Ayrshire - 30 Bathgate - 36 Biggar - 83 Cramond - 172
Culross - 163 Dumfriesshire - 7 Dunfermline (1) - 2 Dunfermline (4) - 12
Edinburgh (3) - 12 Falkirk - 17 Forfar - 132 Largo - 79
Newburgh - 48 Newcastle - 3 Peebles - 26 Born in Ireland (or female married to an Irish Masterton) - 21

That adds up to 843. This leaves 33 Mastertons not yet allocated into any of the trees, or at the very least associated with one of the groups of unlinked records.

Places named Masterton

Masterton, Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland

The Masterton homeland whose origins as a settlement date back to the 12th Century. Prior to this, the same settlement was known as Ledmacdunegil. Today, Masterton is no more than a hamlet near Pitreavie Castle between Dunfermline and Inverkeithing, but recent housing developments in East Dunfermline have made wide use of the Masterton name - eg Masterton Park. Prior to this eastern expansion of Dunfermline, the name had been "borrowed" for Dunfermline's crematorium, located nearby.

Masterton, Newbattle, Lothian, Scotland

Masterton was a settlement on a hillside to the east of Newbattle, close to the Abbey of that name. It appears on the earliest Scottish maps (1630) as "Mostertoun", which later became Masterton. The last building on the site, Masterton House, was demolished in 1942.

Masterton, Queensland, Australia

An administrative parish in Queensland, about 9km south-east of Dimbulah near the Walsh River.

Mount Masterton, Queensland, Australia

A hill top about 600 metres above sea level, a few kilometres to the north east of Masterton parish, in a bend of Crooked Creek, a tributary of the Walsh River.

Masterton, New South Wales, Australia

An aboriginal homestead in New South Wales, about 12km due east of Bullagreen, close to the road to Armatree.

Mastertons Winery, South Australia, Australia

Historical agricultural establishment about 18km to the north-east of Williamstown and 8km to the south-east of Greenock.

Masterton Hill, Victoria, Australia

A hill top about 400 metres elevation in the Mount Buffalo National Park in Victoria, about 10km south-south-west of Myrtleford.

Mastertons Cave, Northern Territories, Australia

A cave in Northern Territories, about 26km from the border with Queensland, home for many years to Bill Masterton, the Redbank Hermit.

Masterton Sandstone

Masterton Sandstone is a geological classification of strata in Northern Territories and Queensland, within the McArthur Basin, being quartzarenite, white to pink, fine to medium grained, well sorted; minor intervals of sandstone and mudstone.

Masterton, New Zealand

Masterton, the largest town in Wairarapa, New Zealand was not named after a Masterton. It was named after its founder, Joseph Masters.

Some places not named Masterton!

Misterton is a village adjoining Lutterworth in Leicestershire, England.

Misterton is also a village in the Bassetlaw district of Nottinghamshire, England.

Mosterton is a village in west Dorset, England.

Mysterton is a suburb of Townsville, Queensland, Australia.