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John Watson Bertie born 07 Feb 1855

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Evelyn Report 9 Nov 2012 09:16

Worth a try I will explore this
Many thanks Evelyn


MarieCeleste Report 3 Nov 2012 11:24

Evelyn, I think I've come across the John Bertie in Manhattan, if it's the right one then he was born either Hungary or Yugoslavia, depending on which census he's on. Name also down as Bertic on some.
Can you give more details of the one you found?

I've never ordered a NY certificate before and don't know what info is on them, but this link might be helpful

No guarantee that it is your man but if it were me I'd be tempted!


Evelyn Report 3 Nov 2012 10:16

This is what I felt but did not have the proof and did not have the information about the 2 months prison episode. I have a John w Bertie in the Manhattan census with a wife called Margaret. If he died in 1906 would be interesting to find out why aged 51. Is it easy to get death certificates from USA.
Once again thank you very much


MarieCeleste Report 3 Nov 2012 00:05

Evelyn, hope this has helped to tie up loose ends.

Seems to me like John Watson Bertie snr was a good man who erred whilst trying to support his family.

Going to USA was probably not a case of abandoning family - more likely trying to make a fresh start and gain employment with a view to fetching the family over later (as many did).


Evelyn Report 2 Nov 2012 23:50

Oh my gosh what a response and the reference to 2 months in prison explains everything. That is the man and everything slots into place. He was a strong union man and then disappeared my grandfather never spoke of his father. His brother is the younger John Watson Bertie who was born in a factory building and then ended up on 'the Mars', which is a ship for delinquent boys (napoleonic man of war) and they were given a trade of carpentry. He then had a large family where most children died young only to go to war and be blown up in 1915 at the battle of Loos. How can I ever thank everyone for this information and a lot of it is new to me. My granda was Frederick Moir Bertie born 1885.


MarieCeleste Report 2 Nov 2012 20:25

Don't know if Evelyn has this - his son's service record:

British Army Service Records 1760-1915 Transcription

First name(s): John
Last name: BERTIE
Calculated year of birth: 1879
Parish of birth: Dundee
Town of birth: Dundee
County of birth: Forfarshire (Angus)
Age at attestation: 17 years 10 months
Attestation date: 18 May 1896
Attestation soldier number: 6015
Discharge rank:
Discharge corps: Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) - 42nd & 73rd Foot
Discharge soldier number:

The National Archives reference: WO96 / 720 / 298

He was a millworker on enlistment, NoK mother Sarah of 4 Todburn Lane, Dundee. was discharged 1902.


MarieCeleste Report 2 Nov 2012 20:20

Sarah's address in 1891 matches the newspaper article:

BERTIE, Sarah Head F 32 1859 Folder Hessian Boys Glasgow
BERTIE, Catherine Ann Daughter F 11 1880 Shifter Bobbins Jute Ddee, Forfar
BERTIE, Frank Son M 8 1883 Scholar Ddee, Forfar
BERTIE, Fredrick Son M 6 1885 Scholar Ddee, Forfar
BERTIE, Charles Son M 4 1887 Scholar Ddee, Forfar

Piece: 282 Folio: 17 Page: 33
Registration District: St Andrew
Civil Parish: Dundee

Address: Todburn Lane, Dundee County: Forfarshire (Angus)


MarieCeleste Report 2 Nov 2012 20:13

Think I may have found why he went to USA.

The article is too long to retype so will summarise:

DUNDEE COURIER - Wednesday 23 Nov 1887.
John Watson Bertie, a joiner of Todburn Lane was imprisoned for 2 months for embezzling a total of £15 between Jan 1886 and Feb 1887. He had been secretary of the Dundee branch of the Amalgamated Society of Carpenters and Joiners.

He was given excellent character references by the 1st F.A.V. Regiment in which he'd served, and his local clergyman.

He had a wife and 4 children aged from 8 months to 10 years. He had suffered poverty through unemployment.

(Will send actual article to Evelyn)


MarieCeleste Report 2 Nov 2012 19:50

This is interesting:

U.S. Naturalization Record Indexes, 1791-1992 (Indexed in World Archives Project)
Name: John W Bertie
Birth Place: Great Britain
Court District: New York
Date of Action: 10 Jun 1893

He was a carpenter of 435 W 27th Street.
Witness to his naturalisation was George D Campbell, an engineer of 47 Horton Street.

The reference on the naturalisation card is B630.


MarieCeleste Report 2 Nov 2012 19:41

The age on this death is a bit out, but I wonder ....

Surname Given Name Age Month Day Year Certificate Number County Soundex

Bertie John W 48 y Oct 28 1906 33290 Manhattan B630

Can't find anything matching in the 1900 census, though.


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 2 Nov 2012 00:02

It looks as Evelyn has a private tree on Ancestry.

If so she has a tif attached labled "John Watson Bertie wedding to Sarah 1873" to John Watson Bertie (born 1855)


MarieCeleste Report 1 Nov 2012 23:46

Was his wife Sarah? If so, he wasn't with her on the 1891 but on the 1881 he was an unemployed joiner.

If it's another family then could you give us details?


MarieCeleste Report 1 Nov 2012 23:39

Could this be him?

New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957
Name: John W Bertie
Arrival Date: 4 Oct 1890
Birth Date: abt 1855
Age: 35
Gender: Male
Ethnicity/ Nationality: Scottish (Scotish)
Place of Origin: Scotland
Port of Departure: Liverpool, England and Queenstown, Ireland
Destination: New York
Port of Arrival: New York
Port Arrival State: New York
Port Arrival Country: United States
Ship Name: Gallia

He was a carpenter, apparently travelling alone.


AnnCardiff Report 1 Nov 2012 23:35

where was he born Evelyn?


Evelyn Report 1 Nov 2012 23:33

I cannot find out where he died, think he may have gone to New York but a strong family man suddenly disappears. He last appears on the 1891 Scottish Census but do not know further than that. 1911 his wife is described as a widow. This is driving me nuts. Happy to pass on info I have or other Bertie family members if I have it in my collection.