On 24th April 2015, I received an ancestry request for some information from Burton Webb. Burton asked me, “Hi Paul, This might be a request from further back than you have records, but it’s worth asking. I wonder if you can find any of the descendants or relatives of Mars Niven and Susan Doane. Each of these people were residents of Blantyre in the 1810 – 1830’s.
Susan’s parents were Margaret Henderson and John Doane whilst Mars parents were Robert Niven and Agnes Yuill. Any help would be great!”
After a little digging around ancestry databases, I was able to answer with: “Thanks for your email. Those people are indeed very interesting although I kept losing a Blantyre connection if I went any forward in time from their life in Blantyre. Indeed their siblings seem to have moved out the area too. I was not able to go further back beyond the parents of Mars or Susan, but I was lucky enough to find a small picture of each of them.
With no other Blantyre connection, I next looked at their descendants in Canada, especially those of their son, Robert Niven. Robert was born at 26 Front Row, Blantyre in 1834 and eventually married Mary Tacey in Canada. They had 7 daughters and 3 sons. If you’re trying to track living descendants of Mars and Susan, I think the best chance is via Robert and Mary’s daughter Bernice. Born in 1895, she died young in 1928 in Illinois, but during that short life she married George Henry Varnum and had 3 children. Here is the family line. Ancestry shows somebody has traced this line already as follows: