Reference as below is made on the Wedding Bells page to circumstances allegedly behind William and Margaret’s decision to leave Scotland – as William is said to have oft stated with some bitterness he was ……..’brushing the dust of Dundee from my boots forever”! It is said in the Tasmanian family that William left his home village and family under a cloud, one theory suggesting that religious divisions played some part in family tensions another that a class clash re ‘stations of life’ were paramount factors. Part of the legendary story held that disinheritance had prompted or followed family relationship breakdown.

But there are other factors known to have occurred which almost certainly were of equal or greater consequence. In particular, unbeknown  to any descendants in Australia at any time until uncovered by Mike Wilson in 1984 is the fact of William’s relationship with a young servant lass, Mary Archer, who was engaged in his Newbigging home.

An early research paper – Why did they Emigrate outlines our discoveries at that time. More recently the following  summary paper updates with new information linking William’s sister Elizabeth to the family dissension explanation. – Why did they Emigrate 2

Our discovery in recent years that William’s father was long deceased (his 1812 death record below) before William and Margaret’s 1820 marriage and departure appears to rule out the idea of disinheritance.