When this line of the family was started, the name GORMAN was not known.  It started out as a simple search for the birth parents of Hugh GORDON (who was born 11th May 1931 to Alexander GORDON and Elizabeth Keppie McNAIR).  Following the death of ELizabeth Keppie McNAIR when Hugh GORDON was 1 year old, the SMITH family (neighbours) looked after Hugh and eventually adopted him when he was nine years old.

Alexander GORDON (1906 – 1975 ) was the son of another Hugh GORDON and Annabella HODGINS.

Births (Scotland) 685/03 1025 Canongate, Edinburgh

Hugh GORDON and Annabella HODGINS married on the 31 December 1888 (but registered 1889 as it was 31st December).

Marriage (Scotland) 685/426 St. Giles, Edinburgh

Given the age of Hugh GORDON (18), it was easy to calculate that his birth year was about 1871.  His parents’ names on the marriage certificate were Hugh GORDON and Mary Ann DUKE (deceased).

Despite checking all 7 Hugh Gordons born between 1870 and 1872, there was no match ( in Scottish records) for a Hugh GORDON born to Hugh GORDON and Mary Ann DUKE.

On checking the census return following Hugh and Annabell’s marriage, it turned out that Hugh was actually born in England.

1891 Census (Scotland)

A very length search process ensued, which involved searching for all the Hugh GORDONs born in England between 1870 and 1872 and disproving each and every one of them.  In the end, I tried to find the marriage of his parents and eventually found a Mary Ann DUKE marrying a Hugh GORMAN.

English certificates do not provide the detailed information found on  Scottish certificates, but I eventually ordered the marriage certificate for Hugh GORMAN and Mary Ann DUKE and checked that Hugh’s occupation was indeed a shoe maker.  The birth of their son Hugh in 1871, then confirmed that I had the correct Hugh; being the only Hugh born in 1871 who had a mother called Mary Ann DUKE.  The middle name of ‘Russell’ was a mystery at that point.

Births (England) 1871

Marriage  1869


On checking the 1871 census (England),  the family was staying in Deptford, Kent, at 3 Creek Road.

Baby Hugh (who had been born earlier in census year 1871) is listed as 2 months old.  Also on the census is a William GORMAN aged 12 who is listed as a son.  (This was actually Mary Ann’s illegitimate son, born William James DUKE in 1859).  Mary Ann was born in Highgate, Middlesex and her husband Hugh was born in Scotland – so back to the Scottish records for the next part of the research.

Census (England) 1871, Deptford, Kent

From the marriage certificate of Hugh GORMAN and Mary Ann DUKE, I could see that Hugh’s father was listed as Daniel GORMAN.  His occupation was a physician.  Given that this Hugh was born in Scotland, and his subsequent descendants were also Scottish, I assumed that he must have returned to Scotland at some point.  I tracked Hugh GORMAN (shoe maker) through the Scottish census returns.  He was born about 1841  (although often these ages are rounded down by 5 years in many cases, especially in the early census returns).   Although Hugh doesn’t appear on the 1841 census for Scotland, there is a birth record (transcribed as GERMAN) for a son (Hugh) born to Daniel GORMAN and Margaret FITZSIMONS.  This curious aspect of Margaret’s surname will be discussed later, but it is likely that her surname was FITZSIMONS and not RUSSELL.    The only Daniel GORMAN on the 1841 census who was a surgeon/physician appears in the  Post Office Directory practising at Bridgegate and his home address was Stockwell Street, as stated on the census.  His wife Margaret, was a midwife.  Daniel died in 1844 and Margaret shortly remarried another surgeon called Patrick MORGAN.  On the 1851 census, Margaret appears as his wife and her son Hugh appears as ‘Stepson’ of Patrick Morgan.

By 1861, Margaret is widowed again, and she appears on the 1861 census in Adwick, Manchester with her son Hugh, boot maker.  By 1871, Hugh is in Deptford, married to Mary Ann DUKE.    There was some difficulty tracking down Margaret’s death which I suspected was between 1861 and 1871.  This was eventually found in the Catholic archives in 1866.  It seems that Daniel and Margaret were strong Irish Catholics, but following their demise, the faith doesn’t appear to be followed by any of their descendants.

In 2008,  I posted some detail about Hugh GORMAN born 1841 in Scotland on the Genes Reunited genealogy forum.  I was contacted by an Australian contact, who was looking for the parents of a Henry GORMAN who had been born in 1872, also in Deptford.  At that point it seemed a long shot, that we were searching for the same family.  No birth certificate for Henry could be found, but the Australian contact stated that Henry appeared on the 1891 census as a boarder, living with a Bootmaker (Edward Mitchell) in Deptford.  He assumed the Bootmaker’s name until his wedding day, when he announced that his surname was GORMAN.  Henry appears in the baptism records in 1877 some years after his birth and he also appears on the 1939 register, confirming his birth date of 17 November 1872.

Baptism 1877

(Father is listed as Henry, but it is actually Hugh, as shown in later certificates).

1939 Register

Only two of Henry’s children appear on the 1939 register as the others had likely married and set up their own homes.  Henry married Florence Garrod on 6 Jan 1895.

Marriage (England) 1895

On the 1901 census, they are living at with two children (Florence and Henry C.)

On the 1911 census, they are living in a 3 roomed house at 76 Rectory Buildings, Crossfield Street, Deptford .  They now have five children: (Florence, Henry, Katherine, Dorothy, Arthur)

The 1921 census has just been released (2022) but the writing on the certificate is faint.

The family is now at 38 Chipley Street and they now have three additional children (Albert, William, and David).


At this point in the family history search, it was unknown as to why Henry’s father Hugh GORMAN, took his young son Hugh to Scotland and left Henry behind.  The boys were only one year apart in age and there was also Mary Ann’s illegitimate son (William) who was also left behind.  There are some records of the boys being in the workhouse so the family may have been in receipt of poor relief and Mary Ann may have died.

Admissions – Hugh GORMAN age 2 and a half. ‘Mother dead’ ‘Deserted by father’

Discharge – Greenwich Workhouse – taken out by father a few months later.

17 September 1883 – Henry age 11

Whatever the story,  Hugh GORMAN and his son appear on the 1881 census in Glasgow.  Hugh age 49, shoemaker, born Scotland (ditto marks from previous list) and Hugh GORMAN age 12, scholar, born England.  Hugh still appears as ‘married’.

1881 Census (Scotland) – living at 20 North Cumberland Street, Calton, Glasgow.

The address appears to be multiple occupancy as many other names are listed at 20 North Cumberland Street.

By the 1891 census, Hugh GORMAN, born 1841,  shoemaker (wrongly transcribed as GORIN) is living at 15 St James Court, Edinburgh.  He is listed as ‘widower’.  (His son’s marriage certificate also listed Mary Ann DUKE as deceased).  His birth in Lanarkshire, Scotland confirms the area of Scotland where he was born.

Census (Scotland) 1891

In 1901, Hugh is living at Loftus Lodging house, Grassmarket,  Edinburgh.  He is still listed as a Shoemaker and widowed.

Census (Scotland) 1901

Hugh GORMAN (1841-1905) died in the Craiglockhart Poor House, Colinton, Edinburgh on October 12 1905 age 64.  His death certificate confirms his occupation (Shoemaker) and the fact he was the widower of Mary Ann DUKE.  Daniel GORMAN is his father (Doctor of medicine – confirming ‘physician’ on the marriage certificate and his mother is Margaret RUSSELL – which was the surname that appeared as a middle name on his son’s birth certificate and his own marriage certificate).   Although all the records point to Margaret FITZSIMONs being the wife of Daniel GORMAN, it is possible that she may have met someone with the surname RUSSELL later on in her life.  Alternatively, her son didn’t really know her maiden name and simply adopted the middle name of RUSSELL which miraculously appeared on his marriage certificateand also the middle name of his own son’s birth certificate.

Deaths (Scotland) 677/ 205 Colinton, Edinburgh

There is a lot more to document about Hugh, Henry (and William) – the three sons of Hugh GORMAN and Mary Ann DUKE, but to continue the line back to Daniel GORMAN and his wife Margaret, searches were made on the 1841 census for Glasgow.  As Hugh was born in Lanarkshire, Scotland (of which Glasgow was part), there was only one surgeon by the name of Daniel GORMAN on the 1841 census.  It appeared Daniel GORMAN and his wife Margaret were a strong Catholic family.

The difficulty encountered here, is that the Daniel GORMAN who was a surgeon in Glasgow, was actually married to Margaret FITZSIMONS and not RUSSELL.  No trace of a Margaret RUSSELL marrying a Daniel GORMAN can be found.

This next section tracks Daniel GORMAN and Margaret FITZSIMONS back down the line and it would appear that she is the correct Margaret that is Hugh GORMAN’s mother (The Hugh that was born in 1841).  Bear with me on this!

The 1841 census of Bridgegate, Glasgow has a Daniel GORMAN occupation surgeon, married to a Margaret FITZSIMMONS and all the Catholic birth registers appear to have them as the parents of numerous children, all born Glasgow. This is still a work in progress.  Daniel is the only Daniel GORMAN surgeon, in Glasgow on the 1841 census and subsequent tracking of his wife Margaret (midwife) would suggest that this is the correct couple who had Hugh GORMAN in 1841, but the certificates stating RUSSELL as Margaret’s maiden name is a mystery.  By the time Margaret is widowed, she appears on the 1851 census with Hugh GORMAN and it appears she may have remarried to Patrick MORGAN, but by the 1961 census she is living in Manchester with her son Hugh GORMAN who is a shoemaker.  Thereafter, his marriage in Deptford, Kent, then move back to Edinburgh is fairly well documented, despite his change of name from GORMAN to GORDON.   Fortunately, connections from Australia have provided further documentary proof and DNA tests confirm that Hugh GORDON is Hugh GORMAN, brother of Henry GORMAN.

Census Clip 1841 Bridgegate, Glasgow.  Note the F.S (Female Servant) – Cath FITSIMONs – may have been a relative of Margaret.


In the years 1840, 41, 42 there were 4 Hugh GORMANs born in Scotland and only this one born to a parent  called Daniel.  There were 0 births in the Parish records and 4 in the Catholic Registers.


Birth clips from Catholic archives of children born to Daniel GORMAN and Margaret FITZIMMONS:

1826 – Thomas GORMAN.  (Thomas must have died young, as another boy named Thomas was born in 1840).

Not sure if this is one of their children, but a Suzanne GORMAN was born in 1833 to Daniel GORMAN and ??

1827 – Patrick (also on 1841 census)

1829 – Danie l (son of Daniel GORMAN) appears on the 1841 census and this is a possible birth record for him although the mother appears as Barbara FITSIMMONS.

1832 – birth of Margaret GORMAN (who must have died young as another Margaret was born in 1837)

1837 – birth of Margaret GORMAN

1839 – James GORMAN

1840 – Thomas GORMAN born 22 March 1840

Daniel GORMAN died 26th February 1844 and his death announcement appeared in the Vindicator newspaper:


I have tracked the following through the census returns: 1841 Daniel GORMAN surgeon (young Hugh was not born at the time the 1841 census was taken)

1851 Hugh GORMAN – recorded as a stepson (aged 8) to Patrick MORGAN (aged 28), surgeon and Margaret MORGAN (aged 46)  Calton, Glasgow. There is also a brother Thomas MORGAN aged 25 on this census. (All apart from Hugh are recorded as being born in Ireland, Hugh is recorded as Lanark, Glasgow) This may suggest that Margaret remarried following Daniel’s death in 1844  (but what of the other children?) as Hugh appears as a stepson. Did all the other children die? (e.g. Thomas) and perhaps Daniel and Patrick moved away or married as there was a difference in ages, having been born in 1828, 1829 then Thomas 1840 and Hugh 1841? 

Census 1851,Calton Glasgow

Census 1861, Ardwick, Ashton Road, Manchester


1861 Hugh now appears as a Boot and Shoe Maker on the Ardwick, Manchester census, with his mother Margaret as a Midwife. The ages have been rounded to 20 and 60 for Hugh and Margaret but the births confirm Ireland, Down for Margaret and Scotland, Glasgow for Hugh. Birth locations bear out the hypothesis that these are the correct Gormans, as does Margaret’s occupation. She appears to be widowed again.

By late 1860s, they are located further south in Deptford Kent, as Hugh marries Mary Ann DUKEand has a son called Hugh in 1871. Unfortunately, English certificates such as the marriage certificate of Hugh GORMAN to Mary Ann DUKE and the subsequent birth certificate of young Hugh in 1871 don’t contain the same amount of information as Scottish certificates, so no mention is made of the mother on the marriage certificate. 1871 Hugh is now married to Mary Ann (having married Mary Ann Duke in 1869)and they appear on the 1871 census for Deptford, Greenwich. Hugh is a bootmaker. There is a record of a William as a son aged 12 years(who is probably a son to Mary Ann before she married Hugh) and young Hugh 2 months old (born Deptford, Kent). The census for England 1871 was taken on the night of 2nd April 1871.

Census 1871, Deptford, Kent

1881 By 1881 Hugh and young Hugh (ages 49 and 12 on Scottish 1881 census) appear to have moved to Scotland and are resident at 20 North Cumberland Street, Barony, Lanark, Scotland. Hugh is still down as married and a Shoemaker, which may suggest he has moved to Scotland to seek work and perhaps Mary Ann was too ill to travel?? Being resident at this time in Barony, Lanark, Scotland suggests he is near to relatives as this is where he was born in 1841(??) 

Census 1881, Barony, Glasgow

1891 Hugh (Bootmaker) appears as Hugh GORIN, Shoemaker, Widower in the Tolbooth Edinburgh census. He is a lodger at 15 James Court, Tolbooth, Edinburgh.


1891 young Hugh who has now married is on the census as Hugh GORDON.  For some reason he has changed his name from GORDON to GORMAN:

1901 Hugh GORMAN widower, aged 60, Shoemaker appears as worker (born Lanarkshire) in the Loftus Lodging House, George Square, Edinburgh

Death clip for Hugh GORMAN died 1905. Note parents are Daniel GORMAN and Margaret RUSSELL.

Death clip for Hugh GORDON (GORMAN) born to Hugh GORDON and Mary Ann DUKE

Marriage clip for a Henry GORMAN who (through DNA) is proven to be related.  Henry was the brother of Hugh GORMAN.  Following Henry’s birth in 1872, his mother (Mary Ann) was placed in an asylum and her husband (Hugh) went to Scotland with son Hugh.   Mary Ann was not deceased(as detailed on subsequent certificates)hence the reason it was difficult to track her down.  She didn’t actually die until 1904.



The son of Hugh GORDON and Annabella Hodgin was Alexander GORDON who married Elizabeth Keppie McNair. They had one son, also Hugh, who was adopted by the SMITH family after Elizabeth Keppie McNair died. This Hugh Gordon SMITH (as he became known), married Janet QUINN.