Dobie Genealogy : The Gracie Tree


Updated January 24, 2011


This is a text listing of the "Gracie Tree" (see a full-size scan) which displays the ancestors of Alexander Dobie, of Tinwald, Dumfriesshire, Scotland, cir 1560, in the form of a tree. In addition to the information on the tree, data has been added from a Clan Dobie transcript of notes supplied by Percy Dobie, Chester, which are said to be all references to "Dobie" contained in Tinwald Records at the registry Office, Edinburgh, 17.5.1944.

On preparing this list, it soon became evident that more attention was paid to artistry than to genealogy. Several people were placed on the trunk of the tree without any indication of their connection to the original Alexander. One man placed near the top of the tree was at least a generation older than the man below him if the information is correct.

Consequently, this list has been broken into five smaller trees; the work of connecting everyone is a task for someone with the time and patience to dig through Scottish records.

There is no way to check the validity of any of this information, plus there is a possibility of transcription errors as this list was transcribed from a photocopy of a drawing which was manually copied from another which in turn was copied from another -- the tree is inscribed at the bottom: "Copied from drawing by Rod M. Whitm(o)re, Dumfries, 1944, from tree compiled by James Campell (sic) Gracie, Dumfries, 1873." The drawing is signed and dated at the bottom: "1972, Margaret Anthony Dobie".

The tree is represented sitting on a large inverted pot, on which is written the following: "The Ancestors of the family of Dobie of Dumfries-shire are here only traced from the Reformation. The name originally French -- a Wood was early translated into its Saxon synonym of Wood (in England). It was DeBois or DuBois the name of the celebrated French Cardinal, and of Anthony a Wood, the Historian of Oxford. In 1303, Edward I completed his conquest of Scotland; DeBois, Governor of Urqulgar Castle, and his men, after a brave defence, were put to death -- says Boece -- and this is the first authentic date of the name of Dobie in Scotland."

It finally ocurred to me to search for the place names mentioned in this chart, so I bought four ordinance survey maps of the Dumfriesshire area. I found a Dalruscan about five miles north of Locharbriggs, which itself is about three miles north of Dumfries. It looks like it may be only one farm or a small complex of farm buildings. Kelwood is about 5km south-east of Dumfries, and seems to be a farm.

See photos of Dalruscan farm taken in May 2007, by Robert Dobie.

See detailed street maps of any location in Great Britain.

 October 5, 2000 :  At long last, a response to this listing on this website!
in Australia is a descendant of William Dobie and Ann Wilkins as listed in Part Five of the Gracie Tree, below. With his permission, his updated information has been added there. He says in part: "Thought you might like to know that the family tree that our family has was brought over by William (Miller) from England and is framed. It has only been copied once and that was by my father in 1985. Also James Campbell Gracie spells his name with a "b" which I note yours doesn't. There are a few differences between what you have and what is written on our tree:
-- On our tree our branch comes out from "Alexander Dobie, Farmer in Tinwald in 1720."
-- We have no note saying it is in the posession of a solicitor.
-- We have John Dobie (b. 1793) married Elizabeth Ease?ose in 1820.

 March 7, 2002 :  A response received from Michael Cooke in England, with some detailed information on the family of Alexander Dobie and Janet/Jessie Sloan, transcribed as an appendix to Part One of the Gracie Tree, below.

 April 13, 2003 :  Michael sent me an update to the above information so I've made the appropriate changes to the appendix.

 Dec. 2003 thru Feb. 2004 :  sent me a wealth of material including photographs, which details two Dobie - Byers connections. These people also connect with Michael Cooke's people, above. I've updated the text for now, and promise to add the many photos as time permits.

 Feb. 13, 2004 :  sent me details about the Robson family who have many marriages with Dobies listed in the Gracie Tree. Members of the Robson family emigrated to Argentina where at least another marriage with a Dobie took place.

 July 27, 2004 :  Michael Cooke (see March 7, 2002 above) sent me a photo of the family of Alexander Dobie and Janet Sloan taken at their Hitchell (sometimes called Hitchill) farm. (See the photo) or (See the listing).

 July 13, 2005 :  Data from the 1881 census was added to several people. (Per LDS Church CDROM). You can find them by searching this page for "1881" with your web browser.

 July 18, 2005 :  Michael Cooke (see March 7, 2002 and July 27, 2004 above) has elaborated on the 1881 census data I provided for the family of Alexander Dobie and Janet Sloan.

 November 23, 2006 :  who lives in Durban, Kwazulu-Natal, sent me an update on the descendants of Robert Flint Dobie, who was another son of Alexander Dobie and Janet Sloan. It has been inserted into Michael Cooke's update (see item above).

 January 23, 2007 :  sent me more information on a letter written by John Dobie of Hardbush, Dumfries, to Walter Bell of Mirimachi, New Brunswick. I suspect the letter-writing John Dobie was the husband of Marion Burgess, and I've put a link to the letter in the data on this family. How were the Dobie and Bell families linked?

 February 16 to 23, & March 7 to 9, 2007 :  is another descendant of the Hitchell or Hitchill Farm group. She has provided a slightly different version of the names in Michael Cooke's photograph (see July 27, 2004, above). She and Michael have provided additional photos, so there are now a total of seven photos related to the Hitchell Farm people.
(See the photos of the family of Alexander Dobie & Janet Sloan).
(See the family of Mary Margaret Dobie & Isaac Helme)
(See the obituary of John Archibald Dobie of Hitchel Farm).

 December 1 & 2, 2007 :  provided me with information about the two daughters of Agnes Dobie and Andrew Telfer -- they and their father were in Toronto in 1893 and 1894, proven by scans of marriage and birth records she sent me. I've added this information and will start looking for more.

 December 9, 2007 :  The arrival of my Dumfries and Galloway Family History Society Newsletter brought news of a new on-line database created by the Langholm Archive Centre. The index of the Eskdale and Liddlesdale Advertiser, which started publication in 1848, contains a great many of the people mentioned below in this Gracie Tree. Where possible, I've added dates and other information obtained from this database, and marked them "per L.A.C."

 September 9, 2008 :  of South Africa, emailed me with information about Isabella Jane Anderson Dobie, the eldest daughter of Alexander Dobie and Janet/Jessie Sloan. She and her husband Samuel Boyd and their children left Scotland soon after 1901 for South Africa, where many of their descendants still live.

 September 19, 2008 :  Michael Cooke (see March 7, 2002, July 27, 2004, and July 18, 2005 above) sent more updates on the family of Alexander Dobie and Janet Sloan -- specifically on the descendants of their seventh child, James Alexander Dobie and his wife Janet McFadzean.

 September 19, 2008 :  Ish Alvardo sent me new and revised information on Robert Dobie and (1) Mary Little, (2)Janet McMurdo.

 October 18, 2008 :  in Australia sent me information about John Dobie, son of Hugh Dobie & Margaret Scott, who are listed in Part Three of the Gracie Tree.

 September 4 & 21, 2009 :  in Ontario, Canada, sent me updated information and a photograph of the Byers family listed in Part One of the Gracie Tree. I've updated the text but the photograph will have to join the queue. I still haven't posted Ian Reveler's photos of this family (see Feb. 2004 above).

 November 17, 2009 :  I just discovered the Community Trees section on the LDS website. I entered "Dobie" into the search field and got 50 hits. The source of the info is Fasti Ecclesiae Scoticanae -- lineage linked families for ministers of the Church of Scotland from the Reformation. I made some additions based on this database and marked them with LDS-CT in the left margin.


The "Gracie Tree", Part One


Descendants of Alexander Dobie & Janet Sloan

Originally submitted by Michael Cooke,
and with additional information added as noted.

(See the original Gracie Tree entry for this family)

See also a snapshot of this family in the 1881 Census, immediately after the data below.

  1. Alexander Dobie, b. 12/01/1828 (Lanarkland farm) d. 05/06/1904 (Hitchill farm, Cummertrees), buried Caerlaverock. Married 1863 in Mousewald, to Janet/Jessie Sloan, b. 11/10/1838 (Horseholm) d. 22/02/1906, buried Caerlaverock. She was the daughter of Archibald Sloan and Janet Paterson. Note: Horseholm is a farm close to Caerlaverock church yard where the Sloan family grave can be found.
    As well as a merchant . . . Alexander also farmed the Hitchill, a farm near Cummertrees. His descendants continued to do so until relatively recently. See photographs of this family.
    1. September, 2008 :  Information on the family of Isabella Jane Anderson Dobie was kindly provided by .
      Isabella Jane Anderson Dobie, b. 21/09/1865, d. 1928, married (12/06/1883) Samuel Boyd, b. 13/11/1854 in Parish of Ruthwell, Dumfries, d. 1931 in Ixopo District, Natal. He was a chemist and druggist. They moved to South Africa sometime after the 1901 British census, where they were recorded as "in residence" at "The Glint", Annan, (Line 3 role CSSCT 1901_427).
      See photos and a short history of this family sent by .
      1. Muriel Boyd, b. circa 1885, married unknown Gold.
      2. Jessie Boyd, b. circa 1892
      3. Samuel G. Boyd, b. circa 1895
      4. Grace J. Boyd, b. circa 1900
      5. John Dodd Boyd, b. 18/07/1907 in South Africa, in either Ixopo or Harding, Natal, d. 08/08/1945. He married Mary (Mollie) Evelyn Meumann at Piet Retief, in 1928. He was a magistrate in the South African Justice Department.
        1. John Hylton Boyd, b. 24/06/1929 in Dundee Natal, pharmacist (retired)
        2. Dudley Victor Boyd, b. 01/09/1940 in Roodepoort Transvaal (Gauteng), accountant (retired)
        3. Jean Mary Boyd, b. 10/02/1942 in Pinetown, Natal, teacher and lecturer (retired), married Graham Ward. There are children and grandchildren in London, Brussels, Budapest, Perth, Auckland, East London (Eastern Cape) and Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal.
    2. January 2004 and September 2009 :  Information on this family was kindly provided by and . Some birth info is from the 1911 census.
      Janet Patterson Dobie, b. 08/10/1867, d. 1941, m. David James Byers (1856-1924) in 1901. The family farmed in Finch Township, near Winchester, in eastern Ontario, Canada.
      1. Robert Alexander (Alex) Byers, b. June 1902; d. 1949, m. Annie Mae Wagner 1900-1978
      2. Jessie Byers, d. April 19, 1904, age 5 months
      3. William Flint Byers, b. Jan. 1904; d. 1977, m. Agnes Maud Link, b. 03/07/1907, d. 10/03/1999. They had 12 children, 11 of whom are still living in 2009.
      4. Dobie David Byers, b. March, 1907; d. 1967, m. Wife (possibly living, name omitted)
      5. Mary Jane Byers, d. July 9, 1911, age 1 yr 5 months
      6. Dougal Spencer Byers, 1912-1985, m. Wife (possibly living, name omitted).
    3. February, 2007 :  Information on the family of Mary Margaret Dobie was kindly provided by .
      Mary Margaret Dobie, b. 21/11/1868, d. 15 Sep 1952, Washington, USA married 1900 at Hitchell Farm, Isaac Helme, b. 27 Sep 1872, Dalbeattie, Scotland, d. 7 Dec 1955, Washington, USA.
      1. Norman McLeod Helme, b. 20 Mar 1902, Edinburgh, Scotland, d. 27 Sep 1980, Oregon, USA. Married in 1930, Lempi Ellen Koykka, b. 21 Sep 1905, Washington, USA, d. 22 Nov 1996, California, USA. Four children.
      2. Isabella Brown Helme, b. 11 Sep 1903, Dumfries, Scotland, d. 6 Feb 1998, Washington, USA. Married in 1929, Otis Blair, b. 22 Feb 1900, Washington, USA, d. 2 May 1985, Washington, USA. Three children.
      3. Jessie Sloan Helme, b. 17 Nov 1905, Dumfries, Scotland, d. 4 Jan 1987, Oregon, USA. Married in 1945, Merrill Archie Webb, b. 17 May 1909, Oregon, USA, d. 14 Feb 2005, Oregon, USA. One child.
      4. Grace Flint Helme, b. 29 Dec 1906, Dumfries, Scotland, d. 20 Nov 1990, Washington, USA. Married in 1928, Joseph Stewart, b. 11 Oct 1905, Wisconsin, USA, d. 10 Sep 1967, Washington, USA. One child.
      5. Margaret Watson Helme, b. 8 Mar 1910, Dumfries, Scotland, d. Washington, USA. Married John Herb. One child who died in childbirth.
    4. James Alexander Dobie, b. 16/01/1870, d. 01/08/1870
    5. John Archibald Dobie, b. 04/08/1873, d. 09/10/1937 (Hitchill farm) buried Cummertrees. Married (01/06/1900) Winifred Agnes Murray (of Cummertrees Mill), b. 24/02/1878, d. 30/04/1960.
      See John Dobie's newspaper obituary.
      1. Isabella Margaret Dobie, b. 05/10/1900, d. 29/05/1975 married (12/10/1929) Leslie Scott Ritchie b. 06/02/1900, d. 04/07/1940 [Five presumably living children snipped]
      2. Jessie Sloan Dobie, b. 03/03/1902, d. 30/11/1961
      3. Winifred Agnes Dobie, b. 14/04/1903, d. 15/01/1981
      4. Janet Sloan Dobie, b. 18/01/1905, d. 03/08/1926
      5. Wilhelmina Dobie, b. 18/01/1906, d. 20/02/1995, m. Robert Broatch on 08/10/1930 in Cummertrees
      6. Helen Thomson Dobie, b. 30/04/1910, d. 16/10/1993
      7. John Archibald Dobie, b. 17/03/1913, d. 14/05/1975, m. Doris Muir
      8. Agnes Hunter Carson Sloan Dobie, b. 09/11/1914, d. 05/08/1999, m. James Steel Sloan
      9. Robert Wright Murray Dobie, b. 01/12/1918
    6. Grace Flint Dobie, b. 25/11/1878, d. 28/06/1884
    7. James Alexander Dobie, (the second time the name was used) b. 20/07/1876, d. 27/07/1914 (accident at work) m. Janet McFadzean on 07/02/1902. Janet died 21/11/1922.
      1. Alexander Dobie, b. 03/05/1902 (Hitchell), m. Annie Mathieson on 29/06/1925 (ref: Scotstoun Renfrew).
        1. James Donald Mathieson Dobie, b. 28/07/1927, d. 25/11/1996. He was an Australian MP.
      2. James Stark Dobie, b. 24/07/1903 (Paisley)
      3. John McFadzean Dobie, b. 07/12/1905 (Partick).
    8. Robert Flint Dobie, b. 06/06/1880, married Agnes Violet unknown.
      [ November 2006 :  Family info provided by Jason Dobie]
      1. Raymond Alexander Dobie, b. 1 August 1912, Matatiele, East Griqualand, South Africa. Married 8 August 1942, Natal, South Africa to Millicent Smith, b. 23 December 1918, Natal.
        1. Two children, three grandchildren. Connected surname is Downing. All live in South Africa.
    9. Henry Longfellow Dobie, b. 23/03/1882, d. 01/04/1947.
    10. William Porteous Dobie, b. Oct 1884, died 15 Dec 1884, age 2 months.

Michael Cooke's Dobie connection is through the Ritchie family.

Ref Kelwood mentioned on your web site. There is a farm of that name just off the road between Dumfries and Bankend (roughly Long 3 degrees 32.5'W, Lat 55 degrees 01.5' N)


From the census listing below it can be seen that there was more than one Dobie-Sloan connection. Michael Cooke has answered my question about the vistor Janet Sloan's relationship to this family, but the same question still remains about the other visitor, James Dobie, blacksmith -- what was his relationship, if any, to this family?


The "Gracie Tree", Part Two


The "Gracie Tree", Part Three


The "Gracie Tree", Part Four


The "Gracie Tree", Part Five

in Australia has a copy of the Gracie Tree brought to Australia by his great-grandfather, William Miller in 1909. In this copy, William Dobie is descended from Alexander Dobie, "Farmer in Tinwald in 1720". The Miller birth dates are from a family register in possession of Geoff's father.