Isobel Spring was the daughter of Robert Spring, gardener in Banchory-Ternan and later Udny. Her mother may have been Margaret Marns.



Isobel Spring was born in 1762 in Banchory, outside Aberdeen, the second of five children. Her family moved to Udny before she was 2 years old. In 1796, at age 34, she married Robert Sherrat, a gardener in Nigg, who may have been many years younger than she was. About this same time, her sister Christian, who had married an aging laird, became a widow with a very young child. Isobel and her new husband joined Christian on the Finzean estate in Birse, where Robert became the overseer.[1] They had four children while living at Finzean. Sometime between 1808 and 1812, the family moved to nearby Tillyfruskie where they remained until Robert died in 1818.[2] As a widow, Isobel moved in with her daughter Christian's new family in Woodend.[3] We have no further record of Isobel after 1819.


  • Robert Sherrat, m. 8 Dec 1796 in Old Machar.[4] (The same marriage was later recorded 24 Dec 1797 in Nigg.)[5]


Offspring of Isobel Spring and Robert Sherrat (1771-1818)
Name Birth Death Joined with
Christian Sherrat (1797-aft1881)
Mary Sherrat (1799-1871)
Archibald Farquharson Sherrat (1802-1885)
Isabel Sherrat (1805-?)
  1. Christian (b. 1797, Birse; married James Cattanach; emigrated to Canada; d. aft 1881)
  2. Mary (b. 1799, Birse; married Robert Cromar and James Shaw; lived in Lumphanan; d. 1871, Glenmuick)
  3. Archibald Farquharson (b. 1802, Birse; emigrated to Canada; married Mary Ann Morgan there; d. 1885)
  4. Isabel (b. 1805, Birse; not known aft 1819)


An online search of Church of Scotland records (which are comprehensively extracted in the IGI) shows no other Isobel Spring in this time and place, though there are three others born a generation earlier, all in Keithhall & Kinkell, in 1708, 1716, and 1733.


  1. ^ This can be seen in Birse parish registers in the baptisms of the four Sherrat children from 1797 to 1805, where Robert is described as "overseer at Finzean".
  2. ^ The family residence, in addition to the baptism records, is identified in the Birse Lists of Inhabitants. In the lists of 1797, 1801, and 1808 the family are listed in Finzean. In 1812, the family are listed in Ramahaggan, and in 1815, they are listed in Tillyfruskie. It is likely they were living in Tillyfruskie from at least 1812, as Ramahaggan is adjacent to Tillyfruskie and may have been used as the counting point instead. Moreover, in 1812 and 1815 baptisms of children of Alexander Smart, Robert Sherrat is a witness, and is described as "at Tillyfruskie" in both.
  3. ^ This can be seen in the Birse List of Inhabitants for 1819. At Woodend, it shows Jas Catanach, Christ Sherret, Archd Catanach under 7, servants, Mrs Sherret widow, Archd Sherret, Isobel Sherret.
  4. ^ See Old Machar OPR, 8 Dec 1796.
  5. ^ See Nigg OPR, 24 Dec 1797.


Banchory-Ternan OPR
Church of Scotland, Parish of Banchory-Ternan, Parish registers, 1670-1854. On microfilm at LDS FHS 0993308, 0102554.
25 Jun 1762 Robert Spring in Raemoir christened daughter Isobell [extract] (IGI extract)

Birse Lists
Found in: Birse Kirk Session, 1698-1942, in National Archives of Scotland, Edinburgh, refno CH2/595. (The Rev. Joseph Smith of the parish of Birse had a habit of making lists of all the inhabitants of his parish every 2 or 3 years. This practice was not common, and may be unique to him, but it's a boon for genealogists researching in Birse. Lists include 1797, 1801, 1808, 1812, 1815, 1819, 1822, 1825.)

Birse OPR
Church of Scotland, Parish of Birse, Parish registers, 1758-1854. On microfilm at LDS FHS 0991258.
11 Dec 1797: "Mr. Robert Sherrat overseer at Finzean had a daughter baptized named Christian Wit. Mr. Robert Spring and Miss Mary Spring" (The witnesses are probably Isobel's brother and sister. Note the use of "Mr." here is a special respect. None of the other similar entries on this page, for instance, use "Mr." with the names of fathers or witnesses.)
17 Apr 1799: "Mr. Robert Sherrat overseer at Finzean had a daughter baptized named Mary. Witnesses Mr. Robert Spring from Aberdeen and Miss Mary Spring at Finzean" (The witnesses are again Isobel's brother and sister. Note that Mary is now listed as "at Finzean".)
27 Dec 1802: "Mr. Robert Sherret overseer at Finzean had a son baptized named Archibald. Witnesses Mr. Cromar and David Stratton" (Note "Mr. Cromar" is likely George Cromar, schoolmaster at Bankhead, who baptized a daughter the same day.)
19 Oct 1805: "Mr. Robert Sherret overseer at Finzean had a daughter baptized named Isobel. Witnesses James Robertson and David Stratton in Woodend"

Nigg OPR
Church of Scotland, Parish of Nigg, Parish registers, 1675-1854. On microfilm at LDS FHS 0993323, 0993324.
24 Dec 1797: Robert Shirret and Isobel Spring married [extract] (IGI extract) (It is not clear why their marriage was re-recorded in another parish slightly more than a year after they were married, and 2 weeks after the birth of their first child.)

Old Machar OPR
Church of Scotland, Parish of Old Machar, Parish registers, 1621-1854. On microfilm at LDS FHS 0991141.
8 Dec 1796: "Robert Sherrets gardener in the parish of Nigg and Isobel Spring in the parish of Old Machar signified their purpose of marriage. Robert Spring being cautioner of their pledges. Being proclaimed in 2 several sabbaths without objection, they were married." (This Robert Spring likely to be Isobel's father, though it may be her younger brother, then age 25.) (IGI extract)

See Also

Footnotes (including sources)