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Miss Margaret Whitson

Margaret Whitson, a woman of means, was the sole surviving daughter of Patrick Whitson, flax merchant, of Dundee. She, along with her two younger sisters, Isabella and Jane, resided in the fashionable district at the west end of the Nethergate.

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Personal details and history

Full name

Margaret Whitson

Date of birth

20-06-1790[1] - named after both her grandmothers[1]

Place of birth




Marital status


Name of spouse




Home address

33 (South)[2] Tay Street[3][4]

Age at death:

90 years[5]

Place of death:

Tay Street, Dundee[5]

Date of death:



Western Cemetery, Comp 11 Lair 20

Affiliations, clubs, offices and related subscribers

Religious affiliation

Unknown with certainty - Miss Whitson provided liberal amounts to Free Church of Scotland ventures in her will:[6]

Political affiliation


Clubs / societies

Regular donations were given to various charitable funds:

Public offices

Female Society - a treasurer:[7] This was an organisation for 'visiting and relieving aged females in distressed circumstances:'[7]

Related subscribers

Subscriber  7 – Patrick Anderson, merchant – a trustee and executor for Margaret Whitson’s estate.[6]

Subscriber 113 – Helen Jobson – a named friend and beneficiary.[6]

Subscriber 170 – Andrew Ogilvie, stockbroker – a trustee and executor for Margaret Whitson’s estate.[6]

Subscriber 173 – John Ogilvie, writer – an executor and beneficiary of Margaret Whitson’s estate.[6] John Ogilvie’s wife (also a named beneficiary)[6] was related to Margaret Whitson via her father’s first wife, Isobel Maxwell. John Ogilvie’s daughter Mary Isabella, also described Miss Whitson as having been ‘an aged relative.’[8]

Subscriber 212 – John Symers, banker – his wife was also a treasurer in The Female Society along with Margaret Whitson and a minor beneficiary (as was his daughter).[6]

Subscriber 216 – Mrs Captain Scott – a named friend and beneficiary.[6]

Subscriber 251 – Francis Whitehurst – a neighbour in South Tay Street.[4]

Career and worklife




Independent means

Place of work


Work address


Career to date:


More information

Margaret Whitson was the oldest daughter born to Patrick Whitson, a flax merchant, and his second wife, Jean Whitson of Mudhall, Bendochy, on 20th June 1790. [1]

Having been the daughter of a notable Dundee townsman who had held positions as Bailie[9] and Dean of Guild,[10] it was unsurprising that the Whitson family resided in South Tay Street. The town architect, David Neave, had been responsible for the construction of the neo-classical terrace in South Tay Street between 1818-20. He had the reputation for having been the ‘favoured architect of Dundee’s mercantile elite.’[11] The likes of Patrick Whitson and his family chose to reside there for a number of decades, from the 1820s, it becoming a lasting home to Margaret and her sisters, Isabella and Jane. Her younger brother Patrick, also a merchant, was listed as having lived in King Street,[12] prior to his untimely death in 1833.[13] Their father, Patrick Whitson, died two years later in 1835.[13][14]

On their father’s passing, (their mother having died in 1829)[13] Margaret and her two younger sisters became inheritors to his estate, valued at more than £7,000.[14] Another beneficiary was their step-brother William (Patrick’s son from his first marriage to Isobel Maxwell). At the time, William resided in Jamaica[14] although he returned to Scotland, ultimately having resided in Newport, Fife.

A mere six years after the death of their father, Margaret’s sisters died, within three weeks of each other, in October 1841.[13] Margaret and her older step-brother William became the sole survivors of the Whitson family. Stated to have been a ‘Retired West Indian Planter,’ William died in 1872.[15] Neither Margaret nor her brother William had family of their own.

Margaret died on the 30th of September, 1880 of  ‘the Infirmities of Old Age.’ A woman of considerable means, with an estate valued at £11,504 16s 11d (equivalent to £1,150,400 – therefore having been a millionaire), Miss Whitson, as evidenced in her will, had made a number of judicious investments, including railway stock.[6]

She left multiple charitable bequests, mostly to Free Church endeavours and also to Dundee Royal Infirmary.[16]


  1. Old Parish Registers. Dundee. Births. 282/ 70 346. ScotlandsPeople website.
  2. Census Records. Dundee. (1851). 282/ 29/ 9. ScotlandsPeople website.
  3. Census Records. Dundee. (1861). 282/ 27/ 31.  ScotlandsPeople website.
  4. Dundee Postal Directory, 1863-64. p.200. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
  5. Statutory Registers. Dundee. Deaths. (1880). 282/ 2 650. ScotlandsPeople website.
  6. Legal Records. Wills and Testaments. Dundee Sheriff Court. (1880). SC45/ 31 30. ScotlandsPeople website.
  7. Dundee Postal Directory, 1863-64. p.36. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
  8. Ogilvie, Mary Isabella. A Scottish Childhood and What Happened After. (1952). Oxford. George Ronald.
  9. The Dundee Directory, 1824-25. p.145. National Library of Scotland website.
  10. The Dundee Directory, 1818. p.135. National Library of Scotland website.
  11. McKean, Charles, Whatley, Patricia with Baxter. Kenneth. Lost Dundee, Dundee's Lost Architectural Heritage. (2008). p.72. Edinburgh. Berlin
  12. Dundee Postal Directory, 1829-30. p.55. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
  13. Mitchell, Alison. (ed). Monumental Inscriptions. Volume 4. Dundee and Broughty Ferry. p.44. Scottish Genealogy Association.
  14. Legal Records. Wills and Testaments. Dundee Sheriff Court. (1880). SC45/ 31/ 2. ScotlandsPeople website.
  15. Statutory Registers. Forgan. Deaths. (1872). 431/ 10. ScotlandsPeople website.
  16. Dundee Evening Telegraph, 27 May 1881. British Newspaper Archive Website

The information above about Margaret Whitson has been collated from a range of digital and hard copy sources. To the best of our knowledge it is correct but if you are relying on any information from our website for the purpose of your own research we would advise you to follow up the sources to your own satisfaction. If you are aware of an inaccuracy in our text please do not hesitate to notify us through our Contact page.