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Mr William Alston

William Alston, originally from Lanarkshire, moved into Dundee in the early 1850s. He ran a successful Watchmaker and Jeweller's business in the High Street Dundee for 35 years.

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Personal details and history

Full name

William Alston

Date of birth


Place of birth

Strathavon, Lanarkshire [1]



Marital status


Name of spouse

Married firstly to Janet Henderson 30 June 1851[2] and subsequently to Janet Ballingall 3 June 1868[3]


Janet b. 5 April 1855; Annie Giffen b. 20 July 1860; Jeanie b.26 Apr 1863; William b 13 March 1865 and a further three to his second wife: Andrew b 12 March 1869; Nancy b. 8 August 1870; Jessie b. 22 December 1871.

Home address

2 Craigie Terrace [4]
132 Craigie Terrace
Union Place [5]

Age at death:


Place of death:


Date of death:



Western Cemetery [7]

Affiliations, clubs, offices and related subscribers

Religious affiliation

Church of Scotland

Political affiliation


Clubs / societies


Public offices


Related subscribers

Career and worklife


Jeweller and Watchmaker [5]


Shop owner

Place of work

Jeweller Shop

Work address

7 High Street
Dundee [5]

Career to date:

William was the son of Andrew Alston and Anne Giffen, born in 1825 in Strathavon, Avondale, Lanarkshire.[1] In 1851 he is recorded as living in the parish of New Monkland, Glasgow[2] and came to reside in Dundee in the early 1850s. The first record of William Alston in the Dundee Directory being 1853.[8] In 1855 he is recorded in the Valuation Roll as tenant/occupier in a dwelling house in New Inn Entry with a business in High Street.[9] He married his first wife, Janet Henderson 30 June 1851.[2]. He fathered four children to his first wife: Janet b. 5 April 1855; Annie Giffen b. 20 July 1860; Jeanie b. 26 Apr 1863; William b. 13 March 1865.[10] Janet Henderson died 6 May 1865.[11][12]

More information

William, a widower, was married for the second time to Janet Ballingall 3 June 1868[3] and had a further three children to his second wife: Andrew b. 12 March 1869; Nancy b. 8 August 1870; Jessie b. 22 December 1871.[10] In the 1875 Valuation Roll his residence is listed in Craigie Road and he has a shop at number 7 High Street with a workshop, office and cellar at Number 6 High Street[Valuation Craigie].

He often ran advertisements for his business in the local press[13].

He died 19 October 1886 aged 61 at his home in Craigie Terrace, Dundee. His spouse is recorded as Janet Ballingall[6]. His gravestone read:

“In loving remembrance of William Alston 19. 10.1886 and his wife Janet Ballingall d. 7.8.1935. Also their youngest daughter Maggie d. 26.10.1941”[14]


  1. Old Parish Record. Avondale. Birth. 30 May 1825. 621/40/35. Scotland's People website and Scotland: Select Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950. Accessed via
  2. Old Parish Registers, Marriages, 424/170/313. Parish of Dunfermline. Accessed through Scotlands People
  3. Statutory Registers, Marriages, 409/1. Parish of Balmerino, County of Fife. Accessed through Scotlands People
  4. 1881 Census Scotland. Dundee. ED: 11; Page: 45; Line: 19; Roll: cssct1881_86 Ancestry website.
  5. Dundee Directory, 1861-62, p.109. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  6. Statutory Record, Dundee. Death. 19 October 1886. 282/4 779. Scotland's People website
  7. Friends of the Archives - Grave locations in the Western Cemetery
  8. Dundee Post Office Directories, 1853-1855. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  9. Valuation Roll 1855, Dundee Parish. Accessed through Scotlands People
  10. Scotland Select Births and Baptisms 1564-1950. Accessed through
  11. Dundee People's Journal, 6 May 1865. Accessed through British Newspaper Archive
  12. Statutory Register of Deaths. Dundee. 282/1 500. Accessed through Scotlands People
  13. Dundee Courier, 22 December 1858, p. 1. Accessed through British Newspaper Archive
  14. Deceased Online website

The information above about William Alston 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.