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Mr William Gellatly

William Gellatly was apparently successful in business but his personal life was troubled: his first wife died within 6 months of marriage; his second wife after 11 years; his third wife after 5 years; and his only son of chronic tuberculosis aged 4 months.

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Personal details and history

Full name

William Gellatly

Date of birth


Place of birth

Balgillo, Monifieth[1]



Marital status


Name of spouse

1. Betsy Anderson, 29-01-1850;[2] 2. Jemima Neish, 19-08-1853;[3] 3. Rose Edward Mitchell, 1865;[4]


to Jemima Neish: Jemima Neish (1854); Maria Margaret (1856); William George (1860); Catherine Ann (1858); - to Rose Mitchell: Rose Edward (1866); Emily Toulmin (1867); Beatrice Jane (1869)

Home address

Westfield Place
Dundee 1864[5]

Affleck Castle
Craigton by Carnoustie
Angus 1876[6]

James Place
Broughty Ferry
Angus 1892[7] [8]

Age at death:

74 years[9]

Place of death:

1 James Place, Broughty Ferry[9]

Date of death:



Western Cemetery, Dundee[10]

Affiliations, clubs, offices and related subscribers

Religious affiliation

Free Church[8] Elder, first in St Paul’s, Dundee, and afterwards in the West U.F. Church, Broughty Ferry

Political affiliation


Clubs / societies

Member of the Guildry Committee of the Seamen's Friend Society[8]

Public offices

None known

Related subscribers

Career and worklife


1864 - Merchant: 1867 - Merchant and agent for Scottish Widows Fund: 1869 - Partner, seed crushers and oil refiners: 1874 - Merchant and ship owner


Employee then owner

Place of work

4 Exchange Place, Dundee[5]

Work address

4 Exchange Place

Gellatly Mitchell & Co., Tay Seed and Oil Works
Dundee From 1869[11]

Career to date:

1836 Entered the office of Mr John Kennedy, owner of the Dundee and Aberdeen traders:[8] 1846 Secured an important appointment at Messrs A & D Edward & Co., flaxspinners and manufacturers, Logie Works:[8] 1864 Merchant at 4 Royal Exchange Place:[5] 1869 Gellatly, Mitchell & Co., Stannergate Mills, Dundee, seed crushers and oil refiners:[11]

More information

1. Death of Betsy Anderson first wife of Thomas Gellatly

Dundee, Perth and Cupar Advertiser 13th August 1850

“Mrs William Gellatly died on board the barque “Berwick Castle” at sea, on the 7th July last, on her passage from London to Archangel, and was buried on the Island of Muduga on the 26th of said month.”[12]

The couple had only been married six months. Was this a honeymoon voyage? It seems likely that the vessel was involved in the flax trade, Archangel being a very important supplier of the raw material.

2. William Gellatly as a shipowner, was a major shareholder (16/64) in the barque ‘Africa’, built in Dundee in 1865. By 1869 he had increased his shareholding to 21/64.[13]

3. Obituary – Dundee Courier 4th March 1901


Mr William Gellatly, merchant, Dundee, died at his residence, James Place, Broughty Ferry, on Saturday. Deceased was well known in commercial circles of the city, especially by the older merchants, with whom during his long and active career he came much in contact. Indeed for two generations he has been a prominent figure in the city’s business affairs, and although for a number of years he has lived in retirement the intimation of his death will excite feelings of regret among his numerous friends. In the year 1838 Mr Gellatly entered the office of Mr John Kennedy, who owned the Dundee and Aberdeen traders and in 1846 he received an important appointment in the office of Messrs. A. & D. Edward & Co., who carried on a large business as flaxspinners and manufacturers at Logie Works. After remaining there for 15 years, he commenced business as a merchant and shipowner. Later he bought the mills at Stannergate, which he fitted up for seed crushing from which business he retired a number of years ago. Though never much of a public man, Mr Gellatly’s interests were by no means limited by his private affairs. He was a member of the Guildry, and also one of the Committee of the Seamen’s Friend Society. By many of the poor and needy he will be greatly missed, as he was always willing to be helpful, and many a fund he got up and managed for the benefit of individuals or families. He was a staunch Free Churchman, and was an elder, first in St Paul’s, Dundee and afterwards in the West U.F. Church, Broughty Ferry. He was 74 years of age, and is survived by five daughters. At the morning service in West U.F. Church, yesterday Rev. G.E. Troup referred to the loss the congregation had sustained through Mr Gellatly’s death.”[8]



  1. Old Parish Record. Monifieth. Birth. 25 May 1826. 310/ 60 20. ScotlandsPeople website.
  2. Old Parish Record. Dundee. Marriage. 29 January 1850. 282/230 308. ScotlandsPeople website.
  3. Old Parish Record. Liff, Benvie & Invergowrie. Marriage. 19 August 1853. 301/40 399. ScotlandsPeople website.
  4. Statutory Record. Dundee First District. Marriage.  23 March 1865. 282/1 130. Scotlandspeople website.
  5. Post Office Directory, Dundee, 1864/65, p.126. Local History Section, Central Library, Dundee.
  6. Post Office Directory, Dundee, 1876/77, p.147. Local History Section, Central Library, Dundee.
  7. Post Office Directory, Dundee, 1892/93, p.218. Local History Section, Central library, Dundee.
  8. Dundee Courier, 4 March 1901. Obituary Notices Book, 2 January 1885-13 October 1909, p.187. Local History Section, Central Library, Dundee.
  9. Statutory Record. Dundee St Andrew. Death. 2 March 1901. 282/4 240. ScotlandsPeople website.
  10. Pre-1855 Gravestones Inscriptions in Angus, Vol 4, Dundee & Broughty Ferry, D30251, p191 No.40 1852. Local History Section, Central Library, Dundee.
  11. Post Office Directory, Dundee, 1869/70, p.135. Local History Section, Central Library, Dundee.
  12. Dundee, Perth and Cupar Advertiser, 13 August 1850. British Newspaper Archive on-line.
  13. Shipping Register. Dundee Outport. CE70/11/11/1865/17 Africa. Dundee City Archives.


I would like to acknowledge the generous help provided to me by the staff at the Local History Section of Dundee Central Library.

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