Robert Fisher born 1816

In 1841, after the family was cleared from Murthly, Patrick's son Robert was living in Bank Street with his wife Maria and 10 month old Peter. The year before, on 26 January 1840, Robert Fisher and Maria McDiarmid, both in Wester Aberfeldy, gave up their names for the proclamation of Banns of marriage. Peter was born 6 months later so they must have just discovered Maria was pregnant.

I can find no record of Maria's birth but her death certificate recorded her parents as Duncan and Annie McDiarmid. The mother's maiden surname is not recorded. Two later records suggest she was born in Argyllshire.

In the 1841 census Robert was described as a distiller but a year later this advertisement (right) appeared in the Perthshire Advertiser. It suggests that Robert, who was now also an Innkeeper, had tried to set up a distillery but for some reason it had failed. He may have been too optimistic and under capitalised to survive the depression of the 1840s which carried off many distilleries.In the light of his early death some years later he may have been incapacitated by illness.

Robert was the brother-in-law of the sister of Alexander McLean of Pitillie distillery.

By the 1851 the family was living in Dunkeld Street. He and Maria had 4 children; Peter born 1840, Mariah born 1841, Ann born 1843 and Alexander born 1845. Robert was now a 'pauper'.

After 1851 Robert disappeared with no census or death record so he presumably died between 1851 and 1855 when statutory registration of deaths began. Their daughter Ann's death certificate dated 1859 confirmed that her father had indeed died. Two of Robert's children died young of pulmonary tuberculosis: the same disease probably carried off Robert himself.

Maria moved to Dunbarton where in 1861 and 1871 she was working as a housekeeper. In 1890 79 year old Maria McDiarmid, the wife of deceased Robert Fisher who had been an Innkeeper, died in Glasgow. The death was reported by son in law James Miller who had married Maria Fisher, their daughter, in June 1872 in Dumbarton. Maria was a domestic servant and her father, Robert, was described as hotel-keeper (deceased).

Peter baptised 25.7.1840 in Aberfeldy

The 4 records below probably refer to Robert and Maria's son Peter.

  1. In 1861 Peter Fisher from Aberfeldy in Perthshire was a grocer's salesman in Cardross Dunbartonshire. He, Marie and Alexander were living with Mrs Robert Fisher whose relationship to head of family was' widow' scored through and replaced with 'head'. Her place of birth was Argyllshire, Kilbrandon.
  2. In 1871 Peter was at 33 High Street, Dumbarton. 54 year old Maria Fisher was head of house and described as a housekeeper and a widow. Peter was described as her son with the occupation of grocer employing 1 man and 2 boys. They had a servant and a 26 year old lodger working as a bank accountant. Maria's place of birth was recorded as Argyleshire, Oban
  3. In 1873 Peter married a widow called Janet McIntosh in Helensburgh. Peter's parents were recorded as Robert Fisher and Maria McDiarmid
  4. In 1881, age 42 and still a grocer, he was living in Huntly Lodge in the parish of Dunoon and Kilmun in Argyll with his wife Janet and a 5 year old daughter Janet G.

Peter's brother and sister, Alexander and Anne, both died young of pulmonary tuberculosis in Dunbartonshire and their parents were clearly recorded as Robert Fisher and Maria McDiarmid.

Peter died age 49 in an hotel in Glasgow. The certifying doctor was unable to specify the cause and it would seem no postmortem was done.


Despite some discrepancies we can conclude that some time after age 25 Robert had to end his career as a distiller. After a period of unemployment he became an inn /hotel keeper but by age 43 he was dead, probably of tuberculosis. In 1861 his wife Maria was living with her children in Dunbartonshire. Two of Robert and Maria's children died young of tuberculosis. Two years later their son Peter married a widow from Helensburgh and subsequently moved to Dunoon without his mother who died in Glasgow in 1890.

Page last updated - 3/6/17