The Burgar/Burgess families in Shetland

Click  Arrow on browser to return back to previous page                                                     to bottom of page

William Burgar in Dunrossness in 1619


William Burger is mentioned in the   -  ComDeeds.doc at Shetland Record Office.  It is a summary of a printed book - "NOTES OF SHETLAND ITEMS IN REGISTER OF COMMISSARIAT DEEDS (ORKNEY AND SHETLAND) 1612-48 VOLUME I"  40


At Quendell, 3 October 1619.  Obligation by Gilbert Irwing in Brek to William Burger, tailor, his son-in-law, for £40 ‘in full satisfaction and compleit payment of his tocher guid and of all manner of airship that he or his spous, Marioun Gilbertsdochter, may crave of my deceis or efter the deceis of Mariorie Copland, my spous’.  Witnesses: Arthur Barclay, son to the late Mr Thomas Barclay of Cuplahill, Michell Sinclair, lawful brother to James Sinclair of Quendell, Malcolme Forbes, son to the late Patrik Forbes, burgess of Edinburgh, Henrie Sinclair in ......, and Robert Blak, servitor to the said James Sinclair.   James Neven, notary public.

 Registered at Scalloway, 16 October 1621 (folios 103-4).


Note that the above document was drawn up in Quendale, a few miles away from Hillwell, which was the main base of the Burgar family in the late 1600s and the 1700s.

Tocher is a dowry paid by a bride's family, chiefly her father, to the groom or his family.  It seems that this payment is the dowry and no further claims are to be made on the estate of Gilbert Irwing or his wife Majorie Copeland after their decease.

This suggests that William Burgar and Marian Gilbertsdochter (Marian Irwin) have recently married, thus we have estimated William Burgar to have been born in about 1595 or thereabouts. Note that Gilbert's daughter (Marian) is named using the Norse patronymic method.  She is not known as Marian Irwing but Marian Gilbertsdochter , (Gilbert's daughter).

The original agreement was made in Quendale, and Gilbert Irwing is from Brek (presumably Brek (Brake) of Hillwell).   It is likely that William Burgar is also living in Dunrossness at this time., however, his profession of tailor suggests that he is not a crofter (or perhaps he combined both jobs).  Perhaps he had recently arrived in Shetland?  

See map of Hillwell, Brake of Hillwell etc.

The Brake of Hillwell is the small area of crofts on the slopes above Hillwell.   It is possible that William Burgar may have taken over the croft of his father-in-law after his decease or possibly that he had a croft of his own.

to top of page