Alexander Clerihew and John Fiddes: Cousins?
That they were cousins seemed not unlikely. They were obviously close to each other. When Alexander was minister in Gartmore, John stayed with him for about a year, prior to his being licensed by the local Presbytery, the Free Presbytery of Dunblane. Moreover, their mothers had the same maiden surname – Smith – which could mean that they were sisters and so Alexander and John would be cousins.
However we have now received a communication from an informant, Craig Smith, who gives better information, as follows:
“These are some notes in relation to the reference to John Fiddes and Alexander Clerihew being cousins. Their mothers were not sisters. The parents of John’s mother Margaret Smith were William Smith, born 1771 in Tough, and Euphemia Laing. William (1771) and Euphemia both died in 1835 at Loanhead of Corse in Coull. The parents of Elizabeth Smith [the mother of Alexander Clerihew] were William Smith, born 1758 in Leochel-Cushnie and Elizabeth Soutar. Some of William (1758) and Elizabeth’s children were born at Loanhead of Corse.
“Although Alexander died in Nassau, he has a memorial stone in Stirling. This is another possible connection to John who was at Killearn.
“It is possible that William (1758) and William (1771) were 1st cousins, which would make Elizabeth and Margaret 2nd cousins and Alexander and John 3rd cousins. I hope to prove this connection through DNA testing in the future.
“You may also be interested in Alexander Clerihew’s obituary from Nassau: The Nassau Guardian, 22nd April, 1865”.