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MOWAT, Alexander
(About 1645-)
CANNY, Margaret
(About 1650-)
(About 1675-)
(About 1680-)
MOWAT, Alexander
BOWER, Jannet
MOVAT, Thomas elder, Cordiner, Shoemaker
(1726-Before 1778)


Family Links

1. SIMSONE, Agnes

2. DICKSON, Margaret

MOVAT, Thomas elder, Cordiner, Shoemaker 2

  • Born: 5 November 1726 2
  • Baptised: 13 November 1726, Prestonpans, East Lothian, Scotland 2
  • Marriage (1): SIMSONE, Agnes on 21 November 1746 in Haddington, East Lothian, Scotland
  • Marriage (2): DICKSON, Margaret on 18 July 1778 in Edinburgh parish, Edinburgh, Scotland 1
  • Died: Before 18 July 1778

   Other names for Thomas were MOUAT, Thomas, MOWAT, Thomas,1 MOWATT, Thomas, MUAT, Thomas,3 MUATT, Thomas,4 MUETT, Thomas 5 and MUOATT, Thomas.4 6

  General Notes:

Old Parish Registers
Prestonpans Parish East Lothian

"November 1726
Alexander Movat Weaver and Jean Bowar had a Son Born November 5th and Baptized Thomas Novr 13th 1726 Witnesses William Mason & Alexander Movat Weavers" 2

  Research Notes:


The evidence for the identity of the parents of Thomas named here is circumstantial but probably correct. Sources for this period with evidence to directly link generations are scarce to non existent. Thomas is likely to have been the child of these parents, but more research may confirm or contradict this.


Orthography and other linguistic factors have influenced this surname in a variety of ways.

During the late Middle Ages, two forms of "v" developed, which were both used for its ancestor u and modern v.
The pointed form "v" was written at the beginning of a word, while a rounded form "u" was used in the middle or end, regardless of sound.

By the mid-16th century, the "v" form was used to represent the consonant and "u" the vowel sound, giving us the modern letter "u". This is part of the muddle about the surname of our subject, Thomas. In his baptism record, the spelling looks to us like a "v" (a consonant sound) and is indexed by Scotland's People in modern handwriting as a "v". It is meant to be a consonant sound, as in the word "covert". Elsewhere on the same page the occupation cooper (in modern English) is written as "couper", that is, with a "u".

"w"'s name is similar or identical to that of English "v" and in many other languages too has the meaning of 'double "v"'. The history of the way "v" was pronounced through its development from Latin onwards is complex. Take the Latin phrase "Ave Maria", "Greetings, Mary". Many latin students were and are taught to pronounce it not as "v" in the English "van", but as a "w" sound, sounding like the English word "away". The important thing to know is that not everyone all the time said "v" as we say it with our top teeth on bottom lip. It is also pronounced, as in modern Spanish, with only lips touching. This is probably the origin of the choice of "Mowat" spelling.

These interconnections give a hint of explanation as to why this surname -Movat, Mouat, Mowat, Muoat, Muat- has so many variations through the decades and centuries. That basic explanation along with the mysteries of historical pronunciations of the surname and the development of its history locally have created a recipe for intense frustration on the part of family historians.

adapted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
More information at


"It is said that the Mowats settled in Scotland in the reign of David I and were originally of Norman origin from the surname Monhault or Montealto; they moved to the north of Scotland in the 12th century as well as being found in Orkney and Shetland. Sir William of Montealt obtained the Lordship of Ferne in Forfarshire from King William the Lion and in 1214 Richard de Montealto justiciary of Scotland witnessed a confirmation of Alexander II. Bernard de Mowat along with the Abbot of Balmerino and several knights and nobles accompanied Princess Margaret to Norway but on their return their ship was wrecked and they drowned. In 1289 William de Mowat was one of the signatories of the letter to Edward I of England regarding the projected marriage of his eldest son with Princess Margaret. Bernard Mowat of Peebleshire bore arms against the King of England at Methven and for "feloniously slaying some of the King's liegemen there, and slaying Roger de Tany the King's vallet in Selkirk forest, and burning and destroying churches in Scotland" was sentenced to be hanged and drawn."

from Electric Scotland website: Mowat 7

Thomas married Agnes SIMSONE, daughter of William SYMPSONE and Ann WHYTE, on 21 November 1746 in Haddington, East Lothian, Scotland. (Agnes SIMSONE was baptised on 2 August 1719 in St Boswell's Parish, Roxburghshire, Scotland 1.)

  Marriage Notes:

Old Parish Registers
Haddington Parish East Lothian

Nove:21 Thomas Mouat and Agness Simpson Both in this Parish Caurs for him Andrew Simpson for her Rot White" 8

Thomas next married Margaret DICKSON, daughter of James DICKSON Tailor, of Laurencehouse and Isabell BARY, on 18 July 1778 in Edinburgh parish, Edinburgh, Scotland.1 (Margaret DICKSON was baptised on 17 March 1751 in Borthwick Parish, Midlothian, Scotland 1.)

  Marriage Notes:

Old Parish Registers
Edinburgh Parish Edinburgh

"July 18th 1778
Thomas Muat shoemaker parish of Haddington and Margaret Dickson same parish Daughter of James Dickson Taylor of Laurence house" 3


1 LDS Family Search, IGI.

2 Old Parish Registers of the Church of Scotland, Prestonpans Parish East Lothian Baptisms.

3 Old Parish Registers of the Church of Scotland, Edinburgh City Parish Edinburgh Marriages.

4 Old Parish Registers of the Church of Scotland, Haddington East Lothian Baptisms.

5 Old Parish Registers of the Church of Scotland, Bolton East Lothian baptisms 1751.

6 GRO Index, Baptisms.

7 Internet Site,

8 Old Parish Registers of the Church of Scotland, Haddington East Lothian Marriages.

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