Copyright (C) 2020 by Patrick's People all rights reserved Updated 21 November 2020
arrow arrow arrow arrow
WEBSTER, William
JACK, John
WEBSTER, Richard
JACK, Catherine
(About 1790-1860)
(About 1809-)


Family Links

1. WINTON, Robert

2. WINTON, James


  • Born: About 1809, Water of Leith, St Cuthbert's Parish, Edinburgh, Scotland 1
  • Marriage (1): WINTON, Robert on 14 July 1829 in Saint Cuthbert's Parish, Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Partnership (2): WINTON, James
  • Died: 30 November 1883 at 10.15 pm, 21 Cowan's Close, East Crosscauseway, Edinburgh, Scotland

   Cause of her death was 'apparently bronchitis'.

   Other names for Helen were JACK, Helen,2 WEBSTER, E.,3 WEBSTER, Hellen,4 WINTON, Helen 1 5 and WINTON, Hellen.1 4

  General Notes:

No birth or baptism document has as yet been found for Helen Webster. It may be that there was a nonconformist ceremony which has not been discovered. Her birth date, therefore, is based on census returns for her, as well as her recorded age at death.

The census for England of 1841 recorded Robert Winton, with his wife Helen Winton and their four children, living at Henderson's Cottages in Cowpen, a village in Northumberland not far from Blyth. Helen Winton was recorded as 30 years old and as born in Scotland. The relationships are inferred, since the 1841 census did not record such.

The 1851 census for the parish of Edinburgh, St Cuthbert's, recorded James Winton and Helen Winton, his wife, and their daughter, Norminia, living at Sime's Court. Helen Winton was recorded as 40 years of age and born in Edinburgh, while James was recorded as 34 years of age. Their daughter was 3 months old. Helen's children with Robert Winton, the brother of James, were not in evidence in this household.

Helen Winton was recorded as 52 years of age by the 1861 census for Edinburgh. She was living with her husband, James, recorded as ten years younger than Helen, and their daughter, named as Prozinia by the enumerator, at 395 Lawnmarket in the St Giles registration district of Edinburgh. The dwelling had one windowed room. No occupation was noted for Helen, but her birthplace was noted as St Cuthbert's parish of Edinburgh.

In 1871, the census for Cockpen recorded Helen Winton, 60 years of age and born in the parish of St Cuthbert's Edinburgh, living at Red Row, Bonnyrigg. Her husband, James, 57 years old, was head of the household, and with them lived their unmarried daughter, Normina, Normina's baby son, David Phillips, and Alfred Traghiam. Alfred was 5 years old and was Helen's grandson, being the child of her daughter, Catherine, by Robert Winton.

The census of 1881 for St Cuthbert's parish in Edinburgh recorded Helen Winton living at Cowan's Close with her husband, James, and her little granddaughter, Janet Phillips, aged 8 years, who had been born at Bonnyrig, Cockpen, and was a scholar. Helen herself was recorded as 67 years of age, two years older than her husband James. Like him she was recorded as having been born at Water of Leith, Edinburgh. Her occupation was noted as 'engine fitter's wife'.

Helen Winton died in 1883. Her death certificate recorded that she had been 'married to James Winton Engineer's fitter'. Her age was recorded as 74 years. Her parents' names were noted as Richard Webster and Catherine Jack.

The death certificate of Helen's daughter, also Helen, in 1884, recorded her mother as 'Helen Winton MS Jack'. 1 2 6 7 8

  Research Notes:


Helen Webster was certainly married to Robert Winton, who died between 1841 and 1851, but no marriage evidence has emerged of any marriage to James Winton, his brother. Moreover, by Church law and State law, any marriage between then them would not have been valid.

Affinity, in Canon Law, is a relationship established by marriage where a man and a woman each become related to the blood relatives of the other. So that, in the case of the Wintons, Helen Webster, by marrying Robert Winton, became a blood relative of his family, and therefore could not marry one of his brothers, even when her husband was dead. Affinity, kinship, is an impediment to marriage.

Until 1907, British Law forbade the marriage of a person to the deceased spouse's sister or brother. The Deceased Wife's Sister's Marriage Act 1907 removed the prohibition, but only in the relationship outlined in the title. It was not until 1921 that the Deceased Brother's Widow's Marriage Act 1921 was passed.


The death certificate of Helen's daughter, also Helen, in 1884, recorded her mother as 'Helen Winton MS Jack'.

Helen was known as Webster because her father's surname was Webster, and it was probably the case that he recognised her as his daughter. This seems to have been the norm in Scotland, and especially in rural districts, before the coming of statutory registration in 1855.

There is, however, no record of a marriage between Catherine Jack and Richard Webster. So by 1884, when statutory registration had become the norm, the bureaucratic registrar of Helen Webster's daughter, Helen's death, no doubt felt the 'truth' of her mother's status should be recorded. Hence, the record that her maiden surname was 'Jack', her mother's name before marriage, not 'Webster'.

  Medical Notes:

Henry D. Littlejohn certified the cause of Helen's death.

Helen's husband, James, notified the registrar, R. W. Charlton, at Edinburgh, on 3 December 1883, and made his X mark.

Helen married Robert WINTON, son of Alexander WINTON and Janet GUILD, on 14 July 1829 in Saint Cuthbert's Parish, Edinburgh, Scotland. (Robert WINTON was born on 7 February 1805 in Water of Leith, St Cuthbert's Parish, Edinburgh, Scotland 9, baptised on 20 March 1805 in Saint Cuthbert's Parish, Edinburgh, Scotland and died between 1843 and 1851.)

  Marriage Notes:

St Cuthbert's Parish Edinburgh
"Register of Marriages in 1829
13th July
Winton & Webster
Robert Winton Blacksmith Residing in Wall's Close Northside of Water of Leith and Helen Webster also residing in Same place daughter of Richard Webster Weaver there have been Three times proclaimed in order to Marriage in the Parish Church of St Cuthbert's and No objections have been Offered.
Married on the Fourteenth day of July Current by the Reverend Doctor David Dickson, one of the Ministers of this Parish."


Helen had a relationship with James WINTON, son of Alexander WINTON and Janet GUILD. (James WINTON was born about 1818 in Water of Leith, St Cuthbert's Parish, Edinburgh, Scotland 6 and died 10 June 1892 at 4.00 pm in 187 Causewayside, Edinburgh, Scotland.). The cause of his death was heart disease and bronchitis over 3 days.

  Marriage Notes:


The 1891 census recorded James Winton as a widower. In 1892 his death certificate recorded him as single. This contradiction, even potential mystery, has gradually unravelled itself as more information has been discovered.

The death certificate of Helen Webster in 1883 recorded her husband's name as James Winton and her father as Richard Webster; indeed her husband 'James Winton' was himself the informant of her death. 'James Winton' was also the name recorded as the father of Normina Winton in her marriage certificate in 1876.

No record has been found in the Old Parish Records, pre 1855, nor in the Statutory Records, post 1855, of a marriage between James Winton and Helen Webster. It is most unlikely that there is one.

A marriage between Robert Winton and Helen Webster has been found. It took place in St Cuthbert's parish in Edinburgh, on 14 July 1829. The record mentions that the bride's father was called Richard. Four children of the this couple are known: Helen, christened 6 May 1830 in St Cuthbert's parish Edinburgh; Alexander, christened 3 September 1833 at Kilmadock, Perth; Catharine christened 13 August 1837 in Dundee; and Elizabeth Robertson Winton, christened 16 February 1844 at St Cuthbert's Edinburgh.

The person called Helen Webster in both relationships is the same person. She was recorded with both men, and some of her children, in Cowpen, Northumberland, by the 1841 census. Between then and the 1851 census, Robert died. James, his brother, by the time of the taking of the census of 1851 was living with Helen Webster as man and wife, and had a daughter by her.

It would have been against Church law, and illegal by State law at that time, for James Winton and Helen Webster to marry. Both systems of law forbade people of their degree of kin or affinity to marry. Thus it was that James, though he had styled himself married and a widower in the course of his life, was recorded as single in his death certificate.


1 1841 UK Census, Tynemouth Northumberland Cowpen Village en d 6 page 19.

2 GRO Scotland, Deaths St Andrew's Edinburgh 685/2 no 217 1884.

3 GRO Scotland, Marriage certificate Edinburgh/Canongate No 42 1876 April 18/daughter Normina.

4 GRO Scotland, Marriages Calton & Bonnington Edinburgh 1857 685/06 no 51.

5 GRO Scotland, Marriages Edinburgh 685/02 no 132.

6 1851 UK census, Edinburgh St Cuthbert's Sime's Court 685/02 en d 66/02 page 4-5.

7 GRO, Edinburgh St Giles 365 Lawnmarket 685/04 en d 13 page 10.

8 1871 UK census, Cockpen 676 en d 2 Bonnyrigg Redrow.

9 Old Parish Registers, Baptisms St Cuthbert's Edinburgh 685/2 20 March 1805.

10 Old Parish Registers, Marriages St Cuthbert's Edinburgh 685/2 13 July 1829.

Table of Contents | Surnames | Name List

This Website was Created 21 November 2020 with Legacy 9.0 from MyHeritage; content copyright and maintained by website owner