Mary Dorothy Miller & William Gordon


Mary Dorothy Miller Gordon

Mary Dorothy Miller

Mary Dorothy Miller was born 17 June 1823 in Bahia, Brazil, at the time a major port on the central coast of Brazil, and known now as Salvador da Bahia. She was the oldest child of Joseph Dundas Miller and his wife, Elizabeth Tomlinson. Although her parents were married in Cheshire, England, in 1821, by the time Mary Dorothy was born in 1823, they had moved to Bahia, one of the ports used by the family shipping company, Millers & Thompson. The first five children were born in Brazil before the family moved to Liverpool where the rest of the children were born.

On 20 April 1847, when Mary Dorothy was twenty-three, she married William Gordon at St. Mary's Church, in Walton-on-the-Hill, just north of Liverpool.1 Notice of the marriage appeared in the Liverpool Mercury etc. on Friday, 23 April 1847:

"Married. Same day [Tuesday last], at St. Mary's Church, Walton-on-the-Hill, by the Rev. W. M. Falloon, William Gordon, Esq., to Mary Dorothy, eldest daughter of Joseph Miller, Esq., of Bootle."2

William Gordon was working for Joseph Dundas Miller3 in the shipping business; he was listed in the 1860 census as a Brazilian merchant. According to William Gordon's great great grandson: "He was, I am told, a very successful young man who worked in the employ of JDM from a young age. While in Brazil he got interested in diamonds and made a fortune dealing in them. He returned to Britain aged 30 with 250,000 in his pocket."4

Mary Dorothy's first seven children were born in Liverpool and her last three in New Brighton, Cheshire, across the River Mersey from Liverpool where Millers and Thompson were headquartered. Mary Dorothy died 18 March 1860 in New Brighton, when she was only thirty-six, leaving William with ten children ages twelve to one.5

In 1864 William remarried.6 He and his new wife, Margaret Steele, moved to Scotland, where he had been born. In the 1871 census they were living in Argrennan House in Tongland, Kircudbrightshire.7



Argrennan House, Kircudbrightshire, Scotland Argrennan House.
Photo © Scottish Screen Locations8


Threave House, Kircudbrightshire, Scotland

Threave House, Kircudbrightshire, Scotland
Photo copyright David Hawgood
Licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence. 9

About 1867, William purchased property in Kirkcudbrightshire near Castle Douglas which had belonged to the Douglas family since the 14th century; the property included Threave Castle, located on an island in the River Dee. In 1871-72 William had Threave House built on land overlooking Threave Castle.

The architect who designed the house was Charles Kinnear of Peddie & Kinnear. His design is said to be based on Castle Fraser in Aberdeenshire in northern Scotland.

William died in 1899. Margaret, his wife, died in 1920. His grandson, Alan Francis Gordon, b.1892, gave the estate to the National Trust for Scotland in 1948. Major Alan Francis Gordon was the younger son of Col. William Gordon, the oldest child of Mary Dorothy and William Gordon. The house, which overlooks the extensive Threave Gardens, was opened to the public in 2002. The house and gardens are visited by 60,000 people each year.



Threave Castle on the River Dee, not far from the town of Castle Douglas in Scotland.

Threave House, home of the William Douglas family, now owned by the National Trust for Scotland

Left: Threave Castle, on an island in the River Dee. The castle is one of Historic Scotland's properties and is open to the public during the summer.

Photo copyright David Hawgood. Licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence. 10


Above: Another view of Threave House, home of the William Douglas family.

Photo copyright Anthony O'Neil. Licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence. 11

Mary Dorothy was buried 23 March 1860 in the churchyard of St. Michael in the Hamlet Church in Toxteth Park, Liverpool. William died 11 August 1899 in Kircudbrightshire and is buried in the Kelton Old Churchyard, down the road from the town of Castle Douglas and not far from Threave House.12 Buried with him are:

William and Mary Dorothy's oldest son, Col. William Gordon, b. 10 Mar 1849:
Colonel William Gordon of Threave, Late of, The Royal Scots Fusiliers, The Durham Light Infantry, And 1st (The Royal Scots) Regimental District, Who Died at Threave, On 11th April 1913, In His 65th Year;

Col. William's oldest son:
Major Colin Lindsay Gordon C.V.O. Late Coldstream Guards Elder Son of Colonel W. Gordon Died at Threave 27th August 1940 Aged 57 Years.

Col. William's younger son:
Major Alan Francis Lindsay Gordon, D.S.O.M.C. [Distinguished Service Order, Military Cross] Late Irish Guards, Younger Son of Colonel W. Gordon, Died 26th Nov 1957 Aged 63 Years;

Also buried there are Col. William's wife, Catharine Anne Neish Gordon and her sister Jane A. Niesh.


Gravestone of William Gordon and other family members, Kelton Old Churchyard, Scotland.
Sacred
To
The Memory of
William Gordon of Threave
Born 17th April 1818
Died 11th August 1899
Photo of gravestone from the website: The Scottish War Graves Project, Kelton Old Churchyard, Dumfries & Galloway, used with permission.12



Related Links
Descendants of William Gordon, Mary Dorothy Miller and Margaret Steele
Burial of Mary Dorothy Miller Gordon
Mary Dorothy Miller Gordon: burial record
William and Vyner Gordon, grandsons of Mary Dorothy and William Gordon
Joseph Dundas Miller
Children of Joseph Dundas Miller & Elizabeth Tomlinson
The Miller family



  1. Registrar General, Great Britain, Index to the Civil Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths for England and Wales, 1837-1980 (Microfiche copy of originals at the Office of Population and Census, Merseyside, England; fiche from the British Isles Reference collection, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, UT).

    Spurstow Miller Charts Recompiled from Donovan Miller's Charts by Hope Healy Koontz and Anne Healy Field, 1978. Original research by Adm. Francis S. Miller, 1863-1953.

  2. Notice of marriage of Mary Dorothy Miller to William Gordon, 1847. Liverpool, England: Liverpool Mercury etc., Friday, 23 April 1847; Issue 1880. p.215; Accessed at Gale Digital Collections: British Newspapers 1600-1900, www.gale.com, 9 April 2008.

  3. Within a few months of his daughter's wedding, Joseph Dundas Miller died and was buried in Funchal, Madeira.

  4. William Allchin. Email to the author, July 2010.

  5. Registrar General, Great Britain, Index to the Civil Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths for England and Wales, 1837-1980. (Microfiche copy of originals at the Office of Population and Census, Merseyside, England; fiche from the British Isles Reference collection, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, UT), Death was registered in the March Qtr., 1860, District of Wirral, Vol. 8a, p.3.

    Spurstow Miller Charts Recompiled from Donovan Miller's Charts by Hope Healy Koontz and Anne Healy Field, 1978. Original research by Adm. Francis S. Miller, 1863-1953.

  6. Free BMD database: a transcription of the Civil Registration index of births, marriages and deaths for England and Wales (http://www.freebmd.org.uk/, c.1998-2008 The Trustees of FreeBMD), Marriage was registered in the June Qtr., Dist. of Birkenhead, vol. 8a, p.643.

    Spurstow Miller Charts Recompiled from Donovan Miller's Charts by Hope Healy Koontz and Anne Healy Field, 1978. Original research by Adm. Francis S. Miller, 1863-1953.

  7. 1871 Census, Scotland, Kirkcudbrightshire. Ancestry.com. 1871 Scotland Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2007; General Register Office for Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland. Parish: Tongland; ED: 1; Line: 10.

  8. Photo of Agrennan House used with permission from Scottish Screen Locations. More information on the house can be found at their website for Argrennan House.

  9. Photo of Threave House, © David Hawgood
    Licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence. Photo taken Sunday, 22 May, 2005. Photographer's caption for his photo: Threave House, Castle Douglas. Built in 1872 by the Gordon family, house and estate given in 1948 to the National Trust for Scotland, who ran a school of gardening there. Original photo at Geograph Britain and Ireland: Threave House, Castle Douglas. http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/14488.

  10. Photo of Threave Castle, © David Hawgood
    Licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence. Photo taken Sunday, 22 May, 2005. Photographer's caption for his photo: Threave Island in the Dee was a stronghold from the 6th century. The castle was built about 1369 for Archibald the Grim, Earl of Douglas. It withstood a siege in 1455 for 2 months, then surrendered. In 1640 it was captured by Covenanters and partly dismantled. It is owned by Historic Scotland. Original photo at Geograph Britain and Ireland: http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/14884.

  11. Photo of Threave House, © Anthony O'Neil
    Licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence. Photographer's caption for his photo: Threave House, Threave Gardens, Castle Douglas. Original photo at Geograph Britain and Ireland: Threave House, Castle Douglas. http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/1592028.

  12. Gravestone: William Gordon, d.1899, and others. Photograph from the website: The Scottish War Graves Project, part of the Scottish Military Research Group; used with their permission.


Anne Healy's Genealogy, Created October 2002
Photographs and web page content, Copyright 2002- , Anne Field, all rights reserved.
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23 Dec 2010
Updated 8 Apr 2013



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