James Bain 1811 – 1874

Now going back to our Bain line and Hugh Bain’s father, my 4th great-grandfather, James ‘Simon MacKenzie’ Bain, the Lock Keeper at Muirtown Locks.

James Bain was born on 27th November 1811.

His parents were William Bain and Isobel Urquhart.

*It took sometime to locate and confirm this as his birth record is missing his mothers name and also has the additional middle names of ‘Simon MacKenzie’ throwing up further queries.


We have been able to locate the family group and later children of William and Isobel Urquhart which allows us to fit or James Bain here. His  death certificate also confirms his parents names as William Bain and Isabella Urquhart.

James Bain married Margret McDonald on 28th October 1839 in Inverness.


They had eight children;

1)      Hugh Bain (1840)

2)      William Bain (1841)

3)      Alexander Bain (1843)

4)      Margaret Bain (1848)

5)      James Bain (1850)

6)      Walter S Bain (1852)

7)      Isabella Bain (1855)

8)      George McDonald Bain (1858)

James Bain died in 1874.


Margaret McDonald died in 1895


The following details are from the 1841 to 1891 census records showing the family group.

James Bain (1811-1874) & Margaret McDonald (1818 – 1895)

The 1841 census shows Hugh Bain age 1, living with his parents James Bain (25) and Margaret Bain (20). They are living at King Street, Inverness. James’ occupation is a joiner.

The 1851 census shows Margaret living at 38 Madrass Street, with children Hugh (11), William (10) Margaret (3) and James (1 month).  At this point it is believed that Margaret Bain (nee McDonald) is living apart from James Bain as she is caring for her father, Hugh McDonald (ship owner) who died at the address in 1854 as noted in the Inverness Advertiser Feb 1854.

The 1851 census shows James Bain living as a lodger / house carpenter in Inverness.

The 1861 census shows James Bain (50) born c 1811 Kiltearn, Ross, married to Margaret Bain (44) born Kilearnan, Ross. Living with them are children William Bain (19), Margaret Bain (13), James Bain (11), Walter S Bain (9), Isabella Bain (5) and George M Bain (2). Their address is Canal Side 1 Muirton Lock House. His occupation is listed as joiner and lock-keeper.  Hugh Bain 21 year old son has moved out and is living as a boarder elsewhere.

The 1871 census shows James Bain (59) born c 1812 Kiltearn,Ross. Married to Margaret Bain (55).  Living with them are children; James (21), Walter (19) Isabella (15) and George (13). Also living with them as a lodger is Margaret’s brother Alexander McDonald.  His occupation is listed as printer.   Their eldest son Hugh Bain, our ancestor had already moved out by this point and eventually followed Alexander’s occupation line in printing.


James Bain died in 19/04/1874 (aged 61) at Muirtown Locks, Inverness. His death certificate lists Margaret McDonald as his wife and is signed by son Hugh Bain.

The 1881 census shows James Bain (Jnr) born c1850 as Lock-Keeper living at Ivy Cottage Canal Side Cottage, Inverness. He is living with his mother Margaret McDonald (63).Also living with them is his brother George Bain (22) born 1858.  George’s occupation is listed as a fitter.

Margaret McDonald died at Ivy Cottage, Muirtown Locks in 08/09/1895.


We have already explored James Bain’s occupation as a Lock Keeper at Muirtown Locks and looked at his son Hugh of whom our lines are descendant. I will look into the McDonald lines along with the other related families at some point in the future. For now the next quest is to find out where the ‘Simon MacKenzie’ name came from and how our James Bain ended up with this as a middle name.

We know James parents were William Bain and Isobel Urquhart of Fodderty but I have been unable to confirm any lines further back as yet.

James ‘Simon MacKenzie’ Bain’s siblings were:

  • Anna Bain 1793
  • Margaret Bain 1795
  • Robert Bain 1797
  • Mary Bain 1799
  • Robert Bain 1801
  • Emelia Bain 1803
  • Harry Bain 1808
  • William Bain 1814

(There are two Robert Bain’s hinting the first died as a child, before the second was born. This was a common naming tradition after the loss of a child).

Can anyone help with the MacKenzie link here?

Or can you help with the parents of our James Bain.  His father William Bain who was born c1760-1770 or his mother Isobel/Isabella Urquhart?

I would love you to get in touch if you have any information on these lines or indeed if you are a Bain at all.










4 responses to “James Bain 1811 – 1874

  1. Pingback: William Bain c1760 – Our Scottish Clan·

  2. A thought that maybe James Simon McKenzie Bain might have been named after Colin McKenzies son Simon Fraser McKenzie born 1804, Colin McKenzie was the Laird of Mountgerald, the estate where William “Garve” Bain was living at the time of James birth. I believe it was quite a common practice, honouring your landlord/laird etc.


    • Thanks Richard, yes this was one of the theories I had but can’t really confirm and was curious due to the MacKenzie link as many of the Baynes of Tulloch were married to MacKenzies. Have you done much research? Which line do you fit into?


  3. Just going back through research Richard and I think you may be correct about the Simon Fraser McKenzie and Colin Mackenzie link. The other documents I have list another two siblings of James SM Bain and one is named Colin Bain. Another brother has the alias Garve so this is very much something to be looked into.


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