- Born: Bef 12 Feb 1764, Inchyra, Perth, Perth and Kinross, Scotland, PH2, GB
- Baptised: 12 Feb 1764, Kinnoull Parish Church, Dundee Road, Perth, Perth and Kinross, PH2, GB
- Marriage (1): Sarah Morgan on 6 Mar 1791 in St. Leonard's Church, Shoreditch High Street, Shoreditch, Hackney, London, E1 6JN, GB
- Died: Bef 28 Jun 1829
- Buried: 28 Jun 1829, St. John the Evangelist's Church, Waterloo Road, Lambeth, London, SE1 8TY, GB
1. John Buist was probably born in Scotland
John Buist, a baker, was married in London in 1791 which indicates that he was born before 1774. There are no Buist baptism records in London or the rest of England before 1790. However there were more than 150 Buist baptisms in Fife and Perth in Scotland during the 18th Century.
In the 1851 Census, Margaret Buist is recorded in the household of George James Buist (1821-1885); he was John's grandson by his eldest son, George (1793-1872). She is recorded as his aunt, a widow and her birthplace as Scotland. However, given that she was aged about 70, it is more likely that she was his great aunt. She would therefore have been John's sister-in-law and it indicates that John might also have been from Scotland.
The 1841, 1851 and 1861 Census records for Margaret Buist in London align with the Margaret Buist who died in 1870 in Islington which would mean that:
- Margaret was born in Scotland about 1782-3
- She was the widow of George Buist, a saddler. Almost certainly he is the George Buist who died in 1840 in Islington aged 61. He was therefore born about 1778-9.
- George (born 1778-9) was John's brother.
The 1841 and 1851 Census records indicate that George and Margaret had a son, also named George and a saddler, who was born about 1805 in Scotland. Therefore, in all likelihood, George Buist senior (born 1778-9) was born in Scotland and, being John's brother, it also supports John's birthplace as being Scotland.
Although not relevant to the discussion regarding John's origins, note that there is a marriage registered in 1804 in Perth between George Buist, a saddler, and Margaret Marshall. There is a baptism registered in Perth in 1804 for their son George. These records fit closely to the information shown above regarding John's brother and sister-in-law.
2. John Buist was probably the son of George Buist and Katherine Miller
There are six baptism records for a John Buist between 1760 and 1775 in Scotland. Three can be ruled out as follows:
- Two were the sons of James Buist and Cecil Douglass; they were baptised in Dysart, Fife in 1763 and 1770 and died in 1767 and 1771 respectively
- One was the son of Richard Buist and Grisal Black; he was baptised in Forgan, Fife in 1773 and married Janet Clark in 1802.
There are two possibilities that are unlikely but cannot be ruled out:
- One was the son of Thomas Buist and Christian Couper; he was baptised in Kilspindie, Perth in 1761; he had five siblings but there is no record of a brother named George
- One was the son of Andrew Buist and Elspeth Gardiner; he was baptised in Inchture, Perth in 1773; he had one sibling (Thomas) but there is no record of a brother named George.
The most likely baptism was on 12th Dec 1764 to parents George Buist and Katherine (also recorded as Catharine) Miller of Inchyra, Perth. They had 11 children including a son named George, baptised in 1774.
Unfortunately the latter does not fit with the George's birth date of 1778-9 implied by his burial register from London (see #1 above). However, it does not rule this family out because either his age on the burial register may have been incorrect by five years or, more likely, the son baptised in 1774 died and another son born in 1779 was subsequently baptised George. We need further information to resolve this issue.
3. John Buist's apprenticeship supports George and Katherine being his parents
According to John Buist's marriage register entry, he was a baker.
In 1777 an apprentice indenture duty payment is recorded in Perth by William Gordon, a baker, for his apprentice John Buist. The apprenticeship started in May 1777 which indicates that this John was probably born between 1763 and 1767.
In November 1777 there is a Protest recorded in Perth by George Buist of Priorland (St. Madoes, which is next to Inchyra) for a payment to William Gordon. A Protest is a written statement, made by a notary, at the request of a holder of a bill or a note that describes the bill or note and declares that on a certain day the instrument was presented for, and refused, payment. Given the date and the amount (£41) this is highly likely to be for John's apprenticeship.
Although circumstantial, these records support the hypothesis that John was the son of George Buist from Inchyra.
John died between 29 Oct 1815 when he was witness at his son George's wedding and the 6 Jun 1841 when his wife is recorded in the Census as a widow.
John's last known address in 1812 was New Webber Street on the east side of Waterloo Road.
There are records from 1815 onwards for a John Best, baker, living on Lower Marsh (or Lambeth Marsh) who was buried on 28 Jun 1829 at St. John's church on Waterloo Road. There are no records for John Best prior to 1815 in this area.
Lower Marsh is on the West Side of Waterloo Road and meets New Webber Street at the junction with Waterloo Road and The Cut.
The burial record for John Best gives his age as 66 which also aligns with John Buist's baptism in 1764.
The hypothesis is that the John Best records refer to John Buist and that, as frequently happens, the unusual name (pronounced with a Scottish accent) was recorded incorrectly.
Noted events in his life were:
• Occupation: baker.
• Apprenticeship (apprentice): William Gordon, Baker, 29 May 1774, Perth, Perth and Kinross, Scotland, PH1, GB. 1
• Residence, 23 Mar 1793, Parish of St. Giles Cripplegate, London, GB.
• Residence, From 1805 to 1808, St. John Street, Islington, London, EC1M, GB. Located near Owen's Court which was probably at the north end of St. John Street near Owen Street.
• Residence, 1812, New Webber Street [now Webber Street], Southwark, London, SE1, GB.
• Residence, From 1815 to 28 Jun 1829, Lower Marsh, Lambeth, London, SE1, GB.
• Marriage, 29 Oct 1815, St. Mary the Virgin's Church, Aldermanbury, London, EC2V 7HY, GB.
John married Sarah Morgan, daughter of Zachariah Morgan and Ann Grimball, on 6 Mar 1791 in St. Leonard's Church, Shoreditch High Street, Shoreditch, Hackney, London, E1 6JN, GB. (Sarah Morgan was born on 20 Mar 1773 in Norton Folgate, Tower Hamlets, London, E1 6DB, GB 2, baptised on 28 Mar 1773 in St. Leonard's Church, Shoreditch High Street, Shoreditch, Hackney, London, E1 6JN, GB, died on 4 Mar 1859 in 6 Herberts Buildings [now Gray Street], Southwark, London, SE1 8, GB 3 and was buried on 15 Mar 1859 in All Saints' Cemetery [now Nunhead Cemetery], Linden Grove, Southwark, London, SE15 3LP, GB 4.). The cause of her death was General decay.