Alexander Baxter (b.1815) has been a mystery to me for several
years. After the 1871 census I could find no record of him living
in Footdee, although he appears on his son's (Alexander 1852) marriage
certificate of 1877 occupation shown as Pilot. It turns out that
1877 was also the year of Janet's death (Alexander's wife) and up
until recently that was the end of the trail with Alexander. I had
searched for Alexander using all the usual parameters and even stretched
the age search to + or - 15 years. Nothing.
Then the Scotlands People website contacted me saying I had unused
credits and it was use them or lose them time.
So I searched for Alexander one more time, for once I ignored the
age parameters and checked every type of document for an Alexander
Baxter in Footdee from 1871 onwards (there are a lot of them!)
And bingo! There he was on a new marriage certificate dated 1878,
the year following Janet's death. The reason he was so hard to fing
was that he seems to have changed his age from 63 to 42! This was
possibly for the benefit of his new wife, Joan Guyan, who is shown
as being only 30 years old. All I can think is that Alexander must
have been wearing well to knock off 20 years of age (not sure I'd
get away with it !)
This deception/confusion seems to have continued up until Alexander's
death in 1891 when the death certificate shows an age of 66, he
was actually 76 (only 10 years knocked off for some reason).
Regarding family research, there must be something to be learned