John Wallace married Margaret Mare (Margaret "Mair" in Scotland)
I keep a log of my detective work that details a loose week to week chronicle of my findings and musings. There are many dead ends in the log, but there may also be links to Wallaces that turned out not to be my relatives, but may be valuable to other researchers. Below is an ongoing summary (I add to it as time permits).
I began my interest in Wallace genealogy with my great grandmother Sarah Wallace. Sarah was born May 20, 1858 in Michigan. I have no record of her birth other than the statement on the death certificate. The birth year is verified by federal and state census returns. Sarah married Robert Rutherford on December 27, 1887 in Imlay City, Lapeer County, Michigan. A Gedcom record puts the marriage date as March 10, 1885 in the City of Genesee, Genesee County Michigan, but this is not correct since I have a copy of the marriage certificate.
Sarah lived her entire life in the Imlay City, Goodland Township region of Lapeer County, Michigan. Robert had come from the Northumberland region of Ontario sometime around 1880. Their first child Nettie Mae was born in 1882. Nettie was followed by Howard in 1886, David in 1887, Mabel in 1891, Walter in 1893, Beatrice in 1897, and Robert in 1900. Mabel was my grandmother.
Sarah's death certificate listed her parents as David Wallace and Katherine McQuinn, both from Scotland. Her mother's name turned out to be Catharine McEwan, a first generation Scot, since her parents were born in Ireland.
It was very difficult figuring out where in Scotland David and Catharine had come from. There were no family memories and no letters that would solidly locate them in their native land. In the end, I simply did a lot of detective work and pieced together a picture from circumstantial evidence. I first found a clan map of Scotland and looked to see where the Wallace family originated. This was a region south of Glasgow, near the town of Ayr. There was also a pioneer in Lapeer County named William Wallace. I made the assumption that my David was somehow related to William. A history textbook placed William in Mauchline, Scotland, a town in the region called Ayrshire- not far from the town of Ayr. Later research into the Scotch Settlement- the area in Lapeer County where Catharine and David first settled, showed that most (if not all) of the Scottish families who lived there were from the Aryshire/Glasgow region of lowland Scotland.
I found David and Catharine and family in both the 1870 and 1880 United States census. This gave me approximate birth dates for David and Catharine. I also found their burial plots in the Imlay City cemetery.The birth dates were spread over several years, so I had no solid dates, just a range. The burial stones gave birth dates but no death dates; David was listed as being born September 28, 1831, and Catharine was February 29, 1831 (was she a leap year baby?). These dates did not match with census records, but they were close enough.
In the summer of 2004, I went to Scotland with my wife and we spent some time doing genealogy. My research there painted the following picture. David Wallace was born in Tarboltan, Scotland, a small town very near Mauchline where the pioneer William Wallace was born. The birth date is September 26, 1829. Catharine was born in Irvine, Scotland, a town very near Ayr. Her birth date is given as 1828. David and Catharine were married in the Parish of Riccarton in Ayrshire June 1, 1852. In August of 1852, they sailed on the ship Mortimer Livingston to New York City. Presumably, they traveled to Michigan over the next few months and arrived in the Scotch Settlement in Lapeer in late 1852 or early 1853.
Scottish parish records give David's parents as John Wallace and Margaret Mair. Catharine's parents are John McEwan and Mary (unknown last name)