Alexander Aitken



Site Map Essex-Lincolnshire Tree Daniel --> New Zealand Aitken to Australia
Spilman Surname Daniel --> Iowa, USA William --> California, USA John Ellerker Spilman --> Canada Aitken in Scotland Alexander Aitken 1776

Dec 22, 1776 - July 11, 1865
Grandfather of Daniel Spilman


1 Alexander AITKEN  lived in  Penicuik, Midlothian, Scotland
.. +Janet STEENSONE  (Steinsone) Scotland
......... 2 William AITKEN Jan. 30, 1733/34 Penicuik, Midlothian, Scotland - Oct 31, 1818 Midhope, Midlothian, Scotland
............. +Margaret RAMAGE 1748 Carrington, Midlothian, Scotland - 1808 Midlothian, Scotland
.................... 3 Alexander AITKEN  Dec 28, 1776 Abercorn, West Lothian, Scotland - June 11, 1865 Walcot, Alkborough, Lincs, England
........................ +Eleanora Lonsdale FORMAN 1793 Scotter, Lincolnshire, England - 1871 Alkborough, Lincolnshire, England


 Alexander Aitken was born on 22 Dec 1776 in Midhope, Midlothian, Scotland.  He walked down to Lincolnshire, England to seek employment as a gardener.  He died on 12 Jul 1865 in employment with Lady Strickland at Walcot Hall, Alkborough as bailiff. Lady Stickland had a picture painted of the old man and the family gave it to his grand daughter, Mary, when they left the district for Cotesbach, Leicestershire.  Portrait photo was taken 2002 at Nigel Spilman's home in Whitton, Lincoln, England by this writer. 

The back of the portrait says he was born 1777, left Scotland. 
"Alexander Aitken born in Scotland left is when he was 22.  Came to Walcot shortly afterwards (as head gardener to Mr. Thomas Goulton) lived there until 12th July 1865 when he died aged 99 years.

Lady Strickland had this portrait painted.  It was in Walcot Hall until June 1925.  Please do not let it go out of the family.  He was greatly respected and valued.   -M [Mary] Spilman."

The back also has the following paragraph written:
"Given to Mary Spilman (grand daughter of Alexander Aitken) by Mr. _ R Goulton Constable (Great Grandson of Lady Strickland)  To be kept in the family June 1925"

"John Collingham Moore 1829-1880
The artist who painted this portrait was the eight son of William Moore (1790-1851 portrait painter)  who studied drawing under  his father at York school of art in 1851 entered the Royal Academy Schools went to Rome 1857 where he painted the water color landscape which became so popular, though portrait painting was his chief work.  Exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy from 1853 to 1880.  His watercolour portraits of children are his best work both in tone and in character.  He also painted portraits in colour.  There is a Landscape by him in the Victoria & Albert Museum.       Information given by ___ ___ Marriott"  (written by Mary Spilman on the back of the portrait)

The portrait was next passed to Alec "Nigel" Ellerker Spilman of Whitton, Lincolnshire, England.  1929-2017.   Dr. Thomas (Spilman) Smith from Nottingham, took me to Nigel Spilman's home in 2002.  Nigel allowed this writer to take a photograph of the portrait shown above.

Thomas Goulton, owner of Walcot Estate died in 1826 and left 800 to Alexander in his will. The Walcot Estate passed to his nephew, Marmaduke Constable. On the 2 may 1827 a local farmer, Thomas England, sold the property to the Trustee of Marmaduke Constable. The cottage next door had been occupied by his grandfather, Edward England, who died in 1780. Some time after his death the cottage was demolished and in 1828 was sold to Alexander Aitken, the gardener at Walcot Hall for 420 pounds as "the site of a cottage or Toffstead, together with the 6 acres of lands in the Ings which had been awarded to Edward England at Enclosure in 1768" On this site Alexander Aitken built 2 cottages, now known as Hallgarth Cottage. William and Anne Exelby lived in one and Alexander and Eleanor in the other according to the 1861 census. On the 29th september 1871 the cottages were put up for Auction, the vendors being George Aitken, Thomas Spilman and John Farrow. The cottages were bought by John Farrow for 260 pounds for the two cottages and 6 acres of lands on the Flatts. They were occupied by Mary Spilman,when Norman Ebenezer Aitken visited during the first world war. (source; Evelyn Harrison)

Hallgarth (Aitken) Cottage (2002 LMD)

William and Anne (Aitken) Exelby [daughter of Alex] lived in one cottage and Alexander and Eleanor Aitken in the other according to the 1861 census. On the 29th sep 1871 the cottages were put up for Auction the vendors being George Aitken, Thomas Spilman and John Farrow. The cottages were bought by John Farrow [Alex's son in law] for 260 pounds for the two cottages and 6 acres of land on the Flatts. They were occupied by Mary Spilman [Grand daughter of Alex].  She was the person who had kept the portrait of Alexander.


Alexander Aitken was the son of William Aitken and Margaret Ramage.  He was born on December 28, 1776.



Alexander Aitken's first wife was Elizabeth Booth.  They married on Sept. 12, 1811 in Alkborough, Lincolnshire, England.  They had one son, William Aitken born Aug 8, 1812 and Elizabeth died later that year.

Alexander Aitken's second wife was Eleanora Lonsdale FORMAN Sept. 1793 Scotter, Lincolnshire, England - June 17, 1871 Alkborough, Lincs, England.  They married in 1815 at Broughton, Lincolnshire, England.  She was the daughter of William Forman 1767 Scotton and Martha Lonsdale 1771 of Saint Mary, Waddingham, Lincoln, England.

Alexander and Eleanor (Forman) Aitken's children were:

1-George Aitken b: June 10, 1816 in Alkborough, Lincolnshire, England d: Oct 08, 1893 in Winterton, Lincolnshire, England  +Isabella Gunston b: Abt. 1820 in Winterton, Lincolnshire, England d: May 09, 1885

2- Alexander Aitken b: Abt. May 03, 1818 in Barrow on Humber, Lincs, England d: 1904 in Sunderland, Durham, England  +Sarah Paterson m: January 26, 1835 in St. Cuthbert's, Edinburgh, Scotland.
2nd Wife: +Jean (Jane) Blaikie b: June 10, 1834 in Scotland m: February 08, 1864 in Duns, Berwickshire, Scotland

3-  Harriet AITKEN b: Mar 14, 1820 in Walcot, (Alkborough), Lincolnshire, England d: Aug 03, 1899 in Whitton, England +Thomas SPILMAN b: Feb 27, 1809 in Whitton, England d: June 20, 1888 in Whitton, England m: Jan 13, 1846 in Burton on Stather, England.  Son Daniel Spilman moved to Iowa, USA

4- Ann Aitken b: Feb 18, 1823 in Alkborough, Lincolnshire, England d: 1903 in York, Yorkshire, England +William Exelby b: 1817 d: 1883 in Great Ouseburn, Yorkshire, England

5- Edward Lonsdal Aitken b: June 07, 1825 in Alkborough, Lincolnshire, England d: December 29, 1842

6- Ellen Aitken b: April 28, 1827 in Alkborough, Lincolnshire, England d: May 14, 1827 in Alkborough, England

7- Elizabeth Aitken b: June 22, 1828 in Walcot, Lincolnshire, England d: 1831 in Alkborough, England

8- Martha Aitken b: January 02, 1831 in Alkborough, Lincolnshire, England d: 1864  +John Farrow b: 1827 d: 1893

10-Thomas Forman Aitken b: July 25, 1833 in Walcot, Lincolnshire, England d: April 08, 1917 in Hamilton, Victoria, Australia +Julia Francome b: June 1837 in Farringdon, Berkshire, England d: Oct 29, 1911 in Drumborg, Victoria, Australia m: July 12, 1856 in St. Paul's Geelong, Victoria, Australia

11- Dorothy Aitken b: 1836 in Alkborough, Lincolnshire, England d: 1924 in York, Yorkshire, England  +William Bilsborough b: 1810 d: 1882

Sketch of Alexander:

Alexander died in Walcot, Alkborough, Lincolnshire, England on June 11, 1865.  His wife Eleanora died in 1871.  They were buried at the Alkborough Churchyard in Lincolnshire.  At one time the church was surrounded by gravestones.  At some point it was decided to remove the stones and create a lawn.  Many of the stones were destroyed.  Thomas Levick Spilman did not want his family stones destroyed.  He threatened legal action if the Spilman (including Alexander Aitken) Stones were destroyed.  The locations of the burials are unknown but  he was able to save the stones and they are stored along side the church. 

photo by Dr. Thomas Smith

Below is a photo of the Alexander Aitken stone. Tom Smith took me on tour of the sites in 2002. 

SACRED.  In the memory of Alexander Aitken who departed this life July 11, 1865 aged 88 years.
Also Eleanora wife of the above who died aged 77 years.

Photo May 2002 LMD





External connection to the Letters Alexander Aitken wrote to his nephew George Aitken in Scotland 1860-1862 Tom Smith's web page.


Thomas Forman Aitken and his arrival in Australia


Entire family tree of the Aitken  starting with John Aitken b: Bet. 1580 - 1600 in Blairinbathie (Barnbathie), Fife, Scotland


Daniel Spilman (Alexander's Grandson who came to America)