Friday, July 15, 2011

Sorry I asked???

Yesterday when I realized it was Bastille Day in France, I questioned the Professor as to my connection to the actual event. Somewhere in the depths of his genealogical findings, I knew of the story of the Storming of the Bastille and my family.

Most references to William Playfair say that he took part in the storming of the Bastille but it's probably much more accurate to say he was present at the event. It's very unlikely that a gentleman like Playfair would join a mob of French speaking workers and peasants.

William was born in Scotland on Sept. 22, 1759 and he died (penniless) on Feb. 11, 1823 in Covent Garden, London. His famous brothers were the architect James Playfair and the mathematician John Playfair.

William had five children ....
Zenobia (?)
Louisa (?)
Elizabeth ("Betsy") born about 1782
John (1780 - 1853)
Lieutenant Colonel Andrew William Playfair (1790 - 1869) (born in Paris)

John and Andrew moved to Lanark sometime around 1840-1841 and Betsy joined them with her two children a few years later when her husband (William Bingley) died.

You are a descendant of John Playfair via his son from his first wife John "Little John" Playfair (1814 - 1900) and you are also a descendant of Andrew via his daughter Annette Elizabeth ("Elizabeth") Playfair (1818 - 1878). (The cousins married each other.)

Their daughter was Annette Elizabeth ("Nettie") Playfair (1843 - 1930) and she married Aaron Floyd Lashley (1833 - 1914). Their son was John Playfair ("J.P.") Leslie (1869 - 1940) who married Jennie Lind Thompson (1872 - 1961). They were your great-grandparents.

Whenever the Professor comes running into the room waving genealogical printouts about my coo-coo family, there is usually a lot of eye rolling on my behalf, but I must give him credit for having done all of this tedious work. I find it all terribly fascinating, but I could never spend the time and mental effort it takes to do all of this.

I wonder if they ate jellied salads? AND I wonder if Betsy was married to THE Mr. Bingley??

Credits: Wikipedia, Professor L. Moran


  1. Fascinating! What stories lurk in the mists of times gone by in your family tree? Another "Tale of Two Cities" perhaps?

  2. As soon as I first read the name, I KNEW that Betsy was married to THE Mr. Bingley :)

  3. The elusive (Professor?)William Bingley and Elizabeth Playfair were my 3rd Great Grandparents. Desperately trying to identify him. Any ideas?