Sir Archibald Geikie (1835-1924)
Sir Archibald Geikie (1835-1924)
Geologist and historian
Archibald Geikie was appointed to the new Scottish Branch of the British Geological Survey in 1855. He carried out surveys around Edinburgh and in the Highlands with Sir Roderick Murchison. They published a geological map of Scotland in 1862. Archibald Geikie's later publications included 'Scenery of Scotland' (1865), a biography of Murchison (1875), 'Geological Studies at Home and Abroad' (1882), 'Founders of Geology' (1897), 'Landscape in History' (1905) and 'A Long Life's Work' (1924). He was appointed to the new Murchison chair of geology at the University of Edinburgh in 1871. He was elected President of the Royal Society in 1909. Among the many honours he received were a medal from the Royal Society of Edinburgh, the Royal Scottish Geological Society’s Livingstone Medal, a knighthood in 1891, the Knight Commander of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath in 1907, the cross of the Légion d'honneur in 1913 and the Order of Merit in 1914. Sir Archibald Geikie moved to Haslemere in Surrey in 1913. He died at his home there on 10 November 1924.
Birth in 1835
Archibald Geikie (here spelt Geekie) was born on 28 December 1835, the son of James Geekie, perfumer, and Isabella Thom. The entry (number 1488) in the Old Parish Register (OPR) for Edinburgh gives the date of baptism as 31 December 1853 and the place of birth as Malta House, Stockbridge. Entries 1489-1495 are for his brothers and sisters who were born between 1837 and 1852. Each gives place of birth. It isn't unusual to find baptisms of several children from the same family registered together in this way in the OPRs.
Birth and baptism entry for Archibald Geikie (147 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, OPR 685-2/39, page 242
1841 to 1871 Censuses
In 1841, Archibald Geikie, aged 5, was enumerated at 47 Hanover Street with his parents and three brothers. The census return for the parish of St Andrew Edinburgh records that his mother, Isabella Geikie, was the only member of the family who wasn't born in the county (No).
1841 Census record for Archibald Geikie (56 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1841/685-1/9, page 5
In 1851, Archibald Geikie (here spelt Geekie), aged 15, Writer to the Signet’s clerk, was enumerated with his family at Boroughloch in Edinburgh. The census return for the parish of St Cuthbert's shows that the household included his two grandfathers - Archibald Geikie, retired perfumer and William Thom, retired shipmaster - and that his mother's place of birth was Dunbar in East Lothian.
1851 Census record for Archibald Geikie (63 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1851/685-2/47, page 18
In 1861 Archibald Geikie, 25, geologist, was enumerated with his family at 16 Duncan Street in Edinburgh. The census return for the district of Newington gives his father's occupation as perfumer employing one boy and one girl.
1861 Census record for Archibald Geikie (53 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1861/685-5/69, page 4
In 1871 Archibald Geikie, 35, Professor of Geology, was enumerated at Ramsay Lodge in Edinburgh. The census return for the district of St George shows him, living with his sister, Isabella, Margaret Sinclair, cook and Anne Alexander, housemaid.
1871 Census record for Archibald Geikie (52 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1871/685-4/5, page 5
Marriage in 1871
Archibald Geikie didn't marry in Scotland but the 1881 Census return (see below) shows his children were born in Edinburgh. The Scottish statutory register of births includes the names of both parents and the date and place of their marriage. This detail is from the birth entry for his daughter, Margaret (later changed to Gabrielle) Geikie, who was born on 20 September 1880. It shows that Archibald Geikie, Professor of Geology married Alice Gabrielle Pignatel on 16 August 1871 in London.
Marriage detail for Archibald Geikie from his daughter's birth entry (49 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1880/685-1/1843
1881 to 1911 Censuses
In 1881 Archibald Geikie, 45, Director of the Geological Survey of Scotland, Professor of Geology in University of Edinburgh LLD, was enumerated at Boroughfield House, Colinton Road, Edinburgh. The census record for the district of St George shows him living with his wife Alice, children Lucy, Roderick, Elsie and Gabrielle, sister Marian, mother-in-law Priscilla Pignatel and three domestic servants.
1881 Census record for Archibald Geikie (85 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1881/685-1/4L, page 23
In 1891 Archibald Geikie, 55, Director General Geological Survey, was enumerated at 100 Craiglea Drive, Edinburgh. The census record for the district of Newington gives his mother Isabella, a widower as head of household. Also listed are his sisters Isabella and Marion, daughters Elsie and Gabrielle and a servant, Elizabeth Bryson.
1891 Census record for Archibald Geikie (49 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1891/685-5/123, page 4
Archibald Geikie hasn't been traced in the 1901 Census of Scotland.
In 1911 Archibald Geikie, 75, retired (Civil Service).was enumerated at 83 Colinton Road. The census return for the civil parish of Merchiston in Edinburgh shows that the head of household was his brother, James Geikie, 71, Professor of Geology at the University of Edinburgh.
1911 Census record for Archibald Geikie (25 and 29 KB jpegs)
National Records of Scotland, 1911/685-6/54, page 15