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George, Hugh, William and Helen Inglis

George, Hugh and William Inglis 'of Demerara' were pupils at Inverness Royal Academy in the early 1800s. They were the sons of George Inglis of Kingsmills and the free mulatto woman, Susanne Kerr (d1814), who bore his children and lived with him in St Vincent and Demerara. There is a copy of her will in Inverness Museum [Transcription of Susanne Kerr's will]. William became a lieutenant in the infantry of the East India Company.

Helen Inglis, also a child of Susanne Kerr, attended Inverness Royal Academy and in 1813 eloped with George Hepburn, a master in the Royal Navy. They were married in December 1813 and, in the following year, her father, George Inglis of Kingsmills, concluded a marriage settlement with Hepburn.

The record of Helen Inglis' marriage - with the first name of her father withheld

Hepburn left the Navy and become a captain in the Demerara trade, based in Port Glasgow and Greenock. The couple had six children before Helen Inglis' death sometime between 1824 and 1828.

Helen's eldest son, George, died in Cumingsburg, Guyana, on 12th October 1837 (Guiana Chronicle Fri 13 Oct 1837).

Helen's daughter Mary Elizabeth (b1819) married (1843) James Fraser, an ironmonger in Inverness and the couple, with three children, emigrated to Otago, New Zealand on the Bernicia in 1848. Also on the Bernicia was a second daughter, Emma (b 1822), with her husband James Brown, a cloth merchant in Greenock, and their three children.

Their youngest sister, Susan (b1824), with her husband, William Fraser (b1806, Inverness), and stepson John (b1833), had sailed for Otago earlier in the year on the Blundell.

The New Zealand descendants of Mary Elizabeth, Emma and Susan Hepburn are one of the few cases where the descendants of a child of mixed race from Guyana, with a Highland father, can be traced today.

Emma Hepburn's children Helen Inglis Brown (1845-1907) and James MacNeill Brown (b1848), great-grandchildren of the 'free mulatto woman' Susanne Kerr of St Vincent and Demerara.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With thanks to Jim Brennan for his identification of Helen Inglis as the wife of George Hepburn and making it possible to identify these descendants of Susannah Kerr.