James Paton

Dunfermline and Linlithgow



Thank you to John Humphrey, Toronto, Ontario, Canada for providing the following details, taken from the 'Fife Photographers to 1900' section of the  Fife Family History web site:

Dunfermline, Fife

"PATON, JAMES; Nethertown Street, Dunfermline, 1866-67; with James Baird as his partner, commenced business in Nethertown Street on June 4 1866 under the firm of PATON. & BAIRD; this partnership was dissolved by mutual consent on Dec 21 1866, and Paton continued the business under his own name, re-opening the studio, after "extensive alterations," on March 7 1867; by June 1867 he had left Dunfermline, and was in business as a photographer in Linlithgow"

John Humphrey, Toronto, Ontario, Canada:  September 6, 2006

Thank you to John Humphrey for also provided this extract from the West Lothian Census, 1871:

Linlithgow, West Lothian

"The 1871 Linlithgow, West Lothian Census (668/ ED 5/ p20) shows James Paton, Photographer, aged 35, born Edinburgh St Stephen, living at 158 High Street, widowed, with young children Charles (7), Jeanie (5) and Margaret (2)"

John Humphrey, Toronto, Ontario, Canada:  September 6, 2006



Thank you to Richard Beattie, Harare, Zimbabwe, who wrote

Dunfermline,  Linlithgow, Edinburgh

"My maternal g-g-grandfather was James Paton, Photographer, originally  in a photographic business with Baird in Dunfermline in the mid  1860's before relocating to Linlithgow.

The 1871 census records him as living in the Main Street, and being a widower with 3 young  children.

He latterly (perhaps 1880s or '90s) lived in  Stockbridge and may have had a studio in Edinburgh.  I have photos of him and his maternal grandmother."

Richard Beattie, Harare, Zimbabwe:  May 1, 2008



1. Is the census entry that you mention likely to be the same as the census entry that John Humphrey refers to above which gives the address as' Main Street'?


2. The photographer, James Paton, born at Stockbridge, Edinburgh  had a studio in Queen Street, Edinburgh, but not until some time after the dates suggested above.

He was James Paton, Accountant.  He lived at 140 Princes Street, 1903-04, and set up as a photographer at 18 York Place from 1905 until 1912.  He advertised as:

-  'The Paton Studio' and

 'Black & White Art (Paton & Co) Photographer & Enlarger'.

The James Paton that John Humphrey mentions above would have been aged about 69 to 76 during the period that the York Place studio operated.

Peter Stubbs:  May 2, 2008



Thank you to D Richard Torrance who replied:


"James Paton according to my research was in Linlithgow from 1871 -1895 (according to the Directories).

However, the following is in the 1891 census - James Paton Photographer, aged 55, born Edinburgh, pauper inmate St. Magdalen’s, Combination Poor House, Linlithgow, West Lothian."

D Richard Torrance, Edinburgh:  May 3, 2008



Thank you to Richard Beattie for sending further information, including this photograph of his g.g.grandfather, James Paton:


Richard wrote:

James  Paton's Parents

"The information I have on James Paton (b. probably 1836; d. as yet  unknown but still alive and a 'Master Photographer' in 1889) is that  he was probably the only child of Charles Paton (b. about 1799; d. 19/11/1855) and his 2nd wife, Margaret Dalley or Dally (b. about  1794). 

The 1841 census shows that Charles Paton was a mason  journeyman living at 2 Church Lane, Stockbridge.  In 1855, James  Paton is a Joiner Journeyman, but a Photographer by 1866.  I also have  a record somewhere of him residing in Stockbridge in 1865.

James  Paton's Children

I haven't seen the 1871 Census extract and took this information from  John Humphrey's observations from the 1871 Linlithgow Census.   However, these tie in with my own research on the family (the dates  of birth of his children being from my own research), James Paton's  children recorded in the 1871 census as:

 Charles (age 7) (b. 05/12/1863 at  Edinburgh Parish)

-  Jeanie (age 5) (my g.grandmother, b. 03/11/1865 at  Edinburgh Parish; d. 08/12/1942 at Edinburgh and buried at Comely  Bank Cemetery)

 Margaret (age 2) (b. 10/05/1868 at Linlithgow).

James  Paton's Wife

My  research shows that James Paton was married to Jean Hay (b.  10/05/1839 Dunfermline, Fife; d. 23/10/1870 Linlithgow) which again  ties in with him being a widower at the time of the 1871 census in  Linlithgow.

James  Paton's Studio

My cousin in Edinburgh holds some original prints by James Paton.  The studio name on his photographs of  my great Grandmother Jeannie Paton and James Paton's Grandmother is 'J  Paton - Artist.'

James Paton would only have been about 53 when  recorded as a 'Master Photographer' in 1889 so he could well still  have been been in business in the early 1900's - but only if he was  the James Paton of the Queen Street Studios and not the pauper  inmate!  More research is needed."

Richard Beattie, Harare, Zimbabwe:  May 1, 2008


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