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Livingstone Relations.  Livingstone 1: David's Ancestry.

compiled by Steve Wilson, last updated April 20, 2008.
Back to Wilson's Family History.

David Livingstone, the African missionary and explorer, is descended from Scots who lived on the island of Ulva. There are many conflicting stories about his lineage. We present here only that which seems certain. Related sites include:


Neil Livingstone & Mary Morrison

Neil Livingstone moved from Ulva to Blantyre in 1792, to work in the cotton mills there.  A letter of recommendation given to him at his departure stated that he had four sons and three daughters, so at least one son is not yet listed above.

(Sources:  Campbell, LivFT, OPR Blantyre, OPR Kilninian, ScotRD, Seaver, Sinclair2)


Neil Livingstone & Agnes Hunter

After being apprenticed to a tailor, Neil Livingstone became a small tea dealer. He joined the independent church at Hamilton in 1830, where he served as a deacon for twenty years.

(Sources:  Blaikie, C1841S, C1850, C1851S, C1861S, C1871S, C1881S, Campbell, LivFT, OPR Blantyre, Seaver)


David Livingstone & Mary Moffat

David Livingstone left for Africa in 1840, only returning for two brief periods in 1856-1858 and 1864-1865. Before 1856, his travels were an extension of his work as a missionary of the London Missionary Society. Afterwards, he worked independently, and viewed exploration as the means to opening the continent to missionary work and eliminate the Arab slave trade.

Until 1852, Mary remained with her husband and assisted in the mission work.  From 1852 to 1856, she returned to England, staying in Hamilton, Manchester, Kendal, and Epsom, while her husband travelled across the continent.  She rejoined him upon his return to England, accompanied him to Africa, but when she was expecting her last child, she went to Kuruman while her husband went on to Mozambique. 

David's son Robert travelled from England to Natal, then in 1863 to Boston, Massachusetts, where he was inducted into the New Hampshire Volunteers, 10th Army Corps, in the American Civil War, under the alias of Rupert Vincent. He was wounded at Laurel Hill, Virginia, captured there, and died in a prisoner-of-war camp at Salisbury, North Carolina.

David's son Thomas studied in Glasgow with the Free Church minister.  He then joined the University Mission, arriving in East Africa in January, 1862.

(Sources:  Blaikie, Campbell, C1861S, C1871S, C1881E, Fioravanti, Holmes, IGI, Jeal, LivFT, Livingstone1, Livingstone2, MoffatJ, NPGLiv, Schapera, Seaver, Wallis, WilsonA, WilsonH)