Jacob & Elspeth

The Origin of the Youngclaus Family
in the Shetland Islands


The following is an extract from THE PRESBETERY BOOK OF ZETLAND, 1749-1772, Art 1A, Pg 1:

May 29, 1702

This day there was a reference brought in from the session of Tingwall anent Jacob Youngclause - Hamburg merchant marine - and Elspeth Sclater in Oxna, who having before the session publicly confessed her guilt were referred to the Presbytery for censure.

The Presbytery appointed the said Elspet or Elspeth to be called, which being done she appeared in sackcloth and adhered to her former confession, and giving outward testimonies of her sin, was appointed to stand before the congregations of Tingwall, Weisdale and Burra ye space of 26 sabbaths in sackcloth.

The said Jacob Youngclause, also being cited, was called three times absent. the Presbytery taking serious consideration of the case of ye afore said man, being a stranger, and his abode here being but short and time of departure uncertain, he being a servant of one of the Hamburg merchants trading to the place, thought fit to refer him to the Justices of Peace to be obliged to future obedience, and appointed Rev. Mr. Wm. Binning of Tingwall to proceed against him before the said Justices and make report accordingly.

The Presbytery, having taken into consideration the many abuses and sins commited in Dutch booths, where women servants are kept, for preventing the like in time to come, after mature deliberation enact, and by this enact that no woman be allowed to serve in Dutch booths within this country in future. And seriously recommends to see al brethren of the Presbytery in whose parishes the said booths are or may happen to be, to take notice if there be any women servants employed and prohibit same.

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Footnote: The first Shetlander to bear the uncommon surname of Youngclause was the illegitimate son of a Dutchman and a Shetland woman, since Hamburg and Breman merchants were known in Shetland as Dutch (as opposed to the Hollanders from the Netherlands). The child in the abstract was for some time resident on Nether Sound, parish of Weisdale and designated now of Cumliewick, Sandwick, in a document dated 1743 in E.S. Reid Tait's collection.


Last revision: 11/27/96

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