Robert Jameson

 Robert Jameson (1774-1854)

Professor Robert Jameson  - was a renown and preeminent Scottish Naturalist and Mineralogist. He was born and raised in Leith, Scotland, the son of a prominent and wealthy industrialist and soap manufacturer. Well educated and widely published, he was a Regius Professor at the University of Edinburgh for fifty years. He may however, be best known as having taught Charles Darwin.

Robert Jameson was born in Leith, on July 11, 1774, the son of Thomas and Catherine (Patton) Jameson. This was large and accomplished Scottish family in Edinburgh, with roots back to the Shetlands. They had many prominent and accomplished descendants, including his grand nephew, Leander Starr Jameson, who was, amongst other things, the Prime Minister of South Africa.[1]

Robert's father Thomas, came to Leith as a young man and was apprenticed to the soap boiling business. He went into partnership with some of his wife's family in a firm known as Jamieson and Patten, soap and candle makers. Robert's early education was at Leith Grammar School, after which he became the apprentice of a local surgeon, with the intent of becoming a ship's surgeon. He attended the University of Edinburgh, from 1792 to 1793, where he studied medicine, botany, chemistry, and natural history. By 1793 he abandoned medicine and a career as ship's surgeon, instead focusing on science, particularly that of geology and mineralogy. He was given the responsibility of looking after the University's Natural History Collection and began doing frequent field work, which took him to many of the islands around Scotland and Ireland. In 1804 he succeeded his mentor and principal influence John Walker, as Regius Professor of Natural History at Edinburgh University, where he remained for over fifty years. He was well published and widely regarded, although apparently not always well thought of as a skilled lecturer. It is said that Charles Darwin, one of his many accomplished students, once complained his lectures as boring, saying that they determined him "never to attend to the study of geology." Nevertheless, it would be difficult to overstate Robert Jameson's scholarship or influence on the field of science, particularly natural history, during his life time and to this day.

Robert Jameson died at his home in Edinburgh, on 19 April 1854 at 79 years old. He never married and did not leave any descendants.

Y-DNA test, associated with this family, #: None Known

Y-DNA Analysis - Robert Jameson never married, nor was he known to have had any children. Therefore, there are no known, or likely, direct descendants. There are however several known collateral Jameson descendants, those from children of his siblings and cousins. At some point we hope to have one of these known descendants Y-DNA descendants tested, so to be able to compare their Y-DNA profile with every other Jameson tested


[1]     Wikipedia - Prime Minister of South Africa from 1904 to 1908, also led the 1895 "Jameson Raid" in the Boer colony of Transvaal.