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I have a couple of ancestors from Scotland.

So far I only have England Census entries from the 19th century, the name "Peter Hogg" isn't too common, however since this is the male line I want more evidence than just taking the closest birth date, there are a few around 1801, but none exact.

Any tips for breaking through the foreign country barrier. Obviously if I could find the a wedding certificate I could get the Father's name.

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What sources do you already have for information on this Peter Hogg? I presume something in those (such as England 1851 census?) indicates he may have been born in Scotland? Did his wife also come from Scotland? If you can put references to what you know so far in your question it'll help narrow down what to look for next. –  Rob Hoare Dec 27 '12 at 2:31
    
He is listed in the 1841, 1851, and 1861 censuses. His wife is listed as being born in Barnet, with the name of Mary about 1806. Family lore has it that he came down the East coast with the Herring fisherman, and from East Anglia walked to Chingford. A charming romantic myth; however my guess is he came to London and went found work just beyond. –  Geoff Hogg Dec 27 '12 at 2:48
    
Geoff, welcome to Genealogy.SE. If you can provide more specific information about your ancestor, such as dates and locations that you know or his wife's name, we'll be better able to help you. –  ColeValleyGirl Dec 27 '12 at 12:29
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up vote 9 down vote accepted

It's not possible to identify which Peter Hogg this is, even in England, from the information in the question.

So to track him back to another country you do need as many clues as you can gather, rather than (as too many do!) just picking the first person who could be a possible match.

Finding his marriage (likely pre-1837?) could help. If you have found the birthplace of the earliest child, that would a place to start looking for the marriage. If you do find it, the names of the witnesses could contain a relation, perhaps one that came down from Scotland for the event.

If any of the censuses contain any relations of his, that would also help. But I assume if you had already found a mother-in-law, you would have mentioned it.

If you have his death in England, that would be another indication of his age, to match against the censuses. There may also be probate or wills which mention relatives.

Follow each of his children forward to future censuses, to see if they ever stay with relations in Scotland, or have a Scottish "visitor" staying with them.

Lacking any of this, another approach is to identify all the likely Peter Hogg's in Scotland, and try to follow them forward (this does assume he was indeed born in Scotland). The Peter Hoggs that get (and remain) married to somebody else, and/or stay in Scotland, you can eliminate.

ScotlandsPeople shows only five Peter Hoggs born in Scotland from 1795-1810, so it's not an impossible task. In other words, research fully each of those five Peter Hoggs, finding their future lives and descendents. If you can find what happens to 4 of them but not the final one, you have a strong candidate.

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Thanks I didn't think to go through the process of elimination. Although mortality was high, so there could easily be a couple of dead ends. –  Geoff Hogg Dec 27 '12 at 15:13
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