Janet (Jessie) Hay Spence (b. 4th August 1820) was the second of twelve children of William Spence and Jane Green Fea. The IGI indicates her name as Janet Hay Spence at baptism and this is supported by her appearance in the census with her family at Hillhead, Lerwick in 1841.
The IGI gives her name as Jessie when she married the Rev William Paterson in Lerwick on 15th September 1843. William was the son of Thomas Paterson and Jean Young and born in Coldingham, Berwickshire in 1810. He was minister of Whiteness, Whalsay in Shetland.Their six children were born in Cockburnspath, Berwickshire where William was subsequently minister:
It is noted that Jessie's younger sister, Martha Joan Spence, married the Rev Robert Campbell Maclaurin in Cockburnspath in 1853.
William and Jessie were at 35 Barony St, Edinburgh with the two youngest children at the time of the 1861 census. Children Jane and William were with their aunt, Catherine Stafford Spence at a school in Aberdeenshire at this time, Catherine being a teacher.
William's occupation in 1861 is given as "Established Minister".
While appearing in the 1871 census at 3 West Mayfield Loan, Edinburgh, William's occupation is still given as Minister of Cockburnspath Parish. Four of their children were with them at this time.
3 West Mayfield Loan, Edinburgh
|William Paterson||Head||60 years||Minister of Cockburnspath Parish||Coldinghame, Berwickshire|
|Jessie H Paterson||Wife||50 years||Lerwick, Shetland|
|Jane S Paterson||Dau||25 years||Cockburnspath, Berwickshire|
|Thomas G Paterson||Son||20 years||Law clerk||Cockburnspath, Berwickshire|
|William G S Paterson||Son||16 years||Student of chemistry||Cockburnspath, Berwickshire|
|Charle E Paterson||Son||13 years||Scholar||Cockburnspath, Berwickshire|
|Barbara Bruce||Serv||18 years||General servant||Unst, Shetland|
Jessie was at High St in Coldingham, Berwickshire in 1881 with two of William's sisters. She is described as an annuitant.
She was at 53 George St Edinburgh in 1891 with her son Thomas, whose occupation was then given as a merchant. Her name is given as "Janet H Paterson" rather than Jessie in this census.
Jessie died in Edinburgh on 15th February 1892.