Thanks for that information! I've actually been to scotlandspeople and did find that birth certificate for John Shearer, (illegitimate), mother Elizabeth Shearer.
I'm sure that's the right person but would love to find something specific, about the man I know is my great-Grandfather's, birthday. If I could confirm he was born on Aug. 23, 1869, then I'd know he was the "illegitimate" child.
He states his mother's name on his marriage certificate as Elizabeth Shearer MS Begg and his father as John Shearer. The 1871 census shows a one year old John Shearer living with a 50 year old man called John Shearer but he is listed as a grandson. There is also a 19 year old Elizabeth Shearer living there, the daughter of 50 year old John. I have marriage certificates for the older John who married a Barbara Begg but she died just months before the 1871 census.
Here's my theory... Elizabeth was the daughter of John Shearer and Barbara Begg. She had a child out of wedlock in 1869 named John Shearer. I don't know why that John would list his mother's MS as Begg on his marriage certificate and his son, my grandfather, listed the same information on John's death certificate.
Everything else adds up. Elizabeth lived next door to John and his family when she died. She remained single. It was her nephew who signed her death certificate.
I just wish I had ultimate proof but I don't think that will be possible. I have a feeling John was covering things up so there probably is no record of his birthdate on his grave stone etc. My Mom had a "birthday book" but he's not in there either. I'd have to say I'm almost 100% sure but there will always be some doubt.
Thanks again and any other tips you can give me would be greatly appreciated.