William 1819
Home Up Wm Dumbreck 1844 Adam Dumbreck 1849 John Stewart 1846 Robert S. 1862 Marion Jane Margaret A.R.1864 Wilhemina Robert Francis Maxwell Margaret Ritchie Fanny 1843 Agnes W.1879 Francis M. 1879 Agnes J. 1883 Charles E. 1886 Andrew G. 1891

William Francis Maxwell Dumbreck

William Dumbreck

Margaret Livingston

Portrait of William showing a very small portion of the model of Jerusalem

William's 2nd wife
Margaret Livingston

Margaret and her young family

Photo right
Margaret with her young family
Possibly Marion standing with Margaret and Wilhelmina

William Francis Maxwell Dumbreck born 19th May 1819, a Joiner, Cabinet Maker, and exhibitor of models, first married Elizabeth Stewart in Glasgow on the 11th September 1840. They had 5 children.

Children of William and Elizabeth:-

Fanny Dumbreck born 1843 - married William Brant in 1862
William Dumbreck born 1844 - married Janet Fulton in 1866
John Stewart Dumbreck born 1846 - married Giles Law in 1867
Adam Dumbreck born 1849 - married Mary Ancrum in 1874
Jean Ingles Dumbreck born 10th August 1851 - no further details.

William was widowed and then he married Margaret Livingston on the 2nd Feb. 1855.

Children of William and Margaret:-

Marion Livingston Dumbreck born 5th August 1856 - died 5th May 1874 - no further details.
Jane Inglis Dumbreck born 26th July 1858 married Robert Dykes (born 1854) and had four
children. See page for details.
Robert Stevenson Dumbreck born 25th May 1861 - died 6th April 1862 - no further details.
Margaret Agnes Ritchie Dumbreck born 14th March 1864 - died 1st May 1866 - no further details.
Margaret Ritchie Dumbreck born 13th May 1866 - see photo - no further details.
Wilhelmina Maxwell Dumbreck born 11th July 1868 had a daughter Agnes Williamson Dumbreck b.27th April 1901.
Robert Francis Maxwell Dumbreck born 4th October 1872  - see page for details.

On the death of Margaret about 1877, Williams'  3rd marriage was to Agnes Williamson on the 6th December 1878 at Stirling. They had 5 more children.

Children of William and Agnes:-

Agnes Williamson Dumbreck born  5th October 1879 - no further details.
Francis Maxwell Williamson Dumbreck born 5th October 1879 see page for details.
(Agnes and Francis were twins)
Agnes Jane Dumbreck born 19th September 1883 - see photo
Charles Edward Dumbreck born 1st November 1886 - no further details.

Wm Dumbreck born 1844, John (1846) and Francis M. (1879),  Adam 1849 and Andrew Garnet b.1891 continue the male family line.


Williams' obituary was published in the Glasgow Sentinel and the following is a transcription:-

From the Sentinel Dated December 2nd 1902, Glasgow, Scotland.

''Death of Mr. William Dumbreck, Stirling, maker of the famous Model of Jerusalem.

The death occurred on Thursday last, as the result of an accident, of William Dumbreck, 1 Viewfield Street, Stirling, the maker of the famous model of Jerusalem. He was in the act of ascending a stair leading to an attic in his dwelling house which he used as a workshop, when it is supposed he overbalanced himself and fell backwards upon the floor, death ensuing in a few minutes from a fracture of the skull.

Mr. Dumbreck, who was in his 83rd year, was in many respects a remarkable man. He was the eldest son of the late Captain Dumbreck, R.N. a Trafalgar hero, and was for many years, chief surveyor in Jerusalem and throughout Palestine for the Government.

Mr. Wm. Dumbreck had the misfortune, when still an infant, to lose his mother, who, along with many other passengers, was lost in a Leith packet which was wrecked off the coast of Fife, Mrs. Dumbreck being at the time on her way to Aberdeen to join her husband. Her infant child was the only survivor of the wreck, having been washed ashore on the crest of the waves and rescued by the hospitable fish-folks of Elie.

From his earliest years, Mr. Dumbreck was exceedingly fond of cutting models in wood and he constructed several ingenious machines with his knife which gave promise of considerable mechanical genius. When he was about 9 years old, his father retired from active service and removed his son to Campsie, where he pursued his studies at school with great assiduity and much success.

The retired R.N. officer had a great desire to see his son a minister of the gospel and in order that he might be able to attend the training college, they moved to Glasgow. The young mechanic studied hard for 5 years and made considerable progress, more especially in the study of Oriental languages, but his heart never seemed altogether to lie to the ministry as his life work and on the eve of his being ordained, he took an utter dislike to the profession and commenced studies as a physician.

For another period of years, he set to hard study and rose step by step with honours till he reached his final examination. Then the same unaccountable thing happened as in his study of theology. His constructive genius seemed to bar the way and for a second time, his father's hopes were annulled. Finding that a mechanical occupation was the one best suited to his mind, he commenced a regular apprenticeship as a joiner and pattern-maker in one of the shipbuilding and engineering establishments on the Clyde.

Shortly after his 'time' was finished, he was raised to the position of foreman and afterwards to that of under-manager. While acting in this capacity, he was led to take an active part in counteracting the evils of city life. 

  His father took a great interest in temperance work and in the neglected city Arabs and along with others, he established a Sunday School with his son as teacher.

Young Dumbreck took up his work enthusiastically and set himself heartily to devise means whereby he might excite the interest of the rising generation in the story of the Saviour of Mankind and fix it indelibly in their minds. He quickly discerned that words, mere talk, had little effect on children and that coloured pictures of Bible Scenes only added slightly to the interest of the lesson.

Accordingly, he set to construct models of places famous in Holy Scriptures by the important events of which they were the theatre and here his father's surveying experiences were of much service. Among his first efforts was a miniature of Bethlehem, in which was seen a representation of a stable, with manger, and a small doll robed as the infant Christ.

Mr. Dumbreck found that this had a most magnetic effect on the children and resolved to contrive on all future Sabbath mornings, to have a model, no matter how crude with which to illustrate the daily lesson. It was in this way that he was led to make his first model of the ancient city known to be in existence.

It represents Jerusalem as it stood in all its splendour at the time of Christ. The work was commenced in 1846 and concluded in 1871, taking a period of 25 years of leisure hours to complete. In doing so, Mr. Dumbreck had often to change the scene of his operations. 

Sometimes he worked in a cellar, often in a shed, once in a stable and at last, finished in a garret. The model weighed upwards of a ton, came asunder in ten sections and consisted of about a million pieces of wood all neatly fitted, dovetailed and mortised together by Mr. Dumbreck's own hands. It was 12 feet square and consequently comprised an area of 144 square feet.

It was constructed from the learned Jew Raphael's plan, 5/8 of an inch to 12 feet for the buildings and 5/16 of an inch to 12 feet for the hills and valleys, taking in a radius of 15 miles. One of its most striking characteristics was its marvellous accuracy and the amount of thought it must have required to master the minute detail before the practical work was begun, must have been enormous.

Mr. Dumbreck commenced to exhibit his model on the 3rd of April 1871, in the Wellington Hall, Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, where it proved a great success. Subsequently, he visited almost all the towns in Scotland and North of England and never failed to please his audience, who uniformly expressed themselves much gratified and instructed by an examination of the model.

Mr. Dumbreck was highly esteemed by a wide circle of friends, whose sympathy goes out to the widow and family in their bereavement.

The funeral took place at Ballengeich Cemetery on Monday.''