was born in 1802, in Fordyce, Banff, a northern county of Scotland, facing the
Shetland Islands. He was the sixth son in a family of 10 children. The
nearby cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh had been ancestral homes of the Stevenson
clan, from the 17th century.
Joseph could readily trace his
family back 3 generations to Robert Stevenson, who was born in Glasgow in 1720.
His own son Robert, born at Christmas Hills, in 1845, would be the 4th
generation in 125 years descending directly from this great, great grandfather
just as the famed writer Robert Louis Stevenson would also be, when born in
1850, the 4th generation in descent from the same ancestor.