Helen McCrae 1875-1944

This is a photo of the grandmother I never met, as she died before I was born. Helen McCrae was born in Kilmarnock in 1875, the daughter of John McCrae coal miner and Mary Ann McInerney.

She married Henry Strachan in 1896 at the Commercial Inn, Hurlford and they lived in Crookedholm where their eldest seven children were born. They then moved to Lanarkshire, first to Tollcross and then settling in Cambuslang, where their youngest four children were born.

One of Helen’s children died in childhood, of measles, but the remaining ten lived long and fruitful lives (or at least most of them did). Three of the children migrated to Toronto, Canada, and Helen and her youngest child, my father Robert, did several journeys to Canada and back during the 20s and 30s.

Helen died in hospital in 1944. She was visiting someone, but sadly had a cerebral haemourage whilst there. My father was in the army at the time, down near Bath.

From what I’ve been told, Helen had a hard life, could be very tough at times, but was a bit of a softie at heart. I think it shows in her face in this photo.

Helen Strachan nee McCrae 1933

6 responses to “Helen McCrae 1875-1944

  1. Lovely broad smile. It’s strange having a grandparent you never knew, when you knew others so well. I never met my paternal grandfather who died of cancer before I was born.

  2. I never met either of my father’s parents, sadly. I have Grandma Helen’s eyes and chin but I also look like my mother. My father must have been drawn to someone who had the look of his mother!

  3. Hi Judy , my name is Ian Strachan and I have the exact same photo on a postcard with writing on the back…Granma Strachan 1933.My late fathers name was Harry Strachan.He was the son of Harry strachan and Mary Campbell, he had an aunt Sofia Strachan and the rev Joseph Strachan was my dads uncle the brother of Harry Strachan.My mother has a large group photo of lots of Strachans at a wedding in Camberslang, I, ll forward it to you next time I see her.We are obviously related but I, m having trouble working out how.must get back to reading more of your work, fantastic and very interesting. Will keep in touch ! Ian Strachan.

    • Hi Ian. We’re second cousins, as my father Robert Strachan was the younger brother of your grandfather Harry Strachan. And you are on my tree, as I’m touch with the son of your aunt Alice and he told me the names of you and your brothers. Aunt Sofia was the wife of John (Jock) Strachan and Uncle Joe Strachan who went to Canada was the eldest. I’ll send you an email, as I’d love to see that wedding photo and swap more info. Thank you for posting a message.

  4. Hi Judy, I am a cousin of Ian, the daughter of Dorothy Campbell Strachan, I was very surprised to see the picture, thank you for posting.
    Valerie (Crombie) Norton.

    • Hi Valerie. Lovely to see you here, and welcome to the blog. It’s attracted quite a few Strachans so you’re in good company! Hope you find this interesting, and please keep in touch if you have anything to add or want to know any more. I’ve not posted about people who are still living, to keep their details private, but I’m in touch with a few “cousins”.

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