On 25 April

Sailing to Canada yet again, and the not very easy life of one of my gg grandmothers.

25 April 1841
Baptism at St Mary’s Barnsley of Margaret Oxley, my gg grandmother and daughter of Thomas Oxley and Sarah Grist. Margaret’s father died when she was young and by 1851 she is living in Worsbrough with her widowed mother, who is receiving parish relief, along with several siblings and a lodger. The family had moved back to Barnsley by 1861 and in 1862 Margaret married my gg grandfather Joseph Green, cabinet maker, who came from Worsbrough. (They were the parents of my great grandfather Joseph Green who is in today’s photo.) By 1871 Joseph and Margaret are living in Worsbrough and have 2 children but had moved back to Barnsley by 1881 with their growing family – 7 children in all, with Joseph continuing to work as a cabinet maker. But in 1911 Joseph Green, age 70, is in the Gawber Road Workhouse, most probably due to ill health as he died the following year, and Margaret was keeping house for her daughter and a nephew. She also died in 1912 age 71. It doesn’t look as if she had the easiest of lives, but one of her daughters didn’t marry and is with her mother in every census, and the two of them seem to have brought up one of Margaret’s grandsons.

25 April 1930
The ship Duchess of Bedford sailed from Greenock destined for Quebec. On it were my grandmother Helen Strachan nee McCrae, my father Robert Strachan, my aunt Helen Aitken nee Strachan and her two children, all going to Toronto where several of the other Strachan siblings had settled. None of the 1930 contingent settled, however, as they returned to Cambuslang the following year. The beauty about detailed passenger lists is they give you the address of whoever they are going to join, and also the address of their nearest relative in Scotland. So I know where my aunt Mary McBride nee Strachan was living in 1930 as well as where relatives were living in Toronto (some of the latter were at Bloor Street, West Toronto).

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