Having spent the day down near Barnsley and driving back up the M1 this evening, I’m rather tired and was hoping not much would have happened on my family tree on this day. But no – they were a busy lot! Thankfully I can have a lie in tomorrow.
2 May 1736
Birth of Agnes Weir, daughter of my ggggg grandfather William Weir, at Mauchline, Ayrshire. I haven’t yet researched her but she was the sister of Sarah Weir who married James Logan. Sarah was the great grandmother of Mary Ann McInerney, wife of my great grandfather John McCrae.
2 May 1856
Birth of William Strachan at Riccarton, Aryshire, son of Robert Strachan and Janet Ross Gilmour. He was a coal miner, naturally, and lived with his parents in Riccarton and then Galston. In 1881 he married Jean Gemmell Borland and they had a son, but Jean died in 1886. In 1891 William is back living with his parents, along with his son Robert. Then in 1892 he married widow Agnes Anderson nee Caldwell in Galston – she was born 1 May so was mentioned yesterday. In 1901 they are at Goatfoot Rows, Galston with 9 children: William’s son Robert, Agnes’s 5, and 3 youngsters born since their marriage. William died in 1938 at the age of 82 at Galston, which is a very good age indeed for someone who worked as a coal miner all his life.
2 May 1864
My gg grandfather Alexander Fraser married Mary Logan at the Manse of Ellon, Aberdeenshire. She was a domestic servant at Drumwhyndle farm at the time of their marriage, and as Alexander was a farm servant it’s probable that’s how they met. Alexander and Mary had two children, William and Mary Ann, before Mary Logan sadly died in 1867 of phthisis (tuberculosis). As cattle farming was a mainstay of farms in the Aberdeenshire lowlands, TB cut short too many lives of my ancestors, and particularly women. It was the women, of course, who did the milking and dairy work, and poor nutrition while breast feeding babies wouldn’t have helped.
2 May 1910
My great grandmother Jeannie Strachan nee Haddow died at Crookedholm, Ayrshire. I don’t know when she was born as I can’t find a baptism for her, but she was born in Stevenston in about 1835, the daughter of John Haddow and Amelia Murphy. She grew up in Stevenston, where her father was a coal miner, but by 1851 they’d moved to Kenneth Row, Corsehill, Kilwinning – home to many Strachan coal miners. No suprise then that she married a Strachan, my great grandfather Joseph. They had a total of 9 children, and lived in Dreghorn, Hurlford, Kilwinnning again, Riccarton, Kilwinning yet again, and finally Crookedholm, where they settled from 1870. Jeannie outlived her husband and, sadly, most of her children: 3 children died in infancy, eldest daughter Amelia died age 44 in childbirth, son Robert died at Ayr Asylum at age 30, and daughter Flora was an invalid since childhood and died age 30. Jeannie’s husband Joseph Strachan died in 1895, and in 1901 Jeannie is living at Schoolhouse Road, Crookedholm with her son Colin and her granddaughter Jane Dunlop, who was the illegitimate child of the daughter Flora who had died in 1893. Jeannie died on 2 May 1910 at Crookedholm age 74 and the cause of death is given as senile decay.
2 May 1941
Birth of Margaret, great granddaughter of my gg grandfather Alexander Fraser and his second wife Margaret Booth. I’m in contact with the wife of one of her relatives.
2 May 1979
Birth of a granddaughter of my cousin Alice Campbell Strachan in North Shields. I’m in touch with her uncle, who is my first cousin once removed but is the same age as I am. As I’m the youngest child of the youngest child on the Strachan side, the generations always feel askew to me, as I’m of a similar age to my cousin’s children.