On 21 June

Someone who managed to die just before civil registration commenced in Scotland, a female ancestor who lived her entire life on the same street in Stevenston, and an Ayrshire coal miner whose work made him disabled and in receipt of poor relief.

21 June 1783
My ggggg uncle William Watt was born at Bourtie, Aberdeenshire, son of John Watt and Helen Davidson. There is a William Watt of the right age and born at Bourtie in the 1851 census, so assuming that’s him he married a Helen and was a crofter of 6 acres at Cromlet, parish is Fyvie, which is close to where his brother Peter settled. In 1851 William and Helen has two grandchildren living with them, and in 1841 they’re at the same place, William a stone dyker, with a daughter Jennet (Janet or Jessie) and 4 children, all with different surnnames, two of whom are the grandchildren still with them in 1851. So I’m assuming they followed the very common crofter/farm servant way of life, and had daughters who had illegitimate children, and some of those children lived with their grandparents. Unfortunately Williams must have died before 1855 so there is no death certificate to confirm his parentage.

21 June 1807
Birth of Margaret Adam at Stevenston, Ayrshire daughter of Francis Adam and my ggg aunt Margaret Haddow. She is listed with her parents in the 1819 Stevenston Minister’s List at Towhead, her father as a collier and is probably one of the children with them in 1822 and 1836. In the 1841 census, she is age 30 and a muslin sewer living with her parents at Townhead Street, Stevenston and she was to live there for the rest of her life. In 1851 she’s still with her parents, two younger sisters and what could be either an illegitimate daughter or a niece called Joanna Penman. In 1861 she’s with her widowed mother and Joanna, now with the surname Adam and who I’ve been unable to trace further. 1871 sees Margaret Adam change occupation from muslin sewer to agricultural labourer and pauper – she was 64 by then her eyesight may have failed – and she has living with her is Catherine Burns, niece, the illegitimate daughter of Margaret’s younger sister Jane. Margaret is still an ag lab in 1881 at the age of 79, and Catherine Burns is still with her, now described as adopted daughter. Margaret died in Stevenston in 1882.

21 June 1819
Birth of John Strachan at Riccarton, Ayrshire son of my gggg uncle Robert Strachan and Jean Kelly. In 1838 he married Margaret Lambie in Kilmarnock, and they’re in the 1841 census at Perceton Row, Dreghorn (along with John’s father and other relatives) with 2 young children – John, of course, is a coal miner. By 1851 they’ve moved to Broomlands Row, Irvine, so John must have been working at the Broomlands Pit, and they have 5 children. 1861 finds them in Dreghorn again, where all of their children were born, and in 1871 they’re at Corsehill Square, Dreghorn with their younger children and a grandson. John Strachan became disabled and applied for Poor Relief: his application in 1879 at Dreghorn details his children, all but 2 of whom were married, and he was awarded 1 shilling and sixpence a week. He died on 10 September 1880 at Black Square, Dreghorn age 51 years of chronic bronchitis. He is on quite a lot of trees on Ancestry, but for some bizarre reason a lot of them have the date of birth right but the location wrong, and have him dying in Australia. He didn’t as he spent his whole life in and around Dreghorn.

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