24 June (part 2): Strachan events

I was wondering why the Strachan tree was so quiet over the last week: my mistake! So here are the missing events. They include my Uncle Colin who lived in Australia. Plus someone who migrated to the US and owned a radio set in 1930.

24 June 1842 (born about 1823)
Agnes Strachan was born in Riccarton, the daughter of my gggg uncle Peter Strachan and Mary Monroe. In 1841 she is with her parents and siblings at Croftfoot, Kilmarnock, her father a coal miner. She married Andrew Armour Holland in 1842 at Kilmarnock, and in 1851 they are at Portland Row, Hurlford, husband Robert a coal miner and with 4 children. Robert Holland died before the next census, as in 1861 Agnes Strachan widow is at Portland Row with 3 children, the son a coal miner at age 15. In December 1861 Agnes married again to John Finnie, and in 1871 they are at Tichfield Street, Galston, John Finnie working as a coal miner, with a son of John Finnie’s and 1 son of their own. John Finnie died before the 1881 census, when Agnes Finnie is at Goatfoot Row, Galston with her youngest son Hugh and lodger William Strachan. In 1891 she is still at Goatfoot Row, Galston and has a daughter and grandson with her as well as a boarder. She died in 1893 at the age of about 70.

24 June 1861
Birth of Peter Howat at Dreghorn, Ayrshire, son of John Howat and Margaret Bain and great grandson of my gggg uncle Robert Strachan. Peter migrated to USA in 1869 with his parents and siblings (and from then on the surname is written as Howatt), is with them in the 1870 USA census at Reid Township, Illinois, and is still with them in 1880 in Braidwood, by which time Peter is a miner along with his father and brothers. He married Anne, who was born in Scotland, in about 1884. In the 1900 US census they are in Chicago, Peter working as a storekeeper for the railroad, and have 6 children, the eldest 2 being born in Kansas and younger ones in Illinois. In 1910 they are still in Chicago with Peter doing the same job, and they have 2 sons still at home. Wife Anne died, as in 1920 Peter is a widow living with his youngest son, and still working as a railroad storekeeper. He married again during the 1920s, as in 1930 he is in Chicago with wife Margaret, son Frank and a stepson, both working as clerks for the railroad. Lovely detail in this census says he lived in his own home with a radio set! Peter Howatt died on 27 October 1930 at Chicago.

24 June 1864
Birth of Christina Brown Strachan at Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, daughter of John Strachan and Christina Houston McGill and granddaugter of my ggg uncle Peter Strachan and Margaret Boyle. I suspect she’s the Christina Strachan who married coal miner John Harshaw.

24 June 1908
Birth of my Uncle Colin, baptised Colin McCrae Strachan, the 8th child of Henry Strachan and Helen (Nell) McCrae. He was born at Graham Street, Tollcross, Lanarkshire, not long after Henry and Helen had moved from Ayrshire. In the 1911 census he is age 2 and with his parents, siblings and 2 boarders at 14 Mansion Street, Cambuslang. Colin migrated to Australia in 1926, at the age of 18: I don’t know the reason, but he sailed from Liverpool on 6 November 1926 and the passenger list says he was a miner. There are several other young men of that age from Cambuslang on the same ship who perhaps went together. 1926 was, of course, the year of the General Strike (in May) that was called in support of the miner’s who had gone on strike because the mine owners wanted to lower wages. There was a family story that Colin got into some kind of trouble during the strike, and went to Australia as a result, but I don’t know how true that is. He next appears in the records in 1931, in the electoral roll for Bendigo, where he is a labourer age 22 at Maiden Gully – this was to be his home for the rest of his life. Online is his 1933 voluntary enlistment papers for the Australian Army, although this would have been with the territorials. He had married by then as his papers list his next of kin as his wife Ida Strachan. Colin and Ida are in the electoral roll at Maiden Gully from 1936 through to 1968. Colin served in the Australia Army during WW2, but his lifetime job was working in the Bendigo railway yard. He died from cancer in May 1971 and was buried at White Hills Cemetery. His widow Ida moved a short distance to a house in Long Gully after Colin’s death, and died in 1997. (Photos of Colin on a separate post.)

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