On 4 July

Happy Independence Day to those of you in the US, and Happy Birthday to someone up in Tyneside having a big birthday. Today in ancestor land, a ggg uncle who died in his 30s, a “gone missing” person, the grandmother of the husband of a blog follower, migration to Australia, and a Strachan who became motherless when young.

4 July 1806
Birth of my ggg uncle John Strachan in Banton, Kilsyth, Stirlingshire, son of my ggg grandparents John Strachan and Agnes Neilson. In 1826 he married Jean Neilson in Gorbals, Lanarkshire, who was possibly related to his mother. John Strachan died before the 1841 census, after he and Jean had had 3 children, and his widow lived in Strathbungo, near the Govan Hill coal mine.

4 July 1856
Birth of Margaret Findlay in Riccarton, daughter of Hugh Findlay and Margaret Miller and great granddaughter of my gggg uncle Peter Strachan and Mary Monroe. She’s with her parents and younger siblings in 1861 at Cadger’s Road, Riccarton, her father a coal miner. I can’t find them in the 1871 census, and haven’t been able to find anything on Margaret after that, although her parents lived in Ayrshire all their lives.

4 July 1878
Birth of my half gg aunt Margaret Fraser at Cruden, Aberdeenshire, daughter of my gg grandfather Alexander Fraser and his second wife Margaret Booth. She is with her family at Mosside croft in 1881 and 1891, then in 1899 gave birth to an illegitimate son Alexander Mitchell. In 1901 Margaret is a cook at Ellon in the household of Francis Cato, farmer and horse dealer, and her son is at Mosside croft with his grandparents. Margaret then gave birth to an illegitimate daughter, Maggie Bella Grant, in 1902. In 1904 she married Robert Robertson, a farm servant, at the Station Buffet, Ellon, and in 1911 they are in Foveran, her husband a farm foreman and horseman, with 3 children plus Margaret’s daughter Maggie – her son Alex is still with his grandparents at Mosside croft. Margaret died in 1952 at Ythanview, Ellon. I’m in contact with Morag, the wife of Margaret’s grandson, who is another keen family historian.

4 July 1881
Maggie Inglis was born in Muirkirk, Ayrshire, daughter of Alexander Inglis and Janet Strachan, which makes Maggie the great granddaughter of my gggg uncle Peter Strachan and Mary Monroe. Maggie’s family migrated to Australia in 1887, arriving in Brisbane – Maggie was age 4. She married Samuel Maxwell in 1907 in Brisbane and died in Brisbane in 1963.

4 July 1903
Birth of Robert Kerr Strachan at Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, son of my great uncle Colin Haddow Strachan and Agnes Porter. In 1910 Robert’s mother died after giving birth to his sister Elizabeth. In 1911 he is living in Crookedholm with his father and elder sister and is at school, and his baby sister has been adopted by a neighbouring childless couple. I don’t know anything else about Robert except that he died age 51 in 1955 in Kilmarnock.

4 July 1953
Today is the birthday of a Strachan descendent living in Tyneside, sister of Rob who follows this blog. Rob: say Happy Birthday to Elaine for me, especially as it’s one of those big birthdays this year! Although very close to me in age, Elaine is the daughter of my cousin. I am a generation out of kilter with my Strachan relatives due to being the youngest child of a youngest child.

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