Adam Logan, shoemaker: deserter of his wife and children

My gggg uncle, Adam Logan, appears to have abandoned his wife and children and set up with another woman. Tracking him and his family has proved a challenge, but an entertaining one.

Adam Logan was born on 18 July 1789 at Kilmarnock, Ayrshire: the OPR entry for his birth says “Ann and Adam Logan twins, 4th daughter and 7th son of James Logan shoemaker in Kilmarnock and Sarah Weir spouses, their first marriage, born 18th July 1879 and baptised 19th July 1789 by Mr Kennedy.” There is no evidence that Ann survived beyond infancy but Adam most certainly did and lived for 83 years.

In 1814 there is a marriage of Adam Logan and Margaret Duncan in Kilmarnock. The OPR entry simply says “29 July 1814 This day Adam Logan in this Parish and Margaret Duncan Low Church Parish gave in their names to be proclaimed in order to marriage. Three days.” I felt sure this was “my”Adam Logan, as it’s an unusual name and the date and location are an excellent fit. But there are no baptisms to be found for any children, although I eventually discovered that they did have children – their later census entries state they were born in Kilmarnock.

However, in the 1841 census Adam Logan age 50, shoemaker, is at Chapelton, Lanarkshire with Ann Craig age 40 and Janet Logan age 2, and in 1851 is in Chapelton, with Ann and three children, and gives his birthplace as Kilmarnock. Tracing him through the census I eventually went looking for his death certificate – Adam Logan shoemaker died at Chapelton in 1873 and his son has given Adam’s parents as James Logan shoemaster and — Logan ms Weir. So I knew I had the right Adam.

I assumed his wife Margaret Duncan had died, although there’s no marriage for Adam Logan and Ann Craig, and in the later census she’s described as housekeeper. So looked for Margaret Logan ms Duncan’s death certificate – and found that Margaret Logan widow of Adam Logan shoemaker, parents surname Duncan, died in 1867 in Glasgow. The informant was her daughter Sarah Munn.

So Adam Logan had moved to Chapelon in Lanarkshire and taken up with Ann Craig, leaving behind his wife Margaret with whom he’d had a daughter Sarah. Perhaps she wasn’t their only child.

I next found a 1836 marriage of Sarah Logan to James Munn at Neilston, Renfrewshire, and they were living in Cross Arthurlie, Neilston in 1841. In 1851, by which time she’s living in Ayrshire, Sarah Munn gives her birthplace as Kilmarnock.

Looking for Margaret Logan in the 1841 census, I found her in Neilston, Renfrewshire – where daughter Sarah had married – with daughters Jane and Ann Logan. Margaret was in Neilston in 1851 and 1861, giving a birthplace of Clachan, Argyllshire: this is on the Kintyre peninsula and not that far, by sea, from Ayrshire. Her 1867 death certificate gives her father as Duncan Duncan, a tailor, and her mother Mary Duncan ms Robb. No luck tracing them, unfortunately.

To see whether Adam Logan and Margaret Duncan had had other children, I looked for marriages in Neilston of someone with the surname Logan and then tracked them in the census and other online records. This turned up Mary Logan who married John Baxter in 1838. They are in Neilston in 1841, in Stirlingshire in 1851, then on a ship to Australia in 1853 where Mary Baxter sadly died in 1854. Her Australian death certificate states she was Mary Baxter formerly Logan, and her parents were Adam Logan and Margaret Logan formerly Duncan.

Jane Logan, who was with her mother in 1841, married John Cochran in 1847, is in the 1851 census in Cross Arthurlie, Neilston with husband John and two children, then they migrated to Massachusetts, USA in about 1860. She and her family are in the 1880 USA census in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Ann Logan, also with her mother in 1841, is in the 1851 census as a lodger in Paisley and states she was born in Kilmarnock. I’m not sure what then happened to her, although she might be the Ann Logan who married George Wyse at Paisley in 1852, but I haven’t been able to trace that couple.

So Adam Logan and Margaret Duncan had at least four daughters, and may well have had more children who I haven’t traced. The children were born in Kilmarnock from 1814 to about 1826, but by the mid 1830s Margaret and her daughters were in Neilston, Renfrewshire and Adam Logan was in Chapelton, Lanarkshire. So when did Adam up and leave his wife and children – and why? No answers to that, of course, apart from use of the imagination. Perhaps it because I’m female, but I feel rather sorry for Margaret and her daughters.

Margaret was living on her own in 1851 and working as a housekeeper, although her daughter Jane Cochran nee Logan was living on the same road. In 1861 Margaret is in Neilston living as a lodger with Rosana Gray, Rosana’s children, and another lodger. She died in 1867 age 74 at Crown Street, Glasgow. The informant was her daughter Sarah Munn who was living in Glasgow by then, so it looks as if Margaret may have spent her last few years living with her daughter.

Adam lived for considerably longer. In 1841 he was living in Chapelton, Lanarkshire, where he remained for the rest of his life, working as a shoemaker and living with Ann Craig and a two year old daughter, although there was an older daughter also in Chapelton. In 1851 he’s a shoemaker, now age 60, with housekeeper (not wife) Ann Craig and three children: the eldest is Helen Logan age 14 so she was born in about 1836, meaning Adam had left Margaret and daughters by then. In 1861 Adam Logan age 71, shoemaker journeyman, is with housekeeper Ann Craig, son James, and two grandchildren, and he’s there in 1871, retired and age 82, with Ann Craig housekeeper.

Ann Craig died on 2 April 1873 at Chapelton, of apoplexy (a stroke), informant James Logan son, and Adam Logan died 11 days later on 13 April 1873 at Chapelton, of diarrhea, informant James Logan son. It’s rather sweet that should die so close in time to each other, and makes you think they must have been a happy couple, but I can’t help wondering whether Adam ever thought about his wife Margaret, or kept in touch with the daughters he left behind.

One response to “Adam Logan, shoemaker: deserter of his wife and children

  1. Hello Judy,

    Your gggg uncle Adam Logan was my gg grandfather.
    His son James was my great-grandfather.
    James also had lots of children, one of whom was my grandpa, Alexander Craig Logan, born in Chapelton, in 1883.
    As a matter of interest, the name ” Craig” lives on to this day, as my cousin, also Adam’s gg grandchild, in Chester, is also ” Craig Logan”.
    I live a just few miles away from Chapelton.

    I read that you are from Leeds in Yorkshire. My grandpa, Alexander Craig Logan, worked most of his adult life with Arrols, the Glasgow company, which built the Middlesbrough Transporter.
    It was in Middlesbrough that he met my Gran, Eliza. By coincidence, HER grandfather came from ChapelTOWN in Leeds!
    We love Yorkshire and are often there!

    Well, it was absolutely amazing to read your story. I really am the only member of my family to take an interest in genealogy. This is the first time that I have ever ” found” a distant relation or ” posted” anything online!


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