Some interesting research to discover more about today’s ancestors: an early Marshall ancestor has me scratching my head over who married who; my gg grandfather’s second wife might be descended from Kilwinning Kirk’s sexton; a Hutcheon ancestor was a rural postman; and finally there’s my great uncle Arthur Fraser who once served a drink to the Queen Mother and who migrated to New York.
7 August 1768
Birth of my gggg aunt Mary Marshall at Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, daughter of Alexander Marshall and Agnes Gibson. Her brother Robert Marshall was the father of Sarah Marshall who married John McInairney (or McInerney) and whose daughter Mary Ann married my great grandfather John McCrae. Mary Marshall has proved a nightmare to research! She had a brother called Frances Marshall and a sister called Ann Marshall, and the Marshalls had a habit of marrying someone else called Marshall. There is a marriage in Kilmarnock in 1792 between Frances Marshall and Mary Marshall – but is this the Mary born in 1768, her brother Frances born in 1759, or two different but possibly related Marshalls? Then to complicate things further, there is marriage in Kilmaurs (which is just to the west of Kilmarnock) in 1817 of Frances Marshall to Ann Marshall – is this Mary’s brother Frances or Mary’s sister Ann? The Kilmaurs Frances and Ann are in the 1841 census and the ages given put Francis as 20 years older than Ann, so it’s possible it’s a second marriage for Frances. There is more research to be done on the Marshall line to try and sort it all out. At this stage nothing is therefore known about Mary Marshall born in 1768, except she was born and may, or may not, have married someone with the same name as her brother.
7 August 1881 (born about 1818)
Birth of Susan Cran most probably at Kilwinning, Ayrshire. Susan was the second wife of my gg grandfather Robert Strachan and mother of his youngest 6 children. They married in Kilwinning in 1850 and Robert died in 1877. In the 1881 census Susan Strachan is at Kenneth’s Row, Kilwinning, where she and Robert had lived since before 1861 and where Robert died: she has 2 adult coal miner sons with her, a young grandchild, plus Mary McEwan nee Strachan, the daughter of Robert’s brother John Strachan, and Mary’s children. Susan died in 1881 and the informant was her son Robert. He gave Susan’s mother as Jane Johnston Ferguson, then Ferguson was crossed out and Kirkwood substituted. No father is given and the registrar has written illegitimate next to Susan’s name, but I suspect she might not have been: it’s possible her father died when she was young and her children didn’t know anything about him. Researching Susan’s mother born Jean Kirkwood turned up a marriage between William Johnson and Jean Kirkwood at Kilwinning in 1833, and the 1841 census has them at Cotton House, Kilwinning: William was a cotton hand loom weaver and is with his wife Jane and 3 children, the eldest Susan Johnston age 20 and the youngest age 4 and 2. Susan Johnston must surely be Susan Cran, born before her mother married William Johnson – which explains why there’s no Susan Cran to be found in the 1841 census. Susan’s mother died at Kenneth’s Row, Kilwinning in 1871, just before the census was taken, so may have been living with her daughter and son-in-law Robert Strachan. There is no baptism in the OPR for Susan Cran, born about 1818, but there’s one for John Cran at Kilwinning in 1813 to Alexander Cran and Jean Kirkwood. I feel sure that this is Susan’s brother. There is no marriage for Jean Kirkwood and Alexander Cran so it’s possible they weren’t married, or if they were then Alexander died when Susan was young. Jean Kirkwood was born in 1787 and was the daughter of Alexander Kirkwood and Susan Brown, a further indication of the link to a daughter named Susan. If this is correct, then Susan Cran’s grandfather was the sexton at Kilwinning Kirk.
7 August 1850
Birth of William Hutcheon at Longside, Aberdeenshire, son of my gggg uncle Alexander Hutcheon, an agricultural labourer, and Margaret Hutcheon – William’s parents were probably distantly related but I have yet to work out how. William lived with his parents and then widowed mother in Longside until his 30s, starting work as a shoemaker and then becoming a letter carrier. He married Margaret Ogilvie in about 1882, though I haven’t been able to find a marriage certificate for them: his father died in 1875 and his mother in 1887. In 1891 William is in Longside and a rural postman, with wife Margaret and 4 children. They are at Main Street, Longside in 1901, William still a rural postman and with 2 children at home. He’s the one in Belhelvie in 1911, though I haven’t downloaded the census page from ScotlandsPeople, but his son George Ogilvie Hutchison migrated to Canada and his Canadian WW1 enlistment papers give his next of kin as father William Hutchison of Balmedie, which is near Belhelvie on the coast just north of Aberdeen. There is a death registered in Aberdeen Northern District for William Hutchison age 80 which I suspect is him.
7 August 1912
Birth of my half great uncle Arthur Morgan Fraser at Mosside croft, Cruden, Aberdeenshire, son of my great grandfather William Fraser and his second wife Helen Ann Morgan. My mother remembered Arthur well from her childhood holidays at Mosside, and they kept in touch. So I know Arthur began working as a boot boy in a hotel, then worked as a bar tender: one of his claims to fame was serving the Queen Mother, which I think was when he worked in Aberdeen. Then in 1957 he migrated to the USA, arriving in New York in May 1958. We visited him in the late 1960s when he was living in an apartment on Long Island. He retired to Palm Beach, Florida and lived in a retirement and golfing village on Boynton Avenue, which was also the retirement home of his relatives and friends Meg Fraser nee Downie and her second husband James Fraser: Meg Downie and Arthur were both granddchildren of my gg grandfather Alexander Fraser. Arthur died in Palm Beach on February 1994.