On 21 August

A Strachan who died young, and a Fraser whose husband was 40 years her senior.

21 August 1857
Birth of Margaret Haggerty Strachan at Hurlford, daughter of my great grandparents Joseph Strachan and Jeanie Haddow. Sadly, Margaret died at 2 years old, in September 1859, at Kenneth’s Row, Kilwinning. She died of teething, which she’d had for 9 days. It’s highly unlikely, of course, that teething was the cause of her death: more likely is some kind of fever attributed, wrongly, to teething.

21 August 1859
Birth of Isabella Shewan at Cruden, illegitimate daughter of my ggg aunt Mary Fraser. Her death certificate gives her father as Alexander Shewan. At 16 months of age, in the 1861 census, Isabella is at Mosside croft with her grandparents, mother, an aunt and uncle and 4 other illegimate grandchildren of William Fraser and Christian Hutcheon, plus the death and dumb pauper boarder John Black. It must have been a crowded little cottage. In 1863 |sabella acquired a sister, Mary Clark, and both of them are at Mosside in 1871 with their parents, mother and John Black. in 1877 her mother Mary married David Rennie of a neighbouring croft. In 1881 Isabella Shewan is in a cottage near Mosside, her occupation given as domestic servant unemployed, with her cousin Margaret Smith. Isabella married David Hird, a widower crofter of Slains – according to the marriage certificate he was 68 and she was 28! I can’t find them in the 1891 census but they were living at Slains, as they had 6 children born there between 1889 and 1900, which means David Hird fathered his youngest child when he was 82. In the 1901 census they are at Moss Croft, Slains, David Hird a crofter age 83, Isabella a crofter’s wife age 34, and with 4 children. David Hird or Herd died in 1901, and Isabella Hird, described as a pauper, died in 1906 at the Cliff, Collieston, Slains age 36, of diabetes and phthisis.

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