Susannah Strachan and her descendants: lovely old photos

It’s lovely to hear from distantly related people via the blog. I’ve recently been swapping emails with Mac Ballantine in the USA, who is descended from Susannah Strachan born 1811. Mac sent some fantastic old photos and I know lots of you will want to see them. And thanks to Mac for providing an insight into the lives of Susannah’s children.

Susannah Strachan was born 1811 in Riccarton, daughter of Robert Strachan and Jean Kelley and granddaughter of Thomas Strachan and Susannah Alexander. On 6 February 1829 at Kilmarnock she married Thomas Ballantine. He was born in 1806 at Airdrie, Lanarkshire and was the son of Robert Ballantine and Janet Campbell. When he married Susannah he was working at the lime kilns at Kilmarnock: coal was used to burn limestone and produce lime, which was used in building and for agriculture. Remains of old lime kilns can be found all over the UK.

Thomas and Susannah Ballantine can be found in the 1841 census in Thirdpart, Kilmarnock, and by then Thomas was a coal miner. They’d had six children and were to have more. They moved from Kilmarnock to nearby Dreghorn and by 1871 Thomas had retired.

Thomas and Susannah
Thanks to Mac for sending me this picture of Thomas Ballantine and Susannah Strachan dating from 1870 when they were both in their mid 60s.

Two of their sons, John born 1836 and Robert born 1838, migrated to Canada.

John Ballantine migrated in 1867 went to Galt in Ontario where he set up a foundry which eventually became part of Canada Machinery Corp. He had married Janet Bartley and they had two children, Thomas and Margaret (Maggie).

Robert Ballantine went to Canada in the 1850s, returned to Scotland in the 1860s and married Mary Miller in 1868, then returned to Canada. He took up a land grant in the Muskoka lakes district and founded the village of Grassmere, where he operated the post office and the grist mill. He died there in 1892 in his 50s: apparently his health was never very good and the weather in Muskoka didn’t really agree with him. He and his wife Mary had nine children.

Robert Ballantine in 1853:4
Pic sent by Mac of Robert Ballantine taken in the 1850s

Robert and Mary Ballantine
Pic sent by Mac of Robert Ballantine with his wife Mary and baby son Robert, taken in 1870. The baby sadly died at the age of four, killed in an accident.

One of Robert and Mary’s children was John Ballantine, born in 1874 at Muskoka, Ontario. He married Jennett Flintoff and they had ten children, and were the grandparents of Mac Ballantine, who sent the photos. Thank you Mac.

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