A busy day on the 13th: my great grandmother Mary Ann McInairney (McInerney?) and my uncle Joseph (Joe) Strachan – this post includes a lovely photo and a family anecdote about Uncle Joe. Plus a Strachan who migrated to Brisbane, Australia, a McWilliam from Aberdeenshire who migrated to Iowa, USA, and a Strachan descendent who I haven’t been able to trace beyond age 13.
13 September 1840
My great grandmother Mary Ann McInairney was baptised at Newcastle upon Tyne, England: the baptism record reads “Mary Mcaniny daughter of John Mcaniny and Sarah Marshall at St Mary”. I doubt if the surname was ever spelt correctly in the records! Her father John may have been born in Ireland and her mother Sarah was born in Kilmarnock. Despite a very through search I have not found the family in the 1841 census, frustratingly, but Mary Ann’s younger brothers were born in about1841 at Bellshill, Lanarkshire, about 1845 at Muirkirk, Ayrshire and about 1848 at Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, and her father John had died by the time of the 1851 census. The family are at Low Church Lane, Kilmarnock in 1851, with their surname written as McNarnie, mother Sarah a pauper and hand sewer. They are then at 19 Fore Street, Kilmarnock in 1861, both Sarah and Mary Ann earning money as flowerers, which means they embroidered flowers onto muslin. As well as her three brothers, the family by then had two additions, illegitimate daughters of mother Sarah. Also at 19 Fore Street, as a boarder with the Owens family, was collier John McCrae. Mary Ann McInairney (as it spelt on the marriage certificate) and John McCrae were married at 19 Fore Street on 27 December 1861, John a coal miner and Mary Ann a hand sewer. They continued to live in Kilmarnock, at 6 Dean Lane in 1871, 40 Mill Lane in 1881 and 7 High Church Lane in 1891, and had 9 children, their 6th child being my grandmother Helen McCrae. John McCrae died in 1904 and in 1911 Mary Ann is at 26 New Street, Riccarton living with her married daughter Sarah Downie. Mary Ann McNearney (yet another spelling) died on 27 April 1912 “in her dwelling house at 33 High Street, Kilmarnock”. She must have been there on her own as there was a Procurator Fiscal’s report which concluded she died of natural causes.
13 September 1841
Birth of Janet Strachan at Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, daughter of Peter Strachan and Ann Houston and granddaughter of my gggg uncle Peter Strachan and Mary Monroe. She grew up in firstly Dreghorn and then Riccarton. Her mother died when Janet was about 10 years old and her father remarried. Can’t find Janet in 1861 census at age 19, but she married coal miner Alexander Inglis at Riccarton in 1865. In 1871 they are Cadger’s Road, Hurlford with 3 children and by 1881 they were at Kames Row, Muirkirk with 7 children. Then in 1887 they can be found on the passenger list for a ship bound for Brisbane, Australia with 7 children. Janet died ion 30 October 1906 in Brisbane and was buried at Toowong Cemetary.
13 September 1863
Birth of Jane McWilliam at New Pitsligo, Aberdeenshire, daughter of my half gggg uncle Nathaniel McWilliam and Mary Yule, and granddaughter of my gggg grandmother Janet Sansgter. She migrated to the USA, with her family, in 1867 and they were in Post Township, Allamakee, Iowa in 1870, her father a farm labourer (and later to be a farmer). Jane, known as Jennie, married the wonderfully named Adelbert Monroe Lord Brainard in 1882 at Forest Mills, Iowa, and they took a lease on a farm in Allamakee County and had 10 children. Jennie’s husband died in 1917, and in 1925 she is living with her unmarried son William, a commercial traveller, in Clayton, Iowa, and then in Mendon, Iowa, in 1930. Jennie McWilliams Brainard died in November 1934 at Postville, Allamakee, Iowa.
13 September 1865
Birth of Janet Strachan Goble at Cathcart, Renfrewshire, daughter of my half ggg aunt Janet Spiers Strachan and John Skeoch Goble and granddaughter of my gg grandfather John Strachan and his second wife Jean Wallace. Janet’s father was a seaman, a ship’s chief officer in the merchant navy at the time of his daughter’s birth. In 1871 Janet is with her mother, her Goble grandfather and a Goble aunt at Waterside, Dundonald, and her father was at sea: he was killed by stabbing in August of that year in South America. In 1877 Janet’s mother married George Henderson Robertson. a pastry cook, at Poplar, London. In 1881 Janet age 13 and a message girl is with her mother, a baker’s wife (though George Robertson was not at home) at Kinning Park, Glasgow. And then they all disappear from the records – or rather, despite a through search I haven’t found them – so I have no idea what became of Janet Strachan Goble.
13 September 1895
Birth of my uncle Joseph Strachan at his McCrae grandparents’ home at High Church Lane, Kilmarnock. Joseph is with his parents at Crookedholm in 1901, and moved to Lanarkshire in around 1910 with his family: he’s with them at Mansion Street, Cambuslang in 1911, age 15 and a coal miner. He was the informant for his father’s death in November 1918. In December 1918 he married coal miner’s daughter Agnes Morton White (known as Aggie) at Dailly, Ayrshire, where Aggie came from. His occupation on his marriage certificate is a stoker on HMS Arran, usual residence Halfway, Cambuslang. Joseph went to Canada in 1925 to join his father-in-law William White who was already in Toronto, and Joseph’s wife and two young daughters joined him there in 1926. They had a son born in Toronto in 1928. Joseph joined the Baptist Church, a calling he passed on to his son and grandson. In 1954 Uncle Joe and Aunt Aggie (as I knew them) returned to the UK for a holiday, and visited my family in Leeds. I was only 3 years old at the time so my memory of it is very vague. Somewhere there is, I think, a photo taken at the time which I’ll have to try and track down. Joe and Agge Strachan both died within two weeks of each other in 1991 at the grand ages of 96 and 92.
And a family anecdote from when they visited us when I was three years old. Uncle Joe lead the saying of grace before dinner, and afterwards my big sister said “Judith didn’t have her eyes closed”. To which Uncle Joe or my father (I can’t remember which one it was) looked at her and asked “And how do you know?” A very good question!