Monthly Archives: October 2013

30 October

Not a lot to talk about today as one disappears from the records, one dies as a baby and two are too recent for me to detail.

30 October 1850
Birth of Agnes Morgan at Cruden, daughter of Arthur Morgan and Catherine Kilgour Adam, and granddaughter of my ggggg aunt Isabel Sangster and Peter Morgan. Unfortunately I’ve not traced her beyond the 1861 census, when she was at school and living with her widowed mother and younger siblings.

30 October 1897
Baptism of Walter Fletcher at Royston, Yorkshire, son of my gg aunt Annie Senior and coal miner John Fletcher. Little Walter died at 2 months old and was buried at St John the Baptist, Royston.

30 October 1926
Birth of a Fraser granddaughter of my half gg aunt Margaret Fraser, via her son Alexander Mitchell Fraser and Ethel Willox. As I’m not sure whether the granddaughter is still with us or not I’m not revealing her name just in case.

30 October 1978
The daughter of my cousin was born, here in Leeds.

29 October

Just one today – but an interesting one as the research involved quite a bit of thinking it all through and looking for connections (and also the spending of credits on ScotlandsPeople).

29 October 1813
Baptism of Mary Ann Morgan at Longside, daughter of Peter Morgan and Isobel Sangster. Her mother was the sister of my gggg grandmother Janet Sangster. Mary Ann gave birth to two illegitimate children: Barbara Sangster in 1832 (father George Sangster) and Joseph Mess Greig in 1837 (father James Greig). On both baptism entries Mary Ann Morgan is said to be of Kinmundy, which is where some of the Sangster and Morgan families lived. There is then an entry for the reading of banns for Mary Ann Morgan and David Young at Slains in November 1840: their marriage entry is quite unusual as it seems to read as if they had the banns read at Slains but were married elsewhere, though there is no other marriage entry in the OPRs. And to further complicate things, their eldest child had been baptised at Longside in October 1840. David Young was a riddle and beehive maker, and his mother was Margaret Sangster, so perhaps Mary Ann was related to him (and she may also have been related to the George Sangster who father her daughter Barbara). David Young and wife Mary are in Longside in 1841 with a baby son. In 1841 Mary Ann’s daughter Barbara is with her great aunt Barbara Sangster ar Brunthill, Cruden, which is where Mary Ann’s mother Isobel Sangster was born, but there is no trace of Joseph Greig, who may have died in infancy. In 1851 David and Mary Ann Young are in Old Machar with 4 children, and are in Old Deer in 1861 with their 4 youngest children, the eldest having died or working away from home. David Young died in 1863 at Stuartfield, Old Deer, and in 1871 Mary Young, annuitant, is at Main Street, Old Deer with her youngest daughter and a granddaughter. She is in Longside in 1881 with her son Duncan, a baker, and a different granddaughter. Mary Ann Young died in 1887 at Peterhead, widow of David Young beehive maker. Her son Duncan was a baker in Peterhead so she may have been living with him, but the informant was her son David Young. He gave her father as George Morgan and mother unknown, but Mary Ann’s parents died before 1841 so he would not have known them, and given all the other evidence I think it’s highly likely he made a mistake with Mary Ann’s father’s name.

Logan ancestors from Aberdeenshire

I’ve finally pulled together information about my Logan ancestors, from Aberdeenshire – not to be confused with my Logan ancestors from Ayrshire. There is now a Logan page (see tabs above) and under the tab is the link to the page which details my Logan family tree as so far researched.

27 and 28 October

There’s been a very severe storm overnight, down south, but Yorkshire has escaped and we only had some heavy rain. Yesterday’s and today’s ancestors are a Neilson who might be my gggg grandfather, a Hunter from Ayrshire who may, or may not, have been the wife of Allan Sym, a Haddow ancestor who probably died young, a Strachan who migrated to USA and settled in Braceville, and a Strachan descendant who married her cousin and migrated to USA and lived in Oliphant.

28 October 1744
Walter Neilson, who I think could have been my gggg grandfather, was baptised at Govan, son of Walter Neilson and Mary Berrie. There is a marriage for Walter Neilson and Agnes Hadden at Glasgow in 1765 and they had 10 children between 1766 and 1790, all born in Govan or Gorbals except, intriguingly, one born in 1780 in Irvine – which means the family may have met the Strachans in Ayrshire before the Strachans moved to Gorbals. There are several deaths in the Gorbals OPR for a Walter Neilson of about the right age between 1835 and 1848 and it’s impossible to know which, if any, is the correct one. His daughter Agnes Neilson, born in 1771, married John Strachan.

27 October 1777
Birth of my gggg aunt Ann Hunter at Stevenston, Ayrshire, aughter of John Hunter and Margaret Barr. I suspect she is the Ann Hunter who married Allan Sym (or Sim or Syme) in Stevenston in 1805. They had 6 children baptised in Stevenston, Ayr, St Quivox and the Stevenston again, between 1805 and 1816. In the 1819 Minister’s Census of Stevenston there is an Alan Sim collier with wife Ann Hunter at Townhead, with 7 children, though they are not in 1822 census. The 1841 census has Ann Syme age 60 living at Doura, Kilwinning with Allan Syme age 20 and what looks like 3 lodgers (ages were rounded down in 1841 census), and again at Doura in 1851 age 74, pauper coal miner’s wife born Stevenston, with a grandson. There is a death for Ann Syme age 84 at Irvine in 1861, widow of a coal miner: the informant is her daughter Ann McIntyre who has given the name William Hunter as Ann Syme nee Hunter’s father, and no name for the mother. But although there were two William Hunters having children at about the right time in Stevenston, there is no record of a daughter Ann. I can’t help wondering if the father’s name on Ann Syme nee Hunter’s death certificate is a mistake, especially given that Ann Syme’s eldest daughter was named Margaret, the name of “my” Ann Hunter’s mother. The William Hunters in Stevenston had wives called Jane or Mary, and Ann Syme nee Hunter didn’t call any of her daughters Jane or Mary. So it’s possible, but not proven, that Ann Syme, is “my” Ann Hunter.

28 October 1825
Birth of my gg aunt Jane Wilson Haddow at Stevenston, daughter of coal miner John Haddow and Amelia Murphie. I suspect she died young, as there was another daughter called Wilson and another called Jean, and Jane Wilson Haddow is not with her parents in 1841. A lot of trees on Ancestry have her as married to Joseph Strachan but she wasn’t: Joseph’s wife was her younger sister Jean Haddow born in about 1834.

28 October 1857
Birth of Jean Strachan at Dreghorn, daughter of John Strachan and Margaret Lambie and granddaughter of gggg uncle Robert Strachan and Jean Kelly. She is with her parents in Dreghorn in 1861 and 1871, and by age 13 was earning her keep as a bonnet knitter. She married coal miner Samuel Miller in Dreghorn in December 1874 and they are in the 1881 census at Kirkland Row, Dreghorn with a baby daughter. Later that year they migrated to USA and settled in Coal City, Braceville, Illinois. Samuel Miller died there in 1894, and Jean is in the 1900 census, which says she has had 8 children, 6 living. 5 of her children are still at gome, the eldest a teach and the rest at school, and Jean is working as a school janitor. She has two daughters with her in 1910, one a teacher. Her teach daughter is still with her in 1930, but in Jean Miller is still at the same house on South Broadway, Coal City, age 81 and on her own. She died in May 1942 and was buried at Braceville.

27 October 1889 (born about 1876)
Agnes Leggat was born in 1876 at Kilmarnock, Ayrshire according to her census entries, the daughter of William Leggat and Susan Strachan Holland, and was a great granddaughter of gggg uncle Peter Strachan and Mary Monroe. Her parents moved to Greenock, Renfrewshire not long after Anges’s birth, as the family is there in 1881 and 1891: Agnes’s father was a railway car inspector. Her mother died in 1898, and in 1899 Agnes married coal miner Robert Muir, the son of her mother’s sister Mary Holland. They had a civil wedding as they were married by declaration in Greenock Registry Office by Warrant of the Sheriff. Robert Muir had already spent some years in USA, and in December 1906 he, Agnes and their 2 children sailed to New York. Robert Holland Muir was naturalised in 1915, and his papers list wife Agnes born in Kilmarnock. Agnes is with her husband and children in Oliphant, Pennsylvania in 1920, 1930 and 1940: she had 5 children but 2 did not survive childhood.

26 October

Today’s three includes an early Fraser from Cruden and Peterhead, a Strachan who was a coal miner and in Kilwinning, Dreghorn and Auchinleck, and a Green descendent from Yorkshire who was also a coal miner.

26 October 1772
Baptism of Andrew Fraser at Cruden, son of Donald Frazer and Margaret. He’s my ggggg uncle if Im right about the identity of the father of William Fraser born 1805. Andrew Fraser married Jean Walker in 1799 at Cruden, and in 1841 is an ag lab living at Brickworks, Peterhead with his wife, a daughter, two grandchildren and two of his brother, John and William. it’s William who I think father my ggg grandfather. In 1851 Andrew, age 78, is at the same address with his daughter, 2 nieces, a nephew, a grandchild and his brother William. He died before 1855.

26 October 1840
Birth of my gg uncle John Strachan at Shewalton Colliery, Ayrshire, son of Robert Strachan and Margaret Haggerty. He’s with his parents in 1841, then they moved to Kilwinning, his mother died and his father remarried, to Susan Cran, and in 1851 John is with his family at Moncur Row, Kilwinning. He became a coal miner – of course – and in 1861 is living with the Muir family in Kilwinning – they were probably relations of his future wife, as later that year he married Jane Muir, domestic servant of Kilwinning. In 1871 John and Jane are at Burn Row, Kilwinning with 4 children, and in 1881 are at Southoak Row, Dreghorn with 7 children. They’re still there in 1891, with only 2 children at home, but had relations nearby as Southoak Row crops up fiarly often on my Strachan family tree. By 1901, however, they moved down to Auchinleck and may have have also lived in Stair, where their illegitimate grandson was born in 1895. In the 1901 census John, age 61, is retired, and they have 2 working children and their grandson with them. John Strachan died in Auchinleck in 1902 at age 63.

26 October 1862
Baptism of Benjamin Schofield at Worsbrough, son of my ggg aunt Ann Green and John Schofield. Benjamin is with his parents and siblings in Worsbrough, his father working as a coal miner. His mother died in 1880, and in 1881 he is with his father, who is now a farmer, and Benjamin is working as a butcher. He married Ada Ward in December 1890 at Worsbrough, and in 1891 they are at West Bank, Nether Hoyland, Benajmin working as a colliery labourer. There is a death for a Benjamin Schofield in 1898 registered at Barnsley which I strongly suspect is him, but I’ve not been able to trace his wife or, if they had any, their children.

25 October

Only one today: a Strachan descendant who died at age 8.

25 October 1860
Birth of Agnes Strachan Muir at Riccarton, daughter of John Muir and Mary Holland and great granddaughter of gggg uncle Peter Strachan and Mary Monroe (aka they who spawned an enormous family). Agnes died in November 1868 and her death was registered at Stockton in England. In 1871 her family were in Northumberland, then went to Cumberland, and then migrated to Canada.

24 October

Thank you to those who sent birthday greeting for me yesterday via the blog and via email. I had a lovely day and your wishes made it even lovelier. Today there are two what-the-heck-became-of-them people, and a cousin’s daughter.

24 October 1804
Baptism of my gggg aunt Mary Green at Worsbrough, Yorkshire, daughter of linen bleacher Joseph Green and Ann Cox. Unfortunately she had a very common name, and none of the records appear to be of her. There is a marriage of a Mary Green in 1823 at the neighbouring parish of Darfield to Thomas Hawcroft but I suspect it is not.

24 October 1870
Birth of Jane Brydon Strachan at Dreghorn, daughter of John Strachan and Agnes Scott and granddaughter of my ggg uncle Munro Strachan and Janet Jamieson. She is with her parents in Dreghonr in 1871 and 1881, but from there on is a bit of mystery. There are trees on Ancestry with conflicting information about her marriage and her death, none of which I can verify without spending a small fortune on ScotlandsPeople.

24 October 1980
Birth of a cousin’s daughter here in Leeds, descended from James Fraser and Clara Green.

23 October

Here’s a surprise – there’s only one person on my family tree that I share a birthday with. He’s an Aberdeenshire seaman who lived in Peterhead. Today I am celebrating my birthday by indulging my love of horses and going riding, followed by dinner out this evening.

23 October 1859
Birth of Patrick Forbes McWilliam, known as Peter, at Peterhead, son of my half gggg uncle David McWilliam and Elizabeth Ewan. In Scotland, the names Patrick and Peter are interchangeable. In 1861 and 1871 he’s with his family in Peterhead, his father a sawyer. Peter Clark married Georgina Clark in December 1880 at Peterhead and they set up home at Ronheads, Peterhead: they are there for the 1881 census and Peter is a seaman. By 1891 they’ve moved a bit nearer to the docks and are at Longate, Peterhead, as Peter is still a seaman, and they have 4 children. Then Peter’s wife Georgina died, and in 1901 he is at Longate with his two youngest children, both daughters, and is working as a cooper. Patrick Forbes McWilliam died at Peterhead in 1932 age 72.

23 October 1951
I was born! Judith Margaret Strachan born in Leeds, Yorkshire, daughter of Robert Strachan and Dorothy Fraser. I’ll post some pictures from my childhood, which was spent in Leeds until we moved, when I was 7, to Marske-by-the-Sea on the North Yorkshire coast (though it’s now part of Cleveland). Since then I’ve lived in Leeds again, where I was a student, then London, then Australia, then back to Leeds where I now live on the northern tip of Leeds in Alwoodley.

22 October

Today is a very busy day on my family tree, giving me eight people to write about from Yorkshire, Aberdeenshire and Ayrshire. Plus a Toronto born son of a cousin has a birthday today – he was born exactly one day before I was born.

22 October 1780
Baptism of my ggggg uncle William Cox at Worsbrough, Yorkshire, son of Joshua Cox. Not sure what happened to him, but he could be the William Cox who married Elizabeth England in Darfield in 1806: that couple had children in Darfield but must have died before 1841.

22 October 1833
Baptism of my ggg aunt Mary Hay at Tarves, Aberdeenshire, daughter of George Hay and Mary Taylor. She is with her family at East Shethin Farm in 1841 and 1851. In 1860 she had a illegitimate child, William Barkly, and she and her son are with her parents at East Shethin Farm in 1861. They are still there in 1871. In 1876, when she was in her 40s, Mary married George Donald, a farm overseer, and they are at Mains of Haddo House, Tarves in 1881. George Donald was the informant for the death of Mary’s brother in 1890 and gave his address as Udny Station, and Mary Donald ms Hay died at Udny in 1895.

22 October 1838
Baptism of my gg aunt Ann Green at Worsbrough, Yorkshire, daughter of linen bleacher William Green and Sarah Firth. She is with her family at Worsbrough Common in 1841 and at the Rose and Crown Inn, Worsbrough Common, in 1851. In 1859 she married widower John Schofield, who had a daughter, and is at Birdwell, Worsbrough in 1861 with her coal miner husband, step daughter and her and John’s 2 young sons. They are in Worsbrough village in 1871 with their 3 children. George Schofield took over a farm of 37 acres, but Ann Green died in 1880. Her farmer husband and her 8 children are at St Mary’s Street, Worsbrough in 1881.

22 October 1843
Baptism of my gg grandfather George Hay at Tarves, Aberdeenshire, son of farmer George Hay and Mary Taylor. In 1851 and 1861 George is with his family at East Shethin Farm, Tarves, and had by 1861 had become a ploughman. In 1863 he fathered an illegitimate child, my great granmother Helen Hay, with Helen Watt whose parents lived in Tarves parish. He acknowledged his daughter’s birth as he witnessed her registration and is therefore named on the birth certificate, but he and Helen Watt did not marry. In 1871 he is assisting his elderly father on East Shethin Farm, and in 1876 married Sarah Ogg from Echt. His father died in 1879 and George then took over the farm: he is there in 1881 with his wife, 2 childrem, 2 visitor relatives of his wife’s, a domestic servant and a farm servant. He died in 1890 of pneumonia and acute rheumatism. His wife Sarah continued at East Shething as farmer, assisted by her 9 sons and daughters.

22 October 1868
Birth of James Findlay at Hurlford, Ayrshire, son of Mary Findlay and coal miner James Findlay, grandson of Susanna Strachan and David Findlay and great grandson of my gggg uncle Peter Strachan and Mary Monroe. In 1871 he is with his family at Findlays Land, Hurlford and in 1881 at Cadgers Road, Hurlford. But by 1891, at age 22, he’s a boarder in Govan working as a tea dealer’s assistant: the tea dealer is probably his older brother Hugh Findlay, who in 1891 is in Hutchensontown, Glasgow and is a tea merchant. In 1894 James married Jeanie Callan at her parents’ home at 133 Aitkenhead Road, Glasgow: his marriage certificate says his father James Findlay was a tea merchant, although he’d still been a coal miner in 1881. Perhaps Hugh and James helped set their father up in a business. In 1901 James Findlay, wife Jeanie, 2 children and Jeanie’s mother are at 11 Aitkenhead Road, Glasgow and James is a traveller in tea. I suspect that the James Findlay who died at Springburn, Glasgow at age 61 is the right one, as there is also a Hugh Findlay who died at Springburn in 1921. It would seem that the two brothers worked together all their adult lives.

22 October 1913 (born about 1881)
James Lindsay was born about 1881/82 at Dreghorn, Ayrshire, the second youngest child of Alexander Lindsay and Janet Strachan, and grandson of my ggg uncle Samuel Strachan and Margaret Sampson Reid Jamieson. He is with his family in Dreghorn in 1891 and 1901, and became a coal miner. In 1907 he migrated to USA arriving in New York and travelling with William Littlejohn, who was married to his sister Mary: both were miners and both were going to Dawson, New Mexico. James Lindsay was killed in an accident in New Mexico on 22 October 1913 at age 32, and is remembered on the family’s memorial stone at Dreghorn kirk.

22 October 1895
Baptism of Elsie Fletcher at Royston, Yorkshire, daughter of John Fletcher and my gg aunt Annie Senior. Her father was a miner. Elsie was born in February 1895 but may have been baptised in October because she became ill, as she was buried in Royston on 29 October 1895 age 8 months.

22 October 1950
Joseph (Joe) Strachan was born in Toronto, son of my cousin Henry (Harry) Strachan. Happy birthday Joe – who is one day and a year older than me!

The joy of ancestors who do the unexpected

Every now and again, you come across an ancestor who gives you a surprise, and they can be fascinating to research. Let’s be honest, someone who is born, works, marries, has children and dies in more or less the same place, and leads a life normal enough to leave no other record behind, lacks a bit of sparkle for a family historian! But one of today’s people led me to a Strachan descendant who had quite a life, and she was certainly intriguing to research.

While checking out the census entries for Mary Wilson Strachan, born 1862 and married to John McVie, I clicked on their children to see whether they’d all been born in Kilmaurs, Ayrshire – which they had. But when I clicked on their daughter Mary Lindsay McVie, born in about 1884, I was led to her entry for 1901, when she was a domestic servant in Kilmarnock, then to an entry in London for the 1911 census. London? I had to look into it.

The 1911 census has the household schedule for 60 Hartismere Road, Fulham. The head of the household is John McLaunahan Hamilton, age 42, a journalistic artist working for a newspaper, born in Renfrewshire, Scotland. He has completed the married and children columns, saying he’d been married for 20 years and had 4 children born, 3 living. The second person is Mary Lindsay McVie, a boarder age 26, single and born in Kilmaurs, Ayrshire, with nothing in the occupation column. Finally, there is Phyllis Estella Hamilton, age 4 born in London, with nothing in the relationship column. Intriguing. John Hamilton says he’s married, not widowed, and it looks as if young Phyllis is his daughter. So where is his wife and his other children?

They proved easy to find. In 1901 John M Hamilton, age 32 and a journalistic artist, was living in Cathcart, Renfrewshire with wife Jeanie K Hamilton born Barrhead, Renfrewshire and two daughters, Maggie R Hamilton age 9 and Jeanie K P Hamilton age 5, plus a visitor and a domestic servant. In 1911, there is a Mrs J M Hamilton age 41, married for 20 years with 3 children born and 2 living, born in Barrhead, Renfrewshire with daughter Jeanie Hamilton age 15 born in Glasgow. Neither give an occupation, and they are living at 48 Fernhurst Road, Fulham – which is only a few streets away from Hartismere Road where John Hamilton is living with Mary McVie. Plus there is a marriage for his other daughter Maggie Ried Hamilton in Fulham in 1909.

So Phyllis Estella Hamilton, born in Kensington in 1906, appears to be John Hamilton’s daughter but she is not the daughter of his wife Jeanie. Which leads one to the conclusion that she is the daughter of Mary Lindsay McVie, and that John Hamilton has left his wife and is living with Mary.

How did they meet? Did she start working for the family as a domestic servant in Scotland, move to London with them, and then went into a relationship with her employer that resulted in his setting up two households – one for his wife and daughters and one for himself, Mary and their daughter Phyllis? Hopefully he made a good living as a journalistic artist, as that can’t have been a cheap way to live!

It must have been something of a family scandal at the time. What did Mary McVie’s family make of it? However, that isn’t the end of Mary McVie’s story. Looking to see what became of her after 1911 unearthed quite a story.

John McL Hamilton died in 1915 age 47, his death registered in the July-Aug-Sept quarter at Chelsea, London. However, also in the July-Aug-Sept quarter of 1915, Mary L McVie married John C McAuley at Newcastle, Northumberland. When she left John Hamilton is a mystery, but given the following I suspect she had left him some time before then, and returned to Scotland with her daughter Phyllis.

Mr McCauley was actually Charles J McAuley from USA, and in 1916 he was issued with a Certificate of Registration of American Citizen at Glasgow. He was from Alabama, residing in Glasgow where he was an electrical engineer, married to Molly McVie McAuley, who was born in Kilmarnock, and he said he had a daughter Phyllis born in London in 1906 who was currently residing in Kilmarnock. He gives the name of Mrs Thomas Watson of 30 Titchfield Street, Kilmarnock as the person to contact in case of death or accident, which could well be a sister of Mary McVie.

Charles McCauley then travelled to New York in June 1916, and Molly McAuley age 30 with daughter Phyllis McAuley followed in September 1916. The 1920 USA census has Molly L McAuley age 33, widow, arrived USA 1916 and born Scotland, working as a solderer at a novelty factory and living with daughter Phyllis E Hamilton age 13. They are in Waterbury, Connecticut. So Charles John McAuley died between 1916 and 1920. Could he have died in WW1? A search of the Commonwealth War Graves site produced the certificate for Sergeant Charles John McCauley of the Canadian Railway Troops who died in September 1917 in Belgium and is remembered at the Coxyde Military Cemetary. It says he was the husband of Mary McAuley of Waterbury, Connecticut.

The 1930 USA Census has Mary McAuley age 43, widow, living on her own in Naugatak, Connecticut, working as a domestic nurse. Her daughter is close by, though, as Phyllis married Charles Varian, manager of a quarry, and had children. Phyllis died in 1990 and her death record gives her name as Phyllis E Varian, father’s surname Hamilton.

So yes, Phyllis born in 1906 was the daughter of Mary McVie and John Hamilton, who had left his wife and was with Mary in 1911. But for whatever reason the relationship didn’t last long, and Mary married Charles McAuley in Newcastle in 1915, possibly returning first to Scotland, and John Hamilton died at about the same time. Mary and her daughter Phyllis then went to Connecticut to be with John McAuley in 1916, but her husband was killed in WW1. Mary and her daughter continued to live in Connecticut, where daughter Phyllis married and had children.

It’s amazing what you can discover about someone through online research these days