3 and 4 October

First of all, happy birthday yesterday to cousin Colin in Canada, a wonderful supporter of this blog. Hope you had a lovely day, Colin. The 3rd and 4th were busy, with four births back in the 1700s, a coal miner Strachan from Kilwinning, and a Strachan coal miner descendent who went to Pennsylvania. Finally, there’s the tragic coincidence of two deaths on the same day in WW1, one an Aberdeenshire relative and one a Yorkshire relative, both remembered at the Tyne Cot Memorial in Belguim which commemorates the dead of Ypres.

3 October 1714
Baptism of Water Neilson at Hamilton, Lanarkshire, son of Walter Neilson and Elizabeth Roxburgh. There is not evidence to prove it, but this might be my ggggg grandfather who married Mary Berrie at Govan and was the grandfather of Agnes Neilson who married John Strachan in 1794.

3 October 1742
Birth of my ggggg aunt Martha Weir at Mauchline, Ayrshire, daughter of William Weir, mother unknown, and sister of Sarah Weir who married James Logan and was the mother of Agnes Logan who married Robert Marshall. I cannot find a marriage for a Martha Weir, but there were children baptised in Ayrshire with father William Lockhart and mother Martha Weir in 1774 at Coylton, 1778 at Riccarton and 1783 at Kilmarnock. Given the locations and a family on the move, it’s quite possible that William Lockhart was was a coal miner. It’d also more than likely that this couple had more than three children but the others went unrecorded.

4 October 1744
Birth of my gggg grandfather James Logan at Kilmarnock, son of Robert Logan and Ann Wilson – at least I think this is the correct James. Unfortunately little can be found about him in the records, but James Logan and Sarah Weir had 10 children baptised in Kilmarnock from 1768 to 1789, including my ggg grandmother Agnes Logan who married Robert Marshall. I suspect it is the birth of the correct James as he named his eldest son Robert, which fits the Scottish naming pattern. According to the death certificate of his daughter Agnes he was a shoemaker.

4 October 1777
Birth of my ggggg aunt Helen Watt at Bourtie, Aberdeenshire, daughter of John Watt and Helen Davidson. Unfortunately I can’t find anything in the records that looks as if it could be her.

3 October 1856
Birth of my half gg uncle Thomas Strachan, son my gg grandfather Robert Strachan and his second wife Susan Cran. He’s at Kenneth’s Row, Kilwinning with his family in 1861 and 1871, and by the latter census has already started working at the coal mine. His father died in 1877 and in 1881 Thomas, age 24 and a coal miner, is still at Kenneth’s Row with his widowed mother, a brother, and some relatives. He married Mary McLaughlan in November 1881 at Kilwinning – they were in Dreghorn when their eldest son was born but moved back to Kilwinning shortly after. In both 1891 and 1901 they’re at Corsehill, Kilwinning, Thomas a coal miner and with a growing family. Thomas’s wife Mary died some time after 1901 and Thomas himself died in July 1911 at Kyleswell Street, Kilwinning, of brochial asthma and cardiac weakness: the informant was his brother Robert.

4 October 1871
Birth of Robert Holland Muir at Blythe, Tynemouth, Northumberland, son of John Muir and mary Holland. His parents were related as his father was the son of Andrew Muir and Elizabeth Strachan and his mother was daughter of Robert Armour Holland and Agnes Strachan. My gggg uncle Peter Strachan and Mary Monroe were therefore Robert’s great grandparents twice over. What appears to be his family migrated to Canada in 1886 as they are on a passenger list, and there is a Robert age 14. However, it seems that Robert returned to Scotland, and there is a Robert Muir age 21 and a miner on a passenger list from New York to Scotland in 1890 (though Robert would have been 19, not 21). He married in Scotland to Agnes Leggat and had two daughters, Susan and Mary, born in Scotland, then he and his family migrated to the USA in December 1906. Robert and his family can be followed in the USA census: they lived in Dunmore and then Oliphant, Pennsylvania and had a total of 5 children, 3 of whom survived to adulthood.

4 October 1917 (born 1889)
David Ewan Michael was born in 1889 at Boddom, Aberdeenshire, son of my gg aunt Mary Ann Fraser and David Ewan Michael. His father was a granite quarryman and the family were in Wickersgill, Westmorland, England in 1901. David is not with his parents in 1911, at age 21. He married Margaret Leiper and enlisted with the King’s Own Scottish Borderers when war broke out. He was killed in action on 4 October 1917 in Belguim and is remembered at the Tyne Cot Memorial.

4 October 1917 (born 1888)
Lewis Wilson Burton was born in Thornes, near Wakefield, Yorkshire, son of James Burton and Sarah Ann Wilson and grandson of my ggg aunt Mary Green and Joseph Wilson. By 1911 he was working as a trimmer at a coal mine at Sandal, Wakefield. He enlisted with the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and, like David Micheal (above) was killed in action on 4 October 1917 and is remembered at the Tyne Cot Memorial.

4 October 1936
Birth of my cousin and blog follower Colin Strachan Harper at Toronto, Canada son of William Harper and my aunt Jeannie Haddow Strachan. Colin is married to Jean, has three daughters and is retired.

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