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.