Monthly Archives: October 2013

21 October

An early Yorkshire Green ancestor, a Strachan who died in infancy, a Strachan who died on tuberculosis, a Strachan descendant who migrated to Pennsylvania to work as a coal miner.

21 October 1796
Baptism of Mary Green at Worsbrough, Yorkshire, daughter of my ggggg uncle John Green and Mary Addey. Her baptism record says John Green was a bleacher. There is a marriage in 1817 in Worsbrough of Mary Green and Joseph Lister, and that couple had a son John Lister baptised in Barnsley in 1818, but I don’t know whether it’s the same Mary Green or not. Interestingly, a John Green born in Barnsley and age 53 is in the 1871 census in Tower Hamlets, London, a pensioner drill sergeant living in a porter’s lodge at an Alms House.

21 October 1834
Catherine Strachan was born at Shewalton Colliery, Dundonald, Ayrshire, daughter of my ggg uncle Peter Strachan and Margaret Boyle. She died before 1836, when Peter and Margaret named another daughter Catherine.

21 October 1862
Birth of Mary Wilson Strachan at Dreghorn, Ayrshire, daughter of James Strachan and Mary Lindsay and great granddaughter of my gggg uncle Robert Strachan and Jean Kelly. She is with her parents and siblings at Stevenston in 1871, and is a servant to a farmer in 1881 near Kilmaurs, where her parents lived. In 1882 she married John McVie, a miner, at her parents’ home in Kilmaurs. In 1891 Mary and John McVie are at Knockintiber, Kilmaurs, with 4 children. Mary McVie ms Strachan died in September 1892 and her death certificate says she’d had tabes mesenterica for 3 years – this is tuberculosis of the lymph glands of the abdomen. Her husband remarried and lived in Kilmarnock.

21 October 1871
Birth of Robert Holland Muir at Blythe, Northumberland, son of John Muir and Mary Holland, and grandson of Elizabeth Strachan and Andrew Muir, and also of Agnes Strachan and Robert Armour Holland. His two grandmothers were sisters as they were both daughters of my gggg uncle Peter Strachan and Mary Monroe. By 1881, his iron miner father, mother and siblings had moved to Arlecdon, on the eastern edge of the Lake District, and the family then migrated to Canada in 1886. However, Robert Muir age 21 and a miner is in a passenger list from New York to Glasgow in 1890. He married his cousin Agnes Leggat in Greenock in 1899, giving an address in Auchinleck, Ayrshire: his mother and Agnes’s mother were sisters. They had 2 children born in Scotland, then in 1906 went to Pennsylvania, USA. At Robert’s naturalisation in 1915 they were living in Dunmore, PA, Robert working as a coal miner, and had 4 surviving children. The 1920, 1930 and 1940 census has them at East Scott Street, Oliphant, Robert working as a coal miner and latterly as a pump runner at a coal mine.

20 October

One from Ayrshire who died at age 5, and one from Aberdeenshire who migrated to Canada.

20 October 1855
Birth of Andrew Ballantine at Dreghorn, Ayrshire, son of Thomas Ballantine and Susannah Strachan, and grandson of my gggg uncle Robert Strachan and Jean Kelly. Andrew died in 1861, at age 5, at Dreghorn.

20 October 1881
Birth of Alexander Milne at Cruden, Aberdeenshire, son of Alexander Milne and Elizabeth Thomson and grandson of my ggg aunt Janet/Jessie Fraser. In 1891 he is at Hatton with his parents, his father a blacksmith, and by 1901 he too has become a blacksmith and seems to be working for his father. Although I can’t find his passage to Canada, he had been there some years, and was married to Florence, by 1915 when he enlisted with the Canadian Expeditionary Force. He gave his next of kin as wife Florence Milne of Caledonia Avenue, Victoria, BC.

19 October

Mystery people today: three that can’t be found in the records apart from their birth and census in early life. What does happen to those on the side branches who you just can’t track down?

19 October 1751
Birth of my gggg aunt Agnes Wilson at Stevenston, daughter of James Wilson and Agnes Smith and sister of Jane Wilson who married Duncan Murphie. Agnes Wilson if not an uncommon name in that time and place, so it’s impossible to work out which, if any, Agnes Wilson in the records is the right one. An Agnes Wilson married Thomas Stevenson in Stevenston and had a son Euphan in 1771, another Agnes Wilson had two illegitimate children in Stevenston in the 1770s, and yet another one had children baptised at Stevenson, the father Hugh King. One of the could be her – then again, none of them could be her.

19 October 1856
Birth of Thomas Clark at Kilburnie, Ayrshire, son of Robert Clark and Elizabeth Strachan and grandson of gggg uncle Peter Strachan and Mary Monroe. He was possibly illegitimate: Elizabeth Strachan was a widow in 1851 in Kilburnie, with Robert Clark son age 1 month and Robert Clark, ironstone miner, a lodger. Thomas’s mother died on 1 November 1856, not long after he was born. I haven’t found any trace of him after, nor I have been able to find his father and most of his siblings. So it’s a real mystery what happened to Elizabeth Strachan’s children: surely the entire family cannot have died within a few year’s of each other. So where did they get to?

19 October 1860
Birth of Hugh Richmond Haddow at Kilwinning, son of my gg uncle Colin Shearer Haddow and Ann Orr Richmond. He’s with his parents in 1861 and 1781 in Kilwinning, and then in Coylton in 1881 by which time he was an ironstone miner. I’m not sure what happened to him after that as I can’t find him in the records.

18 October

One of my gggg grandmothers was born today, back in 1752 – nearly 300 years before I was born. Also born today was my Yorkshire Great Uncle Joe, father of a blog follower, and a current day Strachan descendant. Plus a Strachan who migrated to Detroit, a Yorkshire ancestor who was a coal miner, and a Strachan who disappears from the records after 1901.

18 October 1752
Birth of my gggg grandmother Susannah Alexander at Birkieknowe, Ayrshire and baptised at Auchinleck, daughter of John Alexander and Christian Reid. Her mother is not named on the baptism record, but in 1755 a John Alexander of Birkieknowe had a son Charles baptised, and that record gives the mother’s name as Christian. There is no concrete evidence that this is the Susannah Alexander who married Thomas Strachan but there is strong circumstantial evidence, as Susannah and Thomas had children they named John, Christian and Charles. Susannah Alexander married Thomas Strachan on 15 July 1771 at Irvine, and they had 8 children baptised at Irvine up to April 1790. At some point after that, however, they moved to Gorbals, most probably so Thomas and his older sons could work at the Govan coal mines: their two youngest children were baptised at Gorbals in 1793 and 1795. After that the trail goes cold, as there is no record of a death/burial for Susannah. However, several of Susannah’s sons moved back to Ayrshire: John from 1812, Robert from 1803 or earlier, Peter from before 1809 and Samuel from before 1820. So it’s possible that if Susannah was still alive into the 1800s she may have moved back to Ayrshire.

18 October 1871
Birth of Margaret Mitchell Strachan at Stevenston, daughter of Samuel Strachan and Janet Mitchell and granddaughter of my gggg uncle Samuel Strachan and Ann Miller. She is with her parents in 1881 at Station Square, Stevenston, her father coal miner. Her father died in 1882 and in 1891 she is with her mother and a brother at Station Square, working as a dynamite worker. She married Peter Monie, a printer compositer, in 1897 in Glasgow, and they are in Govan in 1901 with 2 children and a boarder. Peter Monie went to Detroit, USA in 1910, followed by his wife and their by then 4 children in 1911. They are at 14th Avenue, Detroit in the 1920 census, Peter Monie working as a building contractor building houses. By 1930 is a printer again, at a newspaper, and he and Margaret are at Blaine Avenue, Detroit with 2 unmarried daughters. Margaret M Monie died at Detroit in 1950.

18 October 1873
Birth of Joshua White, baptised at Royston, Yorkshire, son of my ggg aunt Jane Simpson and John Murgatroyd White. According to his baptism record, his father was a coal miner and his parents were living at East Gawber Hall Colliery village. In 1881 he is with his family at Carlton, and in 1891 at Monk Bretton: by then he had joined his father as a coal miner. In 1989 he married Mary Jane Caves at West Bretton, and they are at the pit housing near Carlton in 1901 with 2 children. By 1911 Joshua is a colliery contractor underground the Ashleigh pit at Monk Bretton and had moved from Carlton via Smith Wood: he and Mary had 7 children by then and were also housing a coal miner, his wife and young child. Joshua White died in 1952 age 78, his death registered at Barnsley.

18 October 1885
Jeannie Strachan was born at Dunlop’s Land, Crookedholm, Ayrshire, daughter and youngest child of my gg uncle Henry Strachan and Elizabeth Black. She is with her parents in Crookedholm in 1891 and 1901, and by 1901 is working at a woollen factory. Nothing else found so I’m not sure what happened to her.

18 October 1899
Birth of my great uncle Joseph Green at Armley, Leeds, son of Joseph Green and Charlotte Senior. He is with his family, age 1, in 1901 at Hope Grove, Armley – his daughter, who follows this blogs, says he was fond of making the joke “At least I was born in hope, if I die in despair”. He was baptised in 1904 after the family had moved to Kirkstall, and is in the 1911 census as Station Parade, Kirkstall, age 11 and at school. He married Ethel Alderson, the daughter of neighbours, in 1930 at Kirkstall, at which time his occupation was cloth finished, so no doubt worked at one of the nearby mills. He lived in Leeds all his life and died in 1976. My mother was very fond of her Uncle Joe and remembered him as a funny and warm-hearted man.

18 October 1979
A great-gandson of my aunt Mary Ann McInairney Strachan, who married James McBride, was born in Scotland.

17 October

Just the one today – a Strachan who married a locomotive engine driver.

17 October 1851
Birth of Jane Richmond Strachan at Kilmaurs, Ayrshire, daughter of Samuel Strachan and Janet Mitchell and granddaughter of my gggg uncle Samuel Strachan and Ann Miller. In 1861 she is with her parents and siblings at Stevenston, and in 1871 is a domestic servant in Ardrossan. She married Robert Wallace at Stevenston in 1874, and the are at Montgomerie Lane, New Ardrossan in 1881 and 1891, Robert working as first a locomotive fireman and then a locomotive engine driver, and by 1891 they have 7 children. Robert died, as in in 1901 Jeanie Wallace is a the head of household with 6 of her children and a boarder: her children seem to have done well at school as one is a clerk and another is a bookkeeper. Jeanie Richmond Wallace ms Strachan died in Ardrossan in 1919 at age 66.

16 October

Several uncertainties today, which highlights just how difficult it is to research people when you aren’t working from known descendants and going backwards in time, without spending a small fortune on certificates which may, or may not, be for the right person. I admit to being very reluctant to buy a certificate when it could turn out to be for the wrong person. Plus a rather confusing William Watt from Aberdeenshire. The only one today I can be sure about is a Green descendant who was born and lived near Wakefield.

16 October 1794
Birth of my ggg uncle Hugh Murphie at Stevenston, Ayrshire, son of Duncan Murphie and Jane Wilson. Nothing else found, unfortunately.

16 October 1812
Baptism of my gggg uncle William Watt at Fintry, Aberdeenshire, son of Peter Watt and Helen Alexander. It looks as if he died, as the son named William who put up the memorial to Peter and Helen Watt seems to have been born, from census and death details, in about 1825.

16 October 1825
Baptism of Amelia Fisher at Tankersley, Yorkshire, daughter of John Fisher and Mary Stones and granddaughter of my ggggg uncle Timothy Fisher and Mary Kaye. She is at Pilley hamlet in 1841, age 15, and her mother died in 1846. In 1851, as Milly Fisher age 25, she is at Pilley with her father and siblings, working as a servant. Nothing else found, apart from an 1857 death in Barnsley for an Amelia Fisher, but I don’t know whether this is her or not.

16 October 1831
Birth of Mary Strachan at Shewalton Colliery, Dundonald, Ayrshire, daughter of my ggg uncle John Strachan and Jean Neilson. Her father died before 1841, and in the 1841 census Mary is with her mother and siblings at Strathbungo Village, Govan. In 1851 she’s a wool twister in lodgings in Govan, and I’m not sure what happened to her after that as I haven’t found her in the records with any certainty. She may have married David Morgan at Govan in 1852 but I’m not sure that’s the right Mary Strachan.

16 October 1887
Baptism of Mary Alice Burton at Wrenthorpe, Yorkshire, who was born in November 1886, daughter of James Burton and Sarah Ann Wilson and granddaughter of my gg aunt Mary Green and Joseph Wilson. Her parents lived at Pilkington Sreet, Alverthorpe, near Wakefield, and Mary Alice is with them in 1891 and 1901: in the latter census she is age 14 and working as a doffer at a worsted mill. This is someone who clears full spindles that hold the spun thread, replacing them with empty ones, and was a job done by children in the earlier years of mills. Mary Alice’s father died in 1905, and in 1911 she is a domestic servant in the household of Robert Mary, a doctor, in Wakefield, where the housekeeper was her aunt Edith Wilson. In June 1911 at Sandal, near Wakefield, Mary Alice Wilson married Ernest George Thorpe, a stoker on HMS Thames. She died in 1966 at Scunthorpe.

15 October

Today features the sad story of Janet Strachan from Ayrshire, and the much travelled Margaret McWilliam from Aberdeenshire who married a soldier and migrated, as a widow, to Iowa, USA. Plus two of the frustrating kind – people I haven’t been able to find in the records after their birth.

15 October 1780
Birth of Henry Neilson at Irvine, son of Walter Neilson and Agnes Hardie at Irvine, Ayrshire. I suspect this is a son of my gggg grandparents Walter Neilson and Agnes Haddon or Haddie, although all their other children were born in Gorbals or Govan, Lanarkshire. But as Walter Neilson was a coal miner, it’s possible they spent a year or so in Irvine. Unfortunately I can’t find anything else for Henry: there was a Henry Neilson who had children baptised with Marion Tenant at Carnwath and then Shotts, Lanarkshire from 1798 but I’m not convinced this is the same Henry Neilson.

15 October 1818
Birth of my gggg aunt Christian Booth at Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, daughter of William Booth and Margaret Allan and aunt of my gg grandmother Mary Logan (who was the first wife of Alexander Fraser). I haven’t found anything else in the records that looks as if it could be her.

15 October 1848
Birth of Margaret McWilliam at Tyrie, Aberdeenshire, daughter of my half gggg uncle Nathaniel McWilliam and Isobel Murison, and granddaughterbof my gggg grandmother Janet Sangster. She proved tricky to research as she moved around a lot, but I finally cracked it. She is with her parents and siblings in New Pitsligo in 1851 and 1861, her father an ag lab. Then her mother died in about 1862, her father remarried in 1863, and then her father, stepmother and siblings migrated to the USA in 1867, settling in Iowa. Margaret, however, didn’t go with them. In 1868 she married soldier James Taylor in Aberdeen, and in 1871 is at Aberdeen Military Barracks with her sergeant husband and two young children who had both been born in Perth. By 1881 James Taylor has left the army and is a sergeant inspector Chelsea Pensioner living in Uphall, West Lothian with wife Margaret and 4 children, the youngest 2 born in Uphall. They had a third child, and then Margaret’s husband died. in 1891 she is in Broxburn, Linlithgow with her 3 surviving children, and on 23 April 1891 they all sailed from Glasgow for the USA: her father and siblings had, of course, gone to Iowa back in 1867. In the 1900 USA census Margaret and her youngest child Arthur are living with her son-in-law and married daughter Eliza in Sumner, Iowa, and in 1910 and 1920 she is living in Oskaloosa, Iowa with her unmarried son Arthur, who was a stenographer at a music house. By 1825 Margaret is back living with her married daughter Eliza Milne and is with them at Marshalltown, Iowa in 1930. She died in Marshalltown in 1934 at the age of 86.

15 October 1858 (born about 1840)
Janet Strachan was born at Shewalton Colliery, Dundonald, Ayrshire in about 1840, the daughter of my ggg uncle Munro Strachan and Janet Jamieson and granddaughter of John Strachan and Agnes Neilson. She is with her parents at Shewalton Colliery in 1841 and at MacReadie’s Land, Dreghorn in 1851, by which time her father was a pauper formerly a coal miner. Her father died in 1854. In 1858 Janet married coal miner James Wilson at Irvine and in 1861 they are in Dreghorn living with her brother-in-law Gilbert Wilson. Janet gave birth to son James in April 1861, but he died in June of congenital disability, and then Janet died in July 1861 of phthisis and bronchitis.

14 October

Definitely autumn here now – no more Indian summer, just very dreich days as they’d say in Scotland. And just the one person to write about today: a Strachan descendent who migrated to Alabama, USA.

14 October 1865
Birth of Robert King at Irvine, Ayrshire, son of James King and my gg aunt Jean (aka Jane) Strachan and grandson of Robert Strachan and Margaret Haggerty. He is with his cotton weaver father, mother and siblings at Quarry Lane, Irvine in 1871 and by 1881 has become a coal miner: he is with his parents and siblings at High Street, Irvine and his father is now a labourer at the brickfields. Robert migrated in 1887, sailing from Glasgow to Boston. He married there in about 1892 to Maggie, and in 1900 they can be found in the census at Ensley, Alabama, Robert working as a boiler boss at a furnace. They are in Fairfield, Alabama in 1930, Robert a machinist at a coke plant, and they are still there in 1940, Robert having taken up that popular occupation of those who have lived to beyond 60 – a watchman. There is no evidence that Robert and Maggie had any children. Robert King died in 1953 at the age of 87 at Fairfield, Alabama.

13 October

A Neilson ancestor who has so far proved impossible to trace beyond birth with any certainty, and a Haggerty ancestor who migrated to the USA and living in Indiana.

13 October 1775
Birth of my gggg uncle Robert Neilson at Gorbals, Lanarkshire, son of Walter Neilson and Agnes Hadden and sister of Agnes Neilson who married John Strachan. Difficult to know which subsequent Robert Neilson he was: he could be the Robert Neilson who married Catherine Nisbet and had children baptised in Gorbals, Govan and then Cathcart but that one is in the census and was a hand loom weaver so I’m not entirely convinced.

13 October 1844
Birth of James Haggerty at Dundonald, Ayrshire, son of my ggg uncle High Haggerty and Janet Muir. His father died in about 1849 and in 1851 James, age 6, is at Boat Stabs, Dundonald, with his widowed grandmother Anne Muir, his widowed mother Janet Haggerty, his 3 siblings and his aunt Ann Muir. By 1861 he has become a coal miner and is at Bensley Square, Kilwinning, with his mother, grandmother and siblings. In 1871 he’s still at Bensley Square but is a lodger with the Finner household. In 1872 James Haggerty married Janet Maxwell at Kilwinning, and they had 2 children born in Kilwinning before they migrated to the USA. In the 1900 US census James Haggerty age 55, widower with “no occupation too old” is living with his coal miner son in law and daughter, John and Jeannie Blanchard, at Dick Johnson Township, Indiana. There is a death for James Haggerty age 74 at Terre Haute, Indiana, which is where his sister Jean Shirkie nee Haggerty lived.

11 and 12 October

A fascinating coincidence today: a Strachan born in Ayrshire who, after living in London, Scarborough and York, ended his life in Barnsley, just round the corner from where my Yorkshire great grandparents lived. There’s also an Ayrshire Ballantine who married a marine engineer and lived in London, yet another grandchild of Peter Strachan and Mary Monroe, who had 50 grandchildren that I know of, a ggg aunt Strachan who seems to have died young and a Marshall ggg aunt who also died young.

12 October 1799
Birth of my ggg aunt Susannah Strachan at Gorbals, Lanarkshire, daughter of John Strachan and Agnes Neilson. I suspect she died young as nothing further can be found. Trees on Ancestry have her death in 1821 but give no source for that information.

12 October 1800
My ggg aunt Sarah Marshall was born in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, daughter of Robert Marshall and Agnes Logan. Sarah died before 1814, as Robert and Agnes had another daughter born in 1814 named Sarah, who was my gg grandmother and married John McInairney (or McInernery or a any one of a wide range of spellings).

12 October 1869 (born about 1844)
William Strachan was born in about 1844 at Dreghorn, Ayrshire, son of my ggg uncle Samuel Strachan and Margaret Sampson Reid Jamieson. He is with his parents and siblings at Corsehill Square, Dreghorn in 1851, his father and an older brother both coal miners. In 1861 William, at age 17, is himself a coal miner but he changed occupation and moved south, to London, for in 1869 he married Annie McCallum Stewart at Dreghorn and gave his occupation as draper and his address as Islington, Middlesex. There was an announcement of their marriage in the Ardrossen & Saltcoats Herald. The 1871 census finds them at Hanover Street, Islington, William a draper and with a young son, a servant and a boarder who was also a draper. He must have returned to Ayrshire not long after, however, as the children of William and Annie born on 1874 and 1876 were both born in Ayrshire. The 1881 census, however, finds them in Scarborough, Yorkshire (where I spent many a day at the seaside during my childhood) – William is a tailer and draper employing 7 men and 4 boys, and he and Annie have 3 children, a servant, and also have Annie’s mother and a shopman tailor living with them. Two children were born in Scarborough in 1881 and 1882, but at some stage they moved to York (one of my favourite cities and only a short drive from where I live). In the 1891 census William, a traveller for a tailor and draper with 4 children and 2 boarders, is living off Bishopthorpe Road in York . Then it becomes a remarkable coincidence, for the death of William Strachan, age 48, is registered in 1893 in Barnsley, and in 1901 his widow, 3 of his children, his brother-in-law and a Scottish visitor are at 54 Old Mill Lane, Barnsley – which means they were living just round the corner from James Street, where my Yorkshire great grandparents were in the 1891 census and where several other Yorkshire ancestors lived.

12 October 1848
Birth of William Findlay at Riccarton, Ayrshire, son of David Findlay and Susanna Strachan and grandson of my gggg uncle Peter Strachan and Mary Monroe. He died in infancy, as there is no sign of him in 1851, and his mother died at about the same time so she may have died in childbirth.

11 October 1872 (born 1849)
Elizabeth Ballantine was born in about 1849 at Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, daughter of coal miner Thomas Ballantine and Susanna Strachan and granddaughter of my gggg uncle Robert Strachan and Jean Kelly. Elizabeth is with her parents at Limekilns, Kilmarnock in 1851 and then in Dreghorn in 1861. By 1871 she is in Partick, Govan as a servant to the household of Alexander Morrison, a hide and leather factor. She possible met her husband there, as in 1872 she was married in Dreghorn to David Wright Ross, an engineer living in Glasgow, though a later census says he was born in Ayr. There were obviously in Dreghorn in 1876 when Elizabeth’s father died, as the informant on the death certificate is David W Ross son in law. But by 1881 they had moved a long way south and are in the census at Dee Street, Bromley, Middlesex with 3 children all born in Scotland: husband David is not at home but Elizabeth is described as the wife of a marine engineer, so David may well have been at sea. He was absent in both 1891 and 1901 too, and Elizabeth can be found in both census at Abbott Road, Bromley with her 4 children. Both sons became marine engineers and a daughter became a telephonist. In 1911 Elizabeth’s husband David is at home as by then he is a retired marine engineer, and one unmarried daughter remains at home. There is a death for an Elizabeth Ross age 84 in 1935 registered at Greenwich.