Monthly Archives: November 2013

27 and 28 November

Three who either died very young or can’t be found, and one who moved around a great deal and was a police constable. I’m always amazed by the variety of occupations appearing on my family tree!

28 November 1798
Birth of Agnes Marshall at Kilmarnock, Ayrshire daughter of my ggg grandparents Robert Marshall and Agnes Logan. I can’t find anything else that looks like her in the records, so she may have died young. There’s a marriage in Kilmarnock in 1824 between an Agnes Marshall and Hugh Barclay, but they can be traced in the census and that Agnes wasn’t born in Ayrshire – though several trees on Ancestry have assumed she’s the 1798 Kilmarnock Agnes.

27 November 1806
Baptism of Alexander Hutcheon, son of Alexander Hutcheon and Agnes Bruce and therefore my gggg uncle at Longside, Aberdeenshire. They had another son named Alexander Hutcheon baptised on 25 November 1807, so the first son named Alexander must have died in infancy.

28 November 1849
Birth of William Gray at Belhelvie, Aberdeenshire, son of George Gray and Jane Alexander and grandson of my ggggg uncle John Alexander and Janet Morrison. William was with his parents in Belhelvie in 1851 and then in Rayne in 1861. He can’t be found in the 1871 census, but in 1872 he married Mary Campbell Wheatley in Ardersier, near Inverness. He obviously moved around quite a bit, as during the 1870s they had children born in Ardersier, Strathblane down in Stirlingshire, then Dirleton and North Berwick near Haddington. But by 1881 they were back in Ardersier and William was a grocer. They then went on the move again and had children born in Broughton, Eddlestone and Walkerburn, all in Peebleshire, and in 1891 William is the police constable at Walkerburn, living at the Police Station, and he was still there in 1901. But his travels didn’t end with Walkerburn, as he died in 1920 at Kinghorn in Fifeshire.

28 November 1858
Birth of Susan Strachan Findlay in Riccarton, daughter of James Findlay and Mary Monroe Findlay, and great granddaughter of my gggg uncle Peter Strachan and Mary Monroe. Susan died in January 1859 at less than 2 months old.

26 November

A busy day today for births, and a very varied bunch of ancestors. A very long ago Yorkshire ancestor, who was a schoolmaster and parish clerk; a Watt from Aberdeenshire that I can’t find; a Haddow who spent all her life on Townhead Street in Stevenston; a Strachan descendant who lived on Cadgers Road in Hurlford and had sons who became tea merchants; a Strachan descendant who migrated to Queensland in Australia and became a newsagent; a Senior descendant who married a coal miner here in Yorkshire; and in Aberdeenshire a Fraser descendant who worked for a stationer and married a tailor.

26 November 1685
My ggggggg grandfather (phew!) Robert Savile, was baptised at Flockton, Yorkshire, son of Robert Savile and Ann. I can trace descent from him via his son Samuel Savile, Samuel’s daughter Ann Savile who married Joseph Haigh, their son Joseph Haigh, his daughter Charlotte Haigh who married George Simpson, and their daughter Mary who married Edward Senior and was the mother of my great grandmother Charlotte Senior. And the coincidence in that long chain is that, back in 1713, Robert Savile married Martha Senior. Robert Savile was the schoolmaster and parish clerk for Royston, had 7 children, and died at Royston in 1757.

26 November 1785
Baptism of my ggggg uncle James Watt at Bourtie, Aberdeenshire, son of John Watt and Helen Davidson. I would tell you more about him if I knew anything, but I don’t – can’t find anything in the records that looks as if it’s him, so he either laid low all his life or died young.

26 November 1786
Birth of my ggg aunt Margaret Haddow at Stevenston, Ayrshire, daughter of Robert Haddow and Margaret Hunter. In 1806 she married Francis Adam, a coal miner, and they had 10 children all baptised in Stevenston. Francis and Margaret are in the 1819 church list for Stevenston at Townhead with 4 children still at home, in 1822 with 3 children at home, and in 1836 with a household of 8. They then appear in the first national census in 1841, still at Townhead Street: Margaret and 2 of her daughters are muslin sewers, Francis is a coal miner, their youngest child is 5, and with them is a lodger whose family appear to live next door. They are still there in 1851, though by then Francis is a retired coal miner pauper, which means he was receiving parish relief: he was most probably unable to work as he had died by 1856, when one his daughters married. Margaret is in the 1861 census, still at Townhead Street, with a daughter and a granddaughter who are muslin sewers. She died in 1866 at Stevenston.

26 November 1838
Birth of Mary Munro Findlay at Riccarton, Ayrshire, daughter of David Findlay and Susanna Strachan, and granddaughter of my gggg uncle Peter Strachan and Mary Monroe. She’s with her parents at Bridge House Hill, Riccarton in 1841 and her father is a coal miner. Her mother died at around the time Mary’s brother James was born in 1847, and in 1849 her father married Margaret Brown. In 1851 the family are at Portland Row, Hurlford, and by then David and his second wife had 11 children between them, age from 18 down to 1, and all of them were living with them so it must have been a very crowded house. Mary married coal miner James Findlay in 1858: given his surname he was possibly a relation. They had set up home on Cadgers Road, Hurlford by 1861 and remained there for the rest of their lives, bringing up 10 children. Mary’s two eldest sons became tea merchants in Glasgow and her third migrated to the US and become a department store manager.

26 November 1869
Birth of Peter Inglis at Riccarton, Ayrshire, son of Alexander Inglis and Janet Strachan, and great grandson of my gggg uncle Peter Strachan and Mary Monroe. The family lived at Hurlford and then Muirkirk as Peter’s father was a miner, and then the whole family – parents and 8 children – left for Australia in 1887 and went to a coal mining area in Queensland. In 1901 Peter married Josephine Regina Bray, and can be traced via the online Australian electoral rolls. He started out as a coal miner in Cawarral, but then moved to various suburbs of Brisbane where he was a newsagent. He died in 1942.

26 November 1890
Birth of Lillian Fletcher at Royston, Yorkshire, daughter of my gg aunt Annie Senior and John Fletcher, who was a miner. She’s in Royston with her family in 1891, but just before the 1901 census the family had moved to Featherstone, and they were still there in 1911: Lillian age 20, being the eldest daughter of a large family, and with boarders in the house, doesn’t have an occupation and so was probably helping her mother at home. In June 1913 she married Alfred Hill, a miner, at Featherstone. Nothing else known except that she died in Pontefract in 1950.

26 November 1920 marriage (born 1899)
Jemima Ann Sim Andrews was the daughter of my half gg aunt Christian Fraser and James Andrews, and was born in 1899 at Ellon, Aberdeenshire. In 1901 she is with her parents at Old Machar, and in 1911 at Hutcheon Street, Aberdeen. On 26 November 1920 she married tailor Peter Mathieson in Aberdeen, and at the time was a stationer’s assistant. She died at Old Machar in 1945 at age 46.

25 November

An Aberdeenshire Hutcheon and an Aberdeenshire Aitken today. They both had what reads as ordinary, even dull lives – but then we don’t know the detail, what interested them, or what created their joyful moments

25 November 1807
Baptism of my gggg uncle Alexander Hutcheon at Longside, son of Alexander Hutcheon and Agnes Bruce. In 1841 he’s an ag lab at Red Lums, Longside with his mother, sister and a niece. He married Margaret Hutcheon or Hutchison in 1842 at Longside, who was the daughter of another Alexander Hutcheon and Jane Sangster, so the couple were most probably related. In 1851 they are at Kirk Street, Longside with 4 children and Alexander is a road maker, but he was an ag lab in 1861 and 1871, when they were at High Street, Longside, though his death certificate says he was a crofter. Alexander died in 1875 at Longside at age 68.

25 November 1849
Birth of Helen Aitken at Longside, Aberdeenshire, daughter of William Aitken and Elizabeth Milne and aunt of my step great grandmother Helen Ann Morgan. The name Helen Aitken reappears on my family tree as my father’s sister Helen Strachan became Helen Aitken when she married, but there’s no connection between the Aberdeenshire and Ayrshire families! The born in 1849 Helen Aitken was living in Cruden parish with her parents in 1861, her father a farm overseer. She married young, as in September 1865 she married George Davidson, a farm labourer. They led the usual life of a farm servant and his family, moving from farm to farm, with their children being born in various places within the Buchan part of Aberdeenshire. By 1901, though, Helen had been widowed, was earning a living as a charwoman, and had a grandson living with her.

23 and 24 November

Just two over two days: an Aberdeenshire Hutcheon/Hutchison who might have become the local post master, and a Yorkshire grand uncle born in Leeds.

24 November 1844
Baptism of Alexander Hutcheon at Longside, son of my gggg uncle Alexander Hutcheon and Margaret Hutcheon. He’s with his parents and siblings in Kirk Street, Longside in 1851, off working as a farm servant in 1861 and the back with his parents in 1871, working as a shoemaker. He was informant for his father’s death in 1875. It then looks as if he married Jessie Low, had a son, and become a grocer and postmaster in Belhelvie – the census says that Alexander was born in Longside but it could be a different Alexander. Paying to view the marriage certificate would confirm it, but there’s a limit to how much I want to spend with ScotlandsPeople!

23 November 1909
Birth of my great uncle Walter Green at Kirkstall, Leeds, Yorkshire, son of Joseph Green and Charlotte Senior. He was brought up in Kirkstall, married Olive and had 2 children. He and his family moved to London and lived in Wembley.

Ancestor photos: the McMurties

Thanks to blog follower Nancy for sending me these wonderful photos of her direct ancestors, who link into my Strachan family tree. I love old photos, and I know lots of you blog followers do too.

Cecilia King, a daughter of my gg aunt Jean Strachan, was born in Ayrshire in 1875 and in 1894 married Thomas McMurtie. They migrated to Canada in 1898, but by 1910 had settle at Rock Springs, Wyoming.

McMurtie 1
This photo of Thomas and Cecilia McMurtie was probably taken just before WW1, going by the clothes and hairstyles, so was most likely taken in Rock Springs when Cecilia was about 40 years old.

McMurtie 2
And this photo is obviously taken quite a few years later, with the small inset photo taken a bit earlier.

This is the post from 26 June that featured Cecilia:

26 June 1875
Birth at Irvine of Cecilia Whylie King, daughter of James King and my gg aunt Jean Strachan, and granddaughter of my gg grandparents Robert Strachan and Margaret Haggerty. Her birth entry has her name as Zelia Whyllie King. In 1881 she is with her parents and siblings at 21 High Street, Irvine, her father working as a labourer in the brickfield. In 1891 she is a visitor at her older married sister’s house in High Riggend, New Monkland, Lanarkshire. Cecilia married Thomas McMurtrie at Dreghorn, Ayrshire and they migrated to Canada in the late 1890s. In the 1901 Canada census they are at Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, Thomas a carpenter, and with 2 children: Thomas may well have been a carpenter at the coal mines there. By 1910 they have moved to Rock Springs, Wyoming, where Thomas was a coal miner, and they have 5 children with them: one of them is a son with the unusual first name of Dorset. They are still in Rock Springs in 1920, Thomas a fireman at the colliery and with 4 children with them, the eldest now a blacksmith, and they’re in Rock Springs in 1930 with 3 children. Cecilia McMurtrie nee King died in 1938 at Rock Springs.

22 November

Three from Aberdeenshire today – an early Sangster, and two Aitken ancestors both called William. From Ayrshire, a Strachan descendant who started out as a coal miner but switched to engineering.

22 November 1789
Baptism of my ggggg uncle John Sangster at Cruden, Aberdeenshire, son of John Sangster and Elizabeth Matthew. I suspect he’s the one who married Jean/Jane Fraser at Slains in 1817, and it’s possible Jean Fraser was the daughter of John Fraser who had married Christian Sangster and was the brother of the William Fraser who got Janet Sangster pregnant with my ggg grandfather William Fraser. Which makes for a rather tangled web of Fraser and Sangster ancestors! Sadly, the available records from that time aren’t detailed enough to prove such connections. John Sansgter and Jean Fraser had several children baptised at Cruden, but neither of them can be found in the census so it looks as if they died before 1841.

22 November 1838 marriage (born about 1820)
William Aitken, grandfather of my step great grandmother Helen Ann Morgan, was born about 1820 in Peterhead parish, Aberdeenshire – no baptism has been found so his birth year and place comes from the information he gave in the census. On 22 November 1838 he married Elizabeth Milne at Longside, which was the same day their first child, a son called William, was baptised – I expect the kirk had something to do with expediting the marriage! In 1841 he’s an ag lab at Savoch, Longside with wife Elizabeth and baby daughter Jean: 2 year old son William is with his Milne grandparents who are also at Savoch, so were close by. I can’t find William and his family in the 1851 census, although son William is with a Milne uncle. However, William and Elizabeth had several children baptised in Longside during the 1840s and then had a child baptised in Cruden in 1856. In 1861 William is a farm overseer at Aldie, Cruden parish and his son 13 year old son Peter is an ag lab at the same farm: wife Elizabeth with 2 children is nearby at Whiteshin, Cruden. In 1871 William is a farm servant at West Gask, Cruden with 2 children remaining at home. Like many a farm servant, William then took a lease on a small farm or croft, as in 1881 he’s at Hill of Aldie, Cruden as a farmer of 12 acres and is there as a crofter in 1891: William and Elizabeth also have a granddaughter with them. After his wife’s death, William can be found at the Old Schoolhouse, Cruden in 1901 age 81 and still working as an ag lab, with his unmarried granddaughter as housekeeper. William died in Cruden in 1907 and would have been about age 87.

22 November 1838
Baptism of William Aitken at Longside, Aberdeenshire, son of William Aitken and Elizabeth Milne (see above). In 1841, at age 2, he is with his Milne grandparents at Savoch, Longside but his parents and baby sister are close by. In 1851 he’s with a Milne uncle, who was a miller, and is a farm labourer – the census says he’s age 12 but he was actually only 10. By 1861 he’s in Old Deer working as a ploughman, and later that year he married Mary Irvine at Old Deer. William is a farm overseer in 1871, at Nether Leask in Slains parish, with his wife and 5 children – the birthplaces of the children show that William moved around as a farm servant, as the births took place in Old Deer, Cruden, Buchan and Slains. 1881 sees William as a farm overseer at Hatton in Cruden parish with his wife, 9 children and 2 male farm servants. He then took the lease of Artrichie Croft in Logie Buchan and is there in 1891 and 1901, as a crofter plus working as a gardener’s labourer, and with younger children still at home. William Aitken died in 1914 at Ellon at age 75.

22 November 1840
Birth of John Hamilton at Gargieston, Ayrshire (just outside Kilmarnock), son of John Hamilton and Janet Strachan and grandson of my ggg uncle Thomas Strachan and Elizabeth Nisbet. He’s with his family in 1841 at Moorfield Tile Works, Kilmaurs and at Corsehill Square, Dreghorn in 1851 and then at Knockintiber, Kilmaurs in 1861 – no surprise that his father was a coal miner, and that’s what John became. His father died in 1869 and in 1871 John is living with his brother Thomas at Kilmaurs Road, Kilmarnock, both of them unmarried and both coal miners. John then married Annie Law and in 1881 they are at St Marnock Place, Kilmarnock with 4 children and an elderly aunt of Annie’s, and John Hamilton has become an engineer’s machinist. He’s doing the same job in 1891 when he’s at North Hamilton Street, Kilmarnock with his wife and the same 4 children – his eldest, a son, has become a floorcloth designer, a rather unusual occupation. John Hamilton died in 1894 age 53 in Kilmarnock.

21 November

Another long lived relative today: given how many on my family tree lived to well into their 90s I may have a long retirement ahead of me. Today is an Oxley from Yorkshire I can’t find in the records, a Strachan descendant from Ayrshire who stayed close to home, and a Logan of Aberdeenshire descendant born in Canada.

21 November 1824
Baptism of William Oxley at St Mary’s Barnsley, Yorkshire, son of my gggg uncle William Oxley and Elizabeth. And beyond that I do not know as I can’t find anything that looks like him in the records.

21 November 1894 death (born about 1838)
No baptism record exists for Robert Howat but he was born in 1838 in Kilmaurs, son of Peter Thomas Howat and Janet Strachan, and grandson of my gggg uncle Robert Strachan and Jean Kelly. Peter didn’t venture far from home, which became Dreghorn when he was a child. He’s with his parents and many siblings in 1851 at Corsehill Square, Dreghorn and at 13 is already a coal miner. His father died in the 1850s and in 1860 Robert married Agnes Couper McKean at Dreghorn. Apart from a few years in Kilwinning during the 1860s, they lived in Dreghorn and had 11 children, Robert and his sons all coal miners. He died on 21 November 1894 and was buried in Dreghorn kirkyard. In 1901 his widow is a draper in Dreghorn, assisted by her dressmaker daughters and with one coal miner son still at home.

21 November 1873
Birth of Isabella George at Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, who is an example of how you can often find out more about people who lived in other countries than you can about those who stayed in the UK. Isabella was the daughter of my ggg aunt Barbara Logan and James George, who migrated from Aberdeenshire to Canada in April 1872. Isabella’s father became a farmer at Brant, and she’s there with her parents and siblings in 1881 and 1891. She married Isaac Herbert Dixon in about 1898 – they had 3 children and lived in Toronto, where Herbert worked as a foreman at a bond warehouse for Canadian Pacific Railway. Herbert died in 1924, so Isabella had a long widowhood as she died in Toronto in 1966 at age 93.

19 and 20 November

Nothing happened on the 19th. But for the 20th there’s a long lived Aberdeenshire gggg grandmother, an equally long lived Aberdeenshire ggg grandfather, and a relatively short lived Strachan from Ayrshire.

20 November 1785
Baptism of my gggg grandmother Helen Alexander at Bourtie, Aberdeenshire, daughter of James Alexander and Helen Burgess. Her father was a farmer, and in November 1805 she married agricultural labourer Peter Watt. Their first 3 children were baptised at Bourtie, then they had children baptised at Udny, Fintry, Chapel of Garioch and from 1818 at Rayne, where they remained. Most likely they were moving from farm to farm, as farm servants, until they took a small croft at Meikle Wartle in the parish of Rayne. The 1841 census has them at Meikle Wartle, with Peter Watt an ag lab and none of their 12 children remaining at home. They are there in 1851, Peter age 72 still an ag lab, and he and Helen have their daughter Jane with them, and Jane’s son illegitimate son George Smart. 1861 still finds them at Meikle Wartle, Peter Watt still an ag lab at 81, Helen having reached 75, daughter Jane, a stocking knitter, now with another illegtimate child, plus a new grandchild, offspring of their daughter Jessie. Both Peter and Helen were long lived as they’re in the 1871 census at Wartle, Peter finally retired at 91 and Helen is 85: with them is daughter Jessie, a knitter, and her daughter. Helen Watt ms Alexander died on 1 January 1872 at Wartle of senile debility, and the informant for her death certificate was a neighbour of School House, Rayne. Helen is commemorated on the memorial in Rayne kirkyard erected by her son William.

20 November 1793
Baptism of my ggg grandfather George Hay at Tarves, son of Alexander Hay and Margaret Daniel. In 1833 he married Mary Taylor at Old Deer, and in 1841 was farming East Shethin Farm, Tarves and employing 2 boys and a young woman. By 1851 George and Mary had 3 children surviving with a 10 year gap between the first and second, plus 2 male farm servants and a female: East Shethin was a 65 acre farm. 1861 sees them still with 3 children, the eldest now a ploughman, and they have a cattleman and a domestic servant in their employ, plus a grandson, the illegitimate son of their daughter. George Hay is 78 in the 1871 census, and his daughter and eldest son are still living with their parents, along with the grandson, and there is a male farm servant and a domestic. George Hay died at Tarves in 1879 age 85 and his son George took over the farm.

20 November 1818
Birth of Elizabeth Strachan in Riccarton, daughter of my gggg uncle Peter Strachan and Mary Monroe. She married Andrew Muir in Kilmarnock in March 1836, who would have been a coal miner, given the places where they lived. I can’t find them in the 1841 census, but their first 2 children were born in Kilmaurs, then they had 3 children born in New Monkland, Lanarkshire before moving back to Ayrshire in about 1848, where their youngest child was born in Kilwinning. Andrew Muir then seems to have died either just before or just after the move to Ayrshire, as in 1851 Elizabeth Strachan is a widow at 5 Hagsthorn, Kilburnie, with 6 Muir children and a 1 month old baby named Robert Clark – plus a lodger also named Robert Clark, who is an ironstone miner and no doubt the father of the baby. There’s no marriage found for Elizabeth and Robert, but she had a son Thomas Clark in 1856 and on his birth certificate she is down as Elizabeth Clarke ms Strachan. Thomas was born on 19 October 1856 at Kilburnie, and Elizabeth died on 1 November 1856 of pthisis pulmanory (tuberculosis). On her death certificate is says she was married, and the informant was Robert Clark husband.

Ancestor not a big fan of Bonnie Prince Charlie

I’ve always wondered whether my Scottish ancestors were Jacobites and on the side of Charles Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) during the 1745 uprising. By no means all Scots were. My Strachan ancestors were lowlanders so were unlikely to have supported the Jacobite cause. My Aberdeenshire ancestors, however, lived close to Peterhead, where Charles Stuart’s ship landed in 1745 after sailing from France – but they were also Protestants, and one of the reasons for not supporting the Jacobites was the fear they’d turn Britain into a Roman Catholic country again.

However, many people possibly weren’t too bothered about politics and simply did their best to get on with their day to day life. Ian Macdonald’s lovely book about the Alexanders from Bourtie gives this wonderful insight. In the section about William Alexander, born 1714 and my gggggg grandfather, Ian writes:

‘He (William) gets a mention in a book by Dr William Alexander, which says that in 1745, during the second Jacobite uprising, there was a skirmish called the battle of Inverurie, during which “the tenant of Westerhouses, having in pursuit of his lawful business, got sufficiently near the scene of conflict to hear the balls fired off whizzing past in uncomfortable proximity to him, deemed it wise to make his way across the burgh muir homeward without needless delay”. Otherwise the Kirk Session simply complained about the inconvenience of the unsettled conditions.’

So life went on as best it could for many Scots!

18 November

My great aunt Susan McCrae was born on this day: she married but then separated, and the birth certificate for one of her daughters is unusually detailed. There’s also an Aberdeenshire Alexander who died of typhoid fever.

18 November 1827
Baptism of Janet Alexander at Rayne, Aberdeenshire, daughter of my ggggg uncle John Alexander and Janet Morrison. Janet , sadly, didn’t have the most exciting life: she is with her parents on their small farm at Meikle Wartle in 1841 and 1851, earned her keep as a dressmaker, didn’t get married, and died in 1859 age 31 of typhoid fever.

18 November 1866
Birth of my great aunt Susan Bell McCrae in Kilmarnock, daughter of coal miner John McCrae and Mary Ann McInairney (or McInerney, though Mary Ann’s name is written as Marian McInally on Susan’s birth certificate). She was named for the Susan Bell who lived with John McCrae and his mother, and was possibly John’s half sister. In 1871 Susan is with her parents, siblings, her mother’s half sister and a lodger at 6 Dean Lane, Kilmarnock, and at 40 Mill Lane, Kilmarnock in 1881. By then she is 14 and working at the tobacco factory. She was a witness at her sister Agnes’s marriage in 1885, and then in 1889 Susan married John Boyle, a pit headman, at what was probably her parents’ home at John Dickie Street, Kilmarnock. Unfortunately they can’t be found in the 1891 census, but their son Andrew was born in 1892 at 7 High Church Lane, which was Susan’s parents’ home. Their daughter, who was given the wonderful name of Janet Sneddon Dunlevy Boyle, was born at 19 Low Glencairn Street, Kilmarnock in 1898, by which time John Boyle was working as a cab driver. Susan and John Boyle then separated, and in 1901 Susan is at 14 High Street, Kilmarnock with her children Andrew and Janet. Not long afterwards she moved to Glasgow where she lived with John Devine: in 1903 they had a daughter Ellen Devine and on her birth certificate it says her parents are “John Devine dyer and Susan McCrae, wife of John Boyle carter who she declares is not the father of the child and further that she had no personal communication with him since they agreed to reside separately 4 years ago.” I’ve not seen such detail on a birth certificate before, but it’s useful for a family historian! In 1911 they are at Levern Banks, Neilston, John Devine a dyer’s labourer, with 3 children plus Janet Boyle, Susan’s daughter. Susan died in 1942 at Duke Street, Glasgow, but with usual residence Abercromby Street. She was 75 and died of cardiac failure and pneumonia, and her death certificate describes her as Susan Devine formerly Boyle, widow of John Boyle cab driver.