6 November

Today’s ancestor had me looking into the history of the militia, a sort of early territorial army, as Robert Logan, a shoemaker from Kilmarnock, was in the Renfrewshire Militia in 1805.

6 November 1768
Birth of my gggg uncle Robert Logan at Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, son of James Logan and Sarah Weir. He married Katharine Thomson in Kilmarnock in 1792. The baptism records for their first two children say Robert Logan was a shoemaker, which is the occupation of at least one of his brothers and possibly of his father. Robert and his family then moved to Glasgow, where in 1802 a daughter Sarah was baptised, parents Robert Logan shoemaker and Cathrine Thomson. One of the witnesses was William Clarkson, who was also a witness at the 1805 baptism of son Robert, but this time Robert Logan is a soldier in the Renfrewshire Militia. The militia was not the regular army and did not see active service: they were more like locally based military police. Back then they were selected by ballot but you could buy your way out by paying for a substitute. Robert must have decided to join, or was paid to do so as someone’s substitute – with a growing young family he might have been attracted to the regular wages and the aid given to a militia man’s wife and children. Robert does not appear in the 1841 census so must have died before then. However, what could be his widow is in the 1841 census in Soulis Street, Kilmarnock – Cathrine Logan age 70, pauper is with Cathrine Logan age 15, who is most probably a granddaughter. There is also a marriage for what could be Robert’s daughter Cathrine to Robert Harper in Kilmarnock in 1819, so Robert may have returned to Ayrshire.

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