11 November

Today is Armistice day and my poppy is sitting just above my computer. Every well researched family tree must surely record at least one loss during a military conflict – mine has several. A day, therefore, to remember all those who marched away to war and never returned. A lot happened on my family tree on this day, and today’s featured people include the father of the famous athlete Eric Liddell.

11 November 1804
Baptism of William Green at Worsbrough, Yorkshire, son of my ggggg uncle linen bleacher John Green and Mary Addey. William also became a linen bleacher, and in 1828 married Mary Jane Wildsmith at Darfield. They had 7 children and lived in Worsbrough until just before the 1841 census, when they go missing. But in 1851 they are at Ardsley, where today there is a road called Bleachcroft Way, and their 18 year old son is a pupil teacher. In 1861 he can be found in Thorsett, Derbyshire, working as a bleacher of linen yarn, with his wife and a daughter, but he and his wife are in Barnsley in 1871 living on Pit Street with his unmarried sister Sarah. They are still with his sister in 1881. William Green died in Barnsley in 1882 leaving £240, and probate was granted to his married daughter Mary Ellen Goodair.

11 November 1821
Baptism of John Fisher at Tankersley, Yorkshire, son of John Fisher and Mary Stones and grandson of my gggg uncle Timothy Fisher and Mary Kaye. John was born in the hamlet of Pilley and is with his parents in Pilley the 1841 census, his father an iron miner. His mother died in 1846, and in 1849 he married Caroline Fisher – she may well have been a relation but I’m not sure what the connection was. They remained in Pilley, John working as an iron miner, and had 6 children, including twin daughters.

11 November 1828
Baptism of James Fraser at Cruden, Aberdeenshire, son of John Fraser and Ann Reid. He was the grandson of my ggggg uncle John Fraser and Christian Sangster, who may well be related to other Sangsters on my tree. I can’t find him in the 1841 or 1851 census, but there was a James Fraser who married Margaret Lowe at Ellon in 1854, and in the subsequent census he is of the right age and was born in Cruden. Unfortunately he married just weeks before official registration commenced, so there is no marriage certificate to confirm who is parents were. James Fraser and wife Margaret had 8 children and in 1861 are on a farm at Foveran where James is a ploughman, but by 1871 had recently moved to Ellon and were living at the Police Station, with James’s occupation a carrier. By 1881 he had taken the lease on a 53 acre farm at Newfield, Boddom. I can’t see a death certificate that seems to right so again can’t confirm this is the right James.

11 November 1933 (born 1870)
James Dunlop Liddell
Photograph of James Dunlop Liddell and his wife Mary with their children, from left to right, Jenny, Ernest, Eric and Robert.
James Dunlop Liddell was born in Greenock, son of joiner and grocer Robert Liddell and Elizbaeth Strachan. He was the grandson of my ggg uncle Thomas Strachan and Elizabeth Nisbet. James had moved to Drymen, Stirlingshire with his family by 1881, and in 1891 was boarding in Stirling where he worked as a clothier’s assistant. He then studied at the Scottish Congregational College in Glasgow and was ordained at the Dundas Street Congregational Church. In 1898 he applied to the London Missionary Society and was accepted for a post in Mongolia, northern China. In October 1899 he was married at the Shanghai C of E Cathedral to nurse Mary Jane Smith Reddin. Four children were born, the second being the famous Scottish athlete Eric Liddell. James and his wife continued to be missionaries in China, although their elder two sons were sent to boarding school in Scotland. In 1921, at the age of 50, James returned to Scotland and lived at Marchmount Road, Edinburgh but died in 1933, at age 63, at his home town of Drymen, Stirlingshire.

11 November 1884
Birth of Edward Docherty in Kilwinning, Ayrshire, son of my half gg aunt Janet Strachan and Thomas Docherty, and grandson of Robert Strachan and his second wife Susan Cran. Edward can’t have remembered Scotland as he migrated to USA with his family when he was not yet 2 years old, and they want to Pratt City in Alabama. In 1895 Edward’s father and his mother remarried. By 1910 Edward was a coal miner living in Eldorado, Illinois and had married Margaret Orr who was born in Missouri of Scottish parents. They had three children, the eldest two born in Alabama and the youngest in Illinois. They had more children, and remained in southern Illinois where Edward was a coal miner, then a coal loader and was working on the road project by 1940, and lived in Eldorado, Frankfort, Chrstopher and Tyrone. Edward Docherty died in Tyrone, Illinois at the age of 56.

11 November 1898
Birth of Alexander Mitchell Fraser at Mosside, Cruden, Aberdeenshire, illegitimate son of my half gg aunt Margaret Fraser and James Mitchell, and grandson of Alexander Fraser and his second wife Margaret Booth. He was brought up by his grandparents and lived at the Fraser family croft of Mosside, outside Hatton. He’s there in 1901 when his mother was working as a farm servant in Ellon. His mother married farm foreman Robert Robertson in 1904 and they and their children are at Foveran in 1911, though Alex (as he was known as) was still in Mosside with his widowed grandmother, an aunt and several cousins. Alexander married farmer’s daughter Ethel Willox at Foveran in 1921, they had children, and lived in Aberdeenshire all their lives. Alex died in 1972 at Ellon.

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2 responses to “11 November

  1. A great photo of the Liddell family. I may have already mentioned this, but I have long had an interest in the Eric Liddell story. My wife and I went on our first date to see the movie. We would joke that our wedding party should run into the church wearing white shorts to the theme music from the movie.

    • That would have made for a great wedding moment! I can remember going to see it but it was long time after that before I found out Eric Liddell was a distant relative. Given your interest, it’s a shame you aren’t connected to that side of my tree.

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