17 November

Just one today – a Strachan who made an unusual occupation change, for when he retired from coal mining he ran a sweet shop.

17 November 1839
Birth of John Strachan at Shewalton Colliery, Ayrshire, son of my ggg uncle Peter Strachan and Margaret Boyle. He’s with his parents and siblings at Shewalton in 1841, his father a coal miner. His father then died in 1846 and his mother must have died at about the same time, as in 1851 John and his younger sister Ann are living in Dreghorn with their uncle and aunt, Henry and Ann Strachan and 11 year old John is already a coal miner. He is still with his uncle and aunt in 1861, then in 1862 he married Christina Houston McGill. They are in Kilmarnock in 1871 with 4 daughters, and then in Kilmaurs in 1881 with another daughter. In 1891 they are still in Kilmaurs with a grandson, illegitimate son of their daughter Mary. After his wife died, John can be found in 1901 in Low Road, Willets, St Quivox, working as a confectioner – which probably means he kept a small sweet shop. His daughter Mary, now married, is living next door and no doubt her 5 children were delighted to have a sweet shop owning grandfather! John Strachan died at Low Road, Willetts in 1907 at age 70 of stomach cancer, which I do hope wasn’t a result of eating too many sweets.

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