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.

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One response to “22 November

  1. Re William Aitken, born about 1820 — He was my 3G-grandfather and his son William was my 2G-grandfather. You mention not being able to find the elder William or his family on the 1851 census (with the exception of 12-year-old William, who was at the home of his uncle, George Milne). Wife Elisabeth (age 35) and children Hellen (1), Jean (10), John (7) and Peter (3) were enumerated at Savock, Longside in 1851, while William himself was lodging at 27 Kirk Street, Peterhead (the home of a meal seller named Mary Sangser) and employed as a carter’s servant.

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