Monthly Archives: December 2013

An update

Broadband now more reliable. My phone now rings but when I answer it all I get is a lot of crackling, so engineer has not fully fixed it. Fence is now tied upright to neighbours trees. More strong wind and rain today!

There have been a few more followers joining the blog recently, so a warm welcome to all newcomers. Enjoy – and please, if you feel able, add a comment to something telling me how you’re connected or where your interest lies. It’s always interesting finding out how people find their way here.

27 December (2)

A few more for the 27th: my ggggg grandfather who was an innkeeper at Worsbrough, Yorkshire, a Haigh descendant from Royston who married an ostler (groom), a Hutcheon up in Aberdeenshire who didn’t marry and lived with her unmarried brother, the second wife of my Fraser great grandfather, and a Sangster descendent who married a farm servant and llived in Turriff.

27 December 1768 (born about 1744)
My ggggg grandfather Joseph Green was born I know not where, but it would have been somewhere in or near Worsbrough, Yorkshire I assume. There are a couple of possibilities in the OPRs but no way of knowing which, if any, are the correct one. There was a John Green who married Ann Cawthorne at Darfield and had a son Joseph baptised there in 1746, and there was was also a Joseph Green born in Felkirk in 1744. What is certain, however, is that Joseph Green married Alice Rock in Barnsley in 1768, and all their children were baptised at Worsbrough. Thanks to a recorded Monumental Inscription in Worsbrough church yard – which doesn’t seem to there any more – I know that Alice wife of Joseph Green innkeeper of Ward Green died age 79 in 1823, and that Joseph Green innkeeper of Ward Green died age 86 in 1830. Ward Green is north of the village of Worsbrough, heading into Barnsley, and back then was on the main Sheffield to Barnsley road, which was part of the major route from London to the north. The inn was most probably the Horse & Jockey, which his son George took over, and which has since been demolished.

27 December 1837
Birth of Hannah Womack at Royston, Yorkshire, daughter of my gggg aunt Maria Haigh and James Womack. She is with her parents in Royston, then in 1861 is on Northgate, Wakefield living with William Mantle, a groom and widower, with her younger sister Ellen as a visitor. She married William Mantle in 1861 at the Methodist Church in Wakefield, and they had 5 daughters. In 1871 William is an ostler and in 1881 is a cab driver – horse drawn, of course. William died in 1889 at Wakefield and Hannah followed him in 1891, age only 54.

27 December 1842
Margaret Hutcheon was batised at Longside, Aberdeenshire, daughter of my gggg uncle Alexander Hutcheon and Margaret Hutcheon: his parents shared a surname but I don’t know if they were related. In 1851 Margaret is with her parents at Kirk Street, Longside and her father is a road maker. By 1861 she was working as a domestic servant and is at Mill of Faichfield, Longside, working for the miller and his family. In March 1870 she gave birth to an illegitimate son, John William Hutchison, and is with her parents in 1871, at High Street, Longside, working as a domestic servant. Her father died in 1875, and in 1881 Margaret is with her mother, two brothers and her son working a 3.5 acre croft with her mother at Hutchison Street: this may well be the croft her father had. Her mother died in 1887 and in 1891 Margaret and her son are living with her unmarried brother John in Longside, and her son has become a tailor. Margaret and her brother are still together in Longside in 1901. Margaret died in 1927 age 84 at Longside.

27 December 1867
Birth of Helen Ann Morgan at Peterhead, daughter of William Souter Morgan and Jane Aitken. Helen was to become the second wife of my great grandfather. In 1871 she is with her parents and siblings at Lochside, Cruden where her father was a farm servant, in 1881 the family is at Collie Hill, Cruden and in 1891 they are Little Tillymaud, Cruden and Helen seems to be helping her mother at home. In 1901 Helen is working as a domestic servant in Peterhead for a vintner and his family. She must then have gone to work at Blackstrath, Keithhall, for it was there that she gave birth to her illegitimate daughter Chrissie Gray Morgan in 1904 – the father not named but his surname might have been Gray. The year before, my grandfather William Fraser’s first wife had died and it’s possible Helen Ann Morgan became his housekeeper, as he had several young children to be cared for. Nature then took its course as Helen gave birth to their son at Hatton in April 1906, though she and William didn’t get married until April 1907, and they subsequently had 4 more sons. In about 1910, William and Helen took over Mosside Croft, on the death of William’s father Alexander. My mother remembered “Granny Fraser” – she was short and wore little round glasses, and had a dairy attached to the cottage where she made cheese. Helen Ann Fraser nee Morgan died in 1938 at the age of 70 of a coronary thrombosis.

27 December 1860
Birth of Christian Pirie at Old Deer, daughter of my half ggg aunt Janet Hay McWilliam and James Pirie and granddaughter of Janet Sangster and William McWilliam. She is with her parents at Old Deer in 1861, 1871 and 1881 at different farms, as her father was a farm servant. She married farm servant James Tough at Old Deer in 1885 and in 1891 they are at Burnside, Turriff with 4 children and Christian’s widower father. They are still there in 1901, James a cattleman, with 2 more children and still with Christian’s father. She died in 1908 of pulmonary tuberculosis.

27 December (1) – great grandfather John McCrae

A separate entry today for my great grandfather John McCrae as there’s a lot to say about how I eventually managed to discover just who he was.

27 December 1861 (born about 1840)

My great grandfather John McCrae was born in about 1840. As I’ve already written about him under the McCrae tab (see above), here I’ll discuss how I managed to piece together his life as it wasn’t easy. My starting point was my grandmother – Helen McCrae’s marriage certificate gave her parents as John McCrae and Marion McNainey, so as well as finding Helen’s birth certificate at ScotlandsPeople – which has her parents as John McCrae and Mary Ann McNarnie – I could also look her for and her parents in the census.

I found the McCrae family in Kilmarnock in 1891 at High Church Lane, John a coal miner born Ireland and wife Mary Ann born Kilmarnock, with all their children born in Kilmarnock. In 1901 John and Mary Ann, this time both born Kilmarnock, are at High Street. The 1911 census showed Mary Ann McCrae in Riccarton and a widow, so that gave me a rough date of when John McCrae died.

On accessing John’s death certificate, I discovered he died in August 1904 at The Infirmary, Kilmarnock of cardiac failure and passive congestion of the lungs. The informant was his son Matthew who didn’t know his grandparents’ names: this wasn’t very helpful, so the next step was tracing John backwards in the census. 1881 has he was at Mill Lane, Kilmarnock and his wife is listed as Mary Ann Marshall (which turned out to be her mother’s maiden surname). John said he was born in Kilmarnock but Mary Ann said she was born England (in Newcastle, as it turned out). John, a coal miner, and and Mary Ann had 6 children with them. In 1871 they are at Dean Lane, Kilmarnock with 4 children and 2 lodgers, William Dunnagan and Sarah McKennon who my later research proved to be connected to the McCraes and the Marshalls: Mary Ann is listed as Marion. Again it says John was born in Kilmarnock and Mary Ann in England.

As John and Mary Ann’s oldest child was 9 in 1871, they must have got married about 10 years previously, and sure enough I found a marriage for them in Kilmarnock in 1861. They married on 27 December 1861 at Fore Street, Kilmarnock and coal miner John McCrae said his parents were John McCrae labourer dead and Mary McCrae ms Henderson dead. That meant he might not be with his parents in 1861, and I found him at an address in Fore Street lodging with Grizel Owens and her son. Also at the same address (which must have been a tenement building) was Mary Ann McInairney with her grandmother, mother and siblings: her grandmother and mother have the surname Marshall, and one of her siblings is Sarah McKinnon (who is the Sarah McKennon who was lodging with John and Mary Ann in 1881).

At that point I hit a problem, as I couldn’t find John in the 1851 census, so I looked for death certificates for his parents. His mother died in Kilmarnock in 1860. The informant was her son John McCrae so the information about her would have been simply what he knew: he said she was Mary McCrae widow of a labourer, who was not named, daughter of John Henderson labourer dead and Jean Henderson ms McCrae. So if this is correct, Mary Henderson had both a mother and a husband who had the surname McCrae (which is perfectly possible but also makes me a little bit suspicious about how accurate John’s knowledge was). No death certificate could be found for John McCrae’s father. I then searched in vain for the birth of John McCrae: it was before official registration of births so I was reliant on parish baptism registers, and there was nothing.

And that was that for quite a while …. until I discovered that when ScotlandsPeople first put the 1851 census online, they missed out a chunk of Kilmarnock and added it later. So I searched again and lo and behold – there was John McCrae age 11 at Lawsons Land Street, Low Church, Kilmarnock along with Mary Henderson widow age 43. The 1851 census entry adds light and confusion in equal measure, however, because Mary Henderson age 43, widow and washer woman, means Henderson could be either her married or her maiden name, as in Scotland widows frequently reverted to their maiden name. But her place of birth was given as County Antrim, Ireland and with her are 4 people: the first is described as lodger with ditto marks for the rest but I doubt if they were all lodgers. The first is Martha Todd age 65, pauper and binder of shoes, born Antrim, the second is Susanna Bell married age 21 and a hand sewer born Antrim, the third is John McRae (as the name is written) age 11 bearer born Antrim, and the third is Wm Donigan age 3 born Kilmarnock. Wm Donigan is the William who was lodging with John and Mary Ann in 1871, and Susan Bell must be who John and Mary Ann named their daughter Susan Bell McCrae after, so there was obviously a close connection with the 1851 lodgers.

This made me search the 1841 census again, and this time I found who I’m sure is John McCrae at College Wynd, Kilmarnock, which is next to the Low Church. He is with Mary Henderson age 35 born Ireland and Shusan Bell age 11 born Ireland. It says John McCrae or McCree (writing is not very clear) is age 12 born Ireland but I feel sure the age for John McCrae ought to read 12 months, and the enumerator failed to transcribe correctly when completing his book. There are two more children in the household: Robert Lathan age 6 and Susan Lathan age 2, both born Ireland.

So it looks as if John McCrae was born in Country Antrim, Ireland in 1840, and came to Kilmarnock with his mother and other family connections either just before or just after his father died. The other possibility is that he was illegitimate, and although his father was John McCrae he wasn’t married to mother Jean Henderson. I admit to not having done any research into their Irish roots as I know researching Irish records is a nightmare – but it is a task I intend to try and tackle in 2014.

26 December

This was a busy day. In Yorkshire there is a Roydhouse ancestor who was a shoemaker at Carlton, in London a Green ancestor was born, up in Aberdeenshire there was a Fraser descendant who was the blacksmith at Hatton plus a Logan who married a carter and settled at Newhills, in Ayrshire a coal miner and then railway guard Strachan who lived all his life at Crawfordhill near Kilmaurs. And on this day a McCrae born in Kilmarnock was killed in action in Europe in 1945. (And my broadband is still dodgy so I hope this posts!)

26 December 1798
Baptism of my gggg uncle William Roydhouse at Darfield, Yorkshire, son of William Roydhouse and Mary Adams of Wombwell – surname also written as Roadhouse and Roodhouse back then. I’m pretty sure he married Rebecca Iveson at Royston in 1822 and is described as a cordwainer (old term for shoemaker): one of the witnesses was Samuel Roadhouse and my William had a brother called Samuel plus in the later census, that William Roadhouse has a birth place of Wombwell. In 1841 Samuel and Rebecca are in Carlton, near Royston, William a shoemaker and they have 8 children with them: they had 9 altogether. William’s wife Rebecca died in 1845, and in 1851 William is an ag lab in Carlton with 6 children at home, the eldest unmarried daughters no doubt being the housekeepers. By 1851 William’s address is given as Carlton Green and he has 3 grown up and unmarried daughters with him. He died in 1861 at Carlton at 67 years old. William reminded me that I haven’t organised all my notes on my Roydhouse ancestors, and need to do so plus do a bit more research!

26 December 1839
Birth of Amelia Green at Kings Road, Chelsea, London (today a rather good address!), daughter of my gggg uncle Samuel Green and his wife Mary: her father was a licensed victualler who had moved from Worbsrough to Berkshire and then to London. Amelia is with her family at City Road, London in 1841 and is working as a servant, age 14, in 1851 at York Place, Chelsea for a retired hatter. She has become a barmaid by 1891 on Kings Road, Chelsea, then married publican Edward Smith in 1862 at St Marylebone church. In 1871 they are living at South Street, Kensington with 3 children, Edward a grocer. Edward died in 1875, and widow Amelia is still in Kensington in 1881 with 2 of her children. By 1891 she is in Camberwell, still with 2 children and living in the same building as her married daughter. By 1901 she has set up in business as a dyer on the ground floor of Addison Mansions in Hammersmith, and has a unmarried daughter with her and an older sister visiting. Her unmarried daughter died in 1902 and Amelia is in Camberwell in 1911, near where her married son was in 1901, and has a married daughter Florence and married son Edward with her. However, her daughter Florence is also listed in the 1911 census with her husband and children in Manor Park, near Lewisham, and her married son Edward is also with his wife in Hampstead: they must have both just been visiting their mother on census night. There are too many Amelia Smith deaths in the London area with a similar birth year to know which one is the right one.

26 December 1859
Birth of Alexander Milne at Cruden, Aberdeenshire, illegitimate son of my ggg aunt Janet aka Jessie Fraser and William Milne. He is at Mosside Croft in 1861 with his Fraser grandparents, his mother, an aunt and uncle, and his siblings and a cousin. By 1871 he was working as a farm servant but was only across the field at Hardslacks, working for farmer George Hutcheon. Alexander married Elizabeth Thomson at Craighead, Cruden in December 1880 and by then has become a blacksmith. They are at Hobshill, Cruden in 1881 and in Hatton in 1891, with 3 children and an apprentice blacksmith. They remained in Hatton, where they brought up their family of 9 children, plus seem to have always had an apprentice living with them. Alexander Milne died in 1920 of syncope: he dropped down dead near the saddler’s shop at the age of 60.

26 December 1861
Birth of Mary Logan at Belhelvie, Aberdeenshire, daughter of my ggg uncle James Logan and Jane Norrie. She is with her parents at Blackhil of Courtstone in 1871 where he father was a ag lab, and in 1881 is at Braiklay, Tarves living in as a cook on a 160 acre farm employing 7 farm servants. She married William Yule at Tarves in 1882, and by 1891 they are living at Newhills, Aberdeen, William working as a carter, and have 4 children. They are still in Newhills in 1901, with another 3 children and William a road labourer. Mary Yule nee Logan died in 1939 at Newhills.

26 December 1862
Birth of John Strachan at Kilmaurs, Ayrshire, son of John Strachan and Elizabeth Gilmour and grandson of my gggg uncle Samuel Strachan and Ann Miller. He stayed in Kilmaurs all his life, even living in the same row of cottages as his parents, and was a coal miner and then a railway guard. He is with his parents in 1871 and 1881, and in 1881 married Elizabeth Nisbet Lindsay at Kilmaurs, who given her name may well have been a relative, as Strachan married Nisbets and Lindsays. They are in Crawfordhill Cottages, Kilmaurs in 1891 with 2 children: Crawfordhill is by Thornton Colliery, just to the west of Crosshouse, so many of John’s relatives would have lived close by. John’s son James died in 1891 and in 1892 his wife Elizabeth died. He remarried in 1894, to Martha Boyd of Kilwinning, and they are Crawfordhill in 1901, with two more children. By then John was working as a railway guard. John Strachan died age 62 at Kilmaurs in 1924.

26 December 1945 (born 1914)
William Marshall McCrae was born in Kilmarnock in 1914, son of my great uncle Matthew McIncarne McCrae and Ann McCubbin. He joined the Royal Engineers in 1939, and in 1943 married Ina in Deptford, London, though they set up home at Dean Street, Kilmarnock. Sapper William M McCrae was killed in action in Europe on 26 December 1945.

Storm damage

We are having storms here in the UK – again. Not too bad where I am, but something has knocked my phone line out. Broadband is working but only slowly, and the land line has gone completely. So normal blog service will be resumed as soon as BT send an engineer out.

Plus the fence at the bottom of the garden has been flattened and taken out a few shrubs. But at least I have electricity and there are no floods here, unlike elsewhere in the UK where Christmas has been pretty miserable.

25 December

Christmas Day was busy for my Yorkshire ancestors, as it was the day so many of them were baptised or married. From Royston, there’s early Haigh who became a dyer in Leeds, a Firth who married an ag lab and lived in Ackworth, and another Haigh whose husband became a farmer at Haw Park, between Royston and Wakefield. At the other side of Barnsley, in Worsbrough, there’s a Green who became an innkeeper, as did many of his relatives; my gg grandfather, cabinet maker Joseph Green who moved into Barnsley town; a Green who became a butcher in north Barnsley; and a Green gg aunt who remained unmarried and who my mother remembered. Finally, 25 December was the birthday of my aunt, my mother’s sister, who died in February this year.

25 December 1796
Birth of my ggggg uncle Robert Haigh, son of Joseph Haigh and Ann Savile of Royston, Yorkshire and who was baptised in January 1797 at Royston St John the Baptist, Yorkshire. He married Hannah Hampshire in 1817 at Wakefield, and in 1841 is in Alverthorpe, near Wakefield, with wife Hannah and 5 children and his occupation is listed as labourer. However, by 1851 he is a dyer living at Whitecote, Bramley, in Leeds, and the 2 daughters still at home are stitchers at a dye house. He is at the same address and doing the same job in 1861 and 1871, with just his wife, and probably died there as he was buried in March 1877 at Bramley St Peter at age 83.

25 December 1802
Baptism of my gggg aunt Hannah Firth at Royston, Yorkshire, daughter of Joseph Firth and Hannah Fisher. She was married at Royston in 1818 to husbandman John Elliott of Ackworth, and they had 7 children baptised at Royston. In 1841 they are at Moor Top, Ackworth, John an ag lab, and are still there in 1851, John a farm labourer. Interesting change in language here, as husbandman, agricultural labourer and farm labourer are all terms for much the same thing: John worked on farms but did not have his own farm. John Elliott died at Moor Top in 1856, and in 1861 Hannah is a visitor in Meadow Lane, South Leeds where her youngest son James was working as a butcher’s boy. She seems to have stayed in Ackworth, however, as she’s there in 1881 with an unmarried son, and died in August 1881 at Moor Top age 78.

25 December 1813
Baptism of my gggg aunt Jane Haigh at Royston, Yorkshire, daughter of linen weaver Joseph Haigh and Hannah Atkinson. She married Anthony Hepworth at Royston in 1833 and they spent their entire married life at Haw Park, which is between Royston and Wakefield. In 1841 Jane’s husband is an ag lab, but by 1851 he is a farmer of 18 acres. He has 13 acres in 1861, just 3 acres by 1871, and is an ag lab in 1881, but one of his son’s lived next door and was a farmer and grocery dealer, so perhaps they shared the land. Jane and Anthony had 9 children, all born at Haw Park. Jane died in 1888 age 74 and her burial record of January 1999 says she was of Haw Park and was buried at Felkirk with Brierly St Peter.

25 December 1825
Baptism of John Green at Worsbrough, Yorkshire, son of my ggggg uncle George Green and Hannah Ellis. In 1841 he is with his publican parents at Ward Green, Worsbrough, and is with his widowed innkeeper mother at Ward Green in 1851, working as a labourer. In April 1851 he married Alice Challenger at Darton Parish Church, and is described as an innkepper. John and Alice at Worsbrough Common in 1861: he is an agricultural labourer and they have 2 childen and 3 lodgers. Interestingly, the lodgers are all named Senior and come from Carlton, the home of my great grandmother Charlotte Senior, who married Joseph Green of Worsbrough in 1881, so there was clearly a connection between the Green and Senior families long before Charlotte and Joseph met and married. John Green took over the Ward Green inn after his mother died, and so in 1871 is an innkeeper at Ward Green with 5 children. He died in 1875 and in 1881 his widow is a farmer of 6 acres at Ward Green living next door to an innkeeper. It does seem that the inn the Green family kept in Ward Green had a small farm next to it, which they also ran.

25 December 1843
Baptism of my gg grandfather Joseph Green at Worsbrough, Yorkshire, son of William Green and Sarah Firth. However, he was born in early 1841 as he is in the census with his linen bleacher father and family, living two doors down from the Rose & Crown Inn at Worsbrough where his grandfather was the innkeeper. By 1851 his grandmother had died, and Joseph’s parents and siblings had moved into the Rose & Crown. But in 1871 he is with his family at Worsbrough Common, his father a linen bleacher again and Joseph, age 20, working as a cabinet maker. In 1862 Joseph Green married Margaret Oxley at Barnsley. and in 1871 they at Green Row, Worsbrough with 2 children and Joseph a cabinet maker, an occupation he followed for the rest of working life. By 1881 they had moved in Barnsley and were at Newton Street with 3 children at home, at Spring Street in 1891 with 3 children at home, and at Crookes Street in 1901 with 2 children still at home. They had 7 children altogether, but 3 died in infancy. Joseph was at the Gawber Road Workhouse in Barnsley in 1911, formerly a cabinet maker, which was probably due to ill health as workhouses had infirmary wards, and Gawber Road is now the site of Barnsley Hospital. His wife is still at Crookes Street with a daughter and nephew. Joseph Green died in 1912.

25 December 1843
Baptism of my ggg uncle William Green at Worsbrough, Yorkshire, son of William Green and Sarah Firth – so he was baptised at the same time as his older brother. William must have been only days old, however, as his birth wasn’t registered until the first quarter of 1844. He is with his parents in Worsbrough in 1851 and 1861, and by age 17 was working as a butcher. He married Mary Ann Scholey in Barnsley in 1868 and they had 3 children – the first seems to have been born before they married. In 1871 William, a butcher, with Mary Ann and 2 young children are in Old Town, Barnsley North. Mary Ann died in 1873, and in 1881 William is at Green Foot Lane, Barnsley North, a butcher, with his 3 children and his sister Sarah as his housekeeper. Green Foot Lane is where his widowed mother was a shopkeeper in 1871: she died in 1874 and it seems William may have taken over the shop then. He’s still there in 1891, with his 2 sons working as a butcher and butcher’s assistant, plus with 20 year old daughter, and he’s also there in 1901 with 1 butcher son, who died in 1902. William Green died in 1905 age 62.

25 December 1864
Baptism of my gg aunt Sarah Ann Green at Worsbrough, Yorkshire, daughter of Joseph Green and Margaret Oxley. Sarah did not marry and is with her parents in all but one census: I can’t locate her in 1881 but she was probably working as a domestic servant as that was her occupation in 1891. By 1901, however, she had become a down quilt machinist, and in 1911 is still a machinist living with her mother and a nephew. There are two deaths for Sarah Green in Barnsley, in 1926 and 1936. I suspect the latter one is the correct one, as my mother remembered having an Auntie Sarah in Barnsley who they visited occasionally.

25 December 1919
Birth of my aunt Marjorie Fraser at Kirkstall, Leeds, Yorkshire, sister of my mother and daughter of James Fraser and Clara Green. Marjorie married Gerald Gill, had two sons, became an infant school teacher, and lived in Leeds. She died in February 2013 age 93, had a long and happy life, and lived to get to know her 2 great grandchildren.

23 and 24 December

Nothing on the 23rd and not a lot on the 24th. An early Fraser, born in Arbroath up in Angus but who lived much of his life on the Cruden and Peterhead border, and spent some time in the army, as his father and brothers did. Plus a Strachan descendant who died at 1 year old.

24 December 1765
Baptism of John Fraser at Arbroath, Angus, son of Donald Fraser and Margaret Sharp and brother of the William Fraser who I believe to be the father of my illegitimate ggg grandfather William Fraser. Donald Fraser and his family was a soldier, and had settled in Cruden parish by 1772. A John Fraser married Christian Sangster, though I can’t find a record of their marriage, and was a farm servant: he had 3 children baptised at Old Machar and then 5 children baptised at Cruden. He is in the 1841 census at Brickworks, Peterhead as an army pensioner living with 2 of his brothers, so John must have been in the army too. The death certificate of one his sons says he was a road labourer, which is probably his occupation in later life.

24 December 1861
Birth of David Findlay at Riccarton, Ayrshire, son of High Findlay and Margaret Miller, grandson of David Findlay and Susannah Strachan, and great grandson of my gggg uncle Peter Strachan and Mary Monroe. David died in 1863 at Riccarton at just 1 year old.

Christmas Day

Wishing all blog followers, and anyone else who happens to pass by, a very Merry Christmas. Christmas is a time for family and so, if you have a spare moment, spend it thinking of all those ancestors who, by combining in the way they did, lead to you being born.

Will catch up on the “on this day” posts in a couple of days. Christmas Day proved to be busy for my Yorkshire ancestors, as it used to be a very popular day for being baptised or getting married.

I’ve been doing “on this day” since the 23rd March, so three more months to go and that will be 365 days of ancestors. I’ll have to think what else to post about once the year is up!

21 and 22 December

Nothing on 21st but the 22nd was busy. An early Aberdeenshire Fraser who was a neighbour of my ggg grandfather, a Strachan whose death is no doubt attributable to working down the mines, Strachan who married a baker and moved to Glasgow, an Aberdeenshire ancestor who migrated to Canada and became a building contractor in Toronto, and a Haddow descendent I’ve traced to age 18, when he was a stableman in Glasgow.

22 December 1819
Baptism of Robert Fraser at Belhelvie, Aberdeenshire, son of John Fraser and Anne Reid and grandson of my suspected ggggg uncle John Fraser and Christian Sangster. His father was a farm servant, hence Robert’s siblings were born in various locations in Aberdeenshire and Banffshire, but settled in Cruden parish. Robert married Christian Ogston in about 1845, though I can’t find a marriage record: she was born in the Shetland isles. In 1851 they are at Broadmuir, Cruden with 3 children, Robert an ag lab. By 1861 they had settled on the 4 acre croft of Moosnock or Mosside, next door to where my ggg grandfather William Fraser had his croft: he and William were probably related as Robert’s grandfather seems to have been William’s uncle. Robert must have leased extra land as his croft had become a 12 acre farm by 1871, and the 1881 census says 9 acres were arable. He was still there in the 1891 and 1901 census. Robert and Christina had 9 children but by 1901 Robert had been widowed, and has female servant and her son living with him. He died in March 1905 at the Poorhouse in Aberdeen, with his usual residence given as High Street, Old Aberdeen, so must have spent his last few years with one of his children: the poorhouse in those days was also the hospital used by those without much money, and his death certificate says he died of “general debility uncertain, senile heart failure” at age 85.

22 December 1846 (born about 1826)
Samuel Strachan was born in about 1826 at Riccarton, Ayrshire, though no baptism record has been found, son of my gggg uncle coal miner Samuel Strachan and Ann Miller, and grandson of Thomas Strachan and Susannah Alexander. His family had migrated to Nova Scotia in the 1830s as one of Samuel’s younger siblings was born there in about 1833, but had returned to Ayrshire. In 1841 Samuel is with his parents and siblings at Cambuskeith, Kilmarnock (which is just to the west of Kilmarnock) and at age 14 he was probably already a coal miner. In 1846 he married Janet Mitchell at Kilmarnock and they went on to have the typical coal miner’s large family of 11 children. They are in Kilmaurs in 1851 with their eldest child who was born in Dreghorn, then they had 2 children born in Kilmaurs before moving to Stevenston, where they were to remain. They are in Stevenston in 1861 with 5 children and a boarder, and at Chemical Row, Stevenston – which was near the Ardeer dynamite works – in 1871 with 6 of their children at home. By 1881 they were at Station Street, Stevenston with their 3 youngest surviving children at home. Samuel Strachan died in January 1882 age 55 of haemoptysis, which is the coughing up of blood from the respiratory tract, and was no doubt a result of his years working in the coal mines.

22 December 1837
Birth of Catherine Mure Strachan at at Shewalton Colliery, Dundonald, Ayrshire, daughter of my ggg uncle Peter Strachan and Margaret Boyle, and she is with them at Shewalton in 1841. Her father died of fever, possibly of typhus, in 1846, and her mother died at about the same time. In 1851 the siblings were living with relatives, and Catherine age 13, working as a servant, is at Corsehill Square, Dreghorn, with her cousin Janet Strachan, who had married John Hamilton. Catherine married Charles Wark at Irvine in 1859, and they are at High Street, Irvine in 1861 with 2 young children, Charles a baker and Catherine a cotton seamstress. They then moved to Glasgow in the mid 1860s and are in Stewart Street, Barony in 1871 with 5 daughters, Gayfield Street, Kelvin in 1881 with 6 daughters, and Grove Street, Milton in 1891 with 3 daughters still at home. They had at least 10 children but only 6 daughters appear to have survived childhood; most of them worked in the printing industry as young women. Catherine Wark nee Strachan died age 71 in 1909 in Glasgow.

22 December 1854
Baptism of my half ggg uncle Alexander Hepburn Rennie at Monquhitter, Aberdeenshire, son of my ggg grandmother Isabella Booth and her second husband Charles Rennie. In 1861 he is with his widowed and pauper mother, and his sister, at Lethenty, Fyvie. In 1871 he migrated to Canada and gave his occupation as mason. He married in 1883 at Ayr, Waterloo, Canada to Isabella Moir, who was also from Scotland. They are in the 1891 Canada census at Ayr Village, Alexander working as a bricklayer and with 4 children. They are still there in 1901, Alexander a mason and with an expanded family of 7 children. By 1911 they had moved to West Toronto and Alexander was a building contractor with a son working as a bricklayer. Alexander Hepburn Rennie died at Eileen Avenue, Toronto in 1926 and the informant, his son, has mistakenly given his own parents’ details instead of his father’s! Alexander died at age 71 of chronic intestinal nephritis (kidney disease).

22 December 1873
Birth of James Gray at Tradeston, Lanarkshire, son of my gg aunt Flora Haddow and James Gray. His mother died in 1880 at Govan, Glasgow and in 1881 James, age 7 and at school, is with his father in Glasgow with his sister and an elderly female boarder. His father remarried and in 1891, James age 18 is with his father, stepmother, sister, half brother and a lodger in Argyle Street, Blythswood, Glasgow and is working as a stableman. I’ve not traced him beyond that: James Gray is a common name, and he isn’t with his father and sister in 1901.

20 December

The 20th was a busy day in ancestor land. So today is are two Greens, a Neilson, several Strachans and a Fraser descendant.

20 December 1770
Baptism of my ggggg aunt Anne Green at Worsbrough, Yorkshire, daughter of Joseph Green and Alice Rock. Nothing else found for her so it looks as if she died young.

20 December 1777
Birth of my ggg grandmother Agnes Neilson at Gorbals, Lanarkshire, daughter of coal miner Walter Neilson and Agnes Hadden. They may have been neighbours of my gggg grandparents Thomas Strachan and Susannah Alexander, as their son John Strachan married Agnes in April 1794 at Gorbals. Agnes and John were then on the move, from mine to mine, as their children were baptised in Gorbals, then Campsie in Stirlingshire, then Gorbals again, the Kilsyth in Stirlingshire, the at Coatbridge in Lanarkshire, Muirkirk in Ayrshire, and finally at Riccarton. Agnes died in about 1825, at the age of 47, possibly at Shewalton Colliery. By then she had 14 children, and possibly 15. Her husband John Strachan remarried and had 2 more children.

20 December 1829
Birth of Janet Strachan at Riccarton, Ayrshire, daughter of Peter Strachan and Ann Houston and granddaughter of my gggg uncle Peter Strachan and Mary Monroe. Janet must have died, as in 1841 Peter Strachan and Ann had another daughter named Janet.

20 December 1846 (born about 1844)
Janet Strachan was born, most probably at Shewalton Colliery, Ayrshire, in 1846, the daughter of my ggg uncle Peter Strachan and Margaret Boyle, although no baptism record exists. She died on 20 December 1846 and was buried at Irvine. Her father had died in July the same year. There was a typhus epidemic in Scotland at that time, which may account for their deaths in the same year.

20 December 1864 (born about 1845)
John Strachan was born about 1845 at Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, son of John Strachan and Agnes Scots and grandson of my ggg uncle Munro Strachan and Janet Jamieson. His age is taken from his census entries as no baptism record exists. In 1851 he is with his parents at MacReadie’s Land, Dreghorn, his father formerly a coal miner but receiving parish relief, no doubt due to ill health – father Munro died in 1854. John’s mother remarried, to widower William Young, and in 1861 the family are at Warwickhill, Dreghorn, William Young a coal miner and John Strachan age 15 also a coal miner. He married Agnes Scott at Irvine in 1864, and there at Thornton Back Row, Dreghorn in 1871 with 4 children and 2 of Agnes’s brothers: John and his brothers in law are all coal miners. By 1881 John and Agnes, with 6 children, are at Corsehill Square, Dreghorn, so had plenty of relatives as neighbours. They are still there in 1891, more children having been born but older ones having left home: they had 10 children and one of John’s sons was called Munro Strachan after John’s father and another was called William Young Strachan after his stepfather. His son Munro Strachan was the pipe major who wrote the music “Jeanie Strachan”.

20 December 1869
Birth of Margaret Strachan at Dreghorn, Ayshire, daughter of coal miner John Strachan and Janet Dow and granddaughter of my ggg uncle Samuel Strachan and Margaret Sampson Reid Jamieson. The family were living in Kilmarnock y 1871, and that’s where Margaret seems to have stayed for the rest of her life. She is with her parents in 1881 and 1891, and at age 21 is a tailoress. She married tailor’s cutter Robert Smith in 1893 and in 1901 they at Witch Road, Kilmarnock with 3 children and Margaret’s younger sister Catherine, who might have been with them because Margaret had a 1 month old baby. Margaret Smith nee Strachan died in Kilmarnock in 1843 at age 73.

20 December 1878
Baptism of my gg aunt Hester Green at St Mary’s Barnsley, Yorkshire, daughter of cabinet maker Joseph Green and Margaret Oxley. She is with her parent in Barnsley and 1881 and 1891, and in 1897 married colliery labourer John Amberson Athorn in Barnsley. They are living in Carlton in 1901 with Margaret’s sister Lily, who had married Frank Saxton – John Athorn is a bricklayer’s labourer and he and Hester have 2 sons. By 1911 they at Longcar Street, Barnsley with 3 children, John a colliery fitter’s labourer, and their eldest son is nearby with Hester’s mother and sister. John Amberson Athorn died in 1912 at age 35, and in 1913 Hester married William Fearn. Hester Fearn died in 1927 at Barnsley age 49.

20 December 1906
Birth of Alexandrina Forsyth a Mosside croft in Cruden parish, Aberdeenshire, illegitimate daughter of my half gg aunt Jessie Fraser and farm servant William Forsyth. In the 1911 census Alexandrina (who was named after her grandfather Alexander Fraser) is at Mosside croft with her grandmother Margaret Fraser nee Booth and her mother Jessie, plus her sister Catherine and 2 cousins. She then moved to Aberdeen with her mother and sister and lived at 43 Hutcheon Street. Alexandrina worked as a domestic servant, and died at Hutcheon Street in 1924, at age 18, of pulmonary tuberculosis.