7 December

Another interesting and mixed lot today. A McWilliam from my Aberdeenshire Sangsters, who married a cattleman – in Aberdeenshire, cattle = Aberdeen Angus beef cattle. There’s a Strachan who became an early settler at Balclutha, on the southern tip of New Zealand, and whose husband ran the livery stables there, another Strachan who married an iron turner and lived in Paisley, and a third Strachan who married a coal miner and mostly lived in Crookedholm.

7 December 1817
Birth of my half gggg aunt Janet Hay McWilliam, also known as Jessie, at Longside, Aberdeenshire, daughter of Janet Sangster and William McWilliam and half sister of my ggg grandfather William Fraser. At age 20, in the 1841 census, Janet is a servant in the household of landed proprietor Alexander Phillip at Yonderton, Cruden – he was the landlord of the croft at Yonderton by then tenanted by William Fraser. In 1842 she married James Pirie at Cruden. In 1851 they are Mains of Nether Kinmundy, close to where Janet’s parents lived, with 3 children, and Janet is now named as Jessie and James is an ag lab. He’s a cattleman in 1861 at Millhill, Old Deer and they have 5 children, and by the birth places of their children had only recently moved from Longside. They are at a different farm in 1871 but still in Old Deer, with 2 daughters still at home, and are at Clola House, Old Deer in 1881 with their youngest daughter Christian and her illegitimate baby son. Also at Clola House in 1881 was Thomas Morgan and his family – he was the grandson of Janet’s aunt, Isabel Sangster. Jessie Pirie nee McWilliam died at age 69 in 1887 at Longside. Her husband lived for quite lot longer, and in the 1891 and 1901 census is with daughter Christina Tough nee McWilliam and her family at Turriff.

7 December 1836
Birth of my gg aunt Margaret Strachan at Shewalton Colliery, Dundonald, Ayrshire, daughter of my gg grandparents Robert Strachan and Margaret Haggerty. In 1841 she is at Shewalton Colliery with her parents but not longer after that they moved to Kilwinning. Her mother Margaret Haggerty died in 1846 and in 1850 her father married Susan Cran. In 1851 Margaret is with a farm labourer and his family – two children of whom were bornin Kilwinning so that may have been how Margaret knew then: she is listed as a visitor and house servant. In 1857 Margaret, a farm servant of Springside, Dreghorn, married Andrew Chapman, also a farm servant. They migrated to New Zealand and settled at Balcutha, near Dunedin on the south island: not sure when but they are not in the 1861 census so may have migrated soon after their marriage. They can be found in the New Zealand Electoral Roll from 1875 onwards, at Barr’s Extension Land, Balclutha, Andrew Chapman at first being e livery stable keeper and then a labourer. There is a report in a newspaper from December 1878 that an eight year old son of Andrew Chapman drowned while playing close to a water hole after a flood. A newspaper advertisement of a similar time states “Crown Hotel Stables, Balclutha. Andrew Chapman. First-rate accommodation for horses. Loose boxes. The stables being under the personal superintendence of Mr Chapman, is a guarantee that all horses placed in them will meet with every attention. Accommodation paddock.” There is also a photograph in a newspaper of 1902, which hasn’t reproduced at all well on the internet, of four generations of a family: Mrs A Chapman of Balclutha, Mrs R Mason of Balclutha, Mrs Lane and her daughter Olive. This must be Margaret with her daughter, granddaughter and great granddaughter and would have been taken when she was 66. Both she and Andrew are in the 1905-1906 electoral roll. There is also a 1904 newspaper report about the accidental death of the husband of Margaret’s daughter.

7 December 1862
Birth of Jane Walker Strachan at Dreghorn, also known as Jeanie, daughter of Robert Strachan and Ann Bain, granddaugter of Andrew Strachan and Elizabeth Howat, and great granddaughter of my gggg uncle Robert Strachan and Jean Kelly. In 1871 she is with her family at Auchenharvie Row, Stevenston, her father a coal miner, but by 1881 she is a domestic servant to a master joiner and his wife in Paisley, Renfrewshire. In 1887 Jeanie married engine iron turner Robert Shields at Paisley and in 1891 they are at Hamilton Street, Paisley with 2 children and Jeanie’s younger sister Janet. Jeanie died in Paisley 1900 at age 37 of pulmonary phthisis (tuberculosis). Her husband remarried.

7 December 1882
Birth of Jane Dunlop Strachan at Conrad Row, Crookedholm, Ayrshire., illegitimate daughter of my great aunt Flora Strachan and Robert Dunlop. In 1887 she was joined by a brother who died at just a month old. Her parents did not marry and her mother Flora, who worked at a mill, had been an invalid since childhood. In 1891 Jane is with her mother, grandparents Joseph Strachan and Jeanie Haddow, plus 2 uncles, at Lamonts Land, Crookedholm, age 8 and at school. Her mother died in 1893 and her grandfather died in 1895. In 1891 Jane age 18 and a wool spinner is with her widowed grandmother and uncle Colin at Schoolhouse Road, Crookedholm. In 1902 she married coal miner James McIlwraith at Fowler’s Hall, Crookedholm and in 1911 they are at Cadger’s Road with 3 children, but the birth places of their children show they’d moved around a bit: the children were born in Hurlford, Plean in Stirlingshire and Motherwell in Lanarkshire. It looks as if they stayed put after 1911, though, as Jane died in 1944, age 61, at Crookedholm.

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