28 December

A ggggg grandfather today, though I don’t know very much about him. Plus a Hunter from Ayrshire who married twice, a Strachan daughter of a coal miner who married a coal miner just as so many Strachan women did, and a Green from Barnsley who just seem to disappear from the records from 1891 onwards, which is odd.

28 December 1775 (born about 1741)
My ggggg grandfather John Watt was no doubt born and had parents, but when and where I haven’t been able to find out. He married Helen Davidson at Rayne on 28 December 1775. They had 11 children all baptised in Bourtie between 1776 and 1794 and John worked as a stone dyker and labourer, so did very necessary and physical work. Nothing else known about him though.

28 December 1866 (born about 1844)
Martha Hunter was born at Stevenston in about 1844, no baptism found, daughter of Robert Hunter and Agnes Kennedy. Her grandparents were my gggg uncle Robert Haddow and my gggg aunt Margaret Hunter. Martha began life at Schoolwell Street, Stevenston and her father was a butcher – or a flesher as it was often called back then. By 1861 Martha is a domestic servant for a ploughman and his family in Quay Street, Saltcoats, and on 28 December 1866 she was married at Stevenston to James McKinley. He was a steam engine driver born in Ireland, and in 1871 they are Harbour Street, Ardrossan with 3 children. Husband James died in 1872. Widow Martha is back in Stevenston by 1881, in Townhead Street where her widowed mother lived, and intriguingly has a son who was born in Stevenston a couple of years after her husband had died, so Martha was only human. Then later in 1881 she married again, to William Young who was also a widow. They are in Byre Hill Row, Kilwinning in 1891, William working as a coal carter, and between them have 7 children with them: 2 from William’s first marriage, 1 of Martha’s, and 3 born since William and Martha were married. Martha then died in 1895 at the age of 51 at Kilwinning.

28 December 1867
Birth of Elizabeth Gilmour Strachan at Kilmaurs, daughter of coal miner John Strachan and Elizabeth Gilmour and granddaughter of my gggg uncle Samuel Strachan and Ann Miller. Elizabeth is with her parents and many siblings at Crawfordhill, Kilmaurs (near Crosshouse) in 1871, 1881 and 1891, then married coal miner John Lorimer in 1893 – in the index to marriages her name is given as Bessie Gilmour Strachan. In 1901 she is with her husband and 4 children in Dalziel, Lanarkshire (near Motherwell) but all the children were born in Ayrshire, so they had moved from Crosshouse to Dreghorn then Kilmarnock before going to Lanarkshire. I’ve no idea how long they stayed there, but Elizabeth Gilmour Lorimer nee Strachan died in Kilmarnock in 1938 at the age of 71.

28 December 1873
Birth of Ada Green in Barnsley, daughter of greengrocer Joseph Green and his wife Mary Ann. She is with her parents in Blucher Street, Barnsley in 1881 and 1891, then disappears – or at least I’ve not been able to trace her any further.

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