24 January

Two very important people today: my gg grandmother Sarah Marshall and my aunt Jeanie Harper nee Strachan.

24 January 1814
Birth or baptism of my gg grandmother Sarah Marshall at Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, daughter of saddler Robert Marshall and Agnes Logan. Sarah must have married John McInairney (a surname subject to various spellings) but no record of the marriage has been found. However, their daughter Mary Ann was baptised in Newcastle, England, in January 1840 and their sons Matthew, Willliam and John were, according to the census, born in Bellshills, Lanarkshire, Muirkirk, Ayrshire and Kilmarnock, although no baptisms can be found for them. Given the locations, my suspicion is John McAinairney might have worked at coal pits, although his daughter Mary Ann’s death certificate simply says her father was a labourer and on his wife’s death certificate it looks as if it says he was a drainer (which could mean he dug drainage dykes). Unfortunately I cannot find John, Sarah and Mary Ann in the 1841 census, and it would seem that John McAnairney, or whatever his surname was, died before 1851. Sarah is in the 1851 census at Low Church Lane, Kilmarnock, the surname written as McNarnie, a widow and pauper hand sewer with her 4 children. They are all at 19 Fore Street, Kilmarnock in 1861, but with them is Agnes Marshall age 93, Sarah’s mother, and two illegitimate daughters of Sarah’s born during the 1850s – Sarah and her eldest daughter Mary Ann are flowerers, which means they hand sewed floral embroidery onto muslin. During the 1860s Sarah’s mother died and her older children left home, so by 1871 she is at Back Street, Kilmarnock, still a hand sewer, with her youngest daughter Ellen and 4 year old Robert Brown, described as nephew. In 1881 Sarah, a hand sewer, is at High Street, Kilmarnock with Robert Marshall grandson age 14 (who I suspect is Robert Brown age 4 from 1871 but I have yet to work out just who he was), orphan Elizabeth Ingles age 3 (and I have yet to figure out who she was, too), and a coal miner lodger. Sarah McInairne, as the registrar as written is, died in March 1891 at her home in High Street, Kilmarnock of cancer of the gullet. The informant was her eldest child, my great grandmother Mary Ann who married John McCrae.

24 January 1900
Birth of my aunt, Jeannie Haddow Strachan at Crookedholm, Ayrshire, daughter of coal miner Henry Strachan and Helen McCrae – and mother of blog follower Colin. The 1901 census finds Jeannie with her parents and older siblings at Old Factory House, Crookedholm and in the 1905 Valuation Roll they’re at Cowan’s Row, Crookedholm. The family then moved to Lanarkshire in about 1906, first to Tollcross and then to Halfway, Cambuslang. In 1911 they were at Mansion Street, Cambuslang and Jeannie, age 11, was at school. In September 1921, at the age of 21, Jeannie sailed to Canada and her arrival card says she was intending to go into domestic service, remain permanently, and was destined to Major Luige (? name hard to read) in Toronto, who I suspect was a Major in the Salvation Army. In April 1927 Jeannie married William Harper in Toronto, who had also migrated from Scotland. He was a rubber worker, and one of the witnesses was her married sister, Helen Airken nee Strachan. Jeannie sailed to Scotland in September 1927, returning in May 1928, and then also went to Scotland in December 1932 and returned soon after. Her two surviving children were born in 1936 and 1938. There was quite a bit of travelling between Canada and Scotland among the Strachan family before WW2: Jeannie’s brother Joseph and sister Amelia settled in Canada, but sister Helen and mother Helen decided to stay in Cambuslang. Jeannie Harper nee Strachan lived until a very good age indeed, as did many of her siblings, and died in 1995 at the age of 95. Despite not seeing much of youngest brother, my father Robert, Jeannie kept in touch by letter through her life, and kept in touch with my mother after my father died.

2 responses to “24 January

  1. Hi Judy; Once again thanks for all the information that I was not aware of regarding my mother. It was extremely interesting to read about her early years before her marriage. Cousin Colin.

    • I’m now realising that you must know less about your ancestors lives than I perhaps thought. Do you know if the Salvation Army connection is correct? My reason for thinking it is that I know my father learnt to play the trombone and then trumpet via the Salvation Army in Cambuslang.

      And I’ve been doing some looking up about your tree on your father’s side, so will get somme notes typed up and sent to you soon. Interestingly, the lives of your father’s ancestors and my Aberdeenshire ancestors must have overlapped: no doubt some of them would have worked together on a farm at some stage. It is, indeed, a small world at times.


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