Monthly Archives: January 2014

20 January

Some interesting ones today: my Yorkshire great grandfather Joseph Green, plus the illegitimate daughter of an Ayrshire ggg grandmother and a William Fraser from Aberdeenshire who needs more research.

20 January 1871 (born about 1821)
My half ggg aunt Jean Pollock was born in about 1821 at Irvine, according to the census, but no baptism has been found. She was the illegitimate daughter of my ggg grandmother Jean Orr who had been married to Joseph Haggerty, but Jean was born after Joseph had died. Jean’s father was called Robert Pollock. In 1841 Jean is in Irvine as a domestic servant to a cotton hand loom weaver, and then in 1844 she married John Richmond at Dundonald – he was a coal miner so probably worked at Shewalton Colliery. According to the birthplaces given for their children in the census, Jean and John were in Kilwinning for a couple of years, then went to Airdrie, Lanarkshire in 1848/49, moved back to Kilwinning by 1850, and were at Kenneth’s Row, Corsehill in 1851 with 4 children and a lodger (and lots of relatives as neighbours). They are still at Kenneth’s Row in 1861 with 8 children and a boarder. Jean Richmond nee Pollock died in January 1871 at Neil’s Land, Hurlford of pthithis (tuberculosis) at 50 years of age.

20 January 1866
Birth of William Fraser at Old Deer, son of my ggg uncle William Fraser and Barbara Cordiner and grandson of William Fraser and Christian Hutcheon. William is with his father and siblings in Kinknockie, Old Deer where his father was a master shoemaker employing a journeyman and an apprentice – on census night his mother was visiting her parents in Peterhead. At 15, in 1881, William is still at school and with his parents at Kinknockie. He then becomes a mystery as I can’t find him anywhere in the records, though I haven’t yet made an exhaustive search.

20 January 1868
Birth of my great grandfather Joseph Green at Worsbrough, Yorkshire, son of Joseph Green and Margaret Oxley. At the time of his birth, his parents were living in Worsbrough Common and his father was a cabinet maker. Joseph is with his parents in Green Row, Worsbrough Common in 1871, but the family had moved into Barnsley by 1881 and lived at Newton Street. In 1888 Joseph, by then also a cabinet maker, was married in Royston to Charlotte Senior, whose family came from Carlton near Royston. The Green family had family connections in Royston, which is possibly how Joseph and Charlotte met. Their first two children were baptised in Barnsley, with Joseph being described as a wagon joiner and a miner: I suspect he worked at a mine but was a carpenter, fixing and making wooden wagons. In 1891 he and Charlotte are at James Street, Barnsley in a small stone terrace house that still exists (I’ve driven past it and also seen it on Google street view). Their next two children was baptised at Mapplewell, to the north of Barnsley: Joseph was a cart repairer at a colliery and the family lived at Spark Lane. When their next child was baptised they were back in Barnsley, but in around 1899 they moved to Leeds and Joseph can be found on the electoral roll living at Hope Grove, Armley (a street that has since been demolished but which was next to Gott’s Park). The 1901 census finds Joseph, Charlotte and 7 children at Hope Grove with Joseph working as a carpenter and joiner. They then had 3 children baptised together in 1904: by then they were living at Stack Cottages, Abbey Road, Kirkstall and in 1905 Joseph is on the electoral roll in a dwelling house at Kirkstall Forge, Abbey Road. It would seem that he had taken a job at Kirkstall Forge, no doubt as a carpenter joiner. Kirkstall Forge was founded by the Cistercians monks of Kirkstall Abbey in the 13th century, so had a long history. The electoral roll then places Joseph and his family at 7 Vicarage Avenue, Kirkstall from 1906 – the houses that comprise the Vicarages were terraces that had been recently built as they are not on the 1895 Ordnance Survey map. By 1911, with more children having been born and the eldest now young adults, Joseph and family had moved to a larger house just round the corner on Station Parade, but were back at 7 Vicarage Avenue from 1915. During WW1 Joseph served in the Royal Engineers at Aldershot from 1917 to 1918 though he doesn’t seem to have enjoyed his time there, as his army record refers to him being disciplined for appearing on parade unshaved, appearing on parade with dirty equipment, and using insubordinate language to an NCO! He went before a medical board in 1918 and was declared unfit for further service. Sometime after 1921, with most of their children married and off their hands, Joseph and Charlotte moved to a house in the Cragsides, where the photograph of them in their garden was taken. Joseph died in 1925 age 57 of cancer of the throat. Widow Charlotte had, so my mother said, never really settled in the Cragsides and so moved back to the Vicarages. Photographs of Joseph Green can be found on this blog at http://wp.me/p34D39-hA

18 and 19 January

On the 18th a Yorkshire ggggg grandfather was born about 276 years ago, a Hunter from Stevenston in Ayrshire was born and might have married a Smith, and a Strachan was born in Ayrshire but must have died in childhood. Nothing happened on the 19th.

18 January 1805 (born about 1738)
My ggggg grandfather John Hattersley was born in Yorkshire in around 1738, if the age given when he was buried is correct. He was a breeches maker and would therefore have served an apprenticeship. John married, in 1764, in Barnsley, so is most likely to have come from the surrounding Barnsley area. After his marriage he lived in Carlton, within the parish of Royston, but there is no-one named Hattersley in the Royston parish register until his marriage, so he wasn’t from a local family. There was a John Hattersley baptised in November 1736 at Ackworth, which isn’t too far from where John lived as an adult, but there’s no evidence that it could be right one. The Ackworth John had a father with the unusual name of Epaphroditus Hattersley, a good old biblical name. There was also a John Hattersley born at about the same time in Badsworth, which is near Ackworth, with father George Hattersley. Wherever John came from, however, he married Elizabeth Milner at Barnsley St Mary’s in April 1764. Their marriage entry says John Hattersley was a breeches maker of Barnsley, and that Elizabeth was also resident in Barnsley. Their first child was born in 1765 and baptised at Royston, and the baptism record has the child as son of John Hattersley of Carlton. A total of 9 children were baptised at Royston, and each time father John is described as of Carlton. John Hattersley, publican and breeches maker of Carlton, died in 1805 and was buried at Royston on 18 January. His wife Elizabeth Hattersley of Carlton died in 1816. Their daughter Sarah Hattersley married William Senior of Carlton, and was my gggg grandmother.

18 January 1769
Baptism of my gggg aunt Elizabeth Hunter at Stevenston, Ayrshire, daughter of John Hunter and Margaret Barr. No marriage found, but there was an Elizabeth Hunter and Hugh Smith who had children baptised in Stevenston from 1789 to 1803. That family are not in the Stevenston minister’s census of 1819, 1822 or 1836 so it is possible they moved from Stevenston before 1819 – they could have moved in about 1803 and had more children but there are no baptisms to be found. There is, however, an elderly couple in the 1841 census at Castle Street, Mauchline: Hugh Smith age 80 and Elizabeth Smith age 72 with a 4 year old girl with them. Unfortunately the 1841 census gives little detail, and both this Hugh and Elizabeth must have died before 1851, so it’s not possible to link them with the Stevenston couple, and Smith was a very common name, even back then. When I have more time I’ll have to research the 4 year old girl and see if it’s possible to link her with my Hunter ancestors.

18 January 1806
Birth or baptism of Susannah Strachan at Riccarton, Ayrshire, daughter of my gggg uncle Robert Strachan and Jean Kelly. Susannah must have died in childhood, as Robert and Jean named a daughter born in 1811 Susannah.

Been busy but I’m back again

I’ve had a very busy few days and consequently the blog has been neglected. But at last I have an afternoon with nothing else to do, and it’s raining (again). So far it’s been a very mild but very wet winter. I’m also finding retirement is far busier than expected. How on earth did I manage to fit in a full time job for all those years!

In my absence, the blog has had a lot of visitors, particularly from Australia, so welcome to you all. I hope you find something useful and/or interesting here.

17 January

Another Joseph Green from Yorkshire today (there were a lot of the) who looks as if he fathered an illegitimate child with his housekeeper. Also a Lamb from Aberdeenshire and a Hamilton from Ayrshire who there’s not much to say about, and a George from Aberdeenshire who went to Canada and ended up at Port Credit.

17 January 1809
Baptism of my gggg uncle Joseph Green at Worsbrough, son of Joseph Green and Ann Cox. (I did wish the Green family tree didn’t contain so many Josephs!) This Joseph was the son of my linen bleacher and innkeeper gggg grandfather who ran the Rose & Crown at Worsbrough Common. In 1834 Joseph Green junior married Mary White at Silkstone, although the parish register entry shows they were both living in Barnsley. In 1841 Joseph and Mary, with 3 children, are at Nelson Street, Barnsley and Joseph is a bleacher. Wife Mary died in 1850 and in 1851 widower Joseph Green is at Castlereagh Street, Barnsley with 4 children and a female servant, and has become a green grocer with his two eldest sons also working as green grocers. His father Joseph Green died in 1853, and Joseph junior seems to have taken over running the Rose & Crown as in 1861 he is an innkeeper at Worsbrough Common with a son working as a huckster (salesman) and a housekeeper called Martha Nuttall. His son John was born in 1862 but does not seem to have been baptised, so without ordering his birth certificate I don’t know who his mother was. In 1871 Joseph is still an innkeeper at Worsbrough Common and has his son George and 10 year old son John Green living with him, as well as female servant Mary Day and a 1 year old boy visitor with the surname Day. However, there is a death registered in Barnsley (the registration district for Worsbrough) in 1867 for Martha Nuttall age 34, and I suspect the housekeeper in 1851 was John’s mother but she died in 1867. Joseph Green died in 1876 age 70.

17 January 1848
Birth of Barbara Lamb at Monquhitter, Aberdeenshire, daughter of my gggg aunt Mary Hutcheon and Robert Lamb. Barbara is with her parents and siblings in 1851, her father an ag lab, but she is not with them in 1861 and cannot be found elsewhere, so it looks as if she died in childhood.

17 January 1855
Birth of David Hamilton at Knockintiber, Kilmaurs, Ayrshire, son of coal miner John Hamilton and Janet Strachan and grandson of my ggg uncle Thomas Strachan and Elizabeth Nisbet. David is with his parents at Knockintiber in 1861, then his father died in 1869. He was with his widowed mother in 1861, who was a spirit dealer at Kilmaurs Road, Kilmarnock. David Hamilton died in Kilmarnock in 1878, age 23, but I haven’t downloaded his death certificate so don’t know the cause of his early death.

17 January 1871
Birth of James George at Dyce, Aberdeeenshire, son of my ggg aunt Barbara Logan and James George. James migrated, with his family, to Canada in 1872 and is with his family at Brant, Ontario in 1881, his father a farmer. He is still with his parents in 1891 and is helping his father on the farm. His mother died, and in 1901 James is with his father and a sister at Walkerton, Ontario working as a farm labourer, though as his father is a farmer he was most probably still working for his father. James married Sarah Hare at Port Credit, Ontario in 1906 and by then was an iron worker. He’d changed jobs again by 1911 and was a “teamster on street” (which will mean driving horse-drawn vehicles) in Toronto, and he and Sarah have a son plus another family of similar ages living with them as lodgers. James George died in 1937 at Port Credit.

Did you sing “Auld Lang Syne” on New Year’s Eve?

A very good article from the BBC about the Robert Burns poem that is sung the world over on New Year’s Eve. But do you know what it actually means? It was written in 1788 and the tune was added later, after Burns had died. It’s about someone reminiscing about the good times they had with a friend when they were children.

Link to the BBC article is http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-25402099
and it contains the words to the whole poem – note there is no “for the sake of” in the Robert Burns version!

16 January

Three 18th century ancestors today: Marshall from Kilmaurs, a Weir I think was the one baptised in Mauchline, and a Hunter from Stevenston. And from the 1800s there’s a Grist from Yorkshire, and Senior from Yorkshire who moved to Leeds and went from being a carpenter to an accountant’s clerk and ended up as a painter.

16 January 1723
Baptism of Anna Marshall at Kilmaurs, Ayrshire, my ggggg aunt and daughter of Frances Marshall and Mary Gibson. However, Frances and Mary baptised another daughter Anna in 1728 so the first Anna had most probably died.

16 January 1748
There was a baptism of Sarah Weir at Mauchline, Ayrshire, daughter of William Weir but mother not named, and she could be my gggg grandmother. There were actually two girls named Sarah Weir born in Mauchline around that time, one to William Weir and one to Adam Weir. “My” Sarah called her second son William and her 5th son Adam, so it’s likely she the daughter of William Weir and Adam Weir was her uncle. Sarah married James Logan, who I suspect was born in Kilmarnock, but I can’t find a record of their marriage. The children of James Logan and Sarah Weir were born in Kilmarnock from 1768 to 1789 and their 3rd child, Agnes Logan, was my ggg grandmother who married Robert Marshall.

16 January 1766
Jane Hunter was baptised in Stevenston, Ayrshire, daughter of John Hunter with mother not named. I think she was my gggg aunt and her mother was Margaret Barr. In 1788 there is a marriage in Stevenston of Jane Hunter and James Harvie, but no baptisms of children of this couple can be found. Jane’s sister Margaret married Robert Haddow (they were my Haddow ggg grandparents), and in the 1819 minister’s list for Stevenston, Widow Haddow is at Townhead with 4 children and Jean Hunter widow Harvie, who must surely be her sister Jane. Jean is still at Townhead with widow Haddow in 1822, but is not there in 1836 so seems to have died by then. To complicate things further, Robert Haddow’s mother was Margaret Harvie, so Jane/Jean could well have married a relation of her brother-in-law.

16 January 1831
Baptism of Frederick Grist at Bolton upon Dearne, Yorkshire, son of my gggg uncle William Grist and Emma Wood. He is not with his parents in 1841 and nothing else can be found, so it looks as if he probably died young.

16 January 1848
Baptism of my ggg uncle Charles Senior at Royston, born in Carlton to carpenter George Senior and Mary Roydhouse. He is with his parents in Carlton in 1851, 1861 and 1871. In 1871 is the only child remaining at home and at age 22 is a joiner and carpenter, as was his father. His father died in 1874 and his mother in 1875, and in 1881 Charles is in Hyde Park, Leeds with his brother Isaac. Isaac has a wife and 2 children and is an accountant in practice, and Charles is an accountant’s clerk. That line of work can’t have worked out for Charles, as by 1891 he is working as a commission agent and lodging in Leeds with a family called Roadhouse: they may well have been related to Charles’s mother, as Roydhouse was also often written at Roadhouse. By 1901, however, Charles is working as a painter in Mill Hill, Leeds and lodging with another painter of his age, William Wilkinson, who has a wife and children: they will have been house painters, not artistic ones! There is no sign that Charles ever married or had children. In 1911 he is still a lodger and a painter, and is lodging with Minnie Hodgson, who is married with children: Minnie was the daughter of the William Wilkinson Charles was lodging with in 1901. There are several deaths registered for a Charles Senior of the right age but none in Leeds so I’m not sure which one it could be.

14 and 15 January

A ggggg Yorkshire grandmother born 256 years ago and who married a weaver, a Haggerty descendent from Ayrshire who had but a short life, and a Fraser from Mosside croft in Aberdeenshire who married a soldier during WW1 and went to Canada.

15 January 1758
Baptism of Ann Savile at Royston, Yorkshire, daughter of Samuel Savile and Francis Hutchinson and who I suspect is my ggggg grandmother. There was a marriage in Royston in 1779 of Joseph Haigh weaver and Ann Savile, and they had 11 children baptised at Royston from 1780 to 1801, including my gggg grandfather Joseph Haigh. Joseph married Hannah Atkinson and had lots of children including Charlotte Haigh, who married George Simpson and was the grandmother of my great grandmother Charlotte Senior. So that line goes back quite a long way in the same parish.

15 January 1866
Birth of Matthew Richmond at Stevenston, Ayrshire, son of my half ggg aunt Jean Pollock and John Richmond, and grandson of my ggg grandmother Jean Orr who had been married to Joseph Haggerty but gave birth to illegitimate daughter Jean Pollock after her husband had died. Matthew had a short life as he died at Hurlford in 1869.

14 January 1889
Margaret (Maggie) Fraser was born at Mosside croft, Hatton near Cruden, Aberdeenshire, illegitimate daughter of my half gg aunt Christian Fraser. Her mother married farm servant James Reid in December 1890 at Mosside, and in the 1891 census Margaret appears as Maggie Reid, with her mother and stepfather, at Mortimer’s House, Boddam. Her stepfather died at Stuartfield, Old Deer in 1893 and in 1895 her mother married James Andrews. The 1901 census has Maggie Fraser, age 12 and at school, with her mother and labourer stepfather at Old Machar, Aberdeen. In May 1917 Margaret Fraser, domestic servant age 27, married Robert Henry Cooper, a boilermaker, corporal with the Aberdeen Army and a widower, who lived in Toronto but during WW1 served with the British Exchange Force. The marriage certificate does not say who Maggie’s father was, and as she used the surname Fraser it would seem that her mother’s first husband, James Reid, was not Maggie’s father. Maggie’s husband Robert returned to Canada on a troop ship in June 1918, by which time he was a sergeant, and Maggie sailed to Canada in September 1919. They are in the census in Toronto in 1921, with 2 children and a daughter from Robert’s first marriage, and Robert is employed as a constable.

13 January

Today my great grandmother Mary Ann McInairnery was born in 1840: she was tricky to research as her surname is written differently on every record that has survived, and I’m still not sure what it’s supposed to be. Also today: a Hudson ancestor born in Yorkshire born 276 years ago, a Fisher from Yorkshire of whom very little has been found, a Watt in Aberdeenshire who never married but had a daughter she seems to have lived with all her adult life, a Cain descendent on my Strachan tree who moved to Lanarkshire, a Logan descendent from Aberdeenshire who migrated to Canada and lived in Brant and then Toronto, and a McCrae descendant from Ayrshire who was deserted by her father and then lost her mother so was brought up by her grandparents.

13 January 1738
Baptism of my gggggg aunt Hannah Hudson at Royston, Yorkshire, daughter of John Hudson and Mary Wooffendale. The only thing I can find that might be her is a marriage in December 1762 at Darton, the neighbouring parish to Royston, to William Overend. William Overend then had a child, Timothy, baptised in Darton in January 1764, but nothing else can be found for this couple.

13 January 1805
Baptism of Hannah Fisher at Tankersley, Yorkshire, daughter of my ggggg uncle Timothy Fisher and Mary Kaye. Unfortunately I can’t find anything else that looks like her in the records, so she may have died in childhood.

13 January 1890 (born about 1818)
My gggg aunt Janet or Jessie Watt was born in Rayne in about 1818, though no baptism record can be found, and was the daughter of Peter Watt and Helen Alexander. In 1841 she was working as a female farm servant at Tiddy, Skene, and in 1851 is a visitor with her married brother James and his family at Old Mill of Shivas, Tarves. In 1857 she gave birth to an illegitimate daughter Jessie Rennie. Jessie Watt is housekeeper at a farm at Auryhillock, Bourtie at the time of the 1861 census and her daughter Jessie is with Peter and Helen Watt at Meikle Wartle, Rayne. Jessie is with her by then very elderly parents, along with her daughter, at Meikle Wartle, Rayne in 1871, earning a living as a knitter, and is there still in 1881 with her daughter, who was a dressmaker. Janet/Jessie Watt died in January 1890 age 72 at Meikle Wartle, and was remembered on the graveyard memorial erected by her brother William at Rayne.

13 January 1840
Baptism of my great grandmother Mary Ann McInairney at St Mary’s Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, daughter of John McInairney and Sarah Marshall. Her baptism has the surname written as Mcaniny. They cannot be found in the 1841 census, but Mary Ann’s brother Matthew was, according to the census, born in Bellshill in 1841 although no baptism can be found. Her next brother was born in Muirkirk and then another was born in Kilmarnock. Her father died some time between 1848 and 1850, most probably in Kilmarnock. In 1851 Mary Ann with her surname written as McNarnie is with her widowed mother, who was a pauper and hand sewer, at Mather’s Land, Low Church Lane, Kilmarnock, along with 3 younger brothers. The family is at Fore Street, Kilmarnock in 1861 with Mary Ann’s 93 year old grandmother Agnes Marshall and 2 illegitimate children born to Mary Ann’s mother in the 1850s. Mary Ann, age 21, is a flowerer: this is the hand sewing of embroidered flowers onto muslin. Mary Ann married neighbour and coal miner John McCrae at Fore Street in 1861 and they lived in Kilmarnock for the rest of their lives, at Dean Street, Mill Lane, High Church Lane, High Street and Soulis Street, where the brought up their 9 children. John McCrae died in 1904, and in 1911 Mary Ann McCrae and her youngest son are visitors at Riccarton, in the household of her married daughter Sarah Downie. Mary Ann McCrae nee McNearney (as it written on her death certificate) died age 72, though her death certificate has her as 75, in her house at 33 High Street, Kilmarnock in April 1912 from “natural causes”. She must have died alone and been found, as her death was registered by the Procurator Fiscal (Scottish equivalent of a coroner).

13 January 1859
Birth of Rebecca Cain (or Kane or Kean) at Kilwinning, daughter of my ggg aunt Agnes Strachan and coal miner William Kean, and granddaughter of Robert Strachan and Margaret Haggerty. She is with her parents in Kilwinning in 1861 and 1871, and in 1880 gave birth to an illegitimate son at her parents home at Byrehill Row, Kilwinning. Rebecca, working as a field labourer, and her son are with her parents in 1881. In 1883 she married coal miner John McClure and in 1891 they are at Single Row, Kilwinning with 4 children, 1 of them born in Muirkirk. They had moved to Coatbridge, Lanarkshire by 1893, when they had a child born there, and John McClure died there in 1900. In 1901 widow Rebecca is at Heriot’s Row, Old Monkland with 5 of her children.

13 January 1892 (born in January in about 1863)
Jean Scott George was born in Fyvie, Aberdeenshire, daughter of my ggg aunt Barbara Logan and James George. Jean’s birth date appears twice in the Canadian census but is different each time, and I haven’t looked up her birth certificate. Her father was an ag lab and in 1871 the family are in Woodland, Dyce. In April 1872 Jean migrated to Canada with her parents and siblings, and the family are in Brant, Ontario in 1881, father James George a farmer. In 1892 at Malcolm, Brant, Jane married widower John Hampson, a saw miller but he died in 1897 and was a farmer by then. In 1901 widow Jeanie is at Brant with a stepdaughter, 3 children and a “house man” who is most likely a live-in farm servant. By 1911 she seems to have given up the farm and moved to Walkerston with 3 of her children and has a 4 year old lodger. In 1921 she is at Wade Avenue, Toronto living with a married son, an engineer, and two unmarried daughters who worked as a school teacher and a milliner. A Canadian website has published photographs of headstones and it includes one for Jane George Hampson who died in June 1949, and also mentions her two daughters who do not appear to have married.

13 January 1886
Birth of Mary Ann Douglas at High Street, Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, daughter of my great aunt Agnes McCrae and Robert Walker Douglas, and therefore niece of my grandmother Helen McCrae. Her father was a brass finisher and Mary Ann was born 2 months after her parents married, but for whatever reason the marriage didn’t last very long. In 1891 Mary Ann is with her mother and her McCrae grandparents in Kilmarnock, and her father is a lodger in Derby, down in England. Mary Ann’s mother died in June of that year at the age of 29, and her father stayed in Derby, married and had another family – in fact he married a daughter of the family he’d been lodging with. In 1901 Mary Douglas is still with her McCrae grandparents and at school. She married William McMurray, a labourer, in 1908 in Kilmarnock and was working as a tobacconist’s assistant at the time. She and husband William are in Dalry in 1911 with a young daughter, William working as a locomotive fireman at the steelworks. Mary Ann McMurray nee Douglas died in 1963 age 77 at Neilston, Renfrewshire.

12 January

A bit behind as I’ve been busy doing other things. Here’s the 12th: a ggggg grandfather from Aberdeenshire who was born 258 years ago, a Green from Yorkshire who was born and appears to have done nothing else, a Strachan from Ayrshire who retired to the USA, and a Watt from Aberdeenshire who led a typical farm servant’s life.

12 January 1756
Baptism of my ggggg grandfather James Alexander at Bourtie, Alexander, son of William Alexander of Westerhouses and Ann Strachan (no relation to my Ayrshire Strachan ancestors). His father was an elder of the Bourtie kirk session and died in 1763, and after that widow Ann ran the farm. William’s testament (probate for his will) shows he held substantial farm tenancies but had also borrowed heavily, so Ann was left with very little as the assets had to be sold to pay debts. James was their youngest child and only 7 years old when his father died, so he probably went off as a farm servant when in his early teens. He married Helen Burgess although no marriage record has survived, and their 5 children were baptised at Bourtie, James recorded as living in Kinguidy (aka King-goodie). There was also a John Alexander of Kinguidy having children baptised at the same time, who may have been his uncle. The memoirs of Dr William Alexander say that James’ elder brother William initially farmed Westerhouses with his mother, after the death of his father, but they fell out and when William left, younger brother James took his place – given the baptism records of James’s children this would have been after 1785. There is a memorial inscription at Bourtie for “James Alexander late farmer in Westerhouses he died June 30th 1794 aged 38 years” and includes his brother William and his sister Elizabeth, wife of John Slorach.

12 January 1840

Baptism of William Green at St Mary’s Barnsley, Yorkshire, son of my gggg uncle linen bleacher Joseph Green and Mary White. He is with his parent in the 1841 census but not the 1851 and no other reference to him has been found, so he may have died although no death record can be found either.

12 January 1854
Birth of Ann Miller Strachan at Crosshouse, Kilmaurs, Ayrshire, daughter of coal miner Samuel Strachan and Janet Mitchell and granddaughter of my gggg uncle Samuel Strachan and Ann Miller. She is with her parents at Stevenston in 1861 and 1871, and in the latter census is a bonnet knitter. In 1876, at Stevenston, she married a relation, John Strachan, who was the son of John Francis Strachan and Jane Johnston Loudon. In 1881 John is a railway stoker and he and Ann are living in New Ardrossan with their first child. John Strachan went to the USA and was in Braidwood, Illinois, with some of his Strachan relatives, but returned to Scotland. Ann and John are in Stevenston in 1891: John is a crane driver and they have 4 children. By 1901 they are back in New Ardossan, John working as a railway carriage inspector, and they have 5 children and a boarder with them. Then in their late 60s, in 1923, they went to the USA along with one of their unmarried daughters to join their son Robert, who lived in Cicero, Illinois. Ann crops up on a border crossing permit in 1925 when she went to Canada to visit her daughter-in-law in Windsor. Her husband John died in Cicero in 1926 and Ann died in 1928 age 73 at Berwyn, Illinois.

12 January 1855
Birth of my ggg uncle Francis Knox Watt at Tarves, son of James Watt and Margaret Symon. In 1864 he is with his parents in Tarves and in 1871 is at Bearfold, Ellon working as a farm servant. In 1876 he married Ann Annand at Cruden, and they are a Wester Aldie, Cruden in 1881 with 2 sons both born in Cruden. 1891 sees them at Old Mill of Shivas, Tarves which was Francis’s parents’ home: his father is in the Poorhouse and his mother is in Edinburgh with some of Francis’s siblings. Given the birth places of Francis’s children, he had been moving from farm to farm as a farm servant, as his children were born in Cruden, Peterhead, St Fergus and then Tarves. By 1901 Francis and his wife have returned to Cruden and are at Burnside of Braco, have had more children born at Crimond, Peterhead and Cruden, and Francis is now working as a road labourer. He died in 1939 age 84 at Hill of Braigie, Echt.

11 January

Today there’s an Ayrshire Logan who seems to have died young, a Strachan from Ayrshire who died of fever, possibly typhus, and a McWilliam from Aberdeenshire who migrated to the US with her family and lived in Iowa.

11 January 1787
Birth of my gggg aunt Sarah Logan at Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, daughter of James Logan and Sarah Weir. I suspect Sarah died young as I have not found a marriage or births of any children.

11 January 1810
My ggg uncle Peter Strachan was born at Greenend, near Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, son of John Strachan and Agnes Neilson: his baptism record has the surname written as Strang. By the end of 1811 his parents had moved to Muirkirk, Ayrshire and not long after went to Riccarton, and then to Dundonald where so many of the extended Strachan family lived and worked at Shewalton Colliery. In December 1832 Peter married Margaret Boyle at Shewalton, and they are there in 1841 with the 3 surviving children of the 4 they’d had. 2 more children were born, and then wife Margaret died in 1844. Peter Strachan died of fever in July 1846 at Halfway, Dundonald, which is close to Shewalton Colliery. There were several outbreaks of typhus at that time, so that may well have carried him off. After the deaths of both Peter and his wife, two of their children lived with Peter’s brother Henry.

11 January 1859
Birth of Mary McWilliam at New Pitsligo, Aberdeenshire, daughter of my half gggg uncle Nathaniel McWilliam and Isobel Murison (or Morrison). She is with her parents at New Pitsligo in 1861, her father an ag lab. Then her mother died and in 1863 her father remarried to Mary Yule. In April 1867 the family arrived in New York, and in the 1870 US Census are at Post Township, Iowa, father Nathaniel working as a farm labourer but he soon after became a farmer in his own right. In 1879 Mary married Samuel Edson Wickham, a cooper and then a labourer. They are in the US census at Clermont, Iowa and had 7 daughters. Mary Wickham nee McWilliam died in 1934 age 76 and was buried in Clermont.