5 February

My Fraser great grandfather today, from Hatton in Aberdeenshire. Also a Savile from Royston in Yorkshire who died young, and an Adam from Stevenston who migrated to Boston, lost all her sons due to them dying within days of being born, lost her husband when she was in her early 40s and then died herself in her 50s.

5 February 1728
Birth of my ggggggg aunt Jane Savile at Royston who was baptised at Royston on 16 February, daughter of schoolmaster Robert Savile and Martha Senior. Jane died in January 1732 at almost 4 years of age.

5 February 1829
Birth or baptism of Elizabeth Adam at Stevenston, daughter of my gg aunt Margaret Haddow and Francis Adam. She is one of the 8 in the household of Francis Adam at Townhead, Stevenston in 1836, but is not with her parents in the 1841 census – there is, though, an Elizabeth Adam age 12 in New Street, Stevenston with a Margaret Adam age 68. Elizabeth is with her parents in 1851, though, at Townhead Street, and is a hand sewer of muslin. In January 1856 she married coal miner John Godfrey at Stevenston, and they had 2 children baptised in Stevenston in 1857 and 1859. They then migrated to the USA and went to Boston: they are in the USA records asa having children born and buried in the 1860s. All their sons died at a few days old but one daughter born in the 1860s survived. The family is in 1870 census in South Boston, John Godfrey a labourer, Betsey (as Elizabeth is called) age 37 keeping house, 3 daughters at school and a son age 1 month. The son died a few days later. Elizabeth’s husband then died in 1871. The 1881 census has Eliza Godfrey age 48 at Atlanta Street, South Boston with her 3 daughters, all now working. In 1883 two of her daughters were married, and then Elizabeth died in 1885, at the age of 55, of peritonitis.

5 February 1865
Birth of my great grandfather William Fraser at Oldtown of Aquharney, Cruden, son of Alexander Fraser and Mary Ann Logan. William was the eldest child of his father, who was a farm servant, and had a sister born when he was 2. But in August 1867 – when William was still 2 years old – his mother died of tuberculosis. As his mother died at Mosside Croft, the home of William’s Fraser grandparents, it’s likely that William and his sister lived there immediately after the death of their mother while their father worked on nearby farms. In 1868, however, Alexander Fraser married Margaret Booth at Longside and William acquired a stepmother. In 1871 he is at Fortrie, Ellon with father Alexander, stepmother Margaret, his sister, Margaret’s Booth illegitimate son, 2 new half sisters, and a visitor and her daughter. In 1877 his grandfather died and his father took over the croft of Mosside near Hatton. By 1881 William has become a farm servant and is at Tuechan, Cruden. He married Helen Hay in 1889, at Mosside: he was a farm servant at Mains of Elrick and she was a domestic servant at a nearby inn. They are in the 1891 census at Mains of Elrick, Savoch, with a baby daughter. Their next 2 children were born at Aikenshill, Foveran and the next at Waterton, Ellon. In the 1901 census the family is as Mill of Brogan, Slains where William is the head cattleman. A daughter was born in 1901, and then in 1905 William’s wife Helen Hay died of chronic enteritis. With 5 young children, William no doubt took them to Mosside Croft initially, but in the 1905 Valuation Roll William Fraser is paying £5 10s a year rent as the tenant occupier of a house in Hatton which is owned by farmer George Chrystall. By then Helen Ann Morgan has become his housekeeper: she already had an illegitimate daughter and gave birth to a illegitimate child named William in 1906. William Fraser married Helen Ann Morgan in 1907 at Hatton, and they went on the have 4 more children. In 1911 the family is at Hatton Lodge, William a farm cattleman, and the eldest two children of Helen Hay are now working. When his father died, William took over the lease of Mosside croft and moved there in 1911. In the 1915 Valuation Roll he is listed as the tenant of a croft and house at Hardslacks on the Estate of Yonderton paying £6 a year rent. During the 1920s and early 1930s my mother, daughter of William’s son James with first wife Helen Hay, used to stay at Mosside during the summer school holidays and remembered her grandfather and step grandmother well. Helen Ann Morgan died in 1938. William Fraser is listed as the tenant and occupier of Mosside croft in the Valuation Rolls of 1935/36 and 1940/41, but in 1945/46 the tenant has become Allan Thomson. In 1944 Allan Thomson had married Helen Rennie, who was the granddaughter of Helen Ann Morgan and who had been brought up at Mosside as her mother had died. William Fraser died in 1948 and the memorial inscription that was in Cruden kirkyard gave his date of death as 23 June 1848. However, despite a very thorough search I cannot find a death certificate for him.

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