Today there’s a Strachan descendent who was a colliery overman, which is the man who is in charge of managing a pit and keeping the necessary records, and his sister who died of typhus in her 20s. In Aberdeenshire there are twins born to my gg grandfather, one who died in infancy and the other who had 2 daughters who sadly died before their mother.
18 February 1836
Birth or baptism of James Orr at Kilmarnock, son of James Orr and Mary Strachan, and grandson of my gggg uncle Peter Strachan and Mary Monroe. He is with his parents and siblings in Thirdpart, Kilmarnock in 1841 and his father is a coal miner. His mother died in the early 1840s and his father married Jean Hill in 1844. In 1851 the family are at Portland Row, Hurlford and 15 year old James is a coal miner. In 1861 he’s still at Portland Row but is boarding with his aunt Agnes Strachan, widow of Robert Holland: his father is just a few doors away. In 1861 he married Mary McEvoy and moved to Kilbirnie Station, Dalry in about 1865, and are there in 1871 with 4 children. According to the birthplaces of their children they then moved to Galston and Loudon but were in Springhill Row, Dreghorn in 1881 with 3 children still at home plus a boarder. They are still at Springhill Row in 1891 with 2 adult children, wife Mary’s mother and a boarder. James Orr was a colliery overman in 1901 and had moved to Overton Row, Dreghorn, and had his wife and a granddaughter with him.
18 February 1866 (born about 1840)
Mary Orr, brother of James (above) was born at Kilmarnock in about 1840 though no baptism record can be found, daughter of James Orr and Mary Strachan, and grandson of my gggg uncle Peter Strachan and Mary Monroe. She is with his parents and siblings in Thirdpart, Kilmarnock in 1841 and her father is a coal miner. Her mother died in the early 1840s and his father married Jean Hill in 1844. In 1851 the family are at Portland Row, Hurlford and 10 year old Mary is at school. In 1861 she’s still at Portland Row with her family, and is a sewer, most probably of muslin embroidery. In 1860 she gave birth to illegitimate daughter but married the father Thomas Rea in 1862 and had 2 more children, though one died in infancy. Mary Rea nee Orr died on 18 February 1866 at Hurlford age 26, of typhus fever.
18 February 1869
Birth of my twin half gg aunts Jessie and Margaret Fraser at Dudwick, Ellon, daughter of farm servant Alexander Fraser and his second wife Margaret Booth. Margaret died at 5 days old but Jessie survived and is at Fortrie, Ellon with her parents and siblings in 1871. In 1881 she is at Mosside croft, Hatton, which her father had taken on after the death of Jessie’s grandfather William Fraser. She is at Mosside in 1891, unmarried and a domestic servant. In 1897 she had an illegitimate daughter named Catherine Milton, so the assumption is the father’s surname was Milton: the birth certificate says the baby was born in Ellon but gives Mosside as Jessie’s domicile. Jessie and her daughter are at Mosside in 1901, and in 1906 Jessie gave birth to an illegitimate daughter named Alexandrina Forsyth at Mosside, and the birth certificate gives the father as William Forsyth farm servant of Craighead, Old Deer. Jessie’s father died in February 1911 and in the 1911 census Jessie and her 2 children ate at Mosside with Jessie’s widowed mother and 2 children of Jessie’s sisters. At some point after that she moved to Aberdeen, lived at 43 Hutcheon Street and worked as a charwoman and became very religious. Her eldest daughter married in 1919, but tragedy struck as daughter Alexandrina died in 1924 and daughter Catherine died in 1927. Jessie Fraser died in December 1929 at Woodend Hospital of carcinoma, and the informant was her nephew John Michael.