Monthly Archives: February 2014

17 February

A popular day today: a Haigh from Yorkshire who became a banksman at the coal mine at Temple Newsam; a Strachan from Ayrshire who died of typhoid fever; a Simpson from Yorkshire who became a coal miner at Monk Bretton; and a Watt descendent from Aberdeenshire who migrated to USA and lived in Vinalhaven.

17 February 1799
Baptism of my ggggg uncle Benjamin Haigh at Royston, Yorkshire, son of Joseph Haigh and Ann Savile. In 1817 he married Sarah Ward at Whitkirk, which is now considered a suburb of Leeds. In 1841 Benjamin is an ag lab at Newsam Green and he and Sarah have 6 children. They were to remain at Newsam Green for the rest of their lives. By 1851 Benjamin is a colliery labourer and he and Sarah have 8 children, a son in law, a granddaughter and a visitor with them. In 1861 Benjamin’s occupation is banksman, which was the person who made sure people and coal were removed safely from the cages at the head of the shaft and that the cages were lowered and raised safely. By 1861 Benjamin and Sarah had 2 children, a grandchild and a lodger with them, and in 1871 just had a granddaughter living with them. By 1881 Benjamin had retired and he and Sarah has a daughter, son in law and their 8 children living with them. Benjamin died in 1885 at Newsam Green and was buried at Whitkirk: his age is given as 90 but he was actually 85.

17 February 1856
Birth of Joseph Howat Strachan at Dreghorn, Ayrshire, son of coal miner Andrew Strachan and Jean Walker and grandson of my gggg uncle Robert Strachan and Jean Kelly. In 1861 he’s with his parents and siblings at Annick Bank, Dreghorn, and then his father died in 1864. In 1871 Joseph, age 14 and a coal miner, is in Dreghorn with his mother and two brothers. There is a Poor Relief application in January 1877 at Dreghorn for coal miner Joseph Strachan, unmarried, who was wholly disabled with typhus fever. Nor surprisingly, he died shortly afterwards.

17 February 1861
Baptism of Charles Simpson at Royston, Yorkshire, illegitimate son of my ggg aunt Jane Simpson and grandson of linen weaver George Simpson and Charlotte Haigh. He is with his grandparents, mother and aunts and uncles in Royston in 1861. In 1862 his mother married coal miner John Murgatroyd White of Carlton, and in 1871 Charles is with his mother, stepfather and half siblings at New Laith Lane, Carlton. The family is still in Carlton in 1881 and Charles has become a coal miner. He married Elizabeth Howarth in 1885 and they settled in Smithies, Monk Bretton where Charles worked as a coal miner and where they raised a large family.

17 February 1873
Birth of Mary Ann Duguid at Tarves, daughter of my ggg aunt Mary Ann Watt and George Duguid. Her father was a farm servant but shortly after Mary Ann’s birth the family moved to Edinburgh where George Duguid worked as a railway shunter. He died in Edinburgh in 1877. In 1881 Mary Ann is with her aunt and uncle William and Elizabeth Duguid at Fyvie, her siblings are with various aunts, uncles and grandparents, and her other is working as a domestic nurse at Meldrum House. In 1891 Mary Ann is a domestic servant at Blackford Farm, Auchterless, and she then gave birth to an illegitimate daughter later in 1891. Meanwhile, her mother had migrated to USA and had married in New York to William Rae. In 1894 Mary Ann and her 2 year old daughter sailed to Boston, USA and the passenger lists says they were going to her mother Mrs Rae of Parks Island. in 1891 Mary Ann Duguid married James Ross, a granite cutter, at Vinalhaven, Maine. They are in the 1900 census at Vinalhaven and have had a son. In 1910 they are still in Vinalhaven with 3 children plus Lizzie Duguid, now called Lizzie Ross, who is working at the net factory. The family are at Summer Street, Vinalhaven in 1920, with all 4 of Mary Ann’s children still at home, and are there in 1930 with 3 children still at home. Vinalhaven was home to several granite quarries and was also famous for the horse nets made there.

15 and 16 February

On the 15th and 16th: a woman who died too young, a man who called his son Alma (strange choice of name), a farmer from Aberdeenshire, and a Haggerty who ended up in Glasgow.

16 February 1825
Birth of Christian Morgan at Longside, daughter of my ggggg aunt Isobel Sangster and Peter Morgan. In the 1841 census she is a female servant working for a farmer and his wife at Cadgerhill of Buthlaw, Longside, and is a servant on a farm in Ellon in 1851. She married widower and farmer Alexander Rait at Logie Buchan in 1859, and is with him and one of his sons on the farm a Logie Buchan in 1861, with 2 servants. Christian Rait nee Morgan died in 1866 at the age of 40.

15 February 1830
Birth of Joe Henry Grist at Thurlstone, Yorkshire, son of my gggg uncle schoolmaster William Grist and Emma Wood and who was baptised at Penistone in May 1830. By 1841 his family are at Smithley, near Wombwell, and his father is a turner, and in 1851 they are at Blacker Hill, Worsbrough where his father is a grocer and flour dealer and Joe is age 21 and a smith. In 1855 he married Ellen Watson and they are at Blacker Hill in 1861 living two doors away from Joe’s parents: Joe is a blacksmith and they have 2 sons. In about 1862 they moved to Deepcar, over on the edge of the Penninse, where Joe has a blacksmith’s shop: Joe, Ellen and their children are there in 1871, then Joe’s wife Ellen died in 1880. Joe is at the same address in 1881 and 2 of his sons are also blacksmiths. Joe Henry Grist died at Deepcar in 1890 at age 59. Joe had a son who was named, unusually, Alma.

16 February 1836
Birth of William Cowie at Longside, Aberdeenshire, illegtimate son of my half gggg aunt Barbara McWilliam and William Cowie. In 1837 his mother married Forbes Milne, and in 1841 William is with his mother at Newseat, Peterhead and his stepfather is working as a farm servant at North Essie in Banffshire. In 1851 he is at Ellon with his mother and stepfather, and doesn’t appear to have had any half siblings. William Cowie married Elizabeth Cheyne in Ellon in October 1856, and they are at Rose Cottage, Ythan Terrace, Ellon in 1861 with 2 children and 2 boarders: William is working as a railway labourer. He was a farm servant in 1871, living in Littlemill Cottar House in Ellon, and by then he and Elizabeth had 6 children, and was an ag lab in 1881 with 2 more children anbd a grandson. William Cowie then took on the lease if Ballcraig Farm at Keithall and there as a farmer in 1901 with his wife, a son, a grandson and a female servant.

16 February 1840
Birth of Helen Haggerty at Dundonald, daughter of my ggg uncle coal miner John Haggerty and Mary Coghill. In 1841 she is with her parents at Fullerton Street, Dundonald (now part of Irvine), and then her father died in about 1849. By 1851 she is in Glasgow with her mother and siblings, living with her mother’s brother Daniel, a tailor. In 1861 she is a domestic servant in Glasgow working for an eating house keeper and his family. Helen married Andrew Cassidy in 1868 in Glasgow: he was a labourer from Ireland. They are in Hebburn, near Jarrow, England in 1871 with a baby daughter, and had another 3 children born there before returning to Glasgow in about 1879. By 1881 they had 5 children, were living in Guildry Court, Glasgow. They were in St Andrews Street, Glasgow in 1891 and their older children were working, the boys as apprentice tinsmiths and the girls as a book folder and a publisher’s message girl. In 1901 they in Stirling Street, Glasgow living with their married daughter Margaret and her family, and Andrew Cassidy is working as a boiler cutter.

14 February

An Aberdeenshire female who married a police constable and then disappears from the records, and my Yorkshire great aunt Charlotte who died in early childhood.

14 February 1837
Baptism of Ann Cowie Davidson at Longside, Aberdeenshire, daughter of my gggg aunt Margaret Hutcheon and farm servant Charles Davidson. She is with her family at St Fergus, Banffshire in 1841, and at Rora, Longside in 1851 when she was 14 and employed at home. She marriage James Smith at Longside in August 1858 and they had a child born in Longside then a child in Fyvie. In 1861 she is in Fyvie with her husband and 2 children: her husband is a police constable and the family’s address is the Police Station. The youngest child died in 1861, and Ann and her husband disappear from the records, although their daughter is with her maternal grandparents in 1871.

14 February 1901
Birth of my great aunt Charlotte Green at Hope Grove, Armley, Yorkshire, daughter of Joseph Green and Charlotte Senior. Her parents moved to Kirkstall not long after her birth, and she was baptised in 1904 at St Stephen’s, Kirkstall. Charlotte died at age 3 in January 1905 and was buried at St Stephen’s. Her father was a carpenter, and my mother said the family story was he made Charlotte’s coffin in the cellar and cried as he worked on it.

13 February

An early Strachan about whom nothing is known, a few who died very young, and a McInanirney shoemaker (or whatever that name was) who seems to have died as a result of alcoholism.

13 February 1793
Birth and baptism of my gggg uncle Thomas Strachan at Gorbals, Lanarkshire, son of Thomas Strachan and Susannah Alexander. Nothing else found, unfortunately. There is a marriage of Thomas Strachan and Elizabeth Nisbet in Riccarton in 1816 but I’ve attributed that to Thomas son of John Strachan and Agnes Neilson (and therefore nephew of the Thomas born in 1793).

13 February 1803
Baptism of my gggg uncle John Simpson at Royston, Yorkshire, son of John Simpson and Mary Stainton. He died at age 1 and was buried in June 1804 at Royston, his burial record saying he died of a sore throat.

13 February 1809
Birth of William Strachan at Riccarton, Ayrshire, son of my gggg uncle Peter Strachan and Mary Monroe. I can’t find anything else for him – trees on Ancestry have him married to Marion Donald but they are wrong as that was a different William Strachan.

13 February 1899 (born about 1845)
My gg uncle William McInairney was born in about 1845 at Muirkirk, son of John Mcinairney and Sarah Marshall. His father died not long after William was born, and the 1851 census has the family at Low Church Lane, Kilmarnock. In 1861 they are at 19 Fore Street, Kilmarnock and 16 year old William is a boot closer. He then disappears as I can’t find him in the 1871, 1881 or 1891 census – bit he turns up in 1899 when he died at Kyle Union Poorhouse age 50. His death certificate says he was a shoemaker, single, lived in Muirkirk and died of multiple neuritis. This could have been due to alcoholism.

13 February 1874
Baptism of my gg aunt Mary Green at St Mary’s Barnsley, Yorkshire, daughter of Joseph Green and Mary Oxley. She died later the same year.

10, 11 and 12 February

10th February is my ggg grandfather Robert Marshall, a saddler of Kilmarnock. There was no-one on the 11th. On the 12th there were two Lamb cousin in Aberdeenshire, one of whom had illegitimate children and never married, and the other who went to England and became a public parks superintendent. Plus a Fraser who migrated to California and a McCrae who lived, worked and died in Kilmarnock.

10 February 1761
Baptism of my ggg grandfather Robert Marshall in Kilmarnock: at least think it’s the right Robert Marshall. The one baptised in 1761 was the son of Alexander Marshall, a brazier of Kilmarnock, and Agnes Gibson. A brazier was someone who made or repaired things made from brass. Evidence to support this being the correct Robert is that “my” Robert married Agnes Logan on 10 February 1792 in Kilmarnock, and they called their eldest son Alexander. Robert Marshall and Agnes had 11 children baptised in Kilmarnock, and the baptism entries give his occupation as saddler. Robert died before 1841, but his widow died in 1865 age 93, and her death certificate says she was the widow of Robert Marshall saddler.

12 February 1843
Baptism of Elizabeth Lamb at Longside, Aberdeenshire, daughter of my gggg aunt Elizabeth Hutcheon and John Lamb. Elizabeth was born illegitimate but her parents married in 1846, then her mother died in 1847. In 1851 Elizabeth is with her mother’s sister Margaret, who had married Charles Davidson, and her father is a farm overseer at a nearby farm. Elizabeth had an illegitimate daughter in 1863, the father not named. In 1871 Elizabeth is at Rora, Longside with her aunt Margaret, and her 7 year old daughter is in Longside with Elizabeth’s father and his second wife. Later in 1871 Elizabeth had an illegitimate son, again father not named. In 1881 Elizabeth’s 2 children are both at Rora with Elizabeth’s aunt Margaret while Elizabeth is working as a domestic servant in Peterhead.

12 February 1843
Baptism of Robert Lamb at Longside, Aberdeenshire, son of my gggg aunt Mary Hutcheon and Robert Lamb (and cousin of Elizabeth Lamb baptised on the same day) – his census entries all say he was born in Peterhead, and his parents were in Newseat, Peterhead in 1841. In 1851 he is with his family at Cuminstown, Monquhitter where his father was working as an ag lab. By 1861 his family had moved up to Rafford in Moray, and Robert is close by at Edinkilie, Moray working as an apprentice gardener. By 1871 he had moved to England and is at Waldron, Sussex working as a domestic gardener. The he married Ruth Stone in 1879 at Cheltenham, and in 1881 they are in Stockport, Cheshire with a baby daughter, Robert working as a gardener. In 1891 he is the head gardener working and living at Phillip’s Park near Prestwich, with his wife and daughter. By 1901 Robert is a superintendent of public parks, and in 1911 is still a superintendent of pubic parks, living at The Cottage, Heaton Park. He died there in 1914, after his wife had died, and probate of his will went to his daughter Mildred, who had married James Lamb, who may have been a relative.

12 February 1862
Birth of Samuel Fraser at Old Deer, son of my ggg uncle shoemaker William Fraser and Barbara Cordiner and grandson of William Fraser and Christian Hutcheon. In 1871 he’s with his parents and siblings at Kinknockie, old Deer, and in 1881 is a farm servant at Mains of Tarty, Logie Buchan. He migrated to USA not long afterwards, though I haven’t found him on a passenger list, and went to California. In 1894 he married Helen Andrews, who also had migrated from Scotland, and they are in the 1900 USA census in San Francisco with 2 children, Samuel working as a stationery engine fireman. He then seems to have acquired some land further up the coast, as in the 1910, 1920 and 1930 census he’s a farmer at Big River, Mendocino. Samuel and Helen had 3 children, and Samuel was buried at Little River, Mendocino in 1939.

12 February 1870
Birth of my great uncle Matthew McIncarne McCrae in Kilmarnock, son of John McCrae and Mary Ann Mcinairney. He is with his parents in Kilmarnock in 1871, 1881 and 1891, and became a coal miner like his father and brothers. In January 1895 he married mill worker Annie McCubbin at The Manse, Kilmarnock, and one of the witnesses was Matthew’s sister Helen, my grandmother, who signed herself as Nelly McCrae. |n 1901 Matthew, Annie and 2 children are at 41 High Street, Kilmarnock, a tenement building where Matthew’s brother William and family also lived. In 1911 Matthew and Annie were at 19 Boyd Street, Kilmarnock in a house with their 6 children and Annie’s sister. The Valuation Roll of 1915 shows Matt McCrae tenant of 15 Boyd Street, which was owned by Mars Catherine Bailey of Ayr. Matthew’s son John died in Russia in WW1. Matthew McCrae died in 1941 age 70, in Kilmarnock.

7, 8 and 9 February

Three days worth today, including an illegitimate Fraser descendent from Aberdeenshire who, unusually, was brought up by her paternal grandparents. Plus a Strachan descendent from Ayrshire who became a tea merchant in Glasgow, two Strachans who lived in Kilmaurs, and
an Aberdeen cousin of my mother’s.

9 February 1845
Baptism of Wilhelmina Bain at Cruden, illegitimate daughter of Isabella Fraser and Alexander Bain. Her baptism record says Alexander Bain was of Yonderton and Isabella was of Hardslacks: this will have been Mosside croft near Hatton, the home of her parents, and most likely Alexander was a farm servant. The witnesses to the baptism of Wilhelmina were Hector Bain and Catherine Burnett, who were Alexander Bain’s parents. In 1851 Wilhelmina is with Hector and Catherine McBain at Moss of Boghead, Fraserburgh, a farm of 12 acres. It’s unusual for an illegitimate child to be brought up by her paternal grandparents but that’s what seems to have happened, as Wilhelmina is with them still in 1861, a 14 year old dairymaid, and there’s no evidence she had any contact with her mother Isabella Fraser or her maternal grandparents William Fraser and Christian Hutcheon. In 1871 Wilhelmina is a servant on a very large farm at Newmill, Rathen, then she gave birth to an illegimate son in 1873 and an illegitimate daughter in 1879. In 1881 she is in Fraserburgh with her 2 children, earning a living as a domestic servant, and in 1891 is on her own in Fraserburgh, a washerwoman. In 1901 she is listed as a charwoman and has a 6 year old girl with her as a boarder.

8 February 1860
Birth of Hugh Findlay at Hurlford, Ayrshire son of coal miner James Findlay and Mary Monroe Findlay, grandson of David Findlay and Susanna Strachan, and great grandson of my gggg uncle Peter Strachan and Mary Monroe. He is with his parents at Hurlford at Cadger’s Row in 1861 and Findlay’s Land in 1871. By 1881, however, he is a lodger in Govan, Glasgow working as a grocer’s assistant. He married Helen in about 1888 and is at Crown Street, Govan in 1891 with his wife, a young child and a visitor, and his occupation is given as tea merchant. The family are at Albert Road, Cathcart in 1901, Hugh still a tea merchant with 2 daughters and a domestic servant. Hugh Findlay died in 1921 at Springburn, Glasgow at age 62.

7 February 1869
Birth of Susan McGill Strachan at Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, daughter of coal miner John Strachan and Christina Houston McGill and granddaughter of my ggg uncle Peter Strachan and Margaret Boyle. She is with her parents in Kilmarnock in 1871 and Kilmaurs in 1881, then she married coal miner Andrew Wilson in 1890 at Parker’s Land, Crosshouse near Kilmaurs, which was probably her parents home. In 1891 Susan and Andrew are at McChristie’s Land, Kilmaurs with a baby son and are at Carmel Cottage, Kilmaurs in 1901 with 7 children.

8 February 1900 (born about 1870)
Agnes Strachan was born in about 1870 at Dreghorn, daughter of James Strachan and Mary Lindsay, granddaughter of Andrew Strachan and Elizabeth Howat and great granddaughter of gggg uncle Robert Strachan and Jean Kelly. She is with her parents and siblings at Kyleshill, Stevenston in 1871 and Plann Row, Kilmaurs in 1881. In January 1887 she gave birth to an illegitimate son at Hemphill Row, Kilmaurs (her parents’ home) and gave her occupation as farm servant, and in 1888 she married carter George McFarlane at Kilmaurs. In 1891 she and George are at Hemphill Row with a son and two boarders: her parents are also at Hemphill Row and Agnes’ illegitimate son is with them in both 1891 and 1901 and used the surname Strachan, so he was not the son of George McFarlane. Agnes McFarlane nee Strachan died on 8 February 1900 of syncope.

7 February 1922
My mother’s cousin William (Bill) Dow was born in Aberdeen, son of my great aunt Barbara Fraser and William Dow. Bill married and had twins, lived in Aberdeen all his life, and died in 1970 at only 47.

6 February

Today is a Marshall from Ayrshire who I can’t trace beyond birth, a Strachan from Ayrshire who died in early childhood, and a Strachan from Ayrshire who married a grocer and moved to Glasgow.

6 February 1757
Birth or baptism of my gggg uncle Alexander Marshall at Kilmaurs, Ayrshire, son of Alexander Marshall and Agnes Gibson. Unfortunately I cannot find anything in that records that I can say is definitely him.

6 February 1821
Birth of Agnes Strachan at Riccarton, Ayrshire, daughter of my ggg uncle Thomas Strachan and Elizabeth Nisbet. Agnes died in November 1822 at Riccarton.

6 February 1858
Birth of Mary Muir Strachan at Kilmaurs, Ayrshire, daughter of coal miner John Strachan and Elizabeth Gilmour and granddaughter of my gggg uncle Samuel Strachan and Ann Miller. She is with her family at Crawford Hill Cottages, Crosshouse, Kilmaurs in 1861, 1871 and 1881, and earned her living as a dressmaker. In April 1881 she married James Boyd, a commercial traveller, and they are in Hutcheson Square, Govan, Glasgow in 1891 and 1901. They had 3 children and James Boyd was a grocer.

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.

4 February

Quite a few on the 4th. In Aberdeenshire there’s a ggggg grandmother; two brothers who had the same birthday, one who died in infancy and the other who became a police inspector in London; and a half gg aunt who married twice, went to Canada, but returned to Aberdeen. In Ayrshire, some gggg grandparents had a nameless baby boy baptised, there were two children who died in infancy, and there’s someone I can trace till his 20s then he disappears. Plus in Yorkshire there’s a brick maker who went to Lancashire, split up with his wife, and returned to Barnsley.

4 February 1751
Birth or baptism of my ggggg grandmother Helen Davidson at Rayne, daughter of Patrick Davidson and Jean Lamb. She married John Watt at Rayne in December 1775 and they had a large family of 11 children all baptised at Bourtie: their eldest was born at Mill of Collyhill, then they had children born at Lawelside, Blockhouse, Nether Mains and Mains of Thornton, which points to John Watt being a farm servant but always within the Bourtie parish.

4 February 1771
My gggg grandparents James Wilson and Agnes Smith had a son baptised at Stevenston, but he was not named and is simply listed as male Wilson in the OPR. I assume from this that he was not expected to live, and most probably died shortly after. If he didn’t, then not knowing his first name makes him impossible to research.

4 February 1828
Baptism of my ggg uncle William Oxley at Bolton upon Dearne, Yorkshire, son of Thomas Oxley and Sarah Grist. He’s in Wortley Street, Barnsley with his parents and siblings in 1841, his father an ag lab. William married Jane Galloway at Silkstone Parish Church in July 1850 and is described as a brick maker of Barnsley, son of Thomas Oxley tallow chandler. In the 1851 census William and his wife are in Park Row, Barnsley lodging with a widower who was a weaver, and Jane Oxley is also a weaver (her marriage certificate says she was the daughter of a weaver). By 1861 they had moved to Croft Street, Ashton under Lyme, Lancashire but did not have children: William is still a brick maker and Jane is a linen weaver. In 1866 William was a witness at his younger brother’s marriage, which coincidentally took place at the same church in Leeds where I was baptised. William and Jane, however, appear to have separated as Jane can be found in the 1871 census as housekeeper to a railway labourer in Little Horton, Bradford but there is no sign of William. In 1881 William Oxley turns up in Wilson Street, Barnsley as an unemployed quarryman living with his brother James and a lodger. Meanwhile, his wife Jane is with the same man she was with in 1871 as his wife, though she didn’t marry him until 1885. There is a death in Barnsley for William Oxley in 1884.

4 February 1846
Birth of James Strachan in Kilmarnock, son of miner John Francis Strachan and Jean Johnstone Loudon and grandson of my ggg uncle Thomas Strachan and Elizabeth Nisbet. James had died by the time of the 1851 census, and by then his family were living in Dalry.

4 February 1857
Birth of James Kean or Cain at Kilwinning, son of my gg aunt Agnes Strachan and coal miner William Cain and grandson of Robert Strachan and Margaret Haggerty. He is with his family at Single Row, Kilwinning in 1861 and at 42 Byrehill Row, Kilwinning in 1871, by which time he was a coal miner, and in 1881 is a boarder next door at 40 Byrehill Row with the Ferguson family. After that I can find nothing for him so I’m not sure if he died, migrated or what.

4 February 1857
Birth of William Cowie at Ellon, son of William Cowie and Elizabeth Cheyne and grandson of my half gggg aunt Barbara McWilliam and William Cowie. As he’s not with his parents in the 1861 census and cannot be traced beyond that, it looks as if he died in infancy.

4 February 1859
Birth of Forbes Milne Cowie at Ellon, son of William Cowie and Elizabeth Cheyne and grandson of my half gggg aunt Barbara McWilliam and William Cowie (and brother of William above). Forbes is with his parents and siblings at Rose Cottage, Ythan Terrace, Ellon in 1861, his father a railway labourer, and at Littlemill Cottar’s House, Ellon on 1871, his father a farm servant. Forbes joined the police force as in 1881 he’s a 22 year old constable at the Police Station, Rochester Row, Westminster (London). Later in 1881 he was married at St George Hanover Square to Elspet Bothwell, who was from Scotland. By 1891 he’s become a police inspector, has 3 children born in Westminster and Fulham, and is living at Brice Road, Barnet, Middlesex. In 1901 he is still a police inspector with 6 children and is at Cleveland Gardens, Barnes, Surrey but has moved around as he has had children born in Kilburn, Enfield and New Malden. I’ve not been able to trace him beyond that, but when his son migrated to Canada in 1923 his nearest relative was Mrs. F M Cowie of Sunnyside Road, Aberdeen so perhaps Forbes eventually returned to Scotland.

4 February 1870
Birth of John King at Irvine, son of my gg aunt Jean (Jane) Strachan and James King and grandson of Robert Strachan and Margaret Haggerty. He died the same year, in infancy.

4 February 1871
Birth of my half gg aunt Christian or Christina Fraser at Blackhill of Fortie, Ellon, Aberdeenshire, daughter of Alexander Fraser and his second wife Margaret Booth. She is with her parents and siblings at Fortie in 1871 where he father was an ag lab. Her grandfather William Fraser died in 1877 and her father took over the croft of Mosside, near Hatton. Christian is at Mosside in 1881, age 10 and at school. In January 1889 she gave birth to an illegitimate daughter at Mosside, and in December 1890 she married farm servant James Reid of Boddom. They are at Mortimer’s House, Boddom in the 1891 census and Christina’s daughter is listed as Margaret Reid, though Margaret didn’t name James Reid as her father when she married and used the surname Fraser so I doubt he was her father. James Reid died in 1891 and in 1895, at Mosside, Christina married farm servant James Andrews of Mintlaw. In 1911 Christina is at Hutcheon Street, Aberdeen with 5 children and James Andrews, a green keeper at the golf course, is a boarder at Hayfarm, Cruden. James Andrew died at Newhills, Aberdeen in 1923, and later that year widow Christina and her youngest son sailed to Canada to join her daughter Christina and son-in-law Neil Wood in Hamilton, Ontario. She returned to Scotland, however, as she died age 61 in 1932 at Woodend Hospital, Aberdeen and the informant was her married daughter Jemima Athieson.

3 February

Just the three today: two who died very young, and my Aunt Aggie who isn’t a blood relative but is very deserving of a mention.

3 February 1797
Baptism of my gggg uncle Samuel Oxley at Barnsley, son of William Oxley and Elizabeth. Samuel died at age 1 and was buried at St Mary’s, Barnsley on 24 February 1798.

3 February 1865
Alexander Wark was born at Irvine, Ayrshire, son of Catherine Mure Strachan and baker Charles Wark and grandson of my ggg uncle Peter Strachan and Margaret Boyle. He died when young, before 1871, by which time his parents had moved to Glasgow.

3 February 1899
Birth of Agnes Morton White at Muiravonside, Stirlingshire, who married my uncle Joseph Strachan in 1918 at Dailly, Ayrshire. Her father was a coal miner and in the 1901 census young Agnes is with her parents and siblings in Stirlingshire where her father was a winding engine keeper at a colliery. I’m not sure when they moved to Dailly but it must have been when Aggie, as she was known, was still young, as I remember one of my aunts mentioning Aunt Aggie’s “lovely Dailly accent”. She married my Uncle Joe in 1918 and they migrated to Canada in the mid 1920s, along with their two children – their third was born in Canada. In 1954 they came back to the UK for a holiday and visited my family in Leeds. Aunt Aggie died in Toronto in 1991 at the grand age of 92.