Monthly Archives: July 2014

A coal miner’s will in 1896

John Strachan, a coal miner who lived in Crosshouse near Kilmarnock, was the only Strachan in Ayrshire to have written a will prior to 1900. What he detailed gives a lovely picture of the possessions of a coal miner at the turn of century, as he died in 1896. How I wish I knew if that Family Bible survived!

John would have lived in a two roomed miner’s cottage – the room and the kitchen are mentioned in the will- which seems to have been furnished with quite a few tables and chairs. He had earned enough to buy gold jewellery and a clock. He left his estate to a Trust, which was authorised to ensure his wife, if she survived him, had enough to support her, and then after her death to leave his children the following:

“(First) to give my daughter Mary the chest of drawers and looking glass in room and low chair in kitchen and one plain ring and brooch, (Second) to give to my son Robert my gold chain and the large chair and five small chairs and the small table in the kitchen, (Third) to give to my son John the eight day clock and large kitchen table and gold scarf pin belonging to me, (Fourth) to give to my daughter Elizabeth the dresser and large standard table in kitchen and the mirror in bedrooms and two stoned rings, and (Fifth) to give my son Alexander six chairs, small standard table, bed and blankets and mat in room and gold chain belonging to my wife and the Family Bible.”

John’s wife did survive him, by 5 years.

Updated McInerney details

I’ve just updated the known details of my McInerney ancestors, thanks to having recently found an entry for the marriage of Sarah Marshall and John McAnarney (as it is written) at Airdrie St Margaret’s RC Church. They were also married at the Bothwell Parish Church, so it looks as if John (from Ireland) was Catholic whereas Sarah (from Scotland) was Presbytarian. I very much suspected that this would be the case so thanks you Mary who has been researching what looks to be a related family and alerted me to the RC entries.

The first child of John and Sarah, my great grandmother Mary Ann McInerney, was baptised into the Church of England as she was born in Newcastle, England before her parents were married. Their second child Matthew was baptised into the Catholic faith at Hamilton St Mary’s, as he was born in Bellshill, Lanarkshire. John and Sarah were married three months after Matthew was born. My suspicion is that John McInerney had family in the Bellshill/Bothwell area, hence his doing the right thing according to his family’s religion while they were living close by.

It’s still a mystery what became of John and Sarah’s sons Matthew McInerney born 1842 and John McInerney born 1848. I can’t found any trace of either of them after the 1861 census, when they where in Kilmarnock.

A busy time of year

I must apologise to those blog followers who have posted a comment recently, or sent me an email, to which I haven’t yet got round to replying. It’s been very busy lately, but this week is looking a bit more back to normal so hopefully I’ll find the time to get up to date.

One thing that happened this past weekend was been the Grand Depart of the Tour de France, which took place here in Yorkshire. I do hope you caught some of it on television, and saw what a lovely part of the world I call home. The route went very close to where I live, and Harewood House – where the official start took place – is a pleasant walk away from my house.