Up to date replying to messages

I think I’m up to date with replying to all the messages people have so kindly left on my blog. However, I’m aware that the box you have to tick to receive an email alert to my reply is not the easiest to notice. So if anyone has posted a message and has been left wondering whether I’ve replied or not, add a comment to this post and I’ll get in touch.

Off to Scotland again

At the end of September I’ll be in Scotland again, staying near Lanark as I’m having a horse riding week up there. Hopefully, the late afternoons and early evenings will be light enough for me to visit some nearby ancestral landmarks, though I won’t have time to visit any record archives. But it will be lovely to be in what is such an important part of the world for me.

Tonight there’s been the second televised debate on the Scottish Independence question. The referendum is on 18 September, so will have taken place before I’m go to Scotland. Let Scotland decide!

Blog site statistics

I know I haven’t been posting much here lately, for which I have to blame the gorgeous summer we’ve had here in the UK. But I keep an eye on the site stats and am very pleased that my blog gets about 20 visitors every day, with most visitors visiting more than just the page they landed on.

The most frequently read post is the article I wrote “Farm Servant Life in North-East Aberdeenshire” and it’s great to know so many people find it interesting, and helpful in understanding how their ancestors lived.

So my next task for the blog is to write more articles. When I have time, that is, and when the weather finally breaks!

Interesting ancestor – Alexander Marshall, evangelist

It’s always fascinating when you come across someone on your family tree who did something different – which in my case means not being a coal miner or a farm servant. So I was thrilled to come across evangelist Alexander Marshall when doing a recent bit of research into my Marshall from Ayrshire ancestors.
Alexander Marshall b. 1846

Alexander was a famous member of the Plymouth Brethren, which is a coincidence for me as the grammar school I went to in what was then North Yorkshire had a a headmistress who was a Plymouth Brethren. They are an evangelist Christian sect who believe that the bible should be the authority for all Christian religious practice.

My great great grandmother Sarah Marshall, who married John McAnarney or McInerney in 1842, was the daughter of Robert Marshall, a saddler of Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, and his wife Agnes Logan. Robert and Agnes had 11 children, and their eldest surviving son was Alexander born in 1794, who also was a saddler and who married Christina Wallace. They had several children, the eldest being John Wallace Marshall born in Galston. John Wallace Marshall became a tailor and clothier and settled in Stranraer in Wigtownshire, where he ran what sounds like a successful tailoring and clothing business.

John’s eldest son, born in Stranraer in 1846, was Alexander Marshall. There are a couple of online articles which give full details of his life and work. He started working as a solicitor’s clerk, then moved to Glasgow where he became a member of the Plymouth Brethren Church and a popular preacher. In 1879 he went to Canada, and became a full-time preacher, and there he married Amy Florence Tate and settled in Toronto, though there is no evidence of any children. He travelled extensively as his preaching tours were popular, and before retiring in Scotland he travelled in Canada, the United States, Central America, the West Indies, Australia, New Zealand and even Russia. He retired to the parish of Monkton & Prestwick, in Ayrshire, where he died in 1928.

More about Alexander Marshall can be found at:

Click to access marshall_alexander_bio.pdf

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.

Doesn’t time fly?

Where have the last two months gone? I’ve been busy with lots of things, none of which have had anything to do with family history. Workmen have been installing my new kitchen, which inspired me to do more cooking, and I’ve been very busy with voluntary work at the nearby horse and pony rescue centre. Riding has been more frequent, given the better weather, and Bramham Horse Trails, held nearby, was a good reason to have several days doing nothing but watch horses and riders. But two months without touching my blog is far too long and I must get back into it.

To those of you who have posted messages recently: yes, I do get them, as a notification is sent to my email address. Which reminds me – if you would prefer to have a private email conversation rather than one on the blog, just make a post to that effect and I’ll get in touch. When you make a post I have access to your email address though it isn’t made public.

Another job I’ve done very recently is to sort out the shelves that contain my family history files, books, etc. The result is a pile of files and notes on my dining table which I must sort out! If I come across anything interesting I will, of course, post about it here.

Hope all is well with you, followers of this blog. Everything is fine here and we are even, in between the rainy spells, getting some lovely summer weather.

A month later …

So I take a month off from the blog and what happens? I come down with a really horrible cold virus and spend much of the time feeling yukky. Am now fully recovered, though, and have plans for some articles to add to the blog.

Little to report apart from managing to get a bit sunburnt while lying on the lawn one day last week. Who’d have thought you’d need sun cream in Yorkshire in April! The weather’s now back to normal, though, as it’s raining.

Hope all your family history research – if you’re doing any – has gone well.

365 days of “one this day” completed

I started my “on this day” blog posts on 23 March last year, so the post for 22 March this year was the last one. I’ve very much enjoyed doing them, as it showed me where I had gaps in my research and has meant a lot of people have been able to find the blog when researching for their ancestors online.

At the moment I’m having a bit of a rest from blogging while I have a think about what to work on next. Ideas for more articles are running around in my head, and there are some surname branches I haven’t properly written up yet.

So bear with me while I take a short break: be back soon!