Category Archives: Photos

I’m behind with replies – again.

Gosh, life has been busy lately with stuff that has nothing to do with family history. As a result, yet again there are a number of comments that have been left on my blog that I haven’t managed to get round to replying to. I promise to rectify this at the weekend.

Meanwhile, just to make you go aaaahhh, here’s a picture of the latest arrival at the horse and pony rescue centre where I do voluntary work. He’s a miniature Shetland and is only about 6 or 8 months old. Poor little chaps like this keep us very busy.

Rescued foal

A McCrae photo: Robert McCubbin McCrae born 1910

You all love photos so here’s one of a McCrae descendant.

Robert McCubbin McCrae b 1910

Robert McCubbin McCrae was born in Kilmarnock in 1910, and was the grandson of my great grandparents John McCrae and Mary Ann McInairney. His father was Matthew McIncarne McCrae (no two people spell what I suspect is McInerney the same way!) who married Anne McCubbin: Robert McCubbin McCrae was the second youngest out of their seven children. He is responsible there being a London branch of our McCrae family, as he served in the navy and married at Islingston in 1938. They lived in Putney, and Robert’s 1975 death was registered at West Ham.

A big thank you to his son Robert who still lives in London and has given me permission to put the photo on my blog. Robert went cycling in the Outer Hebrides this summer so is clearly both fit and brave. We share the frustrations of researching the McCrae and McInerney family trees.

A smile for Christmas

See how a Christmas tree is decorated at a horse, pony and donkey rescue centre here: We want this video to go viral all around the world, so please pass on the link!

Ancestor photos: the McMurties

Thanks to blog follower Nancy for sending me these wonderful photos of her direct ancestors, who link into my Strachan family tree. I love old photos, and I know lots of you blog followers do too.

Cecilia King, a daughter of my gg aunt Jean Strachan, was born in Ayrshire in 1875 and in 1894 married Thomas McMurtie. They migrated to Canada in 1898, but by 1910 had settle at Rock Springs, Wyoming.

McMurtie 1
This photo of Thomas and Cecilia McMurtie was probably taken just before WW1, going by the clothes and hairstyles, so was most likely taken in Rock Springs when Cecilia was about 40 years old.

McMurtie 2
And this photo is obviously taken quite a few years later, with the small inset photo taken a bit earlier.

This is the post from 26 June that featured Cecilia:

26 June 1875
Birth at Irvine of Cecilia Whylie King, daughter of James King and my gg aunt Jean Strachan, and granddaughter of my gg grandparents Robert Strachan and Margaret Haggerty. Her birth entry has her name as Zelia Whyllie King. In 1881 she is with her parents and siblings at 21 High Street, Irvine, her father working as a labourer in the brickfield. In 1891 she is a visitor at her older married sister’s house in High Riggend, New Monkland, Lanarkshire. Cecilia married Thomas McMurtrie at Dreghorn, Ayrshire and they migrated to Canada in the late 1890s. In the 1901 Canada census they are at Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, Thomas a carpenter, and with 2 children: Thomas may well have been a carpenter at the coal mines there. By 1910 they have moved to Rock Springs, Wyoming, where Thomas was a coal miner, and they have 5 children with them: one of them is a son with the unusual first name of Dorset. They are still in Rock Springs in 1920, Thomas a fireman at the colliery and with 4 children with them, the eldest now a blacksmith, and they’re in Rock Springs in 1930 with 3 children. Cecilia McMurtrie nee King died in 1938 at Rock Springs.

My great grandmother Charlotte Green nee Senior

My great grandmother Charlotte Senior was born in Wakefield, Yorkshire, daughter of Edward Senior and Mary Simpson. Not long after she was born her parents moved back to their home village of Royston, and in 1871 young Charlotte is with her parents at Royston, and is with them at Chapel Yard, Royston in 1881 age 12 and at school. Her father Edward was a carpenter.

In 1888 Charlotte married carpenter Joseph Green from Worsbrough – there were already connections between the Green and Senior families. In 1891 Joseph and Charlotte were living at James Street, Barnsley and had 2 young children, Willie and Edward (Teddy). They then moved to Mapplewell, where daughters Alice was born.

The Senior or Green Family circa 1893 001 (2)
This photo was taken in the summer of 1893. Charlotte is seated on the right, with her daughter Alice on her knee, and her son Willie is to her immediate left. On the left, standing up, is her husband Joseph Green holding their young son Edward.

My grandmother Clara were also born in Mappelwell, but the family were back in Barnsley in 1897 when daughter Ethel was born, and then they moved to Leeds in about 1899 where son Joseph and daughter Charlotte were born. In the 1901 census the family is at 3 Hope Grove, Armley but they moved to Kirkstall in 1904, where their remaining children were born: Charlotte had 11 children altogether, 9 surviving childhood.

They can be followed in the Electoral Roll, and once in Kirkstall lived firstly at Stack Cottages, then in a house at Kirkstall Forge, then at 7 Vicarage Avenue, and then at 48 Station Parade. They moved back to 7 Vicarage Avenue during the war, when husband Joseph did war service in the Ordnance Corps at Aldershot. After the war, with most of their children married, Joseph and Charlotte moved to the Cragsides, where Joseph Green died in 1926.

Joseph and Charlotte Green
This photo must have been taken not long before Joseph Green. From the shape of the windows I think it was taken in their garden at their house in the Cragsides.

Charlotte at Rochdale
This photo taken in Rochdale on a family visit in the mid 1920s, and shows Charlotte with my mother Dorothy and my grandmother Clara.

Widow Charlotte and her unmarried daughter Edith then moved back to Vicarage Avenue, to live close to some of her married children, and that’s where Charlotte died in 1953. I knew my great grandmother but was too young when she died to be able to remember her.

My mother Dorothy Strachan nee Fraser

My mother Dorothy (Dot) was born in 1921 at 7 Vicarage Avenue, Kirkstall, second child and second daughter of James (Jim) Fraser and Clara Green.

Dorothy Fraser age 3
Photo of young Dorothy Fraser taken in about 1924

Dorothy lived with her parents until she married, apart from a few year away during the war. She was baptised at St Stephen’s Church, Kirkstall, went to St Stephen’s School, and was part of the church community, taking part in amateur dramatics and other social activities through the church youth club. During the summer, the family went to Scotland to stay with Dorothy’s grandfather William Fraser at Mosside croft, near Hatton, Aberdeenshire. After leaving school she started work at a nearby printing company, where she trained to become a bookbinder.

Life changed dramatically when war broke out and, in 1942, Dorothy was called up for war service. Given the choice between the women’s voluntary army, the land army or factory work, she chose to have an adventure and joined the army (ATS – Auxiliary Territorial Army). After initial training at Durham, she was assigned to the underground Central Ammunition Depot at Corsham, Wiltshire. One of the jobs of the women in the ATS was to take ammunition out of storage, clean it and change the fuse so it was ready to be despatched for use: Dorothy began as a Private but was soon promoted to Corporal, in charge of a unit of young women.

Dorothy Fraser in the ATS
In the army during WW2

The Corsham site was large, and had it’s own social life. Dorothy took part in concerts, and enjoyed going to dances. It was at a dance that she met the trumpet player and singer with the dance band, Robert Strachan. They kept in touch after demobilisation, and in 1949 were married in Leeds. Dorothy became stepmother to my father’s daughter Fiona, from his first marriage, and then I came along in 1951.

Dorothy Strachan young wife
Dorothy as a young wife with husband Robert, my big sister and me as a baby

Dorothy spent most of the rest of her life as a housewife, which she preferred to going out to work as she thoroughly enjoyed keeping house and cooking and baking for her family. She died in 2010 at the age of 88.

My mother at 86 years of age, taken in Roundhay Park here in Leeds

The Strachan and Lindsay line: with photos

Thank you Cathy in the USA for sending me details and some lovely photos of her Strachan and Lindsay ancestors. Cathy and her husband are about to leave for a trip to the UK and I’ll be meeting up with them when they spend a couple of days in York before heading up to Ayrshire. She is descended from my ggg uncle Samuel Strachan, the brother of my gg grandfather Robert Strachan, so she and I share ggg grandparents John Strachan and Agnes Neilson, which makes us 4th cousins.

Samuel Strachan’s daughter Janet married coal miner Alexander Lindsay on 3 February 1860 at Dreghorn. Janet and Alexander lived long lives, staying in Dreghorn and having a large family. In 1910 their Golden Wedding celebrations were written up in the Kilmarnock Standard, and I’ve posted about that at

Cathy has sent some old photos she has in her possession.

Janet Strachan and her husband Alexander Lindsay taken, it would seem, in 1910 when they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

Janet Lindsay nee Strachan born 1839 at Shewalton Colliery, and who died in 1927 at Dreghorn. She had 11 children, including a set of twins.

In March 1877, Janet and Alexander’s daughter Mary Lindsay was born at Mill Bank Row, Dreghorn. In 1881 the family are at Hunters Land, Dreghorn Village. It must have been a crowded household as there were 10 children all living at home and, with a husband and 4 sons all working as coal miners, life must have meant an awful lot of hard work for mother Janet. By 1891 the family had moved to Bowling Green Terrace, Dreghorn and Mary Lindsay, age 14, was an apprentice dressmaker, possibly working with her elder sister Maggie who was a dressmaker.

Mary married coal miner William Littlejohn, also of Dreghorn, on 3 February 1899 at Dreghorn. Mary was 21 and a domestic servant, and one of the witnesses was Janet Lindsay. This is probably Mary’s younger sister.

A wonderful photo of Mary Littlejohn nee Lindsay

The Littlejohns migrated to the USA. William Littlejohn, collier age 31 from Irvine, is on a passenger list to New York in 1907, travelling with James Lindsay miner age 25 from Irvine, both going to Dawson, New Mexico. James was Mary’s younger brother. That Mary didn’t travel is not surprising, as it was common practice for a husband to go first: however, Mary had only just given birth to twins and had two other young children, which is a very good reason for not sailing across the Atlantic. William Littlejohn returned to Scotland in 1910, as he is on a UK incoming passenger list arriving from New York in June that year, but he returned to the US a few month’s later. Mary and the four children then followed, leaving Glasgow in June 1911, travelling with Robert Littlejohn, his wife and two children. Robert was William’s brother and had been living in Cambuslang. They were all going to Sunnyside, Utah.

The Littlejohn family settled in Price, Carbon County, Utah, where William worked as a coal mine superintendent. They had a son Robert Lindsay Littlejohn born in 1913. Then Mary Littlejohn nee Lindsay very sadly died in 1919 at the age of 42. Her obituary was published in the News Advocate on 21 August 1919.

Mrs. Littlejohn Goes to Beyond

Rev. P. A. Simpkin has made a second trip from Santa Monica, where he has been spending a vacation, to Carbon County at the call of friends in one of the coal camps. Today he is present in Castle Gate to officiate at the funeral services over the remains of Mrs. William Littlejohn who passed away Monday evening. Services were held in the Amusement Hall at 2 o’clock this afternoon. The Castle Gate choir rendered appropriate selections and the body was laid at rest in the Castle Gate cemetery, Mrs. Littlejohn making the request before she died that her remains lie close to the scenes of years of her activity.

Mrs. Mary Lindsay Littlejohn, after an illness dating from April 12th, passed away at her home at Castle Gate Monday afternoon, August 18th, 1919. Mrs. Littlejohn was operated on at St. Mark’s Hospital in Salt Lake City on April 16th and since that time had been confined to her bed.

She was born at Dreghorn, Scotland, March 28, 1877. On February 3, 1899, she was married to William Littlejohn at Dreghorn, Scotland. Mrs. Littlejohn emigrated to this country from Scotland, arriving at Castle Gate in June, 1911, where she joined her husband who had preceded her to this country.

Besides her husband, she is survived by two daughters, Janet and Jeanie, three sons, Alex, James and Robert, also by her mother, one sister and six brothers now residing in Scotland, and one brother, Hugh Lindsay, and one sister, Mrs. Robert Barr [Maggie] who are residents of Clinton, Indiana. Mrs. Barr came from Indiana in June to be present at the sick bed of Mrs. Littlejohn, and has labored hard in trying to restore her sister’s health.

Mrs. Littlejohn was very popular in social and other circles and had the distinction of being one of the hardest Red Cross workers in Carbon county. She was ever ready to set her hands in motion to knit socks, wristlets and mufflers for boys taking part in the world’s great war; in fact, she always had their interests at heart. She will not only be missed by her sorrowing husband, children and immediate relatives, but by the whole populace of Castle Gate and by her many friends of Carbon county and other parts of the state.

She sounds like a lovely lady.

Her husband William Littlejohn became the Grand Master of the Freemason’s Grand Lodge of Utah and their profile of him, with photo, is at He remarried after wife Mary died, to Elsie Hass Tanner, and left a successful career as a mine superintendent to open the Bonnie Theatre (cinema). In the 1940 US census he and his wife are theatre managers and his son James is a projectionist. William can be found on passenger lists in 1931, giving an address in Scotland of Campbell Place, Dreghorn, so he must have taken a trip home on his own, returning via Canada. William Littlejohn died in 1944 at Price, Utah.

His youngest son, Robert Lindsay Littlejohn, went to college and became an oil geologist. He can be found on the 1940 US census at Los Angeles, California with wife Margaret, who had both been living in Salt Lake in 1935. Cathy, who sent me the photos, obituary and link, is Robert and Margaret’s daughter. Robert died in 1984 in California.

Susannah Strachan and her descendants: lovely old photos

It’s lovely to hear from distantly related people via the blog. I’ve recently been swapping emails with Mac Ballantine in the USA, who is descended from Susannah Strachan born 1811. Mac sent some fantastic old photos and I know lots of you will want to see them. And thanks to Mac for providing an insight into the lives of Susannah’s children.

Susannah Strachan was born 1811 in Riccarton, daughter of Robert Strachan and Jean Kelley and granddaughter of Thomas Strachan and Susannah Alexander. On 6 February 1829 at Kilmarnock she married Thomas Ballantine. He was born in 1806 at Airdrie, Lanarkshire and was the son of Robert Ballantine and Janet Campbell. When he married Susannah he was working at the lime kilns at Kilmarnock: coal was used to burn limestone and produce lime, which was used in building and for agriculture. Remains of old lime kilns can be found all over the UK.

Thomas and Susannah Ballantine can be found in the 1841 census in Thirdpart, Kilmarnock, and by then Thomas was a coal miner. They’d had six children and were to have more. They moved from Kilmarnock to nearby Dreghorn and by 1871 Thomas had retired.

Thomas and Susannah
Thanks to Mac for sending me this picture of Thomas Ballantine and Susannah Strachan dating from 1870 when they were both in their mid 60s.

Two of their sons, John born 1836 and Robert born 1838, migrated to Canada.

John Ballantine migrated in 1867 went to Galt in Ontario where he set up a foundry which eventually became part of Canada Machinery Corp. He had married Janet Bartley and they had two children, Thomas and Margaret (Maggie).

Robert Ballantine went to Canada in the 1850s, returned to Scotland in the 1860s and married Mary Miller in 1868, then returned to Canada. He took up a land grant in the Muskoka lakes district and founded the village of Grassmere, where he operated the post office and the grist mill. He died there in 1892 in his 50s: apparently his health was never very good and the weather in Muskoka didn’t really agree with him. He and his wife Mary had nine children.

Robert Ballantine in 1853:4
Pic sent by Mac of Robert Ballantine taken in the 1850s

Robert and Mary Ballantine
Pic sent by Mac of Robert Ballantine with his wife Mary and baby son Robert, taken in 1870. The baby sadly died at the age of four, killed in an accident.

One of Robert and Mary’s children was John Ballantine, born in 1874 at Muskoka, Ontario. He married Jennett Flintoff and they had ten children, and were the grandparents of Mac Ballantine, who sent the photos. Thank you Mac.

On 11 July

A rare nothing happened on the family trees day, though I’ve had a long day out at the Great Yorkshire Show. This does give me a chance, though, to introduce an important member of my immediate family. Here is Molly the cat, cooling off at the bottom of the garden at the end of a hot day.

Molly cooling off

Colin Strachan 1908 – 1971

Colin Strachan, born in Tollcross, Lanarkshire, migrated to Australia when he was 18 and spent the rest of his life there.

Colin Strachan WW2
Colin Strachan in his Australian army uniform.

Colin and Ida
Colin Strachan with his wife Ida.