My Strachan ancestors came from Ayrshire, and were nearly all coal miners or coal miners’ wives.

I’ve divided this section into several pages as I’ve done a great deal of research into the lives of my Strachan ancestors and their extended families. So if you’re interested in the Strachan line, have a look at the following pages:
– Strachan ancestors overview
– Strachan in Ayrshire prior to 1771
– The story of Thomas Strachan b. 1749 and Susannah Alexander b. 1752, and their children
– Golden Wedding of Janet Strachan born 1839

More will be added as and when I’ve had a chance to write up my notes.

21 responses to “Strachan

  1. I wonder what ‘Strachan’ means and where it derives from? I think I’ve told you, one of the big names in water voles is Rob Strachan.

  2. Hi Kate

    It comes from the place named Strachan in Kincardineshire which probably got its name from Gaelic ‘strath’ meaning broad valley and ‘awen’ for a small river. The first recorded use of the name to describe a person was in 1153 and it was written as Strateyhan. Until the mid 1800s there were loads of spelling variations, though – my ancestor Thomas who married in Irvine in 1771 had his name written Straghen in the Parish Register.

    As my lot came from Ayrshire and not Kincardineshire, it could be that they came from the Donegal area of Ireland and were Strahan back then. No way of knowing though.

    Strachans get everywhere and into everything. Nice to think of a Strachan helping water voles out!


  3. Nancy Strachan

    I descend from the Ayrshire Strachan miners. My grandfather was Thomas Strachan of Springside, just outside Irvine. I was born in Irvine but now live in Glasgow. My mother’s side are Boyds, also firmly rooted in Ayrshire history.

    Interesting blog

    Nancy Strachan

    • Hello Nancy – with the same surname as myself!

      How lovely to see someone who could be a distant relative visiting my blog. I’d love to know who your grandfather was descended from so I can figure out where he might link into my tree.

      I have a couple of Boyds on my tree. In 1846 Thomas Strachan married Elizabeth Boyd at Kilmarnock, and in 1865 Margaret Strachan married James Boyd at Irvine. Do you know whether they’re related to your Boyds?

      I’ve done lots of research into the Strachan coal miners of Ayrshire so have a lot more stuff to put up on this web site/blog when I get round to it.


  4. Judy, I am so impressed with your website. I have spent the last two hours reading the contents without finishing. I will return and will definitely forward the link to the younger, more internet savvy members of the Harper, Bremner clan here in Canada. Congratulations on a fabulous job.
    Your cousin, Colin Harper.

    • Hello Canadian family! Lovely to have you on board, and thank you for the very kind comments. So glad you find it interesting. I’ll try sending you an email and see whether it gets through this time.


      • Colin Harper

        Judy; It would have been much more appropriate if I had signed off as
        Your cousin Colin Strachan Harper, my full name. Keep up the great work.

      • A middle name to be proud of. But were you named for Colin McCrae Strachan (your uncle) or Colin Haddow Strachan (your great uncle)! I got Margaret as my middle name, which has always struck me as boring, whereas big sister got the much more romantic McCrae.

  5. Judy, to my knowledge I was named after my Mother’s brother. That would be Colin McCrae Strachan. You know there was a Margaret Strachan , daughter of Reverand Joseph Strachan, brother of my Mother, he was a Baptist Minister living in Canada. Also, I know I have a picture of my Mother and Grandmother on the ship they journied to Canada on. I will keep looking until I find it. . Cousin Colin

    • I’d love to see that photo – and any others you may have. I don’t have any taken in Canada. I have Margaret on the tree: she was Margaret McDonald Strachan, I believe.

      I don’t really mind Margaret, but always thought my sister’s middle name McCrae was more Scottish and romantic! But there are quite a few Margaret’s on the family tree. Our ggg grandmother was Margaret Haggerty, and she and her husband Robert Strachan had two daughters named Margaret, though both died when very young. I, however, was given the middle name of Margaret because I had a godmother called Margaret from my mother’s side of the family, and Princess Margaret was very much in vogue at the time. My father wanted to call me Gwendolyn, for whatever reason I have no idea. They ended up picking Judith because it was fashionable.

      Colin crops up a few times on the family tree. You’re named after Uncle Colin McCrae Strachan, who was probably named after his uncle Colin Shearer Haddow (there wasn’t a Colin McCrae that I’m aware of).

  6. Liz strachan
    i am from strachans in paisley renfrewshire (i was given the name de salza at birth and my father also changed his name but his death was registered in his name of strachan) and am realy trying to trace back from my father. he was john iain born in approx 1910 and died in wallsend in 1966. his sister was agnes nairn strachan born in 1905 and died in 1975 in garelochhead. she married gordon meiklejones and had 1 son, gordon. any help would be appreciated. thanks. Liz

    • Hi Liz
      I’ve had a look at your line of Strachans, and can get back quite a long way. You’ll need to pay to download some certificates from ScotlandsPeople, but I think your John Iain Strachan was the son of John Strachan and Elizabeth Cochrane. That John Strachan was the son of John Strachan and Elizabeth Robertson who married in Paisley in 1866. That John Strachan was a silk weaver, the son of Thomas Strachan and Mary Gibb who married in Paisley in 1834, and it looks as if Thomas Strachan was the son of James Strachan and Elizabeth Jamieson who were married in Paisley in 1794.

      My Strachan line are from Ayshire, but moved to Gorbals, Glasgow in the 1790s. I can’t connect them to your Paisley Strachans, as there is nothing in the records for my Strachan line before the birth of Thomas Strachan in Muirkirk in 1749. But who knows where his father came from!

      Hope this helps.


  7. Have emailed a photograph of a Strachan family wedding in Camberslang, hope you find it interesting Judy, regards, Ian Strachan.

  8. Sean John Bryce Strand ( nee Strachan)

    John Bryce Strachan, where is he, Worked in London Underwriting Office of Lloyd and he died in about 1959

    • Hi Sean. Are you looking to go backwards from his death and find out more about John Bryce Strachan? I’e no idea whether he would be related to my Strachan ancestors or not. However, I’ve had a quick look at the records on the Ancestry site and found the following:

      Death registration for John B Strachan in Sept 1959 quarter at Gosport, Hampshire. Age at death 50. Probate dated 20 April 1961 London for John Bryce Strachan of 12 First Avenue, Devilles, Havant, Hampshire who died 6 July 1959. Probate granted to Pamela Mary Gordon Strachan widow.

      John Bryce Strachan is on the electoral roll in the 1930s living at Chertsey, Surrey.

      Marriage registered first quarter of 1945 at Reading, Berkshire of John B Strachan and Pamela M G Bradley.

      Birth registered 2nd quarter 1916 of Pamela M G Bradley at Reading

      No obvious birth record for John Bryce Strachan in England or Scotland.

      Your best bet would be to order the 1945 marriage certificate as this should say who John’s father was.

      Hope this helps.

  9. Hello Judy…..i am Helen Boileau (Hunt). My great grandparents are Agnus and Josepg Strachan. I am starting to look into my ansesters. Thankyou for this websight. Not sure how you fit in but would love to know more. My grandmother was Helen Hunt and she had a sister Margaret and brother Harry Strachan ….the children of Agnus and Joseph Strachan. I have a picture of my great great great grandfatger David MacDonald from Scotland.

  10. My great grandfatger is Joseph Strachan.

  11. Henrietta Strachan

    Hi I read your post with interest. I am newly married into the Strachan family. My husbands father was John Strachan of Springside. I recognise the names as ones mentioned by my mother in law Mary – she was talking about Colin the other day.

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