Map and Chart of Strachan ancestors from Ayrshire

This is a chart showing my direct descent from Thomas Strachan and Susannah Alexander, who were from Ayrshire and married in Irvine in 1771.

Strachan direct descent chart

And this is a map of part of Scotland showing where my Strachan ancestors lived. The black dots are where coal mines used to be located. No surprise that my coal mining ancestors lived in places where there are a lot of black dots.

Places of Strachans

12 responses to “Map and Chart of Strachan ancestors from Ayrshire

  1. Judy,,
    While browsing tonight I came upon your interesting site. I brought back many memories. I was born at #12 Cowans Row in1939 and lived subsequently in Seright Crescent and Ralston Drive. Growing up I remember several Strachan families living in the village.
    \I have lived in Canada for over 50 years but have made several return visits to the old home area and always notice the many changes in the area (not always for the better).
    Good luck in your ongoing endeavours with the web/blog site.
    Bill Brown

    • Hi Bill and welcome to the blog. So glad you found it interesting. A lot of coal mining families from Ayrshire went to Canada, including many on my family tree. I am a rare English Strachan! The families you remember called Strachan will have been my relatives somehow, but the Strachans had very large families for several generations so there were a great many of them. I don’t know the Kilmarnock area that well, as my father’s family moved to Lanarkshire before he was born, but I’ve visited since I became interested in family history. No, not all the changes around there have been for the better – rather a lot of post-industrialisation blight has set in, but hopefully future changes will bring back some of the character. A shame about so many lost old buildings, though.

  2. Patricia Strachan

    Hi Judy

    Just found your blog. I also am descended from Thomas and Susannah and their son Robert, John’s brother. Then John, Hugh, Andrew, Hugh and finally William, my father.
    My g.g.grandfather Hugh moved to Fife from Ayrshire and his son Andrew was the last miner in our line. Andrew broke his back when there was a fall of rocks when he was hewing coal and died 10 months later, leaving his wife, Janet a widow at 35 with 7 children.
    Still have a lot to explore in your blog but looks great. Thanks!

    • Hello Patricia – how lovely to end another distant relative with the surname Strachan!

      I had researched you ancestor Hugh Strachan: I have him married to Fanny Robertson in 1864 at Irvine, and living in West Lothian by 1891. I have his death certificate of 1896 – cause of death, very sadly, suicide. Such a tragedy. I haven’t researched his children, but your story of Andrew indicates more tragedy for the family. What terrible times some of our ancestors lived through.


    • Shannon dunford

      I too am related to the Strachans. Also Thomas and Susannah, then Robert, Andrew, James and then John who was my great grandfather. His daughter, Margaret, my grandmother, emigrated to South Africa to join her husband, Charles Ross. The rest of the family joined John in America except a brother, I believe who went to Canada. I am very interested in John’s migration to America where he died in 1963.
      Also the coalmining industry and why he left. One passenger list shows that he had £50 but that seems odd as he wasn’t a rich man.
      My dad was named John Strachan Ross and we are all proud of our “Strachan” name!

    • Hi Patricia

      Have you ever had a DNA test for this family? We have a Thomas Straghan who married Mary Jane Hamilton in our family tree. Family legend is that they came from Ayrshire. Eventually some of the line ended up in Western Australia. Would love to know if we are connected.

      Lyn Coy

  3. Maurice Crichton

    Hi Judy,

    Just discovered your blog. What a lot of work you have done and what a fabulous resource. Thank you! I had worked out that I was a decendant of Peter Strachan via his daughter Catherine Mure Strachan b 22.12.1837. But you have a great deal more information here that is of interest to me. I tried to locate the Shewalton Colliery with my brother a few years ago after reading the Thomas Tancred report and paid a visit to a library/ local history centre in I think in Irvine where I looked at the Parish records on microfilm and found an entry for the death of Margaret Strachan, Peter’s wife who died of fever just 22 days after her husband leaving three orphans. As you say, it may have been cholera. Catherine’s daughter Sarah Wark married a builder, John Train who became MP for Cathcart. He is my great grandfather. I’ll have a good look at what you have found out about the Strachans. But very excited to have found your blog.

    Maurice Crichton

    • Hello Maurice and thank you so much for posting this message on my blog. I’d got as far as Catherine Mure Strachan, married to Charles Wark, with my family tree research, and had the births of their children, but had gone no further with that branch. So it’s wonderful to hear that their daughter Sarah married such an illustrious person. John Train is the first on my tree to have been knighted, that I’m aware of, but not the first I’ve heard of to be involved in politics.

      Are you in Scotland and still in the Rutherglen area? I don’t know whether you know this, but a recent Provost of Hamilton and Cambuslang is a member of the Strachan extended family, descended from my father’s eldest brother.

      Naturally, after reading your message I did a little bit of digging and quickly found Sarah’s marriage to John Train and located them in the 1901 census. Interestingly, they were living on Brownside Road in Cambuslang, and were just round the corner from Greenlees Road, where one of my aunts lived.

      Hope you find more of interest on my blog, but please let me know if you have anything to add as I’m always keen to know more.

      I’m going to be up near Lanark at the end of September having a holiday, so hope to get in a bit of research/looking an ancestral sites when I’m up there.


  4. Hi Judy,

    I live down the road from you in York. My two brothers are still in the Glasgow area and my son is about to start his second year at Glasgow University to be joined by his big sister doing some post graduate study there. The Mitchell Library has a collection of John Train’s papers in its archive which I plan to have a look at some day when I am visiting them.

    I am wondering about the fever that took Catherine Mure’s parents and her aunt, your ancestor in the same few weeks. Did they all have the same infection? How many others in their community also died from it? Is there any mention in the local papers? I have an ancestral family in Kippen in the 1890s who I discovered were visited by a doctor researching cholera. He concluded the infection was passed on from cartloads of waste from Glasgow being spread on the local fields.

    I have a photocopy of the OPR death records for Catherine Mure’s parents which I could scan and send you if you don’t have these. And I will ask my Mum for her photos of Sarah Wark next time I go and see her in Fife. I think she has a few. And I can tell you a bit about Sarah Wark’s descendants. I have pursued all the lines of my GGG grandparents and I think the social mobility between Peter and Margaret Strachan and their grand daughter Sarah Wark is about the most extraordinary in two generations.

    It’s been very interesting to read up on the Strachan crew and to see how much of a coal mining tradition there was among them. Iwent down the pit at the National Coal Museum in Wakefield about 20 years ago. It’s not a lifestyle that holds much appeal for me.

    Thanks so much for putting up all your hard won information. It really is a extraordinary body of information.

    Best wishes,


    • Hi Maurice

      You’re in York! Not far away at all, as I’m at the northern tip of Leeds and know York well. A very lovely city indeed.

      Some very good info on the 1848-9 cholera outbreak in Scotland’s mining communities is at – and the Scottish Mining Website has lots of other excellent resources too, though I expect you’ve already come across it. Peter and Margaret Strachan died in 1846, as did my gg grandmother Margaret Haggerty, which was two years before the big outbreak, but I would imagine there would have been a lot of smaller outbreaks in the years leading up to the big one. Hence why I suspect it was most likely cholera, though it could have been typhus.

      I don’t have copies of the OPR entries for those deaths as my information came from someone in Ayrshire who looked it up for me, so I would love to see copies. I’ll send you an email so you send them to me, and we can swap other family tree info.

      The social mobility from a mother who was the orphan of a coal miner and a daughter who became a Lady is truly remarkable. But it does goes to show that it was very possible, even back then, and that there’s no limit for the descendants of coal miners! Catherine and her daughter Sarah must have been amazing women.


  5. Meritta Ann Strachan

    My name is Meritta Strachan,a Bahamian, living in the Bahamas where the name Strachan is quite popular. I am interested to know how the name Strachan got to the Bahamas, since it seems to be originated in Scotland.

  6. Brittane Strahan


    Any knowledge of relations between the Strachan and Strayhorn families in Ayrshire?


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