A sad mining accident death to report today.
16 April 1765
Baptism of Jean Fraser at Arbroath, Angus. She was the daughter of Donald Frazer and Margaret Sharp, who later lived in Cruden, Aberdeenshire and had a son William Fraser who I strongly suspect was the father of my illegitimate ggg grandfather William Fraser. That would make Jean Fraser William’s aunt. Difficult to trace Janet due to lack of records, but she might be the one who was married in Cruden in 1798 to Thomas Buchan.
16 April 1815
Birth of David McWilliam at Longside son of William McWilliam and Janet Sangster, and half brother of my ggg grandfather William Fraser. David worked as a sawyer, married Elizabeth Ewan, had at least 12 children and lived in Peterhead. A sawyer was someone who cut timber into planks using a saw pit. David died in 1886 at the age of 70.
16 April 1890
Peter Strachan, grandson of my gggg uncle Robert Strachan, died in a mining accident. His death certificate reads:
“Peter Strachan coal miner married to Ann Hendry, 1890 April 16th Broomlands Pit, Parish of Irvine. Male age 43 years, parents Andrew Strachan coal miner deceased and Elizabeth Strachan ms Howat deceased. Fracture of base of skull. Informant Andrew Strachan brother. Entry has been annotated but is hard to read: “Result of … See Reg of …. Vol2 p47 31st May 1890.”
It is a mining death and is recorded online at http://www.scottishmining.co.uk/Indexes/1890deaths.html and the entry says:
1890 April 16, Broomlands No. 8, Dreghorn, Bourtreehill Coal Co, Peter Strachan miner age 43; category: falls of roof and sides; cause: fall of roof at working face.
Peter left a wife of 40 years old and 9 children aged from 22 down to 7, and there is a MI for him in Dreghorn churchyard.
I found this photo online.
16 April 1982
A Strachan descendant of the younger generation was born on Tyneside.
This is a sad day for me, as it’s the third anniversary of the death of my mother. I miss her.
15 April 1860
Burial of James Wild age 25, husband of Ellen Oxley from Barnsley who was mentioned yesterday as she was born on 14 April 1839. So poor Ellen buried her husband the day after her 21st birthday, leaving her a widow with a one year old daughter.
15 April 1860
Baptism of Sarah Ann Wilson at Worsbrough, daughter of my ggg aunt Mary Green and her husband Joseph Wilson. Her parents lived at Stanley, near Wakefield, where they worked as gardener and keeper of Stanley Hall. Sarah Ann married James Burton and lived in Alverthorpe.
15 April 1872
John Strachan, third cousin twice removed, was born in Dreghorn, son of James Strachan and Mary Lindsay and great-grandson of my gggg uncle Robert Strachan. John was born in Dreghorn, became a miner, married Jemima Barrie and lived in Bannockburn, Stirlingshire and then back in Ayrshire. He and his wife and children migrated to New Jersey in 1923, and he worked as a porter at a bank. I know all this thanks to so many records now being online.
15 April 1906
Birth of my aunt, Helen McCrae Strachan, known to me as Aunt Nell. She was born in Crookedholm, Ayrshire but moved to Cambuslang, Lanarkshire with her family when she was very young. She married John Bain Aitken in 1923 in Cambuslang, and had two children. With her husband she ran the Cafe de Luxe on Main Street, Cambuslang which I remember visiting as a child. She was the best out of the whole of my father’s family for keeping in touch with everyone and loved visiting relatives. She sent me a McCrae tartan kilt when I was in my 20s and had moved to London, and it’s still in my wardrobe. Aunt Nell retired to Majorca with her daughter and died in Kent in 1999 at the grand old age of 93.
15 April 1927
Marriage of Ellen Devine, daughter of Susan Bell McCrae and her first husband John Boyle, and therefore niece of my grandmother Helen Strachan ms McCrae. Ellen married Hugh Davidson McKinnon in Glasgow and was the informant when her mother died, but beyond that I don’t know what happened to her.
13 April 1923
Elizabeth Strachan ms Black died at Kilmarnock, age 79. She was the wife of my gg uncle Henry Strachan. Her parents were born in Ireland. In common with many a Strachan couple, Henry and Elizabeth has at least 9 children, which is why there are so many people on my family tree.
Under the “Strachan” tab (above) I’ve added a page that contains a transcript of a newspaper report from a 1910 issue of the Kilmarnock Standard that I came across online. I assume it was put online by a descendent of the featured couple so, whoever you are, thank you.
The couple are Janet Strachan, daughter of my ggg grandfather’s brother, and her husband Alexander Lindsay (known as Alex). The newspaper article published to celebrate their 50 years of married life gives a lovely insight into coal miners’ lives at the time, and is reassuring in that the picture it paints is of a better lifestyle than we might perhaps imagine. Certainly they worked very hard and lived in houses we’re very glad we don’t have to live in, but there was also a very obvious sense of family and community pulling together and making life as good as they could. And they had time for leisure: Alex Lindsay was a star of the local Quoiting Club and a keen angler, as well as being on a local education committee. They both came from large families, had twelve children and, by 1910, had 42 grandchildren.
Janet’s birthday was today, so when I was looking up “who did what today” she was on the list, which reminded me of the newspaper article.
Pictures are proving popular, so I’ll add what I can.
This one is of Perceton Row, near Dreghorn in Ayrshire. These cottages are fairly unique in that they were built as a miners’ row and have survived: nearly all other ones are long since demolished. I have lots of Strachan ancestors living here at the time of the 1841 census.
My GGGG Uncle Robert Strachan, his wife, a granddaughter, a domestic servant and a lodger were in one of them. In another cottage was Robert’s son Andrew with his wife and four young children, and in another was Robert’s son John with his wife and two young children. Samuel Strachan, son of my GGGG Grandfather John Strachan was in yet another of the cottages with his wife and their first child.
The men were most probably working at Perceton Colliery. The row was likely to have been built by the mine owner for the colliery’s workers. I suspect Perceton Row would have been quite new in 1841, which may be one reason why so many Strachans moved in order to work at Perceton Colliery.