Tag Archives: Findlay

On 19 July

A man who disappears from the records, leaving a wife and children; an Aberdeenshire ancestor of my step great grandmother; a death at age 8; and yet another step ancestor who disappears from the records.

19 July 1834
Peter Findlay was born in Pictou, Nova Scotia, son of David Findlay and Susannah Strachan and grandson of my gggg uncle Peter Strachan and Mary Monroe. His parents
must have migrated to Nova Scotia soon after their marriage in 1832 and had their first two children there, but were back in Ayrshire by the time their third child was born. In the 1841 census they are at Bridge House Hill, Riccarton, Peter’s father a coal miner. Susannah Strachan died in 1848 and his father remarried. In 1851 Peter Findlay age 16, a clerk at an iron works, is with his father, stepmother and siblings at Portland Row, Riccarton. He married Janet Nisbet in 1854 and in 1861 is at Cadger’s Row, Hurlford, a lodger with his sister Lilias and her husband, working as a collector manager. His wife is with their two children at Galston Road, Riccarton, with her widowed mother. Peter’s wife went on to be a public house keeper in Hurlford in 1871 and that census says she is married, not widowed, but Peter Findlay is not with her. In fact he can’t be found anywhere – nothing in the census and no death certificate to be found for Scotland. What became of him is a mystery.

19 July 1838
Birth of William Aitken at Longside, Aberdeenshire, son of William Aitken and Elizbaeth Milne. His sister was the mother of Helen Ann Morgan, who was my great grandfather’s second wife. In 1851, at age 12, he’s working for his uncle, a miller, as a farm labourer, and in 1861 he’s a ploughman on a farm near Old Deer. Her married Mary Irvine at Old Deer in 1861, and in 1871 they are at Nether Leask, Slains, William a farm overseer and with 5 children. 1881 finds them in Hatton, where William Aitken is a farm overseer, and they have a lot more children – they were to have 12 in total and only 1 died in childhood. By 1891, however, William had taken the lease of Artrocie Croft at Logie Buchan, and the family are there in 1901. William Aitken died in Ellon in 1914 at the age of 75.

19 July 1858
Birth of Joseph Gilmour Strachan at Riccarton, Aryshire, son of Robert Strachan and Janet Ross Gilmour and grandson of my gggg uncle Peter Strachan and Mary Monroe. He died at Riccarton at the age of 8.

19 July 1865
Birth of David Goldie Booth at Old Deer, Aberdeenshire, illegitimate son of Margaret Booth who went on to become the second wife of my gg grandfather Alexander Fraser. Given his name, it’s likely his father was called David Goldie. In the 1871 census he is at Fortrie, Ellon with his mother and stepfather, age 5 and named David Fraser, but I haven’t been able to trace him after that under the names Goldie, Booth or Fraser.

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On 27 April

Four events today: a possible 6-times-great grandfather, Ann Strachan’s unlucky marriage, a coal miner’s daughter who became a nurse to a minister’s family, and the death of a great grandmother.

27 April 1749
Marriage, at Cruden, Aberdeenshire, of George Sangster and Jean George. They would be my gggggg grandparents if they are the grandparents of Janet Sangster who gave birth to the illegitimate William Fraser in 1805. Then again, my gggggg grandparents could be George Sansgter and Margaret Knox who married in Cruden in 1750. Sadly, the baptism of John Sangster in 1754 only gives his father’s name, and I’m not even sure that’s the right John Sangster! So the Sangsters are still something of a muddle.

27 April 1873
Ann Strachan married Henry O’Neil at the Roman Catholic Chapel, Saltcoats. She wasn’t a Catholic so Henry must have been, and was probably Irish, or from Irish parents. Ann Strachan, born 1841, was the daughter of Peter Strachan and Margaret Boyle, but both died when Ann was very young and she’d been brought up by her uncle Henry Strachan and his wife Annie. When she married, Ann was 30 and a domestic servant at Harbour Street, Saltcoats, and Henry was 40 and a lodging house keeper of the same address, so it looks as if Ann was working for him. Sadly for Ann, her husband died only a year after they were married, so it was a very short lived liaison.

27 April 1874
Birth of Mary Findlay at Loudon, Ayrshire, the daughter of Hugh Findlay and Margaret Miller and therefore great granddaughter of my gggg uncle Peter Strachan and his wife Mary Monroe. I’d not done any research on her previously, apart from her birth, so have just had a look online – can only get to 1901 without having to spend a lot of ScotlandsPeople credits, so that’s as far as I went. Her father had been a coal miner, but in 1881 was a grocer in Monkton & Prestwick, which he didn’t do for long and by 1891 he was a colliery manager in Kilmarnock. Mary, age 26, is no longer with her family in 1901 as she is a domestic nurse in Edinburgh with the Macauley family. George Macauley was the Minister of Pilrig United Free Church with a wife and 4 children, and he was born in Irvine, Ayrshire so it may have been an Ayrshire connection through which Mary got the nursing job. Also in the household was 18 year old Annie B Miller, housemaid born Dreghorn, who is probably a relative of Mary’s as Annie has the same surname as Mary’s mother.

27 April 1912
My great grandmother Mary Ann McInerney (or however it was variously written) died in Kilmarnock. She was 75 and died on her own, at her home at 33 High Street, Kilmarnock, so the informant is the Procurator Fiscal (Scottish equivalent of a coroner). Her name is given as Mary Ann McNearney or McCrae, widow – she was married to my great grandfather John McCrae. Her parents are correctly named as John McNearney and Sarah McNearney ms Marshall, both deceased. I’ve been able to trace her mother’s Marshall line but not her father’s – all I know is he was John McInerney from Ireland, and died between 1848 and 1851.