Tag Archives: Fraser

7, 8 and 9 February

Three days worth today, including an illegitimate Fraser descendent from Aberdeenshire who, unusually, was brought up by her paternal grandparents. Plus a Strachan descendent from Ayrshire who became a tea merchant in Glasgow, two Strachans who lived in Kilmaurs, and
an Aberdeen cousin of my mother’s.

9 February 1845
Baptism of Wilhelmina Bain at Cruden, illegitimate daughter of Isabella Fraser and Alexander Bain. Her baptism record says Alexander Bain was of Yonderton and Isabella was of Hardslacks: this will have been Mosside croft near Hatton, the home of her parents, and most likely Alexander was a farm servant. The witnesses to the baptism of Wilhelmina were Hector Bain and Catherine Burnett, who were Alexander Bain’s parents. In 1851 Wilhelmina is with Hector and Catherine McBain at Moss of Boghead, Fraserburgh, a farm of 12 acres. It’s unusual for an illegitimate child to be brought up by her paternal grandparents but that’s what seems to have happened, as Wilhelmina is with them still in 1861, a 14 year old dairymaid, and there’s no evidence she had any contact with her mother Isabella Fraser or her maternal grandparents William Fraser and Christian Hutcheon. In 1871 Wilhelmina is a servant on a very large farm at Newmill, Rathen, then she gave birth to an illegimate son in 1873 and an illegitimate daughter in 1879. In 1881 she is in Fraserburgh with her 2 children, earning a living as a domestic servant, and in 1891 is on her own in Fraserburgh, a washerwoman. In 1901 she is listed as a charwoman and has a 6 year old girl with her as a boarder.

8 February 1860
Birth of Hugh Findlay at Hurlford, Ayrshire son of coal miner James Findlay and Mary Monroe Findlay, grandson of David Findlay and Susanna Strachan, and great grandson of my gggg uncle Peter Strachan and Mary Monroe. He is with his parents at Hurlford at Cadger’s Row in 1861 and Findlay’s Land in 1871. By 1881, however, he is a lodger in Govan, Glasgow working as a grocer’s assistant. He married Helen in about 1888 and is at Crown Street, Govan in 1891 with his wife, a young child and a visitor, and his occupation is given as tea merchant. The family are at Albert Road, Cathcart in 1901, Hugh still a tea merchant with 2 daughters and a domestic servant. Hugh Findlay died in 1921 at Springburn, Glasgow at age 62.

7 February 1869
Birth of Susan McGill Strachan at Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, daughter of coal miner John Strachan and Christina Houston McGill and granddaughter of my ggg uncle Peter Strachan and Margaret Boyle. She is with her parents in Kilmarnock in 1871 and Kilmaurs in 1881, then she married coal miner Andrew Wilson in 1890 at Parker’s Land, Crosshouse near Kilmaurs, which was probably her parents home. In 1891 Susan and Andrew are at McChristie’s Land, Kilmaurs with a baby son and are at Carmel Cottage, Kilmaurs in 1901 with 7 children.

8 February 1900 (born about 1870)
Agnes Strachan was born in about 1870 at Dreghorn, daughter of James Strachan and Mary Lindsay, granddaughter of Andrew Strachan and Elizabeth Howat and great granddaughter of gggg uncle Robert Strachan and Jean Kelly. She is with her parents and siblings at Kyleshill, Stevenston in 1871 and Plann Row, Kilmaurs in 1881. In January 1887 she gave birth to an illegitimate son at Hemphill Row, Kilmaurs (her parents’ home) and gave her occupation as farm servant, and in 1888 she married carter George McFarlane at Kilmaurs. In 1891 she and George are at Hemphill Row with a son and two boarders: her parents are also at Hemphill Row and Agnes’ illegitimate son is with them in both 1891 and 1901 and used the surname Strachan, so he was not the son of George McFarlane. Agnes McFarlane nee Strachan died on 8 February 1900 of syncope.

7 February 1922
My mother’s cousin William (Bill) Dow was born in Aberdeen, son of my great aunt Barbara Fraser and William Dow. Bill married and had twins, lived in Aberdeen all his life, and died in 1970 at only 47.

5 February

My Fraser great grandfather today, from Hatton in Aberdeenshire. Also a Savile from Royston in Yorkshire who died young, and an Adam from Stevenston who migrated to Boston, lost all her sons due to them dying within days of being born, lost her husband when she was in her early 40s and then died herself in her 50s.

5 February 1728
Birth of my ggggggg aunt Jane Savile at Royston who was baptised at Royston on 16 February, daughter of schoolmaster Robert Savile and Martha Senior. Jane died in January 1732 at almost 4 years of age.

5 February 1829
Birth or baptism of Elizabeth Adam at Stevenston, daughter of my gg aunt Margaret Haddow and Francis Adam. She is one of the 8 in the household of Francis Adam at Townhead, Stevenston in 1836, but is not with her parents in the 1841 census – there is, though, an Elizabeth Adam age 12 in New Street, Stevenston with a Margaret Adam age 68. Elizabeth is with her parents in 1851, though, at Townhead Street, and is a hand sewer of muslin. In January 1856 she married coal miner John Godfrey at Stevenston, and they had 2 children baptised in Stevenston in 1857 and 1859. They then migrated to the USA and went to Boston: they are in the USA records asa having children born and buried in the 1860s. All their sons died at a few days old but one daughter born in the 1860s survived. The family is in 1870 census in South Boston, John Godfrey a labourer, Betsey (as Elizabeth is called) age 37 keeping house, 3 daughters at school and a son age 1 month. The son died a few days later. Elizabeth’s husband then died in 1871. The 1881 census has Eliza Godfrey age 48 at Atlanta Street, South Boston with her 3 daughters, all now working. In 1883 two of her daughters were married, and then Elizabeth died in 1885, at the age of 55, of peritonitis.

5 February 1865
Birth of my great grandfather William Fraser at Oldtown of Aquharney, Cruden, son of Alexander Fraser and Mary Ann Logan. William was the eldest child of his father, who was a farm servant, and had a sister born when he was 2. But in August 1867 – when William was still 2 years old – his mother died of tuberculosis. As his mother died at Mosside Croft, the home of William’s Fraser grandparents, it’s likely that William and his sister lived there immediately after the death of their mother while their father worked on nearby farms. In 1868, however, Alexander Fraser married Margaret Booth at Longside and William acquired a stepmother. In 1871 he is at Fortrie, Ellon with father Alexander, stepmother Margaret, his sister, Margaret’s Booth illegitimate son, 2 new half sisters, and a visitor and her daughter. In 1877 his grandfather died and his father took over the croft of Mosside near Hatton. By 1881 William has become a farm servant and is at Tuechan, Cruden. He married Helen Hay in 1889, at Mosside: he was a farm servant at Mains of Elrick and she was a domestic servant at a nearby inn. They are in the 1891 census at Mains of Elrick, Savoch, with a baby daughter. Their next 2 children were born at Aikenshill, Foveran and the next at Waterton, Ellon. In the 1901 census the family is as Mill of Brogan, Slains where William is the head cattleman. A daughter was born in 1901, and then in 1905 William’s wife Helen Hay died of chronic enteritis. With 5 young children, William no doubt took them to Mosside Croft initially, but in the 1905 Valuation Roll William Fraser is paying £5 10s a year rent as the tenant occupier of a house in Hatton which is owned by farmer George Chrystall. By then Helen Ann Morgan has become his housekeeper: she already had an illegitimate daughter and gave birth to a illegitimate child named William in 1906. William Fraser married Helen Ann Morgan in 1907 at Hatton, and they went on the have 4 more children. In 1911 the family is at Hatton Lodge, William a farm cattleman, and the eldest two children of Helen Hay are now working. When his father died, William took over the lease of Mosside croft and moved there in 1911. In the 1915 Valuation Roll he is listed as the tenant of a croft and house at Hardslacks on the Estate of Yonderton paying £6 a year rent. During the 1920s and early 1930s my mother, daughter of William’s son James with first wife Helen Hay, used to stay at Mosside during the summer school holidays and remembered her grandfather and step grandmother well. Helen Ann Morgan died in 1938. William Fraser is listed as the tenant and occupier of Mosside croft in the Valuation Rolls of 1935/36 and 1940/41, but in 1945/46 the tenant has become Allan Thomson. In 1944 Allan Thomson had married Helen Rennie, who was the granddaughter of Helen Ann Morgan and who had been brought up at Mosside as her mother had died. William Fraser died in 1948 and the memorial inscription that was in Cruden kirkyard gave his date of death as 23 June 1848. However, despite a very thorough search I cannot find a death certificate for him.

4 February

Quite a few on the 4th. In Aberdeenshire there’s a ggggg grandmother; two brothers who had the same birthday, one who died in infancy and the other who became a police inspector in London; and a half gg aunt who married twice, went to Canada, but returned to Aberdeen. In Ayrshire, some gggg grandparents had a nameless baby boy baptised, there were two children who died in infancy, and there’s someone I can trace till his 20s then he disappears. Plus in Yorkshire there’s a brick maker who went to Lancashire, split up with his wife, and returned to Barnsley.

4 February 1751
Birth or baptism of my ggggg grandmother Helen Davidson at Rayne, daughter of Patrick Davidson and Jean Lamb. She married John Watt at Rayne in December 1775 and they had a large family of 11 children all baptised at Bourtie: their eldest was born at Mill of Collyhill, then they had children born at Lawelside, Blockhouse, Nether Mains and Mains of Thornton, which points to John Watt being a farm servant but always within the Bourtie parish.

4 February 1771
My gggg grandparents James Wilson and Agnes Smith had a son baptised at Stevenston, but he was not named and is simply listed as male Wilson in the OPR. I assume from this that he was not expected to live, and most probably died shortly after. If he didn’t, then not knowing his first name makes him impossible to research.

4 February 1828
Baptism of my ggg uncle William Oxley at Bolton upon Dearne, Yorkshire, son of Thomas Oxley and Sarah Grist. He’s in Wortley Street, Barnsley with his parents and siblings in 1841, his father an ag lab. William married Jane Galloway at Silkstone Parish Church in July 1850 and is described as a brick maker of Barnsley, son of Thomas Oxley tallow chandler. In the 1851 census William and his wife are in Park Row, Barnsley lodging with a widower who was a weaver, and Jane Oxley is also a weaver (her marriage certificate says she was the daughter of a weaver). By 1861 they had moved to Croft Street, Ashton under Lyme, Lancashire but did not have children: William is still a brick maker and Jane is a linen weaver. In 1866 William was a witness at his younger brother’s marriage, which coincidentally took place at the same church in Leeds where I was baptised. William and Jane, however, appear to have separated as Jane can be found in the 1871 census as housekeeper to a railway labourer in Little Horton, Bradford but there is no sign of William. In 1881 William Oxley turns up in Wilson Street, Barnsley as an unemployed quarryman living with his brother James and a lodger. Meanwhile, his wife Jane is with the same man she was with in 1871 as his wife, though she didn’t marry him until 1885. There is a death in Barnsley for William Oxley in 1884.

4 February 1846
Birth of James Strachan in Kilmarnock, son of miner John Francis Strachan and Jean Johnstone Loudon and grandson of my ggg uncle Thomas Strachan and Elizabeth Nisbet. James had died by the time of the 1851 census, and by then his family were living in Dalry.

4 February 1857
Birth of James Kean or Cain at Kilwinning, son of my gg aunt Agnes Strachan and coal miner William Cain and grandson of Robert Strachan and Margaret Haggerty. He is with his family at Single Row, Kilwinning in 1861 and at 42 Byrehill Row, Kilwinning in 1871, by which time he was a coal miner, and in 1881 is a boarder next door at 40 Byrehill Row with the Ferguson family. After that I can find nothing for him so I’m not sure if he died, migrated or what.

4 February 1857
Birth of William Cowie at Ellon, son of William Cowie and Elizabeth Cheyne and grandson of my half gggg aunt Barbara McWilliam and William Cowie. As he’s not with his parents in the 1861 census and cannot be traced beyond that, it looks as if he died in infancy.

4 February 1859
Birth of Forbes Milne Cowie at Ellon, son of William Cowie and Elizabeth Cheyne and grandson of my half gggg aunt Barbara McWilliam and William Cowie (and brother of William above). Forbes is with his parents and siblings at Rose Cottage, Ythan Terrace, Ellon in 1861, his father a railway labourer, and at Littlemill Cottar’s House, Ellon on 1871, his father a farm servant. Forbes joined the police force as in 1881 he’s a 22 year old constable at the Police Station, Rochester Row, Westminster (London). Later in 1881 he was married at St George Hanover Square to Elspet Bothwell, who was from Scotland. By 1891 he’s become a police inspector, has 3 children born in Westminster and Fulham, and is living at Brice Road, Barnet, Middlesex. In 1901 he is still a police inspector with 6 children and is at Cleveland Gardens, Barnes, Surrey but has moved around as he has had children born in Kilburn, Enfield and New Malden. I’ve not been able to trace him beyond that, but when his son migrated to Canada in 1923 his nearest relative was Mrs. F M Cowie of Sunnyside Road, Aberdeen so perhaps Forbes eventually returned to Scotland.

4 February 1870
Birth of John King at Irvine, son of my gg aunt Jean (Jane) Strachan and James King and grandson of Robert Strachan and Margaret Haggerty. He died the same year, in infancy.

4 February 1871
Birth of my half gg aunt Christian or Christina Fraser at Blackhill of Fortie, Ellon, Aberdeenshire, daughter of Alexander Fraser and his second wife Margaret Booth. She is with her parents and siblings at Fortie in 1871 where he father was an ag lab. Her grandfather William Fraser died in 1877 and her father took over the croft of Mosside, near Hatton. Christian is at Mosside in 1881, age 10 and at school. In January 1889 she gave birth to an illegitimate daughter at Mosside, and in December 1890 she married farm servant James Reid of Boddom. They are at Mortimer’s House, Boddom in the 1891 census and Christina’s daughter is listed as Margaret Reid, though Margaret didn’t name James Reid as her father when she married and used the surname Fraser so I doubt he was her father. James Reid died in 1891 and in 1895, at Mosside, Christina married farm servant James Andrews of Mintlaw. In 1911 Christina is at Hutcheon Street, Aberdeen with 5 children and James Andrews, a green keeper at the golf course, is a boarder at Hayfarm, Cruden. James Andrew died at Newhills, Aberdeen in 1923, and later that year widow Christina and her youngest son sailed to Canada to join her daughter Christina and son-in-law Neil Wood in Hamilton, Ontario. She returned to Scotland, however, as she died age 61 in 1932 at Woodend Hospital, Aberdeen and the informant was her married daughter Jemima Athieson.

27 January

Happy birthday to a second cousin today. Also an Aberdeenshire grain store keeper and an Ayrshire coal miner’s wife who lived nearly all her life in Dreghorn.

27 January 1848
Baptism of Peter Aitken (or Aiken) at Longside, son of William Aitken and Elizabeth Milne and uncle of my step great grandmother Helen Ann Morgan. I can’t find his family in the 1851 census, but in 1861 Peter is an ag lab at Aldie, Cruden where his father was farm overseer, and his mother and siblings were at Whiteshin, Cruden. Peter was a witness at his sister Jane’s marriage in 1865, and in 1871 is a farm servant at West Gask, Cruden. I then can’t find him in 1881, but in 1891 there is a Peter Aiken of the right age and born in Longside who was a grain store keeper in Peterhead, lodging with a widow and her children. That Peter is still a grain store keeper in Peterhead in 1901 lodging with a different family. If this is the right Peter then it doesn’t look as if he married or had children.

27 January 1860 (born about 1840)
Janet Howat was born in about 1840 at Kilmarnock, daughter of Peter Thomas Howat and Janet Strachan and granddaughter of my ggg uncle Robert Strachan and Jean Kelly. No baptism has been found for her, but she is with her parents and siblings in Thirdpart, Kilmarnock in 1841, and the family were therefore neighbours with several members of the extended family. They also had lots of family as neighbours in 1851, as by then they were at Corsehill Square, Dreghorn. Janet’s father Peter died in the late 1850s, and in 1860 Janet married coal miner Robert Dick at Dreghorn in the same month that one of her brothers was married. Janet and Robert, with a baby daughter, have their own home at Corsehill Square in 1861. No address is given except for Dreghorn in 1871, and by then Janet and Robert had 6 children. They are at Hugh Dunlop’s Land, Dreghorn in 1881, with only 3 of their children still at home and are at the same address in 1891 with just their youngest at home. Janet Dick nee Howat died at Dreghorn in January 1899 age 59.

27 January 1947
Happy birthday half second cousin David (on the Fraser side) – looking forward to seeing you in London next month!

25 January

On the 25th, back in 1759, Robert Burns was born in Alloway, Ayrshire so last night was Burns’ Night. No. I didn’t have haggis to celebrate! The 25th was also the birth or baptism of a McWilliam in Aberdeenshire who most probably died young, a Hepworth from Yorkshire who died very young, and a Fraser from Aberdeenshire who was a tramway motorman.

25 January 1820
Birth or baptism of my half gggg aunt Williamina Anne Baigrie McWilliam at Longside, daughter of my gggg grandmother Janet Sansgter and William McWilliam. There was an Anne Baigrie born in Cruden in 1784, just a year after Janet Sangster: she is surely who Williamina was named for and could have been either a friend of a relative of Janet’s. I cannot find any other trace of Willamina in the records so she may have died young.

25 January 1846
Baptism of Anthony Hepworth at Royston, Yorkshire, son of my gggg aunt Jane Haigh and Anthony Hepworth. His baptism record for Royston Parish Church says his father was a farmer of Walton in Sandal. Anthony died at just 4 weeks old and was buried in February at Royston.

25 January 1893
Birth of my half gg uncle Harry Brown Fraser at Mosside croft , Hatton, Aberdeenshire, son of Alexander Fraser and second wife Margaret Booth. Harry is with his parents at the croft in 1901, still at school. There is a passenger list record for a Harry Fraser age 20 going to Winnipeg, Canada in 1913, a farm labourer who has worked in farming since 1907, which could be him. But I can’t find a return to Scotland passage so it might be a different Harry. Harry Fraser married Lilias Moir at the Station Buffer at Ellon in 1920, and gave his address as 43 Hutcheon Street, Aberdeen, which was where his sister Jessie lived, and his occupation was farm servant. He changed how he earned his living at some stage, though, as Harry Brown Fraser died in Aberdeen age 69 in 1962 and his death certificate says he was a tramway motorman.

20 January

Some interesting ones today: my Yorkshire great grandfather Joseph Green, plus the illegitimate daughter of an Ayrshire ggg grandmother and a William Fraser from Aberdeenshire who needs more research.

20 January 1871 (born about 1821)
My half ggg aunt Jean Pollock was born in about 1821 at Irvine, according to the census, but no baptism has been found. She was the illegitimate daughter of my ggg grandmother Jean Orr who had been married to Joseph Haggerty, but Jean was born after Joseph had died. Jean’s father was called Robert Pollock. In 1841 Jean is in Irvine as a domestic servant to a cotton hand loom weaver, and then in 1844 she married John Richmond at Dundonald – he was a coal miner so probably worked at Shewalton Colliery. According to the birthplaces given for their children in the census, Jean and John were in Kilwinning for a couple of years, then went to Airdrie, Lanarkshire in 1848/49, moved back to Kilwinning by 1850, and were at Kenneth’s Row, Corsehill in 1851 with 4 children and a lodger (and lots of relatives as neighbours). They are still at Kenneth’s Row in 1861 with 8 children and a boarder. Jean Richmond nee Pollock died in January 1871 at Neil’s Land, Hurlford of pthithis (tuberculosis) at 50 years of age.

20 January 1866
Birth of William Fraser at Old Deer, son of my ggg uncle William Fraser and Barbara Cordiner and grandson of William Fraser and Christian Hutcheon. William is with his father and siblings in Kinknockie, Old Deer where his father was a master shoemaker employing a journeyman and an apprentice – on census night his mother was visiting her parents in Peterhead. At 15, in 1881, William is still at school and with his parents at Kinknockie. He then becomes a mystery as I can’t find him anywhere in the records, though I haven’t yet made an exhaustive search.

20 January 1868
Birth of my great grandfather Joseph Green at Worsbrough, Yorkshire, son of Joseph Green and Margaret Oxley. At the time of his birth, his parents were living in Worsbrough Common and his father was a cabinet maker. Joseph is with his parents in Green Row, Worsbrough Common in 1871, but the family had moved into Barnsley by 1881 and lived at Newton Street. In 1888 Joseph, by then also a cabinet maker, was married in Royston to Charlotte Senior, whose family came from Carlton near Royston. The Green family had family connections in Royston, which is possibly how Joseph and Charlotte met. Their first two children were baptised in Barnsley, with Joseph being described as a wagon joiner and a miner: I suspect he worked at a mine but was a carpenter, fixing and making wooden wagons. In 1891 he and Charlotte are at James Street, Barnsley in a small stone terrace house that still exists (I’ve driven past it and also seen it on Google street view). Their next two children was baptised at Mapplewell, to the north of Barnsley: Joseph was a cart repairer at a colliery and the family lived at Spark Lane. When their next child was baptised they were back in Barnsley, but in around 1899 they moved to Leeds and Joseph can be found on the electoral roll living at Hope Grove, Armley (a street that has since been demolished but which was next to Gott’s Park). The 1901 census finds Joseph, Charlotte and 7 children at Hope Grove with Joseph working as a carpenter and joiner. They then had 3 children baptised together in 1904: by then they were living at Stack Cottages, Abbey Road, Kirkstall and in 1905 Joseph is on the electoral roll in a dwelling house at Kirkstall Forge, Abbey Road. It would seem that he had taken a job at Kirkstall Forge, no doubt as a carpenter joiner. Kirkstall Forge was founded by the Cistercians monks of Kirkstall Abbey in the 13th century, so had a long history. The electoral roll then places Joseph and his family at 7 Vicarage Avenue, Kirkstall from 1906 – the houses that comprise the Vicarages were terraces that had been recently built as they are not on the 1895 Ordnance Survey map. By 1911, with more children having been born and the eldest now young adults, Joseph and family had moved to a larger house just round the corner on Station Parade, but were back at 7 Vicarage Avenue from 1915. During WW1 Joseph served in the Royal Engineers at Aldershot from 1917 to 1918 though he doesn’t seem to have enjoyed his time there, as his army record refers to him being disciplined for appearing on parade unshaved, appearing on parade with dirty equipment, and using insubordinate language to an NCO! He went before a medical board in 1918 and was declared unfit for further service. Sometime after 1921, with most of their children married and off their hands, Joseph and Charlotte moved to a house in the Cragsides, where the photograph of them in their garden was taken. Joseph died in 1925 age 57 of cancer of the throat. Widow Charlotte had, so my mother said, never really settled in the Cragsides and so moved back to the Vicarages. Photographs of Joseph Green can be found on this blog at http://wp.me/p34D39-hA

14 and 15 January

A ggggg Yorkshire grandmother born 256 years ago and who married a weaver, a Haggerty descendent from Ayrshire who had but a short life, and a Fraser from Mosside croft in Aberdeenshire who married a soldier during WW1 and went to Canada.

15 January 1758
Baptism of Ann Savile at Royston, Yorkshire, daughter of Samuel Savile and Francis Hutchinson and who I suspect is my ggggg grandmother. There was a marriage in Royston in 1779 of Joseph Haigh weaver and Ann Savile, and they had 11 children baptised at Royston from 1780 to 1801, including my gggg grandfather Joseph Haigh. Joseph married Hannah Atkinson and had lots of children including Charlotte Haigh, who married George Simpson and was the grandmother of my great grandmother Charlotte Senior. So that line goes back quite a long way in the same parish.

15 January 1866
Birth of Matthew Richmond at Stevenston, Ayrshire, son of my half ggg aunt Jean Pollock and John Richmond, and grandson of my ggg grandmother Jean Orr who had been married to Joseph Haggerty but gave birth to illegitimate daughter Jean Pollock after her husband had died. Matthew had a short life as he died at Hurlford in 1869.

14 January 1889
Margaret (Maggie) Fraser was born at Mosside croft, Hatton near Cruden, Aberdeenshire, illegitimate daughter of my half gg aunt Christian Fraser. Her mother married farm servant James Reid in December 1890 at Mosside, and in the 1891 census Margaret appears as Maggie Reid, with her mother and stepfather, at Mortimer’s House, Boddam. Her stepfather died at Stuartfield, Old Deer in 1893 and in 1895 her mother married James Andrews. The 1901 census has Maggie Fraser, age 12 and at school, with her mother and labourer stepfather at Old Machar, Aberdeen. In May 1917 Margaret Fraser, domestic servant age 27, married Robert Henry Cooper, a boilermaker, corporal with the Aberdeen Army and a widower, who lived in Toronto but during WW1 served with the British Exchange Force. The marriage certificate does not say who Maggie’s father was, and as she used the surname Fraser it would seem that her mother’s first husband, James Reid, was not Maggie’s father. Maggie’s husband Robert returned to Canada on a troop ship in June 1918, by which time he was a sergeant, and Maggie sailed to Canada in September 1919. They are in the census in Toronto in 1921, with 2 children and a daughter from Robert’s first marriage, and Robert is employed as a constable.

10 January

And today we have an early Logan from Aberdeenshire who I don’t know much about, a Fraser from Cruden who was a good old ag lab who may have spent a short while in Orkney, a Strachan from Kilwinning whose husband worked at the brickworks and who never seems to have left Kilwinning, and a Strachan cousin who was actually born in Canada but lived in the UK from the age of about 6 months.

10 January 1721
George Logan (or Loggan) was baptised at New Machar, Aberdeen, son of John Logan, and he may be my ggggg grandfather – or my ancestor might be a different George Logan whose baptism record has not survived. What is certain is that a George Logan married Elizabeth Morice at Old Deer in January 1752, and they had children born at Old Deer from 1753 to 1761: their baptism records have the father as George Loggan of Miln of Creichie, and one of the witnesses was John Loggan of Miln of Creichie. This must be today’s Mill of Crichie, which is on the southern side of Stuartfield. There is also a baptism for Agnes Logan in July 1767 at Old Deer with parents George Logan of Milne of Creichie and Isobel Mories: I suspect the kirk session clerk has written Isobel when it should have said Elizabeth. However, as there is a gap of several years between the 1761 and 1767 baptisms, it’s possible Elizabeth died and Isobel is a second wife – but there is no record for any second marriage. Nothing else is known about George Logan as he died well before the census began.

10 January 1809
Birth of James Fraser at Cruden, son of who I suspect is my ggggg uncle John Fraser and Christian Sangster. He married Barbara Sim at Cruden in 1832, and baptisms for 3 children have been found: two daughters born 1832 and 1835 at Old Meldrum and another daughter born 1845 at Foveran. That leaves a 10 year gap between children, but there is no evidence for any others: perhaps they did not survive birth. In 1841 James, Barbara and 2 daughters are at Mill of Fiddes, Foveran, James an ag lab. They are at Cot Town Potterton, Belhelvie in 1851, James a farm servant waggoner, their eldest daughter a dairymaid and the new arrival, by now age 6, at school. In 1861 wife Barbara is at Green of Udny but there is no James. There is, however, a James Fraser of the right age and born at Cruden at Orquil, just outside Kirkwall on Orkney: he is a visitor, occupation ag lab, with a farmer who was born in Aberdeenshire and is employing several farm servants from Aberdeenshire. By 1871, labourer James, wife Barbara and their youngest daughter are at Woodside, Newhills, and James and Barbara are at Margret Cottage, Newhill in 1881: Newshills is now outer Aberdeen but in those days was rural. James Fraser died at Newhills in 1883.

10 January 1861
Birth of Margaret Strachan at Corsehill, Kilwinning, illegitimate daughter of my gg aunt Mary Strachan, father unknown, and granddaughter of Robert Strachan and Margaret Haggerty. On her birth certificate her mother is described as a muslin sewer. Her mother had been married to seaman Archibald Russell, but he’d disappeared and is not named as the father on Margaret’s birth certificate. In 1861 Margaret is at Kenneth’s Row with her mother, grandfather, step grandmother and aunts and uncles. Her mother then became the common law wife of Alexander McEwan – most probably the reason they did not marry was because Archibald Russell was still alive. In 1871 Margaret age 10 and a bonnet knitter is with her mother, stepfather and their 2 children. In 1880 she married Robert McGowen, brickwork labourer, at Kenneth’s Row on the same day and in the same place as her aunt Susan Strachan, who was not much older then Margaret, was married. In 1881 Margaret and husband Robert are at Corsehill, and they were still there in 1891, by which time they’d had 3 children. They are at Bannock Row, Kilwinning, having had 3 more children, and Robert McGowen is still a brick maker. Margaret McGowen nee Strachan died in 1940 at Bridgend, Kilwinning, so she spent her whole life in pretty much the same place.

10 January 1931
My cousin Henry Strachan, son of my “black sheep” uncle Henry Strachan and Mary Campbell, was born in Toronto, Canada – which came as a surprise to him in later life, as he and his parents had returned to the UK when Henry was a baby and he’s assumed he was born in the UK. He married in Tynemouth, where his mother was from, and died in 1996 in Galashiels, in the Scottish border country.

6 January

My gg grandfather Alexander Fraser today, plus a Wooffendale from Yorkshire (lovely surname), a Strachan descendant from Ayrshire and my Yorkshire great aunt Alice.

6 January 1732
Baptism of my gggggg uncle Christopher Hudson at Royston, Yorkshire, son of John Hudson and Mary Wooffendale.

6 January 1838
Birth of my gg grandfather Alexander Fraser at Mosside Croft, Cruden, Aberdeenshire, son of William Fraser and Christian Hutcheon. He is with his parents and siblings at Mosside in 1841 and 1851, and was still a scholar at age 12, though he probably began working as a farm servant at about age 14. In 1861 he is ploughman (which involved looking after the two horses, usually Clydesdales, who pulled the plough) at Whiteness Inn, Collieston, near Slains. He probably moved from farm to farm regularly, but in 1864 he married Mary Ann Logan at Ellon Manse and gave his address as Mosside Croft, Cruden: Mary Ann was working at Drumwhyndle Farm, Ellon. Their son William was born in 1865 at Oldtown of Aquharney, Cruden and their daughter Mary Ann was born in 1867 at Collieston, Slains. Tragedy struck when wife Mary Ann died of tuberculosis in August 1867, leaving Alexander with two very young children: they most likely went to live at Mosside Croft. In 1868 Alexander married again, to Margaret Booth. They were both working as farm servants at Kirkendry, Longside and were married at Lenabo, Longside. Their twin daughters were born in 1869 at Dudwick, Savoch. In the 1871 census Alexander and Margaret are at Fortie, Savoch, parish of Ellon with Alexander’s two children with his first wife, Margaret’s illegitimate son from before she married, 2 surviving children of the 3 born since their marriage, and a visitor and her daughter. By 1872, however, they were at Spital, Old Aberdeen as that is where a son was born, and his birth certificate says Alexander was working as a mason. They were at Causeway End, Aberdeen when a daughter was born in 1876 and Alexander was back to working as an agricultural labourer. When his father died in 1877, Alexander took over the lease of Mosside Croft, and a daughter was born there in 1878. They are at Mosside Croft in 1881 with 6 children, the older ones having left home. They had more children, and in 1891 were at Mosside with 8 children. The 1895 Valuation Roll lists Alexander Fraser as the tenant of a croft and house at Hardslacks, paying a yearly rent of £5 to estate proprietor John Bruce. The valuation roll shows that Mosside was next to the shootings belonging to the estate, so it may be that the residents of Mosside earned some money as beaters during the shooting season. In 1901 Alexander and Margaret are at Mosside with 3 children and 2 grandchildren. Alexander Fraser died in February 1911 age 73 at Mosside, and died on influenza. At the 1911 census the croft of Mosside was occupied by his widow Margaret, a daughter and 4 grandchildren, but Alexander’s eldest son William was to take over the tenancy shortly after.

6 January 1858
Birth of Susan Findlay at Riccarton, Ayrshire, daughter of Hugh Findlay and Margaret Miller, granddaughter of David Findlay and Susannah Strachan and great granddaughter of my gggg uncle Peter Strachan and Mary Monroe. She us with her parents and siblings at Cadgers Row, Hurlford in 1861 and at Loudonkirk Cottage, Loudon in 1871. Her father was a mining contractor but in 1881 is grocer inn Monkton, and Susan age 23 is listed as a saleswoman. By 1891 she was living with her unmarried grocer uncle Adam Miller in Titchfield Street, Galston and is listed as housekeeper but probably helped in the grocer’s shop too. They are both still there in 1901. Susan Findlay died in Galston in 1942 age 84, and as there is no other surname given for her in the index to deaths it would seem that she never married.

6 January 1893
Baptism of my great aunt Alice Green who was born at Spark Lane, Mapplewell, Yorkshire and baptised in Barnsley in March 1893, daughter of carpenter Joseph Green and Charlotte Green. By 1901 the family had moved to Leeds and were at Hope Grove, Armley and Alice was at school. The family moved to Kirkstall before 1904, and in 1911 are at Station Parade, Kirkstall” Alice age 18 is fibre comber at a fibre spinning works. In 1913 she married fibre drawer Dawsn Greenwood at Kirkstall St Stephen’s, so it would seem they may have met by working at the same fibre mill, although Dawson was living just round the corner from Station Parade. Dawson Greenwood came from a family of silk mill workers who lived at Coniston Cold in the Yorkshire Dales, but had moved to Leeds before 1911. Alice and Dawson had 2 children, Fred and Walter.

3 January part 1: William Fraser of the Battle of Waterloo


My gggg grandfather William Fraser was born on this day 276 years ago, and he gets his own post as there is a great deal to say about him. Thank goodness old military records have been kept and have been digitised and put online.

3 January 1778

On this date, William Fraser was baptised in Cruden, Aberdeenshire and I strongly suspect he is my gggg grandfather. His baptism entry says his father was Donald Fraser, and his death certificate gives his parents as Donald Fraser soldier and Margaret Sharp. His army record says he was a labourer before enlistment, which probably means an agricultural labourer. In August 1804 – when he was 26 – he had a liaison with 21 year old Janet Sangster who came from Burnthill croft near Hatton, and as a result my ggg grandfather William Fraser was born illegitimate in May 1805. His baptismal entry is quite detailed and says “27 May 1805 John Sangster in Burnthill presented a child to baptism begot in fornication by William Fraser (as the mother Janet Sangster affirms). The child was baptised and named William. Witnesses John Davidson and William Sangster.” I’ve searched the Kirk Session Minutes and there is no record of Janet Sangster or William Fraser being brought before the session to explain themselves, which is a shame as it would have helped a great deal.

William Fraser was the son of a soldier, and in 1806 enlisted with the 92nd Regiment of Foot, which was raised in Aberdeenshire by the Duke of Gordon. In 1807, the regiment went to Copenhagen and then to Sweden in 1808, but was then re-routed to the Peninsula (Spain and Portugal). There are plenty of records from the Peninsula War available online, and two records are of particular interest as they refer to William Fraser.

Army diary of 10th November 1813 (at the line of the Nivelle): Lieutenants Duncan Macpherson and George Mitchell, Ensigns Allan McDonald, and 28 of the men are dead. Captains Holmes, Ronald Macdonald, Duncan Macpherson, Lieutenants John Cattanach, James Chisholm, George Mitchell and Robert Winchester, Ensign William Fraser and 143 men are wounded. (An ensign is a Scottish term for the most junior rank of commissioned officer who traditionally carried the ensign flag, also known as the colours. Today’s equivalent is a second lieutenant.)

Peninsula War Medal Roll for 92nd Regiment of Foot: William Fraser is marked A under Vittoria, Pyrennes, Nivelle, Nivel, Orthes, Toulouse and has Salamanca under the Remarks column. This means he was at several critical battles during Britain’s campaign in Spain and Portugal against the French forces of Napoleon.

The 92nd Regiment was in Ireland when Napoleon escaped from Elba, and was sent to fight at Quatre Brad and Waterloo in 1815. It was at Waterloo (Belguim) that William Fraser was again wounded in June 1815, this time quite severely – or at least severely enough to be discharged unfit.

Chelsea Pensioners Record – 92nd Regiment of Highlands: William Fraser Private Soldier in Capn. Angus Fraser’s company, born in the Parish of Cruden, was enlisted at the age of 24 and has served in said regiment for 10 years … in consequence of gun shot wound received in the left hip joint, right thigh and left arm, while in action with the enemy at Waterloo on the 16th & 18th June 1815 is rendered unfit for further service, and is hereby discharged. … the said William Fraser is about 33 years of age, 5ft 8ins, fair hair, grey eyes and fresh complexion, and by trade is a labourer. Statement of service: 92nd Foot 25 July 1806 to 24 July 1816 and served at Waterloo 2 years. (He was actually 38 but no one was very accurate about ages in those days.)

Perhaps I can forgive him for not marrying my pregnant gggg grandmother! Janet Sangster married someone else in 1812 and had more children, and lived at Nether Kinmundy, which although in Longside parish was close to its border with Cruden parish. It wasn’t far from Brunthill croft where her father John Sangster lived, and which was later taken over by Janet’s brother. What I don’t know is what William Fraser did after his discharge in 1816 and before his appearance in the 1841 census, but as he seemed to have received quite extensive war wounds and was granted a pension, he may not have been able to work. Nor do I know where his son with Janet Sangster, also called William Fraser, was brought up. William junior most probably was at Brunthill until old enough to work as a farm servant, then in 1828 he married Christian Hutcheon, both of Longside parish, but their children were baptised in Cruden parish and William was described as “of Hardslacks” on their baptismal records. He was the tenant of Mosside croft at Hardslacks, which was close to both Brunthill and Nether Kinmundy.

William Fraser senior, discharged from the army, must have returned to Cruden. In 1841 he is in the census at Brickwork, Peterhead parish (which is south of Peterhead itself and close to the border with Cruden parish)and is listed as an army pensioner in the household of his brother Andrew Fraser, who is an ag lab. In the same household is John Fraser age 78, also an army pensioner, who was Andrew and William’s brother. In 1851 William is still at Brickwork with brother Andrew. By 1861 Andrew has died and William is at South Turnpike, Seafield, Peterhead with his niece Elizabeth who is a crofter of 2.5 acres, and with them are two young relatives, a boarder and a visitor. This is probably the same place as they were at in the previous census – i.e. at Brickwork – as three years later William died at Brickwork. An old Ordnance Survey map shows Brickwork Bay south of Peterhead town and shows a farm called Seafield a bit south of the actual brick and tile works. It’s on the road to Aberdeen, so at one time must have been next to a turnpike, hence the small croft’s name of “South Turnpike”.

William Fraser died in 1864 and his death certificate reads “William Fraser pensioner 92nd Reg married to Isabella Fraser, died 22 March 1864 at Brickwork, Peterhead, age 79 years. Son of Donald Fraser soldier (dead) and Margaret Fraser ms Sharp (dead). Of general debility, no medical attendant. Informant Elizabeth Fraser X her mark niece, present.”

The death certificate introduces a mystery, as it says William Fraser was married to Isabella Fraser but does not say he was a widower, so it implies Isabella was still alive. There was a marriage in Peterhead on 21 August 1819 of William Fraser labourer and Isabel Fraser but there is no evidence of any children being born to then. William would have been 41 at the time of his marriage, so it may have been a second marrage for Isabella. The 1841 census has Isabella Fraser age 60 at Longate Street, Peterhead with occupation independent (i.e. she had a means of support other than employment – money from William’s pension?). With her is a 25 year old Isabella who could be her daughter, but the 1841 census does not detail relationships. The daughter has the surname Foot but there are also two children who are likely to have been her daughters with the surname Shand. Following this up, I found that one of the Shand children gave her parents names, on marriage, as Isabella Fraser and James Shand. I’ve no idea where the foot surname came from, but as Isabella Senior had the surname Fraser before she married William Fraser, it means I don’t known whether Isabella was his daughter or not as there is no baptism for her in the OPRs. She seems to have died before 1851, so no death certificate for her either. As ages in the 1841 census were rounded down, she would have been age between 25 and 1829, and therefore born between 1811 and 1816 – before William married Isabella and while he was away in the army. So she is probably not his daughter.

It therefore looks as if William junior might have been William’s only child, and for whatever reason William senior was not living with his wife during the last 20 or more years of his life. And there are indications that William junior was in contact with his father, or at least knew about him. Interestingly, the neighbouring croft to Mosside was occupied, from sometime after 1851, by Robert Fraser, who was the son of John Fraser and grandson of William Fraser senior’s brother John (the one who was living with Andrew and William Fraser in 1841). And when William junior died in 1877, his son James was the informant and was able to give a father’s name of William Fraser but could name the mother (Janet McWilliam nee Sangster had died in 1859).

So William Fraser soldier and Chelsea pensioner proved a very interesting ancestor to research, and was a real test of my research skills! I can’t say absolutely for sure that he’s the William Fraser who fathered my illegitimate ggg grandfather, but the circumstantial evidence does point to it being the right William.