Tag Archives: McCrae

14 and 15 March

Happy Birthday on the 15th to blog follower Morag! Also on these two days: a Yorkshire gggg grandfather, an Aberdeenshire Watt who worked at the Cluny Hill Hydro, a Strachan great aunt who died age just one and a McCrae great uncle who died age 21.

14 March 1762
My gggg grandfather William Roydhouse or Roadhouse was probably the one baptised on 14 March 1762 at Darfield, Yorkshire, son of Samuel Roadhouse. He married at Darfield in July 1795 to Mary Adams, who was from Brodsworth, and they had 6 children baptised at Darfield. William appears to have died before 1837. His widow Mary is in the 1841 census living with her daughter Mary who had married carpenter George Senior and was living in Carlton. In 1851 William’s widow, age 79, was in Wombwell with her youngest daughter.

14 March 1863
Birth of Agnes Bruce Watt at Ellon, daughter of George Watt and Mary Mutch, and granddaughter of my gggg aunt Elizabeth Hutcheon and John Mutch. Agnes is with her family i 1871 at Ellon, her father an ag lab, can’t be located in 1881, but in 1891 is a nurse at the Cluny Hill Hydro Establishment at Forres, in Moray. This was quite a large enterprise in its day, where people went to recuperate from illness and “take the waters,” and on census night in 1891 had around 59 guests, a manager and 23 live-in servants. In 1893, however, Agnes married draper and widower William Cameron in Aberdeen, and in 1901 they are at Devonshire Road, Aberdeen, with 4 of William’s children, their own young child and a female servant. Agnes Bruce Cameron nee Watt died in Aberdeen in 1955 at the age of 91.

14 March 1868
Birth of my great aunt Margaret Strachan at Dykehead, Riccarton, Ayrshire, daughter of Joseph Strachan and Jeannie Haddow. Margaret died at just over 1 year old at Kenneth’s Row, Kilwinning, of a bowel complaint and consumption.

15 March 1873
Birth of my great uncle John McCrae at Kilmarnock, son of coal miner John McCrae and Mary Ann McAnairney. In 1881 he’s at Mill Lane, Kilmarnock with his parents and siblings but is not with his parents in 1891 and I cannot find him elsewhere: he may have been with his parents and missed off the form. He died in May 1897 at Kilmarnock Infirmary at the age of 24, from otitis media 3 months and meningitis 3 days, which indicates he had an ear infection which spread to the spinal chord.

7 March

A Murphie from Stevenston who I haven’t been able to trace fully, a Hepworth from Yorkshire who moved to Lancashire and died in his 30s, a Strachan from Ayrshire who died in the Ays District Asylum, and a McCrae from Kilmarnock.

7 March 1798
Birth of my ggg uncle John Murphie at Stevenston. There is a marriage in October 1822 at Stevenston for John Murphie and Charlotte Fitzcharles, and this couple are in the 1822 minister’s census for Stevenston living at Cow Roading: RC is written next to Charlotte, so it seems she was Catholic. There are not in the 1836 Stevenston census, and no baptism for children can be found. There is also a marriage of John Murphie and Elizabeth Cook in Ardrossan in 1826. He seems to have died before 1855 as no death certificate can be found.

7 March 1847
Baptism of Joseph Hepworth at Royston, Yorkshire, who was born in Walton and was the son of my gggg aunt Jane Haigh and farmer Anthony Hepworth. Joseph is with his parents at Haw Park, Walton in 1851 and 1861. He married widow Sarah Hill in 1870 at Ormskirk, Lancashire. In 1871 Joseph, employed as an iron moulder, is a lodger at Oldham, Lancashire but I can’t find his wife: however, her daughter from her first marriage is with Joseph’s older brother and her son from her first marriage is with Joseph’s father. The family are together in 1881 at Preston, Lancashire: Joe Hepworth is a commission agent, wife Sarah is a dressmaker, there are 7 stepchildren and 2 children. Joe Hepworth died at Preston in 1883 age 36.

7 March 1860
Birth of my great uncle Robert Strachan at Kenneth’s Row, Kilwinning, son on Joseph Strachan and Jeannie Haddow. He is with his parents and siblings at Bensley Square, Kilwinning in 1861, then at Crookedholm in 1871 and 1881. In 1882 he married Elizabeth Cairns and they had a son Joseph born in 1886. Robert, however, was admitted to Ayr District Asylum in about 1887, and he died there in 1890. The cause of death given was general paralysis after insane 3 years: this most probably means syphilis, a disease that was very common back then, before the discovery of penicillin. Robert’s widow remarried, to a widower with children, and lived in Galston. His on became a coal miner and lived in Galston and Newmilns all his life.

7 March 1917
Birth of Mary Ann McCrae at Kilmarnock, daughter of my great uncle James McCrae and Mary Langan, and granddaughter of John McCrae and Mary Ann McInairney. I suspect she’s the Mary Ann McCrae who married Matthew Grant at Kilmarnock in 1937 and died in Kilmarnock in 1965.

10, 11 and 12 February

10th February is my ggg grandfather Robert Marshall, a saddler of Kilmarnock. There was no-one on the 11th. On the 12th there were two Lamb cousin in Aberdeenshire, one of whom had illegitimate children and never married, and the other who went to England and became a public parks superintendent. Plus a Fraser who migrated to California and a McCrae who lived, worked and died in Kilmarnock.

10 February 1761
Baptism of my ggg grandfather Robert Marshall in Kilmarnock: at least think it’s the right Robert Marshall. The one baptised in 1761 was the son of Alexander Marshall, a brazier of Kilmarnock, and Agnes Gibson. A brazier was someone who made or repaired things made from brass. Evidence to support this being the correct Robert is that “my” Robert married Agnes Logan on 10 February 1792 in Kilmarnock, and they called their eldest son Alexander. Robert Marshall and Agnes had 11 children baptised in Kilmarnock, and the baptism entries give his occupation as saddler. Robert died before 1841, but his widow died in 1865 age 93, and her death certificate says she was the widow of Robert Marshall saddler.

12 February 1843
Baptism of Elizabeth Lamb at Longside, Aberdeenshire, daughter of my gggg aunt Elizabeth Hutcheon and John Lamb. Elizabeth was born illegitimate but her parents married in 1846, then her mother died in 1847. In 1851 Elizabeth is with her mother’s sister Margaret, who had married Charles Davidson, and her father is a farm overseer at a nearby farm. Elizabeth had an illegitimate daughter in 1863, the father not named. In 1871 Elizabeth is at Rora, Longside with her aunt Margaret, and her 7 year old daughter is in Longside with Elizabeth’s father and his second wife. Later in 1871 Elizabeth had an illegitimate son, again father not named. In 1881 Elizabeth’s 2 children are both at Rora with Elizabeth’s aunt Margaret while Elizabeth is working as a domestic servant in Peterhead.

12 February 1843
Baptism of Robert Lamb at Longside, Aberdeenshire, son of my gggg aunt Mary Hutcheon and Robert Lamb (and cousin of Elizabeth Lamb baptised on the same day) – his census entries all say he was born in Peterhead, and his parents were in Newseat, Peterhead in 1841. In 1851 he is with his family at Cuminstown, Monquhitter where his father was working as an ag lab. By 1861 his family had moved up to Rafford in Moray, and Robert is close by at Edinkilie, Moray working as an apprentice gardener. By 1871 he had moved to England and is at Waldron, Sussex working as a domestic gardener. The he married Ruth Stone in 1879 at Cheltenham, and in 1881 they are in Stockport, Cheshire with a baby daughter, Robert working as a gardener. In 1891 he is the head gardener working and living at Phillip’s Park near Prestwich, with his wife and daughter. By 1901 Robert is a superintendent of public parks, and in 1911 is still a superintendent of pubic parks, living at The Cottage, Heaton Park. He died there in 1914, after his wife had died, and probate of his will went to his daughter Mildred, who had married James Lamb, who may have been a relative.

12 February 1862
Birth of Samuel Fraser at Old Deer, son of my ggg uncle shoemaker William Fraser and Barbara Cordiner and grandson of William Fraser and Christian Hutcheon. In 1871 he’s with his parents and siblings at Kinknockie, old Deer, and in 1881 is a farm servant at Mains of Tarty, Logie Buchan. He migrated to USA not long afterwards, though I haven’t found him on a passenger list, and went to California. In 1894 he married Helen Andrews, who also had migrated from Scotland, and they are in the 1900 USA census in San Francisco with 2 children, Samuel working as a stationery engine fireman. He then seems to have acquired some land further up the coast, as in the 1910, 1920 and 1930 census he’s a farmer at Big River, Mendocino. Samuel and Helen had 3 children, and Samuel was buried at Little River, Mendocino in 1939.

12 February 1870
Birth of my great uncle Matthew McIncarne McCrae in Kilmarnock, son of John McCrae and Mary Ann Mcinairney. He is with his parents in Kilmarnock in 1871, 1881 and 1891, and became a coal miner like his father and brothers. In January 1895 he married mill worker Annie McCubbin at The Manse, Kilmarnock, and one of the witnesses was Matthew’s sister Helen, my grandmother, who signed herself as Nelly McCrae. |n 1901 Matthew, Annie and 2 children are at 41 High Street, Kilmarnock, a tenement building where Matthew’s brother William and family also lived. In 1911 Matthew and Annie were at 19 Boyd Street, Kilmarnock in a house with their 6 children and Annie’s sister. The Valuation Roll of 1915 shows Matt McCrae tenant of 15 Boyd Street, which was owned by Mars Catherine Bailey of Ayr. Matthew’s son John died in Russia in WW1. Matthew McCrae died in 1941 age 70, in Kilmarnock.

13 January

Today my great grandmother Mary Ann McInairnery was born in 1840: she was tricky to research as her surname is written differently on every record that has survived, and I’m still not sure what it’s supposed to be. Also today: a Hudson ancestor born in Yorkshire born 276 years ago, a Fisher from Yorkshire of whom very little has been found, a Watt in Aberdeenshire who never married but had a daughter she seems to have lived with all her adult life, a Cain descendent on my Strachan tree who moved to Lanarkshire, a Logan descendent from Aberdeenshire who migrated to Canada and lived in Brant and then Toronto, and a McCrae descendant from Ayrshire who was deserted by her father and then lost her mother so was brought up by her grandparents.

13 January 1738
Baptism of my gggggg aunt Hannah Hudson at Royston, Yorkshire, daughter of John Hudson and Mary Wooffendale. The only thing I can find that might be her is a marriage in December 1762 at Darton, the neighbouring parish to Royston, to William Overend. William Overend then had a child, Timothy, baptised in Darton in January 1764, but nothing else can be found for this couple.

13 January 1805
Baptism of Hannah Fisher at Tankersley, Yorkshire, daughter of my ggggg uncle Timothy Fisher and Mary Kaye. Unfortunately I can’t find anything else that looks like her in the records, so she may have died in childhood.

13 January 1890 (born about 1818)
My gggg aunt Janet or Jessie Watt was born in Rayne in about 1818, though no baptism record can be found, and was the daughter of Peter Watt and Helen Alexander. In 1841 she was working as a female farm servant at Tiddy, Skene, and in 1851 is a visitor with her married brother James and his family at Old Mill of Shivas, Tarves. In 1857 she gave birth to an illegitimate daughter Jessie Rennie. Jessie Watt is housekeeper at a farm at Auryhillock, Bourtie at the time of the 1861 census and her daughter Jessie is with Peter and Helen Watt at Meikle Wartle, Rayne. Jessie is with her by then very elderly parents, along with her daughter, at Meikle Wartle, Rayne in 1871, earning a living as a knitter, and is there still in 1881 with her daughter, who was a dressmaker. Janet/Jessie Watt died in January 1890 age 72 at Meikle Wartle, and was remembered on the graveyard memorial erected by her brother William at Rayne.

13 January 1840
Baptism of my great grandmother Mary Ann McInairney at St Mary’s Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, daughter of John McInairney and Sarah Marshall. Her baptism has the surname written as Mcaniny. They cannot be found in the 1841 census, but Mary Ann’s brother Matthew was, according to the census, born in Bellshill in 1841 although no baptism can be found. Her next brother was born in Muirkirk and then another was born in Kilmarnock. Her father died some time between 1848 and 1850, most probably in Kilmarnock. In 1851 Mary Ann with her surname written as McNarnie is with her widowed mother, who was a pauper and hand sewer, at Mather’s Land, Low Church Lane, Kilmarnock, along with 3 younger brothers. The family is at Fore Street, Kilmarnock in 1861 with Mary Ann’s 93 year old grandmother Agnes Marshall and 2 illegitimate children born to Mary Ann’s mother in the 1850s. Mary Ann, age 21, is a flowerer: this is the hand sewing of embroidered flowers onto muslin. Mary Ann married neighbour and coal miner John McCrae at Fore Street in 1861 and they lived in Kilmarnock for the rest of their lives, at Dean Street, Mill Lane, High Church Lane, High Street and Soulis Street, where the brought up their 9 children. John McCrae died in 1904, and in 1911 Mary Ann McCrae and her youngest son are visitors at Riccarton, in the household of her married daughter Sarah Downie. Mary Ann McCrae nee McNearney (as it written on her death certificate) died age 72, though her death certificate has her as 75, in her house at 33 High Street, Kilmarnock in April 1912 from “natural causes”. She must have died alone and been found, as her death was registered by the Procurator Fiscal (Scottish equivalent of a coroner).

13 January 1859
Birth of Rebecca Cain (or Kane or Kean) at Kilwinning, daughter of my ggg aunt Agnes Strachan and coal miner William Kean, and granddaughter of Robert Strachan and Margaret Haggerty. She is with her parents in Kilwinning in 1861 and 1871, and in 1880 gave birth to an illegitimate son at her parents home at Byrehill Row, Kilwinning. Rebecca, working as a field labourer, and her son are with her parents in 1881. In 1883 she married coal miner John McClure and in 1891 they are at Single Row, Kilwinning with 4 children, 1 of them born in Muirkirk. They had moved to Coatbridge, Lanarkshire by 1893, when they had a child born there, and John McClure died there in 1900. In 1901 widow Rebecca is at Heriot’s Row, Old Monkland with 5 of her children.

13 January 1892 (born in January in about 1863)
Jean Scott George was born in Fyvie, Aberdeenshire, daughter of my ggg aunt Barbara Logan and James George. Jean’s birth date appears twice in the Canadian census but is different each time, and I haven’t looked up her birth certificate. Her father was an ag lab and in 1871 the family are in Woodland, Dyce. In April 1872 Jean migrated to Canada with her parents and siblings, and the family are in Brant, Ontario in 1881, father James George a farmer. In 1892 at Malcolm, Brant, Jane married widower John Hampson, a saw miller but he died in 1897 and was a farmer by then. In 1901 widow Jeanie is at Brant with a stepdaughter, 3 children and a “house man” who is most likely a live-in farm servant. By 1911 she seems to have given up the farm and moved to Walkerston with 3 of her children and has a 4 year old lodger. In 1921 she is at Wade Avenue, Toronto living with a married son, an engineer, and two unmarried daughters who worked as a school teacher and a milliner. A Canadian website has published photographs of headstones and it includes one for Jane George Hampson who died in June 1949, and also mentions her two daughters who do not appear to have married.

13 January 1886
Birth of Mary Ann Douglas at High Street, Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, daughter of my great aunt Agnes McCrae and Robert Walker Douglas, and therefore niece of my grandmother Helen McCrae. Her father was a brass finisher and Mary Ann was born 2 months after her parents married, but for whatever reason the marriage didn’t last very long. In 1891 Mary Ann is with her mother and her McCrae grandparents in Kilmarnock, and her father is a lodger in Derby, down in England. Mary Ann’s mother died in June of that year at the age of 29, and her father stayed in Derby, married and had another family – in fact he married a daughter of the family he’d been lodging with. In 1901 Mary Douglas is still with her McCrae grandparents and at school. She married William McMurray, a labourer, in 1908 in Kilmarnock and was working as a tobacconist’s assistant at the time. She and husband William are in Dalry in 1911 with a young daughter, William working as a locomotive fireman at the steelworks. Mary Ann McMurray nee Douglas died in 1963 age 77 at Neilston, Renfrewshire.

27 December (1) – great grandfather John McCrae

A separate entry today for my great grandfather John McCrae as there’s a lot to say about how I eventually managed to discover just who he was.

27 December 1861 (born about 1840)

My great grandfather John McCrae was born in about 1840. As I’ve already written about him under the McCrae tab (see above), here I’ll discuss how I managed to piece together his life as it wasn’t easy. My starting point was my grandmother – Helen McCrae’s marriage certificate gave her parents as John McCrae and Marion McNainey, so as well as finding Helen’s birth certificate at ScotlandsPeople – which has her parents as John McCrae and Mary Ann McNarnie – I could also look her for and her parents in the census.

I found the McCrae family in Kilmarnock in 1891 at High Church Lane, John a coal miner born Ireland and wife Mary Ann born Kilmarnock, with all their children born in Kilmarnock. In 1901 John and Mary Ann, this time both born Kilmarnock, are at High Street. The 1911 census showed Mary Ann McCrae in Riccarton and a widow, so that gave me a rough date of when John McCrae died.

On accessing John’s death certificate, I discovered he died in August 1904 at The Infirmary, Kilmarnock of cardiac failure and passive congestion of the lungs. The informant was his son Matthew who didn’t know his grandparents’ names: this wasn’t very helpful, so the next step was tracing John backwards in the census. 1881 has he was at Mill Lane, Kilmarnock and his wife is listed as Mary Ann Marshall (which turned out to be her mother’s maiden surname). John said he was born in Kilmarnock but Mary Ann said she was born England (in Newcastle, as it turned out). John, a coal miner, and and Mary Ann had 6 children with them. In 1871 they are at Dean Lane, Kilmarnock with 4 children and 2 lodgers, William Dunnagan and Sarah McKennon who my later research proved to be connected to the McCraes and the Marshalls: Mary Ann is listed as Marion. Again it says John was born in Kilmarnock and Mary Ann in England.

As John and Mary Ann’s oldest child was 9 in 1871, they must have got married about 10 years previously, and sure enough I found a marriage for them in Kilmarnock in 1861. They married on 27 December 1861 at Fore Street, Kilmarnock and coal miner John McCrae said his parents were John McCrae labourer dead and Mary McCrae ms Henderson dead. That meant he might not be with his parents in 1861, and I found him at an address in Fore Street lodging with Grizel Owens and her son. Also at the same address (which must have been a tenement building) was Mary Ann McInairney with her grandmother, mother and siblings: her grandmother and mother have the surname Marshall, and one of her siblings is Sarah McKinnon (who is the Sarah McKennon who was lodging with John and Mary Ann in 1881).

At that point I hit a problem, as I couldn’t find John in the 1851 census, so I looked for death certificates for his parents. His mother died in Kilmarnock in 1860. The informant was her son John McCrae so the information about her would have been simply what he knew: he said she was Mary McCrae widow of a labourer, who was not named, daughter of John Henderson labourer dead and Jean Henderson ms McCrae. So if this is correct, Mary Henderson had both a mother and a husband who had the surname McCrae (which is perfectly possible but also makes me a little bit suspicious about how accurate John’s knowledge was). No death certificate could be found for John McCrae’s father. I then searched in vain for the birth of John McCrae: it was before official registration of births so I was reliant on parish baptism registers, and there was nothing.

And that was that for quite a while …. until I discovered that when ScotlandsPeople first put the 1851 census online, they missed out a chunk of Kilmarnock and added it later. So I searched again and lo and behold – there was John McCrae age 11 at Lawsons Land Street, Low Church, Kilmarnock along with Mary Henderson widow age 43. The 1851 census entry adds light and confusion in equal measure, however, because Mary Henderson age 43, widow and washer woman, means Henderson could be either her married or her maiden name, as in Scotland widows frequently reverted to their maiden name. But her place of birth was given as County Antrim, Ireland and with her are 4 people: the first is described as lodger with ditto marks for the rest but I doubt if they were all lodgers. The first is Martha Todd age 65, pauper and binder of shoes, born Antrim, the second is Susanna Bell married age 21 and a hand sewer born Antrim, the third is John McRae (as the name is written) age 11 bearer born Antrim, and the third is Wm Donigan age 3 born Kilmarnock. Wm Donigan is the William who was lodging with John and Mary Ann in 1871, and Susan Bell must be who John and Mary Ann named their daughter Susan Bell McCrae after, so there was obviously a close connection with the 1851 lodgers.

This made me search the 1841 census again, and this time I found who I’m sure is John McCrae at College Wynd, Kilmarnock, which is next to the Low Church. He is with Mary Henderson age 35 born Ireland and Shusan Bell age 11 born Ireland. It says John McCrae or McCree (writing is not very clear) is age 12 born Ireland but I feel sure the age for John McCrae ought to read 12 months, and the enumerator failed to transcribe correctly when completing his book. There are two more children in the household: Robert Lathan age 6 and Susan Lathan age 2, both born Ireland.

So it looks as if John McCrae was born in Country Antrim, Ireland in 1840, and came to Kilmarnock with his mother and other family connections either just before or just after his father died. The other possibility is that he was illegitimate, and although his father was John McCrae he wasn’t married to mother Jean Henderson. I admit to not having done any research into their Irish roots as I know researching Irish records is a nightmare – but it is a task I intend to try and tackle in 2014.

26 December

This was a busy day. In Yorkshire there is a Roydhouse ancestor who was a shoemaker at Carlton, in London a Green ancestor was born, up in Aberdeenshire there was a Fraser descendant who was the blacksmith at Hatton plus a Logan who married a carter and settled at Newhills, in Ayrshire a coal miner and then railway guard Strachan who lived all his life at Crawfordhill near Kilmaurs. And on this day a McCrae born in Kilmarnock was killed in action in Europe in 1945. (And my broadband is still dodgy so I hope this posts!)

26 December 1798
Baptism of my gggg uncle William Roydhouse at Darfield, Yorkshire, son of William Roydhouse and Mary Adams of Wombwell – surname also written as Roadhouse and Roodhouse back then. I’m pretty sure he married Rebecca Iveson at Royston in 1822 and is described as a cordwainer (old term for shoemaker): one of the witnesses was Samuel Roadhouse and my William had a brother called Samuel plus in the later census, that William Roadhouse has a birth place of Wombwell. In 1841 Samuel and Rebecca are in Carlton, near Royston, William a shoemaker and they have 8 children with them: they had 9 altogether. William’s wife Rebecca died in 1845, and in 1851 William is an ag lab in Carlton with 6 children at home, the eldest unmarried daughters no doubt being the housekeepers. By 1851 William’s address is given as Carlton Green and he has 3 grown up and unmarried daughters with him. He died in 1861 at Carlton at 67 years old. William reminded me that I haven’t organised all my notes on my Roydhouse ancestors, and need to do so plus do a bit more research!

26 December 1839
Birth of Amelia Green at Kings Road, Chelsea, London (today a rather good address!), daughter of my gggg uncle Samuel Green and his wife Mary: her father was a licensed victualler who had moved from Worbsrough to Berkshire and then to London. Amelia is with her family at City Road, London in 1841 and is working as a servant, age 14, in 1851 at York Place, Chelsea for a retired hatter. She has become a barmaid by 1891 on Kings Road, Chelsea, then married publican Edward Smith in 1862 at St Marylebone church. In 1871 they are living at South Street, Kensington with 3 children, Edward a grocer. Edward died in 1875, and widow Amelia is still in Kensington in 1881 with 2 of her children. By 1891 she is in Camberwell, still with 2 children and living in the same building as her married daughter. By 1901 she has set up in business as a dyer on the ground floor of Addison Mansions in Hammersmith, and has a unmarried daughter with her and an older sister visiting. Her unmarried daughter died in 1902 and Amelia is in Camberwell in 1911, near where her married son was in 1901, and has a married daughter Florence and married son Edward with her. However, her daughter Florence is also listed in the 1911 census with her husband and children in Manor Park, near Lewisham, and her married son Edward is also with his wife in Hampstead: they must have both just been visiting their mother on census night. There are too many Amelia Smith deaths in the London area with a similar birth year to know which one is the right one.

26 December 1859
Birth of Alexander Milne at Cruden, Aberdeenshire, illegitimate son of my ggg aunt Janet aka Jessie Fraser and William Milne. He is at Mosside Croft in 1861 with his Fraser grandparents, his mother, an aunt and uncle, and his siblings and a cousin. By 1871 he was working as a farm servant but was only across the field at Hardslacks, working for farmer George Hutcheon. Alexander married Elizabeth Thomson at Craighead, Cruden in December 1880 and by then has become a blacksmith. They are at Hobshill, Cruden in 1881 and in Hatton in 1891, with 3 children and an apprentice blacksmith. They remained in Hatton, where they brought up their family of 9 children, plus seem to have always had an apprentice living with them. Alexander Milne died in 1920 of syncope: he dropped down dead near the saddler’s shop at the age of 60.

26 December 1861
Birth of Mary Logan at Belhelvie, Aberdeenshire, daughter of my ggg uncle James Logan and Jane Norrie. She is with her parents at Blackhil of Courtstone in 1871 where he father was a ag lab, and in 1881 is at Braiklay, Tarves living in as a cook on a 160 acre farm employing 7 farm servants. She married William Yule at Tarves in 1882, and by 1891 they are living at Newhills, Aberdeen, William working as a carter, and have 4 children. They are still in Newhills in 1901, with another 3 children and William a road labourer. Mary Yule nee Logan died in 1939 at Newhills.

26 December 1862
Birth of John Strachan at Kilmaurs, Ayrshire, son of John Strachan and Elizabeth Gilmour and grandson of my gggg uncle Samuel Strachan and Ann Miller. He stayed in Kilmaurs all his life, even living in the same row of cottages as his parents, and was a coal miner and then a railway guard. He is with his parents in 1871 and 1881, and in 1881 married Elizabeth Nisbet Lindsay at Kilmaurs, who given her name may well have been a relative, as Strachan married Nisbets and Lindsays. They are in Crawfordhill Cottages, Kilmaurs in 1891 with 2 children: Crawfordhill is by Thornton Colliery, just to the west of Crosshouse, so many of John’s relatives would have lived close by. John’s son James died in 1891 and in 1892 his wife Elizabeth died. He remarried in 1894, to Martha Boyd of Kilwinning, and they are Crawfordhill in 1901, with two more children. By then John was working as a railway guard. John Strachan died age 62 at Kilmaurs in 1924.

26 December 1945 (born 1914)
William Marshall McCrae was born in Kilmarnock in 1914, son of my great uncle Matthew McIncarne McCrae and Ann McCubbin. He joined the Royal Engineers in 1939, and in 1943 married Ina in Deptford, London, though they set up home at Dean Street, Kilmarnock. Sapper William M McCrae was killed in action in Europe on 26 December 1945.

A McCrae photo: Robert McCubbin McCrae born 1910

You all love photos so here’s one of a McCrae descendant.

Robert McCubbin McCrae b 1910

Robert McCubbin McCrae was born in Kilmarnock in 1910, and was the grandson of my great grandparents John McCrae and Mary Ann McInairney. His father was Matthew McIncarne McCrae (no two people spell what I suspect is McInerney the same way!) who married Anne McCubbin: Robert McCubbin McCrae was the second youngest out of their seven children. He is responsible there being a London branch of our McCrae family, as he served in the navy and married at Islingston in 1938. They lived in Putney, and Robert’s 1975 death was registered at West Ham.

A big thank you to his son Robert who still lives in London and has given me permission to put the photo on my blog. Robert went cycling in the Outer Hebrides this summer so is clearly both fit and brave. We share the frustrations of researching the McCrae and McInerney family trees.

18 November

My great aunt Susan McCrae was born on this day: she married but then separated, and the birth certificate for one of her daughters is unusually detailed. There’s also an Aberdeenshire Alexander who died of typhoid fever.

18 November 1827
Baptism of Janet Alexander at Rayne, Aberdeenshire, daughter of my ggggg uncle John Alexander and Janet Morrison. Janet , sadly, didn’t have the most exciting life: she is with her parents on their small farm at Meikle Wartle in 1841 and 1851, earned her keep as a dressmaker, didn’t get married, and died in 1859 age 31 of typhoid fever.

18 November 1866
Birth of my great aunt Susan Bell McCrae in Kilmarnock, daughter of coal miner John McCrae and Mary Ann McInairney (or McInerney, though Mary Ann’s name is written as Marian McInally on Susan’s birth certificate). She was named for the Susan Bell who lived with John McCrae and his mother, and was possibly John’s half sister. In 1871 Susan is with her parents, siblings, her mother’s half sister and a lodger at 6 Dean Lane, Kilmarnock, and at 40 Mill Lane, Kilmarnock in 1881. By then she is 14 and working at the tobacco factory. She was a witness at her sister Agnes’s marriage in 1885, and then in 1889 Susan married John Boyle, a pit headman, at what was probably her parents’ home at John Dickie Street, Kilmarnock. Unfortunately they can’t be found in the 1891 census, but their son Andrew was born in 1892 at 7 High Church Lane, which was Susan’s parents’ home. Their daughter, who was given the wonderful name of Janet Sneddon Dunlevy Boyle, was born at 19 Low Glencairn Street, Kilmarnock in 1898, by which time John Boyle was working as a cab driver. Susan and John Boyle then separated, and in 1901 Susan is at 14 High Street, Kilmarnock with her children Andrew and Janet. Not long afterwards she moved to Glasgow where she lived with John Devine: in 1903 they had a daughter Ellen Devine and on her birth certificate it says her parents are “John Devine dyer and Susan McCrae, wife of John Boyle carter who she declares is not the father of the child and further that she had no personal communication with him since they agreed to reside separately 4 years ago.” I’ve not seen such detail on a birth certificate before, but it’s useful for a family historian! In 1911 they are at Levern Banks, Neilston, John Devine a dyer’s labourer, with 3 children plus Janet Boyle, Susan’s daughter. Susan died in 1942 at Duke Street, Glasgow, but with usual residence Abercromby Street. She was 75 and died of cardiac failure and pneumonia, and her death certificate describes her as Susan Devine formerly Boyle, widow of John Boyle cab driver.

27 and 28 September

Some interesting ones today: Isabella Fraser who had three illegitimate children before marrying a farmer; a Strachan family of siblings who lived together and didn’t get married; a Fraser descendent who married a girl from a neighbouring croft to Mosside; a McCrae who was killed in WW1; and my great aunt Ethel from Leeds.

28 September 1829
Baptism of my ggg aunt Isabella Fraser at Longside, daughter of William Fraser and Christian Hutcheon of Nether Savoch, Longside. There is some confusion about her birth and baptism: William Fraser had his children’s baptisms entered into the Cruden OPR in the late 1840s and at that time said Isabella was born in 1828 at Cruden: it may be that he had forgotten she had been baptised at Longside. The 1828 birth date is more likely to be correct, however, given that William and Christian married in January 1828. Isabella had an interesting life, to say the least. In the 1841 census she is a female servant in the Ritchie household in the parish of Cruden: the census says she is 10 but she would have been 11 or 12. She then had an illegitimate child in early 1845 when she was only 16. The child was baptised Wilhelmina Bain and the father was Alexander Bain – Wilhelmina was subsequently brought up by her father’s parents on their farm near Fraserburgh. Isabella then gave birth to an illegitimate son William Henderson in 1849, the father named as Lewis Henderson. In the 1851 census Isabella is a servant at a large farm in Logie Buchan and her son Lewis is with her parents at Mosside Croft, near Hatton. Then in 1857 Isabella had a third illegitimate child named Alexander Morrison, the father being James Morrison. But in May 1858 Isabella Fraser, age 29, married 48 year old farmer and widower George Wallace of Hayfarm, Cruden. She is with husband George in the 1861 census as South Hay Farm, Cruden along with her son Alexander and her younger sister Elizabeth. George and Isabella are still there in 1871, but by 1881 they have moved to Whinnyfold and have become grocers. George Wallace then died and in 1891 Isabella Fraser, age 62 and a pauper, is at Midmill lodging House, Cruden – there were other elderly lodgers so it might have been a sort of poorhouse. Isabella Wallace ms Fraser died in 1894 at Midmill of chronic gastric ulceration, and the informant was her son Alexander Morrison of Boddom.

1848 to 1864
I’m grouping these siblings together as they’re an unusual family. Their parents were coal and ironstone miner John Strachan and Margaret Cuthbertson, and their grandparents were my gggg uncle Peter Strachan and Mary Monroe. The eldest three, Jane b. 1848, Mary b. 1851 and Peter b. 1854, were born in Kilmarnock, and then Margaret b. 1857 and Hugh b. 1858 were born in Old Cumnock. A second Margaret, the first having died, was born at Paisley, Renfrewshire in 1861 and finally John was born at Kilsyth, Stirlingshire in 1864 but he had died by 1861. The census has the family in Thomson Street, Kilmarnock in 1851, then in the Paisley area from 1861 onwards. The unusual thing about the siblings is none of them married and they all lived together until at least 1901, though I’m not sure what happened to them after that. However, by 1901 both their parents had died and the 5 surviving siblings, plus a cousin from the Cuthbertson side, are living at Broomlands, Paisley. Jane, Mary and Margaret are dressmakers, Peter is a provision traveller and Hugh is a thread mill foreman. Their ages also become inaccurate as the years go by, with the women knocking quite a few years off their age!

27 September 1886
Birth of James Fraser Michael at Cruden, Aberdeenshire, son of my gg aunt Mary Ann Fraser and David Ewan Michael. James was born illegitimate and his birth certificate is in the name of James Fraser, but his parents married just a few months after his birth. In the 1891 census, James age 4 is at Ledrum Terrace, Boddam with his parents and younger brother: his father David Michael is a granite quarrier and his grandmother Mary Michael is living next door. The family had moved to Wickersgill, near Shap in Westmoreland, England by 1901 and James was working as an apprentice blacksmith. The family all returned to Aberdeenshire, and in 1911 James is a visitor in Aberdeen, working at home as a tailor. He married Mary Ann Robertson of Hardslacks, Cruden in 1913: the croft of Hardslacks is just a couple of fields away from the Fraser croft at Mosside. James Michael formerly Fraser, tailor of Strichen, died in 1952.

28 September 1896
John McCrae died 1919
Birth of John McCrae at Kilmarnock, son of my great uncle Matthew McIncarne McCrae and Ann McCubbin. John worked as a coal miner and then enlisted in 1914, on the outbreak of WW1, as a stoker in the navy. He was killed in 1919 as a result of the blowing up of an ammunition lighter. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission website has this record of John McCrae.

28 September 1897
Birth of my great aunt Ethel Green at Barnsley, daughter of Joseph Green and Charlotte Senior. I can remember Ethel, as she lived not too far from us when I was little. Ethel, along with the rest of her family, moved to Leeds in about 1900, and is in the 1901 census at age 3 at 3 Hope Grove, Armley. In 1911 she is with her parents and siblings at 48 Station Parade, Kirkstall, age 13 and at home helping her mother, her older brothers and sister being out at work and the younger ones either at school or not yet at school. In 1919 Ethel married Edmund Walker Jessop, a drapery salesman whose father was the manager of the Co-op shop at Commercial Road, Kirkstall. Ethel and Edmund Jessop had a daughter Margaret who was friendly with my mother during their younger days.

18 and 19 September

On the 18th: James Booth from Aberdeenshire who proved easy to research, and Ann Strachan from Ayrshire who is a mystery as she just disappears from the records, and my great aunt Sarah McCrae. And on the 19th: three who can’t be found with any certainty in the records, a Strachan who became a spirit dealer when she was widowed, and my great aunt Sarah McCrae.

19 September 1760
Birth of Elizabeth Wilson at Stevenston, daughter of my gggg grandparents James Wilson and Agnes Smith. Unfortunately, Elizabeth Wilson is a fairly common name and there were several of that name having children in the right place at the right time. There is a marriage of Elizabeth Wilson at Stevenston in 1788 to Archibald Clark, but I’ve no idea whether this is the right marriage or not: they had a son baptised James but their eldest daughter was called Margaret, not Agnes.

19 September 1779
Birth of my ggggg uncle James Alexander at Bourtie, Aberdeenshire, son of James Alexander and Helen Burgess. And that is all I know as I’ve not come across anything that is certainly him. James Alexander was a common name in those parts.

18 September 1816
Birth of my gggg uncle James Booth at Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, son of William Booth and Margaret Allan and brother of my ggg grandmother Isabella Booth who married John Logan. James Booth is possibly the James in the 1841 census working on a farm at Drumgowan, Leslie. He married Jean/Jane Keith in about 1841, though I can’t find a marriage record in the parish registers, and by 1851 they were at Nether Kinmundy, Longside with 5 children, James a labourer. He was to remain there for the rest of his life and had several of my ancestors as neighbours. In 1861 James, general labourer, and Jean have had more children and the eldest have left home: they were to have a total of 11 children. In 1871 James is a road contractor and they have 2 grandchildren with them as well as their own 3 children. The 1881 census has them as Crofters House, Redbog Road, which is at Nether Kinmundy, James a crofter of 6 acres with wife Jane and a granddaugter. James is still a crofter in 1891 and his wife and the same granddaughter are still with him. His wife then died and in 1901 James Booth, crofter retired, it a Bruckleseat, Longside. He died in May 1901 at Longside at the age of 86.

19 September 1819
Birth of Janet Strachan at Witchknowe, Riccarton, Ayrshire, daughter of my ggg uncle Thomas Strachan and Elizabeth Nisbet. Her coal miner father died in 1821 and her mother remarried in 1823 to William Mitchell but he also died, and her mother married for a third time in 1827 to James Brown, both marriages in Kilmarnock. So by the time Janet was 10 years old she’d had a father and two stepfathers. Janet Strachan married John Hamilton at Kilmarnock in 1837, and the 1841 census finds them at Moorfield Tile Works, Kilmaurs with 2 children. By 1851 they are at Corsehill Square, Dreghorn, John a coal miner and with 5 children, a visitor and a servant, 13 year old Catherine Strachan who was Janet’s cousin. They had moved back to Kilmaurs by 1861 and had 7 children with them, John Hamilton and their oldest sons all working as coal miners. John Hamilton died in 1869 and in 1871 Janet Hamilton is earning a living as a spirit dealer and living at 66 Kilmaurs Road, Kilmarnock with 2 coal miner sons and 2 children still at school. She is still in Kilmarnock in 1881 with a son, a niece and a nephew. Janet Hamilton died in 1889 at Gilmour Streeet, Kilmarnock of heart disease.

18 September 1838
My gg aunt Ann Strachan was born at Shewalton Colliery, parish of Dundonald, Ayrshire, daughter of my gg grandparents Robert Strachan and Margaret Haggerty. At age 2 she is with her parents and siblings at Shewalton in the 1841 census, and the family moved to Kilwinning some time after 1842. Her mother died in 1846, when Ann was only 7 years old, and Ann would have been looked after by her several older sisters. Her father remarried in 1850 to Susan Cran. By 1851, at age 12, Ann was living in as a domestic servant in Kilwinning for the McInnes family, the father Daniel a coal miner who probably worked with Ann’s father. In 1861 Ann is listed in the census as a visitor to coal miner Alexander McDonald and his wife at West Thornton Hamlet, Dreghorn – also a visitor was another Ann Strachan, Ann’s cousin. After 1861 things become tricky as I can’t find anything in the records for Ann. There’s no marriage or death certificate to be found at ScotlandsPeople. It is possible Ann had an illegitimate daughter in 1862, so a child called Margaret Strachan was born in December 1862 at Kirkland Rows, Dreghorn to mother Ann Strachan, domestic servant. As Margaret was Ann’s mother’s name this could well the right Ann. However, I can’t find anything for Margaret – nothing in the census and no death record. The only other possible entry for Ann is in the 1891 census, which has an Ann Strachan age 50 living alone and earning a living as an outdoor worker living at Brigend, Kilwinning. That Ann was born in Irvine, which is very close to Shewalton. But what became of Ann and her possible daughter Margaret is a mystery.

19 September 1860
Birth of Hugh Richmond Haddow at Kilwinning, son of my gg uncle Colin Shearer Haddow and Ann Orr Richmond. He is with his parents in 1861 at Kenneth’s Row, Kilwinning, surrounded by lots of my anccestors, and in Lyslestone Row, Kilwinning in 1871. By 1881 the family are at Coylton, Ayshire and, like his father, Hugh is an ironstone miner. He then does a disappearing act: no marriage or death found for him, and nothing in the immigration records I’ve searched. So he’s yet another mystery.

19 September 1864
Birth of my great aunt Sarah McCrae at Kilmarnock, Ayrshire daughter of my great grandparents John McCrae and Mary Ann McInairney and sister of my grandmother Helen McCrae. Sarah is with her parents at Dean Lane, Kilmarnock in 1871 and at Mill Lane, Killmarnock in 1881 when she’s 16 and a bonnet maker (which will be the famous Kilmarnock bonnet). In 1885 she married Samuel Downey or Downie at Kilmarnock. Samuel was a hammerman and was born in Ireland. In 1891 they are at Morton Place, Kilmarnock with 3 children and in 1901 at Low Glencairn Street, Kilmarnock with 6 children and Samuel’s brother. They had 9 children altogether but only 3 were still living in 1911, when Sarah and Samuel (who by then had become a coal miner) were at New Street, Riccarton with their 3 surviving children, Sarah’s younger brother James McCrae and 4 year old visitor Agnes McCrae. In 1923 Sarah’s sister Helen Strachan ms McCrae went to Canada and gave her sister Mrs Downey of 12 New Street, Kilmarnock as her nearest relative in Scotland. Samuel Downie died in 1929 at Riccarton, and Sarah died at the age of 73 in 1938 Kilmarnock.