Tag Archives: McWilliam

20 March

Today’s all remained childless: there’s an Adams of Yorkshire who died unmarried, a Strachan of Ayrshire who died age 17 of tb, and a Cowie of Aberdeenshire who married a gamekeeper but did not have children.

20 March 1779
Baptism of my ggggg aunt Ann Adams at Brodsworth, Yorkshire, daughter of Mark Adams and Elizabeth Dixon. The only thing I can find for her is an entry in the 1851 census for Ann Adams living in Brodsworth, an unmarried retired servant age 72. Can’t locate her in the 1841 census. there is a death for an Ann Adams registered at Doncaster in 1851 which is likely to be her.

20 March 1856
Birth of Robert Strachan at Kilmaurs, son of Samuel Strachan and Janet Mitchell and grandson of my gggg uncle Samuel Strachan and Ann Miller. He is with his family in Stevenston in 1861 and 1871, their address being Chemical Row in the latter. Robert died at Chemical Row in 1873, age 17, of consumption (tuberculosis).

20 March 1874
Birth of Elizabeth Cowie at Ellon, Aberdeenshire, daughter of William Cowie and Elizabeth Cheyne and granddaughter of my half gggg aunt Barbara McWilliam and William Cowie. Her father was a farm servant but in the 1880s he took over a small farm at Balleraig, Keithhall, and Elizabeth is there in 1881, working as a domestic servant. She married George Turnbull in 1898: he was a gamekeeper born in England. In 1901 they are at Ury Cottage, Keithhall and in 1911 at Ythan Lodge, Foveran. They don’t appear to have had children. Elizabeth Turnbull nee Cowie died at Udny in 1936 age 62.

18 March

A busy day on the 18th: a Haddow from Ayrshire who was a coal miner, a Fisher from Yorkshire who was a midwife, a McWilliam from Aberdeenshire who married a farm servant, and a Marshall descendant from Ayrshire who seems to have migrated to USA twice.

18 March 1792
Baptism of my ggg uncle James Haddow a Stevenston, Ayrshire. He is with his widowed mother in the 1819 minister’s census of Stevenston, and in 1821 married Isabel Boyd in Stevenston. They had a child baptisted in 1823 but no other baptisms of their children can be found. In the 1822 Stevenston minister’s census James Haddow is listed at Townhead with wife Isabella Boyd and two children’s names, Margaret and John, have been entered afterwards. There is then a burial in Stevenston in 1825 for a child of James Haddow. Isabel Boyd died, and James married Jane Chalmers at Stevenston in 1831: she was a widow with children. There are no baptisms of their children to be found but there are two burials of children of James Haddow in 1835: one for an unnamed infant and one for a daughter named Margaret. The latter record describes James Haddow as a colier of Stevenston. The 1836 minister’s census has James Haddow at Cow Roading, Stevenston with wife Jean Chalmers and says there are 7 in the household, with what looks likes 2 children of Jean being named as Janet C and Cath C. It took me some time to find them in the 1841 census as they are listed as Holding, not Haddow, but they are at New Street, Stevenston, James is a coal miner, Jean and her daughter Catherine are muslin sewers, and there is a 5 year old with them named Jean Allan. In 1851 they are Haddow’s Land, New Street, Stevenston and James is still a coal miner. Along with James and wife Jean is Jean’s daughter Janet plus what looks like her two children, and Jean Allan who is now 15. Unfortunately for research purposes James Haddow seems to have died before 1855 as there is no death certificate to be found. His widow Jean or Jane is at Courouding, Stevenston (i.e. Cow Roading) in 1861 and died in 1868.

18 March 1798
Baptism of Lydia Fisher at Tankersley, Yorkshire, daughter of my ggggg uncle Timothy Fisher and Mary Kaye. She lived in the hamlet of Pilley all her life, and married David Dickinson in 1816. They had 11 children, not all of whom survived infancy and childhood. In 1841 Lydia and miner David are in Pilley with 5 children still at home and in 1851 have 2 children at home. They lived next door to Lydia’s younger brother Thomas and his family. Lydia’s husband died in 1852, and in 1861 she is in Pilley earning a living as a midwife. With her is a lodger and his son: their surname is Dickinson so they may have been relations of her husband. Lydia died in 1869 age 72.

18 March 1844
Birth of Elizabeth McWilliam at Peterhead, daughter of my half gggg uncle David McWilliam and Elizabeth Ewan. Her father was a sawyer and she is with her family in Princess Street, Peterhead in 1851. She is a domestic servant in Lonmay in 1861, and in 1867 married farm servant Robert Strachan in Lonmay (no connection with my Ayrshire Strachan ancestors). As usual for farm servants they initially moved from farm to farm, and their children were born in New Deer, St Fergus and Tyrie. They seem to have settled in Tyrie in about 1872, and are there in 1881 and Elizabeth died there in 1885 at age 40.

18 March 1856
Birth of John Jardine at Galston, Ayrshire, son of Francis Russell Jardine and Marion Craig Marshall, and grandson of my ggg uncle Alexander Wallace and Christina Marshall. He’s with his family in Kilmarnock in 1861 and back in Galston in 1871. By 1881 he has married Margaret and has a infant son, is living in Glaston and working as a coal miner. After the birth of another son, Margaret seems to have died. By 1891 he in Loudon and married to Annie, with his 2 sons with Margaret and an infant son with Annie and interestingly the youngest son was born in America. There is a passenger record for John Jardine sailing from New York to Glasgow in 1890 but I haven’t found a passenger list for his wife and son, or a passenger list showing him going to USA. John and is family are still in Galston in 1901 but in 1910 he is on ship sailing to Boston to join his son Frank in Indiana.

16 and 17 March

I’m catching up! On these two days there is my Haggerty great great grandmother, a Richmond from Ayrshire who died in childhood, a Pirie from Aberdeenshire who worked on the railways and moved to Lanarkshire, and a Haddow coal miner who migrated to Pennsylvania, USA

16 March 1808
Birth of my gg grandmother Margaret Haggerty, daughter of Joseph Haggerty and Jean Orr. Margaret was baptised at Muirkirk, Ayrshire when she was 2 years old, so I’m not sure where she was born. Her father seems to have died sometime between 1816 and 1820, as in 1821 her mother gave birth to an illegitimate child in Irvine. Margaret married Robert Strahan on 22 August 1828 at Dundonald, and her coal miner brothers all married at Dundonald, which means the family most probably worked and lived at Shewalton Colliery. Margaret and Robert had 8 children all baptised at Dundonald between 1829 and 1840, and the baptism records all show them of being of Shewalton Colliery. At some stage in the early 1840s the family moved to Kilwinning, most probably to work at a newly opened coal miner. It is at Kilwinning that Margaret died of fever on 4 July 1846. She was 38 years old and her youngest child was only 3 years old. She died in the same month as her brother-in-law Peter Strachan, and they both most probably died during a typhus epidemic.

16 March 1856
Birth of Ann Orr Richmond at Kilwinning, Ayrshire, daughter of my half ggg aunt Jean Pollock and John Richmond and granddaugter of my ggg grandmother Jean Orr and Robert Pollock. Ann is with her family at Kenneth’s Row, Kilwinning in 1861 but died on 1866 age 10.

17 March 1856
Birth of William Pirie at Longside, Aberdeenshire, son of my half gggg aunt Janet Hay McWilliam and James Pirie. He’s with his family in Old Deer in 1861, where his father was a cattleman, and is a farm servant in Cruden parish in 1871 at age 15. He then went to work on the railways and is in Edinburgh in 1881, living as a lodger. He must have moved down to Lanarkshire in the early 1880s, as in 1885 he married Elizabeth Blair at Cadder. They are in the 1891 census at Leckethill, William a railway pointsman and with 3 children. They had at least 2 more children, and in 1901 were living in Shotts, Lanarkshire where William was a railway signalman.

17 March 1874
Birth of Duncan Murphy Haddow at Kilwinning, Ayrshire, son of my gg uncle Colin Shearer Haddow and Ann Orr Richmond (who was not related, as far as I know, to the Ann Orr Richmond detailed above). Duncan is at Coylton with his family in 1881 where his father was an ironstone miner. He went to the USA in about 1887 with his older brother John but returned to Scotland. He then went back to the USA in 1898 and is in the USA census for 1900 at Carroll, Pennsylvania, as a boarder working as coal miner. He then returned to Scotland again, where he married Christina Ferguson at Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, and after their first child was born they went to the USA and settled at Allengheny, Pittsburgh where Duncan’s brother John lived. Duncan and his wife and children appear in the USA census in 1910, 1920, 1930 and 1940. Duncan Haddow died in Pennsylvania in 1960 age 86.

15 and 16 February

On the 15th and 16th: a woman who died too young, a man who called his son Alma (strange choice of name), a farmer from Aberdeenshire, and a Haggerty who ended up in Glasgow.

16 February 1825
Birth of Christian Morgan at Longside, daughter of my ggggg aunt Isobel Sangster and Peter Morgan. In the 1841 census she is a female servant working for a farmer and his wife at Cadgerhill of Buthlaw, Longside, and is a servant on a farm in Ellon in 1851. She married widower and farmer Alexander Rait at Logie Buchan in 1859, and is with him and one of his sons on the farm a Logie Buchan in 1861, with 2 servants. Christian Rait nee Morgan died in 1866 at the age of 40.

15 February 1830
Birth of Joe Henry Grist at Thurlstone, Yorkshire, son of my gggg uncle schoolmaster William Grist and Emma Wood and who was baptised at Penistone in May 1830. By 1841 his family are at Smithley, near Wombwell, and his father is a turner, and in 1851 they are at Blacker Hill, Worsbrough where his father is a grocer and flour dealer and Joe is age 21 and a smith. In 1855 he married Ellen Watson and they are at Blacker Hill in 1861 living two doors away from Joe’s parents: Joe is a blacksmith and they have 2 sons. In about 1862 they moved to Deepcar, over on the edge of the Penninse, where Joe has a blacksmith’s shop: Joe, Ellen and their children are there in 1871, then Joe’s wife Ellen died in 1880. Joe is at the same address in 1881 and 2 of his sons are also blacksmiths. Joe Henry Grist died at Deepcar in 1890 at age 59. Joe had a son who was named, unusually, Alma.

16 February 1836
Birth of William Cowie at Longside, Aberdeenshire, illegtimate son of my half gggg aunt Barbara McWilliam and William Cowie. In 1837 his mother married Forbes Milne, and in 1841 William is with his mother at Newseat, Peterhead and his stepfather is working as a farm servant at North Essie in Banffshire. In 1851 he is at Ellon with his mother and stepfather, and doesn’t appear to have had any half siblings. William Cowie married Elizabeth Cheyne in Ellon in October 1856, and they are at Rose Cottage, Ythan Terrace, Ellon in 1861 with 2 children and 2 boarders: William is working as a railway labourer. He was a farm servant in 1871, living in Littlemill Cottar House in Ellon, and by then he and Elizabeth had 6 children, and was an ag lab in 1881 with 2 more children anbd a grandson. William Cowie then took on the lease if Ballcraig Farm at Keithall and there as a farmer in 1901 with his wife, a son, a grandson and a female servant.

16 February 1840
Birth of Helen Haggerty at Dundonald, daughter of my ggg uncle coal miner John Haggerty and Mary Coghill. In 1841 she is with her parents at Fullerton Street, Dundonald (now part of Irvine), and then her father died in about 1849. By 1851 she is in Glasgow with her mother and siblings, living with her mother’s brother Daniel, a tailor. In 1861 she is a domestic servant in Glasgow working for an eating house keeper and his family. Helen married Andrew Cassidy in 1868 in Glasgow: he was a labourer from Ireland. They are in Hebburn, near Jarrow, England in 1871 with a baby daughter, and had another 3 children born there before returning to Glasgow in about 1879. By 1881 they had 5 children, were living in Guildry Court, Glasgow. They were in St Andrews Street, Glasgow in 1891 and their older children were working, the boys as apprentice tinsmiths and the girls as a book folder and a publisher’s message girl. In 1901 they in Stirling Street, Glasgow living with their married daughter Margaret and her family, and Andrew Cassidy is working as a boiler cutter.

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.

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.

11 January

Today there’s an Ayrshire Logan who seems to have died young, a Strachan from Ayrshire who died of fever, possibly typhus, and a McWilliam from Aberdeenshire who migrated to the US with her family and lived in Iowa.

11 January 1787
Birth of my gggg aunt Sarah Logan at Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, daughter of James Logan and Sarah Weir. I suspect Sarah died young as I have not found a marriage or births of any children.

11 January 1810
My ggg uncle Peter Strachan was born at Greenend, near Coatbridge, Lanarkshire, son of John Strachan and Agnes Neilson: his baptism record has the surname written as Strang. By the end of 1811 his parents had moved to Muirkirk, Ayrshire and not long after went to Riccarton, and then to Dundonald where so many of the extended Strachan family lived and worked at Shewalton Colliery. In December 1832 Peter married Margaret Boyle at Shewalton, and they are there in 1841 with the 3 surviving children of the 4 they’d had. 2 more children were born, and then wife Margaret died in 1844. Peter Strachan died of fever in July 1846 at Halfway, Dundonald, which is close to Shewalton Colliery. There were several outbreaks of typhus at that time, so that may well have carried him off. After the deaths of both Peter and his wife, two of their children lived with Peter’s brother Henry.

11 January 1859
Birth of Mary McWilliam at New Pitsligo, Aberdeenshire, daughter of my half gggg uncle Nathaniel McWilliam and Isobel Murison (or Morrison). She is with her parents at New Pitsligo in 1861, her father an ag lab. Then her mother died and in 1863 her father remarried to Mary Yule. In April 1867 the family arrived in New York, and in the 1870 US Census are at Post Township, Iowa, father Nathaniel working as a farm labourer but he soon after became a farmer in his own right. In 1879 Mary married Samuel Edson Wickham, a cooper and then a labourer. They are in the US census at Clermont, Iowa and had 7 daughters. Mary Wickham nee McWilliam died in 1934 age 76 and was buried in Clermont.

2 January

After yesterday’s busy day it was fairly quiet on the 2nd: a McWilliam in Aberdeenshire who married a ship’s carpenter, a Logan in Aberdeenshire who disappears after 1881, and a Senior descendant from Yorkshire who married a coal miner and lived in Pontefract.

2 January 1842
Birth of Ann McWilliam at Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, daughter of my half ggggg uncle David McWilliams and Elizabeth Ewan. Her father was a sawyer and she is in Peterhead with her parents in 1851, then in 1861 is at Longate Street, Peterhead as domestic servant to the family of a horse wright. Ann married Alexander Davidson, a ship’s carpenter, in 1864 at Peterhead and they are at Roanheads in 1871 with 4 children. In 1881 they are at North Street, Peterhead with 9 children: the youngest is 3 days old and is listed as “new arrival”. By 1891 Ann’s husband Alexander was a gas stoker by then and they are on Longate, where they also are in 1901, by which time Ann’s mother Elizabeth was with them. Ann died in Peterhead in 1920 age 78.

2 January 1869
Birth or baptism of George Logan at Fintry, Aberdeenshire, son of my ggg uncle James Logan and Jane Norrie. He’s with his parents in 1871 at Blackhill of Courtstone and in 1881 at Silvermoss at Tarves. And then he disappears: no marriage or death found for him and no trace of him in the census after 1881. Nor can I find anything to indicate he migrated. So he’s a mystery.

2 January 1905
Baptism of Mabel Fletcher at Purston cum South Featherstone, Yorkshire, daughter of my gg aunt Ann Senior and coal miner John Fletcher, and who was the 11th child of a large family of 14. She is in Featherstone with her family in 1911: the household comprised her parents, 7 children and 2 coal miner boarders. I suspect she is the Mabel Fletcher who married John W Lees at Pontefract in 1925 and died in Pontefract on 1954 age 49.

12 December

Today is a Fraser, plus three brothers descended from my Sangster ancestor who shared the same birthday: they were all born in Peterhead but one of them had a child born on the northern most place in Scotland – the isle of Unst in the Shetlands – another looks as if he might have spent some time in prison, and the third died in his 40s of a carbuncle. A Strachan descendant was born too, but died in infancy. And today is the birthday of a granddaughter of one of my Strachan aunts.

12 December 1825
Baptism of John Fraser at St Fergus, Aberdeenshire, to John Fraser and Ann Reid: I suspect his grandfather was the John Fraser who was the brother of William Fraser, my gggg grandfather. His father was a farm servant, and although born in St Fergus, John grew up in Cruden, which is where the Frasers settled. John became a farm servant and married Helen Mess in 1849 at Ellon. They are in Logie Buchan in 1851, with their first child, then had more children born in Ellon until moving back to Logie Buchan where they are in 1861, John a cattleman. Wife Helen died in 1868, not that long after the birth of their 8th child, and John married Isabella Christie at Logie Buchan in 1870. In 1871 they are in Logie Buchan, John a farm servant, with John’s youngest 3 children. By 1881 they had moved to Barrowly Cottarhouse, Ellon, and have John’s youngest child and a grandchild with them. Isabella Fraser ms Christie died at age 56 in 1884 at Foveran. It looks as if John died in Aberdeen in 1886/7 but there were several John Frasers of the right age who died in the same period and without paying to download several death certificates it’s impossible to know which is the right one.

12 December 1850
Birth of William McWilliam at Peterhead, son of David McWilliam and Elizabeth Ewan and grandson of my gggg grandmother Janet Sangster and my step gggg grandfather William McWilliam. He was baptised in January 1851 before the Free Church congregation and had two brothers also born on 12 December (see below). What is the chance of 3 siblings having the same birthday? William is with his parents in Peterhead in 1851 and 1861, then is a boarder in Aberdeen in 1871, working as a carpenter. In 1881 I suspect he is the William McWilliams, ship carpenter age 28 born Peterhead, who is a prisoner at Greeenock: I don’t know what he’d done or how serious the offence was but it would be interesting to know. But that is the last record I can find for William, so I don’t know what happened to him.

12 December 1855
Birth of Andrew McWilliam at Peterhead, son of David McWilliam and Elizabeth Ewan and brother of William (above). Andrew started working as a sawyer in Peterhead, like his father, but then moved to Fraserburgh, where he married Jane Noble in 1877. In 1881 they’re in Fraserburgh with 2 children, and Andrew is a cooper: he probably became a cooper before moving to Fraserburgh as two of his younger brothers were also coopers in Peterhead. Andrew and Jane had 13 children in all, though not all survived infancy and childhood. By 1891 Andrew is a cooper and fisherman, and by 1901 is working as just a fisherman. Their children were all born in Fraserburgh except for one, born in Baltasound, which is a remote tiny village on Unst, the northern most island of the Shetlands. Given the unusual location, I downloaded the birth certificate: Isabella was born in July 1883 and although born on Unst the certificate says her parents‘ usual domicle is Fraserburgh – so it was a temporary stay. Andrew McWilliam died at Fraserburgh ion 1929, age 73.

12 December 1863
Birth of Ewan McWilliam, son of David McWilliam and Elizabeth Ewan and brother of William and Andrew (above). Ewan also became a cooper but stayed in Peterhead, where he married Ann Craig in 1885 and had 8 children. Ewan died in 1907 at Peterhead age 44. As he died fairly young I downloaded his death certificate to find out why, and discovered he died of a carbuncle. It goes to show how dangerous bacterial infections could be before the discovery of antibiotics.

12 December 1865
Birth of Adam Findlay at Loudon, Ayrshire, son of Hugh Findlay and Margaret Miller, grandson of David Findlay and Susanna Strachan, and great grandson of my gggg uncle Peter Strachan and Mary Monroe. Sadly he died in infancy and another son was named Adam.

12 December 1955
A birthday in Scotland for a granddaughter of my aunt Mary Ann McInairney Strachan and James Tennant McBride.

7 December

Another interesting and mixed lot today. A McWilliam from my Aberdeenshire Sangsters, who married a cattleman – in Aberdeenshire, cattle = Aberdeen Angus beef cattle. There’s a Strachan who became an early settler at Balclutha, on the southern tip of New Zealand, and whose husband ran the livery stables there, another Strachan who married an iron turner and lived in Paisley, and a third Strachan who married a coal miner and mostly lived in Crookedholm.

7 December 1817
Birth of my half gggg aunt Janet Hay McWilliam, also known as Jessie, at Longside, Aberdeenshire, daughter of Janet Sangster and William McWilliam and half sister of my ggg grandfather William Fraser. At age 20, in the 1841 census, Janet is a servant in the household of landed proprietor Alexander Phillip at Yonderton, Cruden – he was the landlord of the croft at Yonderton by then tenanted by William Fraser. In 1842 she married James Pirie at Cruden. In 1851 they are Mains of Nether Kinmundy, close to where Janet’s parents lived, with 3 children, and Janet is now named as Jessie and James is an ag lab. He’s a cattleman in 1861 at Millhill, Old Deer and they have 5 children, and by the birth places of their children had only recently moved from Longside. They are at a different farm in 1871 but still in Old Deer, with 2 daughters still at home, and are at Clola House, Old Deer in 1881 with their youngest daughter Christian and her illegitimate baby son. Also at Clola House in 1881 was Thomas Morgan and his family – he was the grandson of Janet’s aunt, Isabel Sangster. Jessie Pirie nee McWilliam died at age 69 in 1887 at Longside. Her husband lived for quite lot longer, and in the 1891 and 1901 census is with daughter Christina Tough nee McWilliam and her family at Turriff.

7 December 1836
Birth of my gg aunt Margaret Strachan at Shewalton Colliery, Dundonald, Ayrshire, daughter of my gg grandparents Robert Strachan and Margaret Haggerty. In 1841 she is at Shewalton Colliery with her parents but not longer after that they moved to Kilwinning. Her mother Margaret Haggerty died in 1846 and in 1850 her father married Susan Cran. In 1851 Margaret is with a farm labourer and his family – two children of whom were bornin Kilwinning so that may have been how Margaret knew then: she is listed as a visitor and house servant. In 1857 Margaret, a farm servant of Springside, Dreghorn, married Andrew Chapman, also a farm servant. They migrated to New Zealand and settled at Balcutha, near Dunedin on the south island: not sure when but they are not in the 1861 census so may have migrated soon after their marriage. They can be found in the New Zealand Electoral Roll from 1875 onwards, at Barr’s Extension Land, Balclutha, Andrew Chapman at first being e livery stable keeper and then a labourer. There is a report in a newspaper from December 1878 that an eight year old son of Andrew Chapman drowned while playing close to a water hole after a flood. A newspaper advertisement of a similar time states “Crown Hotel Stables, Balclutha. Andrew Chapman. First-rate accommodation for horses. Loose boxes. The stables being under the personal superintendence of Mr Chapman, is a guarantee that all horses placed in them will meet with every attention. Accommodation paddock.” There is also a photograph in a newspaper of 1902, which hasn’t reproduced at all well on the internet, of four generations of a family: Mrs A Chapman of Balclutha, Mrs R Mason of Balclutha, Mrs Lane and her daughter Olive. This must be Margaret with her daughter, granddaughter and great granddaughter and would have been taken when she was 66. Both she and Andrew are in the 1905-1906 electoral roll. There is also a 1904 newspaper report about the accidental death of the husband of Margaret’s daughter.

7 December 1862
Birth of Jane Walker Strachan at Dreghorn, also known as Jeanie, daughter of Robert Strachan and Ann Bain, granddaugter of Andrew Strachan and Elizabeth Howat, and great granddaughter of my gggg uncle Robert Strachan and Jean Kelly. In 1871 she is with her family at Auchenharvie Row, Stevenston, her father a coal miner, but by 1881 she is a domestic servant to a master joiner and his wife in Paisley, Renfrewshire. In 1887 Jeanie married engine iron turner Robert Shields at Paisley and in 1891 they are at Hamilton Street, Paisley with 2 children and Jeanie’s younger sister Janet. Jeanie died in Paisley 1900 at age 37 of pulmonary phthisis (tuberculosis). Her husband remarried.

7 December 1882
Birth of Jane Dunlop Strachan at Conrad Row, Crookedholm, Ayrshire., illegitimate daughter of my great aunt Flora Strachan and Robert Dunlop. In 1887 she was joined by a brother who died at just a month old. Her parents did not marry and her mother Flora, who worked at a mill, had been an invalid since childhood. In 1891 Jane is with her mother, grandparents Joseph Strachan and Jeanie Haddow, plus 2 uncles, at Lamonts Land, Crookedholm, age 8 and at school. Her mother died in 1893 and her grandfather died in 1895. In 1891 Jane age 18 and a wool spinner is with her widowed grandmother and uncle Colin at Schoolhouse Road, Crookedholm. In 1902 she married coal miner James McIlwraith at Fowler’s Hall, Crookedholm and in 1911 they are at Cadger’s Road with 3 children, but the birth places of their children show they’d moved around a bit: the children were born in Hurlford, Plean in Stirlingshire and Motherwell in Lanarkshire. It looks as if they stayed put after 1911, though, as Jane died in 1944, age 61, at Crookedholm.