Tag Archives: Murphy

Murphy & Wilson page added

Today I’ve also added a page on my Murphy (or Murphie) and Wilson ancestors, from the Stevenston area of Ayrshire, going back to the late 1700s. Not a great deal to say about them as the records are very incomplete for back then, and it looks as if my Murphy ancestors were probably Irish Catholics.

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.

5 and 6 December

An interesting mixture today: an Ayrshire gg grandmother who lived till nearly 90; a Watt from Aberdeenshire who was widowed fairly young and was a dressmaker; a Strachan who married a Howat (quite a few Strachans did) and llived in Dreghorn; and an Aberdeeshire Sangster/McWilliams offspring who migrated to Iowa and married a Norwegian who became a prosperous farmer and notable citizen. Plus a birthday in Canada!

6 December 1823 (born about 1805)
My gg grandmother Amelia Murphie was born in about 1805 at Stevenston, Ayrshire, but no baptism record has been found. She was the daughter of Duncan Murphie and Jane Wilson who had married at Stevenston in 1787 and was their youngest child. On 6 December 1823, at Stevenston, Amelia married John Haddow: the entry for their marriage says she was of Ardrossen parish, which is next door to Stevenston and is given as her birthplace in the census. John Haddow and Amelia Murphie are in the 1836 minister’s census of Stevenston at 5 Mill Hill with 3 children. They are then in the 1841 census at Townhead Street, John a coal miner, and with 4 children. By 1851 they had moved to Kilwinning and were living at Kenneth Row, Corsehill, which is where their daughter met and married Joseph Strachan. John and Amelia are still at Kenneth’s Row in 1861, though Amelia is mistakenly listed as Helen, with their 2 youngest children still at home. John Haddow died in 1866, and in 1871 Amelia Haddow is at Lamonts Road, Kilwinning with her youngest son, a coal miner. |n the 1881 census her name is written as Maile Haddow and she is on her own at Abbeygate Street, Kilwinning at age 75, and is still there and on her own in 1891. However, a lot of her neighbours and elderly, retired and widowed so hopefully they all looked after each other. Amelia died in 1893, her death certificate naming her as Mary, at Abbeygate Street, age 88 of cardiac failure.

6 December 1805
Birth of my gggg aunt Mary Watt at Bourtie, eldest child of Peter Watt and Helen Alexander. Ian Macdonald had done a good job of researching her on his CD Book the Alexanders of Bourtie, so I’ll let him tell you about her. “(Mary) married James Calder around 1836 and had twin girls in 1837, Mary who survived and Jane who died. By 1841 they were lodging at Daviot (the Aberdeenshire one) where James was described as being of independent means, though at Mary’s death he was recorded as a labourer. In 1851 the only trace of them was a widowed Mary Watt, of the right age, working as a house servant at Daviot, however, by 1861 Mary Calder was in Inverurie together with her daughter and making a living as a dressmaker. She died at Inverurie in 1864.”

5 December 1808
Birth of Janet Strachan and Riccarton, Ayrshire, daughter of my gggg uncle Robert Strachan and Jean Kelly. Janet married Peter Howat in 1831 in Kilmarnock, and in the 1841 census she and Peter are at Thirdpart, Kilmarnock with 6 children – Peter, of course, is a coal miner. They are at Corsehill Square, Dreghorn in 1851 with 10 children, 1 child having died: the older sons are all coal miners and the older daughters a hand sewer and a house maid. Peter Howat died in the 1850s, and in 1861 Janet is still in Dreghorn, keeping house for 4 unmarried coal miner sons and her youngest daughter. She remained in Dreghorn and is there in 1871, with an unmarried son, a granddaughter, and a daughter, son in law and their young child. In 1881 Janet is living at Mill Bank Row, Dreghorn and still has an unmarried son with her as well as a granddaughter. Janet Howat nee Strachan died in March 1883 at Mill Bank Row, age 74, of liver disease.

5 December 1856
Birth of Eliza McWilliam at Tyrie, Aberdeenshire, daughter of my half gggg uncle Nathaniel McWilliam and Isobel Murison, and granddaughter of Janet Sangster and William McWilliam. Eliza is in New Pitsligo in 1861 with her ag lab father, mother, siblings and grandmother Janet Murison. Her mother Isobel died not long after, and in 1863 her father remarried toMary Yule. The family migrated to USA in 1867 when Eliza was 11 and they went to Postville, Allamakee, Iowa. In 1870 Eliza was with her family, her father working as a farm labourer. She married Evan Swenson, who had migrated from Norway, at Postville in 1875. He was a farmer, they had 12 children, and stayed in Postville bringing up their large family. By 1920 Evan had retired and they were living in Postville town. Evan died in 1932 and Eliza died in 1942 at age 85. There’s a biography of Evan Swenson on the internet at http://www.sharylscabin.com/Allamakee/Bios13/swens_e.htm which is fascinating reading. After marrying in 1875, Evan rented a 500 acre farm for 2 years, then bought 120 acres for $14 an acre, which he cleared and farmed for 19 years, then sold it for $53 an acre. He then bought Perry Farm and worked it for 3 years, selling it at a substantial profit. His next farm was near the Bethel Church which became one of the finest farms in that part of Iowa, mainly focused on raising cattle and pigs. He was involved in many civic organisations, a Justice of the Peace, and a prominent citizen. Eliza seems to have made a good marriage choice!

6 December 1988
Happy birthday to Jonathan in Canada – he’s my first cousin twice removed (i.e. my cousin Colin’s grandson).

16 October

Several uncertainties today, which highlights just how difficult it is to research people when you aren’t working from known descendants and going backwards in time, without spending a small fortune on certificates which may, or may not, be for the right person. I admit to being very reluctant to buy a certificate when it could turn out to be for the wrong person. Plus a rather confusing William Watt from Aberdeenshire. The only one today I can be sure about is a Green descendant who was born and lived near Wakefield.

16 October 1794
Birth of my ggg uncle Hugh Murphie at Stevenston, Ayrshire, son of Duncan Murphie and Jane Wilson. Nothing else found, unfortunately.

16 October 1812
Baptism of my gggg uncle William Watt at Fintry, Aberdeenshire, son of Peter Watt and Helen Alexander. It looks as if he died, as the son named William who put up the memorial to Peter and Helen Watt seems to have been born, from census and death details, in about 1825.

16 October 1825
Baptism of Amelia Fisher at Tankersley, Yorkshire, daughter of John Fisher and Mary Stones and granddaughter of my ggggg uncle Timothy Fisher and Mary Kaye. She is at Pilley hamlet in 1841, age 15, and her mother died in 1846. In 1851, as Milly Fisher age 25, she is at Pilley with her father and siblings, working as a servant. Nothing else found, apart from an 1857 death in Barnsley for an Amelia Fisher, but I don’t know whether this is her or not.

16 October 1831
Birth of Mary Strachan at Shewalton Colliery, Dundonald, Ayrshire, daughter of my ggg uncle John Strachan and Jean Neilson. Her father died before 1841, and in the 1841 census Mary is with her mother and siblings at Strathbungo Village, Govan. In 1851 she’s a wool twister in lodgings in Govan, and I’m not sure what happened to her after that as I haven’t found her in the records with any certainty. She may have married David Morgan at Govan in 1852 but I’m not sure that’s the right Mary Strachan.

16 October 1887
Baptism of Mary Alice Burton at Wrenthorpe, Yorkshire, who was born in November 1886, daughter of James Burton and Sarah Ann Wilson and granddaughter of my gg aunt Mary Green and Joseph Wilson. Her parents lived at Pilkington Sreet, Alverthorpe, near Wakefield, and Mary Alice is with them in 1891 and 1901: in the latter census she is age 14 and working as a doffer at a worsted mill. This is someone who clears full spindles that hold the spun thread, replacing them with empty ones, and was a job done by children in the earlier years of mills. Mary Alice’s father died in 1905, and in 1911 she is a domestic servant in the household of Robert Mary, a doctor, in Wakefield, where the housekeeper was her aunt Edith Wilson. In June 1911 at Sandal, near Wakefield, Mary Alice Wilson married Ernest George Thorpe, a stoker on HMS Thames. She died in 1966 at Scunthorpe.

9 October

Today, two who disappear from the records and a Yorkshire ancestor who was a boat hauler on the Barnsley Canal.

9 October 1791
Birth of my ggg uncle Robert Murphie at Stevenston, Ayrshire, son of Duncan Murphie and Jane Wilson. Unfortunately that’s all I know: there is no marriage record in the OPRs and nothing in the 1841 or later census.

9 October 1796
Baptism of Sarah Fisher at Royston, Yorkshire, daughter of my ggggg uncle Timothy Fisher and Mary Kaye of Tankersley. Unfortunately I can’t find any further records that could be her.

9 October 1797
Baptism of my gggg uncle Thomas Firth at Royston, Yorkshire, son of Joseph Firth and Hannah Fisher. In 1821he married Amelia Morton at Royston, and they had large family of 11 children, although not all survived childhood. In 1841 they can be found in the census at Royston, Thomas working as a boat hauler, which would have been on the Barnsley Canal which opened in 1799, ran to the east of Royston, and was designed to carry coal. He is still hauling boats in 1851, but which time only one child, a son, remains at home, and remains a boat hauler in 1861. He died in the 1860s.

On 1 June

Summer is here at last. I wonder what the weather was like on …

1 June 1800
Birth of Peter Murphie at Stevenston, Ayrshire, son of Duncan Murphie and Jane Wilson, and my ggg uncle. Sadly, nothing else is known as he’s not been traceable in the records.

1 June 1842
Baptism of Mary Jane Davidson at Longside, daughter of Charles Davidson and my gggg aunt Margaret Hutcheon. According to every census, she was born in St Fergus, Banffshire which is just north of Peterhead and not that far form Longside – and her parents were there in the 1841 census. She is with her parents in 1851 at Rora, is a domestic servant to a local official in 1861, and then married farm servant William Smith in 1866. They lived at Longside, in Rora close to Mary Jane’s parents, and had 8 children. William, who was from Crimond, worked as a crofter and farm servant. Mary Jane died in 1900 at the age of 57 and it says of heart disease, but there is a corrected entry which reads “The following report of result of a precognition has been received touching the death of Mary Jane Davidson or Smith … cause of death natural causes, probable heart disease” and is signed by the Procurator Fiscal, the Scottish equivalent to a Coroner.

On 31 May

Two births in the 1700s today, which means not much is known about them as records are very thin on the ground when you get back that far.

31 May 1767
Birth or baptism of Jane Wilson in Stevenston, Ayrshire, daughter of James Wilson and Agnes Smith. She is my ggg grandmother and married Duncan Murphie (origins unknown) in Stevenston in 1787. Jane and Duncan had at least 6 children, including my gg grandmother Amelia Murphy. She is also the source of the name Wilson used as a first name for one of Amelia’s daughters. Nothing else is known as she lived too early for there to be records. The 1822 minister’s census for Stevenston lists Widow Murphy residing at Harbour Street with 8 children, but I don’t think this is Jane as nearly all her children would have grown up and left home by then. There are no families called Murphy in the 1819 minister’s census of Stevenston, but there are 23 families with the surname Wilson so Jane was likely to have been related to some if not all of them.

31 May 1778
Birth of Margaret Sangster at Cruden, daughter of John Sangster and Elizabeth Matthew, which makes Margaret my ggggg aunt. She is possibly the one who married Patrick Duguid at Cruden on 15 May 1796, but after that there’s no trace.

On 2 May

Having spent the day down near Barnsley and driving back up the M1 this evening, I’m rather tired and was hoping not much would have happened on my family tree on this day. But no – they were a busy lot! Thankfully I can have a lie in tomorrow.

2 May 1736
Birth of Agnes Weir, daughter of my ggggg grandfather William Weir, at Mauchline, Ayrshire. I haven’t yet researched her but she was the sister of Sarah Weir who married James Logan. Sarah was the great grandmother of Mary Ann McInerney, wife of my great grandfather John McCrae.

2 May 1856
Birth of William Strachan at Riccarton, Aryshire, son of Robert Strachan and Janet Ross Gilmour. He was a coal miner, naturally, and lived with his parents in Riccarton and then Galston. In 1881 he married Jean Gemmell Borland and they had a son, but Jean died in 1886. In 1891 William is back living with his parents, along with his son Robert. Then in 1892 he married widow Agnes Anderson nee Caldwell in Galston – she was born 1 May so was mentioned yesterday. In 1901 they are at Goatfoot Rows, Galston with 9 children: William’s son Robert, Agnes’s 5, and 3 youngsters born since their marriage. William died in 1938 at the age of 82 at Galston, which is a very good age indeed for someone who worked as a coal miner all his life.

2 May 1864
My gg grandfather Alexander Fraser married Mary Logan at the Manse of Ellon, Aberdeenshire. She was a domestic servant at Drumwhyndle farm at the time of their marriage, and as Alexander was a farm servant it’s probable that’s how they met. Alexander and Mary had two children, William and Mary Ann, before Mary Logan sadly died in 1867 of phthisis (tuberculosis). As cattle farming was a mainstay of farms in the Aberdeenshire lowlands, TB cut short too many lives of my ancestors, and particularly women. It was the women, of course, who did the milking and dairy work, and poor nutrition while breast feeding babies wouldn’t have helped.

2 May 1910
My great grandmother Jeannie Strachan nee Haddow died at Crookedholm, Ayrshire. I don’t know when she was born as I can’t find a baptism for her, but she was born in Stevenston in about 1835, the daughter of John Haddow and Amelia Murphy. She grew up in Stevenston, where her father was a coal miner, but by 1851 they’d moved to Kenneth Row, Corsehill, Kilwinning – home to many Strachan coal miners. No suprise then that she married a Strachan, my great grandfather Joseph. They had a total of 9 children, and lived in Dreghorn, Hurlford, Kilwinnning again, Riccarton, Kilwinning yet again, and finally Crookedholm, where they settled from 1870. Jeannie outlived her husband and, sadly, most of her children: 3 children died in infancy, eldest daughter Amelia died age 44 in childbirth, son Robert died at Ayr Asylum at age 30, and daughter Flora was an invalid since childhood and died age 30. Jeannie’s husband Joseph Strachan died in 1895, and in 1901 Jeannie is living at Schoolhouse Road, Crookedholm with her son Colin and her granddaughter Jane Dunlop, who was the illegitimate child of the daughter Flora who had died in 1893. Jeannie died on 2 May 1910 at Crookedholm age 74 and the cause of death is given as senile decay.

2 May 1941
Birth of Margaret, great granddaughter of my gg grandfather Alexander Fraser and his second wife Margaret Booth. I’m in contact with the wife of one of her relatives.

2 May 1979
Birth of a granddaughter of my cousin Alice Campbell Strachan in North Shields. I’m in touch with her uncle, who is my first cousin once removed but is the same age as I am. As I’m the youngest child of the youngest child on the Strachan side, the generations always feel askew to me, as I’m of a similar age to my cousin’s children.

On 31 March

31 March 1774
Baptism of Robert Hunter at Stevenston, Ayrshire, son of John Hunter and Margaret Barr, making him my gggg uncle as his sister Margaret married Robert Haddow. There’s not quite enough evidence to prove it, as there were several people called Robert Hunter born in Stevenston at around the same time, but I suspect this Robert Hunter married Margaret Haddow and was a coal miner in Stevenston. If so, it means Margaret Hunter married Robert Haddow and Robert Hunter married Margaret Haddow. A bit of a tangle, to say the least! I have yet to unravel it.

31 March 1866
Colin Shearer Haddow born in Kilwinning. His father, also Colin Shearer Haddow, was the son of my gg grandparents John Haddow and Amelia Murphie. The Colin born in 1866 died in infancy, as his next youngest sibling was also named Colin Shearer Haddow. The use of the Scottish naming pattern does make for a confusing family tree at times!

31 March 1920
Hamilton Kirkwood of the 219th Field Company (Glasgow) Royal Engineers was demobilised after having enlisted in 1915. His war record has survived so I know he served in France, received a skilled rate of pay as an iron moulder, and had a scar on the roof of his nose. His grandmother Sarah Marshall was my gg grandmother and his mother Ellen was the half sister of my great grandmother Mary Ann McInerney (a surname no-one at the time was able to spell).

Over in Aberdeenshire and down in Yorkshire they all had a quiet day, which is just as well.

My Haddow ancestors from Ayrshire

I’ve just added details to the Haddow page, which tells of my Great Grandmother Jeannie Haddow and her parents John Haddow and Amelia Murphy. I was glad to discover Amelia, as this told me why the name Amelia has run in the Strachan family: I had an aunt Amelia, known as Milly, who migrated to Canada. She was my father’s favourite sister and he missed her.

So that’s all the pages for my grandparents and great grandparents lines done now. When I have time I’ll write up what I know about the families that connect to my great great grandparents through marriage, and add more detail about the lives of the ancestors I’ve already put on a page.

Today, however, it is Sunday and it’s lovely and sunny outside, a very welcome change after the snow and rain of last week, so ancestors will have to wait as the garden is in need of some urgent maintenance.