Tag Archives: Neilson

3 and 4 October

First of all, happy birthday yesterday to cousin Colin in Canada, a wonderful supporter of this blog. Hope you had a lovely day, Colin. The 3rd and 4th were busy, with four births back in the 1700s, a coal miner Strachan from Kilwinning, and a Strachan coal miner descendent who went to Pennsylvania. Finally, there’s the tragic coincidence of two deaths on the same day in WW1, one an Aberdeenshire relative and one a Yorkshire relative, both remembered at the Tyne Cot Memorial in Belguim which commemorates the dead of Ypres.

3 October 1714
Baptism of Water Neilson at Hamilton, Lanarkshire, son of Walter Neilson and Elizabeth Roxburgh. There is not evidence to prove it, but this might be my ggggg grandfather who married Mary Berrie at Govan and was the grandfather of Agnes Neilson who married John Strachan in 1794.

3 October 1742
Birth of my ggggg aunt Martha Weir at Mauchline, Ayrshire, daughter of William Weir, mother unknown, and sister of Sarah Weir who married James Logan and was the mother of Agnes Logan who married Robert Marshall. I cannot find a marriage for a Martha Weir, but there were children baptised in Ayrshire with father William Lockhart and mother Martha Weir in 1774 at Coylton, 1778 at Riccarton and 1783 at Kilmarnock. Given the locations and a family on the move, it’s quite possible that William Lockhart was was a coal miner. It’d also more than likely that this couple had more than three children but the others went unrecorded.

4 October 1744
Birth of my gggg grandfather James Logan at Kilmarnock, son of Robert Logan and Ann Wilson – at least I think this is the correct James. Unfortunately little can be found about him in the records, but James Logan and Sarah Weir had 10 children baptised in Kilmarnock from 1768 to 1789, including my ggg grandmother Agnes Logan who married Robert Marshall. I suspect it is the birth of the correct James as he named his eldest son Robert, which fits the Scottish naming pattern. According to the death certificate of his daughter Agnes he was a shoemaker.

4 October 1777
Birth of my ggggg aunt Helen Watt at Bourtie, Aberdeenshire, daughter of John Watt and Helen Davidson. Unfortunately I can’t find anything in the records that looks as if it could be her.

3 October 1856
Birth of my half gg uncle Thomas Strachan, son my gg grandfather Robert Strachan and his second wife Susan Cran. He’s at Kenneth’s Row, Kilwinning with his family in 1861 and 1871, and by the latter census has already started working at the coal mine. His father died in 1877 and in 1881 Thomas, age 24 and a coal miner, is still at Kenneth’s Row with his widowed mother, a brother, and some relatives. He married Mary McLaughlan in November 1881 at Kilwinning – they were in Dreghorn when their eldest son was born but moved back to Kilwinning shortly after. In both 1891 and 1901 they’re at Corsehill, Kilwinning, Thomas a coal miner and with a growing family. Thomas’s wife Mary died some time after 1901 and Thomas himself died in July 1911 at Kyleswell Street, Kilwinning, of brochial asthma and cardiac weakness: the informant was his brother Robert.

4 October 1871
Birth of Robert Holland Muir at Blythe, Tynemouth, Northumberland, son of John Muir and mary Holland. His parents were related as his father was the son of Andrew Muir and Elizabeth Strachan and his mother was daughter of Robert Armour Holland and Agnes Strachan. My gggg uncle Peter Strachan and Mary Monroe were therefore Robert’s great grandparents twice over. What appears to be his family migrated to Canada in 1886 as they are on a passenger list, and there is a Robert age 14. However, it seems that Robert returned to Scotland, and there is a Robert Muir age 21 and a miner on a passenger list from New York to Scotland in 1890 (though Robert would have been 19, not 21). He married in Scotland to Agnes Leggat and had two daughters, Susan and Mary, born in Scotland, then he and his family migrated to the USA in December 1906. Robert and his family can be followed in the USA census: they lived in Dunmore and then Oliphant, Pennsylvania and had a total of 5 children, 3 of whom survived to adulthood.

4 October 1917 (born 1889)
David Ewan Michael was born in 1889 at Boddom, Aberdeenshire, son of my gg aunt Mary Ann Fraser and David Ewan Michael. His father was a granite quarryman and the family were in Wickersgill, Westmorland, England in 1901. David is not with his parents in 1911, at age 21. He married Margaret Leiper and enlisted with the King’s Own Scottish Borderers when war broke out. He was killed in action on 4 October 1917 in Belguim and is remembered at the Tyne Cot Memorial.

4 October 1917 (born 1888)
Lewis Wilson Burton was born in Thornes, near Wakefield, Yorkshire, son of James Burton and Sarah Ann Wilson and grandson of my ggg aunt Mary Green and Joseph Wilson. By 1911 he was working as a trimmer at a coal mine at Sandal, Wakefield. He enlisted with the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and, like David Micheal (above) was killed in action on 4 October 1917 and is remembered at the Tyne Cot Memorial.

4 October 1936
Birth of my cousin and blog follower Colin Strachan Harper at Toronto, Canada son of William Harper and my aunt Jeannie Haddow Strachan. Colin is married to Jean, has three daughters and is retired.

On 24 July

Two early ancestors who have proved difficult to trace, and a Watt ancestor from Aberdeenshire who sadly spent the last few years of his life in the Aberdeen Lunatic Asylum.

24 July 1766
Birth of my gggg uncle Walter Neilson in Govan, Lanarkshire son of Walter Neilson and Agnes Hadden and brother of my ggg grandmother Agnes Neilson. There is a marriage in 1786 at Gorbals of Walter Neilson coal miner and Jane Shiels, and baptisms of 8 children to them from 1787 to 1806 in Gorbals and Govan, with the youngest child baptised in Barony, Lanarkshire. Nothing further found, and he must have died before the 1841 census.

23 July 1797
Birth of my ggg aunt Agnes Strachan at Gorbals, Lanarkshire, daughter of John Strachan and Agnes Neilson. Her birth entry in the OPR says her father John Strachan is a “coll huer”. I have no idea whether she survived childhood or not as I’ve not been able to find anything further for her. Her parents moved around quite a lot during the years when she’d have been a child, but were back in Ayrshire by the time she’s reached her mid teens.
(Check on the Robert and Agnes Kerr who had Agnes Kerr in 1831 and are in the census)

24 July 1810
Birth of my gggg uncle George Watt at Udny, Aberdeenshire son of Peter Watt and Helen Alexander. In the 1841 census he is a farm servant, and he married Ann Kenn at Rayne, later that year. In 1851 they at Garmond, Monquhitter, George and agricultural labourer, with 4 children and their birthplaces indicate they’d moved from farm to farm. In 1861, however, George is at Tarves with his brother James and wife Ann and 5 children are at Monquhitter. Something then clearly happened as in 1871 George Watt age 61, farm servant of Tarves, is a patient in the Royal Lunatic Asylum of Aberdeen. His wife Ann is still at Garmond, Monquhitter, a stocking knitter with 2 children and 2 grandchildren living with her. George Watt died on 13 April 1872 at the Royal Lunatic Asylum of smallpox. His death certificate confirms he was the son of Peter Watt crofter and Helen Alexander.

On 20 June

In Canada and Aberdeenshire, relations are celebrating their birthdays. Plus an early, disappearing ancestor, a illegitimate birth with paternity confirmed by the Sheriff’s Court, yet another Ayrshire coal mining Strachan.

20 June 1790
Jane Neilson, my gggg aunt, was baptised at Gorbals. daughter of Walter Neilson and Agnes Hadden. Unfortunately that’s all I know about her as nothing else can be found in the records.

20 June 1872
Birth of Jane (Jeanie) Fraser at Mosside Croft, Cruden, Aberdeenshire, illegitimate daughter of my ggg aunt Janet (Jessie) Fraser and William Simpson. There is a corrected entry for Jane’s birth as her mother Jessie went to the Sheriff’s Court to get William Simpson, a shoemaker of Peterhead, acknowledged as the father. In 1881 Jeanie, age 9, is with her mother as a boarder at Braeside, Longside where her mother was a domestic maid for farmer William Low and his family. In 1889 Jeanie married farm servant James Milne – her marriage certificate has her parents as James Simpson shoemaker and Jessie Simpson ms Fraser, which isn’t quite the truth. In 1891 James, a labourer, Jeanie and her mother Jessie Fraser are at Damhead, Peterhead. Jeanie gave birth to her only child James not long afterwards, and in 1901 the family are at West Gask, Cruden, where her husband is a ploughman. 1911 saw the family at Bruce Street, Peterhead with James working as a mason’s labourer. Jeanie’s mother Jessie has rejoined them and is a storekeeper, and Jeanie’s son James age 19 is a grocery shop assistant. They also have two boarders living with them.

20 June 1896 (born about 1845)
John Strachan, son of my ggg uncle Munro Strachan and Janet Jamieson, was born about 1845 in Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, but there’s no baptism record. He’s with his parents and siblings at McReadie’s Land, Dreghorn in 1851, and his father is a pauper formerly a coal miner, so was disabled and receiving parish relief. His father died in 1854 and his mother remarried to William Young. In 1861 John age 15, now a coal miner, is at Warwickhill Hamlet, Dreghorn, with his mother, stepfather and siblings and half siblings. John married Agnes Scott in Irvine in 1864, and by 1871 they were at West Thornton Back Row, Dreghorn with 3 children and 2 of Agnes’s brother, John and his brothers-in-law all coal miners. In 1881 they have moved to Corsehill Square, Dreghorn and have 6 children, and they are still there in 1891 with 3 more children. John Strachan died in 1896 of erysipelas (skin infection).

20 June 1963
There’s a birthday today up in Aberdeenshire for my cousin once removed (i.e. my cousin’s daughter), great granddaughter of Henry Strachan and Helen McCrae.

20 June 1991
There’s also a birthday today in Canada – happy birthday Travis, who is my cousin twice removed (i.e. my cousin’s grandson). Travis is the great great grandson of Henry Strachan and Helen McCrae.

On 24 April

The beauty of doing this every day is you never know what you’re going to find. Today I was reminded that I haven’t done enough research into my Neilson ancestors, plus I found a rarity – a male Strachan born in the 1800s who wasn’t a coal miner.

24 April 1804
Baptism at Govan, Renfrewshire of Agnes Neilson, niece of the Agnes Neilson who married my ggg grandfather John Strachan. The Agnes born in 1804 was the daughter of John Neilson and Catherine Spiers. I haven’t researched her apart from trying to find a marriage, but there were a lot of women called Agnes Neilson getting married at the right time in both Lanarkshire and Ayrshire and I haven’t yet worked out which could have been her.

24 April 1862
Andrew Strachan was born in Dreghorn, Ayrshire, son of Samuel Strachan and Margaret Sampson Reid Jamieson and therefore nephew of my gg grandfather, and one of the few Strachan sons not to go down the mines. Andrew was in Cambusnethan, Lanarkshire by 1881, working as a draper’s assistant for his sister’s husband. He married Annie Terris in 1886 at West Calder, Midlothian, and by 1891 was living in Leith, Midlothian, with children born in Glasgow and Ayr, and was working as a clothier’s salesman. The family then moved to Cowdenbeath, Fifeshire where Andrew was a draper. He died in 1944 at Leith, at the age of 82.

24 April 1976
A cousin’s granddaughter was born at North Shields, Tyneside.

On 14 April

Most of today’s events are reminding me I need to do more research. Sometimes it would be helpful if there were more hours in the day!

14 April 1793
Margaret Neilson born at Govan, Lanarkshire, daughter of my gggg uncle John Neilson and his wife Catherine Spiers. I’ve not done any further research so have no idea what became of her.

14 April 1882
Mary Strachan married Robert Armour at Dreghorn. She was the daughter of my ggg uncle Samuel Strachan. Robert was a letterpress printer in Kilmarnock: when they married he was a widow and Mary had had an illegitimate son who became an apprentice to his stepfather. She died in 1935 at Stewarton, Ayrshire.

14 April 1914
Allan Strachan arrived in Nova Scotia from Glasgow, headed for Alberta. He was 29, an engineer, and the son of Allan Gilmour Strachan and Jean Stewart. He then joined the Canadian Light Infantry, and was killed at Ypres in March 1915.