Tag Archives: Sangster

29 January

A busy day on the family tree. My Sangster gggg grandmother was baptised in Aberdeenshire; a Haggerty who migrated to California was born in Dundonald; there’s a Haddow who spent all her life in Kilwinning and married a coal miner; a Strachan from Stevenston who was an iron dresser; a Booth from Aberdeenshire who was a railway signal fitter; and a Logan descendant whose parents were from Aberdeenshire but who was born in Canada and moved to New York.

29 January 1783
Janet Sangster was baptised in Cruden, daughter of John Sangster of Keplan, and I’m pretty confident she was my gggg grandmother, and daughter of the John Sangster who married Elizabeth Matthew. Janet gave birth to my illegitimate gggg grandfather William Fraser in May 1805, and he was presented for baptism by his grandfather John Sangster of Burnthill with the father named as William Fraser. Janet married William McWilliam in May 1812 at Longside, and they had several children all baptised in Longside. William McWilliam died before 1841, as in the 1841 census Janet Sangster is at Long Row, Nether Kinmundy, Longside (which is close to the border with Cruden parish and not all that far from where William Fraser had taken the lease on a croft). She is with 2 of her McWilliam children. Janet Sansgter, pauper formerly servant, is at Creechy Row, Longside in 1851 age 69 seemingly living on her own. She died in 1859 at Craighall, Ellon and the informant was her son-in-law John Barclay, so she must have spent he latter years with her married daughter Christian.

29 January 1842
Birth of Hugh Muir Haggerty at Dundonald, son of my ggg uncle Hugh Haggerty and Janet Muir who were at Fullerton Street, Dundonald (now part of Irvine) in 1841. Hugh’s father died in about 1848/49, and in 1851 Hugh is at Boat Stabs, Dundonald (Irvine) with his grandmother, mother, siblings, and an aunt. By 1861 Hugh, a coal miner, is at Benslie or Bensley Square, Kilwinning with his mother, siblings and elderly grandmother (who was a sea captain’s widow). Hugh and his brother migrated to the USA at some stage, and his mother went there in 1869 along with one of her married daughters. The 1880 census has Hugh, his brother Adam and his mother at Contra Costa, California but they all then disappear from the records.

29 January 1867
Birth of Grace Haddow at Kilwinning, daughter of my gg uncle coal miner Hugh Richmond Haddow and Marion McKay. Grace was illegitimate, and in 1871 is at Burnside Cottages, Kilwinning with her great grandmother, grandmother and several cousins: her mother was a domestic servant in Edinburgh and her father was in Kilwinning with his widowed mother. Grace’s parents married in November 1871 at that familiar address, Kenneth’s Row, Kilwinning. Grace then gained some siblings, but her father was killed in an accident in 1876: he was crushed beneath the wheels of a loaded wagon at the rail depot at the coal mine. In 1881 Grace is again living at Burnside with her grandmother, mother and siblings plus two unmarried uncles. I can’t find her in the 1891 census but she was most likely a domestic servant, as that is the occupation she gave when she married coal miner Samuel Faddes at Kilwinning in December 1891. Grace and Samuel, with 5 children including twins, are in Garden Square, Kilwinning in 1901. A tree on Ancestry has 12 children for them, and puts Grace’s death as March 1946 at Garden Square, Kilwinning.

29 January 1869
Birth of John Strachan at Stevenston, son of coal miner Samuel Strachan and Janet Mitchell and grandson of my gggg uncle Samuel Strachan and Ann Miller. He is with his parents and siblings in Chemical Row, Stevenston in 1871 and Station Street, Stevenston in 1881. His father died in 1882 and in 1891 John, working as an iron dresser, is with his mother and a younger sister at Station Square, Stevenston. I’ve only researched him in the census so know he married a Susan and by 1901 had 2 daughters, was living at Boglemart Street, Stevenston, and was working as a steel dresser.

29 January 1872
Birth of James Booth at New Deer, son of James Booth and Margaret Kidd and grandson of my gggg uncle James Booth and Jean Keith. He’s at Dyce in 1881 with his parents, his father a railway labourer, and again in 1891, by which time he’s working as a railway signal fitter. He married Sarah and they are at Great Northern Road, Woodside, Aberdeen in 1901 with a baby son, and James is still a railway signal fitter.

29 January 1882
Birth of David Morrison George at Brant, Ontario, Canada, son of James George and my ggg aunt Barbara Logan. His father was a farmer in Brant and David can be found there with his family in the 1891 Canadian census. His mother died in 1894, and in 1901 David is a lodger in Brant, working as a labourer. He didn’t marry until April 1926, when he wed Elizabeth Rennie at Walkerton. They moved to the USA as in the 1930 USA census they are at Tonawanda, New York with a son born in New York, and David M George is a construction engineer. A tree on Ancestry has his death as 1936 at Buffalo, New York.

8 and 9 January

On the 8th is another female ancestor who married someone considerably younger than herself. This is not uncommon on my family tree, and puts paid to the idea that women married men older than themselves. A great many of my female ancestors were a bit older than their husbands, and in today’s case there was a 14 year gap. Perhaps the fact that Alice from Yorkshire was an innkeeper was part of the attraction! Also on the 8th: two early Sangsters from Aberdeenshire and a Marshall from Ayrshire who married an official of the Kilmarnock Sheriff’s Court. Nothing happened on the 9th, though.

8 January 1785
My ggggg aunt Isobel Sangster was born at Cruden, daughter of John Sangster and Elizabeth Matthew. In December 1805 an Isobel Sangster was compeared by the Cruden Kirk Session and named Alexander McPherson, a travelling chapman, as the father of her child. He was compeared in Aberdeen in April 1806 and denied paternity. However, I cannot find a baptism of a child born to an Isobel Sangster at that time, but it is possible it is ‘my’ Isobel. Perhaps the child died at birth. I also think she’s the Isobel Sangster who married Peter Morgan in August 1807 at Longside, and had 9 children. Peter Morgan died before the 1841 census, and in 1841 there is an Isobel Sangster, yarn winder, is in Stuartfield Village with 17 year old Mary Sangster, but I suspect this might not be her.

8 January 1787
My ggggg aunt Helen Sangster was born at Cruden, daughter of John Sangster and Elizabeth Matthew. Nothing else can be found for Helen in the records, so she may well have died young.

8 January 1832
Baptism of Alice Green at Worsbrough, daughter of ggggg uncle George Green and Hannah Ellis. Her father was an innkeeper and Alice is with her parents and siblings in Ward Green, Worsbrough in 1841 and 1851, by which time she was a dressmaker. She married John Poles in 1852 and they are in Ward Green in 1861 with 3 children, living next door to the inn where Alice’s widowed mother is innkeeper. John was a stone getter, which is an old term for someone who delivered locally quarried stone, and he died in 1868, by which time they’d had more children. Alice’s mother died in 1870 and by 1871 Alice is the innkeeper at Ward Green and has some of her children with her, though 2 are visiting their aunt. Then in 1872 Alice Poles married Alfred Hoyland at Sheffield: he was a coal miner who was in Worsbrough in 1871, with his parents. He was 14 years younger than Alice, which might have something to so with why they went to Sheffield to get married. They had 2 children born in Worsbrough, but then Alfred died in 1875 at Ward Green, and probate for his will was granted to his widow Alice: probate describes Alfred as a miner and innkeeper. In 1881 Alice Hoyland, widowed for the second time, is still the innkeeper at Ward Green and with her are 4 of her children, 2 grandchildren with the surname Hoyland, a servant and a boarder. She is still at Ward Green in 1891 but had moved out of the inn and was next door again, earning a living as a dressmaker, and had her a Poles son, 2 Hoyland children and a Hoyland grandchild with her. Alice died in 1895 age 63.

8 January 1834
Baptism of Christian Wallace Marshall at Galston, daughter of my ggg uncle Alexander Marshall and Christian Wallace. Her father was a saddler and they are at Langland Street, Kilmarnock in 1841. Her mother died before 1851, and in the 1851 census Christina – as she by then known – is a house servant to a baker in Galston, and in 1861 is a dressmaker living with her unmarried sister Jane at Station Road, Galston. In 1870 she was married at Galston to James Thomas Miller who was an assistant bar officer at the Sheriff Court: they are in St Marnock Street, Kilmarnock in 1871 and the census says husband James was born in Quebec. They are at the same address in 1881, have 4 children, James has become the Macer at the Sheriff Court, and James’ widowed mother is with them – she was born in Ireland. A Macer is a court official whose job is to ensure the court runs smoothly by preparing the courtroom and ensuring everyone needed and called knows what to do. They had moved round the corner to Dundonald Road by 1891 and had 3 children with them, their son working as an apprentice draughtsman. James Thomas Miller died, and in 1901 widow Christina is with her 3 children, all in their twenties and unmarried: the eldest daughter is a dressmaker and the son is a draughtsman. Christina Miller nee Marshall died on April 1904 at Fitchfield Street, Kilmarnock of a tubercle of the lung, which is caused by bacterial tuberculosis.

27 December (2)

A few more for the 27th: my ggggg grandfather who was an innkeeper at Worsbrough, Yorkshire, a Haigh descendant from Royston who married an ostler (groom), a Hutcheon up in Aberdeenshire who didn’t marry and lived with her unmarried brother, the second wife of my Fraser great grandfather, and a Sangster descendent who married a farm servant and llived in Turriff.

27 December 1768 (born about 1744)
My ggggg grandfather Joseph Green was born I know not where, but it would have been somewhere in or near Worsbrough, Yorkshire I assume. There are a couple of possibilities in the OPRs but no way of knowing which, if any, are the correct one. There was a John Green who married Ann Cawthorne at Darfield and had a son Joseph baptised there in 1746, and there was was also a Joseph Green born in Felkirk in 1744. What is certain, however, is that Joseph Green married Alice Rock in Barnsley in 1768, and all their children were baptised at Worsbrough. Thanks to a recorded Monumental Inscription in Worsbrough church yard – which doesn’t seem to there any more – I know that Alice wife of Joseph Green innkeeper of Ward Green died age 79 in 1823, and that Joseph Green innkeeper of Ward Green died age 86 in 1830. Ward Green is north of the village of Worsbrough, heading into Barnsley, and back then was on the main Sheffield to Barnsley road, which was part of the major route from London to the north. The inn was most probably the Horse & Jockey, which his son George took over, and which has since been demolished.

27 December 1837
Birth of Hannah Womack at Royston, Yorkshire, daughter of my gggg aunt Maria Haigh and James Womack. She is with her parents in Royston, then in 1861 is on Northgate, Wakefield living with William Mantle, a groom and widower, with her younger sister Ellen as a visitor. She married William Mantle in 1861 at the Methodist Church in Wakefield, and they had 5 daughters. In 1871 William is an ostler and in 1881 is a cab driver – horse drawn, of course. William died in 1889 at Wakefield and Hannah followed him in 1891, age only 54.

27 December 1842
Margaret Hutcheon was batised at Longside, Aberdeenshire, daughter of my gggg uncle Alexander Hutcheon and Margaret Hutcheon: his parents shared a surname but I don’t know if they were related. In 1851 Margaret is with her parents at Kirk Street, Longside and her father is a road maker. By 1861 she was working as a domestic servant and is at Mill of Faichfield, Longside, working for the miller and his family. In March 1870 she gave birth to an illegitimate son, John William Hutchison, and is with her parents in 1871, at High Street, Longside, working as a domestic servant. Her father died in 1875, and in 1881 Margaret is with her mother, two brothers and her son working a 3.5 acre croft with her mother at Hutchison Street: this may well be the croft her father had. Her mother died in 1887 and in 1891 Margaret and her son are living with her unmarried brother John in Longside, and her son has become a tailor. Margaret and her brother are still together in Longside in 1901. Margaret died in 1927 age 84 at Longside.

27 December 1867
Birth of Helen Ann Morgan at Peterhead, daughter of William Souter Morgan and Jane Aitken. Helen was to become the second wife of my great grandfather. In 1871 she is with her parents and siblings at Lochside, Cruden where her father was a farm servant, in 1881 the family is at Collie Hill, Cruden and in 1891 they are Little Tillymaud, Cruden and Helen seems to be helping her mother at home. In 1901 Helen is working as a domestic servant in Peterhead for a vintner and his family. She must then have gone to work at Blackstrath, Keithhall, for it was there that she gave birth to her illegitimate daughter Chrissie Gray Morgan in 1904 – the father not named but his surname might have been Gray. The year before, my grandfather William Fraser’s first wife had died and it’s possible Helen Ann Morgan became his housekeeper, as he had several young children to be cared for. Nature then took its course as Helen gave birth to their son at Hatton in April 1906, though she and William didn’t get married until April 1907, and they subsequently had 4 more sons. In about 1910, William and Helen took over Mosside Croft, on the death of William’s father Alexander. My mother remembered “Granny Fraser” – she was short and wore little round glasses, and had a dairy attached to the cottage where she made cheese. Helen Ann Fraser nee Morgan died in 1938 at the age of 70 of a coronary thrombosis.

27 December 1860
Birth of Christian Pirie at Old Deer, daughter of my half ggg aunt Janet Hay McWilliam and James Pirie and granddaughter of Janet Sangster and William McWilliam. She is with her parents at Old Deer in 1861, 1871 and 1881 at different farms, as her father was a farm servant. She married farm servant James Tough at Old Deer in 1885 and in 1891 they are at Burnside, Turriff with 4 children and Christian’s widower father. They are still there in 1901, James a cattleman, with 2 more children and still with Christian’s father. She died in 1908 of pulmonary tuberculosis.

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.

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).

1 and 2 December

It’s December, Christmas is approaching and the pre-Christmas get-togethers have already started – hence I’ve been getting behind with the blog. On the 1st and 2nd there was: a Hudson who was an ancestor of my Yorkshire Senior great grandmother; a Strachan who lived mostly in Dreghorn and ended up on Poor Relief due to bronchitis; a Haddow coal miner who lived in several coal mining areas of Ayrshire; a Sangster from Aberdeenshire who started out in rural Kinmundy but eventually moved to Aberdeen; a Haigh from Yorkshire who was a coal miner (my ancestors seem strangely drawn to coal!); and another Strachan who died in infancy.

2 December 1748
Baptism of my ggggg grandmother Lydia Hudson at Royston, Yorkshire, daughter of John Hudson and Mary Wooffendale. She married Thomas Fisher at Royston in 1764, and their marriage entry in the parish register says Thomas was a husbandman – which probably means the tenant of a small farm or smallholding. They had 3 children that I can find records for, one of whom died at age 6, but Lydia’s daughter Hannah married Joseph Firth, their daughter Sarah married William Green of Worsborough, and their son Joseph Green of Worsbrough was my great grandfather who married Charlotte Senior of Royston. Lydia Fisher nee Hudson died in 1808 at age 59 and was buried on 17 April at Royston St John the Baptist.

1 December 1811
Birth of my ggg uncle Henry Strachan at Coltburn, near Muirkirk, Ayrshire, son of John Strachan and Agnes Neilson. In the 1841 census his name is given as Hendry – he is at Shewalton Colliery, Dundonald, where many in his family were living, is a coal miner, and has recently married Ann Stewart. They are in the colliery houses at Dreghorn in 1851, again where many in his family were living, with wife Ann and a Strachan nephew and niece, children of his brother Peter who has died. Henry and Ann did not have children of their own so seem to have become adoptive parents to Peter Strachan’s children. In 1861 Henry and Ann are in West Thornton, Dreghorn with nephew John Strachan and a niece of Ann’s, and Henry is still a coal miner. By 1871, however, they are still in Dreghorn but Henry is now a watchman – he must have been too disabled to still be a miner: with his is wife Ann and his widowed mother in law. He disablement is confirmed by his application for Poor Relief in 1872, which says “the case is well known to the board” and he was given relief. This was reviewed in 1873, when he was given 3 shillings a week. Henry Strachan died in June 1874 from chronic bronchitis, and the informant was his brother in law William Bowie.

2 December 1827
Birth of my gg uncle Colin Shearer Haddow at Stevenston, son of John Haddow and Amelia Murphie. His baptism record gives his father’s occupation as collier. Colin is with his parents and sibllings in 1841 at Townhead Street, Stevenston and in 1851 at Kenneth’s Row, Crosehill, Kilwinning in 1851, and he became a coal miner. He married Janet Jaffrey in Kilwinning in 1853 but she died of consumption in 1855: they did not have any children. Colin then married Ann Orr Richmond at Corsehill in 1858, and in 1861 they are in a house at Kenneth’s Row with 2 children. By 1871 they had moved to Lylestone Row, Kilwinning and with them were 5 children, Ann’s mother and a boarder. They were in Coylton in 1881, with Colin working as an ironstone miner, with 5 children remianing with them: they had 9 children altogether but not all of them survived childhood. Colin died in 1885 at Taiglum, near Stair, at age 57.

1 December 1832
Birth of Barbara Sangster at Kinmundy, Longside, Aberdeenshire, illegitimate daughter of George Sangster and Mary Ann Morgan and granddaughter of my ggggg aunt Isabel Sangster and Peter Morgan. In 1841 she is at Brunthill, Cruden with her Sangster grandmother and uncle. She married George Stephen of Boddam, a farm servant, in 1860. In 1861 she and husband George are at Stonehousehill, Cruden with 2 children, and in 1871 are in Peterhead, where George is a day labourer, with 6 children. By 1881 George has become a builder and the are living in Boddam with 5 children still at home. 1891 finds then in Aberdeen where George is a mason and with the 2 youngest children at home, and they are still there in 1901, living with their youngest son, who is an assurance agent – George Stephen is working as a cooper. Barbara Stephen ms Sangster died a widow in 1926 in Aberdeen of cancer.

1 December 1843
Baptism of Martin Haigh at Royston, Yorkshire, son of John Haigh and Hannah Allen and great grandson of my ggggg grandparents Joseph Haigh and Ann Savile, who moved to Pollington in the late 1840s. Martin is with them in 1851 and 1871 but I can’t find him in 1861: by 1851 he was an ag lab. He’d then moved to Stanley by 1881 where his father was canal lock keeper, and Martin had become a colliery labourer. He married Ann Mary Taylor in 1881, when he was in his late 30s, and they settled in Stanley round the corner from his parents. By 1891 Martin was a coal miner and he and Ann had had 4 children: 3 more followed in the early 1890s. Martin Haigh died in 1895 at age 55, and his burial entry in the Stanley parish register says he was of Ferry Lane, Stanley. His widow is at the same address in 1901 with the children, then she remarried but remained in Stanley.

2 December 1874
Birth of Janet Strachan at Dreghorn, Ayrshire, daughter of John Strachan and Agnes Scott and granddaughter of my ggg uncle Munro Strachan and Janet Jamieson. Janet died in infancy.

22 November

Three from Aberdeenshire today – an early Sangster, and two Aitken ancestors both called William. From Ayrshire, a Strachan descendant who started out as a coal miner but switched to engineering.

22 November 1789
Baptism of my ggggg uncle John Sangster at Cruden, Aberdeenshire, son of John Sangster and Elizabeth Matthew. I suspect he’s the one who married Jean/Jane Fraser at Slains in 1817, and it’s possible Jean Fraser was the daughter of John Fraser who had married Christian Sangster and was the brother of the William Fraser who got Janet Sangster pregnant with my ggg grandfather William Fraser. Which makes for a rather tangled web of Fraser and Sangster ancestors! Sadly, the available records from that time aren’t detailed enough to prove such connections. John Sansgter and Jean Fraser had several children baptised at Cruden, but neither of them can be found in the census so it looks as if they died before 1841.

22 November 1838 marriage (born about 1820)
William Aitken, grandfather of my step great grandmother Helen Ann Morgan, was born about 1820 in Peterhead parish, Aberdeenshire – no baptism has been found so his birth year and place comes from the information he gave in the census. On 22 November 1838 he married Elizabeth Milne at Longside, which was the same day their first child, a son called William, was baptised – I expect the kirk had something to do with expediting the marriage! In 1841 he’s an ag lab at Savoch, Longside with wife Elizabeth and baby daughter Jean: 2 year old son William is with his Milne grandparents who are also at Savoch, so were close by. I can’t find William and his family in the 1851 census, although son William is with a Milne uncle. However, William and Elizabeth had several children baptised in Longside during the 1840s and then had a child baptised in Cruden in 1856. In 1861 William is a farm overseer at Aldie, Cruden parish and his son 13 year old son Peter is an ag lab at the same farm: wife Elizabeth with 2 children is nearby at Whiteshin, Cruden. In 1871 William is a farm servant at West Gask, Cruden with 2 children remaining at home. Like many a farm servant, William then took a lease on a small farm or croft, as in 1881 he’s at Hill of Aldie, Cruden as a farmer of 12 acres and is there as a crofter in 1891: William and Elizabeth also have a granddaughter with them. After his wife’s death, William can be found at the Old Schoolhouse, Cruden in 1901 age 81 and still working as an ag lab, with his unmarried granddaughter as housekeeper. William died in Cruden in 1907 and would have been about age 87.

22 November 1838
Baptism of William Aitken at Longside, Aberdeenshire, son of William Aitken and Elizabeth Milne (see above). In 1841, at age 2, he is with his Milne grandparents at Savoch, Longside but his parents and baby sister are close by. In 1851 he’s with a Milne uncle, who was a miller, and is a farm labourer – the census says he’s age 12 but he was actually only 10. By 1861 he’s in Old Deer working as a ploughman, and later that year he married Mary Irvine at Old Deer. William is a farm overseer in 1871, at Nether Leask in Slains parish, with his wife and 5 children – the birthplaces of the children show that William moved around as a farm servant, as the births took place in Old Deer, Cruden, Buchan and Slains. 1881 sees William as a farm overseer at Hatton in Cruden parish with his wife, 9 children and 2 male farm servants. He then took the lease of Artrichie Croft in Logie Buchan and is there in 1891 and 1901, as a crofter plus working as a gardener’s labourer, and with younger children still at home. William Aitken died in 1914 at Ellon at age 75.

22 November 1840
Birth of John Hamilton at Gargieston, Ayrshire (just outside Kilmarnock), son of John Hamilton and Janet Strachan and grandson of my ggg uncle Thomas Strachan and Elizabeth Nisbet. He’s with his family in 1841 at Moorfield Tile Works, Kilmaurs and at Corsehill Square, Dreghorn in 1851 and then at Knockintiber, Kilmaurs in 1861 – no surprise that his father was a coal miner, and that’s what John became. His father died in 1869 and in 1871 John is living with his brother Thomas at Kilmaurs Road, Kilmarnock, both of them unmarried and both coal miners. John then married Annie Law and in 1881 they are at St Marnock Place, Kilmarnock with 4 children and an elderly aunt of Annie’s, and John Hamilton has become an engineer’s machinist. He’s doing the same job in 1891 when he’s at North Hamilton Street, Kilmarnock with his wife and the same 4 children – his eldest, a son, has become a floorcloth designer, a rather unusual occupation. John Hamilton died in 1894 age 53 in Kilmarnock.

2 November

A Sangster ancestor from Cruden, Aberdeenshire today. The Sangsters are a complicated lot as there were so many of them in the Cruden area, and sorting them all out is by no means an easy task. And every time I research a side branch of the Frasers,Logans, Watts, etc., someone marries a Sangster!

2 November 1775

George Sangster was born at Cruden, Aberdeenshire, son of John Sangster but mother not named. I suspect he is my ggggg uncle, sister of Janet Sangster and uncle of illegitimate William Fraser. It’s difficult piecing things together before the census, but I suspect this could be the George Sangster who married Barbara Robertson at Cruden in 1809, which may not have been his first marriage. George and Barbara had George, James and William baptised in Cruden but may have had more, as in the 1841 census there is a Barbara Sangster at Brunthill, Cruden with Alexander Sangster age 20, an ag lab, and Barbara Sangster age 8. Brunhill is where Janet Sangster was living with her father John Sangster when her son William Fraser was born in 1805. Barbara Sangster age 8 is the illegitimate daughter of Mary Ann Morgan, who was the daughter of Janet’s sister Isabel who married Peter Morgan. So it all seems to fit. George Sangster must have died before 1841.

29 October

Just one today – but an interesting one as the research involved quite a bit of thinking it all through and looking for connections (and also the spending of credits on ScotlandsPeople).

29 October 1813
Baptism of Mary Ann Morgan at Longside, daughter of Peter Morgan and Isobel Sangster. Her mother was the sister of my gggg grandmother Janet Sangster. Mary Ann gave birth to two illegitimate children: Barbara Sangster in 1832 (father George Sangster) and Joseph Mess Greig in 1837 (father James Greig). On both baptism entries Mary Ann Morgan is said to be of Kinmundy, which is where some of the Sangster and Morgan families lived. There is then an entry for the reading of banns for Mary Ann Morgan and David Young at Slains in November 1840: their marriage entry is quite unusual as it seems to read as if they had the banns read at Slains but were married elsewhere, though there is no other marriage entry in the OPRs. And to further complicate things, their eldest child had been baptised at Longside in October 1840. David Young was a riddle and beehive maker, and his mother was Margaret Sangster, so perhaps Mary Ann was related to him (and she may also have been related to the George Sangster who father her daughter Barbara). David Young and wife Mary are in Longside in 1841 with a baby son. In 1841 Mary Ann’s daughter Barbara is with her great aunt Barbara Sangster ar Brunthill, Cruden, which is where Mary Ann’s mother Isobel Sangster was born, but there is no trace of Joseph Greig, who may have died in infancy. In 1851 David and Mary Ann Young are in Old Machar with 4 children, and are in Old Deer in 1861 with their 4 youngest children, the eldest having died or working away from home. David Young died in 1863 at Stuartfield, Old Deer, and in 1871 Mary Young, annuitant, is at Main Street, Old Deer with her youngest daughter and a granddaughter. She is in Longside in 1881 with her son Duncan, a baker, and a different granddaughter. Mary Ann Young died in 1887 at Peterhead, widow of David Young beehive maker. Her son Duncan was a baker in Peterhead so she may have been living with him, but the informant was her son David Young. He gave her father as George Morgan and mother unknown, but Mary Ann’s parents died before 1841 so he would not have known them, and given all the other evidence I think it’s highly likely he made a mistake with Mary Ann’s father’s name.

15 October

Today features the sad story of Janet Strachan from Ayrshire, and the much travelled Margaret McWilliam from Aberdeenshire who married a soldier and migrated, as a widow, to Iowa, USA. Plus two of the frustrating kind – people I haven’t been able to find in the records after their birth.

15 October 1780
Birth of Henry Neilson at Irvine, son of Walter Neilson and Agnes Hardie at Irvine, Ayrshire. I suspect this is a son of my gggg grandparents Walter Neilson and Agnes Haddon or Haddie, although all their other children were born in Gorbals or Govan, Lanarkshire. But as Walter Neilson was a coal miner, it’s possible they spent a year or so in Irvine. Unfortunately I can’t find anything else for Henry: there was a Henry Neilson who had children baptised with Marion Tenant at Carnwath and then Shotts, Lanarkshire from 1798 but I’m not convinced this is the same Henry Neilson.

15 October 1818
Birth of my gggg aunt Christian Booth at Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, daughter of William Booth and Margaret Allan and aunt of my gg grandmother Mary Logan (who was the first wife of Alexander Fraser). I haven’t found anything else in the records that looks as if it could be her.

15 October 1848
Birth of Margaret McWilliam at Tyrie, Aberdeenshire, daughter of my half gggg uncle Nathaniel McWilliam and Isobel Murison, and granddaughterbof my gggg grandmother Janet Sangster. She proved tricky to research as she moved around a lot, but I finally cracked it. She is with her parents and siblings in New Pitsligo in 1851 and 1861, her father an ag lab. Then her mother died in about 1862, her father remarried in 1863, and then her father, stepmother and siblings migrated to the USA in 1867, settling in Iowa. Margaret, however, didn’t go with them. In 1868 she married soldier James Taylor in Aberdeen, and in 1871 is at Aberdeen Military Barracks with her sergeant husband and two young children who had both been born in Perth. By 1881 James Taylor has left the army and is a sergeant inspector Chelsea Pensioner living in Uphall, West Lothian with wife Margaret and 4 children, the youngest 2 born in Uphall. They had a third child, and then Margaret’s husband died. in 1891 she is in Broxburn, Linlithgow with her 3 surviving children, and on 23 April 1891 they all sailed from Glasgow for the USA: her father and siblings had, of course, gone to Iowa back in 1867. In the 1900 USA census Margaret and her youngest child Arthur are living with her son-in-law and married daughter Eliza in Sumner, Iowa, and in 1910 and 1920 she is living in Oskaloosa, Iowa with her unmarried son Arthur, who was a stenographer at a music house. By 1825 Margaret is back living with her married daughter Eliza Milne and is with them at Marshalltown, Iowa in 1930. She died in Marshalltown in 1934 at the age of 86.

15 October 1858 (born about 1840)
Janet Strachan was born at Shewalton Colliery, Dundonald, Ayrshire in about 1840, the daughter of my ggg uncle Munro Strachan and Janet Jamieson and granddaughter of John Strachan and Agnes Neilson. She is with her parents at Shewalton Colliery in 1841 and at MacReadie’s Land, Dreghorn in 1851, by which time her father was a pauper formerly a coal miner. Her father died in 1854. In 1858 Janet married coal miner James Wilson at Irvine and in 1861 they are in Dreghorn living with her brother-in-law Gilbert Wilson. Janet gave birth to son James in April 1861, but he died in June of congenital disability, and then Janet died in July 1861 of phthisis and bronchitis.