Tag Archives: Watt

29 and 30 November

30 November was St Andrew’s Day, my father’s birthday, and the day of a terrible accident in Glasgow, so my thoughts were in Scotland. Only one entry for the 29th, and a sad one – twins who died in infancy. There are quite a lot of twins on my Strachan family tree, so if you’re a Strachan descendent and planning on having children, be warned. Three baptisms on the 30th but only one person whom I’ve been able to trace beyond their birth.

30 November 1828
Baptism of Timothy Fisher at Pilley, Yorkshire, son of John Fisher and Mary Stones and grandson of my ggggg uncle Timothy Fisher and Mary Kaye. Nothing found for Timothy and he is not with his family in 1841, so it looks as if he died young.

30 November 1843
Baptism of John Aitken at Longside, Aberdeenshire son of William Aitken and Elizabeth Milne and uncle of my step great grandmother Helen Ann Morgan. Nothing else found, unfortunately, and as I can’t find the family in the 1851 census I don’t know whether he with his family or not in that year.

30 November 1868
Baptism of my half gg aunt Barbara Smith at Tarves, Aberdeenshire, daughter of John Smith and Helen Watt – she has two baptism records, one in Tarves and one in Udny, but in the census gives her place of birth as Tarves. In 1871 she is with her parents in Newington, Edinburgh and her half sister, my great grandmother Helen Hay, has been left in Tarves with her grandparents. Barbara’s father then died but she and her mother stayed in Edinburgh and took in lodgers. By 1891 Barbara is a dressmaker and one of her mother’s lodgers is an assistant librarian, William Thomson. Barbara and William were married in 1898 and lived in Morningside, Edinburgh, but didn’t have children.

29 November 1902
Birth of twins James and Flora Strachan McIlwraith at Crookedholm, Ayrshire, the first born children of of Jane Dunlop Strachan and James McIlwraith and grandchildren of my great aunt Flora Strachan. Sadly, both twins died in early infancy.

26 November

A busy day today for births, and a very varied bunch of ancestors. A very long ago Yorkshire ancestor, who was a schoolmaster and parish clerk; a Watt from Aberdeenshire that I can’t find; a Haddow who spent all her life on Townhead Street in Stevenston; a Strachan descendant who lived on Cadgers Road in Hurlford and had sons who became tea merchants; a Strachan descendant who migrated to Queensland in Australia and became a newsagent; a Senior descendant who married a coal miner here in Yorkshire; and in Aberdeenshire a Fraser descendant who worked for a stationer and married a tailor.

26 November 1685
My ggggggg grandfather (phew!) Robert Savile, was baptised at Flockton, Yorkshire, son of Robert Savile and Ann. I can trace descent from him via his son Samuel Savile, Samuel’s daughter Ann Savile who married Joseph Haigh, their son Joseph Haigh, his daughter Charlotte Haigh who married George Simpson, and their daughter Mary who married Edward Senior and was the mother of my great grandmother Charlotte Senior. And the coincidence in that long chain is that, back in 1713, Robert Savile married Martha Senior. Robert Savile was the schoolmaster and parish clerk for Royston, had 7 children, and died at Royston in 1757.

26 November 1785
Baptism of my ggggg uncle James Watt at Bourtie, Aberdeenshire, son of John Watt and Helen Davidson. I would tell you more about him if I knew anything, but I don’t – can’t find anything in the records that looks as if it’s him, so he either laid low all his life or died young.

26 November 1786
Birth of my ggg aunt Margaret Haddow at Stevenston, Ayrshire, daughter of Robert Haddow and Margaret Hunter. In 1806 she married Francis Adam, a coal miner, and they had 10 children all baptised in Stevenston. Francis and Margaret are in the 1819 church list for Stevenston at Townhead with 4 children still at home, in 1822 with 3 children at home, and in 1836 with a household of 8. They then appear in the first national census in 1841, still at Townhead Street: Margaret and 2 of her daughters are muslin sewers, Francis is a coal miner, their youngest child is 5, and with them is a lodger whose family appear to live next door. They are still there in 1851, though by then Francis is a retired coal miner pauper, which means he was receiving parish relief: he was most probably unable to work as he had died by 1856, when one his daughters married. Margaret is in the 1861 census, still at Townhead Street, with a daughter and a granddaughter who are muslin sewers. She died in 1866 at Stevenston.

26 November 1838
Birth of Mary Munro Findlay at Riccarton, Ayrshire, daughter of David Findlay and Susanna Strachan, and granddaughter of my gggg uncle Peter Strachan and Mary Monroe. She’s with her parents at Bridge House Hill, Riccarton in 1841 and her father is a coal miner. Her mother died at around the time Mary’s brother James was born in 1847, and in 1849 her father married Margaret Brown. In 1851 the family are at Portland Row, Hurlford, and by then David and his second wife had 11 children between them, age from 18 down to 1, and all of them were living with them so it must have been a very crowded house. Mary married coal miner James Findlay in 1858: given his surname he was possibly a relation. They had set up home on Cadgers Road, Hurlford by 1861 and remained there for the rest of their lives, bringing up 10 children. Mary’s two eldest sons became tea merchants in Glasgow and her third migrated to the US and become a department store manager.

26 November 1869
Birth of Peter Inglis at Riccarton, Ayrshire, son of Alexander Inglis and Janet Strachan, and great grandson of my gggg uncle Peter Strachan and Mary Monroe. The family lived at Hurlford and then Muirkirk as Peter’s father was a miner, and then the whole family – parents and 8 children – left for Australia in 1887 and went to a coal mining area in Queensland. In 1901 Peter married Josephine Regina Bray, and can be traced via the online Australian electoral rolls. He started out as a coal miner in Cawarral, but then moved to various suburbs of Brisbane where he was a newsagent. He died in 1942.

26 November 1890
Birth of Lillian Fletcher at Royston, Yorkshire, daughter of my gg aunt Annie Senior and John Fletcher, who was a miner. She’s in Royston with her family in 1891, but just before the 1901 census the family had moved to Featherstone, and they were still there in 1911: Lillian age 20, being the eldest daughter of a large family, and with boarders in the house, doesn’t have an occupation and so was probably helping her mother at home. In June 1913 she married Alfred Hill, a miner, at Featherstone. Nothing else known except that she died in Pontefract in 1950.

26 November 1920 marriage (born 1899)
Jemima Ann Sim Andrews was the daughter of my half gg aunt Christian Fraser and James Andrews, and was born in 1899 at Ellon, Aberdeenshire. In 1901 she is with her parents at Old Machar, and in 1911 at Hutcheon Street, Aberdeen. On 26 November 1920 she married tailor Peter Mathieson in Aberdeen, and at the time was a stationer’s assistant. She died at Old Machar in 1945 at age 46.

31 October

An interesting Aberdeenshire ancestor today, who was in the army, worked as a farm labourer, and then worked as a groom for the Aberdeen canal company. I do like researching people who do something a bit different – and who, thankfully, leave some trace of themselves behind so they can be researched. But researching one person always seems to lead to a mysterious person to find out about! Today’s is who was Peter Forsyth?

31 October 1789
Birth of my ggggg uncle George Watt at Bourtie, Aberdeenshire, son of John Watt and Helen Davidson. Thankfully, he survived until 1864 so I’ve been able to see his death certificate and find him in the census. On the other hand, I can’t find a marriage or baptisms of any children in the OPRs. His death certificate says he was married to Margaret Thomson, died in Aberdeen and had been a farm labourer – the informant was his daughter Naomi Mann, which is an unusual name and therefore good to research. In 1841 I found his wife Margaret at Port Elphinstone, Inverurie, described as wife of farm servant, with Naomi age 19 and Peter Forsyth age 6, but George Watt is not with them. He was possibly working on a farm somewhere, or he could have been the George Watt ag lab age 47 who is an inpatient at Old Machar. By 1851 he is in Dyce working as a groom to a canal company and is a Chelsea Pensioner, so must have served in the army at some stage. The canal would be the now defunct Aberdeenshire Canal, and his job was looking after the horses that towed the barges – but the canal was closed in 1854, when much of it was converted into railway track. I searched the war service records for the period but couldn’t find him. In 1851, George and his wife Margaret have with them two grandsons, one of whom, and perhaps both, are the illegitimate children of their daughter Naomi, plus Peter Forsyth age 15, described as a servant and working as a groom. As he’d been with them in 1841 he would appear to be rather more than a servant, but I don’t know whether he was relative. By 1861 wife Margaret has died, and George, age 74 and a labourer, is in Aberdeen, at Collie’s Court, Shiprow, living with one of the grandsons who was with him in 1851. His daughter Naomi has married shipwright Charles Mann and is living close by. George Watt died age 77 in 1864 at Collie’s Court of old age debility and his daughter was the informant.

31 October 1935
Birth of my cousin Dorothy Campbell Strachan at Bellshill, Larnarkshire, daughter of Henry Strachan and his bigamous marriage to Mary Campbell. Dorothy was partly brought up by my grandmother, Helen Strachan nee McCrae. She married and had three children, and died in 2004 on Tyneside.

31 October 1948
Birth of my cousin here in Leeds.

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.

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 August

Today: a Haddow who died in infancy, a Watt ag lab who lived at Cowstones, yet another Robert Strachan who was, of course, an Ayrshire coal miner, a Green descendant born in London who was a telegraph operator for the Post Office, and a Fraser who migrated to New Plymouth in New Zealand. A large family tree provides a very mixed bag of people!

24 August 1788
Birth of Katharine Haddow at Stevenston, my ggg aunt and daughter of Robert Haddow and Margaret Hunter. She must have died in infancy as the next daughter of Robert and Margaret was also named Katharine.

24 August 1815
Birth of my gggg uncle John Watt at Chapel of Garioch, Aberdeenshire, son of Peter Watt and Helen Alexander. In 1841 I suspect he’s the John Watt age 25 who’s a farm servant at a farm near Inverurie. John married Mary Mearns in 1842 at Keithhall, and they settled at Glasgoego, Kinnellar, which is south of Kintore, as all their children were born in Kinellar. They are there in 1851, John a labourer, with 4 children and John’s brother William Watt, and are there in 1861 with 5 children, the eldest 2 no longer living at home. Their youngest child was born soon after and they are still at Kinellar, but at a different address, in 1871, John an ag lab farm servant and with 3 children at home. They then moved a bit further north to Hatton of Fintray, an in 1881 are there, John an ag lab, with 2 adult children. In 1891 the are at Cowstones, which is just outside Hatton of Fintry: at 75 John is working as a general labourer and they have 3 unmarried adult children with them. John Watt died at Cowstones in 1900 at the age of 85, and his widow and 3 unmarried children continued to live at Cowstones. John’s eldest son Peter migrated to the USA.

24 August 1855 (born about 1834)
Robert Strachan (yet another one) was born in about 1834 at Kilmarnock, Aryshire, son of Andrew Strachan and Elizabeth Howat and grandson of my gggg uncle Robert Strachan and Jean Kelly. Her’s at Perceton Cottages, Dreghorn in 1841 with his parents and siblings: that row of miner’s cottages was the home of several members of his extended family and still exists – see blog post http://wp.me/s34D39-79 Robert’s mother Elizabeth died in about 1845 and in 1847 his father married Margaret Todd, but she also died in around 1850. In 1851 Robert age 17 and a coal miner is at 4 Macreadie’s Land, Dreghorn with his father and 7 siblings, plus servant Elizabeth Strachan, who was his cousin. Robert Strachan married Ann Bain on 24 August 1855 at Dreghorn, and they were in Dreghorn with 3 children in 1861. Robert’s father Andrew died in 1864 and Robert was the informant. He had moved to 22 Auchenharvie Row, Saltcoats by 1871 and he and Ann had 6 children with them, and are still there is 1881 with 5 children: they had 9 children altgoether. Robert Strachan died at Auchenharvie Row in May 1882 at age 49 of asthmatic bronchitis.

24 August 1879
Baptism of Sydney Richard Green at Marylebone, London, son of George Edwin Green and Sarah Maria Sampson and grandson of my gggg uncle Samuel Green and Mary. Sydney is with is parents at age 1, in 1881, at D Street, Chelsea and in 1891 at Albert Street, Chelsea at age 11. His mother Sarah died in 1891 and in 1894 his father married Emma Arno. In 1901 Sydney is with his father, stepmother and 2 sisters at 48 Albert Street, Chelsea, and is working as a telegraphist as the Post Office. In 1906 he married Eleanor Mabel Can at Rochford, Essex and he and his wife, with a young son, are at Minard Road, Hither Green, Lewisham in 1911, Sydney still working as a telegraph operator for the Post Office. At some stage he and his wife moved to Surrey, as his wife died in 1953 at Brockham, Surrey, leaving a will bequeathing her effects to her husband Sydney, a retired post office official. Sydney died the following year at Dorking Hospital, with probate granted to his solicitor.

24 August 1901
Birth of my great aunt Helen Fraser at Milton of Brogan, Slains, Aberdeenshire, daughter of William Fraser and his first wife Helen Hay and sister of my grandfather James Fraser. Her mother died at Slains 1903, where her father had been a cattleman on a farm, and the family then moved to Hatton, close to the family croft at Mosside. Her father married Helen Ann Morgan in 1907. In 1911 the family are of Hatton Lodge, her father a farm cattleman, and Helen is age 10 and at school. In about 1912 the family then moved to Mosside, to take over the family croft. Helen Fraser married farmer’s son Alexander (Sandy) Strachan (no relation to my Ayrshire Strachan ancestors) at the Station Hotel, Hatton on 19 June 1920. Helen gives her occupation as domestic servant on her marriage certificate. Helen and Sandy had two children born at Ellon, and then in 1928 they migrated to New Zealand, sailing on 8 June from Southampton on the ship Rotarua. Helen’s older brother Richard had already gone to New Zealand and had settled at New Plymouth. The New Zealand electoral rolls show Alexander and Helen living in Kaipikari Road, Urenui in the 1930s, Alexander a farmer and nurseryman, and then in the 1940s at Mill Road, New Plymouth and, after Alexander’s retirement, at Tukapa Street and the Shortland Street, New Plymouth. Helen is a widow in the 1972 roll, and died in about 1980.

On 3 August

Today: one of my gg grandmothers who moved from Aberdeenshire to Edinburgh, and yet another Fraser descendent who died of tuberculosis.

3 August 1929 (born in about 1843)
My gg grandmother Helen Watt was born in about 1843 at Ellon, but no baptism has been found. She was the daughter of crofter James Watt of Tarves and Margaret Symon. In 1851 Helen, age 7, is with her parents and siblings at Old Mill of Shivas, Tarves, on a farm of 6 acres. At age 16, in 1861, she is a domestic servant at Hillhead of Mosstown, Logie Buchan. Then in 1863 she gave birth to an illegitimate daughter, my great grandmother Helen Hay (who became the first wife of William Fraser). The birth certificate for Helen names the father as George Hay a farmer’s son, and he can be found in the 1861 census on his father’s farm at East Shethin, Tarves. He was to eventually take over the farm. Helen and George did not marry, however, but in 1868 Helen Watt married John Smith, a farm servant, and in the same year gave birth to a daughter Barbara. Helen, John and Barbara moved to Edinburgh and were living on The Pleasance, at the foot of Arthur’s Seat, in the 1871 census, John Smith working as a carter and Helen looking after 3 lodgers, one of whom was her brother. Helen’s daughter Helen was still with her grandparents in Tarves, and it seems they brought her up. John Smith had died by the time of the 1881 census, however, and Helen and daughter Barbara had moved to Elm Row, on the other side of Calton Hill. They were a few streets away in Drum Terrace in 1891, Helen having taken in two lodgers and Barbara working as a dressmaker. By 1901 Helen was at 4 Marchmont Crescent, near what is now Napier University, with lodgers who were both students – her daughter Barbara had married one of the lodgers who had been with them in 1891, and was at 13 Marchmont Crescent. Helen Smith nee Watt died on 3 August 1929 at Longmore Hospital, Edinburgh age 85: cause of death was cancer of the larynx. What isn’t known is how much, if any, contact Helen had with her daughter Helen Hay, who had died in 1903.

3 August 1897
Birth of Catherine Milton Fraser at Union Lane, Ellon, Aberdeenshire, illegitimate daughter of my half gg aunt Jessie Fraser. The birth certificate does not name the father, but his surname could well have been Milton. In 1901 Catherine age 3 is with her grandparents Alexander Fraser and Margaret Booth at Mosside Croft at Cruden, and she is still there in 1911 at age 13, with her widowed grandmother and her mother, plus several cousins. Alexander’s eldest son William had taken over the croft by the summer of 1912, and Margaret Fraser nee Booth, her daughter Jessie and Jessie’s daughters had moved to Aberdeen, living at 43 Hutcheon Street. In 1919 Catherine married William John Michael, a blacksmith, who was her half cousin as his mother was Mary Ann Fraser, Alexander Fraser’s daughter by his first wife Mary Logan. Catherine died in June 1927 in hospital in Aberdeen of pulmonary tuberculosis. I don’t know whether she had any children or not.

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 15 and 16 July

Two days to cover today, but not much to say as they either died young or possibly died young due to not being found in the records apart from their birth. Survival rates were not good when you go back 150 years or more.

16 July 1805
Baptism of Katherine Hay at Tarves, Aberdeenshire to my gggg grandparents Alexander Hay and Margaret Daniel – her nephew George Hay was the father of my illegitimate great grandmother Helen Hay. Nothing else found so it’s possible she died in childhood.

16 July 1808
Baptism of my gggg aunt Barbara Watt at Bourtie, Aberdeenshire, daughter of Peter Watt and Helen Alexander. She’s another early ancestor for which nothing further has been found so may well be another who didn’t survive her early years.

16 July 1814
Birth of Mary Strachan at Riccarton, Ayrshire, daughter of my gggg uncle Peter Strachan and Mary Monroe. In 1832 she was married at Kilmarnock to James Orr, and in 1841 they were living at Thirdpart, Kilmarnock – James Orr was a coal miner and by then they had 3 children. Quite a few of her Strachan relatives were also living in Thirdpart, which was to the east of Kilmarnock and close to where the Annanhill colliery was located. Mary must have died between 1841 and 1844, which is when James Orr remarried, and in 1851 he’s at Portland Row, Hurlford with his second wife and the same three children as in 1841.

15 July 1853
Birth of Isabella Clarke McWilliam at Peterhead, Aberdeenshire, daughter of my half gggg uncle David McWilliam and Elizabeth Ewan. She is with her family in 1861, her father a sawyer, but a tree on Ancestry has her death in November 1861 at Peterhead.

On 2 July

Oh dear. Just realised that the reason it’s been quiet in ancestor land for a few days is I’d changed my search conditions on my Strachan paternal family tree in order to do a special search a bit back, and forgot to change it back again. So I’ve missed a few Strachan events! Okay, so here are ALL today’s events, and I’ll catch up on the missing Strachan ones ASAP.

2 July 1774
Birth of my ggg grandfather John Strachan, baptised at Irvine, Ayrshire son of Thomas Strachan and Thomas Alexander. His full story can be read by using the link under the Strachan tab (above). In brief: John Strachan was a coal miner and moved to Gorbals in the early 1790s with his parents and siblings. There he married Agnes Neilson in 1794, and from the baptism locations of their children their movements can be traced from Gorbals to Campsie in Stirlingshire, then back to Gorbals, then to Kilsyth in Stirlingshire, then to Coatbridge in Lanarkshire, Muirkirk in Ayrshire and Riccarton in Ayrshire. His wife Agnes, with whom he had at least 14 children, died in about 1825, and in 1827 John Strachan married Jean Wallace in the parish of Dundonald, which means they were living at Shewalton Colliery. John had 2 more children with his second wife. His death is recorded in the burials register of Irvine Parish in March 1840, making him 65 when he died.

2 July 1783
Baptism of John Alexander at Bourtie, Aberdeenshire, son of James Alexander and Helen Burgess. He is my ggggg uncle because his sister Helen married Peter Watt. John Alexander married Janet Morrison, although there’s no record of their marriage, but their 8 children were all baptised at Rayne. In the 1841 census John can be found at Meikle Wartle, home of his twin brother (see below) and also of the Watt family, with his wife and 5 of his children, and he is there again in 1851 with his wife and 1 daughter. In 1841 he is described as a farmer and in 1851 as formerly farmer. According to a tree on Ancestry, which looks well researched, he died on 22 April 1851 at Rayne and was buried in the kirkyard at Rayne.

2 July 1783
Baptism of William Alexander at Bourtie, Aberdeenshire, twin brother of John (above) and therefore also my ggggg uncle. He married Mary Steel, although no record of their marriage can be found, and there is only 1 baptism of a child, their daughter Jane. In the 1841 census William is at Meikle Wartle, so must have lived close to his twin brother John: William is a farmer with his wife and daughter and 3 male farm servants. The 1851 census states he is the farmer of 71 acres employing 3 labourers, and as well as his wife and unmarried daughter there are 3 male farm servants living in. In 1861 William is still farming though only 1 male farm servant and 1 female domestic servant are living with him, his wife and their daughter. One of the farm servants with them in 1841, 1851 and 1861 is Andrew Steel, who sounds like a relative of William’s wife. William was retired by 1871, at age 87, and was living in the village of Wartle with his niece Helen Alexander. He died in 1874 at age 90.

2 July 1981
Birthday of a Strachan descendant: last known information she was living in London and had her own make-up business.