18 April 1779
Baptism of my gggg grandfather Joseph Green at Worsbrough, son of Joseph Green. The PR does not name his mother but she was Alice Rock. Joseph had proved easy to trace as his life is well documented. He married Ann Cox in 1797 at Worsbrough, and they had 8 children baptised in Worsbrough from 1798 to 1814. His wife died in 1817 and there is a MI at St Mary’s Worsbrough for Ann Green died 1817 age 39, wife of Joseph Green of King Well. Joseph then married Hannah Colbeck at St Mary’s Barnsley in 1825. In the 1841 census Joseph Green publican and wife Hannah Green are at Worsbrough Common. Hannah died in 1847 and her MI says Hannah Green died 1847 age 63, wifeof Joseph Green of King Well. In the 1848 Electoral Roll Joseph Green is listed with freehold house and land at Worsbrough Common. In the 1851 census he at the Rose & Crown, Worsbrough Common, age 70 and an innkeeper living with his son William, daughter-in-law Sarah and their children. Joseph Green died in Worsbrough in 1853 age 71.
18 April 1845
Birth of William Souter Morgan at Cruden, father of Helen Ann Morgan, the second wife of my great grandfather William Fraser.
18 April 1864
David Findlay Strachan born at Riccarton, great great grandson of Thomas Strachan and Susannah Alexander through their son Peter Strachan, his son Peter Strachan and his son Peter Strachan – that a lot of Peter Strachans! I haven’t done much research on him except for discovering that he married Elizabeth Highet, whose parents went by the wonderful names of Durham Highet and Euphemia Morton.
18 April 1986
A relative in Canada was born.
This is a sad day for me, as it’s the third anniversary of the death of my mother. I miss her.
15 April 1860
Burial of James Wild age 25, husband of Ellen Oxley from Barnsley who was mentioned yesterday as she was born on 14 April 1839. So poor Ellen buried her husband the day after her 21st birthday, leaving her a widow with a one year old daughter.
15 April 1860
Baptism of Sarah Ann Wilson at Worsbrough, daughter of my ggg aunt Mary Green and her husband Joseph Wilson. Her parents lived at Stanley, near Wakefield, where they worked as gardener and keeper of Stanley Hall. Sarah Ann married James Burton and lived in Alverthorpe.
15 April 1872
John Strachan, third cousin twice removed, was born in Dreghorn, son of James Strachan and Mary Lindsay and great-grandson of my gggg uncle Robert Strachan. John was born in Dreghorn, became a miner, married Jemima Barrie and lived in Bannockburn, Stirlingshire and then back in Ayrshire. He and his wife and children migrated to New Jersey in 1923, and he worked as a porter at a bank. I know all this thanks to so many records now being online.
15 April 1906
Birth of my aunt, Helen McCrae Strachan, known to me as Aunt Nell. She was born in Crookedholm, Ayrshire but moved to Cambuslang, Lanarkshire with her family when she was very young. She married John Bain Aitken in 1923 in Cambuslang, and had two children. With her husband she ran the Cafe de Luxe on Main Street, Cambuslang which I remember visiting as a child. She was the best out of the whole of my father’s family for keeping in touch with everyone and loved visiting relatives. She sent me a McCrae tartan kilt when I was in my 20s and had moved to London, and it’s still in my wardrobe. Aunt Nell retired to Majorca with her daughter and died in Kent in 1999 at the grand old age of 93.
15 April 1927
Marriage of Ellen Devine, daughter of Susan Bell McCrae and her first husband John Boyle, and therefore niece of my grandmother Helen Strachan ms McCrae. Ellen married Hugh Davidson McKinnon in Glasgow and was the informant when her mother died, but beyond that I don’t know what happened to her.
Lovely story from an old newspaper cutting that appeared on today’s date celebrating my ancestor Robert Strachan.
9 April 1713
Baptism of Abraham Rock at Worsbrough, son of Abraham Rock. He is my gggggg grandfather as his daugter Alice Rock married Joseph Green.
9 April 1811
Baptism of ggg aunt Alice Green at Worsbrough, daughter of Joseph Green and Ann Cox.
9 April 1898
The following appeared in the Dundee Courier & Argus: the Robert Strachan who won a prize was the son of my gggg uncle.
Dundee Courier & Argus, 9 April 1898
Who are the oldest miners still working?
That is the question which has been answered by a competition in the Weekly News. That there is no hardier or more daring body of men in the country than those who work in the bowels of the earth goes without saying, but few people are aware that a number of miners can lay claim to having worked underground for well nigh “the allotted span” of life. These veterans, of course, were early engaged in the pits, many of them having been working when they were but eight years of age. They have recollections of the time when women were employed in the mines, and several of them have stories to tell of being carried to the pits on their fathers’ backs. Mr Alex. Russell, Church Street, Tranent, remembers one very stormy winter when his mother bore him to the pit in her creel. Mr John Laws, Blyth, who has been awarded first prize, has a record of sixty-nine years, and can fairly lay claim to be the “father” of British miners. The other prizes have been awarded to John Harrower, Grangemouth; Robert Strachan, Kilmarnock; Colin Campbell, Shiremoor; Joseph Gilmour, Larkhall. …
Mr Robert Strachan was born about the same time as Mr Harrower (1823), but was half a year younger in making his first practical acquaintance with life underground (7 or 8 years old), when he was taken to the Moorfield Pit. Afterwards he was engaged at Skerlington, Hurlford, Burnbank, Gauchland, and Galston, and has now come back to the first mentioned.
9 April 1952
My cousin once removed who lives in the north-east of England was born. Happy birthday cousin! This shows how the generations go out of age sync when people had a lot of children over a large span of years. I’m actually his mother’s cousin but I’m only six months older than him, due to my being the youngest child of a youngest child. His grandfather was my father’s older brother.
29 March 1812
Ann Green was baptised at Worsbrough, Yorkshire, daughter of my ggggg uncle John Green, a bleacher. I’ve not yet found out at what happened to her – the records aren’t exactly abundant for back then.
29 March 1828
Agnes Fraser Morgan was baptised at Longside, Aberdeenshire. She was the daughter of Peter Morgan and Isabel Sangster, her mother being the sister of my gggg grandmother Janet Sansgter. I have a soft spot for Agnes Fraser Morgan as it was coming across her baptism that gave me a clue as to what became of Janet Sangster and allowed me to go back in time by several more generations. Finding the link to someone called Morgan also meant I was able to discover that my great grandfather William Fraser and his second wife Helen Ann Morgan were related. In 1841 Agnes Morgan age 13 is a servant in the household of Revd. John Cummings, an episcopal clergyman, in the parish of Longside. Unfortunately I can’t find anything further for her.
29 March 1919
Catherine Milton Fraser, illegitimate daughter of my half gg aunt Jessie Fraser, married William John Michael who was the son of my gg aunt Mary Ann Fraser. So they were half cousins, and the new mother-in-laws were half sisters. Catherine was a baker’s shop assistant and William a quarry fireman, and they lived in Aberdeen. Sadly, Catherine died in 1927 age 29, from tuberculosis, which was the cause of far too many premature deaths on my family tree.
Isn’t it fantastic when genealogy puts you in touch with relatives you’d lost touch with long ago or didn’t even know existed? Like all families, I suppose, mine splintered – two world wars and increased mobility meant a lot of people moved away from what had been home. My family research has made me realise how close extended families were in “the old days”, and I wonder if it’s partly nostalgia for that long gone sense of family and community that draws up to tracing our family’s history.
Today I received an email from someone who shares the same Yorkshire great-grandparents: we only found out about each other’s existence a year or so ago, through an online genealogy site. We’ve both done lots of research and he has the good fortune to live not far from where our ancestors are from, so we’re now planning a “family reunion” to meet and compare notes. I’ve also been in touch with two other people descended from the same great-grandparents, so the Green great-grandchildren have done well at finding each other again, despite having lived such different lives in such different places.
My relation is currently focussing on the Green family’s innkeeping activities in Worsbrough – we seemed to have had a near monopoly on running the coaching inns on the toll roads in that neck of the woods before the railways took over. I can’t wait to find out more.
26 March 1809
Elizabeth Firth was baptised at Royston, Yorkshire, daughter of Joseph Firth and Hannah Fisher. Joseph Firth was my gggg grandfather, and Elizabeth’s sister was Sarah Firth who married my ggg grandfather William Green of Worsbrough. That makes Elizabeth my gggg aunt. I haven’t researched her beyond her baptism so have no idea what became of her.
26 March 1843
Sarah Ann Green was baptised at St Mary’s Barnsley, daughter of Joseph and Mary Green, bleacher of Barnsley. Joseph was the brother of my ggg grandfather William Green of Worsbrough. No idea what became of Sarah Ann as I have yet to research her.
26 March 1861
Alexander Strachan was born at Corsehill, son of my gg grandfather Robert Strachan and his second wife Susan Cran, making Alexander my half gg uncle. He’s with his parents in the 1861 census at 24 Kenneth’s Row, age under 1 month, but he’s not with them in 1871 when he would have been 10 and I can’t find him anywhere else, nor can I find a death record for him. He’s a mystery.
26 March 1868
Amelia Murphy Haddow died at Lamont’s Row, Kilwinning age 2. She was the daughter of Hugh Richmond Haddow, who married Marian Mackay. Hugh was the son of my gg grandparents John Haddow and Amelia Murphy, so Amelia Murphy Haddow was obviously named after her grandmother. Hugh and Marion had a second daughter in 1874 and named her Amelia Murphy Haddow, to the name lived on. Amelia became a recurrent name on my Strachan family tree: my father had a sister called Amelia, more commonly known as Milly.
Hmm. Doing this is reminding me that there are a lot of people on my family tree that I know very little about, though I’m glad there’s still plenty more research for me to do.
Doing a post a day on “it happened on this day” will nicely take care of 365 blog posts! I’ll add others though, as and when something interesting strikes. But I like the randomness of the date search, as it picks out people I haven’t thought about for some time. So on this date in years gone by:
24 March 1802
John Green, infant son of John Green bleacher, was buried at St Mary’s, Worsbrough (south of Barnsley, Yorkshire). Baby John was about 1 month old. The father John Green was my 5 times removed uncle, the brother of my gggg grandfather Joseph Green.
24 March 1857
My gggg uncle Robert Strachan died at the age of 75. He was born in 1781, son of Thomas Strachan and Susannah Alexander, in the parish of Irvine, and would have been about 4 years old when the family moved to Gorbals, now part of Glasgow. But by 1803 he was back in Ayrshire as that’s when he married Jean Kelly in the parish of Riccarton, which is the area just south of Kilmarnock. They proceeded to have 9 children, all baptised in Riccarton, but by the 1841 census had moved to the parish of Dreghorn and were living in Perceton Row (see earlier blog entry with picture). They had a granddaughter living with them, a 15 year old coal miner as a lodger, and a 17 year old domestic servant who was the stepdaughter of Robert’s brother John Strachan. Their neighbours in Perceton Row included Robert’s sons Samuel and John and his nephew John. Robert’s wife Jean died in around 1843 and he married again in 1846, at Gargieston, near Kilmarnock, when he was 65 years old, to Jean Muir who was 20 years his junior. In 1851 they’re at Gatehead, near Kilmarnock, and Robert’s still a coal miner. He died in 1857 at Sandbed Street, Kilmarnock from “age and infirmity”: he was 75 which was a good age to reach for the time. I think it’s safe to say he had a full life!
24 March 1870
Thomas Ballantyne, a miner age 28, Scottish, sailed from Glasgow and arrived in New York on 24 March 1870. This might be the son of Susanna Strachan, and therefore grandson of the above Robert Strachan, as Susanna married Thomas Ballantine in 1829. Her son Thomas Ballantine was born in 1840 as he was 9 months old at the 1841 census: no baptism found. I’ve not found anything else that could be him but his brother John migrated to Canada.