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  1. My Thomas ancestors lived at Blantyre from at least 1813 to 1817. My gt x3 grandfather William Thomas (born ‘Little Finnary’, in Kilmaronock parish, Dunbartonshire in 1786) worked at the Blantyre Works where his first son David was born 1813; a daughter Elizabeth Bell was born there 1815, and my ancestor James was born 1817. (Nothing further is known of Elizabeth Bell so she must have died, possibly at Blantyre soon after birth.) It is a family tradition that my Thomases knew the Livingstone family, though they had moved into Glasgow (Gorbals) by 1819. Doubtless many others have a similar family story, well after David Livingstone had become famous as the medical missionary and explorer in Africa. William Thomas later worked at a cotton mill in Glasgow and in 1833 was described as a “dresser”. In the 1841 Glasgow Census he and two of his sons were employed in a cotton mill while living at Garngad Road. My house in an Adelaide suburb, South Australia is named ‘Blantyre’, and I use the name in my email.address. We visited the Livingstone Memorial Centre in 2012 and I told the museum guide about my family connection with the site. I don’t know where on the mill site my Thomases would have lived. It is of very great interest to me! William and Helen (Donaldson) Thomas had a three storey tenement building from 1846 at 245 High Street, Glasgow, with a section fronting the Rottenrow; he died at 245 High Street in 1863. His widow Helen Donaldson died in the Glasgow Royal Infirmary in 1869; their youngest son was Dr Moses Thomas, Superintendent of the Royal Infirmary from 1867 to 1902. William’s oldest brother was James Thomas, died 1848, teacher of the Black Quarry School in Glasgow, and his youngest brother was Rev. David Thomas, B.A., died 1874, minister of the old Seceder Kirk of Mauchline, in Ayrshire.

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