Liddell – Cauldwell Ancestry

I was contacted earlier today by Pat Donnelly by email who wrote “Hi Paul I seen your post today re Robert Sneddon. I have been researching my Family tree for a while now, and was surprised to see a link with your research to my tree. My Great Granddad Was John Liddell (different spelling from your Lidle) and he was the Brother of Margaret Lidle who married Robert Sneddon. I use “Scotland’s people” and “Find my past” to carry out my research. I have come to a stop with earliest I can trace back in this line is Margaret Caldwell in 1808, and would appreciate any tips you could send me for research databases that may help me further my research. I currently live in Craig Street Blantyre and my Gran/Grandad were Margaret Liddell born 9/6/1906 in Waterloo row, and Patrick Mulholland born 17/1/1891 at 4 Govan Street. They were married in Blantyre on 28/8/1925.”

Being on holiday today and having some spare time, i was able to look into Pat’s family tree and was pleased to write back with the following:

“Hi Pat – Thanks for your email. Looks like you have a lot of information already mapped out about your tree. I’ve been able to confirm today that you are linked to that prestigious Sneddon tree, by the same route you mentioned below. Ive mapped out what i can find, but like you i’m only able to trace as far back as 1808. I would point out though that the Margaret Caldwell in 1808 was her married name. Her maiden name was Margaret McKay. She was married to Henry Liddell/Lees wed 1850Caldwell who originated from Antrim, Ireland. Like many Irish people in the early 1800’s, the family must have come to Blantyre seeking work, and ties in with mill employment opportunities and to a more minor extent, iron ore mining. It looks like they arrived in Blantyre prior to the discovery of coal. It’s fairly common for Irish ancestry records to be missing prior to that date, or not as well recorded as other names.

To go further back, you may have better luck tracking the other side of the family, i.e Liddells. Edward Liddell your great, great grandfather was married to Margaret Lees in 1850. Here is their marriage certificate attached.

Edward is noted in the 1871 Census records as being a coal miner seeking work in Bothwell, then later in Blantyre. They stayed at Coopernindle Place , Blantyre (sadly, there is no such street on any old map). It may have been part of one of the miners rows but in any case was their home in 1881. I’ve been able to track back just slightly earlier to 1806 where it is the story of their parents, i.e your great, great, great grandparents that i found most interesting in your line. Hugh Liddell (Edwards father) was born in 1806 and at the age of 22 married Jane Hutchison. Unfortunately Hugh died at age 35 and left behind Jane and their 5 children. It’s not recorded how Hugh died (you would need to trace his death certificate) but needless to say this must have been frightening in 1841 for any 35 year old miner’s widow with such a large family. Jane married later in that year, which may have partly been due to her circumstances, and went on to have another 2 children with her new husband, John West. Sadly, stories like this are quite prominent within ancestry checks and this one really stood out. I hope the is interesting and with some further people to add to your research. All the best, Paul”



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  1. Sorry folks just noticed I misspelled Liddell. Embarrassing or what? My grandmother was Mary Liddell, daughter of Edward Liddell. Her mother’s maiden name was Lees. Mary Liddell married my grandfather David Miller in Blantyre Stonefield Church in 1895. They stayed in Craigneuk near Motherwell and subsequently Milton Street in Motherwell
    That had 10 children (don’t know of any others)

  2. My grandfather David Miller married Mary Liddle in Blantyre Stonefield Church in 1895. He was from Craigneuk near Motherwell. Their wedding certificate listed her father as Edward Liddle and her mother’s maiden name was Lees.
    Surely can’t be a coincidence. Be interested in following up and exchanging family history information

  3. I’m a Sneddon but I’m actually related through the Lees to the Liddell family.

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