1809 Mars Niven and Susan Doane

On 24th April 2015, I received an ancestry request for some information from Burton Webb. Burton asked me, “Hi Paul, This might be a request from further back than you have records, but it’s worth asking. I wonder if you can find any of the descendants or relatives of Mars Niven and Susan Doane. Each of these people were residents of Blantyre in the 1810 – 1830’s. 
Susan’s parents were Margaret Henderson and John Doane whilst Mars parents were Robert Niven and Agnes Yuill. Any help would be great!”

1861 Blantyre's Susan Doane at Montreal

1871 Blantyre’s Susan Doane at Montreal

After a little digging around ancestry databases, I was able to answer with: “Thanks for your email. Those people are indeed very interesting although I kept losing a Blantyre connection if I went any forward in time from their life in Blantyre. Indeed their siblings seem to have moved out the area too. I was not able to go further back beyond the parents of Mars or Susan, but I was lucky enough to find a small picture of each of them. 

It would appear they both worked in the Cotton Mills of Blantyre and lived at Front Row, the proximity of which suggests they worked at David Dale’s mills in Low Blantyre. Life would have been difficult indeed and the mechanisation of the mills may have prompted their emigration to Canada which I think occurred in the 1840s. The Canadian census information beyond those dates suggested they had arrived in Michigan and went on to have rather a large family. 
1871 Mars Niven

1871 Mars Niven

With no other Blantyre connection, I next looked at their descendants in Canada, especially those of their son, Robert Niven. Robert was born at 26 Front Row, Blantyre in 1834 and eventually married Mary Tacey in Canada. They had 7 daughters and 3 sons. If you’re trying to track living descendants of Mars and Susan, I think the best chance is via Robert and Mary’s daughter Bernice. Born in 1895, she died young in 1928 in Illinois, but during that short life she married George Henry Varnum and had 3 children. Here is the family line. Ancestry shows somebody has traced this line already as follows:

This would suggest if you make contact with the tree owner at http://trees.ancestry.co.uk/tree/47186637/family?cfpid=6713669671&selnode=1 , i think you will find direct family members related to Mars and Susan, now with the surname “Albrecht”, living in Canada. I hope this is of help and apologies i could not assist further. Its a little outwith Blantyre Parish! “
2015 Modern Descendants of Mars Niven

2015 Modern Descendants of Mars Niven

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