History of Nimmo Family, Part 1 of 3

My research into the Nimmo family. I’ve been told by a descendent of the Nimmo’s that it’s possible the Nimmo’s came over from Ireland, but I have no idea when that could have been.

James Nimmo, born about 1820, Scotland died 9 March 1883, Coal Miner. His spouse Agnes Brown was born about 1820 and died 22 May 1886.   Their son James Nimmo was born about 1841 in Maxwellton, E.K. died March 9, 1883, Coal Miner. His spouse was Mary Elder, born about 1836, Kirkton, E.K. m. 30 Dec 1862 d. March 7 1903.   Their 4th child was James Nimmo born in 1869 and it is here we pick up the story in detail.

James Nimmo Snr was born in Stonehouse on 25th July 1869. There is an entry in the Canada census which suggests in 1871 James may have travelled there on a visit with his parents, but I cannot verify this for certain. I did check with a Margaret Nimmo Lehmann, a living descendent of James and she told me, “I have no knowledge of them travelling to Canada and neither has my Dad’s 80 year old cousin.” What IS certain though, is that he married Jane Currie, an Irish immigrant in Scotland in 1890. Jane Currie was born 22 July, 1869, Carrick Fergus, N.I and she died 24th April 1947 at Auchinraith Road, High Blantyre.

In 1891 at the age of 22, James Nimmo Snr was living at 3 Clyde Row, in Auchentibber along with Jane, his wife of the same age. Being newly weds, it is likely like most married couples, they moved in together for the first time choosing to settle at the hamlet of Auchentibber, on the elevated upper slopes of Blantyre.

Early 1900s The Clyde Row, shared by G Cook

Early 1900s The Clyde Row, shared by G Cook

Clyde Row was a small row of eighteen small one bedroomed homes that ran North to South at Auchentibber on the Sydes Brae. It does not exist today, but a level grassed field indicated where the homes once stood. A question was asked in the House of Commons about this row on 14th August 1893 by Sir Charles Cameron. The water supply had become contaminated from some nearby sewage, and the Sanitary Authorities served eviction notices on the eighteen houses and had the people removed. Sir Charles also asked if a temporary standpipe could not have been fitted up rather than evicting people, but the Secretary of State for Scotland Sir George Trevelyan had no decent answer for him. The landlord threatened to sue the authorities for loss of rent. Enteric (typhoid) fever had broken. It is unknown if there were any deaths by it. There was a new reservoir due to open soon at Glengavel (likely, the one on the Strathaven Muirkirk Road) but it didn’t come quick enough for these folk of that particular time. It is likely The Nimmos were affected by this event.

James Nimmo Snr was employed as a coal miner, as were most males in this lively and thriving community. With its own shops and the nearby Auchentibber Inn and commanding views over all of Blantyre, it would have seemed an idyllic, rural place to live, away from the dirt and grime of Blantyre itself which at this time was immersed in the peak of industrial coal mining. Living with them in their home was 19 year old, John Nimmo, a coal miner lodger who happened to be the brother of James.


A child followed quickly after the marriage. James Nimmo Jnr born on 17th July 1891 at their home at Clyde Row. A brother Robert followed on 3rd September 1894. Sisters Jeanie in 1897 and Margaret in 1900 added to the growing family. Indeed, this growing family prompted the need to move from the small home at Clyde Row and they moved 100 yards or so higher up the hill to Peesweep miner’s cottages on the Sydes Brae, again not far from the junction of Auchentibber Road. The may have moved out of Clyde Row in 1893, after the health scare. Pictured is the interior and exterior of nearby Brown’s Land ruins as it is now, which was directly across the road from Peesweep Row.

Browns Land on Left, Peesweep Row on right, Auchentibber

Browns Land on Left, Peesweep Row on right, Auchentibber

In 1901 census, James Snr and Jane Nimmo are shown living at Peesweep Row with 4 children. In order of age, James, Robert, Jeanie and Margaret. James Snr is confirmed as being an Underground Fireman for one of the Collieries. The area would have been ideal for the children, with a school being so close by.

Tragedy followed, when in 1901, little infant Margaret died of pneumonia. This must have been heartbreaking, but did not put off James Snr and Jane having more children. Agnes was born on 7th January 1902, Margaret (named after her late infant sister) on 21st July 1904, Samuel on 6th November 1906, Anne on 27th February 1908 and John in 1912. James Snr died on 19th October 1954 in Blantyre, his wife earlier on 24th April 1947.

To be continued on Parts 2 and 3…..

On Social media:

  • Steve Davies And Anne Nimmo was my gran. Good work, thanks for researching smile emoticon
  • Jane Davies My Granpa (James Nimmo snr) told me the family used to be known as ” the black Nimmos frae the Forth”.  I don’t know if that was true or not. My Granpa was a joker, often playing tricks on me while he lived with us at 184.

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