Mackie – Smith Family Ancestry

1903 Barnhill weavers cottages on Bardykes Road. Reliable postcard (PV)

1903 Barnhill weavers cottages on Bardykes Road. Reliable postcard (PV)

In July 2015, Ann Crossar email me a whole set of birth records and census records relating to the Mackie family, asking if I was able to add anything to the story. With so many facts already provided, this proved a little bit challenging, but I was able to add a little extra detail. Here is the story of some Mackie ancestry.

Janet Smith was born on 11th September 1797, the daughter of John Smith and Janet Armour, weavers at Old Place, High Blantyre. (I have bookmarked the name Armour here, as the proximity to Armour Court is too much of a co-incidence, and something for me to look at later). Weaving would certainly have been a much talked about profession at the time of Janet’s birth, with the arrival of Dale and Monteith’s Mills at Blantyre Works. Janet married James Mackie and they went on to have a large family, moving to Barnhill. In 1841, 50 year old James and 40 year old Janet lived in Barnhill in the thatched cottages at the side of Bardykes Road, not far from the Barnhill Tavern. With them was 8 children.

In 1851, I found that Janet, then aged 50 was the housekeeper working at nearby Milheugh House for the Bannatyne family and was a single mother, her husband James having passed on. The family had moved again and were now at Braehead, an area of Blantyre between Larkfield and Barnhill, and one which exists today, only by the name of a single house at the top of the Calder entrance. One of their sons went to live at Causystanes when he got married, but by 1871 had moved to Renfrew with his young family.

By 1861, Janet and her family occupied two neighbouring properties at Barnhill (presumably due to the growing size of their family. Most of them were involved in Powerloom weaving, a profession the family held from both sets of parents. Janet died on 19th March 1882, aged 85. A branch of her family lived at Orchardhead, Hunthill Road, a house very close to her birthplace at Old Place and a house that still exists today. The name Mackie can be found quite often in Blantyre today, and I suspect that many of the current families in this town are related to this large family line.

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