McCormick Scandal at Shuttle Row 1891


McCormick Ancestry at Shuttle Row

McCormick Ancestry at Shuttle Row

As I’ve been pouring over Blantyre census information these last few years, I’ve started to get an eye for patterns. Perhaps a trend here or there, familiar names and bookmarking interesting things to look at. One such thing has turned out to be quite the scandal, which I’ll tell here as best as I can.

James McCormack was born in Ireland in 1861. In 1884, at the age of 23 years old, he scandalously got 13 year old Jane, (a girl from his village) pregnant. This must have been hidden away in such times and I’m sure Janes family would have gone to great lengths to make sure neighbours didn’t know!

In 1889, when James was 28, Jane was by then 18 years old and of age to leave home. So together they both left Ireland taking their 5 year old daughter little Annie Eliza McCormick with them. It is noted they had married around this time. The family found themselves in Blantyre at Shuttle Row, at the home of James’s brother William McCormick. Both James and William were employed as Pit Labourers. That same year in 1889, Jane was pregnant again, and at the age of 18 gave birth to her second child, young William James McCormick.

The 1891 census shows the family as James McCormick 30, Jane McCormick 20, Annie Eliza McCormick their daughter aged 7, son William J McCormick aged 2, and also William McCormick (James’s brother) aged 22. The family next show up in 1895 Valuation roll, still at Shuttle Row with James paying £2 a year rent and William his brother paying £3, 10 shillings, indicating he was likely living in slightly larger or better premises.

Unfortunately then the trail runs cold. There’s no mention of the family in Blantyre after 1895/1896. Not in any future census and I can only presume they returned back home to Ireland. What happened? Did the scandal catch up on them in Blantyre and drive them away again? Did they simply miss family and needed to return home to Ireland? Did their own families forgive and forget and accept them openly? An uncomfortable story for me to look at, but interesting nonetheless. Such a tale would certainly be a crime punishable by jail these days. Was it so back then in Ireland? So many unanswered questions and I hope somebody out there is able to tell us, just what happened next!

On social media:

Rosemary Harper Where did they come from in Ireland?
Eleanor Connor Very interesting. ..are there no McCormicks ( Mc Cormacks ) left at all,who could maybe shed some light..? …. 💚 💛
Robert J Paton Although very wrong in our eyes it was perfectly legal and (in Scotland anyway) the age of marriage was not changed until the Age of Marriage Act 1929 – before that the legal age was 14 for boys and 12 for girls.
Marion Murdoch thought it was a McCormack runs the west end bar although don’t know if it is a relative.sure mcCormacks lived in my house in cloud however terr. years ago
Marion Murdoch that was cloudhowe terr.
Marian Maguire That was Jimmy McCormick in cloudhowe.
Betty Brown Hugh mc Cormack, the joiners, had a large carpenters shop.
A mean large where the red lion was . Blacks the bakers was next to it.👍
Elizabeth Sloan Some great stories.
Johnstone Purdie Jane They did get married in the end…….he did ‘the right thing’ as they used to say eventually…..some people just did not do the Census at the time….I have gaps in my tree….perhaps they could not write or were away from home area, people travelled around for work….see this in my own background….not my Blantyre connections as after they came from Ireland they seemed to root themselves in Blantyre but on my Purdie side who came from the country in S. Scotland but they seemed to have moved around the area to get work!

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