Village Works Cemetery – Livingstone connections

2015 June.Discovery of a Livingston gravestone laying near woodlands. (PV)

2015 June.Discovery of a Livingston gravestone laying near woodlands. (PV)

I have long since been interested in the little Blantyre Works Cemetery, so this extract from Hamilton Advertiser on 12th April 1930 proved very informative. The cemetery is no longer there but is now the site of a modern housing estate in the Village.

“In the little village graveyard at Low Blantyre, now, unfortunately, desecrated and overgrown with grass, there are still six tombstones to be seen. One of these has very recently been enclosed with a tall iron railing to preserve it from further destruction, and in this grave rests “N. Livingstone”, very probably the grandfather of the great missionary, for it was he who emigrated from the ancestral home in Ulva to Blantyre, His Christian name, no doubt, was Neil, the name which David Livingstone’s father also bore. The tombstone bears the inscription:– “N. Livingstone. Memento Mori. A.D. 1799.” “Memento Mori” is the Latin phrase meaning “Remember death.”

1925 Blantyre Works Village. Cross Row, Waterloo Row, Fore Row

1925 Blantyre Works Village. Cross Row, Waterloo Row, Fore Row

Another of the tombstones in this little graveyard is erected over the grave of Rev. Duncan McLean, one of the ordained missionaries who conducted Devine services in the Chapel School in the village, and whose stipends were paid by Messrs Henry Monteith & Coy. Mr McLean died during his incumbency and was buried here at his own request, The inscription on the tombstone reads:__ Sacred to the memory of Rev. Duncan McLean, preacher of the Gospel, who died on 14th February, MDCCCXLIV. Having laboured nearly four years in his sacred calling with much acceptance among the people at Blantyre Works, by whom this tomb and tablet were erected. The only other tombstone in the graveyard which is decipherable is one erected by D. McKinnon, in memory of Catherine Livingston, his spouse, and child. “

These 2 stones were removed from the cemetery when it was cleared and are now face down rather unceremoniously in the grounds of David Livingstone Centre and it is unknown what became of the interments themselves. A photo taken just 5 years earlier shows the little cemetery on a triangular plot of land, below Waterloo Row.

On social media:

Jeanette Allardyce Ward I remember getting taken to that graveyard when I was at primary school to do stone rubbings
Moyra Lindsay We used to lean on the railings, making daisy chains!

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  1. Donald (Livingstone) Clink

    Hi Paul,

    The Catharine Livingston who is mentioned in the 1930’s article as being the “Cath. Livingston” on that lower piece of gravestone fragment you found upside down in the garden ground, would be Catharine Livingston born abt. 1785 near the Cove or Cave at the southern end of the Isle of Ulva, Her Parents Neil Livingston Sr. and Mary Morrison and their family left the Isle of Ulva in 1792 and she of course ended up in Blantyre, Lanarkshire.
    Catharine Livingston married Duncan McKinnon on January 30 1807 in Blantyre and she and her husband DUncan a dyer lived in Blantyre Works.
    Children of DUncan McKinnon and Catharine Livingston
    1. John McKinnon b. Dec. 15, 1807 Blantyre Works
    2. Neil McKinnon b. Oct. 2, 1809 Blantyre Works
    3. Mary McKinnon b. Dec. 1811 Blantyre Works
    4. Charles McKinnon b. Dec. 1813 Blantyre Works
    5. Catharine Mckinnon b. Sept 12, 1819 Barony, Lanarkshire
    6. Daniel McKinnon b. abt. 1821?
    7. Duncan McKinnon b. Aug. 24, 1822 Glasgow, Lanarkshire
    8. Margaret McKinnon b. April 5, 1925 Glasgow, Lanarkshire m. Peter McIntyre
    8.Ann McKinnon b. May 28, 1827 Glasgow Lanarkshire m. Charles McKay

    In the 1841 Scottish Census Catharine McKinnon age 50 is residing on Muslin Street in Barony, Lanarkshire with youngest daughters Margaret age 15, Ann age 14 and a son Daniel age 20. I assume that her husband is no longer living. She is not recorded in the 1851 Census in Lanarkshire and possibly died sometime between 1841 and 1851.


    Donald (Livingstone) Clink

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