James Rooney, Headmaster


1955 headmaster james rooney copy

Rooney, Mr. James – Born in 1868 in England the son of Patrick Rooney (farmer) and Rose McKay. By the 1890’s, he had moved to Scotland to puruse a career in teaching, where he taught English. He lived at 59 Dover Street, Glasgow. When he was 26 years old, he married 23-year old Catherine McEwan on July 3, 1895, in Glasgow, Lanarkshire. Catherine had been living at 19 Dorset Street, Glasgow and was a sewing machine worker before her marriage.

After their marriage, they set up home at Lanark, close to Catherine’s family and own birthplace. They had five children during their marriage. Their daughter Agnes was born about 1897, in Lanark. Son Monsignor John was born on July 12, 1898, in Lanark.

According to the 1901 census the Rooney family were living in Govan, Glasgow. However, by 1902, a new appointment as a principal teacher in Blantyre, let the couple move south eastwards into Blantyre to 3 Farm Road at a house called Redburn. Whilst there, other daughters Alice, Catherine and Clare were born all before 1909.

In 1911, daughter Agnes was a trainee dressmaker working at local outfitters. James was a long-standing head teacher of St Joseph’s Roman Catholic School in Blantyre from 1902, employed by the School Board until his retirement in January 1932.

He lived longer than his wife, who passed away on 14th May 1951. James lived a long life passing away on the 31st December 1955 aged 87 years. His son Monsignor John died 9th June 1974 after a long career in the clergy. James is buried in St Kentigern’s graveyard to the North of Glasgow with his wife and son.

Thanks to Sharon Morrison Doonin who kindly sent me a photo of his grave to accompany this story, whilst visiting that cemetery recently. Pictured below is Monsignor John Rooney in the 1920s.

Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said:

1920s Monsignor John Rooney1

1920s Monsignor John Rooney

Trisha Mcginty I love all the stories, that’s the real life stories from the past & I love 2 read how they all made a living 👍x

The Blantyre Project Thanks Trisha – I’m now starting to upload many, many people stories. All hard working Blantyre people , some with truly remarkable lives worth exploring further.

Margaret Faulds I owned Redburn 3 Farm Road from 1972 until 1986 It was strange to see the address on this article . I will have my son post a photo of it ,

The Blantyre Project thank you Margaret. What a co-incidence!

Marian Maguire Love all these little stories, and great way to remember people.

Kenneth Faulds 3 farm road
I will post a better picture this evening.

Kenneth Faulds's photo.
The Blantyre Project thank you Kenneth. These old stone buildings stand the test of time and how nice to see the building associated with this story.
Sharon Morrison Doonin I came across this when up at my granny’s grave where my dad Charlie’s ashes are interred.
Gary look at the address.

James Richardson Cathy Rooney lived latterly in Bruce Terrace as a girl accoRding my dad she was brilliant at handball and tennis
Margaret O’Farrell Monsignor Rooney was my grandfather’s 1st cousin. His mother Mary McEwan was Catherine McEwan’s sister. I wasn’t aware of some of the information here, that they lived in Blantyre and also where Catherine was buried. Thank you for sharing

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