Jim Cochrane shared this photo and told me, “Maggie Downie Calderside Row ,Auchintibber. No Relation but maybe somebody on here is related. There is no date on the photograph but could be the 1910s or a bit earlier. Think she may have been friends with my Great Granny”
Now, I always like to add some detail to a photo, especially if not a lot is known about it, and in this case, it was a delight to research and tell Maggie’s story, as follows.
The photo is indeed Margaret Downie of Calderside Row, Auchentibber. Maggie, as she was known was born on 12th April 1882. As Jim mentioned it is Maggie Downie and not her married name of Patrick, I think the photo predates 1915, likely taken between 1910 to 1915. She was daughter to John Downie of Blantyre, a joiner by trade and Elizabeth Stobie an incomer to the area. When she was born in 1882, John was 35 and Elizabeth was 36. However, she was not the first daughter to be born. In 1876, shortly after the couple had married, they gave birth to another girl, called Margaret. She is noted on the 1881 census, as being the eldest daughter and was aged 5 that year. The fact that the couple named another daughter Margaret just one year later in 1882, would suggest little Margaret had sadly died aged 5 around 1881/882.
Maggie had an older brother Robert, born on 11th August 1879 – 1963 and a younger brother James born on 27th June 1885 – 1975. In 1891, the family lived at Walkman House, Calderside, which may have been the name of one of homes on Calderside Row. Little Maggie shortly after would suffer some personal tragedy when her mother, Elizabeth passed away on May 26, 1895, at the age of 49. Maggie was only 13 when she lost her mum, suddenly finding herself in an all male household. It is likely here schooling was done at Auchentibber and later at High Blantyre Primary School.
Margaret Downie married John Patrick on April 7, 1915, in High Blantyre, Lanarkshire, when she was 32 years old. John Patrick may have seen no army service for in his 30’s he may have escaped conscription. It would appear the couple initially lived at Auchentibber beside Maggie’s family, for her daughter Georgina Day was born on March 2, 1916, in High Blantyre, Lanarkshire. A first of 3 children.
Her daughter Elizabeth Sorbie (named after her mother) was born on December 18, 1918, in Cambuslang, Lanarkshire. Tragedy struck Maggie once again and like her own mother, little baby Elizabeth was to leave this earth far earlier than normal. Indeed, baby Elizabeth died in 1918, the same year that she was born.
Maggie and John would go on to have a third child, at their new residence in Cambuslang. Her daughter Margaret Downie was born on June 23, 1920, in Cambuslang, Lanarkshire. However, once again, for the third time, tragedy struck Maggie when her husband John passed away on October 21, 1926, in Cambuslang, Lanarkshire, at the age of 41. They had been married 11 years. Maggie was 44, a widow and now a single mother of 2 children.
Like many people in Blantyre in the 1920’s, opportunity of a new life beckoned in the Americas and Canada. Maggie, may have felt there were not many ties left to Lanarkshire for she took daughters Margaret and Georgina across the Atlantic to Canada, settling in Calgary in January 1927.
Maggie Downie died on June 4, 1959, in Calgary, Alberta, when she was 77 years old. Her brothers were to join her in Calgary. Brother Bobby (Robert) died in 1963, James in 1975, both in Calgary. Her daughters Margaret passed away in 1988 and Georgina in 1994.
The Patrick family still live in Calderside and are related to the Downies and MacFarlanes. Maggie’s granddaughter is Norma Lawrence Marr, a reader of Blantyre Project and I hope both her and Jim find this insight interesting.
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