Duncan MacFarlane Reid 1908 -1988

Jennifer Swantek emailed me in July adding, “Hello Paul. Hope all is well. I live in Michigan, USA. My grandpa, Duncan McFarland Reid, moved here in 1924. I have a Bible from his father, my great grandpa named Donald Reid. The inside of the Bible has a message from the pastor of a church called Livingstone Memorial United Free Church. I am planning my first trip overseas to Scotland this September. I was wondering does this church still exist?  

Also my mother has spent years trying to find a birth certificate or some record of what would be my great great grandfather whose name was John Reid. He also lived in Blantyre. Do you have any suggestions for how I might search for records of him? Thank you so much for any thoughts you might have. Sincerely – Jennifer.”

I was able to reply with the following:

Hi Jennifer – Thanks for your email. I have a few notes on this family, well at least I hope its the same family. Hope this is of interest. Firstly, yes David Livingstone Church is still there today. It’s a beautiful church and is on Glasgow Road in Blantyre. It remembers explorer David Livingstone and was built in the 1880’s. 

When Duncan MacFarlane Reid was born on December 9, 1908, in Blantyre, Lanarkshire, his father, Donald McLachlan Reid, was 36 and his mother, Agnes MacFarlane -Reid, was 36. He was the youngest of 3 children, (his elder sister Jessie b1897-2001), and John (Jack Reid b1905-1966). The Blantyre connection to this family was through Agnes MacFarlane’s side of the family, as Duncan was originally from Glasgow.

Sidenote: Duncan’s father was John Reid born 24th February 1836 in Blantyre Parish. You and your mother had been looking for his birth certificate. Im happy to say, here it is, although I can’t make out the place where he was born, although it may have been Cambuslang, Glasgow, just 1 mile from Blantyre. 

1836 John Reid birth

John Reid died on 14th February 1908 in Blantyre and is buried in High Blantyre Cemetery. This again, is just 5 minutes walk from my home and I’d be happy to show you the gravestone in person. A photo of it is below meantime. If you want to know John’s story, just let me know. (I know that he worked for many years at Blantyre Mills as a wood worker/joiner).

1908 John Reid headstone

According to passenger lists, Duncan set sail across the Atlantic and arrived in Port Huron, St Clair, Michigan, USA on 23 April 1927. A few years later, Duncans mother Agnes passed away on June 7th 1932 in Saginaw, Michigan at the young age of only 59Duncan MacFarlane Reid married Grace M Hammond-Reid on November 20, 1940, when he was 31 years old. Just before the end of World War Two, Duncan’s father Donald McLachlan Reid passed away on January 13th 1944 in Saginaw, Michigan at the aged of 71.  
Sadness was replaced by happiness when the son of Duncan and Grace , Donald MacFarlane jnr was born on 9th December 1946, co-inicdentally having the same birthday as his own dad, Duncan. They had two children during their marriage. 
Duncan brother John (Jack) who had followed them out to the USA, died on 19th December 1966 in Saginaw, Michigan when Duncan was 58 years old. Wife, Grace passed away on May 8th 1988, after being married for 47 years.
Duncan died on August 5, 1988, in Saginaw, Michigan, at the age of 79. Finally, I hope this is your grandparents…..here are Duncan and Grace Reid pictured below in their Silver Wedding Anniversary.
Donald & Grace
Would YOU like me to look at your family history or ancestry. I’m happy doing this for free and you would be surprised at how little information you need to pass me, to get started. 
On social media:
Valerie Krawczyk Great work Paul, you are a star😀
The Blantyre Project I like people stories. There’s an never ending supply of them and its amazing how many people in Blantyre these days are related to the people in all of these articles, without really knowing it!
Janet Cochrane Paul Crooked Shields back road to Nerston James Edminston and Anne Stobo on the list are my 4 times great grandparents
Anne Mackie You are a lovely kind man Paul xxxx

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