Gilmour – Little Ancestry

In December 2016, Lynsey Milne contacted me saying, “My grans name is Margaret Little born 1918 to Andrew Gilmour and Mary Ann ( maiden name Murphy) she has 7 brothers and 2 sisters. I dont know if any of her siblings are still alive but i have some names if thats any help? I really appreciate this! Lynsey”

During the course of this research, I found that this Gilmour family were not related to the Gilmours who owned various stores around Blantyre. This particular family, the subject of my story had much more modest and humble beginnings and I have focused on the great grandparents.

Andrew Gilmour was born on 18th June 1881 in Irvine, Ayrshire the son of John Gilmour and Isabella Houldsworth. John and Isabella had married on 21st March 1879 in Irvine. Following the expansion of Dixon’s Pits in High Blantyre in the 1880’s, the Gilmours moved from Ayrshire to High Blantyre to Cemetery Walk (Road). The 1891 census confirms 9 year old Andrew Gilmour was living there, the eldest son, his parents both 30. It is quite possible that Andrew would have attended High Blantyre School in Hunthill Road. He had 2 younger sisters, Lizzie (5) and Susan (2). Lizzie was born in Blantyre in 1886, meaning the family moved to Blantyre between 1881 and 1886.

By 1901, the whole family had moved to 2 McAlpine’s Buildings at the corner of Glasgow Road and Alpine Street. John and Isabella were 41 and Andrew, now 20 was getting too old to be still living at home. Andrew had followed his father into the coal mining business, employed this time likely by either Bairds or Merry & Cunningham. With Andrew, Lizzie and Susan were additional younger siblings, John, Alice, Isabella and Thomas. A big family!

On 18th July 1902, Andrew Gilmour when he was 21, married Mary Ann Murphy at the Gilmours home after the banns had been read at the Burleigh Church. The fact that they were married at home and not in any church, may have indicated a Protestant – Catholic Marriage.

Mary Ann Murphy was originally from Lanark and was born at 63 Dixon Street on 13th April 1884. She may have been one of the first babies to be born in the mining homes of Dixon’s Rows. She was 18 when she married and had been living at 37 Calder Street, Blantyre. She was the daughter of Luke Murphy and Maggie Douglas, both of whom were alive for the wedding.

Mary Ann died in 1956.



By the 1911 census Andrew was 29 years old, Mary Ann 26 and they were living at 10 Alpine Street, just off Glasgow Road in Low Blantyre and very close to Andrew’s family. They were to have large family. By 1911, 9 years into their marriage, they had 4 sons. John (8), Luke (5), Andrew (2) and Murray (1 month). A busy house they also had 2 boarders, family in William and William Junior Gilmour, who were miners.

Sadly, the census states that they had 5 children in their marriage by 1911 and that one of them had died.

1936-alpine-streetAlpine Street was mostly tenements, not built of any high standard and indeed they were demolished in 1939. They were home however to many miners and were close to the newly formed public park. Today, those houses would be have been where the Sports Centre Car park is.

Margaret Gilmour was born in Blantyre in 1918 to Andrew Gilmour and Mary Ann Murphy. By 1925, they had all moved to 174 Glasgow Road and were still there in 1930 according to the census of that year. They would have very much been part of the mining community in Blantyre.

When Margaret Gilmour was 28, following the end of WW2, she married James McCammont Little in 1946 in Bothwell.


Here is James McCammont Little Birth Certificate instead. Born on 21st September 1912 (5 months after Titanic sunk!), he was born at 6 Park Place in the former mining village of Bothwellhaugh. (That village doesnt exist anymore and is now Strathclyde Park). His father was George Little (a coalminer) and mother Margaret McCammont, who both married in 1907 in Bothwell.



On social media:

Moyra Lindsay I got excited by this one, Paul. My great grandparents were Samuel Gilmour and Mary Ann Cook and My Granny was Elizabeth known as Lizzie born 1896 but sadly after the loss of four children emptying their home. After Elizabeth there was Alex, William and Samuel. So I expect there is a connection somewhere to this family although I never heard any of these names mentioned.
Eleanor Clark your relations must have lived in Cememtery Walk when my granny lived there.xx

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  1. I have details of James McCammont Little’s McCammont ancestors if this is of any interest

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