Kelly Scarlett used my request service on the website to ask for some ancestry information. She said, “Hi I am trying to find out more about my grandfather. James Mcvey born march 1904, in 1911 he lived at 12 calder street aged 7. We believe he went to the USA around 1927 but we dont know why. Any information would be great to hear. Also if you can find out anything about his maternal grandparents, Daniel and Agnes kellachen/callaghan seen numerous spellings on this. Thank you so much.”
Like many Blantyre men in the 1920’s he left Scotland looking for employment in the USA. Some of the pits in Blantyre were being exhausted and many men thought about jobs that did not involve going deep into the earth. Job opportunities in local papers offering a better life in Canada and America were frequent.
However, it was not an ideal time, for many men found themselves in the heart of the deep American depression, and often gave up seeking jobs to come back to Scotland. It would appear however, that James decided to stay, perhaps being one of the lucky ones to find work or love.
Exploring his mother’s side, his mother Helen Jane Callaghan had married husband Thomas McVey on 21st June 1901 in Blantyre. Helen or Ellen as she was known is noted on her marriage certificate as having surname Kellachen, a derivative meaning the same as Callaghan. She was just 19, a dressmaker when she married in St Joseph’s Church on Glasgow Road. Thomas being 2 years older.
Ellen Kellachen was the daughter of Daniel Kellachen (b1880) and Agnes Matthews (b1882). As a child, she lived at 12 Dixon Street, in Dixon’s Rows only a street away from where she would live after her marriage. Her father Daniel was a former furnaceman for Dixon’s Collieries.
Going back a generation again looking at her parents, Daniel and Agnes, the fact they were married in St Josephs, suggests at least one of them, most likely both were Roman Catholic. They married 4 years before the current church was built, getting married in the former School / Chapel on Glasgow Road, near its junction with Stonefield Road. This also explains why finding birth certificates for the couple are much harder to find. It is highly likely both of their families came from Ireland to settle in Blantyre just as many miner’s families did in the 1880’s. I did manage to find an elderly Daniel Kellachan passing away in Blantyre in 1960 but cannot be 100% certain this was the same man. I also found an infant who died in his first 5 days in 1903 Though this infant was named Daniel Kellachan he was not the child of Daniel and Agnes.
Hope this is of interest to the family.
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