Whitefield Family & Brownlea Cottages

Monte Whitefield wrote to me saying, “I would love any information you have on any family members. My great grandfather William Whitefield born Oct 28, 1870 (?) in Carluke, but lived and worked (?) in Blantyre. He married my great grandmother Mary McFarlane (born June 14, 1873). They lived in the area (Larkhall and Bellshill) and then in Blantyre when my grandfather’s (Montgomery James Whitefield born December 9, 1897) sister was born on April 6, 1901 in Brown Lea Cottage. Her name was Mary Johnston Whitefield.

The children born in the area are:
William Whitefield born Oct. 6, 1893
Frances Hutchison Whitefield born July 23, 1895
Montgomery James Whitefield born December 9, 1897
Robert McFarlane born Jan 14, 1900
Mary Johnston Whitefield born April 6, 1901
John Robert Whitefield born June 14, 1903

I hope to find the cottage and any sites that may have a relationship to my family. Any help or information would be amazing. Thank you! Monte Whitefield”

I was able to reply with:

Hello Monte – Hope you’re well. Apologies for time taken to reply, better late than never. Hope you managed to find the cottage. William Whitefield was a mining contractor.

I’ve ascertained that the family only lived a short while in Blantyre. A son was born in Bellshill in 1898 and the family are living at Brownlea Cottage in the 1901 census, when Mary Johnston Whitefield was also born that year. They’re not in the 1905 valuation roll, having moved by that time. At the absolute maximum , they lived in Blantyre 7 years, but I suspect it was shorter.

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1901 Census showing Whitefield family in Blantyre

I have written about Brownlea in a little detail published recently in a book. Here’s an extract, which I hope you find interesting.

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Brownlea Cottages as they appear today, oldest habited house on Glasgow Road

“Brown Lea Cottages Brief Summary: Incredibly important building for our heritage, for by our reckoning, this is the oldest surviving house on Glasgow Road South between Springwell and the Westend! Built in 1869 by constructor and bookseller, Robert Lindsay (who lived nearby at Clyde Cottages and would later build Allison Place), it was originally called ‘Jeanfield Cottages’.

By the early 1880’s, Robert had moved away from Blantyre and the property was bought by Penelope Galt Renfrew, of Muir Street, Hamilton, who owned it and let it out until her death in 1900. The Whitefield family lived there briefly around 1901, coming to Blantyre a little earlier and had left by 1905. On 12th October 1912, the Thomson family renting here lost a baby son (aged 10 month), named Wee Bunty.

In 2 separate homes, it was twinned with an identical separate building to the west, and renamed ‘Brownlea Cottages’ although it is not connected in any way to the Brownlie’s of Barnhill. Of solid, functional 2 storey construction it is short on ornate detail. By 1905 John G Johnston of Glasgow was the owner, although he had died by WW1. Tenants included Henry RS Oliver, draper and Thomas Devaney, a publican.

Owners changed often. Joseph Hughes in 1920, Alexander Struthers by 1925 and by 1930 subdivided into private homes, one belonging to Struthers, the other to Thomas Little a works manager. The Bennett family have lived there now for over 35 years.

At almost 150 years old, we see no reason why this won’t still be standing and be occupied in another 150 years. Lovely, quality family home.

From the book, “Blantyre Glasgow Road South – The Real Story” by Paul Veverka [Page 510]”

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

AmyJane Bennett Martin Rae our house 🏡 xx

Mary Bennett Our claim to fame!

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