As you probably know, I provide a FREE ancestry service to investigate anybody’s families with a Blantyre link. Responses are currently taking some time due to the investigative nature for providing a response and the volume of enquiries coming in.
Reader, Margaret Thomson messaged me in Summer 2017 saying, “Hi, i’m trying to find out any more info on my great auntie. Her name was Jeanie Wilson. She was born in 1907 in Blantyre. I have her birth papers and I have her on the 1911 Scottish census. They were staying at 17 Forrest Street. Her parents were Robert Wood Wilson and Mary m.s Campbell. She had a older sister Lily and a younger brother John. Lily was my great gran so i’ve lots on her and also have quite a few for her parents as far back as 1820. However, I have nothing on Jeanie after 1911. Any help would be great, thanks.”
I was able to respond with, “Jeanie Wilson was born on 29th November 1907 at Belmont Cottages, Blantyre. Her father Robert Wood Wilson was a coal miner and mother’s name was indeed Mary Paterson Malcolm Campbell. Her parents had married in Blantyre 2 years earlier in July 1905. Mary was unusually for that era, unmarried at the time her first child was born. Lily arrived on 13 June 1905, 4 weeks before the wedding! The couple actually had 2 sons and 2 daughters, which may come as a surprise, explored in a moment.
Belmont Cottages were on Forrest Street, Low Blantyre. They were evenly numbered from 52 to 110 and owned by William Baird and Co, Coalmasters of nearby Craighead pit. They were slightly larger than the nearby Baird’s Rows. Belmont Cottages should not be confused with a single house of the same name at 322 Glasgow Road.
The Wilson family would have been accustomed to see rapid growth and construction of buildings nearby at the junction of Forrest Street and Glasgow Road during that decade and it would likely have seemed fairly new with good amenities and shops nearby. Nearby tenements like Rosendale had just been built. Schools would have been handy too and children would have loved playing on the nearby Clyde Braes by the River Clyde. There would have been a real sense of community.
When Jeanie Wilson was born, her father, Robert, was 22, and her mother, Mary, was 21. You know already about Lily being born first. Her brother John was born on 31 March 1910 in Blantyre, Lanarkshire, when Jeanie was 2 years old.
Just before WW1, the family moved to larger premises at Melbourne Place, Auchinraith Road, in a building nicknamed “The Buggy Buildings”. Her brother James was born on 21 March 1915 (d1985) there when Jeanie was 7 years old. The buildings had a reputation for not being well made and were damp. At the age of 12 in 1920, Jeanie’s mother Mary died at their house from influenza. Things were going to be tough for single father Robert Wilson bringing up 4 children all under 15 years old, the youngest only 5. Robert’s proximity to Auchinraith Colliery may have meant he changed employer, with Merry & Cunningham the Coalmasters of Auchinraith.
On 18th August 1939, just before the outbreak of WW2, Jeanie married divorcee Peter Inglis in Edinburgh. Peter has previously been married to a lady named Margaret Fraser but it is unknown if he left her for Jeanie.
Jeanie’s father Robert Wilson passed away on 15 June 1955 in Blantyre, Lanarkshire, at the age of 70. It is thought Jeannie lived in Edinburgh for the best part of her married life, but moved back to the area, to Hamilton in 1974. She is noted as living at 52 Hill Street, a widow in Hamilton that year.
She may have been ill in the early 1970s. Jeanie Wilson died on October 19, 1974, in Hartwood [Hospital], when she was 66 years old. Cause of Death Cerebrovascular Accident.”
Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said:
Jiae Jiae Very interesting was she related to anyone called Annie Wilson who later became Annie Anderson on marriage and had a daughter who was named Anne Anderson and worked in the card shop st the Top Cross in Hamilton in 80s 90s, Ann was brought up by her parents near Melrose Street in Burnbank? Annie Wilson was the birth mother of my uncle Davie Dalton who my grannie adopted because Annie Wilson had him out of wedlock when a young girl?
Ann Wilson My husband is the son off the John Wilson mentioned . He remembers there being another son and daughter for by the ones in the article.Very interesting read .
Kirsty Liebow Was going to ask my dad about this Auntie Ann. Wasn’t sure if it was Papa or not xx
Ann Wilson Kirsty Liebow I did sent your Dad a message last night . It’s definitely your Papa xx
Kirsty Liebow Tom Wilson read this xxxx
Tom Wilson my g/father was Robert Wilson & g/mother maiden name was Mary Campbell. My father was John and born in Forrest st ( 31st march 1910). I’m Tom Wilson and still live in Blantyre. My dad had 2 brothers James & Tom, also 2 sisters that I know of Jean & Betty who my sister is named after, now Betty Dunsmore. Will have to have a chat with Magt Thomson.
Ann Wilson Tom Wilson John says one sister was called Lily and this is the first he’s heard of Betty!!