Jock Forrest 1859 – 1955

I’ve been catching up on some more Ancestry requests, looking at each in order they came in.

Christine Forrest writes, “I would love to find out where my Great Grandfather came from. Jock Forrest lived opposite the Hoolet’s Nest in a little weaver’s cottage on Bardykes Road in the Barnhill area. He was born in the mid 1850’s and died in 1950’s(?) in Herbertson Street in Blantyre. I think he might have been in his late nineties.”

I was able to reply with:

John (Jock) Forrest was born on 3rd December 1859 in Hillside (or Wellside), Cambuslang. He was the son of Andrew Forrest (b1825-d1900), a casting contractor and Jane Riddell. (b1837 East Kilbride).

1859 Jocks Birth Certificate

Andrew, the father was married previously to a woman named Mary Shaw (b1827). They married on 25thJuly 1846, but she died in 1855. It would seem that Jock had at least 6 older half brothers and sisters, none of whom lived longer than 1900, some dying in infancy. Andrew remarried to Jane Riddell on 28thJanuary 1859 in Cambuslang.

Jock Forrest lived his young life in Cambuslang with his parents and siblings. His immediate family of 7 siblings were sister Margaret arriving in 1862, Thomas born in 1865, Agnes in 1867, Jane in 1870, Robert in 1871, Ann or Annie in 1874 and finally Andrew in 1877.

1855 Forrest Family Ancestry

By 1881 at the age of 21, Jock had moved away, going out in the world to Paisley working as a farm servant.  I found evidence that his brother Andrew Junior moved to Barnhill in Blantyre and married Lillias Main. (Andrew Forrest Junior and Lily Main had eight children, Robert, Janet, Agnes, John (Jock Jnr), Lily, Jennifer, Andrew and Margaret. Lily died just 4 years later in 1953 aged 74, Andrew on 16th July 1967 at the rip old age of 90. They are buried together at High Blantyre Cemetery. They are pictured in 1949 at their wedding anniversary. Your granddad’s cousin Jean O Neil is also pictured.

1949 Andrew & Liily

John found work in Old Monkland as a farm hand and moved away from Paisley, meeting and marrying a local girl in the area, Mary Mair in 1884. It would appear he moved to Blantyre beween 1885 and 1890. Sadly Mary died suddenly in Blantyre in 1894 whilst in childbirth with their 3rdchild. She was only 32. Married only 10 years, but now with a young family to look after, Jock married again very quickly.

1895 Jock Forrests Marriage

Only the very next year, on 7thJune 1895,Jock remarried, this time to Janet Leggat or Leggate at Denniston, Glasgow. Jock had been working in Blantyre at Craigknowe Farm and this new lassie Janet was the domestic servant there. She may have been able to offer some comfort to him in his grief, or even found time to look after his children whilst he worked. Following their marriage, they moved to Barnhill, perhaps to be closer to Jock’s siblings who had already set up home in the area. The 1901 census records him there with Janet Leggat living at Barnhill. Jock was by then employed as a Highway Roadsman. They were living in a house that had just 2 rooms. In 1911, they were living at the thatched cottage at 22 Bardykes Road at the top of the Pech Brae. With them were 9 children, 8 of whom were from his marriage to Janet. His oldest son, aged 20 from the previous marriage lived with them too. He may have had further children beyond 1911.

1911 Census Forrest

By 1925, Jock was approaching retirement at 66 years old, although still noted that year as working as a roadsman. His eldest son, John who lived with the family worked as a grocer, running a small shop, located immediately next door to the cottage, on the same side of the road, but opposite the Barnhill Tavern. The shop was owned by William Dixon, leased to John Forrest and was a small building attached to the side of a former tenement.


When the buildings were demolished John moved to 92 Station Road.

Jock also outlived his second wife, having a very long life. He passed away on 14thFebruary, Valentines Day 1955 at 10 Herbertson Street, age 95. His doctor noted on the death certificate he had been suffering from “senility”, what we now know as dementia and that he had died from a heart attack. John Hayburn of Cambuslang is noted as being Jock’s grandson, a witness on his death certificate. (attached)

1955 Jock Forrests Death Certificate

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

Janet Cochrane Robert Main brother of Lily Main was my maternal grandfather
Moyra Lindsay Janet Cochrane brought Meg to my mind. She was my Aunt Flora’s bridesmaid and I think vice versa! ( Moyra Stewart) xx
Janet Cochrane Moyra Lindsay they worked on the coop purveys together didn’t they
Agnes Collins Good read thank you .
Marian Maguire Great story of local history.

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  1. Hi my grandfather was John Forrest his father and mother was John Forrest and Janet Leggat. When my grandparents got married a Robert Forrest of 22 bardykes road was there witness

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