Jim Leishman sent a message (some time ago) saying, “Hi Paul. I follow your page with great interest everyday. We live off Blantyre Farm Road, been there for 23 years or so. Recently started a family history search beginning with maternal line as there was more of them and looked the best option. But obviously now want to follow my late father’s line but we have failed at the first hurdle.
Family myth tells us James Leishman a miner from Blantyre married Agnes Jamieson (d 1965). James died in 1915 before his third son, my Da Robert was born in September 1915.
Agnes then moved to Carstairs Street, Dalmarnock Glasgow with three boys and took cleaning and laundry jobs. Two youngest were put “in care” for a while before she could reunite them. We can’t find any record of them in Blantyre. Wonder if you can help with some guidance on where to look. We’re going to the Mitchell library and we use Scotland people resource for the maternal side so we know the way to do it generally, but I’ve seen some great posts of yours with genealogy puzzles. Thanks, Jim Leishman, Townfoot Farmhouse”
I was able to rely with:
Hi Jim. Sorry this has taken so long to get round to. My goodness! This was difficult to investigate. So many dead ends. I simply just could not find a marriage at any time for James Leishman to Agnes Jamieson (certainly at any time that would fit with this enquiry). Be aware there was a James Leishman and Agnes in the early to mid 19th Century in Stonehouse, whom I believe were ancestors of the people in your enquiry.
So, with no luck on a marriage, I decided to retrieve what i believe to be your dad’s birth certificate as a starting point, perhaps using this to work backwards. Robert Leishman was born on the 5th September 1915, at the height of WW1. The birth was recorded in Scotstoun & Yoker in Glasgow (which believe me made it difficult to find!) and it’s noted that Agnes Leishman, his mother was a domestic servant at Victoria Drive in Glasgow.
I found it strange though that Agnes signed the certificate clearly able to read and write, yet did not put an entry into the certificate for the father of Robert. Certainly, an indicator of a story behind all this! She may have taken the surname of the father anyway in order to claim support. Furthermore, Robert is noted as being ‘illegitimate’, i.e born out of wedlock, yet Agnes is named Leishman, suggesting a marriage did exist. (Victoria Drive was directly across the river Clyde from where Braehead Shopping Centre is now.)
I found Agnes at 62 Well Road, Glasgow during 1915, an address I don’t think exists anymore. She was renting a small house for £6 and 15 shillings per year and was noted as having no profession. She may have moved to Doncaster Street in Glasgow by 1920.
Sometime between 1925 and 1930, the family moved to Carstairs Street, in Dalmarnock and was absolutely still there in 1940 during WW2. The valuation rolls used to find these addresses won’t reveal the children, only the person renting or occupying. For household members , you need a census. There is a 23 year old Agnes Leishman, noted as being single, a domestic servant in Yoker for the Gemmell Household in the 1911 census, but I’m unsure if that’s her.
As for Blantyre connections? I’ve tried my utmost to find a connection prior to 1915, but although there are Leishman and Jamiesons both in Blantyre at the turn of the Century, I’m unable to find anybody thats fits with this timeline.
There certainly is a mystery here or at least a story. I think you’re going to find a story of hardship for Agnes in the immediate years before and after WW1, something your family information about the 2 children going into care will support. I feel things were tough for Agnes and her young family. I could not presume anything and this being your mystery Jim, I hope there are a couple of leads in this reply to assist.