Death of a Nonagenarian, 1912

An interesting story from 1912. Hamilton Advertiser. 18/1/1912 page. Long life is always remarkable to hear, but even more so over a hundred years ago, when living into your 90s was most uncommon.

“We have to record this week the death of a Blantyre nonagenarian in the person of Mrs Alexander Young, which event occurred on Sunday last at the residence of her son-in-law, Mr Robert Naismith, blacksmith, Herbertson Street.

Her death removes the oldest inhabitant in the parish. The old lady, whose  maiden name was Margaret Cochrane, was born in Strathaven in 1816, and married there in 1839 to Mr Alexander Young, who was then the schoolmaster in the parish of Strathaven under the old parochial system.

He died in 1850 so that the venerable dame has been a widow for 62 years, and at her death had reached the grand old age of 96.

About four years ago (1908) she was placed in the unique position of being a great-great grandmother and she also enjoyed the further interesting experience of having lived under six sovereigns, these being George 111., George 1V., William 1V., Queen Victoria, King Edward and the present King George.

She could recall many interesting experiences and incidents which happened in bygone days. Up to the last the old lady retained all her faculties, and entered into conversation freely and in a most intelligent manner. The only disability she suffered from was a weakness in her legs, which prevented her moving about. Of a family of five, there remains two sons and a daughter. The funeral took place on Wednesday to High Blantyre a service being conducted in the house by the Rev. James Campbell and the Rev. Mr Burleigh officiated at the grave. “

With thanks to Wilma Bolton for this article.

Robert Stewart messaged me a day later adding, “Your post yesterday regarding Margaret Young I found interesting, so I decided to try and find out where she was interred. After a bit of searching I eventually found her lair, I 534 in Blantyre Cemetery. The lair has a memorial, and Margaret’s name is on it, but not as Young but Cochrane, her maiden name. Her age is not recorded on the memorial.”


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