Do YOU need help with tracing your Blantyre ancestors? Perhaps you want to know more about them, where they lived or what they did? Or want to ask about a building, news event or something else? I’m here to help, first come, first served…for FREE (as long as there’s a Blantyre connection)

Just tell me the full name of the person you want to know more about and who they were married to.   If you have more information, especially dates (e.g births, marriages, deaths even better!) Requests are particularly successful for investigation before 1935. Click the blue SUBMIT button and your question will be added to the Question Archive.  NOTE, it may take several weeks to investigate & reply, but I’ll get there! Regards, Paul.

“We should all know where we’ve come from, before we plan on where we’re going”

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  1. My husband’s Great-Grandmother, Janet Boyd, was born in Blantyre in 1870. In the 1890’s, she worked on Alexander Lambie’s farm, Pilmuir Farm, in Scotland. While working as a farm servant on the farm in 1894, she became pregnant, left the farm, returned home to Blantyre and gave birth to my husband’s grandfather, Thomas Boyd. There is NO mention of the father on any papers as far as I can find. Is there anything YOU can do to help me find out this information? HIs mother Janet went on to get married and left wee Thomas behind to be raised by his grandparents and uncles.

    Janet Boyd went on to marry John Stafford and moved to Glasgow. They had 3 children, and one of the children, Mary Boyd Stafford Mulholland died in 1980 in Blantyre. I am hoping to find a living relative of hers who might have a photo of Janet Boyd. My husband (born in Paisley but now lives in California) has NEVER seen a photo of his Great-Grandma Janet Boyd. I am a member of but I am hitting dead ends.

    Thank you so much in advance.

    Bobbie Hamilton
    (Wife of Iain Hamilton)

  2. My family come from blantyre and halfway – owen dignall was my grandfather he saved a fellow miners life james cook, also my paternal grandfather came from blantyre William Johnstone

  3. Hello Paul,
    Further to our fb conversation I am looking for any information there may be about my gt grandfather William McConnell. He was killed while on his way home from a pensioners Christmas meal in 1964. This was on Bardykes Road, not far from his home in Park Crescent. He had lived in Blantyre most of his life.His pals were apparently Tarzan and Jake!! I would love to know if anyone remembers him, and better still has a photo. I can email further info if required.
    Many thanks


      Hi Sue. I’ve had a little look at this, but you may have all this information. No photos (yet) but i’ve scheduled a post about WIllie to appear on the site on 15th August 2018 along with some basic documentation, so hopefully it will attract attention from somebody with a photo. Hope this is of interest.

      “William (Willie) McConnell was born on 12th May 1881 in Galston, Ayrshire. When he was born, his father, John McConnell, was 37 and his mother, Elizabeth Hurst, was 32.

      Willie had moved to Blantyre by the First World War after marrying Elispeth Bowie in Ayrshire. Together they had one son, John in 1900. He also lived and worked in England for a spell prior to WW1 whilst on service duty. Sadly, his wife Elispeth passed away on 29 September 1918 in Blantyre, Lanarkshire, at the young age of 30.

      Willie quickly remarried again, this time to Elizabeth Weir, a domestic servant 16 years his junior. She was a neighbour at Merry’s Rows, where he stayed. Willie was a miner for Merry & Cunningham at the Auchinraith Pit nearby and would have lost him employment and house when the pit closed in 1931.

      However, things looked up in Autumn 1931, as new homes to improve Blantyre had just been built that year and the previous, at High Blantyre. William moved to 9 Park Crescent in 1931 and lived there the rest of his life. These were spacious, large homes with inside toilets and washing facilities. They offered a living room as well as bedroom and were a vast improvement from the tired old Merry’s Rows. It would have been an exciting move and huge improvement in quality of life. Williams home was rented at £15 per year, one of the larger houses. Within a year or two, vast improvements to the adjacent fields were being made when the large High Blantyre Public Park was constructed next to Park Crescent. Re-employment as a miner in that location, meant that William likely worked at Dixons’ High Blantyre Pit, not far off. After WW2, Willie like other miners at Dixon’s would have celebrated the Nationalising of the Coal Industry, celebrated in ceremony at Dixons Pits in 1947.

      If retiring at state pensionable age, it seems Willie would have retired before the closure of the pits in the 1950s.

      On the evening of Christmas Day 1964, 84 year old Willie McConnell was coming back from a Christmas Day dinner and was knocked down by a van on Bardykes Road, Blantyre. He sadly passed away from his injuries. His daughter Jean placed a memorial notice in the local newspaper and it mentions also that he was remembered by ‘Tarzan and Jake’. He had being living latterly in life in Park Crescent, High Blantyre.

      Now this is a long shot, but it would be great if somebody had a photo of Willie to accompany this story, or indeed to give to his family. They don’t have any photos of him, despite the relatively modern era. Also, who was “Tarzan or Jake”, perhaps elderly friends in the 1960s? If you know anything else that can be added to this story, please let me know.”

      1. Oh my gosh Paul this article is amazing!! There is a lot of information here about the pits and the housing especially, that I did not know about!! The only comment I would have is that he had 4 children…there was Archie, Elizabeth and Jane/Jeannie as well as John. It was from Jeanie’s daughter that I found out that it was apparently a motorbike that knocked him down and not a van. Thank you so much for all your help and I’ll keep my fingers crossed for a positive response.
        Sue Hainsworth

  4. Hi there Paul, in the 1950’s a company called Gilbert Ash, from the UK, was in Blantyre doing some construction work. My father worked for them, as a Storekeeper. I was born in Blantyre, and would appreciate any information or assistance in helping me trace my father, or any living relatives. Warm Regards. Pat Taylor

  5. hi paul can u help me on this father john Thomson born 1865-1919 mother Hannah fraser 1869-1919 had 7 kids trying to trace Jessie born 1890-1949 she married Robert flemiing had 3 kids david 1909 born Blantyre john Thomson 1913 born Rutherglen john married doris edna Gibson married in 1950 Hannah 1915 born Blantyre did david Hannah marry can u find there birth death marrage and if they had any kids ina i think they lived in ruthglen

  6. Hi Paul
    I was in touch with you last August for some help with my Nairm/Robertson ancestors. I also spoke to you at the Family History Day at Motherwell. I see my request is on Page 3. Robert Nairn was one of the Ferrymen on the ferry between Blantyre & Bothwell. Have you had any luck with these families. Also would you tell me which book has the info about the Ferry, & about the structure near to Livingstone Memorial which has details about the Ferry on it. I’ve tried to find it , but no one seems to know where it is. Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks. Isabel.

  7. I would be grateful for any information about the school or the book…I found a book (Poems Of Tenyson) in a cupboard and on the front it says – Blantyre Parish School Board Low Blantyre Public School Special Prize Presented To Marion Forrest on Completion of Night Years Perfect Attendance At This School 16th June 1911. I’m not sure if it was presented to my Great Grandmother or her daughter.

  8. Hi Paul, hope you are well ? What an interesting story today about Mr Charles Donnelly who went to New York. Mrs Berry was my Great Grandmother, and her son Owen, ( my grandfather ) also went to America and I wonder if it was because of Charles ? My Grandpa stayed for a few years but came back to Blantyre. Oh I think there might be a story here ! Would you be able to help ? I think I still have the name of the ship he sailed on. X

    Kind regards

    Sent from my iPad

    Sent from my iPad

  9. Hi. Finding out a lot recently that Daniel Bell my father I think was born in Glasgow Road, Burnbank in the early 1920s and am trying to find more of his life there. Thank you

  10. Hello (possibly again). I thought I left a message last night but I do not see it on the posts. My name is Scott Browne from Toronto Canada here in Hamilton/Blantyre until Friday morning. Please email me at address below if you can help me or got my original message. If not I will resend to you when you advise. Being kicked out of Hamilton Library but Angela says you are super nice.

    Best wishes

    1. Hi Scott – The first time a person posts here it is moderated, just in case its spam. i.e i have to approve which I normally do within 24 hours. You should be able to post freely anywhere now and all the comments you’ve made will now be there.

      1. Yes thank you, I did see it afterwards so I’m sorry.

        I’m starting out now to go around Blantyre. (Lovely Scotish day). Is there anything you can think of to assist me in my quest

  11. My name is Scott Brown, form Canada. I arrived last night in Blantyre/Hamilton and I’m here searching for history on my Grandma’s family the Stewart’s (I know right). I am hoping someone out their will know my Gram’s family. Parents Malcolm Stewart (a butcher as was his father and uncles) and Annie Kelly. First lived in Hamilton and had Alexander and John both of whom I believe died in WWI. Then came Elizabeth (Bessie) who married John Young. Malcolm married Janet Smith Duncan, Margaret (unmarried), My Gram Jane Jeanie” who moved to Canada at 18yrs of age. Then Agnes, Jessie (hus Robert MacIntyre and lastly Gilbert and John who died within a month of one another in Italy 1924. Their was a Butcher Shop that may have me in Burnbank but was definitely called Stewart’s Butcher. They lived primarily at 6 Hardie Street in Balantyre but also at 99 Auchinfaith Road, Blantyre and 5 Ann Street, Hamilton. Please if this family rings a bell with anyone contact me even if its after i leave Friday April 27, 2018.

    God Bless and best wishes

  12. Looking for pictures of Spittal Terrace which came under Cambuslang, my father was a electrician in Bardykes Colleriery (Peter Simm) My mum Rita Simm (nee Goodfellow) my brothers Andrew & William and myself lived in the two storey building next to put head. I think we stayed there from 1949 – 1963-64 due to put closing. Happiest part of my childhood.
    All our relatives came from Blantyre and I thought as a child that we stayed in Blantyre.

    1. trying to find our family this is what ive got john Thomson 1865-1919 married Hannah fraser 1865-1919 lived in broompark road had 6 kids only need few more info on them john fraser Thomson 1888-1954 magaret Nicholas 1890-1962 they had 3 kids Robert dob and death marriage john fraser 1923 don’t k where when he died also john fraser 1865- 19 need his sister brothers Jessie born 1890 need her death marrage mary g 1892 death marriage david 1902 death marrage hope u can help me Ina Barrie Sanders

  13. I am trying to do some research into where my family are from and I have found out that some of my family on my mums side came from Blantyre. My mums father was Charles Brookens Forrest who was born in Blantyre around 1894 and I think her Grandfather – Maxwell Forrest was born in Blantyre as well around 1854. I would be very grateful for some information on the above.

    1. My Maiden name was Ann Pearson , now Allan, and I was brought up in Pitlochry, Perthshire., now live in Edinburgh.
      My mum, before she married my dad, was Agnes Lennon and she was born in Blantyre, Scotland.
      Her mum, my granny, was Agnes Lennon nee Stokes M.S. Feechan.
      They lived at 77 Auchinraith Road, Blantyre. I know my granny is buried in Blantyre beside her son Colin.
      I would love to know more about my grans background. Also my grandad was Bernard Lennon and would be lovely to know more about him also.
      Would appreciate any info.
      Many thanks.
      P.S. how do I get on your Facebook Page? Thanks.

    2. Christine forrest

      Hi there I was discussing my family tree with an elderly aunt recently we come from Blantyre and named forrest and found a Maxwell Forrest a cousin of my fathers although born in the 1920 or thirties in Blantyre unusual name. He played football for cambuslang Rangers and was well known my aunt has photos which appeared in newspapers

  14. trying to find birth date of Robert Thomson his father was john fraser Thomas born 1888 died 1954 his wife was magaret Nicholas born 1890 died 1962 can any one help me pls

  15. hi can u help me with this father john Thomson born 1865 mother Hannah Thomson born 1869 had Jessie 26th march 1890 larkhall and mary gardiner 4th june 1892 Blantyre need all there deaths ina sanders

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