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”

Question title

Write your question title

Question details

Write your question details

Question category

Select question category.

Question tags

Put some tags here, use comma( , ) to separate.

Contact email

Write your contact email

Please login if you already have an account.

Please prove you are human.



Add a Comment
  1. My ancestors John Connal (Connel) and his wife Margaret are referred to as the Miller of Millheugh Mill on their children’s church birth records in the late 1700s to early 1800s. I don’t know how long they were there or if they lived out their lives there. Any help would be welcolmed


      Hi Jenny. Thanks for your message (which I’ve finally got round to!). It was great to add John Connal’s name to the list of Millers at that location, which I know was John Miller in 1760 and Alexander Corse in 1799.

      Millheugh Mill (Millheugh with 2 Ls at that earlier time) was located at the bottom of the Pech Brae, the steep hill that drops to the side of the Calder River. It was powered by a lade running through the Millheugh Estate, then at the time owned by the Miller family.

      This was a time prior to census and valuation roll, so it will be extremely difficult to ascertain when the couple lived there, or moved away, although I would point to death certificates which may at least indicate if they were in the general area.

      The old mill is no longer there, but there’s a great sketch of it from 1799 by Jean Claude Nattes. I will schedule a little post on 29th March 2019 here on the site.

    2. Hi, My ancestor Hamilton Connal birth register 24 May 1775 in Blantyre. His father is registered as Robert Connal miller of Milnhaugh. Is this the same Mill and or Family?
      Wilma Conway

      1. Wilma. Im not 100% sure. There was another Milnhaugh prior to 1790s where now the David Livingstone Memorial is. Before Shuttle Row was built, Milnhaugh was the area near the Clyde. However, i vaguely recall a connection to Connal being at Millheugh to the west of Blantyre. I’ll try to find out more in due course.

        1. Hi Paul, Hamilton Connal was the brother of my ancestor John Connal who you were researching for me a while ago. Their father Robert was the Miller in 1768 according to the Baptism record for his son James. John my ancestor took over as the Miller, it must have been after their father died.


  2. Anna-Marie Raisbeck

    Good Morning… sister (Margie Bremer) has previously been in contact with you and she told me I should message you. We are descendants of Luke Raisbeck. My grandfather was George Raisbeck, and my father was Grant Raisbeck. I will be travelling to Scotland in August/September 2017 and I was wondering if you would be able to assist me in finding out what “clan” the Raisbeck’s belonged to. I would like to find out what the clan tartan was/is, as well as if there is a family crest. Any assistance you can help me with would be greatly appreciated.

    Also, Alex Raisbeck (great footballer) would be a great great (maybe one more) uncle of mine. I understand there is a project going on in Scotland restoring grave sites of forgotten heroes. Is this accurate……I would like to visit his grave if I’m going to be travelling in the area.

    1. ** REQUEST 50 – RAISBECK **

      Anna- Marie – Apologies for time taken to reply to this. You’ll have been over to Scotland and away again long time ago!

      I’m sorry, I’ve been unable to find Raisbeck being a Scottish name. All traces of this name lead to Northern England in its roots, and as such, I don’t think there is a true tartan or clan, unless one has been adopted by people of that name. The surname Raisbeck was first found in the West Riding of Yorkshire where the earliest record of the name was found as Rastric (Rastrick) in the Domesday Book. I think it is traditionally English, rather than Scots. Sorry, if thats a shock!

      I can’t find the name Raisbeck in Blantyre valuation rolls before 1935.

      Alex Raisbeck was indeed a great footballer. I understand he died in Liverpool on 12 March 1949 at the age of 70 leaving £276 and 18 shillings in his will, a princely sum in those days before large football wages. As such, his grave is not in Scotland, but again in the north of England. There’s a wonderful page for Alex here in case you haven’t seen this yet, honouring his life.

      I do hope this helps.

  3. Eileen Cusack Ansell

    Eileen Cusack
    Good evening!

    I live in Ontario, Canada. I was born in Glasgow but my family immigrated to Canada when I was a young child.
    My parents died when I was 13 and I hadn’t learned a lot of my family history from them. I have been researching now for about 15 years and have managed to accumulate a fairly sizable tree, verified by documents.
    However, there is on area I am really stuck on. I can’t find the deaths of my 3rd great grandparents William Calder aka Cather and his spouse Mary, nee Johnston.

    Here is what I have:
    My ancestors John Calder and Mary Ann Maxwell, from Muckle Hill/Kilclean, Co. Tyrone, Castlederg area, had William, Eleanor aka Ellen, John, Robert and possibly Isabella.
    My 3rd great grandfather William, born circa 1805 married Mary Johnston born circa 1808, and they had:
    Mary Ann b circa 1827 married a Nelson, (but not George Nelson)
    Robert (possibly) b circa 1828
    John bap 17 Aug 1834
    Sarah bap 13 Jan 1838, died 17 Apr 1868 in Glasgow (married William Nibloe) (my 2nd gr grandmother)
    William b circa 1841, died 4 Apr 1917 in Glasgow (married Elizabeth Jane York)
    Isabella b circa 1846

    Mary Ann, Robert, John and Sarah were all born in Castlederg, but William and Isabella were born in Hamilton/Blantyre.

    My problem is that I cannot find the deaths for William Calder and Mary Johnston above.
    I know they were in the 1851 census, but they were both deceased by the time their daughter Sarah married William Nibloe on December 31, 1860, which narrows down a death time between March 30/31, 1851 (when census was taken) and December 31, 1860.

    A few things to note: Although their name was given as Calder in later years, the family name was originally Cather and was later seen in the U.S. as Caldwell:
    On John Cather/Calder and Mary Ann’s son John Stewart Calder’s death record (Jan. 22, 1911) his name is given as Cather. There is a notation on the death record that his father went by the name Cather but the family adopted the name of Calder. The Cather name sometimes has an s on the end. One of his grandsons changed the name to Caldwell when he moved to the United States.

    According to censuses and family members death certificates William was seen as a Leather Cutter and a Cotton Weaver.

    Many of John and Mary Ann’s descendants worked in the cotton mills or coalmines in the Hamilton and Blantyre area of Lanarkshire

    Known addresses:
    1841 William and Mary lived on Muir St., Hamilton
    1851 William and Mary lived at Stonefield Farmhouse, Roadhead, Lanarkshire (civil parish Blantyre). William’s father John lived at 51 Quarry St., Hamilton in 1851 and on Brandon St., Hamilton in 1861. John died at 20 Chapel St., Hamilton in 1865, outliving both William and William’s wife Mary.

    Thank you in advance!

    Best regards,


      Hi Eileen – this is a difficult time to research. With Church of Scotland registers changing in 1855, just the exact decade causing you problems.

      If William and Mary both died between 1851 and 1861 in Blantyre, they would likely have been buried in Blantyre Works Cemetery (as High Blantyre Cemetery didn’t open until 1875). Blantyre Works Cemetery is no longer there.

      Looking at deaths in Old Parish Registers, the only Mary Calder i could find that fits her birth in 1808, was a person age 45 who died in Montrose 5/11/1853. That’s certainly worth exploring more. She may have died away from Blantyre? I cannot find any Mary Cawther in death certificates.

      For William, born in 1805, I could not find anybody of that name in the old Parish Registers prior to 1855. So I switched to Statutory registers between 1855 and 1860 and again could not find anybody thats fits. I tried Calder and Cather.

      Having Irish heritage, i could not find them in Roman Catholic death registers either.

      Now, Stonefield Farm changed hands in 1855, which may have meant the family having to leave there that year. I wonder if they emigrated or moved away in their retirement? Always something to consider.

      Worth considering too is that the Blantyre Mills burned down on 13th September 1859, putting many hundreds of people out of work overnight. They may have HAD to move away?

      I don’t see them in Valuation rolls either, as tenants or owners in 1855 or 1860 for Blantyre but there is a William Calder renting a shop in Hamilton in 1855, which may be connected?

      Frustrating, I know, but I do hope you have some leads in the above to continue your research. I never want to assume anything, but think it very likely that they moved away from Scotland, and both died that decade, wherever they ended up.

  4. Your Message: Good Morning,
    I am trying to uncover as much information as possible about my Grandparents, who came to Scotland from Lithuania around 1905.
    My Grandfather, Piyusas Buyauskas, was born around 1882 and was a miner at the colliery for many years (punctuated by service in the Highland Light Infantry to avoid forced repatriation in 1917). Can I please ask if there are likely to be any surviving records which may be a possible information source? The search is made more difficult due to the many variations in spelling of the family names have been recorded through the years (his Christian name may have occasionally been recorded as Peter. Probable date of birth was December 1882 in Sunskai, Lithuania/Russia and he lived in Baltic Street, Glasgow)
    Many thanks,
    Colin White.


      Hi Colin. Finally got round to this. Apologies for time taken. Lithuanian names are most difficult to trace due to the amount of varied spellings, but here goes. Pijus (Piyusas) Buiuckas was born in December 1882 in Didžioji Zariškė, Lithuania. He married Marijona Kamenskeine on 15 September 1903 in Shouska, Poland, which was occupied at the time by Russia. They emigrated to Scotland in 1907 or 1908, with one child, Marijona, where they settled in Glasgow. They had ten children in 17 years. He died on 26 May 1966 in Glasgow at the age of 83.

      Unfortunately, I have not been able to find a connection to Blantyre and as I only offer a free ancestry service for definite connections to this town, I am unable to take this request further. I have scheduled a post here on the website for 27th March 2019 and will be attaching records fo the 10 children, which I hope you will recognise. Wishing you all the best in your continued search.

  5. I just found out that my father won some sort of pretty baby contest. He was born in 1917 in Blantyre so I expect the contest was in 1918. I would like to know if I might find this in a newspaper. His name was James Gill.


      Hi Nancy. Thanks for your message. Despite an extensive search in newspaper archives through 1917 – 1919, i was unable to find mention of James Gill. I did see that baby contests were incredibly popular in those years, perhaps to take people’s mind off war, celebrate life and family. As soldiers came back from war and continued or started families, showing off their cherubs seemed popular! Despite the casualties of war, the years after 1919 were baby boom years.

  6. Morag Lanzendorf

    Good day. I am putting together a family tree and have run into a dead end, so wondering if you can help? I have a document (possibly a Bann or Marriage) stating a Proclamation concerning Matthew Maxwell and Agnes Buchannan dated 14 August 1819. It says that Agnes is from the Blantyre parish. I cannot find a record of her birth/nor death either on ‘Scotlands People’ nor on ‘Family’ . The couple though were married in Cambuslang and lived there. I have also tried under a different spelling ie Buchanan – but to no avail. Might you have any records of this family? Will so appreciate any assistance. Kind regards Morag

    1. ** REQUEST 47 – AGNES BUCHANAN **

      This has been a difficult one Morag. Like you, i have come up against a dead end, which is usually telling that something unusual may have happened, e.g getting married much later in life, moving about lots or simply emigration elsewhere in the world.

      There are a few candidates for Agnes in birth records. AGNES BUCHANAN appears in 1763 Glasgow, 1771 Stirling, 1775 Kilearn, 1782 Balfron, 1790 Renfrew, 1800 Paisley and 1800 Cadder. Thats not to say of course she may have immigrated to Scotland, coming from Ireland or elsewhere. Blantyre mills would certainly have been offering plenty of work by the time the couple married. I’m inclined to think though the 1800 hits may be worth further exploration. This is a time before census and valuation rolls, so I admit, you’re going to have a tough time with this research. I have spent a little time on this but to no avail. Sorry i could not be more help in this instance. That does happen from time to time with very early records.

  7. My 4 times great grandparents lived in and around Blantyre. Their names were John Forrest and Helen Smith. They had 5 children that I know of James born 1811 Flemington, John 1815 Barnhill, Margaret 1819 Blantyre, John 1822 Barnhill and Janet 1825 Pathfoot.
    Just wondered if you had come across this family in your research and if yes would you have any other information on them
    Many thanks


      Hi Karen. The Forrest name is certainly prominent in Blantyre’s history, so here goes for this particular line…..

      John Forrest lived a long life. Born in East Kilbride in 1785, he came into this world as David Dale considered building Blantyre Mills. John died in 1880. Helen Smith, also from East Kilbride lived a similar long life, born in 1790 and passing in 1884, also in her 90’s. They had married in 1811 and Helen may have been pregnant with James at the time.

      Their son, James Forrest was indeed born in 1811, on 18th March 1811 to be precise. He was baptised a month later in Cambuslang. With long life in his genes, he died in 1901, reaching the ripe old age of 90.

      Margaret Forrest, I think was born in Blantyre on 20 January 1819. She married George Caldwell in Carluke in 1839 having at least 8 children between 1840 and 1860, two of whom were Lillias and Alexander. George died in 1867 and this may have prompted her to emigrate. Margaret died in Greymouth on the West Coast of New Zealand on 16 October 1902, aged 82.

      Jane Forrest, or Janet was born in Pathfoot, Blantyre in 1825. She may have been born in the former cottages on the Pech Brae or nearby to them. She married on 10 March 1850 in Cadder to William Russell (born in Bothwell in 1813). She also emigrated during the 19th Century along with her husband, settling down in Australia. William died in Australia in 1885. Jane passed away in Narrandera, New South Wales, Australia on 15 February 1908, in her 80’s. Her daughter also Janet died in Australia in 1960.

      I have not yet been successful in finding out more about John Forrest and suspect given your suggestion of 2 names in the one family, that one of them must have died very young.

      Hope this helps in some way. Ive scheduled a post for the site on 26th March 2019 along with a family tree to accompany this story.

      1. Hi Paul
        Thankyou for the info but Margaret Forrest married Abraham Hamilton and died in 1865 in Hamilton and on her death certificate it stated that both her parents were deceased…is it possible that there were 2 families with similar names. It also says on her death certificate that John was a cattle dealer…does that stack up with what you know about him.
        This particular line is giving me a headache as I have so many times banged my head against a brick wall
        Looking forward to your opinion on my dilemma
        Many thanks

        1. Hi Karen – I got your email today. It is entirely possible that there were families with the same names. The common theme of calling sons after uncles, nephews etc made it possible to have branches of the same families with similar names. I will need to come back to this sometime and reinvestigate.

  8. Hello,
    I am searching Blantyreferme Brick Works and came across your useful Brickworks information and location in the Blantyre Project.
    I was looking for further information on the Brickworks Manager around 1950/51. I found out recently it may have been my father “John Burns”
    He died in 1951 when I was only 2yrs. old,; we were left very poor but remained in his NCB Cottage in the Halfway until 1970. This led me to mistakenly believe he was the manager at Gateside Brickworks where I understand my grandfather James Burns worked.
    I now live in Canada and would appreciate any information.
    Yours Lawrence Burns

    1. ** REQUEST 44 – JOHN BURNS **

      Hi Lawrence. I’m not sure I can help much with this. I struggle with Post WW2 history about people, as i’m not subscribed to any genealogy or newspapers from that era. As you will be aware, Halfway is certainly very close to the former Blantyreferme brickworks location. Things would certainly have been tough for workers families if the male in those times died. Your story of being left poor is replicated all over Lanarkshire, especially in mining or weaving families.

      I did have a little luck in 1935. The only John Burns living in Halfway that year was a man living at 53 Letterickhill Crescent, Halfway. This may be the man you’re after?

      I can only add the name “John Burns” to the list of names to look out for. Sorry, not much help i know, a rare thing for me.

      1. Hi Paul.
        I must thank you very much for taking the time to research my query, re my father John Burns possible manager Blantyreferme Brickworks abt-1951.

        I was surprised you do all the replies so I clicked the Blantyre Project “About” tab to find you’re personally responsible for site content and encouraging others to share their stories.
        I and probably other readers thought there were others with various resources at work but I have to say you are doing an excellent job as your site is well set up, very comprehensive and informative resource for the Blantyre and surrounding areas but it must keep you very busy.

        So Sorry to use your valuable time as my query was more a curiosity on my part thinking it was local history or someone may read my post and supply the answer.
        I should have paid attention as a kid; I passed Cambuslang’s Gateside Brickworks every day and could have asked my mother for information any time before she passed 30yrs ago, go figure.

        As per your research there’s no need for you to look out for John Burns at Letterrickhills Crescent.
        I have his Birth/Death certs but know very little about him except his work took him to Plains/Airdrie, Fife, Twechar/Dunbartonshire then Halfway in 1950 and I don’t know the exact brickworks where he worked. I was 2yrs when he died and we had no contact with his family after that but I believe he had relatives in Paisley, Twechar, Fermecross/Rutherglen and Cambuslang.

        I just did the DNA test and I am going to do my family research; I was in Scotland this past summer and bought a copy of my Burns Grandparents wedding Certificate which garnered a lot of useful information to get me going.

        I was also appreciative you empathised with the hard times poor working and fatherless families endured, fortunately as kids we didn’t realize how poor we were because we never went hungry.

        You’re right Halfway is close to Blantyre, as kids we used to walk to David Livingstone’s at Easter to have a wee picnic and roll our boiled coloured eggs.

        Thanks again for your time.
        Best regards Lawrence Burns; Ontario, Canada

  9. Andrew Cousins (mother Ann Mutch TAGGART)

    anyone have any information on Mary Taggart born Blantyre 1891 and died in 1947. Believe she was a school teacher who worked at St Josephs and lived in Station Road

    1. ** REQUEST 43 – MARY TAGGART b1891-d1947 **

      Hi Andrew. This proved to be an interesting investigation.

      Mary TAGGART was born in 1891 the daughter of James Taggart (a school janitor) and Elizabeth Laidlaw. Mary Taggart was indeed a school teacher, a profession she was working in by 1911, at the age of 19. That year, she was still living at home at 36 Craig Street and was the eldest of many siblings, Mary, Catherine, Michael, James, Elizabeth, Robert and John. It is noted in the census that 2 of Mary’s siblings had sadly died. Some of her siblings were weavers.

      War affected the Taggart family greatly. In 1914 and 1915, her brothers James and Michael Taggart died in WW1 at Flanders and at Sea.

      As a young woman in the 1930’s, she moved to new spacious homes at 62 Station Road, overlooking the public park. This would have been a desirable place to live. The park was being set out with a pond, the memorial arch and trees planted. Her home was near the train station and her place of work at St Joseph’s School.

      Mary was found dead at home in 1947 as her death certificate shows.

      However, Mary’s strange death prompted an entry to be corrected against her death certificate following a further investigation. A supplementary document issues some further details stating Mary was found passed away in her bed at her house at 62 Station Road at 3.50am on 4th March 1947, last seen alive just after midnight the night before. The cause of death noted as being “Extensive Burns”.

      With no foul play noted, a newspaper report in the Scotsman the next day revealed more. A neighbour had discovered a nighttime fire coming from Mary’s living room and alerted others who broke the door down. Mary was found lying passed away on a settee/bed in the said living room. Mary was single and sadly, being alone in the house looks certain to have meant that help did not arrive when she most needed it. Whilst all this sounds horrific, she may have already been overcome by smoke by the time fire took hold. She was only 55 and had been a teacher for nearly 40 years.

      At the time of her death, both parents were deceased, her father passing only 2 years earlier.
      I’ve scheduled a post about this with supportive documents on 19th January 2019. Hope this is all of interest and not too personal.

  10. Thomas Watson (Tam) and Agnes(Thompson)(her ma was Isabella MacLean)..sons Robert,Jock, Tom, Bill, Alexander. daughters..Agnes,Jean, Ann, Mary. left for Canada around 1914, bound for Nanaimo, Vancouver Island…Dunsmuir Coal. Curious to know where they lived in Blantyre (said a farm) father Tam was foreman, all the rest were young miners. The 2 older older boys went to,Canada, Cape Breton first..hated it and returned home, They wished to return so rather than break up the family they all emigrated to be together to BC, Canada.From what I was told the father wanted to send the boys to university, but they wanted to emigrate.


      Hi Joy. Apologies for time taken to look at this. First thing that struck me was the date of 1914. Atlantic passage to Canada just before war in Europe broke out sounds fortunate (and lucky), especially if those Blantyre boys were of age to go off and fight. Let’s go back a little and explore the life of this family before WW1.

      Thomas Watson and Anne Thomson were actually Bellshill residents. Thomas (Tam) a coalminer in 1882 was 24 years old and lived at North Road. He fell in love with neighbour Agnes Thomson who was 22 years old. On the 9th September 1882, the couple married at Brownlea, Blantyre. This house is still there today, the oldest on Glasgow Road. You can read about Brownlea here

      This may have been used simply as a wedding venue. Both the fathers of the couple were deceased at the time they married.

      The couple settled down in Barnhill, a small hamlet to the west of Blantyre. They moved into former tenement on Broompark Road and by 1891, they had 4 sons with them along with a boarder, a miner John Stevenson. Thomas Watson worked as a coalminer and the proximity to Dixons Pit 4 at Larkfield is noted, meaning he may have been employed by Dixon’s Coalmasters.

      Now, here’s where it’s a little complicated and something needs corrected. There IS a Thomas and Anne living at Broompark Farm in 1911 with sons Thomas and John, but this isn’t Tam Watson’s family for I believe they travelled to Canada and away from Blantyre BEFORE 1914.

      In Springtime 1906, Tam Watson left Glasgow by Ship via Moville, Ireland and travelled to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada arriving on the ship “Mongolian” on 4th April 1906. He is noted in the Canadian Census in 1911 as living in Nanaimo, Canada.

      In 1921, he was still there in New castle, South Five Acres working as a rancher, aged 64. With him that year was wife Agnes (61), son Alex (30) and daughters Agnes (20), Mary (18) and Elma (17). I’ll leave the Canadian story there…..hope this ties up and is of interest.

      Ive scheduled a post to appear on this site with documents supporting it, on 18th January 2019.

  11. You wouldn’t know the names of the houses on station road? Number 35 in particular. I would like to restore the name on the house but I can’t see it clearly. I have a photo of it I can send you. I know it begins with an S.

    1. ** REQUEST 13 – 35 STATION ROAD **

      Hi Caroline – ive answered your request here out of turn from others, as its very brief and i actually know the answer. The true, original name of 35 Station Road was “SEREGLIO” which is confirmed on Blantyre Valuation Rolls. That is the name of the house the constructor originally gave it. Hope this helps. Paul.

  12. Elizabeth O'Brien

    Hi. I used to live in 44 Fernslea Avenue. Moved from there approx 25 yrs ago. At some point tho my great grandparents also lived there. Is this something u can advise on?

    Also my Nana who is now 97 lives in 13 Berkley Drive. She used to live in Dixons Row and I think was the first and only resident at 13 Berkley Drive – Mrs Margaret O’Brien. Again not sure if u can discuss it but look forward to hearing whether u can. Thanks


      Hi Elizabeth – With much of Fernslea Avenue created around 1957, I am currently not subscribed to valuation rolls to look at that era nor indeed at Berkley Drive, so unable to confirm who the first residents were there.  

      Different members of the O Brien family, during the 1930’s lived at Park Street and Hall Street, very close to each other.  James at 42 Hall Street, Edward at 25 Park Street and Peter O Brien at 29 Park Street. Hope this is of interest.

  13. My mother Barbara McCabe was born in Bellshill Hospital on 9/2/1926 and her father’s address is given as 53 Auchinraith Road. Her mother’s death certificate shows they were still living at this address when she died on 20 November 1947. Interestingly my mother’s elder sister Bridget McCabe was born at 39 Auchinraith Road on 12/8/1920. Do these address still exist? Thanks for your help.


      Hi Mary. 39 and 53 Auchinraith Road are indeed former addresses. 39 was a tenement building located on the east side of the road, the tenement officially called “James Place”. There were 16 homes in this tenement which had address 37 and 39 Auchinraith Road. All the tenants were miners, and given the proximity to Auchinraith Colliery nearby, they were likely employed by Merry & Cunningham Coalmasters.

      The McCabe family are known to have rented at number 39 from around WW1, and of course shared this building with many other tenants. The building belonged to Alfred A Todd. Colin McCabe was at this address in 1915. Rent was around £7 per annum and the McCabes lived in the smallest of the flats. By 1920, John MacCabe (this is the spelling on the valuation roll) lived there.

      By 1930, the McCabes no longer lived at number 39 by then living at number 53. However, this was still within James Place, i.e the same building, for in the late 1920’s Auchinraith Road received new postal addresses and new numbering. James Place changed from 37/39 Auchinraith Road to 51/53. Their new apartment was larger at cost £15 per annum. Around 1930, the name ‘James Place’ appears to have been dropped from the valuation rolls in favour of the postal address.

      The building, constructed around 1895 is the 2 storey tenement shown here in an aerial photo from 1955. It sat at the right hand side of a “the Buggy Buildings” and is now demolished. There are now modern homes built there and should not be confused with further subsequent renumbering with a house now at 53 Auchinraith Road.

      I’ve scheduled a post with a couple of illustrations here on the site for 17th January 2019. Hope this helps.

      1. Thank you so much for your wonderful reply. I have learned so much from your research. Keep up the great work. I just love you facebook site.
        Thanks again
        Kind regards
        Mary Kane

  14. Hi Peter both my sets of grandparents came from blantyre. My maternal grandparents were James McCudden 5/12/1888- 15/4/1939 and Jeanie Smith 2/3/1894-19/12/1972.Married 27/4/1917 .Paternal grandparents James Dawson 16/2/1878 and Agnes Mason Fisher 30/5/1882 -4/2/1965 Married 13/7/1906 .Any information you can get for me will be appreciated. Yours sincerely Annette


      Hi Annette – Paul here! I’ve managed to look at some of this. Hope this is of interest.

      When James McCudden was born on 5 December 1888 in Blantyre, Lanarkshire, his father, Joseph McCudden (1859-1922), was 29 and his mother, Elizabeth Ferns (1864-1943), was 24.

      His brother Thomas Ferns was born on 20 February 1891 in Blantyre, Lanarkshire, when James was 2 years old. In 1891, the family lived in Young’s Land, Blantyre, the house already had parents with 4 children.

      His brother Joseph was born on 8 June 1893 in Blantyre, Lanarkshire, when James was 4 years old. His sister Margaret McSorley McCudden was born on Boxing Day, 26 December 1895 in Blantyre, Lanarkshire, when James was 7 years old. However tragedy struck the family when little Margaret died on 7th January 1897 just 2 years later.

      Another sister Elizabeth was born on 12 November 1897 in Blantyre, Lanarkshire, when James was 8 years old. And another Ellen Ferns McCudden born on 14 November 1900 in Blantyre, Lanarkshire, when James was 11 years old. His brother Charles Ferns McCudden was born on 7 September 1903 in Blantyre, Lanarkshire, when James was 14 years old. He had a large family of siblings!

      The family lived in Maxwell’s Buildings, Blantyre in 1901 and by this time there were 7 children! This was around the top of Broompark Road .The children may have been schooled at Auchentibber.

      On 27th April 1917, James McCudden married his sweetheart Jeanie Smith (b1894) at St Joseph’s Church on Glasgow Road. James was 28 years old. His bride was heavily pregnant upon their wedding day for son, Joseph was born on 9th June 1917, 2 months later. He may have married whilst back on leave from active service as it is known he was off fighting in war in 1918. He was part of the Highland Light Infantry.

      The family lived at 113 Main Street, High Blantyre following WW1 years, with James employed as a coalminer. James and Jeanie had a son in 1918 named John. Then, after his demob, a daughter arrived in 1919. Tragically, little John died aged 2. One can only imagine the horrors James saw in WW1, and losing a child so soon after must have been truly terrible and heartbreaking.

      A daughter Elizabeth Ferns McCudden arrived in 1921. His father Joseph passed away on 14 March 1922 in Blantyre, Lanarkshire, at the age of 63. His daughter Jeanie Smith was born on 20 November 1923 in Blantyre, Lanarkshire.

      James McCudden died on 15 April 1939 in High Blantyre, Lanarkshire, when he was 50 years old. Death caused by Sudden Cardiac Failure. He is buried in High Blantyre Cemetery.

      A post about this is scheduled for 6th January 2019

  15. No words can I say to you that would begin to let you know how much my family and I appreciate all the work you have done. My sister and cousin and I will be in Blantyre on May 8th and now we can see where our family lived. We would like to meet you say over a cup of tea if you are available just email me. Looking forward to your next book

    1. Thank you Evelyn. Thats very kind. (Just catching up on some messages here). Hope you’re well. Paul.

  16. hi, i am 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 st. 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 have lots on her and also have quite a few for her parents as far back as 1820. but i have nothing on jeanie after 1911. any help would be great, thanks

    1. ** REQUEST 38 – JEANIE WILSON **

      Hi Margaret. Hope this helps.
      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.

      A post about this is scheduled to appear on the website on 5th January 2019.

  17. Hi Paul, William Murdoch (Murdochs Pub) have you any ancestry info regarding this man,as I said he was my wifes grandfather,she also stayed at 37 Hardie St. WE think he had 4 sons John Also known as Jack, Alistair,David and Douglas (my wifes father) 2 daughters, Elma and Kitty, he may have been married twice, if you need any more info please let me know.

    1. Hi Paul
      Did you get a chance re the above,I would be very grateful for any info.

    2. Hi Paul, any further forward re William Murdoch?

      1. ** REQUEST 37 – WILLIAM MURDOCH **

        Hi David, thanks for your message and apologies for taking so long to get round to this. Here is the limited info I have on William.

        On Thursday 7th May 1925, a official liquor license was given for the Public House premises at 20 Stonefield Road (later known as the Priory Inn) for the first time to Mr. William Murdoch who previously only held a grocers license. It is likely then that the property became a public house in the true, modern sense of that meaning and was known then as Murdoch’s Pub from as early as the mid 20’s.

        By 1925 the licensed spirit shop also doubled up as a grocers’ shop and was wholly owned by proprietor William Murdoch. He also owned a stable and shed at the rear of the building a reflection upon the reliance of horses for business at the time. To the south, and adjacent, he owned the semi-detached shop at 22 Stonefield Road, which he let out as a butchers shop to occupier John McWilliam for £15 per year. The rateable value of the spirit shop was £32 per annum.

        William Murdoch lived at 37 Hardie Street and as such would not have had far to travel to work. He had a son named John. By 1930, the stable at the rear of the building was empty and unused as horses gave way to vehicles. Incredibly the McWilliams had been renting their butchers shop for close on 30 years by this time and in all that time, their rent was unchanged by each landlord.

        Unfortunately, I’m only subscribed to databases up to 1935 and unable to pick up William Murdoch’s story after that time. If the full name of his wife(s) can be provided, I should be able to pick up a little information and invite the family to contact me again in due course? The info can be added below, rather than creating a new request. Meantime, i’ll put the story up on the website here scheduled for 18th August 2018 to see if anybody can provide more information or even photos! Sorry, its not often things come up so vague.

  18. Gillian Cunningham

    Looking for Annie Shannon born Blantyre married ? Neilson from a well to do Paisley familly. Moved to Rothsey. Annie was one of my clients Granny, and my client is 90 !!!

    1. ** REQUEST 36 – ANNIE SHANNON **

      Hi Gillian. There are 2 possible matches in birth records for Blantyre and Hamilton.
      F, 1878, 624/ 71, Blantyre and

      F, 1916, 647/ 1145, Hamilton

      I’m sorry, I have been unable to find any Annie Shannon marrying into a Neilson family (I tried Nelson/Neilston too just in case). In the 1911 census there was a 17 year old Annie Shannon living in Hamilton but no Shannon girls in Blantyre that decade.

  19. Hi Paul
    I’m trying to find some facts about my grandad his name was Edward mc bride he lived in mcalipens building on Glasgow rd he had 3 sons and a daughter they later moved to fernslea ave he was a steelworker in Cambuslang and died on 6/8/55 we were always told his death was a heart attack and he was found in a stream near his work my last surviving uncle passed away 2 yrs ago on his deathbed he told me it wasn’t heart attack that killed him,he was found drowned in the river clyde, I have never seen a picture of him as after the funeral my granny burned all the photos even her wedding album so I was wondering if the blantyre gazette may have had any news of the incident it would be much appreciated
    Regards Eddie mc bride from blantyre

    1. ** REQUEST 35 – EDWARD MCBRIDE 1898-1955 **

      Hi Eddie . I’ve scheduled a post with some documents to appear on the site on 17th August 2018. Meantime…..My search didn’t get off to the best start, unable to find an Edward McBride in Blantyre, although when I started looking for spelling “MacBride”, I found him! Coming to Blantyre between 1920 and 1925, Edward lived at 6 Alpine Street, in McAlpines Buildings at the junction with Glasgow Road. Unlike the census, the valuation rolls have his name correct as “McBride”.

      Born in 1898, Edward was a miner and in 1925 was renting a modest sized apartment in McAlpine’s buildings for the princely sum of £8 and 8 shillings. His landlord was Mrs Jeannie Crow, widow who lived in Hamilton and the then owner of McAlpine’s Buildings.

      By 1930, things had changed somewhat. Edward became a machineman working with steel following the closure of Auchinraith Pit. He moved home to a larger apartment at 180 Glasgow Road further eastwards. This was a former 2 storey tenement building directly above Peter Valerio’s Ice Cream Parlour and McWilliams Butchers on the north side of Glasgow Road, roughly today where Devlin Grove is not far from the junction of Forrest Street.

      Unable to find a photo or newspaper story, I retrieved Edward’s Death Certificate to see if more light could be shed on the mystery. The certificate was most helpful and detailed. The date is corrected to 1st August 1955 and he was found dead at 8.45am approx 200 yards east of Dalmarnock Bridge, in the River Clyde in Rutherglen. His home was at 22 Fernslea Avenue.

      Aged only 57 when he died, his parents never lived to see this event. The doctor’s verdict was “drowning”. That is not to say it is unknown why he was in the Clyde. With no witnesses, it is easy to see why the family thought he may have had a heart attack and fallen in. Hope this helps.

  20. Looking for photos of my grandfather as l have never seen him his name was John Reynolds he died in 1939 he left a wife and son and another son on the way

    1. ** REQUEST 32 – JOHN REYNOLDS **

      Hi John. Sadly I have no photos of John Reynolds (yet), but will always keep a lookout for you. You may meantime be interested in this story. A John Reynolds was directly involved in a pit dispute in 1926. If this is the same man, it may give a little insight into his life. I have NO IDEA if this is the same man as your grandfather but hope this is interesting meantime.

      Before Sheriff Mercer, at Hamilton Sheriff Court on Monday 1st November 1926, seven men were charged with forming part of a disorderly crowd of over 700 people in Glasgow Road, Blantyre.

      This was a time towards the end of the great mining strike and feeling amongst the unemployed miners were still running high, especially to those who were deemed to have broken picket lines or returned to work at concession. The men were charged also in acting together to attack some of the miners coming from Auchinraith and struck a constable by hitting him on the head with a brick and other missiles.

      Content this was over 90 years ago and in the distant past, the men were:—Francis McLernon, miner who lived at 8 Hardie Street; Michael McKee, 16 Hardie Street; Charles McDade, a barman of Rosendale Place, John Reynolds, colliery fireman of 2 Craighead Rows; John Dennis of 12 Alpine Street; James Stevenson of 76 Merry’s Rows; and James Meechan of 64 Craighead Rows—all of Blantyre.

      According to the principal witnesses for the prosecution, who came trom Strathaven and Meikle Earnock and were “barracked” by the crowd, they were met as they left the colliery at the foot of Auchinraith Road by an angry large mob. The frightening situation for those miners who had returned to work, was made worse by being surrounded by a crowd, which gradually increased in number to about 700.

      There was much shouting, and the situation became very serious when stones began to be thrown. Two of the men from the colliery made their escape by jumping on a passing lorry on Glasgow Road. The mob turned to the lorry smashing the windscreen and attacking the tyres. Owing to the damage that was done to the vehicle, however, they had to jump off and run down a side road, away from the mob.

      Another man from the colliery was severely kicked and mauled. Finally, the police came to the scene and attempted to hold the crowd in check. One constable was hit with a stone or similar missile on the head, and batons were drawn and the mob partly dispersed.

      The assaulted men were put on a tramcar by the police and they got away to safety. Large groups of men still hung around in the vicinity of the disturbance for a considerable time,. Fearing a repeat of the Blantyre Riots of the 19th Century, police extracted individuals as ringleaders picking them out from among the remaining mob and apprehended them within half an hour of the actual disturbance.

      The defence rested mainly on pleas of alibis and the question of identification. Their trial concluded on the evening of Wednesday 3rd November 1926. Each of the accused was convicted and sentenced to 40 days imprisonment.

  21. Hi Paul, I am looking for information on my ancestors John Connell and his wife Margaret Russell. John is referred to as a Miller in Millheugh late 1700s. Their daughter Margaret born in 1798 is my direct ancestor. I would be glad of any information that you can find on them


      Hi Jenny. This was going to be a tough one given how old the ancestry is. Finding people over 220 years ago was a difficult ask and records likely to be few and far between. However, i did find John Connell and Margaret getting married in 1789! I’ve scheduled a post on this site on 16th August which will include documentation. Meantime,

      In the Church of Scotland Records, I found John Connell of Blantyre marrying Margaret Russell of East Kilbride on 15th November 1789, some 229 years ago! They married in the parish of East Kilbride, most likely following the custom of marrying at the brides hometown.

      I was unable to find any record of little Margaret Connell being born in either Blantyre or East Kilbride in 1798. Broadening the search, I couldn’t find a Margaret Connell being born to these parents in Scotland, but may have missed something. However, I had success in finding other definite children of this family. Elisabeth Connell born in Blantyre in 1803 and William Connell born in Blantyre in 1805. Clearly by 1803 certainly the Connells were living in Blantyre.

      If a Miller in Milheugh in the late 1700’s, John would have been working at the bottom of the Pech Brae at one of the 2 former mills once in that location, powered by the waters of the River Calder. Even when he married, David Dale had only just completed his mills in Blantyre, a project John Connell would certainly have been aware of although no direct involvement, being on the opposite side of Blantyre.

      It would seem that John died sometime between 1818 and 1829 in Glasgow. Hope this helps in some small way. I’d love to know how you made the connection to Milheugh! Cheers.

      1. Hi Paul, Thank you for the info on my Connal ancestors.I hadn’t looked at the web page for some time. Hence my not getting back to you. I have attached Margaret’s birth. I made the connection after someone on Roots website was searching for their ancestor Elizabeth,born in 1803 Margaret’s sister. Both sisters moved to Stirling to work in the big Farm houses. Margaret married Robert Low also my ancestor in St Ninian’s Stirlingshire.Up until then I was at a loss as to where she had come from.I looked for Margaret Russell her mother and found a Margaret Russell being born in East Kilbride.

        Their daughter Margaret married James Thomson Flesher in St Ninians.Elizabeth married someone called Muirhead. On the 1851 census Margaret had died and Robert Low was a widower. some of Elizabeth’s children were living with their uncle Robert Low and in the 1861 also living with their uncle Robert Low. I researched back from their. I did find a Will for a John Connal” Miller” who died in Glasgow and wondered if it was the same person. The information you have given me is fantastic and will now be put on my family tree.I wasn’t able to copy the birth record but here are the details for her. The name Connal or Connel was passed down the generations as was the name Low.My Great Grandfather was David Connel Thomson and his son Robert Low Thomson.

        Born 22 and Baptised on 26. 10. 1798 Margaret Connal

  22. Hi Paul Feb 22nd you gave me a lot of details regarding our Granny, the other thing if possible we would like to know is how many children did she have, we know of Robert our dad, John, Gavin, Christine, and Wallace, we have a picture of ur dad with Catherine who died but how many others did she have that died, probably as infants.

    1. Hi Paul just wondering if you were able to find anything about my dad’s siblings that died. it would be after 1909, because that was when he was born and he was the oldest

      1. Hi Eleanor, I’m a little behind with this request page and taking each in turn, the people below you on this page first. I will get round to this in due course. Thanks.

        1. Hi Paul,
          Thank you very much you say you are a little behind I am a big behind, well I shall wait on your reply no hurry, I just thought that you had forgot , by the way you are doing a wonderful job, my sisters were so pleased with what you had done.

          Thank you

        2. Did mean to ask you have you heard anything about the(Clye) Clay Road which ran from the back of the drying greens at Cemetery Road down to Low Blantyre,my older sister remembers walking it with our mum and

        3. ** REQUEST 31 – CLAY ROAD **

          Hi Eleanor, Some information on the ‘Clay Road’ can be found here. Hope this helps.

          On the subject of extra family members, if you contact Margaret Chalmers on Facebook. She is the great granddaughter of Robert Paterson and Janet Jaap. Margaret has done some research on this family and will be able to help more. Hope this assists.

  23. Only just spotted this after putting a request for info on fb page…sorry! It was to do with miners records for Dixons pits and where I might find any info on bothe my gt grandparents and their families who lived at Dixons Rows. I have seen the excellent article on the houses at Dixons Rows. Thanks

    1. ** REQUEST 30 – MINERS RECORDS **

      Hi Sue – thanks for your request. Hopefully you’ve long since found any records you need, and apologies for the time take to get to this post.

      There are no known records for Dixon’s Pits available locally but libraries in Glasgow may contain more information, especially the Mitchell Library. If it is information on anybody in particular you wish, for example your grandparents, all I need is both their names and ideally when they married. I can usually start from there. Feel free to reply below rather than log any new request!

  24. Hi Paul-
    I would love any information you have on any family members. My great grandfather William Whitefield born Oct 28, 1870 (?) in Carluke, but lived and worked (?) in Blantyre. He married my great grandmother Mary McFarlane (born June 14, 1873) They lived in the area (Larkhall and Bells Hill) and then in Blantyre when my grandfather’s (Montgomery James Whitefield born December 9, 1897) sister was born on April 6, 1901 in Brown Lea Cottage. Her name was Mary Johnston Whitefield.

    The children born in the area are:
    William Whitefield born Oct. 6, 1893
    Frances Hutchison Whitefield born July 23, 1895
    Montgomery James Whitefield born December 9, 1897
    Robert McFarlane born Jan 14, 1900
    Mary Johnston Whitefield born April 6, 1901
    John Robert Whitefield born June 14, 1903

    I’m planning a trip to Blantyre in May so I hope to find the cottage and any sites that may have a relationship to my family. Any help or information would be amazing. Thank you!
    Monte Whitefield


      Hello Monte – Hope you’re well. Apologies for time taken to reply, better late than never. Hope you managed to find the cottage. William Whitefield was a mining contractor.

      I’ve ascertained that the family only lived a short while in Blantyre. A son was born in Bellshill in 1898 and the family are living at Brownlea Cottage in the 1901 census, when Mary Johnston Whitefield was also born that year. They’re not in the 1905 valuation roll, having moved by that time. At the absolute maximum , they lived in Blantyre 7 years, but I suspect it was shorter.

      I have written about Brownlea in a little detail published recently in a book. Here’s an extract, which I hope you find interesting. I’ve scheduled a post to appear here on the website covering this subject on 3rd July 2018.

      “Brown Lea Cottages Brief Summary: Incredibly important building for our heritage, for by our reckoning, this is the oldest surviving house on Glasgow Road South between Springwell and the Westend! Built in 1869 by constructor and bookseller, Robert Lindsay (who lived nearby at Clyde Cottages and would later build Allison Place), it was originally called ‘Jeanfield Cottages’.

      By the early 1880’s, Robert had moved away from Blantyre and the property was bought by Penelope Galt Renfrew, of Muir Street, Hamilton, who owned it and let it out until her death in 1900. The Whitefield family lived there briefly around 1901, coming to Blantyre a little earlier and had left by 1905. On 12th October 1912, the Thomson family renting here lost a baby son (aged 10 month), named Wee Bunty.

      In 2 separate homes, it was twinned with an identical separate building to the west, and renamed ‘Brownlea Cottages’ although it is not connected in any way to the Brownlie’s of Barnhill. Of solid, functional 2 storey construction it is short on ornate detail. By 1905 John G Johnston of Glasgow was the owner, although he had died by WW1. Tenants included Henry RS Oliver, draper and Thomas Devaney, a publican.

      Owners changed often. Joseph Hughes in 1920, Alexander Struthers by 1925 and by 1930 subdivided into private homes, one belonging to Struthers, the other to Thomas Little a works manager. The Bennett family have lived there now for over 35 years.

      At almost 150 years old, we see no reason why this won’t still be standing and be occupied in another 150 years. Lovely, quality family home.

      From the book, “Blantyre Glasgow Road South – The Real Story” by Paul Veverka [Page 510]”

  25. Hi Paul – don’t know how to do the cut and paste thing so will redo request here. Thankyou for reply! My grandfather was Samuel Dobbins, Born1877 in Durham. His father was Alex Dobbins and mother Elizabeth. They are all listed on1881 census as residing at BairdS Rows Blantyre along with other children Alex 12 Henry 7 and Elizabeth 2.My father said little about his father Sam -I believe he died around1938 -Dad grew up Coatbridge/Motherwell area though I think some family may have stayed in Blantyre. I don’t think he knew his grandparents so maybe they died quite young he seemed to think his grandfather (Alex ) was Irish but no more info. I’d be interested in finding out anything more about their life in Blantyre if it’s possible at all and then maybe try to find what led them there.

    1. Hi Paul Having read more on the website was surprised to find my grt grandfather’s name in the list of accidents. poor Alexander Dobbins was killed in 1882.His wife Elizabeth at 31 or so was left with 5 children including a young baby and must have gone home to Old Monkland where again surprise I’ve discovered she remarried quite quickly whether through love or necessity. I had thought Alexander and Elizabeth had come from Ireland but now know his parents John and Mary Dobbins came from Ireland in the 1840s when Alexander was a small boy. Elizabeth was Scottish. It now seems they only lived in Blantyre a few years. I don’t want to waste your valuable time though any further info would be great. Is there any reading material on life in the rows and what happened to widows of miners maybe?

      1. ** REQUEST 28 – DOBBINS **

        Jenny – I think you’re right, the family only lived in Blantyre a short time in the 19th Century. They’re not in any valuation roll for 1875, 1885 or 1895, although a William Dobbins appears in Stonefield in 1905 and a James Dobbins in 1920 at 100 Craighead Rows (Bairds Rows).

        As you mentioned little was known about Samuel, I thought I’d fill in some extra information. Samuel Dobbins, your grandfather was indeed born in Durham in 1877, and lived a short time in Blantyre in the early 1880’s. I’m quite sure the family would have moved after the death of his father, no longer being accommodated in miner’s tied cottages at Bairds Rows. The miners at those homes would have worked at either Craighead Colliery or walked along to Bardykes.

        Samuel was son to Alexander Dobbins and Elizabeth McGowan (although she had been married previously to a man named Adamson, who left her a widow).

        Samuel though, became a gas fitter. He would have been much needed in the parish as the evolving industry fitted new lighting. He lived longer than wife Janet Mitchell and you’re right he died in 1938, on 24th March to be precise. Sadly, he passed away at Hartwood Asylum at Shotts, although his usual residence before that was at New Stevenson Road in Carfin. (I have attached his death certificate in a post scheduled for 2nd July 2018). With pneumonia, he died primarily of a heart attack.

        Life was indeed tough for widows. There was little or no sympathy from colliery owners and they would have acquired their tied cottage fairly fast. It was most common in those days to remarry quickly to ensure the family could continue to be supported. That said, this appears to be a fairly sizeable family and as the children got older, they would likely have been in working positions quickly to look after their mother. I hope this helps fill in some gaps. I’ll be writing about Bairds Rows a little later this year as part of my Glasgow Road North book.

        1. Jenny McNelis ms Dobbins

          Paul thankyou so much for your efforts re my grandfather Samuel Dobbins. I suppose when you open a can of worms some wriggly things are bound to come out. Poor Samuel though he seems to have driven the family away they did bury him. I have seen a photo of a headstone with Janet as well though I don’t know where it is. He was in WW1 and little snippets I remember he came home not wounded but damaged.- like many others. It may explain a lot no help then.

          One small point Elizabeth married James Adamson not before but after Alex death and Samuel grew up in the Adamson household till his marriage in 1903 -another avenue to explore he had half brothers and sister I didn’t know about either.
          I’m not sure how to find the post with his death cert but will look now. Thanks again.

Leave a Reply