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! 

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

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    170 responses to “Request

    1. Since my husbands request for assistance (Jim Leishman) we have made quite a lot of headway on the Leishmans in Blantyre. I could possibly help Lorna who was looking for information ( 2016) on James Leishman and Helen (Ellen) Morrison. I would be quite happy for her to contact me if I can be of help.

    2. Hi. I’m looking for any information on Thomas Rankin Thorburn – a Blantyre man who died in WW1. I’m trying to pull together info before the 100th anniversary of his death on 4th April 1918. Is he commemorated on the war memorial? Or mentioned in any local newspapers? Thanks for your help. Nicky

    3. Hi Paul, I’m trying to find out about John Fraser, (Blacksmith at Priestfield,) and his family. I’d be grateful for any info you could give me.

    4. Looking for Any info on the Taggart s who lived in station road pre 1948. Also info on James and Michael Taggart who’s name are on the war memorial. My mum is Ann Cousins (New Taggart) daughter of John Taggart born 1910. Many thanks in advance

    5. Could you find out a out my address 159 AUCHINRAITH ROAD please it would great to get the history on my house we reckon it was built around 1903-05

    6. Can u look into 159 and 161 Main Street high blantyre for me please. My great grandparents home (159) and the one next door was their cousins. Built them themselves.

    7. 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 miner from Blantyre married Agnes Jamieson (D 1965) James died in 1915 before 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. 07557163587.

    8. trying to find my gran first hubby got him William Thomson born1897 died 1939 had a brother david born 1902 trying to find if he married and when he died and if he had anymore brothers sisters

    9. My Blantyre connections:
      Grandfather Robert Coats Young, b Lindsay’s Land, Stonefield Rd., Blantyre 16 Feb 1902;
      His parents Alexander Hamilton Young & Janet Russell Mauchline m there 1 Dec 1893;
      Janet R Mauchline b there 14 June 1872, worked @ Mills as a weaver. Her parents, Thomas Mauchline, b 3 Sept 1832 @ Works, to John Mauchline & Janet Stewart, m there 31 Dec 1863 to Janet Russell Gartshore (b Old Monkland 1843 to James Gartshore 1814-? & Janet Russell 1816-?). Janet Stewart Mauchline d 17 Feb 1882 Aucheraith.
      Also my 3great grandfather was James Coats, b 1810, d 1882 both in Cambuslang. Parents David Coats & Jane Forrest. I’m coming to Blantyre area in Sept 2018, would like to find graves if possible & where Lindsay’s Land is located. Thanks much

    10. Millars of Blantyre
      I am researching my family tree, my surname is Miller but our line goes back to the Millars in Blantyre George Millar 1795, his father was Hugh Millar b1757 from the Cotton Mill, Mother was Agnes Seaton and Hugh’s father was James Millar who was Weaver from Barnhill Blantyre. Does anyone else know about the Millars? I would love to know if anyone else is researching this too. Thank you.

    11. Hi there, I was hoping to find more info on a relative of mine that was a school master in Blantyre. His name was Thomas Scott and he listed that he was teaching in the town on his marriage certificate 1797. Just wondering if I could get more info on him/school 🙂 Thanks!

      • Hi Paul, can u find some info about the Mc Aleenanes from John St.
        They came from Ierland and leased land from the engineering company for 99yrs. They lived next to the killin Hoose.

    12. Hello, i was born in Welsh drive in 1956, i was wondering if you could tell me when Welsh drive was built and any photos of same would be wonderful.

    13. My second great grandfather, Charles Hemphill,was born in Castlederg Tyrone Northern Ireland on 4/21/1831 and was married to a Martha Hunter. Their first child was born in Blantyre in 1858. My great grandfather, George Hemphill, was also born there on 9/20/1873. I’ve been told that he came to America as a young child, returned to Blantyre and then back to America when he was about 19. Charles was still in Blantyre in 1893 but returned to Castlederg at some point where he died in 1912. But I can find nothing about the family during their time in Blantyre. I’d appreciate any information.

      • Sheryl, I wondered if you have tested your DNA? We have a Hemphill Surname Project at Family Tree DNA and we are always looking for both male and females to test. The YDNA of Hemphill males has been traced to Scotland and Ireland. I would be willing to pay for a test of a male Hemphill from Scotland or Ireland.

        • Pat, I submitted my DNA for testing through several weeks ago. I’m looking forward to the results.

          • Sheryl,
            There are a number of the Hemphills who have tested at Ancestry and have later moved their results to Family Tree DNA to see results from both companies.

    14. I would love to find out where my great grandfather came from jock forrest who lived opposite the hoolets nest in little weavers cottage in bardykes road. Bar hill area He was born in the mid 1850s and died in 1950s in herbertson street in Blantyre I think he might have been in his late nineties. He had two wife’s may or Mary who died in the 1890s in childbirth after third child and went on to Marry a jean legatt not my great great grandmother and had another ten or more children. There are a lot of forrests in Blantyre. Jock my great great grandfather and his brother Andrew owned land in high Blantyre ? and around udson area as I met my grandads elderly cousin Jean forrest o’ Neil about twenty years ago and said she saw the property papers as a child. anyway of finding out? My grandfather was Robert known as Bob born in late 1880’s he died in 1962 or 1963? My father was born in 1933 and passed away 2006. Also was he related to john Clarke forrest ? the sheriff of Hamilton named in the two streets in Blantyre john street and forrest street? Happy to contribute financially to your research. Also my mother julia Liddell was born in 55 hunthill road in 1936 in Blantyre died 2010 to single mother Agnes Liddell who died in 1938?in hartwood hospital as single mothers were treated badly back then she did have another daughter margaret born in 1934? My mother had two aunts Anne and julia Liddell whose married name Paton passed away 1963? and uncles Tommy? I did read somewhere that men with names of Liddell and Forrest (miners) were listed who went in to carry out the dead in the 1877 mining disaster in Hamilton advertiser back copy.

    15. Hi Paul, my grandparents on my father’s side died before or just after I was born so I don’t know very much about them. My grandfather was John Crighton who died in 1934 I believe, & my grandmother was Agnes Stevens who died Christmas 1935 when I was just 3weeks old. They lived in The Oaks, Broompark Road where my father, Alexander was born, the youngest of 8 children as far as I know. He was married to my mother, Annie Nimmo (of the Nimmos of Auchentibber) on 21September 1934. I’d like to find out more about my grandparents & their parents etc. Thanks Paul.

    16. On 11 June 1944 , Corporal Robert McFall of the Royal Marines was killed in action in a battle in the village of Rots in Normandy .Cpl McFall was from Blantyre . I am trying to trace any of Cpl McFall’s family , so they can be invited to a commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the battle , to be held in Rots , on 11 June 2019 .If you can help in identifying any family members , I will be most grateful .
      I believe Cpl McFall’s name appears on a war memorial in Blantyre .

    17. Hi Paul, I am trying to find any information on Robert Mcfall who appears on the WW2 memorial k.i.a. June 1944, born 1921, R.M.C. 46,
      He died in Rots, France. A tribute is being written about the fallen of the 46 and I am helping with tracing living relations. Do you know who complied the names? I would be grateful for any help you could give or any ideas.

    18. Hi, I hope you can help Me, I have very little information, my father’s name is Ian bell, he was born at 90 Victoria road in 1934, his mother’s name was Margaret nimmo bell, I’m looking for any info on them at all, I don’t know he had any siblings or other family members, anything would be greatly appreciated, Thank you

      • ** REQUEST 22 – NIMMO – BELL ANCESTRY **

        Hi Pauline. I have some details about this. William Bell was born in Blantyre in 1881 in Blantyre, the son of Peter Bell and Elizabeth Neil who had arrived in the area only a couple of years before. As a young adult he was a vanman living at Lounfoot, High Blantyre, (near the bottom of Douglas Street).

        By 1903, he had met sweetheart Maggie Nimmo, a farm servant girl at Parkhall, East Kilbride, perhaps though William’s deliveries to the farm. She was the same age and that year, both 23 years old, they married in the public hall in East Kilbride, choosing to move to Blantyre to settle down.

        Margaret or Maggie as she preferred was the daughter of John Nimmo a miner and Janet Biggans. Both Maggie and William’s fathers were deceased at the time the couple married, so their mothers would have been the only parents at the wedding.

        A daughter Elizabeth Neil Bell arrived very quickly in 1903, then in 1904 a son John Andrew Bell, the names all associated with William and Maggie’s own parents.

        The family lived in a bothy next to a stable in Broompark Road although by 1915 had moved to a house at 72 Main Street in High Blantyre on the north side of the road.

        By 1913, another daughter Maggie Nimmo Bell was born.

        During the mid 1920’s, new homes were built by the council at Victoria Street. William and Maggie Bell moved there before 1930 taking with them their young daughter Margaret, who was still a teenager.

        Young Margaret Nimmo Bell became a motor bus cleaner in the early 1930s after leaving school, perhaps for the nearby Central Garage further down Victoria Street at its junction with Glasgow Road.

        In 1933, at the age of 20, Margaret became pregnant and on June 13th 1934, a baby boy, Ian Bell was born. Margaret’s parents William and Maggie both died in 1946, William in Blantyre at Victoria Street and Maggie in Bothwell.

        What is interesting is that their daughter, Margaret according to this birth certificate was unmarried when she got pregnant with Ian, choosing not to put the fathers name on the birth certificate. The fact she called the baby Ian though could be a clue to the fathers name? There could be many reasons for her not putting the fathers name on the certificate….. Ian’s birth dad may have died before he was born, or Margaret simply didn’t want to record the fathers name, or dare i say it, didn’t know for sure who the father was. The father missing from the birth certificate is unusual and would need investigation of paternity cases just in case the father ever wanted access.

        We have to urge caution in such stories, for there may be a simple explanation. However, without the fathers name on the birth certificate or any family story remembered about what happened in 1934, and given Margaret Nimmo Bell died in 1973, aged 60, it may be very difficult even impossible to ever track the paternal side of Ian’s ancestry.

        The Nimmo ancestry should not be confused with another Nimmo family, unrelated from Auchentibber.

        A post about this will appear today along with documentation, since i’m off on leave. Hope this helps.

    19. Hello Paul, I am trying to find some contact details for my mother. She would’ve been 17-18 years when I was born. My DOB. 07.06.1965. In Stirling. My full name at birth, Julie Angela Park.
      Her birth name was Sarah (known as Sally) Symington. She remarried and became Craig. She has 2 sons named Tommy & George, who would be about 42 & 37 years old respectively. I have one address, but I think that would’ve been my Grandparents. (Symington)
      2 Lochaber Path, Blantyre.
      I live in the NE (England) now and have thought often of just driving up and wandering about the streets, until I found your ‘people search’ for family genealogy and wondered if you could help at all.
      Anything would be greatly appreciated,
      Thank you,

    20. Hello Paul
      I’m trying to find out anything about my grandmother, Mrs Nelly Clark, possibly also known as Ellen and possibly nee Heffernan. She lived at 27 Parkville Drive until her death in around 1977 and before that in Hunthill Road, I think. She had seven children, James, John, Martin, Kathleen, Helen, Margaret, May. She was born around 1896/7 and guessing married around 1915. Thank you.

    21. Hi Paul,

      Here are the ancestors I am researching.

      Robert Nairn & his wife Janet McDonald, were both born in Stewarton, Ayrshire, Robert in 1762 & Janet in 1770. They were married in 1798 in Stewarton. Janet was Robert’s 3rd wife!!. They went on to have 8 children. Janet, the eldest B. 1799 married John Robison(Robertson)at Hamilton in 1824. They had 5 sons,
      1 Robert B.1826 at Uddungston. Married Ellen Rennie.
      2 John-Gilbert B.1828. Married Alice Smith, but I am unable to find their marriage. He died in Blantyre.
      3 William B.1832 at Blantyre.
      4 Daniel B.1835 at Blantyre.
      5 James B>1839 at Blantyre.

      John Robertson died at Blantyre in 1861. Janet, his wife died in 1877 at Blantyre.

      If you have any information about any of the Robertsons I would be very grateful.

      Thanks, Isabel

    22. Paul as per your comment, if you find the dates for Mary Ann Gilmours children’s deaths I would be grateful. I should do more research myself, I’ve never really looked at this granny’!

    23. Hi Paul I am researching my ancestors from Millheugh Mill I have a previous post on them. I was very interested in your article about Pathfoot. My ancestors were living in Pathfoot in 1790 probably before this but this is the first indication and is where their first child was born.They were John and Margaret Connel. John is on a later child’s baptism record as Miller of Millheugh Mill.

    24. Seeking date for unveiling on disaster memorial in Blantyre Cemetery and date for unveiling of memorial in Dunbeath Cemetery in Glasgow.


        Hi Jim. Thanks for your enquiry. I don’t have an exact date, but believe it was unveiled in 1883. Late in 1882, Messrs William Dixon Ltd entered into talks with the parochial authorities in Blantyre, who , in sympathy with local opinion, donated the land in the centre of the new cemetery (opened 1875). On accepting the Parochial Board’s kind offer, W. Dixon Ltd contracted Glasgow monumental mason, Mr. Robert Gray, to erect the above obelisk in Aberdeen granite. It stands on a plinth 4 feet 8 inches square and the monument itself rises fully in 20 feet in height. When it was unveiled, it could be seen from just about any vantage point in the Parish. Mr. J.M Thomson form Kilkerran in Ayrshire, one of the partners of Wm. Dixon Ltd , brought his own personal gardener to plant up the flowers and shrubs around the base.

        I’m unsure about Dunbeath as its outwith Blantyre. Hope this is of interest. Paul.

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