Monday, 16 August 2010

Jane Watson Paterson

Jane was my great grandmother. She was born in 1841 in Irongray, Kircudbrightshire, Scotland. Her first marriage was to James Gordon with whom she had four children. After James' death in 1875, she married again, to Robert Whittaker, having one more child, my grandmother, Lydia.

My father wrote this about her:

According to the family bible, my grandmother was born on 29 October 1842 and on the 1891 census her place of birth is quoted as being Irongray, Kirkcudbrightshire.
Her parents were John and Lydia Paterson and he was the third of a family of eleven.
In the 1841 census for the Parish of Irongray, her parents were living at 37 Larbreck with four children, one from John Paterson's first marriage. In the 1851 census forthe same parish, the family had moved to 4 Brochmore Cottage and my grandmother, aged 8 years, was included in the census.
In the 1861 census for the Parish of Kells, Kirkcudbrightshire, the family was living at 7 Marchwell, New Galloway, Kirkcudbrightshire. As she was not included in the census for that address it can be assumed that she had left home by that date, probably to take up service somewhere.
On 23 December 1867, she gave birth to a daughter, Catherine at High Street, Dalbeatie. There was no father quoted on the birth certificate so it can be assumed that the child was illegitimate. Catherine was in fact my Auntie Katie. The surname Gordon was later added to Catherine's name and on 23rd May 1890 she married David Boyd at 183 Main Street, Bonhill and subsequently had six children, the eldest of which was Jane, better known as Jean who married William Bennie on 26 October 1918.
My grandmother married James Gordon, a ploughman, on 24 June 1870 at Midpark, Crossmichael, Kirkcudbrightshire, when she was 27 years of age. The marriage certificate states "After banns according to the form of the Church of Scotland".
I had difficulty when I visited Crossmichael in locating Midpark but an old resident advised me that it was a small settlement of houses near where the road to Lauriston crosses the Crossmichael to Castle Douglas road.
Her second child, John Patterson Gordon was born on 12 July 1870 at Creebridge, Minnigaff, Kirkcudbrightshire. I have a photograph of a man and woman on the back of which is written "John and Maggie". Is this John Patterson Gordon?

My grandmother had two further children who were born in Old Kilpatrick, Dunbartonshire, and who both died in infancy.
     James Hall Gordon born 14 December 1872 died 8 February 187?
     Margret Hall Gordon born 22 May 1875 died 17 March 1879
    (Also referred to as Margret Lydia in the bible.)
My grandmother's mother and father died at Old Kilpatrick, Dunbartonshire, in 1872 and 1873 respectively although why the family moved to that part of Scotland is a mystery.
Her husband, James Gordon died on 26th May 1875 according to the family bible but I have yet to find where he died. His death followed four days after the birth of their last child, so it must have been a traumatic time for my grandmother. 
In the 1881 census for the parish of Bonhill, Dunbartonshire I find the following entry for 27 Burns Street:
     Jane Gordon               Head          38     Printfield Worker
     Catherine Gordon        Daughter     12           "         "
     John Gordon               Son            10     Part time Printfield Worker
The age of 12 given for Catherine Gordon in the census does not agree with the date on her birth certificate of 23 December 1867.
Presumably my grandmother moved to Bonhill from Old Kilpatrick to obtain work in one of the many printworks that existed in the Vale of Leven area at that time, possibly the very factory in which she met the Englishman who was to become her second husband and my grandfather.
In the 1891 census for the Parish of Bonhill, Dunbartonshire my grandmother and her second husband, my grandfather, were living at 183 Main Street, Bonhill with the two remaining children from her first marriage and the daughter from her second marriage, Lydia Jane Whittaker, my mother.
What is known as the Vale of Leven is made up of Alexandria, Balloch, Bonhill, Jamestown and Renton. The main industry was bleaching introduced in 1768, to be replaced later by Turkey-red Dyeing of which the area had almost a world monopoly. However after the first world war it was hit with the general slump and many of the factories closed and my memory of them is of empty shells.
1. Marriage Certificate 1     James Gordon     24/6/1870
2. Marriage Certificate 2     See Robert Whittaker
3. Marriage Certificate        Catherine Patterson/David Boyd
4. Marriage Certificate        Jane Boyd/William Bennie
5. Birth Certificate             Catherine Patterson
6. Birth Certificate             John Patterson Gordon


  1. Whilst researching my own family tree, I came upon my Great-great-grandfathers death certificate, he passed away aged 67 at 1.30am on 30th Sept 1895, at 183 Main Street Bonhill, the informant is given as a 'Jane Whittaker - Nurse'who was present at his death, whom I presume is your Great Grandmother. My Great-great- Grandmother survived him she was a Marion Johnstone Galbraith.

    On researching the address I came across your blog, It would appear that, there were a lot of people living in that property at the time. But how interesting and connected a world we live in. Oh Gt-Gt-Grandfather was a 'Calico/Block Printer', so I guess they all worked for the same people.

    1. How wonderful that my family history research can link up to someone else's. That's fascinating. I'll have to have a look back at the documents I have on Jane. Thanks so much for this information.