Friday, 27 August 2010

Recently found photographs

As the title suggests, I've recently unearthed these photographs from the pile of family documents I have.

My mum is visible as the little girl at the back, sat next to her mother on the right. At the front are Betty and Ken. Alfred looks very relaxed smoking a pipe. I don't know who the woman at the back left is.
Betty at the  beach, still wearing pearls even with her swimming cossie - how stylish.

My grandad Alfred and my uncle Ken

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

1911 Census in England and Wales

You can now  view the bare bones of this census for free at 1911census.co.uk. Search by name, place of residence and year of birth and you'll be supplied with the following:

Schedule type: e.g. household
Last name: e.g. Lodge
First names: e.g. Alfred William
Sex: that one's quite obvious
Birth year: again, you know what I mean
Age in 1911
District: e.g. Huddersfield
County

This may not seem much but it can identify whether you're on the right tracks. You can then purchase a transcript and/or original page. This site uses a credits system.

Well worth a look.

Filling in the gaps - success!

This is my father, Charles Whittaker Roberton. I can date this photograph to 1947 which lies in the period of time (1939 to 1948) when I could find no trace of my father's whereabouts. He left his home town, Balloch to travel to England but I only had vague recollections of where he said he went during this time, before he settled in London.

I've spent the last few days going through my parents' belongings again and I found two items from that period.

The first is a number of merit cards from The Bennett College, Sheffield who ran correspondence courses. Here are the details,


28 October 1940 - first stage in general arithmetic
6 February 1941 - first stage in workshop practice
17 March 1941 - second stage in general arithmetic
16 July 1942 - third stage in general arithmetic
12 November 1942 - first stage in algebra.

I knew that when my father left Balloch, it was not only because he couldn't cope with the pity from the community following his disability, but also because he wanted to improve himself. The fact that he took it upon himself to re-enter education, albeit through correspondence courses, substantiates this.

The second document I found was a telegram from his parents which reads "Letter received. Best wishes for new venture. Love Mother". It is addressed to the Worcester Industrial Hostel. I looked this hostel up on the internet and found the address to be Blackpole road, Worcester. The date of the telegram is 1 November 1946.

I now know that he spent at least some of those years in between Balloch and London in Worcester.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

The Golden Text Book

When I started going through my parents things, I found a small, leather bound book called 'The Golden Text Book'. It's designed to hold birthdays and important dates.

Inside the front cover is a printed label that reads, "Alfred Lockwood, Practical Pianoforte Tuner, &c., 29, Albert Terrace, Burley, Leeds". I assume that this book originally belonged to Alfred.

Opposite it is handwritten, "Miss Thackrah, January 1880" and if you turn the page, a handwritten note reads, "Miss Thackray, A present from her lover, Alfred, January 1880". It looks like Alfred gave this book of his important dates to Eliza before they were married.

Turn the page again, and an introductory passage reads,

"Keep the birthdays religiously. They belong to, and are treasured among, the sweetest memories of Home. Do not let anything prevent you bestowing some token, be it ever so slight, to show that they are remembered - Anon".

As I turned the pages, I found a bible quotation for each date in the year and beside each one, names of relatives and family friends. Some were birthdays. Other were deaths. I found my father's own death recorded in my mother's handwriting which stopped me short. Knowing her age and state of mind at the time, she must have been beside herself as she wrote his name. I wish she had shared that moment with me.

There are other historical dates too,

April 20th - Princess Elisabeth
May 6th - King Edward 7th died 1910
May 20th - King Edward buried 1910
June 4th - King George, 34, 1931
June 6th - Lord Halifax, 92, 1931

This book has provided a lot of information for my mother's side of the family - birthdays, deaths and confirmation of names.

I've continued the tradition of recording my own family's birthdays in this book. I've yet to add my mother's death. I'm not ready for that yet but I will add it one day.

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Mystery faces

In amongst the mountain of photographs I have inherited from my parents are a large number of unknown people. I thought I'd share some of these with you.

Written on the back is simply 'Margaret'
No idea who these cheerful chappies are
A pageant, I presume
On the back it reads 'Elsie'

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Living Evidence

Although a wealth of information can be mined from census, birth and death certificates, and other documentation, these often leave gaps over which we can only surmise. I've talked already about the gap in my father's life between him  leaving Scotland and arriving in London. What we seekers of family knowledge often forget to do is speak to our actual family.

My father always said he wished he'd listened more to the women speaking (his mother and aunts) at family gatherings. I now find myself in a similar position, wishing I'd asked my parents more. Now they are both dead, I can only go on memories and letters. I thankfully have one living link remaining - my mum's cousin, Pat - and this year I have put that connection to good use through letters and phone calls. This has answered several questions for me but raised others.

Remember to talk to your family while you have them.

John Paterson

Jane Paterson's father was a character who fascinated my father. It started with a family bible that had obviously been passed down through John to Jane to Lydia and then my father. This is what my father wrote about John.


When I started my research the only information I had regarding this ancestor was taken from my grandmother's marriage certificates and from a list of births registered in the family bible. I now know that he was born on 28th December 1798 in Dunscore, Dumfriesshire and that his parents were John Paterson, a farmer and Margaret Paterson, ms Dunn. I have been unable to substantiate his date of birth from the Old Parochial Records as registration for the Parish of Dunscore up to the early nineteenth century was very sparse, in fact for some years there are no entries at all on the OPRS.

He was the eldest of nine children, six boys and three girls, born between 1798 and 1814.

The date of birth is taken from an entry in the family bible and the place of birth is taken from two sources:-
(1) On the birth certificate of one of his sons the birthplace of the father is given as Dunscore,
(2) In the 1861 census for the parish of Kells, Dunscore appears in the "where born" column.

John Paterson was born in 1798 in the South West of Scotland. If we consider that Robert Burns was born in 1759 in Alloway in nearby Ayrshire and spent part of his life as an Exciseman in Dumfries then it is not unreasonable to assume that the Scotland that John Paterson was born into was not unlike that depicted by Burns in his poems. But was he a boozey Tam o Shanter type as illustrated in the poem of that name or a pious Cottar wending his weary way home to his loving family after a hard days toil?

I have no record of him until 1831 but one strange fact to emerge is a copy I have of Samuel Johnson's Dictionary, printed in 1820, with the inscription of "John Paterson, Bradford, Yorkshire, 1828". To my untrained eye the handwriting is similar to that in the family bible.

From the IGI at Huddersfield I obtained the fact that a John Paterson married a Mary McKean on 4th October 1831 at Crossmichael, Kirkcudbrightshire.

The marriage is confirmed by the following extract from the OPRs for the Parish of Crossmichael, "4 Oct 1831 At Plain John Paterson, Castle Douglas to Margaret McKean in Plain". The place name was not very clear and my interpretation may not be accurate.

The following is taken from the handwritten entries in the family bible:-
Margret born 6 September 1832
John and Elizabeth born 20 August 1834
Their mother died 20 August 1835
Margret died 1 October 1850
John died on the Isle of Ceylon 1 July 1858.

The births of the twins were confirmed by the following extract from the OPRs for Crossmichael:-
     20 August 1834
     John lawful son of John Paterson, Stone Dyker and Margaret McKean at Burnside of Crossmichael.
     Elizabeth lawful daughter of John Paterson, Stone Dyker and Margaret McKean at Burnside of Crossmichael.

The local publican identified Burnside as the first cottage past the war memorial on the left hand side of the road from Crossmichael to Castle Douglas. It is not a two storey building but the top story has been added this century.

The death of Mary McKean is substantiated by a record I found in the Ewart Library, Dumfries listing of Memorials Records for Crossmichael which read "In sacred memory of Mary McKlan spouse of John Paterson who died on 20th August 1835 aged 27 years". Having subsequently viewed the actual gravestone I can understand how McKean could be read as McKlan.

On my grandmother's first marriage certificate her father is registered as a Stone Dyker, ie a person who builds stonewalls, but on her second marriage certificate this is changed to a Builder and Contractor. Did he become a businessman in later life or was this just a case of poetic licence on my grandmother's part. As I get deeper into my research some of the facts I unearth jog my memory about things I heard in my childhood. I can now clearly remember my mother telling me of a relation who built stonewalls.

John Paterson remarried in 1838. This time he married Lydia Hall and the wedding took place at Parton. I have no record of this marriage other than a reference to it on the birth certificate of their ninth child. There were eleven children by this marriage, the last twin in 1858 when John Paterson was sixty years old.

In the census for 1841 for the Parish of Irongray I found the following entry:-
37 Larbreck
                                                                    
John     Paterson  - 35 years old, Ag Lab
Lydia         "         - 25
Margeret    "         -   8
William       "         -   2
Robert       "          -   4 months

As in many instances in census returns some of the ages can not be depended upon. If John Paterson was born in December 1798 then he should have been 42 in April 1841. However the age entered for his wife Lydia agrees with the age of 56 given in her death certificate in 1872 and the children's ages agree with corresponding entries in the family bible.

 Margeret is obviously the daughter born to his first wife on 6th September 1832. As far as the twins born to his first wife, Elizabeth was living, at the time of the census, at Lochroan, Crossmichael with a Barnabus and Elizabeth McKean who I take to be her grandparents. I found no record for the other twin, John.
William's age of 8 agrees with the date of birth in the bible of 21st August 1839 and similarly the age of 4 months entered for Robert agrees with the bibledate of 25th January 1841.

In the 1851 census for the Parish of Irongray I found the family living at 4 Brochmore Cottages. Included in the census was John the son from his first marriage and seven children from the second. The eldest daughter, Margaret, from his first marriage had died in 1850 according to a bible entry. Again John Paterson's age is inaccurate although the ages given for his children agree with the dates of birth entered in the bible.

The birth certificate of his ninth child Joseph Kirkpatrick Paterson gives the place of birth as Morningside, New Galloway so it is possible that the family may have moved to a new address by 1855.

In the 1861 census for the parish of Kells, Kirkcudbrightshire I found an entry for John Paterson and his family. The address was not very clear but appeared to read "7 Marchiehall". However an extract from the Wigton Free Press of 9 September 1858 under deaths which read "At Colombo, Isle of Ceylonon 1st July, John Paterson son of John Paterson, Marchwell, New Galloway". This extract not only clarifies the address on the census but confirms the bible entry related to the death of John Paterson's son John by his first marriage.

The census included John Paterson, his wife Lydia and seven children. Two of the missing children were John Ann and Margret Lydia who died in 1859 and 1860 respectively. Also missing were the eldest son, William, and the eldest daughter, Jane Watson, who I assume had left home by that date. The names of all the other children agree with the names on the bible list although in some instances the ages do not entirely agree. John Paterson's occupation was registered as Stone Dyker as was that of his sons Robert and Thomas B.
The only Marchwell in New Galloway today is a house outside the village on the road to Ayr.

In checking the Valuation Rolls for Kirkcudbrightshire at the Hornall Museum in Kirkcudbright I found the following entry:-
     "New Galloway 1865
      House and garden, Back Street
      Proprietor, Robert Crosbie, Tea Dealer, 32 Duke Street, Whitehaven
      Occupier John Paterson, Dyker
      rent 5 Guineas"

There he was still living in New Galloway in 1865 but the address was different from the one on the census in 1861.

I could not find Back Street in the street map of New Galloway but a kind lady in one of the shops in the village told me that Back Street was in fact what is now an alleyway behind the Kenmure Arms Hotel which was just across the road from the shop.

John Paterson died on 3 July 1873 of chronic bronchitis at Old Kilpatrick, Dunbartonshire. His wife Lydia Hall died the previous year of the same complaint.

Why he moved from Galloway to the other side of the Clyde some time between 1865 and 1873 is a mystery, unless it was to find work. Assuming that some of his younger children were still living with him in Old Kilpatrick then it must have been quite a journey to move the family together with all the family goods  at least one hundred and fifty miles possibly with only the assistance of a handcart.

Since my grandmother also moved to Old Kilpatrick some time between 1871 and 1872 the question can be posed, did she follow her parents or vice versa?

Documents

1. Census Kells 1861
2. Death Certificate Lydia Hall Paterson 1872 Old Kilpatrick
3. Death Certificate John Paterson 1873 Old Kilpatrick
4. Census Irongray 1851

Birth Certificate

Extract No 19, Parish Minigaff
Name - John Patterson Gordon
When and Where Born - 12 July 1870, Creebridge, Minnigaff
 Sex - male
Name of Parents and Date and Place of Marriage - James Gordon, Ploughman
                                                                      Jane Gordon, ms Patterson
Married June, 1870, Crossmichael
Name of Informant - Lydia Patterson, Grandmother

Decisions, decisions...

I now have a decision to make. Do I concentrate on extending the branches of my family tree further back or do I look at building a richer picture of the lives of individuals in the tree?

There are certain individuals who interest me. I would love to learn more about Alfred Lockwood the musician. I'm also interested to find out more about both of my grandmothers, in particular Lydia's connection with St Mungo's in Alexandria.

I have a massive collection of documents and books which hold information on my family to go through, and a pile of photographs. All of these needs to be housed somewhere safe and in an environment that will not damage them.

My research is very much housebound, online or through the post. I have to fit it in around my family life and work. I'm sure I'm not alone in that situation.

I'll let you know what I decide.

Robert Whittaker and Jane Paterson - a mystery

I found this photograph of my paternal grandmother, Lydia Jane Whittaker earlier this year. She is sat on the front row, dressed in dark colours.

From her positioning, I wonder if the man sat next to her with the dark moustache is her father, Robert Whittaker. If so, it would follow that the woman next to him is Jane Paterson. There does seem to be a resemblance between the two women.

Family photographs

My parents at their wedding with Kath Jackson (my godmother) and Alec Small who married Mum's sister, Betty
My maternal grandparents, Alfred and Maud
My paternal grandparents, Lydia and Charles
Maud with her brother, Bertie

Joseph Lockwood

This is as far back as I can trace the Lockwood branch at this time. I have no details about Joseph other than that he was Charles' father. I have no details of Charles' mother. I have no idea when Joseph was born or died.

At the moment, this is a dead end.

Charles Lockwood, Elizabeth Sykes and Mary Hirst

Charles was born in 1785 in Kirkburton, Yorkshire. I have been unable to trace his mother or whether he had any siblings.

He married Elizabeth Sykes in 1804 in Kirkburton. Together they had five children. He later married Mary Hirst in 1824 in Kirkburton and they had four children.

I found an entry for him on the bankrupt directory in 1840. He was recorded as a worsted spinner.

The 1841, 1851 and 1861 census record his residence as Kirkburton. They state his occupations as weaver, fancy weaver and weaver worsted cotton.

In the 1851 census, the name Tom Hurst, 7 years old, appears as grandson and Tim Lockwood, 10 weeks old, also grandson. I have no idea whose children these are.

Charles died in 1866 in Yorkshire.

Elizabeth Sykes was born in 1785. She died in 1820, aged 35 years old. I have no further information about her.

Mary Hirst, Charles' second wife, was born in 1790 in Shelley, Yorkshire. She outlived Charles by two years, dying in 1868 in Hartshead, Yorkshire.

Sarah Marsden

An elderly Sarah with my grandmother, Maud Annie
 Sarah was born in 1808 in Yorkshire. She appears to have been an only child.

She married William Lockwood in 1827. Looking at other family trees, a lot of people have her marked down as Sarah Sykes. Her father was called Marsden. One of her children had Sykes for a middle name. I couldn't trace her mother's middle name. Could it be that her parents weren't married?

The 1861 census makes it clear that Sarah's family were part of a larger household. The address is Silver Hill, Almondbury. The head of the household was a James Taylor, Merchant. It looks like Sarah and her family lived and worked on the estate of the Taylor family. Looking at the actual handwritten copy of the census, James Taylor lived at Fenay Hall.

She died in the Huddersfield area.

William Lockwood

William was born in 1805 in Lepton, Huddersfield, Yorkshire. He appears to be one of nine children, four of which are his half siblings.

He married Sarah Marsden in 1827. Looking at other family trees, a lot of people have her marked down as Sarah Sykes but I've been unable to trace why this is.

He appears to have lived in Almondbury, Yorkshire, all his life.

In the 1841, 1851, 1861 and 1871 census, he is recorded as working as a gardener.

The 1861 census makes it clear that William's family were part of a larger household. The address is Silver Hill, Almondbury. The head of the household was a James Taylor, Merchant. It looks like William and his family lived and worked on the estate of the Taylor family. Looking at the actual handwritten copy of the census, James Taylor lived at Fenay Hall.

 He died in 1872 in the Huddersfield area.

Eliza Thackeray

This is my great grandmother, Eliza. She was born in 1851 in Leeds, Yorkshire, one of six children.

The 1861 and 1871 census have her resident in Headingley, Yorkshire.


I have an old book of birthdays and important dates called The Golden Text Book which bears the following writing on the inside cover,

"Alfred Lockwood, Practical Pianoforte Tuner, &C., 29 Albert Terrace, Burley Leeds."

The next page  reads,

"Miss Thackrah, January 1880".

The next cover reads,

"Miss Thackray, A present from her lover, Alfred. January 1880."

She married Alfred Lockwood in 1884 in Leeds. Her residence remained Headingley throughout the 1891 and 1901 census but in the 1911 census, that changed to Kirkstall. However, it is the same street address so I assume that the district name or boundaries changed.

She died in 1911, age 60 years old.

Alfred Lockwood

This is my great grandfather, the father of my maternal grandmother, Maud Annie Lodge, nee Lockwood. He was born in 1853 in Almondbury, Yorkshire.

I have an old book of birthdays and important dates called The Golden Text Book which bears the following writing on the inside cover,

"Alfred Lockwood, Practical Pianoforte Tuner, &C., 29 Albert Terrace, Burley Leeds."

The next page  reads,

"Miss Thackrah, January 1880".

The next cover reads,

"Miss Thackray, A present from her lover, Alfred. January 1880."

The 1861 census makes it clear that Alfred's family were part of a larger household. The address is Silver Hill, Almondbury. The head of the household was a James Taylor, Merchant. It looks like Alfred and his family lived and worked on the estate of the Taylor family. Looking at the actual handwritten copy of the census, James Taylor lived at Fenay Hall.

Details from census and other documents have Alfred working as the following,

1871 - clerk
1880 - piano tuner
1881 - musician
1891 - coal merchant
1901 - limited companys secretary

He married Eliza in 1884 in Leeds, Yorkshire. He appears to have lived in Almondbury up until 1880 when he was living in Burley. From then on, he seems to have lived in Headingley with or cum Burley, Yorkshire. He died in 1906.

Thomas Lodge and Mary Baildon

This is as far back as we have traced the Lodge branch of the family. These were the parents of David Lodge and his six siblings.

Thomas was born in 1776 in Yorkshire. He married Mary in 1801. The 1841 census has him resident in Kirkheaton, Yorkshire. The 1841 census records his occupation as labourer. He died in 1849 in Huddersfield.

Mary was born in 1780 in Lepton, Huddersfield, Yorkshire. The 1841 census states her occupation as winder and has her resident in Kirkheaton. After her husband's death, the 1851 census has her resident in Lepton.  She died later that year in Lepton.

Ann Castle

Ann was the wife of David Lodge. She was born in 1821 in Lepton, Yorkshire. As far as I can trace, she had no siblings.

She married David in 1841 in Kirkheaton, Yorkshire. The 1841 census has her resident in  Kirkheaton and then the 1841 census onwards places her in Lepton.

The 1861 census records her occupation as woollen weaver.

She died in Lepton.

Monday, 16 August 2010

David Lodge

David is my great great grandfather. He was born in 1816 in Yorkshire.

The records I have on him, reveal the following:

1816 - christening in Kirkheaton, Yorkshire
1830 - he appears in the bankrupt directory. He is resident in Almondbury, Huddersfield and working as a fancy manufacturer
1841 - he married Ann Castle in Kirkheaton
1841 - working as a fancy weaver
1851 census - resident in Lepton, working as a cotton dyer

He died in 1860.

Mary Elizabeth Lockwood

Mary was my great grandmother. She was born in 1849 in Almondbury, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. one of ten children. She lived in Almondbury until she married Luke in 1880. After that, she moved to Lepton.

1871 and 1881 census have her occupation recorded as dressmaker.

She died in 1927.

Luke Lodge

Luke is my great grandfather. He was born in 1957 in Lepton, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. He was one of eight children.

Details on his work life reveal the following:

1864 - farmer's boy
1871 - piecer
1881 - woollen spinner
1901 - yarn spinner

He married Mary Elizabeth Lockwood in 1880.

From census records, he appears to have lived in Lepton all his life although I do not have records of his death.

Maud Annie Lockwood

This is my maternal grandmother, Maud Annie Lockwood. She was born in 1885 in Leeds, West Yorkshire. Her younger brother, Bertram died as a young child so Maud was brought up as an only one.

From the way my mum and my aunt and uncle talked about her, Maud sounded like a hard working woman who looked after the rest of the family without complaining.

She worked as an English teacher so was obviously an educated woman.

As a child she lived in Headingley cum Burley before moving to Kirkstall in her twenties. She married Alfred in 1915. She lived in Kirkstall until she died in 1962, aged 77 years old.

Alfred William Lodge

This is my maternal grandfather. He was born in 1885 in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire. He had two sisters, Edith and Ethel. The impression my mother gave me of him is a dapper, well spoken, confident man. He was a singer in his spare time and encouraged my mother's interest in amateur dramatics. I think he was also quite a demanding person too.

He fought in the first world war. I have a photograph album taken of his army years and documentation of when he left the army.

The 1901 census records him as resident in Lepton, Huddersfield and working as a book binder. The 1910 census records his occupation as 'printer jobbing'.

He married Maud Annie Lockwood in 1915 in Burley. Maud was his first cousin. I assume that would have been frowned on at the time.

He remained in Kirkstall until 1963. His wife died in 1962 and he moved with my mum to Scotland. Unfortunately he died in December of that year. My mum always said he was lost without Maud.

Dorothy Jean Roberton, nee Lodge

This is my mother, Dorothy, or Dolly as she was known by friends and family. She was born in 1926 in Kirkstall, Leeds, West Yorkshire, the youngest of three children.

Although I knew the English side of my family well, my mother didn't talk about her past as much as my father so the information I have on her personal life is more patchy.

She met my father through her brother, Ken. Ken married Janice McGookin. Janice's parents were good friends of my father. Apparently my parents first met at Ken and Janice's wedding but the only memory my mum had of my dad was when her mother told her, "Dorothy, pull your skirt down. That man is looking at your knees." That man was my father.

My parents met again at a new year's eve party held by Ken and Janice. They got chatting and the rest is, as they say, history. They were engaged a few months later and got married in the summer.

Going through my parents things this year, I came across a batch of love letters between them during the few months between them meeting and getting married. They give a lovely picture of not only the growing relationship, warmth of feeling and wedding preparations but also what was happening in the world at the that time.

At this time there are no available census during my mother's lifetime but from other documentation, I put together these details.

She was confirmed at Kirkstall Church in 1941. From letters to my father, I have her address in Kirkstall in 1963 just before they were married that summer. Later that year, an electricity bill shows that she had moved to a new address in Bathgate, West Lothian, Scotland to be with my father. She took her widowed father, Alfred with her. Her mother had died in 1962.

By 1965, she and my father had moved to Coventry. I was born the following year. In 1967 we moved to York. My mother worked part time as a legal secretary, fitting it around bringing me up.

She eventually died in 2007, mainly from old age. We had moved her to be near us in South Yorkshire and she passed away in Barnsley Hospital.

Thomas Whittaker and Margaret

It gets very confusing with all these Thomas'. This Thomas was born in 1781 in Livesey, Lancashire. In the 1841 and 1851 census, he was recorded as resident in Blackburn, Lancashire.

He was a farmer.

He died aged 88 years old in 1869 in Bury, Lancashire.

I can't trace Margaret's maiden name or parentage. She was born in 1781 in Balderston, Lancashire. In the 1851 census, she is resident in Blackburn aged 70 years old. She was also recorded as working as a farmer. I have no record of her death.

This is as far back as I have traced the Whittaker family.

Thomas Whittaker and Susannah Simpson

These were Robert's parents. Thomas was born in 1815 in Clayton le Dale or Enfield, Lancashire.

In the 1841 census, he is resident in Blackburn, Lancashire. By the 1851 census, he has moved to Chorley, Lancashire and remained there until his death in 1872.

He married Susannah Simpson and had six children.

He worked as a calico printer and., cloth picker at printworks. In the 1871 census, he was recorded as unemployed.

Calico is a type of cloth, heavier than linen and made of cotton. A calico printer drew a pattern on paper, as wide as the cloth. The pattern was divided into squares about 8 inches by 12 inches and cut into wooden blocks. The cloth was laid on a table and the blocks covered with dye and placed on the calico to make the print.

If he worked in the print industry then it may be that Robert did too and had this skill to take to the printing factories in Scotland.

Susannah was born in 1817 in Enfield, Lancashire. I have her resident in Chorley in the 1851, 1861 and 1871 census. I can't trace her parentage.

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.
Documents
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

Robert Whittaker

Robert was my grandmother's father. He was English, born in 1853 in Chorley, Lancashire. He married a widower, Jane Watson Paterson in 1885 in Bonhill, Dunbartonshire, Scotland.

I can trace his residence from census and other documents:

1853 - Chorley, Lancashire
1861 - Chorley, Lancashire
1871 - Chorley, Lancashire
1885 - Bonhill, Dunbartonshire
1885 - Alexandria, Dunbartonshire
1891 - Bonhill, Dunbartonshire
1901 - Bonhill, Dunbartonshire
1906 - Bonhill, Dunbartonshire
1918 - died in Bonhill, Dunbartonshire.

He worked in the print industry as back tinter for calico printer, print field hand, printfield engine keeper and printfield worker.

I assume that he moved to Scotland for work as there was increasing industry and jobs in Jamestown (where Bonhill is located) at the time.

I know that he and my grandmother, Lydia were involved in St Mungo's Episcopal Church in Alexandria and were both very religious people.

Thomas Roberton and Euphemia Hall

This is as far back as my father managed to get for the Robertons and I've had no success in tracing back further either.

We have no birth or death dates for Thomas or Euphemia. What we do know is that they married in 1799 in Eastwood, Renfrewshire, Scotland. They had four sons - James, John, Archibold and Thomas. I can surmise that Euphemia's father was called Hall but have no proof. I cannot trace Thomas's parentage.

These are my great great great grandparents.

Janet Taylor

My great, great grandmother, I have few details about Janet. She was born in 1811 somewhere in Scotland. I have no details of her parents. She married Thomas in 1825 in the parish of Eastwood, Scotland.

In the 1841 census, she was living at Greenhead, Eastwood, Renfrewshire, Scotland with her husband and their four children, Margaret, Euphemia, Charles and Thomas (all names which crop up time and time again in the Roberton family).

She died somewhere between 1841 and 1870 in Scotland.

The next Thomas Roberton, my great great grandfather

Thomas seemed to be a popular name in the Roberton family. This Thomas, my great great grandfather was born in 1804 in Eastwood, Renfrewshire, Scotland. My father wrote this about him.

The record of my grandfather's birth shows that his parents were Thomas and Janet Roberton but I have been unable to obtain any further information at this time.
The IGI shows a Thomas Roberton/Janet Taylor were married 6 December 1825 at the parish of Eastwood.
They were both stated to be deceased on the certificate of their son's second marriage on 5 June 1874 but on the certificate for his first marriage only Janet Roberton is stated to be deceased. This means that Thomas Roberton my great grandfather died between 19th July 1870 and 5th June 1874.
In a 1851 census for the Parish of Eastwood, the head of the house is shown as Thomas Roberton, a widower aged 45, with two sons and 2 daughters. The youngest son is a Thomas aged 10 and this age makes it possible that the son was my grandfather who was born in 1841. If this is true it would mean that the head of the house was my great grandfather and that my great grandmother, Janet Taylor, was dead at that time.
The names of the children (Margaret, Euphemia, Charles, Thomas) seemed to connect with the future members of my family.
The IGI at Huddersfield included the following entries for the parish of Eastwood:


30 May
1799
Roberton Thomas
Euphemia Hall
HM

13 October
1799
Roberton James
Thomas Roberton/ Euphemia Hall
MB


15 March
1801
Roberton John
Thomas Roberton/ Euphemia Hall
MB


26 September
1802
Roberton Archibold
Thomas Roberton/ Euphemia Hall
MB


1 December
1804
Roberton Thomas
Thomas Roberton/ Euphemia Hall
MB
The date of birth of the youngest son relates closely with the 45 quoted as the age of the house in the 1851 census. In which case the Thomas Roberton and Euphemia Hall married on 30th May 1799 would have been my great great grandparents.

Helen McIntosh

Helen was Thomas' wife. Again, I have no photographs of her. I know she was born in 1849 in New Tyle, Forfarshire Scotland, and died in 1927.

From census and other records, I can trace her residence:

1849 - New Tyle
1851 - New Tyle
1861 - Alyth, Perthshire
1874 - Meigle
1881 - Bonhill, Dunbartonshire
1891 - Bonhill, Dunbartonshire
1901 - Bonhill, Dunbartonshire

Her parents were Lauchlan McIntosh (1825 - 1905) and Henrietta Hardie (1826 - 1905). Helen was the eldest of nine children.

Thomas Roberton

Thomas was my great grandfather. I have no photographs of him. He was born in 1841 in Pollockshaws, Glasgow, Scotland. My father's notes included the following entry about Thomas.

I started with no knowledge whatsoever of my grandfather. I do not remember my father talking about him nor have I any photos of him.
The only source of information originally available to me was my father's birth certificate. This provided several items of interest:-
- my grandfather's name was Thomas Roberton and he was a blacksmith.
- my grandparents were married on 5 June 1874 in the parish of Meigle.
Their marriage certificate provided the following information:-
- Thomas Roberton's parents were,
       Thomas Roberton, clerk, deceased
       Janet Roberton, ms Taylor, deceased
- Thomas Roberton was a widower at the time of his marriage to Helen McIntosh. (Subsequently I obtained the certificate for his first marriage which was on 19th July to Agnes Abercrombie).
- The witnesses were James McIntosh and Annie McIntosh. Anne McIntosh appears in the 1881 census as sister in law to Thomas Roberton but this is the first time James McIntosh appears. Is he a brother in law?
- Thomas Roberton was a blacksmith and Helen McIntosh was a domestic servant.
- Thomas Roberton's usual address was recorded as 17 Levenbank Terrace, Jamestown.
From the IGI at Huddersfield I obtained the information that Thomas Roberton was born on 4 March 1841 at Renfrew/Eastwood and that his parents were Thomas and Janet (ms Taylor) Roberton.
This date of birth is in conflict with the age quoted in his two marriage certificates.
- In the certificate of his first marriage on 19th July 1870 his age is given as 25, but if he was born in 1841 he would have been 29 by this date.
- In the certificate for his second marriage on 5th June 1874 his age is given as 30 but if he was born in 1841 he would have been 33.
The 1881 census showed his living at 55 Levenbank Terrace, Jamestown in the parish of Bonhill, Dunbartonshire. His birthplacewas recorded as Renfrewshire, Pollockshaws. His age was quoted as 38 years but again if he was born in 1941 he would have been 40 at the time of the census. Also quoted in the census as living at the same address were:-
- Helen Roberton, wife, age 30, born Forfarshire, New Tyle
- Thomas, son, 5
- Henrietta, daughter, 4
- James L, son                  1
- Charles, son, x days (my father)
- Anne McIntosh,  sister-in-law
Levenbank Terrace was one of three terraces built by the owners of the textile mills as homes for their workers. When I was at primary school in Jamestown the three terraces had become almost representative of three different levels of class. Milton Terrace was at the lower level followed by Napierston Terrace while the 'better people' lived in Levenbank Terrace.
In the Alexandria cemetery the gravestone for the familly plot carries the following inscription:-
                 "In Memory of
                  Thomas Roberton
                  Died 31st July 1898 aged 57 years
                  His Wife
                  Helen McIntosh
                  Died 30th April 1927 aged 77 years
                  Their Daughter
                  Henrietta 
                  Wife of Hugh Paton
                  Died 12th February 1904 aged 27 years
                  Janet
                  2nd daughter of above
                  Thomas and Helen Roberton
                  Died 19th February 1966 aged 82 years
                  John Roberton
                  Died 4th June 1968 aged 81 years"
In a search of the 1851 census for the parish of Eastwood I found an entry for a Roberton with the head of the house a Thomas Roberton, a widower aged 45, with 2 sons and 2 daughters. The youngest son was a Thomas aged 10. This ties up with the age my grandfather would have been in 1851.
My grandfather had eight children (four sons and four daughters) and died on 31 July 1898 at the age of 57 years. He is buried in Alexandria cemetary.
His wife, Helen (nee McIntosh) lived a further 29 years after his death.

My paternal grandmother, Lydia Jane Roberton nee Whittaker

This was my father's mother, Lydia. From what my father said, she was a kindly, hard working, religious woman. Here's what he wrote about her.

My mother was born on 4th December 1885, the only child of Thomas and Jane Whittaker, in the parish of Bonhill in the county of Dunbartonshire.
 Her father was English and from stories she told me of visits to her relations in Bradford and Chorley, I know that she was very proud of her Englsh background. However, she seemed to drift apart from those aunts and cousins she talked about with affection and she never visited them to my knowledge after she was married.
Her mother was from Kircudbrightshire and was a widow when she married my grandfather.
The great love of my mother's life was her church, St  Mungo's Episcopal, Alexandria. This was known locally as the English church. When she was born, St Mungo's was not in existence and she was confirmed in St Augustine's, Dunbarton. She and her father were among the founder members of the church in Alexandria and she worked for it in almost every capacity. She was in the choir, she was a Sunday school teacher and I remember the armfuls of flowers that came from my father's garden when it was my mother's turn to "do the flowers". My father was brought up as a Presbyterian which is the established church of Scotland, but to please my mother he joined 'her' church and was confirmed into it.
My father was in regular employment and with the garden we were never short of fresh vegetables so there was always plenty of food in the Roberton household. This, added to the fact that my mother was a superb cook, meant that mealtimes were something to be looked forward to. 

My paternal grandfather, Charles Roberton

My grandparents all died before I was born so any impression I have of them has always been based on the stories my parents told me.

This is my father's father, Charles Roberton. He was born in Jamestown, Dunbartonshire, Scotland in 1881. This is what my father wrote about him.

My father was  born on 25th March 1881 in Jamestown in the parish of Bonhill, Dunbartonshire. His parents were Thomas and Helen Roberton and he was the fourth child and third son of a family of eight.
He was educated at Jamestown school and I can remember him telling me that when he was about eleven or twelve years old he worked what was called 'half and half'. That is, he worked part of the day and went to school for the remainder of the time.
About 1907/08 he emigrated to America and stayed there for fourteen years mainly around the Detroit area, although I believe he also had a spell working as a fireman on the Trans Canadian railway.
A search of the Detroit City Directories showed the following entries for a Roberton, Chas:-
1911                                                             Boards                       875 Congress
1914             Watchman                                      "                           37 Hamtramck
1915              Machinist          Pd & Co                  "                           241 Concord
1916                   "                    "                                                   251 Meldrum
1918             Autoworker                                 Resides                      91 Avalon,
                                                                                                      Highland Park
I have a small document holder of my fathers which contains two documents (a) an Employee Pass dated 1918 for the Ford Motor Company with his photograph attached to it and (b) a Registration Certificate in my father's name with the address 94 Avalon and the date 12 Sept 1918 on it. These two documents tied my father to the directory entry for 1918 ayt 94 Avalon.
His eldest brother, Thomas also emigrated and did in fact remain permanently in America. The fact that Thomas was in Detroit at the same time as my father is confirmned by an entry from the Detroit City Directories for 1914 which records a Thomas J Roberton, a plumber, with a house at 37 Hamtramck. This is the same address as a Chas Roberton was boarding at in 1914.
My father became a naturalised American citizen on 25th September 1917. He returned to Scotland for what was to be a visit, my my mother, got married and never returned to his adopted country. His American citizenship did in fact cause a minor problem during the second world war as he had to technically register as a foreign citizen.
He did not pass an apprenticeship as all his brothers had, but obtained a position in 1922 as a labourer in what had been a large estate on the banks of Loch Lomond at Balloch. The estate had been owned by 'the Browns of Balloch' but was later taken over by the Glasgow Corporation and run as a public park. During the thirty odd years he worked there he became an excellent gardener and our own garden was ever the envy of all our neighbours.
He was not a talkative man except when discussing his garden. Our cottage was situated at a crossroads near to the back entrance of the park and the road continued up the hill to a succession of farms. On a summer evening, my father would walk up the hill to a gate about half a mile away. There he would fill his clay pipe with a strong tobacco called Thick Black, light up, and leaning on the gate spend a contemplative half hour staring down to the vale below until it was nearly dark,then he would slowly saunter back home.