Newsletter Editor - this is the full version, with references, of the article published, together with illustrations, in the Newsletter October 2007.


By Robert D. Watt, North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Member 6555

Copyright 2007

When I was a boy, I was always fascinated by my father’s middle name, Cuthill, which his mother then explained to me was her family name and that the family came from Glasgow.  Once I had finished my formal studies in history in the late 1960s, I wanted to learn more about Granny’s family background.  Her first names were Isobel Brown and I was able to have a long chat with her on 2 January 1970.

She told me she was born in Glasgow 10 April 1885 and that she thought her parents were married around 1876 or ’78.  Her father James (illust. 1) was a brass finisher, having apprenticed to that trade at a very young age.  She thought he had died between 1906 and 1914.  As our conversation unfolded, it became apparent, by her own admission, that as she had left Scotland when she was 21 and hadn’t paid a lot of attention to family stories, there were many details that were sketchy at best.  She did state without hesitation that her paternal grandfather was Robin Cuthill (illust. 2), who had his own cartage business in Kilmarnock and had “quite a bit of money” when he came to Glasgow, but lost most of it in a bank which she thought was called the Clyde Trust.  Robin’s wife’s name was Mary Ann Hopkins.  Granny’s mother she said was Isabelle Brown (illust. 3) who was born in Saltcoats, the daughter of Captain John Brown and his wife Janet Barclay.  Apparently, the Barclays were an old Ardrossan family and had some connection to Ardrossan Castle.  Gran said Janet (Barclay) Brown died when Isabelle was only 17 or 18 and then Isabelle went to live with an aunt in Glasgow.  Gran believed that after his wife died “Captain John sailed more and more than before”.  Isabelle had one brother and one sister, whose married name was Jean McQueen and who ran a temperance hotel in Crieff and whose husband was a sea Captain.  Apparently Captain John Brown was buried in Saltcoats.

Granny explained that she had eight siblings; her sisters Margaret “Peggy”, who married Bob Russell, Mary Ann “Polly”, Jeanie, Elizabeth and Annie and her brothers were James and Robert “Uncle Bob”.  When Gran was about 12 she spent a lot of time with Peggy, whom she thought was about 16 years older than herself, and Bob Russell, and lived with them first on Stevens and then on Cedar.  She went to school in the north west district of Glasgow, first to Wilton Street School.  When Granny’s parents were first married they lived in the older part of Glasgow, then in a flat on Abingdon Street in the north west part of the Burgh.

She thought her grandfather Robin may have had an interest in a business called Wordie and Company, truckers and movers.  He had three children; James, her father, and his two sisters, Elizabeth, who married a MacArthur and Mary or Kate who married a Mcfarlane.  Her mother Isabelle, had a brother George, who was also a sea captain and who was cited for bravery for saving an ice bound ship on the Great Lakes in Canada.

Granny described her father as “quite a clever man”, who later became interested in electricity.  He worked first for Brown’s shipyard and then went to work for a Glasgow firm, Haddow and Company, electrical engineers.  James invented a new kind of electric switch and went to India where he superintended a job on a ship called the City of Rome.  Granny remembered that he went to Calcutta and she recalled the day he came home.  James was a Mason, a member of the Kilwinning Lodge.  She noted that all the families on both sides were Presbyterians.  The church that Granny attended when she was a little girl was on Woodside.

When I look over the rough hand written notes of our conversation, I realize what an amateur I was in oral history techniques and, of course, regret now that I didn’t probe more.  But these sorts of recollections are, I think, quite representative of the scattered and quite unsystematic records taken by family historians just starting out.  Nevertheless, it proved a good foundation on which to build a search in the official records.  Although there are still many sources to be explored, nearly forty years after my conversation with Granny, a substantial and sometimes intriguing portrait of her ancestors is emerging.  This portrait is the subject of this essay.  Moreover, much of what she recalled had been proven correct, at least in broad outline and many of her hints have been a godsend in the search.

At the outset I need to acknowledge invaluable help received from cousins on both sides of the Atlantic; Lilian Anderson in Lochwinnoch, Isobel Maxwell in Lochmaben, Joy Muir in Crieff, John Thomson in East Kilbride and Jean Pierce and her late son-in-law Richard David Howlett in Vancouver.  Any errors of fact or interpretation are, of course, all mine.

So what can be said with certainty or speculated on with some assurance of being on the right track about Isobel Brown Cuthill’s immediate family and her Cuthill and Brown ancestors?

Firstly, it is clear that the generation of Cuthills before hers lived for a time in Kilmarnock and the Browns in the Saltcoats area.  The men made their living variously as agricultural labourers, tradesmen and merchant seamen.

Isobel’s parents, James Cuthill and Isabella Brown were married 5 May 1876 at 21 Abbotsford Place, Gorbals District, Glasgow.  James 21, was a journeyman brassfinisher, the son of Robert Cuthill, a “Railway Contractor’s carter” and Mary Ann Hopkins, deceased.  Isabella, 20, a Wincey Power Loom Weaver was the daughter of John Brown, Master Mariner, deceased and Janet Barclay, deceased.[1]  A key statement in this record turned out to be incorrect.  Isabella’s father was not John, but William Brown, a merchant seaman, the son of William Brown, a cooper, and Isbell (sic) Angus.[2]  Captain William Brown died aged on 37 at Hamilton Street in Saltcoats on 27 November 1856, when his daughter Isabella was only a little more than a year old.[3]  The informant at his death was one of his older sisters, Janet Robb, who had married David Robb, a sailor.[4]  So my grandmother’s maternal grandfather had died decades before she was born, more than enough to account for the error in his first name.

How did James Cuthill and Isabella Brown meet?  Granny had provided the clue which ultimately led to the answer.  Even before Isabella’s mother’s death, which turned out to have occurred in 1873, Isabella had moved from Saltcoats to Glasgow, where she lived with Hector and Margaret Morrison in a flat at 51 Commercial Street, just two numbers away from where Robin Cuthill lived with his family, at No. 53.[5]  Margaret Morrison was another older sister of Isabella’s father, Captain William Brown.[6],[7]  So the two Ayrshire-born young people met as neighbours and fell in love.

The Cuthill/Brown marriage certificate permitted a swift construction of family trees back beyond the beginning of the 19the century, using birth, marriage and death records, OPRs, various censuses and valuation rolls.

Luckily, James Cuthill’s paternal grandmother, Mary McWhinnie, died in the spring of that wonderful year 1855 and from her death record it is possible to sketch the first generation of these Cuthills in the Kilmarnock area of Ayrshire.  Mary died in Kilmarnock 15 May 1855, aged 70. She was a native of Maybole, Ayrshire, the daughter of Hugh McWhinnie and Ann McComb.[8]  No record of her birth has been found yet in the OPRs for Maybole but one can assume she was born circa 1785.  There is a record of two siblings, Susanna born or baptized 31 October 1786 and Robert McWhinnie on 19 February 1790, both in the Parish of Maybole.[9]  Mary and her husband John Cuthill had six sons, listed in her death record as John, 41, George, 31 (deceased), Alexander 36, Robert, 34 (my grandmother’s grandfather), Gavan, 32, and Hugh, 30.  None of the births or baptisms of these Cuthills have turned up in the OPRs, so we can only extrapolate birthdates from the ages shown above.  However, other evidence, beginning with the 1841 census, allows some educated guesses.  Happily, also, the gravestone erected by John Cuthell (sic) in honour of his parents John and Mary, survives in excellent condition in St. Cuthbert’s churchyard, Monkton (illust. 4).  This gives a death date for John, 29 August 1842, aged 48, and confirms the death date for Mary, already noted.

The 1841 Census for the Parish of Monkton and Prestwick[10] records John Cuthil, 45, labourer, Mary Cuthil, 50, Gavin 15 and Hugh 10, with only Mary born in Ayrshire, the rest outside the County.  Later census evidence for Gavin and Hugh’s brothers Alexander and Robert, indicate that they were born, respectively, in Tollcross and Barony, in Lanarkshire.  So perhaps John Cuthill was born in Lanarkshire also and found a bride in Ayrshire but went north again where his children were born, c. 1814-1825.  The gravestone suggests a birth year for John Cuthill of c. 1793/4.  The only birth record for a John Cuthel (sic) close to this is for a boy born 22 March 1793 in the Parish of Old Monkland, the son of John Cuthel and Ann Speers.[11]

The indexing and digitization of the Old Parish Registers has made it possible to confirm that this John Cuthel is, with virtual certainty, my four greats grandfather.  His parents were married on 11 March 1786[12], when John Cuthel, a sinker, and Ann Spiers were both resident in the Parish of Gorbals.  Over the next nearly 20 years, John and Ann had at least eight children, seven of whom can be found in the Old Parish Registers.  In birth order they were:

1.  George, born 4 August 1788 and baptized at Shuttlestown [sic][13]

2.  Gaven, borth 10 November 1790[14]

3.  John. Referred to above.

4.  Jean, born 18 May 1796[15]

5.  Jean, born 7 June 1798[16]

6.  Un-named in record, possibly James, born 11 January 1801[17]

7.  William, born 20 November 1805[18]

In these birth records John Cuthel or Cuthill is variously described as a sinker, an “Ingen Man” at Hutchestown, “Engineer Clyde Ironworks”, “labourer Clyde”, “Labourer Hutchestone”, and a “Labourer Tollcross”.  It is worth quoting the birth record for William in full, “Cuthil John Cuthil Labourer Tollcross and Ann Spiers had their 8th child, born the 20th Novr bapd 5th Decr named William. Willm Paterson & Thos. Robertson wit.”

It is interesting that in light of the subsequent history of this family that the earliest identifiable ancestor was involved in the burgeoning industries of the Clyde valley, then one of his sons went south to Ayrshire before part of the family returned to Glasgow.

However, what can be set out with even greater certainty, shows that the first generation of these Cuthills looks like this:


John Cuthill  1793-1842

  married c. 1812/1814 Mary McWhinnie of Maybole c. 1785-1855, daughter of Hugh McWhinnie and Ann McComb


1.  John, born c. 1814

  Possible spouse, Mary Bowes  … issue

2.  George born c. 1816/18; died before 15 May 1855

3.  Alexander, born c. 1819  Tollcross, Lanarkshire

  Married 22 or 23 June 1847, Monkton, Helen Andrew, daughter of William Andrew, mason and Helen Dykes[19]; born in Monkton Parish, c. 1823.

  Alexander died 22 December 1900 in Kilmarnock[20]

  Helen died 8 March, 1898 in Kilmarnock.[21]

4.  Robert, born Barony, Lanarkshire, c. 1821

  Married 1st   Mary Ann Tod Hopkins 17 December 1847 (when Robert was resident in the Parish of Dalry and Mary Ann lived in Point House near Westmuir in Kilmarnock Parish)[22].  Mary Ann was the daughter of James Hopkin, a farm labourer from Riccarton and Elizabeth Stewart.  She was born 6 November 1825 in Kilmarnock[23] and she died at 53 Commercial Street, Glasgow, 16 June 1865, aged 39.[24]

  Married 2nd  Margaret Woodburn, 20 November 1874 in Glasgow.[25] Margaret, born 18 April 1828, was the daughter of John Woodburn, farmer at High Bowhill in the Parish of Loudoun and Agnes Lyon.[26]  Prior to her marriage, she had a relationship with William Paterson.  They had an illegitimate son John, born 11 August 1850, in the Parish of Ochiltree.[27]  For a time John kept the name of his natural father, while living in his grandfather John Woodburn’s house, but by 1871 when he was an apprentice blacksmith he had adopted his mother’s family name.[28]  John Woodburn married Sarah Wallace on 8 September 1893 in the Free Manse, Ochiltree Parish.  On the marriage record his mother is listed as Margaret Cuthill, m.s. Woodburn.  His father’s name is not given.[29]  Margaret Cuthill left Glasgow in the 1890’s and by the time of the census of 1901 she was living in Ochiltree in the same neighbourhood as her son.  The census notes that she is a widow.[30]  Curiously, when she died, 8 February 1909 at Trabbochburn, Parish of Stair, she was listed as a housekeeper and single with no reference to her marriage to Robert Cuthill.[31]  There is no evidence that she maintained any contact with the Cuthills after 1888 even though Robert’s son James named his first child and eldest daughter, Margaret Woodburn Cuthill.

Robert died 20 July 1888 in Glasgow, Camlachie District.[32]

5.  Gavan or Gavin.  Appears only in the two official records mentioned above: his mother’s death record and the 1841 census.  The former suggests a birth year of c. 1826, the latter c. 1823.

6.  Hugh, like his brother Gavin, can only be located in the same two records.  The first record suggests a birth year of c. 1831 and the second of the c. 1825.


1.  John Cuthill

  There are two records which suggest that John was an engine fitter

  married to Mary Bowes, a daughter of James Bowes, who appears to have been a resident of Kilmarnock c. 1860-64

  The first is the record of the birth of a daughter Helen 27 September, 1863 at No. 3, Braeside in Kilmarnock.[33]  Helen is listed as the daughter of John Cuthill engine fitter, and Mary Bowes, whose marriage took place 15 April 1855 in Valparaiso [Chile].  The informant is James Bowes, Grandfather, who signed in his own hand.  The second is the death record of Helen’s older sister, Elizabeth who died 12 December 1864 at Waterloo Street, Kilmarnock, aged 3.[34]  In this record, John is again described as an “Enginefitter”. There is no trace of the family in the 1861 census for Kilmarnock and Elizabeth’s birth is not recorded in the Burgh.  Nor is there any record of the deaths of John or Mary in Scotland.  Perhaps the family returned to Chile and John pursued his trade there.

2.  Alexander Cuthill

  Alexander was a joiner and he and his wife Helen had a big family.  I am listing the children here to provide a basis for future research.  It would seem likely that there are some descendants somewhere in Scotland to this day.

  The census records suggest that Alexander and Helen lived on Grange Street in Kilmarnock from at least 1855 until her death in 1898.  Of all the Cuthills, this branch seems to have cast its lot most firmly with Kilmarnock and the growing manufacturing base of the 19th century burgh, especially in carpet production.  With each child’s name, an occupation is listed, according to the censuses of 1851 Monkton and Prestwick, and 1861 and 1871 for Kilmarnock.

  Children of Alexander Cuthill (c.1812-1900) and Helen Andrew (c.1813-1898)

· Alexander; born or baptized, Parish of Monkton and Prestwick, 6 November 1843[35], scholar

· John: born Monkton Parish c. 1849.  Shop boy, watchmaker.

Married 1st aged 25, 28 November 1873, Parish of Dalry, Ayrshire when his usual residence was 53 Commercial Street, Glasgow, Mary Boyle, 22, Domestic servant, daughter of William Boyle and Agnes Graham.[36] … issue (2 sons, 3 daughters)

Married 2nd Elizabeth Benjamin [sp?]

Married 3rd Mary Rice

Died, aged 81, 11 August 1929, in Beith, Ayrshire[37]

· William; born Monkton Parish, c. 1850 (six months before census of 1851)[38]

Scholar, woolen carpet weaver

· Helen; born c. 1852 Kilmarnock[39], scholar, cap ornamenter

· Hugh; born 24 June 1855 West Grange Street, Kilmarnock.[40]  Died 3 October 1855 Grange Street, Kilmarnock[41]

· Mary; born 9 August 1856 Grange Street, Kilmarnock[42],  bonnet knitter, sewing machinist (1881)

· Agnes; born 15 February 1859, 32 Grange Street, Kilmarnock[43]

Married, 23 August 1878, age 20, listed as “machinist”, from Grange Street, Kilmarnock, James Wilson, 22, Fireman, son of James Wilson, Sawer, and Elizabeth Sellars[44] Children (as of 1891 census); James, 12, Ellen, 10, Elizabeth, 8, Agnes, 5, Alexander, 3, Mary, 1.[45]

· Margaret; born 17 June 1861  32 Grange Street, Kilmarnock.[46]  Died 13 January 1864, same address, of gangrene lasting two weeks.[47]

· Hugh; born 2 November 1863, 32 Grange Street, Kilmarnock[48]

Married Margaret Boyd

Died, widower, 27 March 1950, 8 Logan Drive, Troon[49].  At least one son Alexander

· James; born 16 May 1866.[50] 30 Grange Street, Kilmarnock.  Died 25 September 1866 of Bronchitis, 30 Grange Street. Kilmarnock.[51]

· Margaret Cuthill; born 31 May 1869, 30 Grange Street, Kilmarnoc,[52] scholar (1881).

My Granny didn’t speak about any of these Cuthills even though they were cousins of her father’s presumably because the two families had little contact after Alexander’s brother Robert left Kilmarnock about 1863.  However, it is noteworthy that when Alexander’s son John married in 1873 he was living in the same building in Glasgow as his uncle Robert and perhaps was lodging with him in the same flat.

3.  Robert Cuthill

  Robert had a varied occupational career, being at times an agricultural servant, and a grocer, but the bulk of his working life was spent as a carter, as Granny had suggested.  The official records don’t really confirm whether he had his own business at any time or worked for others.  Married in Kilmarnock District in 1847, Robert and Mary Ann Hopkin had six children; Granny only recalled three because, as I discovered, three died well before she was born.

Children of Robert Cuthill and Mary Ann Tod Hopkin

· Elizabeth; born or baptized in Kilmarnock 18 December 1848[53]; married aged 22 on 30 December, 1870 at 53 Commercial Road, Glasgow – Robert McArthur, 24, brassfounder, son of Robert McArthur, Teacher of Dancing and Mary Gillespie.  At the time, Elizabeth’s father Robert was listed as a boilermaker’s Carter.[54]  In the Census of 1891, Robert and Elizabeth McArthur were shown living at 60 Marlborough Street, Glasgow in a flat with three rooms with one or more windows.  Robert, head of the house, was 44, a brassfinisher, employer, b. Stirlingshire, Bannockburn, Elizabeth, wife, 42, b. Kilmarnock, Mary, 19, power loom weaver, b. Glasgow, Elizabeth, 17, French polisher, b. Partick, Margaret, 15, power loom weaver, b. Ayr in Ayrshire, Jessie, 13, Message Girl, b. Ayr, Robert, 11, scholar, b. Ayr, James 8, scholar, b. Glasgow, and George, 4, b. Glasgow.[55]  Elizabeth died, 4 April 1931 at 864 Rutherglen Road, Glasgow, aged 82, the widow of Robert McArthur.[56]

· John; born or baptized 16 February 1851 in Kilmarnock.[57] Died 21 June 1868 at Commercial Street, in Glasgow, age 17, single, ironwork furnaceman.  Cause of death was Phithisis pulmonalis.  It is noteworthy that the informant was his sister, Lizzie who reported their mother’s name incorrectly as Amelia Ann Hopkins.[58]

· Mary; born or baptized 24 June, 1853 in Kilmarnock.[59]

Married. 25 November, 1870 at 5 Abbotsford Place, Glasgow, as a Cotton Power loom weaver, aged 18, living at 74 Centre Street, Glasgow, John McFarlane, 21, journeyman cooper, son of William McFarlane, Carting Contractor’s Foreman and Jane Frame.  Mary’s father Robert listed as Railway agents carter.[60]  The McFarlanes can be found in the census of 1891 in Paisley at No. 4 Pattison Street, in a flat with three rooms with window(s). John Macfarlane [sic] was the head, a cooper, employed, b. Glasgow, Mary 29, William, 19 Cooper, Mary 18 Millworker, b. Kirknewton, Jane, 16, millworker, b. Linlithgowshire, Uphall, Robert , 13 apprentice engineer, b. Uphall.[61]  Mary died 31 May 1916, 2 St. James Street, Paisley, aged 62.[62] John Macfarlane died of pneumonia aged 43; 13 June 1892 at 4 Pattison Street, Paisley. He was listed as a journeyman cooper, predeceased by both his parents.[63]

· James; born 9 March 1856, Nelson Street, Kilmarnock. Record lists his father Robert as “Farm Servant”.[64] 

Married, as noted above, Isabella Brown 5 May 1876 in the District of Gorbals, Glasgow.  They had 12 children between 1876-1900 of whom more later.

Isabella Brown was born 10 October 1855 at Hamilton Street, Saltcoats, when her father, William Brown, a Seaman Mate Merchant service was 37 and her mother Janet Barclay, was 30.  At the time, Isabella had one sister Jane and one brother William, living.  A brother, John, born c. 1849 had died.[65]

James, journeyman brassfinisher died 22 March 1908 of Bright’s Disease at the Western District Hospital in Glasgow.[66]

Isabella outlived James many years, dying age 77, at 63 Possil Road, Glasgow[67]  She is buried with her daughter Mary Ann and son-in-law William Moodie in Janefield Cemetery, Glasgow. (Illust. 5)  James is also buried there, but in another plot, section 20 lair 64, together with his father Robert and daughter Margaret and a number of his children who died young between 1888 and 1899.

· Robert; born 6 September 1858, Nelson Street, Kilmarnock.  His father is listed as a tan yard labourer.[68]  He survived the census taking of 1871 by just a few days dying age 13 at 53 Commercial Road, Glasgow, 11 April 1871.[69]

· George; born 20 July 1860 Nelson Street, Kilmarnock.  His father is listed as a grocer.[70] Like his mother Mary Ann, George did not long survive the family’s move to Glasgow.  He died, aged 5 of hydrochephalus 15 June 1865, the day before his mother passed away.[71]

The variation in the occupational description for Robert Cuthill on the records for his three youngest children is interesting because according to the Valuation Rolls for the Burgh of Kilmarnock, Robert was a grocer at his residence on Nelson Street in 1855/1856/7 and 1857/8 paying yearly rent as a tenant occupier of 3 pounds 5 shillings to 3 pounds 10 shillings to William Stewart, the proprietor, another grocer.[72]  The Cuthills had a shop and a house.  Yet by the time of the 1861 census Robert is listed as a labourer.[73]  Perhaps, unlike his brother, Alexander, the joiner who lived just a long block away on Grange Street, Robert was unable to find employment that lasted or that he found satisfactory and decided that Glasgow offered more prospects.  So after being in the Kilmarnock area for nearly 20 years, he moved on to Scotland’s booming metropolis.

The family of James Cuthill and Isabella Brown (m. 5 April 1876, Gorbals District)

· Margaret Woodburn Cuthill; born 28 July 1876, 183 Crown Street, Glasgow.[74]

Married 27 April 1898 at age 21, restaurant waitress to Robert Hunter Russell, 26 journeyman saddler, son of Peter Russell, flour miller and Margaret Sawers.[75]  Died 8 October 1916 at Royal Infirmary, Glasgow.[76]… issue

· Mary Ann Hopkins Cuthill; born 1 August 1878, 186 Waddell Street, Glasgow. [77]

Married at age 22, while a restaurant waitress, William Moodie, 27 Engine fitter, both of 86 North Watson Street, Glasgow.  William was the son of Colin Moodie, iron moulder and Jeanie Dempster.[78]

Mary Ann died, aged 50, 29 March 1929 en route to Royal Infirmary, Glasgow. [79] …issue

· Jane Brown Cuthill; born 24 November 1880, 118 Waddell Street, Glasgow.[80]

Married; 7 April 1905, 6 Steven Street, Glasgow.  Jane, who signed herself Jane McQueen Cuthill, was 24, laundress.  The groom was Peter Ronald, 36, son of James Ronald, journeyman stereotyper and Margaret McLuskie.[81]

· Elizabeth Cuthill; born 3 June 1883 at 221 Centre Street, Glasgow.[82]  Married, aged 21, 12 October, 1904, John McWalter Junior, 22.  Elizabeth was a laundress and John, a journeyman baker.[83]  He was the son, born out of wedlock, 11 August 1882 at the Maternity Hospital, Glasgow of John McWalter, baker, and Mary Maclean, domestic Servant.[84]  Elizabeth died in Seattle, Washington.  John was killed near the end of World War I.  … issue.

· Isabella Brown Cuthill; born 10 April, 1885, 31 Cameron Street, Glasgow.[85]

Married, aged 25, 16 June 1910 at St. Andrews Church, Vancouver, British Columbia, John Turner Watt, 24, Salesman (“Traveller”), son of David Brand Watt (1849-1936) and Janet Watson Turner (1853-1898).[86]  Isabella or Isobel as she signed herself as an adult died in North Vancouver, B.C. 16 August, 1981.[87]  … issue

· Janet Cuthill; born 8 April 1887 at 33 Carrickcarden Street, Glasgow. [88]  Died 28 November 1888, 33 Carrickcarden Street, Glasgow, aged 20 months, of croup.[89]  Buried with her father in Eastern Necropolis.

· Robert Cuthill; born 8 April 1889 at 33 Carrickcarden Street, Glasgow.[90]  Died 25 June 1892 at Royal Infirmary Glasgow. (Usual residence 1418 York Street South), aged 3 years of cervicle disease and asphyxia.[91]  Buried with his father in the Eastern Necropolis.

· James McArthur Cuthill; born 14 July 1891 at 112 Waddell Street, Glasgow.[92]

Married, age 27, 14 January 1919 at Mossvale United Free Manse, Paisley, his first cousin, Catherine Macfarlane, 28, munition examiner, daughter of the late John Macfarlane, cooper and the late Mary Cuthill (sister of James’ father, James).  At the time the groom was a journeyman joiner and a Corporal in the 6th Canadian Engineers, stationed in France.[93]  Catherine was born, 18 February 1890 at 4 Pattison Street, Paisley.[94]  Both James and Catherine died in North America.    … issue

· John McFarlane Cuthill; born 8 June 1893 at 3 Cedar Street, Glasgow.[95]

Died 5 April 1894, 63 Abingdon Street, Glasgow, aged 9 months, of an intestinal obstruction.[96]  Buried with his father in the Eastern Necropolis, Glasgow.

· Robert Cuthill; born 7 March 1896, 86 North Watson Street, Glasgow.[97]

Married 31 December 1919 at 50 Apsley Place, Glasgow, age 23, as a journeyman riveter, Marion Barr Hamilton, 23, sewing machinist, the daughter of William Hamilton and Agnes Duncan.[98]… issue

· William Frew Cuthill; born 11 August 1898, 86 North Watson Street, Glasgow.[99]  Died 31 May 1899, aged 9 months, same address. Death caused by Hooping (sic) cough lasting 21 days, broncho pneumonia, 7 days.[100]

· Anna McDade Cuthill; born 12 August 1900 at 86 North Watson Street, Glasgow.[101]  Married, aged 23, as a pickle worker, Henry [misspelled Hendry on certificate] Cowan, 27, irondresser, son of William Cowan, Ironmoulder, and Agnes Brodie,[102] at 9 Windsor Street, Glasgow on 10 October 1924.

… issue

This quick sketch of my grandmother Isobel’s family reveals not only the existence of some forgotten siblings but some interesting naming patterns, some familiar and some quite obscure.  One of these, the infant William Frew Cuthill leads us back to a study of my great grandmother Isabella Brown’s family.  Readers will recall that my Granny thought her mother had only one sister and one brother.  A check of the censuses, in particular leads to a somewhat different picture.

The family of William Brown (1816-1856) and Janet Barclay (1824-1873)

William and Janet had their banns proclaimed 14 April 1844, in the Parish of Irvine, Ayrshire[103] where both were parishioners.

1,  Jane Johnston Brown; born or baptized 19 January 1845 in the Parish of Ardrossan.[104]

  Married, age 21, as a domestic servant, James McQueen, 27, seaman, merchant service.  The marriage took place 11 May 1866 at 377 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, (the bride’s residence).  James was the son of James McQueen, Grocer (deceased) and Jane McBride.[105]

  Jane McQueen died, 14 March 1914 age 69, at 32 Delbrie Terrace in Crieff, Perthshire.  She was listed as “widow of James McQueen Ship Master”.  Informant was D. McQueen, son.[106]

  James died 1 April 1892 at 24 Albert Road, Gourock, Renfrewshire, aged 53.  Cause of death was sudden, heart disease.  He was listed as Master mariner, married to Jane Brown. Informant was C.J. Wishart, daughter, [107]

Gourock was in fact the community where his mother-in-law, Janet had died, nearly 20 years before, 10 October 1873, aged 48, of carcinoma of the liver.  The informant on that occasion was Donald Brown, a neighbour.[108] Further research is required to establish whether the McQueens were already in Gourock at the time and Janet moved there to be near them.

2.  William Brown; born or baptized 16 September 1847 in Saltcoats in the Parish of Ardrossan.[109]  He was listed as a scholar in the 1861 Census of Ardrossan[110] and may have been the brother whom Granny said emigrated to Canada.[111]

3.  John; born Parish of Ardrossan c. 1849.[112]  Died before 10 October 1855 when Isabella Brown was born.  Her birth record records that William and Janet had 1 son 1 daughter living, 1 son dead.

4,  Isabella Brown; born Saltcoats 10 October 1855 (see above)

Child of Janet (Barclay) Brown

1.  John Barclay; born 10 March 1859 Melbourne Terrance, Saltcoats.[113] Father unknown.  Married, age 24, as Foreman Saw Mills, on 13 July 1883, New Street, Stevenston, Jeanie Frew, 20, daughter of William Frew, Handloom Weaver and Elizabeth Frew, maiden name Frew.[114]

So the mystery of who William Frew Cuthill was named for has been solved.  He was the father-in-law of his mother Isabella’s half brother John Barclay of Ardrossan.

In the end, Granny knew quite a bit about her family and her recollections were essential in orienting the research directions taken to create the foregoing portrait.  Yet I think she would have been surprised by all the discoveries that have been made, not least the names of the four siblings whom she may have seen once or twice as a girl.

Her Cuthills and Browns are, of course, a small part of a very large story, the industrialization of the Scottish lowlands in the 19th century, the explosive growth of Glasgow and its magnetic attraction for many Scots seeking new economic opportunities. Even this sketch also hints at major social issues including the crowding in Glasgow tenements and the dangers of disease among adults together with the heartache of infant mortality.

The more recent part of the story takes us to other parts of Scotland, to Canada and the United States.  Granny’s own emigration in 1906 foreshadowed the eventual permanent departure from Scotland of Granny and all three of her brothers who survived childhood.

Their stories and those of the sisters who remained must be told another time.  On a closing note, of the hundreds of descendants of the family of James Cuthill and Isabella Brown on two continents, only a woman in Oregon, and three men and four girls living in Washington State still bear the surname Cuthill.  But the genetic legacy of James and Isabella is very strong and very widespread right into the 21st century.

2nd December, 2006

Revised 22th July, 2007

[1] 1876 Marriages in the District of Gorbals, County Lanark, page 121, entry 241.

[2] OPR Stevenston, Ayrshire 615/00 0001 FR 258.

[3] 1856 Deaths in the Parish of Ardrossan, Ayrshire, page 27, entry 110 576/00 0110.

[4] 1885 Deaths in the District of Irvine, Ayrshire, page 33, entry 99.  Janet Robb, widow of David Robb, sailor, sister of William Brown, died 18 April 1885 in the Cunningham combination Poorhouse, Irvine 595/00 0099.

[5] 1871 Census, Glasgow, District of Hutchesontown, 51 Commercial Road, schedule 54. 644/10 0041 10 009 “Isabella Brown Niece 15 Power Loom Cotton Weaver [born] Ayrshire, Saltcoats”. The flat she lived in had two rooms with one or more windows.

[6]  Margaret Brown was born or baptized 30 July 1800 in the Parish of Stevenston, the daughter of William Brown, Cooper, and Isobell Angus who were married or had banns read 5 June 1797 in the Parish of Rothesay. OPR Rothesay 555/00 0003. Margaret married, or had banns read, Hector Morrison in Stevenston Parish 12 April 1845.  OPR Stevenston 615/00 0003.

[7] Hector Morrison “Railway Night Watchman”, aged 70, died 53 Commercial Road, Hutchesontown District, Glasgow 14 April 1873.  He had been married twice, first to Susan Weir (30 April 1823 OPR Stevenston 615/00 0003). He was the son of Malcolm Morrison, Ship Carpenter and Margaret Verly [sp?].  The informant at his death was his son Malcolm Morrison.  1873 Deaths in the District of Hutchesontown, Glasgow, page 174, entry 520644/10 0520.  His wife Margaret survived him by six years, dying a pauper, aged 77 2 September 1879 at Hill Street, Saltcoats.  She was listed as the widow of Hector Morrison, Factory Enginekeeper.  The informant was her sister Janet Robb. 1879 Deaths in the Parish of Stevenston, Ayrshire, page 26, entry 78, 615/00 0078.

[8]  1855 Deaths in the Burgh of Kilmarnock, page 82, entry 245, 597/00 0245.

[9] OPR Maybole, Ayrshire Births and Baptisms 605/00 0002  FR 344 and FR 370.

[10] 1841 Census. 606/00 001/00 019.

[11] OPR Parish of Old Monkland, Lanarkshire, 652/00 001 FR 160.

[12] OPR Marriages, Gorbals, 1786, 644/002 0030 0042

[13] OPR Births and Baptisms, Old Monkland or Coatbridge 652/0010 0142

[14] ibid

[15] OPR Births and Baptisms, Old Monkland or Coatbridge 652/0010 0178

[16] OPR Births and Baptisms, Old Monkland or Coatbridge 652/0010 0194

[17] OPR Births and Baptisms, Old Monkland or Coatbridge 652/0010 0264

[18] OPR Births and Baptisms, Barony, 622/0040 0413

[19] Birth record for Margaret Cuthill, daughter of Alexander and Helen gives their marriage date as 23 June 1847 at Monkton 597/00 0056, whereas the record for her brother James 16 May 1866 gives 22 June 1847 at Monkton. 587/00 0416.

[20] 1900 Deaths in the Parish of Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, page 174, entry 520 597/00 0520.

[21] 1898 Deaths in the Parish of Kilmarnock, page 34, entry .

[22] OPR Kilmarnock Marriages 597/12.

[23] MSS notes from F. David Howlett, Vancouver.

[24] 1865 Deaths in the District of Hutchesontown, Glasgow, page 225, entry 679.

[25] 1874 Marriages in the District of Tradeston, Glasgow, page 284, entry 567.

[26] OPR Births in the Parish of Loudour, 603/0030 0147

[27] OPR Births in the Parish of Ochiltree, 609/0040 0018

[28] John Woodburn, 20 in the household of Hugh Strathern, master blacksmith, 1871.  Census of Ochiltree.  609 005/00 007.  schedule 24

[29] 1893 Marriages in the Parish of Ochiltree, County of Ayr, page 3, entry 6.

[30] 1901 Census of Parish of Stair,.614/001/00 011 schedule 33

[31] 1909 Deaths in the Parish of Stair, page 1., entry 3; 614/00 0003

[32] Deaths in the District of Camlachie, Glasgow, page 167, entry 501, 644/02 0501.

[33] 1863 Births in the District of Kilmarnock, Ayrshire. page 226, entry 677, 597/00 0677.

[34] 1864 Deaths in the District of Kilmarnock, page 183, entry 548.

[35] OPRs Monkton and Prestwick Births and Baptisms 606/00 1003 FR 578.

[36] 1873 Marriages in the Parish of Dalry, Ayrshire, page 44, entry 87.

[37] 1929 Deaths in the Parish of Beith, Ayrshire, page 15, entry 45, 581/00 0045.

[38] 1851 Census of Monkton and Prestwick, 606/00 001/00 009 schedule 36. “Helen Cuthill, 28, Wright’s wife is a visitor at the home of Margaret Dickie, 72, widow, a grocer native of Mauchline, Ayrshire.  Helen’s sons Alexander, John and William are listed as nephews of Mrs. Dickie, head of the household.  It was seem this lady is an aunt of Helen’s, her mother’s sister, and, in fact, Helen’s mother, Helen Dykes, 70, a widow, agricultural labourer, also born in Mauchline is right next door, schedule 37.  Living with her are her married daughter Isabella, a Mason’s wife, presumably a sister of Helen’s, and Isabella’s children, Margaret, Janet, David, William and Matthew.

[39] 1861 census of Kilmarnock 30 Grange Street, schedule 105

[40] 1855 Births in the Burgh of Kilmarnock, page 90, entry 447.

[41] 1855 Deaths in the Burgh of Kilmarnock, page 146, entry 437, 597/08 0437.

[42] 1856 Births in the District of Kilmarnock, page 206, entry 617, 597/00 0617.

[43] 1859 Births in Kilmarnock, page 59, entry 176., 597/00 0176.

[44] 1878 Marriages in Kilmarnock, page 62, entry 123, 597/00 0123.

[45] 1891 Census, Kilmarnock Powallan Cottage, 597/00 033/00 005 schedule 20.

[46] 1861 Births in the District of Kilmarnock, page 169, entry 506.

[47] 1864 Deaths in Kilmarnock, Page 9, entry 26, 597/00 0026.

[48] 1863 Births in the District of Kilmarnock, page 260, entry 780, 597/00 0780.

[49] 1950 Deaths in the District of Troon, Ayrshire, page 7, entry 21, 590/2 0021.

[50] 1866 Births in the District of Kilmarnock, page 139, entry 416, 597/00 0416.

[51] 1866 Deaths in the District of Kilmarnock. 597/00 0530.

[52] 1869 Births in the District of Kilmarnock. Page 136, entry 406, 597/00 0406.

[53] OPR Birth and Baptisms, Kilmarnock 597/00 0009  FR 2136.

[54] 1871 Marriages in the District of Hutchesontown, Glasgow, page 11, entry 21, 644/10 0021.

[55] 1891 Census Glasgow City, Parliamentary Division of Camlachie, 644/02 003/02 024 schedule 146.

[56] 1931 Deaths in the District of Govanhill, Burgh of Glasgow, page 38, entry 114, 644/16 0114.

[57] OPR Kilmarnock 597/00 0009 op.cit.

[58] 1868 Deaths in the District of Hutchesontown, Burgh of Glasgow, page 289, entry 716, 644/10 0716.

[59] OPR Kilmarnock, 597/00 0009 op. cit.

[60] 1870 Marriages in the District of Tradeston, Burgh of Glasgow, page 286, entry 571, 644/09 0571.

[61] 1891 Census Paisley, 4 Pattison Street, schedule 156 573/00 037/00 031.

[62] 1916 Deaths in the District of Paisley, Renfrewshire, page 257, entry 771 573/01 0771.

[63] 1892 Deaths in the District of Paisley, Renfrewshire, page 214, entry 641  573/00 0641.

[64] 1856 Births in the District of Kilmarnock, page 57, entry 171.

[65] 1855 Births in the Parish of Ardrossan, Ayrshire, page 35, entry 172.

[66] 1908 Deaths in the District of Kelvin, Glasgow, page 87, entry 259.

[67] 1933 Deaths in the District of Kelvin, Glasgow, page 80, entry 240.

[68] 1858 Births in the District of Kilmarnock, page 209, entry 625  597/00 0625.

[69] 1871 Deaths in the District of Hutchesontown, Glasgow, page 169, entry 505  644/10 0505.

[70] 1860 Births in the District of Kilmarnock, page 183, entry 546  597/00 0546.

[71] 1865 Deaths in the District of Hutchesontown, Glasgow, page 224, entry 672  644/10 0672.

[72] National Archives of Scotland. VR 46/1 folio 79, VR 46/2 folio 77  VR 46/3 folio 79.

[73] 1861 Census Kilmarnock 14 Nelson Street 594/00 014/00 015 schedule 69.

[74] 1876 Births in the District of Hutchesontown, page 487, entry 1459.

[75] 1898 Marriages in the District of Blythswood page 132, entry 264.

[76] 1916 Deaths in the District of Dennistoun, Glasgow, page 431, entry 1291.

[77] 1878 Births in the District of Hutchesontown, page 568, entry 1702.

[78] 1899 Marriages in the District of Maryhill, page 52, entry 104.

[79] 1929 Deaths in the District of Dennistoun, Glasgow, page 172, entry 515.

[80] 1880 Births in the District of Hutchesontown, page 729, entry 2187.

[81] 1905 Marriages in the District of Kelvin, Glasgow, page 74, entry 147.

[82] 1883 Births in the District of Tradeston, County Lanark, page 137, entry 409, 644/13 0409

[83] 1904 Marriages in the District of Kelvin, Burgh of Glasgow, page 259, entry 518.

[84] 1882 Births in the District of Camlachie, Glasgow, page 388, entry 1163.  Corrected entry notes that actual District of birth was Blackfriars.

[85] 1885 Births in the District of Kelvin, Glasgow, page 204, entry 612, 644/09 0612.

[86] Marriage record, Registration District of Vancouver, No. 928, 16 June, 1910, recorded 14 July, 1910.

[87] 1981 Registration of Death, British Columbia, 17 August 1981. Registration No. 81-09-012519.

[88] 1887 Births in the District of Kelvin, Glasgow, page 157, entry 471, 644/09 0471.

[89] 1888 Deaths in the District of Kelvin, Glasgow, page 383, entry 1148, 644/09 1148.

[90] 1889 Births in the District of Kelvin, Glasgow, page 193, entry 578, 644/09  0578.

[91] 1892 Deaths in the District of Dennistoun, page 385, entry 1153, 644/03  1153.

[92] 1891 Births in the District of Hutchesontown, Lanarkshire, page 531, entry 1592.

[93] 1919 Marriages in the District of Paisley, Renfrewshire.

[94] 1890 Births in the District of Paisley, Renfrewshire, page 145, entry 433, 573/00 0433.

[95] 1893 Births in the District of Milton, Glasgow, page 259, entry 775, 644/08 0775.

[96] 1894 Deaths in the District of Kelvin, Glasgow, page 124, entry 370, 644/09 0370.

[97] 1896 Births in the District of Kelvin, Glasgow, page 161, entry 483.

[98] 1920 Marriages in the District of Gorbals, Glasgow, page 6, entry 11.

[99] 1898 Births in the District of Kelvin, Glasgow, page 419, entry 1256, 644/09 1256.

[100] 1899 Deaths in the District of Kelvin, Glasgow, page 233, entry 699, 644/09 0699.

[101] 1900 Births in the District of Kelvin, Glasgow, page 394, entry 1181, 644/09 1181.

[102] 1924 Marriages in the District of Kelvin, page 162, entry 323, 644/13 0323.

[103] 595/4 OPR Irvine, page 154.

[104] OPR Ardrossan 576/00 0002 FR 578.

[105] 1866 Marriages in the District of Anderston, Burgh of Glasgow, page 65, entry 130,  644/08 0130.

[106] 1914 Deaths in the Parish of Crieff, Perthshire, page 4, entry 12, 342/00 0012.

[107] 1892 Deaths in the District of Gourock, Renfrewshire, page 16, entry 46, 567/02 0046.

[108] 1873 Deaths in the District of Gourock, Renfrewshire, page 19, entry 56, 567/02 0056

[109] OPR Ardrossan Parish 576/00 0003 FR 578.

[110] 1861 Census Ardrossan Parish Melbourne Terrace, schedule 32.

[111] Letter from Isobel B. Watt to the author 7 May 1969.

[112] 1851 Census of Saltcoats, Ardrossan, Crofthead Street, schedule 2. 576/00 005/00 001.

[113] 1859 Births in the Parish of Ardrossan, page 23, entry 67, 576/00 0067.  Mother is listed as “Janet Barclay, Widow of William Brown, Shipmaster, who died 22 November 1857”.

[114] 1883 Marriages in the Parish of Stevenston, Ayrshire, page 8, entry 16, 615/00 0016.