COCHRAN FAMILY TREE.
Ian Cochran contacted Historic Hamilton as he was wanting to know more about his family history. Ian asked,
“My father was James (Alexander) Cochran he was a killer worked in slaughterhouse he came from Hamilton, my mother Annie (Reid) Cochran came from Hamilton as far as i remember she always said came from the Fore Rows also as far as i remember she worked as cleaner in Hamilton school we were a family of 11 i had 8 sisters 2 brothers.
My brothers were killers too, all my family uncles, father, cousins. grandfather all worked in slaughterhouse when people used to ask who i was and when said Cochran they used to say not the killer Cochran’s they were well known in Hamilton.
And going back i was told grandfather killed the first bull in Hamilton slaughterhouse he even at one time had to kill one of the white cattle from Chatelherault.
I never knew my grandparents they passed very early, also my father used to tell me my mother’s ancestors were related to the Grahams of Claverhouse and these were the ones who betrayed the Covenanters because when i was small if they ever had arguments my father used to call her an old traitor (jokingly). If there is anything else i can provide if i can …”
Ian, here’s what I found.
To start, I have to say that your ancestors in every generation came from a large family and therefore to fully research your family tree it would take many weeks and months to fully research each member, I would really suggest that you look in to genealogy and take this up as a hobby, it is really fun and when you uncover a new member of your family, there is usually a story behind it.
As you stated, your parents were indeed Hamiltonian’s born and bred in Hamilton and they were an integrated family within the community. The slaughterhouse in Hamilton employed many men and when they worked there it was usually a job for life. My great uncle Jimmy Brunton was also an example of this, where he worked there from a young age until his retirement.
So, before I move on down through your family tree I will tell you where your parents lived. Your mum was born on the 4th of June 1906 at number 2 Fore Row, she was born at 10:30 AM and your grandfather James Reid signed her birth certificate. So, you are absolutely correct that there is a connection with Fore Row. When your mum lived on this street she would have been looking up at the creepy Muir Street cemetery where she may have even possibly played as a kid.
Your mum continued to live at 2 Fore Row right up until your she married your dad in 1924, so 2 Fore Row was indeed your mum’s family home and I have to mention around this time people moved around a lot, but this wasn’t the case with your grandparents, they seemed to like it here.
Your Grandfather on your mum’s side was born in Newarthill and this is where he lived with his parents in his younger years. He was tragically killed at the age of 41 where when at work he was run over by a train and he received a broken leg and arm and serious head injuries. This was indeed a very sad tragic accident.
A local newspaper covered his story and had given a brief account of what happened. But your grandfather’s death must have left a big empty hole within the family and left your gran a widow who had to bring up five kids on her own. It is unknown at this time if Ross colliery provided a pension for her.
Staying with your mum’s side of the family, your great grandparents were called Alexander Reid & Ann Marie Thomson and they were from Holytown. They married on the 5th of June 1863 and your Great grandfather was a Railway Brakes Man and Alexanders parents, your 2 X Great Grandparents were called Robert Reid who was a Railway Gate Keeper and Mary Lambie. As I stated, if you would consider taking up family research as a hobby, you will indeed find out much more about your family, but as we are venturing away out of Hamilton I have stopped researching this line here, but there is much more to uncover.
So, your Cochran linage, this is a massive family to research and I have gone as far as I could, however, the Cochran’s were a really well-known family of Butchers who lived around the Renfrew and Paisley areas.
Your father James Alexander Cochran was born in Hamilton on the 2nd of August 1903 at 10 Low Patrick Street, a street that no longer exists in Hamilton. At the moment I am unsure how long your father lived at Low Patrick Street, but I later find your family living at 11 Guthrie Street where they lived for roughly ten years. I next find your father living at 48 Chapel Street when this is the stated address on his marriage cert to your mum.
So, your parents married on the 6th of June 1924 at the manse on Union Street. The best man at the wedding was a man named John Faulds of 3 Postgate and Anne Martin of 39 Muir Street so these two people would have been close friends to your parents, perhaps you may know of them?
If I stay on your father’s side of the family, your grandparents were called Robert Cochran & Jane McIlveen Alexander. Your Grandfather was born at Paisley around the year 1874. Your Grandmother was born around 1868 at New Cumnock in Ayrshire.
During my research, I see many deaths as the result of tuberculosis (TB) and your grandmother sadly contracted this and succumbed to the disease where she died the at the family home of 48 Chapel Street, she was only 42 years of age. She died on the 16th of August 1916 and an obituary was written by your grandfather and appeared in the Hamilton Advertiser a week later.
Your great grandparents were called James Alexander & Jane McGavin, James was born in Sorn, Ayrshire around 1846 and Jane born in Mauchline around the year 1850. This side of the family lived around Ayrshire all their life.
I did uncover some pictures of your great, Great Grandparents on the Alexander side and they were called William Alexander & Jane Mcilvean. This side of your family came over from Ireland
I see a family resemblance to you in William Alexander, perhaps you carry a lot of his genes. So, the family came from Ireland and they settled in Ayrshire. William died in Catrine, Ayrshire on the 19th of February 1891 and Jane died on the 4th of February 1902 at Sorn, Ayrshire.
On the Alexander side of your family, your 3rd great grandfather was called John Alexander and your 3rd great grandmother was called Jane Roy, both were Irish. Yet again, if you research your family tree, you could learn a lot more. On Jane McIlvean’s side of the family your 3rd great grandparents were called John Mcilvean & Jane Hamilton, so here is your Irish family connection. If I could give an estimated birth year for all four of the 3rd great-grandparents, then the range would be between 1765 & 1805.
Moving back to your Grandfather Robert Cochran’s family, your great grandfather was also called Robert and he was born around the year 1850 at Paisley. He married your great-grandmother who was called Agnes Anderson. Your great-grandfather was a butcher to trade and if I were to take an educated guess, he was probably the son of a Butcher. I say guess, as I can’t find any further information on this line of your family and the reason for this is because there were so many Cochran’s living at Paisley & Renfrew around this time, there are also quite a few Robert Cochran’s to go through and to establish the correct one, this will require extensive research.
One thing which I did find is that your Great Grandparents Robert and Agnes immigrated to Wentworth, Ontario in Canada. They saw out the rest of their days here and you great grandfather Robert died on the 23rd of June 1931 at Wentworth. Agnes died on the 13th of March 1937 also at Wentworth.
Ian, I have discovered that you have lots of living cousins in Canada & America, below is a picture of one of your cousins who died in 2005, his name was Norman Gilbert and he lived in New York, USA and I can also see a family resemblance in him that has similar facial features of yourself. I found that there is still living family members connected to this man in America and also in Canada.
One thing that I would say while researching your family is that I have only just scratched the surface. You descend from a very large family with each generation having many brothers & sisters. I really hope that you or someone in your family do decide to take up family research as a hobby, it is really great fun and you have lots of stories to uncover and even more living cousins waiting to be met.
I’m sorry that I could not dedicate more of my time to your research, but I only focus on families living in Hamilton and even though you, your parents and your family are all Hamiltonian’s with great connections to the town, your ancestors were spread across other regions of Renfrewshire & Lanarkshire, thus making it harder with my research.
If you do decide to take this further, then please let us know what or who you find, and you never know, you may even find that “Grahams of Claverhouse” connection.
Written & Researched by Garry McCallum – Historic Hamilton.
This month we asked our readers if they would like help with their ancestry and we had a few replies. We were contacted by Ann Cassidy who was looking for information on her father’s family who lived in Hamilton and Ann wrote to us and said:
“Hi Garry, I have recently found out that my Grandmother is buried in the Wellhall Road cemetery. I would really like to find out more about my father’s side of the family, who lived in Burnbank and Hamilton. My Grandmother’s name was Mary Gallagher, I think she was born in 1895…She married William Carr. My Grandmother was only 38 when she died in 1933. My Grandmother’s parents were Mary Ann Gallagher and Francis Gallagher.”
Ann, here is what I found.
Your grandparents were indeed called William Car & Mary Gallagher. They married on the 8th of November 1913 at what was called the Roman Catholic Chapel, I would suspect that this was St. Cuthbert’s.
William was twenty years old and Mary was eighteen and the witnesses were Dominik & Mary Gallagher.
At the time of the wedding your grandfather was living at 145 Glasgow Road in Burnbank and your grandmother living at 1 Grammar School Square and both grandparents were working.
Your grandfather, like many Hamilton men in this decade, he was a coal miner and your grandmother was working as a colliery brass picker, the role of a brass picker was working at the pithead above ground removing the coal from dirt and rocks. Sometimes this job could be just as dangerous as working underground as the conveyor belts did not have any safety rails and often women were dragged to their deaths and caught in the machinery. So, as they both worked at a colliery, it is possible that they met at work.
After they were married your grandparents got their first house together at 126 Glasgow Road, so, another possibility is that they both worked at Greenfield Colliery as this was just a short walk away from the house at Glasgow Road. They continued to live on the same street up to 1925 where they then moved to number 141.
As you know, your father Michael was born around 1930 and your grandparents later moved to a new house at 3 George Street in Burnbank Your grandmother had taken ill with pneumonia and she was so sick that she was taken to the infectious diseases hospital at Udston (Udston House) and on the 5th of July 1933 the illness killed her.
Your grandfather continued to live at 3 George Street and on the 1st of March 1938, he re-married to a lady called Elizabeth Bradshaw, who was a 35-year-old widower. For now, this is as much as I can tell you about your grandfather, so perhaps you could fill in the gaps with what happened to him later in life.
Before I move on to your fathers’ side of the family, I will tell you who your great-grandparents were on your Gran’s side of the family. Your grandmother Mary Gallagher was born at 110 Muir Street on the 11th of September 1895 and her parents were called Francis Gallagher & Mary Ann McGuire.
Your great Grandfather Francis was a Plasterers labourer and both he and your great-grandmother were originally from Newton Stewart. They married there on the 1st of August 1886.
So, as you asked about your father’s side of the family. Your grandfather William Carr was born at 11 Farm Road, Greenfield. He was born on the 11th of June 1893 and he was the fifth child in the family, his siblings were Patrick, John, Margaret & Michael. Your great-grandmother signed William’s birth certificate with an X, so she was illiterate, and this was not an uncommon thing back in 1893.
Your Great Grandparents were called Michael Carr and Mary Tomaney. When William was born your great grandfather was living at Greenfield and as your great-grandfather was a coal miner is likely that he worked at Greenfield Colliery.
Your great-grandparents seemed to go back and forth between Hamilton and Springburn and I would take a guess that this had something to do with Michael’s employment and as of now, I can’t give you an answer to why he moved back and forth so many times. There is also some confusion as to where your great-grandfather Michael was born. I can’t actually find his birth certificate, however on the 1861, 1871 & 1891 census they all state he was born in Hamilton.
Michael was born to parents who were called Patrick Carr & Mary Bryce, this was your 2 x great grandparents and they originally came from Ireland. They moved to Hamilton before 1858 and again the Springburn connection is here, as they moved between Springburn & Hamilton. Your 2 x Great Granddad died at 14 Low Waters Road on the 6th of August 1886 and unfortunately the man who was the informant of the death did not know the name of Patrick’s parents, so the Carr trail stops here.
I did manage to find out where Mary Bryce died. She died on the 15th of August 1886 at the City Poorhouse at St. Rollox in Glasgow and from this document I found that your 3 X great grandparents were called John Bryce who was a fisherman & Nelly Garragh.
Your 2 x great-grandparents, Michael & Mary Married on the 8th of January 1886 and when they married Michael was living at 54 Windsor Street and Mary was living at 112 Watson Street. The family later moved to 9 Albert Buildings at Earnock Colliery and this is where Michael died.
He died on the 15th of January 1899 the cause of death was Cardiovascular disease. His brother in law William Tomaney was the informant of his death.
Your great-grandmother remarried a man named Charles Cairney in 1902 and together they had a son named Charles. They lived at 61 Windsor Street after the marriage.
Staying with your great-grandmother, she was born in Bellshill c1868 and her parents, your two x great grandparents were called James Tomaney Margaret Mullen.
This is as much as I can tell you about your family Ancestry and I hope that it has shed some light on your family. Your family mainly had a strong connection to Burnbank and like many families in Hamilton, we can all trace our family tree going back to Ireland.
Anne Louise McLachlan from Austrailia sent us an old family photo of her father and grandparents. Anne told us:
“In the picture is. James McQueen McDougall who was born Hamilton Scotland 1876 and his wife Ruth nee McStea, born Lurgan Ireland 1874.
They married in Hamilton in the year 1899, My father Alexander who is the boy sitting was born in Hamilton in 1902. The baby is Ronald who was born in 1915 after the family migrated to Australia.”
Anne, I did a quick ancestry look up and I found that James McQueen McDougall had come from a big family, so perhaps some of our readers may have a family connection to your family.
If any of our readers think that they may be related to this family, then please let us know and Anne, thanks for sending this great picture to us.
JOHN McAULAY 1903 – 1946.
Written by Garry L McCallum – Historic Hamilton.
Mharie Hughes contacted us as she was looking for information on her grandfather. Mharie wrote:
“Hi loving the site …. old pictures are great! Our family are looking for information/pictures of our late grandfather, sadly he passed away many years ago but none of our family have ever seen a photo of him.
My dad died 1981 and he himself never seen any pictures of his dad! Would you oblige us by asking your members if anybody has any memories or photos of our papa, he was named John McAulay known also as PEACHY was married to MAGGIE CALLISON we know that their family home was 1 LIVINGSTON STREET BURNBANK, tragically he was killed (as the story goes) in Burnbank 1947 near the “cross”
We would all be delighted if we received any response as we have been trying ourselves without any luck.
Thanks, in Advance
Mhairi Hughes (nee McAulay)”
Mhairi, I did some research on your grandfather and unfortunately, I couldn’t track down a picture of him. I did find his obituary in the Hamilton Advertiser from 1946. Your grandfather John died on the 7th March 1946, at 6:10 am at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary and as you stated, he was married to Margaret Callison.
Your grandfather’s occupation was a Colliery Brusher (The Job of a brusher was quite a dangerous job and it involved working with dynamite to widen roads and make more space for the coal miners to work) there also seems to be some conflicting information on his occupation, as in the newspaper article from the Hamilton Advertiser it states that his occupation was an aero engine fitter, perhaps he was a colliery brusher before working as an engine fitter.
When John died, his address was indeed 1 Livingstone Street and tragically he was knocked down by a double-decker bus at Burnbank Cross. Burnbank Cross today is roughly where the old Clydesdale Bank building – now a betting shop is. The cause of John’s death was a fractured skull and laceration to the brain – it seems that he sustained a serious head injury caused by the accident. Immediately after the accident, he was taken to the Police Office in Burnbank where a doctor was sent for and it was then clear that he had to be moved to the Glasgow Royal Infirmary.
Your grandfather’s brother, A McAulay of 53 Kerr Crescent in Hamilton was the person who registered your grandfather’s death. If anyone does indeed have a picture of John McAulay or any memories, then please can you share it with us.
John’s parents (your Great Grandparents) were Andrew McAulay who was a coal miner and Catherine Cooper. By 1946 your Great Grandfather Andrew had passed away and your Great Grandmother was still alive. It appears that Catherine remarried after your Great, Grandfather passed away as her new maiden name on her son’s death cert was Frasier. I found that she re-married a man named William Frasier a year later, on the 23rd of December 1910.
I wanted to look further into your family tree, as I was curious about the family names, as I also have McAulay’s in my family, so I obtained a copy of your grandparent’s marriage certificate and they were married by Rev Falconer on the 31st of August 1923 at the United free church in Burbank. I see by 1923 your great-grandfather had died before your grandfather was married, so he must have died young. Your grandmother’s parents (your great grandparents on your gran’s side) were called Richard Callison who worked as an underground fireman and Mary Summers. When your grandparents were married, your grandfather John was living at 12 Wylie Street and your grandmother Maggie was living at 23 Holyrood Street. Maggie at the time was working as a cloth factory worker and your grandfather was working as a coal miner. You also thought your grandfather had a brother called Thomas, but you weren’t sure so I can confirm that he did as he was the best man at the wedding. The bridesmaid was your grandmother’s sister Mary Callison – I thought that this added a nice little touch to the wedding and they must have been quite a close family on both sides.
When I tracked down your great grandfather’s death certificate I found that he sadly died on the 27th of December 1909 at 20 Lamb Street. He was only 31 years old and your grandfather John was only 3 years old. Your great grandfather died of Pulmonary Tuberculosis.
I have now linked your family into my family tree, I found that we have a family connection through your Great Grandfather Andrew, he was my 1st cousin 3 times removed and he was the son of John McAulay and Agnes Adams and they were a family from Hamilton. John McAulay who was your 2 times Great Grandfather was born at Sea! On the census returns he is recorded as a British Subject Born at Sea and I have this information from the 1881, 1891 and 1901 Censuses. I haven’t fully researched this side of my family for many years, so I intend to research them again over the coming weeks.
What I can tell you is that your Great, Great, Great Grandparents were called John Adams and Jean Pettigrew. The family of Adams and Pettigrew have been a long-established family who have been living in Hamilton for hundreds of years and still to this day, their descendants of this family line still live in the town. John and Jean were our 3 times Great Grandparents so that will make us 4th Cousins. Pleased to meet you.
Your 3 times Grandfather John Adams was born in the year 1829 in Hamilton and he was one of the many Chimney Sweepers in the town and was married twice, first to a lady called Margaret Doyle who died young and they had 1 child called James, he then married Jean and they had ten children, (Not much to do down in the Auld Toon in the mid-1800s) they lived in a couple of different houses in Church Street and John died on the 1st November 1884 at his house at 21 Church Street, he was 57 years old and he also died of T.B. Your Great, Great, Grandmother was Jean Pettigrew, she was born on the 21st June 1835 at the same house, 21 Church Street. Jean Pettigrew lived at Church Street all her life and she died on the 18th of November 1874 and her cause of death was recorded as Excessive Drinking so she clearly was an alcoholic.
Moving on to our 4 X Great-grandparents and on the Adams family line they were Thomas Adams who was also a Chimney Sweep and Annie Condie. Thomas was born in Hamilton around the year 1804 and Annie Condie was also born in Hamilton around the year 1800 and Anne died between 1829 and 1834, I have not managed to track down her death certificate. Thomas and Annie Condie had at least two children between them who were John and Jean. After Annie’s death, Thomas remarried a lady called Jean Rankine who was from New Monklands and they lived at Grammar School Square where they had at least two daughters Grace and Helen. Thomas Adams (our 4th x great grandfather) died on the 7th of January 1860 at his home in Grammar School Square and his cause of death was Cardiac Decay, possibly from all the soot that he would have breathed in from all the chimneys that he swept.
Moving across to our 4 times Great Grandparents on the Pettigrew side, they were called John Pettigrew and Agnes Hodge, both yet again were born in Hamilton, they lived there all their lives and died there. John was a cotton weaver and they lived at Back Row for a time and he died on the 17th of December 1876 at his house in 14 Young Street, the cause of his death was a disease of the stomach. Agnes Hodge later worked as a Washer Woman and lived until the grand age of 91 where she died at 19 Leechlee Street, the cause of death was T.B. Together they had nine children between them.
Luckily for us, I have continued to trace our family back down a few more generations and I will try not to confuse you with all these names, but Genealogy does take time to get used to and I hope that I have explained myself as best as I can for you.
I will stay on the Pettigrew line and our 5 times Great Grandparents were called William Pettigrew and Christine Baillie. William Pettigrew was born on the 30th of May 1766 in Shotts and he was a Weaving Agent and wife Christine Baillie was born around the year 1785, I don’t have a place of birth for her. They at some point around the year 1807 moved to Hamilton and this is where this family line first set down their roots in the town. Our 6 times Great Grandparents in the Pettigrew line were called Thomas Pettigrew and Agnes Russell and they were born in Shotts and died there. Thomas was born around the year 1740 and Agnes was born around the year 1745. I don’t have any years of death for our ancestors, but I can tell you that they had five children between them. I am proud that I have traced this family line going back to 1740, this is 277 years of our family’s history that I have managed to trace.
I have added a screenshot of our family tree to try to put a visualisation together for you on what our family looks like. Please see the Family Tree below. You will also notice on the McAulay line the spelling is spelt as McAuley, this is due to early records of the name that I have transcribed.
Mharie I wish that I could have tracked down a picture of your Grandfather John and maybe there is a picture of him out there somewhere but I hope that I have given you a nice little insight of your Ancestry and where your roots come from.
If you do manage to come across a picture of your grandfather then please share with all at Historic Hamilton.