CARR FAMILY OF HAMILTON.

Carr Family Tree WM.

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 Carr & Mary Gallagher MCert.

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.

William Carr Birth.

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.

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THE TINKERS OF GREENFIELD IN BURNBANK.

Tinkers.

 

In the mid-1980’s a group of travellers came to Burnbank with their horses, waggons and vans. They were the last known group of Tinkers to come to Hamilton as they were being phased out and forced to live in council houses.

For hundreds of years, Tinkers have passed through not only Hamilton but all over Scotland using old roads and forgotten by-ways. They were also known as the Summer Walkers, as they settled in an area for winter and travelled in the summer days.
There are many different types of travellers, they are Irish, Romany, Gypsies, and Scottish Tinkers and just like the Royal family and British hierarchy, they all keep to their own kind with cousins marrying cousins and a strong family marrying into another.

This group of Tinkers however and for some reason unknown to many never moved on in the summer. They set up their Tinkers Camp at Greenfield and they stayed at Burnbank for longer than most of the residents wanted them to.

In the old years, the Scottish Tinker was welcomed every summer by many generations of housewives and Farmers alike. They were very hard-working people and when they came to town they brought their trade with them.

The men were great Tinsmiths and they made and mended pots and pans, they made spoons and forks and anything that could be used in the kitchen, the men would make these scullery objects.

They also made Baskets and worked on the Farms, so once a year they had repeat customers and the Tinkers wives were great Hawkers, who went around the doors selling their Husbands goods, the Tinker women also earned money by reading palms and selling lucky white heather.

If the Tinker family were in town, then the Farmers welcomed them and either gave them land to pitch their bow tents or in the colder days, they were offered a barn to sleep in.

Anthony McCallum c1900-Hamilton

However, this was in the old days and when you could now buy ladles and kitchen utensil’s cheaper than the cost to repair it, the Tinkers trades went out of fashion. The tractors on the Farms got bigger and there was less need for hard manual labour.
The family of Tinkers who were camping at Greenfield could all have been from the same one, however, it is likely that they were different families.

Most of the Tinkers at the camp were hard-working people, but it was also known that there were thieves among them and from time to time, the travellers clashed with the residents of Burnbank and fighting among them was common.

The police were called to the Tinkers camp many times by Burnbank residents and some of the alleged offences were urinating in the street, noise making at night and many other things. The environmental health board were sent for on many occasions and each time they attended the Tinkers Camp, they were chased off by brute force and dogs.

The Hamilton burgh police were also accused in February 1985 of turning a blind eye to the goings on at the Camp and a headline in the Hamilton Advertiser read “The law has gone soft on Travelling People”. A local councillor got involved to try to have the council disperse the camp but at the time the government had a policy of non-harassment of Travellers, which prevented the Police using their full powers to move the camp on.

The site at Greenfield where the travellers camped was deemed an illegal site, but nonetheless, they were never moved away from it.

So, the residents of Burnbank thought that the Tinkers were there for a long stay! One weekend in the middle of February and without notice, a mass exodus suddenly had taken place! The Tinkers had all packed up and left the illegal Greenfield Camp Site.

Of the 18 caravans pitched there, only four remained, following what was understood to be a dispute between the Traveller families.

The police reported that at the time of their departure, there had been no reports of a disturbance or any crime connected to the dispute, which involved two families.

The future of the controversial traveller’s colony was in doubt and it was not known when the four other remaining caravans were to move. There was also a dispute between Strathclyde Regional Council and the local authority as to who actually owned the land. (I bet today, there would be no argument as to who owned a bit of land, no matter its size!)

There was a proposal put forward to allow the remaining travellers to stay at Burnbank until a new legal campsite became available at Swinhill in Larkhall that Summer.
The district council agreed on the condition that the region provides toilet facilities on the site and when the travellers eventually move off Greenfield, the site had to be fenced off to prevent any of them returning.

The management of the adjacent Lanarkshire Bolt works Ltd also made complaints about the Travellers interfering with the water main in the area and turning the main entrance to their premises into what one executive described as “an Ice Rink” with possible risk of injury to its employees.

So, the last of the travellers finally packed up and left Greenfield and moved on to their new premises at Larkhall, where I’m sure some of them still remain to this day. But they did leave us with the memories of how this old way of living was still in existence even in 1985.

We would love to know what your memories are of the Travellers who lived in Burnbank? Or even better, do you have any pictures?

RIVET-MAKER AND THE ” DOLE.”

Greenfield Rows..JPG

On Saturday the 15th of April 1922 a charge of defrauding the Labour Exchange was preferred against James Todd, a rivet-maker, residing Greenfield Rows, Hamilton.
 
The Fiscal explained that the offence here was that the accused had concealed from the authorities at the Labour Exchange the fact that for two days had been working in the rivet works.
 
Accused James Todd told the Judge “I was under the belief that could work and make 20s a week without interfering with my right to the dole.”
 
Sheriff Stodart told Todd, I see no reason of a sentence £3, or twenty days’ imprisonment.
 
It is unknown to me what option James Todd had taken.
 
I wonder if this kind of punishment would deter able-working people from signing on in modern day Hamilton!