Stories

John Brown (c1833 - 1890) & Margaret McKillop (c1840 - 1905)

John Brown was born in about 1833 in Ireland. He was the son of Thomas Brown, Ploughman, and Jeanie Stewart. John moved from Ireland to Scotland and settled in Glasgow, probably in the 1850s.

Scotland, and Glasgow in particular, had always been a natural destination for Irish immigrants. However the rate of influx increased considerably during and after the Irish potato famine of 1845-1850, when a potato blight swept over Ireland. During the famine, many landlords evicted tenants who could not pay their rent and many of the evicted tenants emigrated to mainland Britain to seek work and a better life. Scotland saw a seven percent increase of Irish immigrants in 1851 alone. The Irish immigrant population was concentrated in a few cities, such as Glasgow, where almost a quarter of the adult population in 1851 was Irish-born.

At the time of the 1861 Census (8th April) John was boarding with the McKay family at 38 Catherine Street in Anderston, Parish of Barony, Lanarkshire. John was recorded as 28 years old, unmarried and employed as a Blacksmith. Head of the family on the census return was 38-year-old Jane McKay, Housekeeper, who had been born in County Down in Ireland. Her son John was 15 and was an Apprentice Engineer. Mary McKay was 13 and worked as a Cotton Winder. Also present was 7-year-old Margaret McKay, a Scholar.

1858 Map showing Catherine Street1858 Map showing Catherine StreetNational Library of Scotland

ANDERSTON, a burgh, and lately a quoad sacra parish, consisting of part of Barony parish, in the suburbs of the city of Glasgow, county of Lanark, 1 mile (W.) from Glasgow; containing 3759 inhabitants. This place derives its name from its founder, Mr. John Anderston, of Stobcross, who, in 1725, formed the plan of a village, and divided the lands of one of his most unproductive farms into building lots, thus laying the foundation of a very considerable suburb to the city. It is on the north side of the river Clyde, and though of irregular form, and comparatively less modern appearance than others of the suburban districts, it contains many well-built and handsome houses; the lands to the north are chiefly garden-ground, and on the banks of the river are several pleasing villas, inhabited by some of the most opulent merchants of Glasgow. A considerable part of the population are employed in the cotton manufacture, in the iron-foundries, and in the production of machinery; many are mariners, belonging to the port, and there are several shops of various kinds, for the supply of the inhabitants.

The town was erected into a burgh of barony, by royal charter, in 1824, and the district, which includes parts of the lands of Stobcross, Gushet, Parsonscroft, and Rankenshaugh, is wholly within the parliamentary boundary of the city of Glasgow. The government is vested in a provost, three bailies, a treasurer, and eleven councillors, annually elected by the burgesses; the bailies and treasurer from the councillors, and the provost from the burgesses generally. The magistrates exercise civil jurisdiction in pleas not exceeding 40 shillings in amount, and criminal jurisdiction in all cases within the Police act; courts for the former are held weekly, or every alternate week, and for the latter four times in the week; in both of which, the town-clerk acts as assessor. The burgesses, on admission, pay a fee of £2. 2. The corporation have power to hold a weekly market and two annual fairs; the fairs were formerly held, but they have been discontinued. The parish was formed in 1834; the minister's stipend is £300, derived from the seat-rents, of which £80 are secured by bond. The church was originally built as a chapel of ease, in 1799, at a cost of £2500, raised by subscription, and has been subsequently repaired; it is a neat structure, and contains 1246 sittings, A school for this parish, and for that of St. Mark, has been erected at an expense of £1700, of which £850 were subscribed by the two parishes, and the remainder granted by the treasury; it is a spacious building, containing three schools, attended by 600 children paying very moderate fees. There is also a Free church.

Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846)

Boarding at the same address on census night was Thomas Brown, a 17-year-old Iron Moulder, also born in Ireland. Most likely the two boarders, John and Thomas, were brothers. In fact, Jane's husband, who was absent on census night was David McKay, a Boilermaker, who had also been born in Ireland.

Margaret McKillop was born in around 1840 in Ireland. She was the daughter of Ploughman Daniel McKillop and Martha McKendrick. She also moved from Ireland to Scotland in the 1850s. At the time of the 1861 Census, Margaret McKillop was residing at 18 McKechnie Street, Calton in Glasgow, Scotland. She was 21, working as a Stocking Loom Weaver and she was residing with the family of David and Agnes McKendrick. David was a 57-year-old Weaver and Agnes was 60. David's son was Hugh, aged 24 and employed as a Wright. Mary McKendrick was 20 and employed, like Margaret, as a Stocking Loom Weaver. All of the McKendricks had been born in Ireland. In fact, the McKendricks had been residing at the same address 10 years earlier at the time of 1851 Census.

Margaret was described in the census return as a 'Relative' of David, but was most likely to have been his niece. It appears that the McKendricks had come over from Ireland and had subsequently brought their niece Margaret McKillop to live with them. There is some evidence that the McKendrick family came from County Down.

1861 Map showing McKechnie Street in Calton.1861 Map showing McKechnie Street in Calton.National Library of Scotland

McKechnie Street was located just north of Bridgeton Cross (bottom right on the map, and ran eastwards off Clyde Street (now Abercromby Street.)

CALTON, a manufacturing district and late a quoad sacra parish, in the parish of Barony, county of Lanark; included within the parliamentary boundary of Glasgow, and comprising Old and New Calton. These villages, formerly part of the barony of Barrowfield, were, by royal charter, in 1817, erected into a burgh of barony, containing about fifty-three acres, of which twelve are attached to Old, and forty-two to New Calton; the houses are neatly built of brick, and roofed with tiles, for the manufacture of which clay of good quality abounds in the immediate vicinity, and the streets, especially those of the latter village, are regularly formed. A handsome mechanics' institution has been erected.

The population is chiefly employed in the cotton manufacture, and in hand-loom weaving, which are carried on to a very considerable extent; the manufacture of thread affords employment to several hundreds of men and women, and there are numerous shops for the supply of the inhabitants with groceries and other articles of merchandise.

The government of the burgh is vested in a provost, three bailies, a treasurer, and eleven councillors, of whom one acts as dean of guild; they are all elected annually, with the exception of the elder bailie, who holds his office for two years; the provost is chosen by the burgesses generally, as are likewise the bailies and the treasurer. The burgesses have no exclusive privileges, nor can any inhabitant be compelled to be a burgess; those who choose to become burgesses pay a fee of £2. 2. on admission. The magistrates and council have the privilege of a weekly market, which is held on Saturday, and of which they receive the tolls and customs. Their jurisdiction extends, in civil cases, over the territory of the burgh, and, in criminal cases, over the whole of the police district; they hold a court for the recovery of debts not exceeding 40s., and a police court, in which a town-clerk, appointed by the superior of the burgh, acts as assessor.

The number of £10 householders is 264, of whom thirty-two are resident burgesses. The late quoad sacra parish of Middle Calton, containing 7185 inhabitants, and comprised within the presbytery of Glasgow and synod of Glasgow and Ayr, was formed in 1834; the minister's stipend is £250: the church, built in 1793, as a chapel of ease, at an expense of £1495, and since repaired and enlarged, is a neat structure, and contains 1400 sittings. There are places of worship for members of the Relief Church, and Wesleyans; a burgh school, in which are 140 children, is taught by a master who has a house rent-free, and £10, in addition to the fees, and there are numerous other schools.

Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846)

On 31st December, 1862, John, age recorded as 27, occupation Hammerman and whose residence was recorded as 66 William Street, Glasgow, married 22-year-old Powerloom Weaver Margaret McKillop at 304 Bath Street, Glasgow. Margaret's address at the time of the marriage was 33 Hill Street Square, Anderston, Glasgow.

304 Bath Street was the home address of John Wilson, Minister of the United Presbyterian Mitchell Church, Cheapside Street, who conducted the marriage ceremony.

Although John Brown was reported as unmarried at the 1861 Census, he was recorded as a widower by the time he married Margaret McKillop on the last day of 1862. We later discover that John's first wife was Jane Johnston. No record has yet been traced of the marriage or of his first wife's assumed death.

1862 Marriage Record of John Brown and Margaret McKillop1862 Marriage Record of John Brown and Margaret McKillopScotland's People

The locations of these street are shown in the earlier map, Hill Street lying just to the west of Catherine Street and William Street to the north above Anderston Main Street (now Argyle Street.)

John's parents Thomas Brown and Jeanie Stewart were recorded as deceased at the time of the marriage. Both of Margaret's parents, Daniel McKillop and Martha McKendrick were recorded as still living.

Witnesses to the marriage were Matthew McEntee (or McIntee) who, at the time of the 1861 Census, was a Hammerman residing at 17 Catherine Street and Elizabeth McLellan.

On 14 June 1865, at 66 William Street, Anderston, Glasgow, Margaret gave birth to a son. When John registered the birth the following day, he offered no forename for the child, and we assume that the baby had been stillborn or had died the same day, although no corresponding death record has been found.

Martha McKendrick Brown, named after her maternal grandmother, was born on 10th March, 1868 at 66 William Street, Anderston, Glasgow, and Jeanie Stewart Brown, named after her paternal grandmother, was born on 5th May, 1870 at the same address.

By the time of the 1871 Census (3rd April), John and Margaret Brown had moved from Anderston to the west end of Rutherglen where they were residing at 17 Cathcart Road. John Brown was recorded as 40 years old and was still earning his living as a Hammerman. His wife Margaret was aged 30. Martha was 3 and Jeanie, recorded as Jane on the census return, was 11 months old.

1893 Map showing Rutherglen's west end.1893 Map showing Rutherglen's west end.National Library of Scotland

Margaret Brown, named after her mother, was born on 14th January, 1873 at 17 Cathcart Road in Rutherglen, Lanarkshire and John and Margaret's last child Elizabeth McKendrick Brown was born on 18th December, 1876 at 41 Cathcart Road, Rutherglen.

At the time of the 1881 Census (4th April), the Brown family was still residing at 41 Cathcart Road in Rutherglen. John's age is given as 47 and he is still earning his living as a Hammerman. His wife Maggie was 45. Eldest daughter Martha was working as a Cotton Weaver while Jeanie (10), recorded as Jane, and young Maggie (8) were Scholars. Elizabeth was 4 years old.

On 10th September, 1883, Elizabeth McKendrick Brown died aged 6 years and 8 months at 63 Farie Street, Rutherglen. The cause of death was Convulsions. John Brown registered his daughter's death and again gave his occupation as Hammerman.

John and Margaret Brown and their three daughters c.1885John and Margaret Brown and their three daughters c.1885Barbara Mynott, Granddaughter of Martha McKendrick Brown

The studio photograph shows John and Margaret with their three daughters (l. to r.) Jeanie, Martha and Maggie. The photo would have been taken in around 1885.

On 6th April, 1888, Martha McKendrick Brown, 20 years old and employed as a Power Loom Weaver, married 28-year-old Commercial Clerk William Miller, of 3 Victoria Place, Rutherglen, at the Brown family home in 67 Farie Street, Rutherglen. William was the son of Master Baker Alexander Miller and Janet Aitkenhead. John Brown gave his occupation as Foundry Labourer. Witnesses to the marriage were James Aitkenhead, presumably a cousin of William, and Agnes Urie.

Two years later, to the day, on 6th April, 1890, John Brown died, aged 58 years, at 67 Farie Street in Rutherglen. The cause of death was Pleuro-Pneumonia from which he had suffered for 7 days. Not apparent from the death record, but from family anecdote, it is believed that John had been struck by a hammer in the course of his work and subsequently died from his injury. His son-in-law, William Miller, registered the death and gave John's occupation as Hammerman.

The Death Record names Jane Johnston as John's first wife.

1890 Death Record of John Brown1890 Death Record of John BrownScotland's People

At the end of that same year, on 31st December 1890, Jeanie Stewart Brown, aged 20, and employed as a Powerloom Weaver, married 24-year-old Commercial Clerk, William Hamilton McKay at 67 Farie Street, Rutherglen. William was the son of Irish-born David McKay and Jane Flanagan in whose house John Brown and his brother Thomas had been boarding at the time of the 1861 Census, some 30 years earlier. In fact, William had been born at that address 38 Catherine Street, Anderston on 2nd June, 1866. It is likely therefore that the Browns and the McKays had known each other and kept in touch throughout the years and it is also likely that Jeanie and William knew each other throughout their childhood and teenage years.

Wedding Photo of William Hamilton McKay and Jeanie Stewart BrownWedding Photo of William Hamilton McKay and Jeanie Stewart BrownFamily Album

At the 1891 Census (5th April), the now widowed Margaret Brown was aged 50 and still residing at 67 Farie Street, Rutherglen, with her 18-year-old daughter, Maggie. Both mother and daughter were recorded as Cotton Weavers. Circumstances had required that Margaret Sr. take up employment once more.

Jeanie Stewart McKay, aged 20, was residing with her husband William, Commercial Clerk, at 34 Govanhill Street in Govanhill. This was the family home of William's widowed father, David, now 62 and still working as a Boilermaker.

At the time of the 1901 Census (5th April), the widowed Margaret Brown, now aged 62, was residing at 63 Chapel Street in Rutherglen with her 27-year-old daughter Margaret who was employed as a Coloured Cloth Weaver.

1953 Map showing the location of 63 Chapel Street, Margaret Brown's residence in 19011953 Map showing the location of 63 Chapel Street, Margaret Brown's residence in 1901National Library of Scotland

63 Chapel Street was the 3rd door from the right.63 Chapel Street was the 3rd door from the right.

Eldest daughter Martha Miller was residing at 22 Victoria Gardens with her husband William, now employed as a Mechanical Engineer, and 3 young daughters, Janet Aitkenead Miller (8), Margaret McKillop Miller (6) and Martha McKendrick Miller (5) at 22 Victoria Gardens in Rutherglen.

Jeanie McKay was residing with her husband William Hamilton McKay at 55 Chapel Street, Rutherglen just 4 doors away from Jeanie's mother Margaret Brown. Residing with them were their three small children, John Brown McKay (7), Jeanie Beattie McKay (6) and David McKay (1).

On 13th June 1903, youngest surviving daughter Margaret (Maggie) Brown, now aged 30, although recorded on the manifest as 28, sailed from Glasgow aboard the S.S. Columbia and arrived at New York on 21st June. She stated her occupation to be Weaver and her intended destination to be Kensington, Philadelphia where she would join her cousin A. Marshall. This cousin has not yet been identified in the family tree.

S.S. Columbia which took Maggie Brown to America in 1903S.S. Columbia which took Maggie Brown to America in 1903Ancestry.com

Maggie's mother, Margaret Brown née McKillop died aged 65 of Cardiac Disease at 63 Chapel Street, Rutherglen on 12th November 1905, just over 2 years after her daughter had emigrated. Her son-in-law, William Miller, registered the death.

1905 Death Record of Margaret Brown née McKillop 1905 Death Record of Margaret Brown née McKillop Scotland's People

After emigrating to the USA in 1903, Maggie Brown settled in Philadelphia and in 1908, the 35-year-old Maggie married 43-year-old widower Color Mixer/Dyer Daniel Brown (no relation) in Philadelphia, PA.

Daniel (Dan) had been born in Bonhill, Dunbartonshire, Scotland in 1864 and, at the age of 3, had emigrated to the USA with his family.

It was probably no coincidence that both Maggie and Dan were employed in the textile industry. Philadelphia had long been a centre for that particular sector.

From roughly 1880 through the 1920s, Philadelphia's industrial districts supported an array of mills and plants whose diversity has scarcely been matched anywhere in the history of manufacturing. When the U. S. Census charted some three hundred categories of industrial activity, surveys of Philadelphia showed firms active in nearly ninety percent of them. No city had a wider range of textile products, for example, as Kensington, Germantown, Frankford and Manayunk churned forth laces, socks, carpets, blankets, rope and cordage, men's suitings and women's dress goods, silk stockings, upholstery, tapestries, braids, bindings, ribbons, coverlets, knit fabric and sweaters, surgical fabrics, military cloths and trimmings, draperies, and yarns of every description. At the turn of the century, roughly seven hundred separate companies operated in textiles alone, employing some sixty thousand people. Yet this immense workforce amounted to only one quarter of the city's industrial workers. Unlike New England centers that often focused on a single sector (for Massachusetts, textiles in Lowell, Lawrence, Fall River and New Bedford, paper in Holyoke, shoes in Lynn), Philadelphia could and did do nearly everything across the spectrum of transforming materials into products.

Workshop of the World - Philadelphia

On 5th January 1910, Dan and Maggie's first child William, named after Dan's father, was born at 3139 Chatham Street, Philadelphia. This residence was located in Richmond which was an adjacent neighbourhood to Kensington where Maggie had been bound in 1903.

3139 Chatham Street, Philadelphia3139 Chatham Street, PhiladelphiaGoogle Street View

At the time of the 1910 Census (15th April), Dan and Maggie were residing at 3139 Chatham Street in Philadelphia. Dan was recorded as a 45-year-old Dyer in a Dye House and was born in Scotland to Scottish parents. Maggie was recorded as 32 and born in Scotland to Irish parents. Also resident were their son, 3-month-old William and 4-year-old 'Boarder' Archibald Brown recorded as having been born in Connecticut. In fact the boy was the son of Dan's sister Mary Lee Brown who had married Archibald Paton on 15th December, 1898. Mary died in Cos Cob, Connecticut on 26th March, 1909 leaving 4 very young children one of whom was Archibald Paton. Dan and Maggie took in young Archibald and raised him as Archibald Paton Brown. It is believed that other Brown family members raised Mary's other children.

Tragically young William Brown died aged 6 months at 3139 Chatham Street in Philadelphia. The Cause of Death was Gastroenteritis. Dan reported his son's death.

In 1912, Dan and Maggie's second son Daniel was born in Philadelphia and was baptised on 17th November 1912 at Port Richmond Methodist Episcopal Church.

At the time of the 1920 Census (1st January), Dan (55) and Maggie (43) were residing at 274 Webster Avenue in Queens, New York. Dan was employed as a Foreman Colour Mixer, Dyers. Also resident were Archie (13) and Daniel (7), both of whom were recorded as Dan's sons.

Margaret Brown née Brown, died aged 52 on 29th March, 1925 at the family home of 146-05 Springfield Avenue, Springfield, Queens, New York. The Cause of Death was Endocarditis and Myocarditis.

A couple of years after Maggie died, her widower Dan Brown, then aged 63, travelled back to Scotland. He arrived at Glasgow on 1st August, 1927 and stated on the ship's manifest that his intended destination was 30 Farmeloan Road in Rutherglen, which was the residence of his late wife's sister Jeanie Stewart McKay and her family.

Dan Brown (top left) visiting the McKays in RutherglenDan Brown (top left) visiting the McKays in RutherglenFamily Album

Back Row: Dan Brown, Jeanie Beattie McKay, John Brown McKay
Front Row: William Hamilton McKay, Jeanie Stewart McKay, Sarah McKay, David McKay.

The two girls are the chidren of David and Sarah: Jean Stewart Brown McKay and Margaret McKillop Brown McKay.

As a memento of his visit and as a mark of appreciation for hospitality shown, Dan gifted William an inscribed copy of the Poems of Robert Burns.

Dan Brown's InscriptionDan Brown's InscriptionFamily Archive

Dan Brown died aged 83 on 5th February, 1948 in the Metropolitan Hospital, Manhattan, New York City. His residence at the time of his death was 22-29 24th Street, Queens, New York City.

Back at the time of the 1911 Census (2nd April), Martha Miller, eldest daughter of the late John and Margaret Brown, was residing with her husband Machineman William and family at 5 Parkhill Drive in Rutherglen.

5 Parkhill Drive, Rutherglen5 Parkhill Drive, RutherglenGoogle Street View

Just after the 1911 Census, the Miller family emigrated to Australia. Martha and her 4 daughters arrived at Sydney on 24th November, 1911. It is likely that William Miller had travelled to Australia in advance of his family.

Ship Manifest listing Miller familyShip Manifest listing Miller familyAncestry.com

The MIller family settled in Sydney, New South Wales.

On 5th August, 1922, William Miller died at Redfern, Sydney.

1922 Family memorial messages1922 Family memorial messagesTrove Newspaper Archive

Margaret McKendrick Miller née Brown died on 30th September, 1948 at 21 North Rd., Ryde, Sydney, New South Wales.

Miller Family NoticesMiller Family NoticesTrove Newspaper Archives

At the time of the 1911 Census (2nd April), Jeanie Stewart McKay was residing at 30 Farmeloan Road with her husband Clerk William and their family, John (17), Engineer's Patternmaker, Jeanie (16), Laundry Worker, and David (11) at School.

30 Farmeloan Road, Rutherglen30 Farmeloan Road, RutherglenGoogle Street View

William Hamilton McKay died, aged 73, at 30 Farmeloan Road on 14th February 1940 of Cardiovascular Degeneration. His son, John, registered the death. William is buried with members of his family in Rutherglen Cemetery.

1940 Death Record of William Hamilton McKay1940 Death Record of William Hamilton McKayScotland's People

Jeanie Stewart McKay née Brown would go on to live for a further 24 years after the death of her husband William and passed away on 7th December, 1964 at the age of 94. She died at 343 Main Street in Rutherglen, the home of her son David who registered the death. The Cause of Death was recorded as Coronary Thrombosis and Arterio Sclerosis.

1964 Death Record of Jeanie Stewart McKay née Brown.1964 Death Record of Jeanie Stewart McKay née Brown.Scotland's People

343 Main Street in Rutherglen343 Main Street in RutherglenGoogle Street View

McKay Family Headstone in Rutherglen CemeteryMcKay Family Headstone in Rutherglen CemeteryFamily Album