Stories

John Crosbie (1833-1907)

John Crosbie was born on 2nd September 1833 in the village of Kirkton, parish of Kirkmahoe, Dumfriesshire and was baptised on 8th September. He was the son of Quarryman Robert Crosbie and Mary Dalziel, both of whom had been born in Kirkmahoe and who had been married in around 1821, probably also in Kirkmahoe.

John Crosbie's 1833 birth record.John Crosbie's 1833 birth record.Scotland's People

KIRKMAHOE, a parish, in the county of Dumfries, 3½ miles (N.) from Dumfries; containing, with the villages of Dalswinton, Duncow, and Kirkton, 1568 inhabitants. The appellation of this parish is of doubtful origin; but it is supposed to have been derived from the position of its ancient church in a valley, or near the course of the river Nith.

The parish is seven and a half miles long, and its extreme breadth is five and a half miles. It contains about 11,840 Scotch acres, and is bounded on the north by Closeburn parish; on the north-east and east by Kirkmichael and by Tinwald; on the south and south-east by Dumfries; on the west by Holywood; and on the north-west by Dunscore. Though this is entirely an inland parish, the hills, especially the Watchman's hill, command a fine view of the sea; and in a clear day, the Solway Frith is seen in the distance. The river Nith runs along the western boundary of the parish, and intersects it at one corner. There are also several small streams or burns, which abound in trout, and are in many parts distinguished by romantic scenery: the Duncow burn forms three waterfalls, one of which, in rainy seasons, has a striking and imposing appearance.

The rocks in the parish consist chiefly of sandstone, frequently impregnated with red iron-ore: white marl has been found in the southern parts; and red soft sand, mixed with gravel and stones, is in some places abundant.

Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846)

John Crosbie was the fifth of nine children born to Robert and Mary and, at the time of the first decenniel census (7th June, 1841), he was aged 7 and residing with his family in the village of Kirkton in Kirkmahoe parish, Dumfriesshire. Robert was aged 48, employed as a Quarryman and Parish Officer. Mary (recorded as Mrs Crosbie) was aged 40. Another five of John's siblings were also present.

KIRKTON, a village, in the parish of Kirkmahoe, county of Dumfries; containing 221 inhabitants.

Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846)

1851 Map of Kirkton1851 Map of KirktonNational Library of Scotland

Kirkton Village 2009Kirkton Village 2009Kevin Rae

We might speculate that Robert Crosbie was employed at Locharbriggs Quarry located about a walkable 2 miles southeast of Kirkton Village. It is well known for the quarrying of distinctive red sandstone of the Locharbriggs Sandstone Formation. This has been used for buildings in towns and cities including Dumfries, Glasgow and Edinburgh. The stone has also been exported further afield, including for the construction of the steps of the Statue of Liberty in New York. (Only one quarry now remains active.)

1850 Map showing Kirkton village and Locharbriggs Quarry1850 Map showing Kirkton village and Locharbriggs QuarryNational Library of Scotland

Locharbriggs Quarry in the 20th CenturyLocharbriggs Quarry in the 20th Centuryfuturemuseum.co.uk

At the time of the 1851 Census (31st March), the 17-year-old John was employed as a Farm Servant and was residing at Foregirth Farm in Kirkmahoe, Dumfriesshire, This farm was located just 2 miles northwest of Kirkton where John's family were still residing although his father, Robert, had died and head of family Mary was recorded as a Widow.

On 11th November 1854, in Urr parish, Kirkcudbrightshire, 22-year-old John Crosbie married 28-year-old Janet Clint at Meikle Larg Farm by the village of Crocketford.

1850 Map showing Crocketford and the nearby Meikle Larg Farm1850 Map showing Crocketford and the nearby Meikle Larg FarmNational Library of Scotland

Meikle Larg was described in around 1850 as follows:

A farm house and outhouse in indifferent repair with a farm of land attached.

ScotlandsPlaces OS1/20/65/32

Modern day view of the farm house at Meikle Larg. Modern day view of the farm house at Meikle Larg. https://www.onthemarket.com/details/3578622/

URR, a parish, in the stewartry of Kirkcudbright, 3½ miles (E. N. E.) from Castle-Douglas; containing, with the villages of Dalbeattie, Hardgate, Haugh, and Springholm, and part of the village of Crocketford, 3096 inhabitants, of whom 996 are in the rural districts. This place, of which the name is of very obscure origin, claims a considerable degree of antiquity; and from the remains of some fortified camps, and the discovery of Roman coins and military weapons, it is supposed to have been visited by the Romans. The parish is bounded on the west by the river Urr, and is nearly sixteen miles in length, and rather more than two and a half in average breadth, comprising an area of 30,000 acres, of which 25,000 are arable, 1000 woodland and plantations, and the remainder meadow, pasture, and waste. The surface, though for the greater part level, is diversified by a range of heights called the Larg hills, which have an elevation of 600 feet above the level of the sea; and the scenery, being enriched with wood, is generally of pleasing character.

CROCKETFORD, a village, partly in the parish of Kirkpatrick-Durham, and partly in that of Urr, stewartry of Kirkcudbright; containing, in the Kirkpatrick-Durham portion 117, and in the Urr portion 122, inhabitants. A road branches off from the village to New Galloway and the Glenkens. There is a small school.

Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846)

John Crosbie's wife Janet Clint had been born in June 1826 at 'Causeyhead', in the parish of Crossmichael, Kirkcudbrightshire. She was the daughter of Alexander Clint and his wife Mary Little. Causeyhead was in fact Causeway Head, which was located just to the north of Crossmichael village.

Causeway Head was described in around 1850 as follows:

A row of thatched houses one of which is a farm house attached to 8 acres of arable land. They are the property of James Anderson of Erncrogo.

ScotlandsPlaces OS1/20/87/19

1850 Map showing location of Causeway Head1850 Map showing location of Causeway HeadNational Library of Scotland

Modern view of the houses at Causeway Head, birthplace of Janet Clint (no longer thatched)Modern view of the houses at Causeway Head, birthplace of Janet Clint (no longer thatched)Google Street View

At the time of the 1841 Census, Janet had been recorded as aged 15 and residing in Crocketford Village, Urr, Kirkcudbrightshire with her parents Agricultural Labourer Alexander (40).and Mary (45) and her 12-year-old sister Mary.

At the 1851 Census, Janet, aged 24, was still resident at Crocketford with her parents Labourer Alexander (57) and Mary (60) and she was employed as an Agricultural Labourer. Clearly, keeping a track of precise age was not a priority for the Clint family.

On 24th August 1855, Mary Ann Crosbie was born at Meikle Larg Farm at Crocketford, the same location where her parents had been married. John Crosbie reported the birth of his daughter and the birth record indicates that John Crosbie had previously fathered an illegitimate son and that Mary Ann was Janet's second child.

Janet Crosbie née Clint died aged 32 on 14th August, 1858 in Meikle Larg, Crocketford. Her father Alexander reported the death and no cause of death was entered in the death register. Janet was buried at Dunscore Churchyard.

Dunscore Church and ChurchyardDunscore Church and ChurchyardChris Newman

The inscription on the broken headstone reads:-

In Memory of Mary, daughter of Alexander CLINT,
who died at Crocketford April 23rd 18[??] aged 17 years
Also Jacob CLINT his son, who died at Crocketford 1st August 1848 aged 27 years
Also Janet CLINT his daughter, and wife of John CROSBIE,
who died at Meikle Larg 11th August 1858 aged 32 years
Also the above Alexander CLINT, who died at
Crocketford 21st May 1864 aged 65 years.

Dunscore Village Churchyard Monumental Inscriptions

We have no explanation for the 3 day discrepancy between the death dates on Janet's headstone and her death record.

Dunscore Churchyard hosts the graves of the families of Janet's parents, Alexander Clint and Mary Little. It surely would have been a sorry occasion as Janet's body was transported the 10 miles north from Crocketford to the churchyard at Dunscore.

At the time of the 1861 Census (8th April), John Crosbie was residing at Wigton Street in Newton Stewart, Parish of Penninghame in Kirkcudbrightshire. His occupation was given as Labourer and he was clearly lodging, as were several other Labourers, most of Irish birth.

NEWTON-STEWART, a market-town, in Penninghame parish, county of Wigton, 7¼ miles (N. by W.) from Wigton, and 26 (E. by N.) from Stranraer; containing 2172 inhabitants. The town is pleasantly situated on the banks of the river Cree, over which is an elegant bridge of granite of five arches, connecting Newton-Stewart with the village of Creebridge, in the parish of Minnigaff; it consists chiefly of one spacious street, extending along the shore, and in the centre of which is the town-hall. The houses, generally two stories in height, are neatly built, and roofed with slate. A public library, and a news and reading room, well supplied with journals and periodical publications, are supported by subscription; and a horticultural and an agricultural society, both recently established, hold their annual meetings in the town.

The principal trade is the tanning and currying of leather, and the buying and selling of wool. The weaving of cotton is still carried on by handloom weavers at their own dwellings for the Glasgow manufacturers, though gradually diminishing; and the curing of bacon, which is of recent introduction, is extensive, producing annually a return of £6000. Many of the inhabitants are employed in the usual handicraft trades requisite for the wants of a district; and there are numerous shops well stored with articles of merchandise, and also an extensive brewery. Branches of the British Linen Company's and the Edinburgh and Glasgow Banks, as well as several insurance agencies, have been established. The post-office has a good delivery; and facility of communication is maintained by the military road from Dumfries to Portpatrick, and the road from Wigton to Ayr, and by the river as high as Port-Carty, which is accessible to small vessels.

Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846)

Meanwhile John's young daughter Mary Ann Crosbie was being cared for by her late mother's parents back in Crocketford Village. She was aged 5 and a Scholar. Alexander, age recorded as 60, was still working as an Agricultural Labourer while Mary was 65. Also resident was 9-year-old Scholar Jacob Clint, stated to be Alexander and Mary's grandson. Jacob was the first child of Janet Clint declared on Mary Ann Crosbie's birth record. Jacob later adopted the surname of his father, Joseph Johnstone.

John Crosbie, now aged 27, married Janet Cowper on 26th April 1861 in Castle Douglas, parish of Kelton in Kirkcudbrightshire. Witnesses to the marriage were James Crosbie, John's brother, and Hugh Halliday, most likely a step-brother of Janet.

On 26th August, 1861, John's mother Mary Crosbie née Dalziel died aged recorded as 60 at Kirkton, Kirkmahoe. The Cause of Death was Phthisis Pulmonalis (Tuberculosis) from which she had been suffering for 2 years. Her death was reported by her son Robert who had been present ather death.

CASTLE-DOUGLAS, a market-town and burgh of barony, in the parish of Kelton, stewartry of Kirkcudbright, 10 miles (N. N. E.) from Kirkcudbright, and 89 (S. S. W.) from Edinburgh; containing 1848 inhabitants. This place, which is situated on a gentle acclivity rising from the margin of Loch Carlinwark, originally consisted only of a few cottages called "Causeway End," and subsequently "Carlinwark."
The town is situated on the great road from Carlisle to Portpatrick, and consists of several spacious streets, intersecting each other at right angles, and forming handsome squares, of which the internal areas are laid out in gardens. The houses are well built; and there are several villas in the immediate vicinity, which abounds with pleasing scenery. Gas was introduced into the town in February 1844, by a company, and has proved of considerable benefit. A public library is supported by subscription, and contains about 1200 volumes, and there is also a circulating library in the town. The shops are remarkably elegant, and are well stored with various kinds of merchandise; the post-office is one of the most important in the south of Scotland, and has fourteen branch offices under its controul, all of which have a daily delivery.

Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846)

Janet was the daughter of Robert Cowper, a Joiner who had been long-deceased by the time of the marriage, and Elizabeth Grierson who had subsequently married John Halliday.

Incredibly, John and Janet's first child was born on the very same day as they were married. Elisabeth Crosbie, named after her maternal grandmother, was born on 26th April 1861 in Kelton, Kirkcudbrightshire. John Crosbie registered both the marriage and his daughter's birth two days later.

Their second child Robert Crosbie, named after both grandfathers, was born on 11th February, 1863 at 29 Loreburn Street in Dumfries, Dumfriesshire. John was now employed as a Burgh Police Officer. It appears that he had now turned his back on working on the land and his future working life would take a considerable turn.

DUMFRIES, a royal burgh, county town, port, and the seat of a presbytery and synod, in the county of Dumfries; comprising the parishes of St. Michael and New-Church, with the villages of Georgetown, Locharbriggs, Lochthorn, and part of Kelton; and containing 11,409 inhabitants, of whom 10,069 are in the burgh; 71½ miles (S. by W.) from Edinburgh.

The town is pleasantly situated on the east bank of the river Nith, and is about a mile in length, and a quarter of a mile in breadth; the streets are regular and well formed, intersecting each other at right angles. The houses are uniformly built of red freestone, generally painted of a colour resembling Portland stone; those that are of ancient date are substantial and of handsome appearance, and those of more modern erection are conspicuous for elegance. There are also some handsome ranges of building, of which Queensberry square is embellished in the centre with a stately Doric column, erected in 1780 to the memory of the Duke of Queensberry. An elegant and commodious bridge was built over the Nith in 1794, a little above the ancient bridge of thirteen arches, reduced by frequent alterations to seven arches, and now solely appropriated to foot passengers. The streets are all well paved, and lighted with gas from works established in 1828; gas has also been introduced into the shops and most of the public buildings, and the inhabitants are amply supplied with excellent water from springs in the neighbourhood. A public subscription library was founded in 1792, and has a valuable collection on general literature; there are also several circulating libraries, a public newsroom, and four reading-rooms, all supplied with daily journals and periodical publications, besides a mechanics' institution which has a good collection of books. Card and dancing assemblies are held in a handsome suite of rooms recently erected for the purpose in George-street; and a theatre, a commodious and well-arranged building, in which Kean made his first appearance, is open for two or three months during the season. Races take place annually on the Tinwald Downs, and are well attended; a regatta is celebrated by a club established here; and the members of the Caledonian hunt hold their meetings by rotation in the town. The Dumfries and Galloway Horticultural Society, instituted in 1812 for the promotion of improvements in horticulture, also meet here periodically.

Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846)

Change in work content was not the only change in store for John, because he next moved to England with his family and their third child William Crosbie was born on 27th January, 1865 in Upton, Cheshire, England.

UPTON, a parish, in the union, and Lower division of the hundred, of Wirrall, S. division of the county of Chester, 3 miles (W.) from Birkenhead; containing 237 inhabitants. It comprises 917 acres of land, the soil of which is clay. A market was held so late as 1662, and there are still two fairs for cattle: a court leet and baron takes place annually. The lands have been considerably improved by William Webster, Esq., of Upton Hall, who is lord of the manor. Upton by Birkenhead was a township and parish in Wirral Hundred (SJ 2688), which became a civil parish in 1866.

Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846)

Upton was the primary economic centre of northern Wirral until the industrial development of Birkenhead during the mid-19th century. Five important local roads converged on the village, and its main thoroughfare was the place of a weekly market, recorded as being held from 1662.

The Crosbie family was not to remain long in Upton for they moved to the fast developing Birkenhead where, on 13th November, 1866, Helen Crosbie was born. Birkenhead was a township in Bidston Parish which was the neighbouring parish just to the east of Upton parish where Willam had been born just about 18 months earlier.

BIRKENHEAD, a rising sea-port, market-town, and township, in the union, and Lower division of the hundred, of Wirrall, S. division of Cheshire; situated less than a mile, by ferry, (W.) from Liverpool, 16 miles (N. by W.) from Chester, 32 (W. by S.) from Manchester, and 202 (N. W.) from London; containing about 25,000 inhabitants, and comprising the ancient extraparochial district or chapelry of Birkenhead, the former township of Claughton, in Bidstone, and part of that of Oxton, in Woodchurch. Though of recent origin as a town and port, this place is of considerable antiquity.

A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848)

Soon however, John and Janet Crosbie were to move their family again, this time across the River Mersey to Liverpool and it was there that Isabella Crosbie was born in June 1870 in West Derby, Lancashire.

LIVERPOOL, a parish, seaport, market town, municipal and parliamentary borough, having separate jurisdiction, but locally inn the hundred of West Derby, southern division of the county palatine of Lancaster. It stands on the right bank near the mouth of the river Mersey.

The number and size of the docks will give some idea of the extent of the commerce carried on at Liverpool. The trade with America, in cotton, tobacco, and sugar, is the chief staple of the port, but there is a very large trade with all parts of the world for every article of merchandise. The value of the exports is about one-half that of the exports of the United Kingdom, and the amount of cotton imported is greater than that imported at all the other ports. The manufactures are principally connected with shipping, but there are in addition extensive sugar refineries, tobacco and soap manufactories, potteries, glass-staining works, iron and brass foundries, and mills for grinding corn, colours, and dyers' wood.

The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868

At the time of the 1871 Census (3rd April), John Crosbie was residing at Lorton Street in Toxteth Park in Liverpool. He was employed as a Stonemason's Labourer and was recorded as age 36, as was his wife Janet. Residing with them were their children Elizabeth (9), Robert (7), William (5) Ellen (3) and Isabella (1). All of the children were recorded as Scholars - clearly incorrect as only the three older children would have been of school age.

1908 Map showing Lorton Street and Buttermere Street (bottom left)1908 Map showing Lorton Street and Buttermere Street (bottom left)Alan Godfrey Maps

Lorton Street showing Court No.1 and Buttermere Street in 1891Lorton Street showing Court No.1 and Buttermere Street in 1891old-maps.co.uk

The address given on the 1871 Census return was No. 1 House, 1 Court, Lorton Street, revealing that the Crosbie family lived in one of the infamous 'courts' for which Liverpool was known.

Court housing was a form of high-density housing found in British towns and cities from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. Courts and associated cellar dwellings, were especially prevalent in Liverpool and there is a wide range of historical evidence about them. Known as 'courts', 'alleys' and 'back houses' homes squeezed behind street-front properties provided additional accommodation in the town.

Courts and Alleys - A history of Liverpool courtyard housing. Elizabeth J. Stewart

A typical Liverpool 'court' (Saltney Street, 1906)A typical Liverpool 'court' (Saltney Street, 1906)Courts and Alleys - A history of Liverpool courtyard housing. Elizabeth J. Stewart

The photograph shows a Liverpool 'court' of a type in which the Crosbies would have resided at this time. Liverpool experienced an exponential surge in population throughout the nineteenth century due to a combination of rapid industrialisation and the influx of Irish immigrants escaping the Potato Famine. The inevitable and intolerable pressure on housing led to the establishment of these courts which were generally about 25 feet long and 10 feet wide around which were constructed 2, 3 or 4 storey blocks of rooms on all sides. An average sized court generally housed 20 to 30 families. The front might well appear as a fairly ordinary terrace, but once one entered the door or alley into the central court, the poor conditions became only too obvious. The small windows received little light as the blocks were either very close together or might be overshadowed by a high warehouse occupying one side of the court. One toilet and one tap in the central yard would probably be the only sanitary provisions. Hardly surprising that epidemics of diseases such as cholera, typhoid and smallpox were commonplace.

Lorton Street was located in the small area known as Windsor.

In 1822 the area of Windsor was laid out: the area enclosed by Parliament Street, Lodge Lane, Crown Street, and Upper Stanhope Street (now Beaumont Street) began to be developed.

Historic Liverpool

Windsor 1860Windsor 1860Historic Liverpool

The Crosbie dwelling at Lorton Street was of fairly recent construction although given the reputation of these types of dwellings for very cheap and poor construction, this fact alone did not guarantee any kind of quality accommodation.

The family was still residing in Lorton Street when Janet Crosbie was born on 19th February, 1876 in West Derby, Lancashire. Janet was the last child that would be born to John and Janet Crosbie and she was born 21 years after Mary Ann Crosbie, John's eldest daughter who had been born in Crocketford.

In fact, just before young Janet was born, Mary Ann Crosbie, employed as a Farm Servant, married Ploughman Douglas Carson at Fardingjames Cottage, Keir parish, Dumfriesshire on 23rd May, 1876. Mary Ann gave her father's occupation as Blacksmith. Witnesses to this marriage were Mary Ann's cousins Joanna Clint and William Crosbie.

On 14th November, 1880, John and Janet's eldest daughter Elisabeth Crosbie, now aged 20, married 23-year-old Stonemason John Bradley in the parish of West Derby in Lancashire. Both gave their address at the time of the marriage as 19 Sykes Street. Elizabeth stated that her father John was a Blacksmith.

At the time of the 1881 Census (4th April), John Crosbie, now aged 46, was residing with his wife Janet (also 46) at 12 Buttermere Street in Toxteth Park in Liverpool. This was situated just off Lorton Street where the family had been living 10 years earlier. John's occupation was recorded as Labourer. Also resident were his 18-year-old son Robert, also a Labourer, William (16) who was a Labourer in an Iron Works and daughters Isabella (10), a Scholar, and 5-year-old Janet.

John's eldest daughter, Mary Ann Carson was residing at Tounhead, Penpont, Dumfriesshire on 4th April 1881.

Newly married eldest daughter Elisabeth Bradley has not yet been located in the 1881 Census.

Ellen Crosbie, age recorded as 15, was working as a General Servant and residing in the home of 55-year-old widow Jane Roberts at 121 Harrowby Street in Toxteth Park, less than half a mile to the west from where her parents were residing.

On 12th February, 1888, Ellen, now aged 21, was baptised at the Parish Church of St. Paul, Princes Park, Liverpool. Although she was registered at her birth in 1866 as Helen she offered her name as Ellen Christine Crosbie and gave her occupation as Servant and her address as 24 Wellesley Road. She further stated that her date of birth was 13th November, 1866.

William Crosbie married Mary Ellen Shone on 19th March, 1888. Mary Ellen's parents were Ropemaker Daniel Shone and Sarah Ann Drain who had been residing with their family, including Mary Ellen, at 16 Buttermere Street at the time of the 1871 Census around the time that the Crosbie family moved from Birkenhead to the adjacent Lorton Street and we can be fairly confident that William would have known Mary Ellen from the time they were young children.

John and Janet's eldest daughter, Elisabeth Bradley née Crosbie died aged 28 in the first quarter of 1890 in West Derby. She and her husband John had had two children, John Frederick and George, who would have been 7 and 5 at the time of her death.

At the time of the 1891 Census (5th April) John Crosbie was residing with his family at 52 Wilfer Street, West Derby. He was recorded as 50 years old and was working as a Blacksmith. Residing with him were his wife Janet, also recorded as 50 years old and daughters Isabella (20) and Janet (15). He was recorded as being neither an Employer nor Employed. This suggests that he worked for himself and had no employees. The Electoral Roll indicates that from 1884 John worked from a Smithy in Back Windsor View off Lodge Lane a few minutes walk south of Buttermere Street.

1906 Map showing Wilfer Street1906 Map showing Wilfer StreetAlan Godfrey Maps

Wilfer Street was located just a few hundred yards to the east of Buttermere Street where the family had been residing at the time of the 1881 Census.

Mary Ann Carson was residing in Back Street, Penpont Village, Dumfriesshire on 5th April, 1891.

William Crosbie, aged 23 and employed as a Blacksmith's Striker, was residing at 20 Buttermere Street with his wife Mary Ellen (23) and their two children Sarah Ann (2) and Isabella (1).

The recently deceased Elisabeth Bradley's young sons were residing with their father John, at 17 Lindal Street in Barrow, Barrow-in-Furness. The widowed John had moved there to be with his mother following Elisabeth's passing.

On 13th July, 1898, John and Janet Crosbie's youngest daughter 22-year-old Janet married Albert Edward Bridges at Edge Hill, Liverpool, Lancashire.

Very soon after, perhaps around August 1898, John Crosbie's wife, Janet Crosbie née Cowper died in West Derby (probably at Wilfer Street), Lancashire. She would have been 65 years old.

On 11th September, 1899 the 36-year-old John Crosbie's eldest son, Robert, now working as a Railway Porter and residing at 51 Fielding Street married Rachel Pollock (34) of 7 Scourfield Street in the Parish Church at Christ Church, Kensington in Liverpool.

At the time of the 1901 Census (31st March) widower John Crosbie, now aged 67 was still residing at Wilfer Street (although now at no. 63), West Derby. Residing with him were his daughter and son-in-law Janet and Alfred Bridges and their one-year-old daughter Lilian. John was recorded as being employed as a Blacksmith and was classified as a 'Worker' suggesting that he no longer worked for himself. He nevertheless maintained a hold on the Smithy in Back Windsor View.

Alfred was a Groom or Coachman. Also resident was 8-year-old John Crosbie, a grandson of John Sr. It is not clear who the parents of this boy would have been. John's son William had a son called John who would have been this age, but he was recorded as residing with his parents at Buttermere Street and we may have to eliminate him, although there is a possibility that this child had been 'double-counted' with the census enumerators visiting both families on different occasions.

Mary Carson was residing in Princes Street, Penpont Village, Dumfriesshire on 31st March, 1901.

Robert and Rachel Crosbie were now residing at 7 Scourfield Street in the Kensington District of Liverpool. Robert was still employed as a Railway Porter. Residing with them was Robert's 24-year-old cousin William H. Crosbie, born in Liverpool and employed as a Van Driver.

As mentioned, William Crosbie was residing at 20 Buttermere Street with his wife Mary Ellen and family of six children. He was 36 and employed as a General Labourer.

At this time, 30-year-old Isabella Crosbie was residing at 67 Falkner Street in Liverpool. This was the address of the Liverpool Female Penitentiary and Isabella was an Inmate. This establishment had been erected in 1809 for receiving and reforming penitent prostitutes.

John Crosbie died on 12th March, 1907 in Princes Street, Penpont, of Cardiac Disease. He was 74 years old. His son-in-law Douglas Carson reported the death and gave John's occupation as Retired Blacksmith. Princes Street was the home of John's daughter Mary Carson. We might draw the conclusion that despite John Crosbie's separation from his daughter following the early death of his first wife Janet Clint, his second marriage and his move to England where he seems to have settled for more than 30 years, he nevertheless appears to have kept in touch with his eldest daughter and she probably cared for him during his last days.

Interesting too, is the fact that John's younger brother Joseph Crosbie, born in Kirkmahoe in around 1836, had moved to Penpont just before the 1871 Census when he was a Police Constable residing at the Police Station. He would later earn his living as a Carter. He died in Penpont on 2nd November, 1908, the year following his brother. So in fact Joseph had settled in Penpont several years before his niece Mary Ann Crosbie had.

At the time of the 1911 Census (2nd April), Mary Carson née Crosbie was still residing at Princes Street in Penpont. She and her Wood Sawyer husband Douglas Carson were soon to move to Glasgow where they would spend the rest of their days. Mary died at 214 Hunter Street on 7th January, 1937 at age 81.

At the same time, Robert Crosbie (48) and his wife Rachel (45) were still residing at 7 Scourfield Street in Edge Hill. Robert was still employed as a Railway Porter. Robert would die at the same address in 1924 aged 61.

Meanwhile, William Crosbie (47) was residing at 23 Exe Street with his wife Mary Ellen (45) and his 7 youngest children. Exe Street was located a short walk to the southwest of Buttermere Street where they resided in 1901. William was employed as a Plater's Helper in a Bridge Yard. William died, probably at Exe Street, in 1942 aged 77.

William and Mary Ellen Crosbie with their 4 youngest daughters Eleanor, Janet, Elizabeth & Molly in around 1915. William and Mary Ellen Crosbie with their 4 youngest daughters Eleanor, Janet, Elizabeth & Molly in around 1915. Courtesy Jim Black

On 2nd April,1911 Isabella Crosbie was residing in Manchester as an inmate at the Manchester and Salford Asylum for Penitent Women on 99 Embden Street, a similar establishment to the one in which she was residing in Liverpool ten years earlier. In 1916 she married Thomas Hyland in Toxteth Park and died around age 57 in June 1927 at 5 St. Jude's Place, Edge Hill. She was buried in Anfield Cemetery.

Meanwhile, John and Janet Crosbie's youngest child Janet Bridges née Crosbie (34) was residing with her family at 38 Thames Street. Her husband Alfred (37) was employed as a Cab Driver (Horse) and Lilian (11) and Helen (9) were, presumably, at school. Janet lived at this address until her death in July 1943 at age 67. She was buried at Allerton Cemetery.

Ellen Crosbie, who last appeared in the records in 1888 when she was baptised at age 21, was recorded from 1937 residing with Janet and her family at 38 Thames Street. In fact she outlived her sister and was recorded at the same address until she died in January 1945 at age 78. She was also buried in Allerton Cemetery. Ellen was the last of John and Janet Crosbie's children to pass away.

Footnote:

in 1908, the Lorton Street court occupied by the Crosbie family at the time of the 1871 Census and throughout the 1870s was demolished and replaced by the Pavilion Theatre, Lodge Lane. This later became the Mecca Bingo Club and then the Pivvy Bingo Club.

1951 Map showing location of Liverpool Pavilion Theatre1951 Map showing location of Liverpool Pavilion Theatreold-maps.co.uk

Lorton Street showing rear of Pivvy Bingo Club in 2012Lorton Street showing rear of Pivvy Bingo Club in 2012arthurlloyd.co.uk

Monday 2nd April, 1962 was The Beatles only live appearance at the Pavilion Theatre, situated on Lodge Lane in Liverpool.

The group shared a bill with the Royal Waterford Showband, who flew in from Ireland for the engagement. The event was promoted by local variety agent Jim Gretty, and was The Beatles' only live appearance at the theatre, known locally as the "Pivvy". They were paid £5 for their appearance.

The Pavilion Theatre was better known as a striptease venue, although The Quarrymen did take part in skiffle contests there in the late 1950s.