Author Topic: Andrew Family  (Read 8838 times)

Offline claireandrew

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Andrew Family
« on: Sunday 19 September 10 22:00 BST (UK) »
Hi,
I'm not sure if any of you will be able to help with my research. 
My great grandfather, John Andrew is said to have been born in London on 17/4/1875, the illegitimate son of a maidservant to the Laird at Kenmuir Castle near the village of New Galloway in Kirkcudbrightshire in southern Scotland. The father is thought to have been the Laird’s youngest son (Surname Maxwell). Nothing is known of his mother’s fate. As a baby John returned to New Galloway and was looked after by Doctor Cowan (recorded in the census). When the money from the Laird ran out John was adopted by ‘Auntie Craig’ who he always looked on as his mother. She was the headmistress of the local school, unmarried with a brother ‘Uncle Geordie’. Jean was Uncle Geordie’s daughter.
I am trying to find out who John's mother was & whether the above details (passed down through the family) are accurate.  Does anyone know anything about my grandfather? 
Thanks,
Claire Andrew

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Offline Gadget

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Andrew Family
« Reply #1 on: Monday 20 September 10 09:22 BST (UK) »
Hi Claire

Welcome to Rootschat  :)

My ancestors were from that area  :)

T o my knowlwdge the lairds of Kenmure Castle were the Gordons:

http://www.theglenkens.org.uk/kenmuir-castle. I have quite a few local books and pamphlets but unfortunately I don't have many with me at the moment.

There were Maxwells in the area (maybe Balmaclellan - I'll check )

I'll have a look at what I've got and get back to you.


Gadget

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Andrew Family
« Reply #2 on: Monday 20 September 10 09:49 BST (UK) »
Hi again

I don't think that the Kenmure/Maxwell story is correct.

I've found John on the 1881 in New Galloway with James Cowan, as you say. I think that the best thing for you would be to work backwards from his marriage, etc. - do you have details - was it in Scotland or England? Do you have him on any later censues, etc.?


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Offline claireandrew

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Re: Robb Family
« Reply #3 on: Monday 20 September 10 09:58 BST (UK) »
Hi Gadget,
Thanks for replying.  I have all John's details from 1881 onwards, but nothing before.  The main problem is that we are not sure if Andrew is his surname, his mother's surname, or his middle name used as a surname.  So, I can't trace a birth cert for him.  The family story is that his mother was pregnant & sent down to London for the birth & then John was brought back by train, on his own to live with the Cowans.  They were paid for his upkeep by someone & then the money stopped & he was taken in by "Auntie Craig".  A real mystery!  I'm going up to Kells/New Galloway in a few weeks so will have a root around but am not hopeful of finding anything out.
Regards,
Claire
PS.  We have several members of the family looking into this & noone has been able to shed any light on it.

Offline Gadget

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Andrew Family
« Reply #4 on: Monday 20 September 10 10:04 BST (UK) »
Hi again  :)

I'm starting to try to work out the connections.

I see that on the 1891 the family are in New Galloway and John is now 'Cowan'

High Street, New Galloway
GROS Ref- 868 ED 2 P 8

Jessie Craig, 49, farmer, b. New Galloway
Jessie Mary Cowan, niece, 22, teacher - unemployed, b. New Galloway
John Andrew Cowan, nephew, 15, grocer's apprentice, b. England

On the 1881, Jessie Mary was shown as the daughter of James Cowan. 

What else do you have on the Cowans as there doesn't seem to be any MIs for them in Kells


Gadget
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Offline claireandrew

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Andrew Family
« Reply #5 on: Monday 20 September 10 10:59 BST (UK) »
Hi,
I have the following:
1881- High Street, Kells
John Andrew 6 Boarder
Elizabeth Cowan 46 Wife Dressmaker
Homer Cowan (Twin) 15
James Cowan 60 Formerly teacher
Jessie M. Cowan 13
John Cowan (Twin) 15

1891-51 High Street, Kells
Jessie Craig
Jessie Mary Cowan
John Andrew

After that, I don't have any more details on the Cowans, other than that Homer Cowan is living in Burnley in 1891 & 1901.  John Andrew also moved to Burnley & they were both employed as draper's apprentices & then became Master Tailors.  John Andrew's children called him Uncle Homer.
I think the John Cowan on your records for 1891 is the twin of Homer.

Thanks,
Claire

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Re: Robb Family
« Reply #6 on: Monday 20 September 10 11:05 BST (UK) »
In those days, there wasn't any formal adoption as we know it and the most likely people to adopt or take in children were relatives or neighbours. so it's worth exploring the Cowan family- and James's wife, Elizabeth's family.




Gadget
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Offline claireandrew

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Re: Robb Family
« Reply #7 on: Monday 20 September 10 11:17 BST (UK) »
Hi,
Yes, that's a good idea.  One of my relatives in Australia has been going through all of the female relatives that were of the right age & who were domestic servants at the time.  However, it all becomes circumstantial but that may be the best we can do.
Thanks & regards,
Claire

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Re: Robb Family
« Reply #8 on: Monday 20 September 10 13:00 BST (UK) »
Hi Claire

I'm not sure if you've seen this and wonder if it might help.

James Cowan is listed in the Wills section of Scotlands People:

Kirkcudbright Sherriff's Court
James Cowan, 29 Sept 1901
Retired Teacher, New Galloway. Died 12 Sept 1890 at Glasserton, Wigtownshire. Intestate

It will cost £5 to get a copy. I'm not sure what it will contain but there seems a long lead time between death and settlement so it might contain something interesting.


Gadget
Census &  BMD information Crown Copyright www.nationalarchives.gov.uk and GROS - www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk