Jennifer Swantek emailed me in July adding, “Hello Paul. Hope all is well. I live in Michigan, USA. My grandpa, Duncan McFarland Reid, moved here in 1924. I have a Bible from his father, my great grandpa named Donald Reid. The inside of the Bible has a message from the pastor of a church called Livingstone Memorial United Free Church. I am planning my first trip overseas to Scotland this September. I was wondering does this church still exist?
Also my mother has spent years trying to find a birth certificate or some record of what would be my great great grandfather whose name was John Reid. He also lived in Blantyre. Do you have any suggestions for how I might search for records of him? Thank you so much for any thoughts you might have. Sincerely – Jennifer.”
I was able to reply with the following:
Hi Jennifer – Thanks for your email. I have a few notes on this family, well at least I hope its the same family. Hope this is of interest. Firstly, yes David Livingstone Church is still there today. It’s a beautiful church and is on Glasgow Road in Blantyre. It remembers explorer David Livingstone and was built in the 1880’s.
When Duncan MacFarlane Reid was born on December 9, 1908, in Blantyre, Lanarkshire, his father, Donald McLachlan Reid, was 36 and his mother, Agnes MacFarlane -Reid, was 36. He was the youngest of 3 children, (his elder sister Jessie b1897-2001), and John (Jack Reid b1905-1966). The Blantyre connection to this family was through Agnes MacFarlane’s side of the family, as Duncan was originally from Glasgow.
John Reid died on 14th February 1908 in Blantyre and is buried in High Blantyre Cemetery. This again, is just 5 minutes walk from my home and I’d be happy to show you the gravestone in person. A photo of it is below meantime. If you want to know John’s story, just let me know. (I know that he worked for many years at Blantyre Mills as a wood worker/joiner).