Do YOU need help with tracing your Blantyre ancestors? Perhaps you want to know more about them, where they lived or what they did? Or want to ask about a building, news event or something else? I’m here to help.

Blantyre Project
offers a free resource to give you ancestry help, depending on the frequency of enquiries coming in. It’s one of the many reasons this website has become so popular. You can add your requests to the list below which forms my “to do” list keeping you updated here.

It’s a lot simpler to get started that you may think. Just tell me the full name of the person you want to know more about and who they were married to.   If you have more information, especially dates (e.g births, marriages, deaths even better!) Requests are particularly successful for investigation before 1930. As long as there’s a Blantyre related connection, I’m happy to investigate on a first come, first served basis. By asking below, you understand that any findings will be scheduled to appear on this site at a later date and with your permission, may appear in future history books. NOTE, due to work commitments, it may take several weeks to investigate, but I’ll get there! 

“We should all know where we’ve come from, before we plan on where we’re going”

If you’re commenting for first time on Blantyre Project, it may take 24 hours for your comment to appear, but it WILL be received and appear here shortly. Thanks.

160 responses to “Request

  1. My ancestors John Connal (Connel) and his wife Margaret are referred to as the Miller of Millheugh Mill on their children’s church birth records in the late 1700s to early 1800s. I don’t know how long they were there or if they lived out their lives there. Any help would be welcolmed


  2. Good Morning… sister (Margie Bremer) has previously been in contact with you and she told me I should message you. We are descendants of Luke Raisbeck. My grandfather was George Raisbeck, and my father was Grant Raisbeck. I will be travelling to Scotland in August/September 2017 and I was wondering if you would be able to assist me in finding out what “clan” the Raisbeck’s belonged to. I would like to find out what the clan tartan was/is, as well as if there is a family crest. Any assistance you can help me with would be greatly appreciated.

    Also, Alex Raisbeck (great footballer) would be a great great (maybe one more) uncle of mine. I understand there is a project going on in Scotland restoring grave sites of forgotten heroes. Is this accurate……I would like to visit his grave if I’m going to be travelling in the area.


  3. Eileen Cusack
    Good evening!

    I live in Ontario, Canada. I was born in Glasgow but my family immigrated to Canada when I was a young child.
    My parents died when I was 13 and I hadn’t learned a lot of my family history from them. I have been researching now for about 15 years and have managed to accumulate a fairly sizable tree, verified by documents.
    However, there is on area I am really stuck on. I can’t find the deaths of my 3rd great grandparents William Calder aka Cather and his spouse Mary, nee Johnston.

    Here is what I have:
    My ancestors John Calder and Mary Ann Maxwell, from Muckle Hill/Kilclean, Co. Tyrone, Castlederg area, had William, Eleanor aka Ellen, John, Robert and possibly Isabella.
    My 3rd great grandfather William, born circa 1805 married Mary Johnston born circa 1808, and they had:
    Mary Ann b circa 1827 married a Nelson, (but not George Nelson)
    Robert (possibly) b circa 1828
    John bap 17 Aug 1834
    Sarah bap 13 Jan 1838, died 17 Apr 1868 in Glasgow (married William Nibloe) (my 2nd gr grandmother)
    William b circa 1841, died 4 Apr 1917 in Glasgow (married Elizabeth Jane York)
    Isabella b circa 1846

    Mary Ann, Robert, John and Sarah were all born in Castlederg, but William and Isabella were born in Hamilton/Blantyre.

    My problem is that I cannot find the deaths for William Calder and Mary Johnston above.
    I know they were in the 1851 census, but they were both deceased by the time their daughter Sarah married William Nibloe on December 31, 1860, which narrows down a death time between March 30/31, 1851 (when census was taken) and December 31, 1860.

    A few things to note: Although their name was given as Calder in later years, the family name was originally Cather and was later seen in the U.S. as Caldwell:
    On John Cather/Calder and Mary Ann’s son John Stewart Calder’s death record (Jan. 22, 1911) his name is given as Cather. There is a notation on the death record that his father went by the name Cather but the family adopted the name of Calder. The Cather name sometimes has an s on the end. One of his grandsons changed the name to Caldwell when he moved to the United States.

    According to censuses and family members death certificates William was seen as a Leather Cutter and a Cotton Weaver.

    Many of John and Mary Ann’s descendants worked in the cotton mills or coalmines in the Hamilton and Blantyre area of Lanarkshire

    Known addresses:
    1841 William and Mary lived on Muir St., Hamilton
    1851 William and Mary lived at Stonefield Farmhouse, Roadhead, Lanarkshire (civil parish Blantyre). William’s father John lived at 51 Quarry St., Hamilton in 1851 and on Brandon St., Hamilton in 1861. John died at 20 Chapel St., Hamilton in 1865, outliving both William and William’s wife Mary.

    Thank you in advance!

    Best regards,


  4. Your Message: Good Morning,
    I am trying to uncover as much information as possible about my Grandparents, who came to Scotland from Lithuania around 1905.
    My Grandfather, Piyusas Buyauskas, was born around 1882 and was a miner at the colliery for many years (punctuated by service in the Highland Light Infantry to avoid forced repatriation in 1917). Can I please ask if there are likely to be any surviving records which may be a possible information source? The search is made more difficult due to the many variations in spelling of the family names have been recorded through the years (his Christian name may have occasionally been recorded as Peter. Probable date of birth was December 1882 in Sunskai, Lithuania/Russia and he lived in Baltic Street, Glasgow)
    Many thanks,
    Colin White.


  5. I just found out that my father won some sort of pretty baby contest. He was born in 1917 in Blantyre so I expect the contest was in 1918. I would like to know if I might find this in a newspaper. His name was James Gill.


  6. Good day. I am putting together a family tree and have run into a dead end, so wondering if you can help? I have a document (possibly a Bann or Marriage) stating a Proclamation concerning Matthew Maxwell and Agnes Buchannan dated 14 August 1819. It says that Agnes is from the Blantyre parish. I cannot find a record of her birth/nor death either on ‘Scotlands People’ nor on ‘Family’ . The couple though were married in Cambuslang and lived there. I have also tried under a different spelling ie Buchanan – but to no avail. Might you have any records of this family? Will so appreciate any assistance. Kind regards Morag


  7. My 4 times great grandparents lived in and around Blantyre. Their names were John Forrest and Helen Smith. They had 5 children that I know of James born 1811 Flemington, John 1815 Barnhill, Margaret 1819 Blantyre, John 1822 Barnhill and Janet 1825 Pathfoot.
    Just wondered if you had come across this family in your research and if yes would you have any other information on them
    Many thanks


  8. Hello,
    I am searching Blantyreferme Brick Works and came across your useful Brickworks information and location in the Blantyre Project.
    I was looking for further information on the Brickworks Manager around 1950/51. I found out recently it may have been my father “John Burns”
    He died in 1951 when I was only 2yrs. old,; we were left very poor but remained in his NCB Cottage in the Halfway until 1970. This led me to mistakenly believe he was the manager at Gateside Brickworks where I understand my grandfather James Burns worked.
    I now live in Canada and would appreciate any information.
    Yours Lawrence Burns


  9. anyone have any information on Mary Taggart born Blantyre 1891 and died in 1947. Believe she was a school teacher who worked at St Josephs and lived in Station Road


  10. Thomas Watson (Tam) and Agnes(Thompson)(her ma was Isabella MacLean)..sons Robert,Jock, Tom, Bill, Alexander. daughters..Agnes,Jean, Ann, Mary. left for Canada around 1914, bound for Nanaimo, Vancouver Island…Dunsmuir Coal. Curious to know where they lived in Blantyre (said a farm) father Tam was foreman, all the rest were young miners. The 2 older older boys went to,Canada, Cape Breton first..hated it and returned home, They wished to return so rather than break up the family they all emigrated to be together to BC, Canada.From what I was told the father wanted to send the boys to university, but they wanted to emigrate.


  11. You wouldn’t know the names of the houses on station road? Number 35 in particular. I would like to restore the name on the house but I can’t see it clearly. I have a photo of it I can send you. I know it begins with an S.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ** REQUEST 13 – 35 STATION ROAD **

      Hi Caroline – ive answered your request here out of turn from others, as its very brief and i actually know the answer. The true, original name of 35 Station Road was “SEREGLIO” which is confirmed on Blantyre Valuation Rolls. That is the name of the house the constructor originally gave it. Hope this helps. Paul.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi. I used to live in 44 Fernslea Avenue. Moved from there approx 25 yrs ago. At some point tho my great grandparents also lived there. Is this something u can advise on?

    Also my Nana who is now 97 lives in 13 Berkley Drive. She used to live in Dixons Row and I think was the first and only resident at 13 Berkley Drive – Mrs Margaret O’Brien. Again not sure if u can discuss it but look forward to hearing whether u can. Thanks


  13. My mother Barbara McCabe was born in Bellshill Hospital on 9/2/1926 and her father’s address is given as 53 Auchinraith Road. Her mother’s death certificate shows they were still living at this address when she died on 20 November 1947. Interestingly my mother’s elder sister Bridget McCabe was born at 39 Auchinraith Road on 12/8/1920. Do these address still exist? Thanks for your help.


  14. Hi Peter both my sets of grandparents came from blantyre. My maternal grandparents were James McCudden 5/12/1888- 15/4/1939 and Jeanie Smith 2/3/1894-19/12/1972.Married 27/4/1917 .Paternal grandparents James Dawson 16/2/1878 and Agnes Mason Fisher 30/5/1882 -4/2/1965 Married 13/7/1906 .Any information you can get for me will be appreciated. Yours sincerely Annette


  15. No words can I say to you that would begin to let you know how much my family and I appreciate all the work you have done. My sister and cousin and I will be in Blantyre on May 8th and now we can see where our family lived. We would like to meet you say over a cup of tea if you are available just email me. Looking forward to your next book

    Liked by 1 person

  16. hi, i am trying to find out any more info on my great auntie. her name was Jeanie Wilson she was born in 1907 in Blantyre, i have her birth papers and i have her on the 1911 Scottish census.they were staying at 17 Forrest st. her parents were Robert wood Wilson and Mary m.s Campbell. she had a older sister lily and a younger brother john, lily was my great gran so i have lots on her and also have quite a few for her parents as far back as 1820. but i have nothing on jeanie after 1911. any help would be great, thanks


  17. Hi Paul, William Murdoch (Murdochs Pub) have you any ancestry info regarding this man,as I said he was my wifes grandfather,she also stayed at 37 Hardie St. WE think he had 4 sons John Also known as Jack, Alistair,David and Douglas (my wifes father) 2 daughters, Elma and Kitty, he may have been married twice, if you need any more info please let me know.


  18. Looking for Annie Shannon born Blantyre married ? Neilson from a well to do Paisley familly. Moved to Rothsey. Annie was one of my clients Granny, and my client is 90 !!!


  19. Hi Paul
    I’m trying to find some facts about my grandad his name was Edward mc bride he lived in mcalipens building on Glasgow rd he had 3 sons and a daughter they later moved to fernslea ave he was a steelworker in Cambuslang and died on 6/8/55 we were always told his death was a heart attack and he was found in a stream near his work my last surviving uncle passed away 2 yrs ago on his deathbed he told me it wasn’t heart attack that killed him,he was found drowned in the river clyde, I have never seen a picture of him as after the funeral my granny burned all the photos even her wedding album so I was wondering if the blantyre gazette may have had any news of the incident it would be much appreciated
    Regards Eddie mc bride from blantyre


  20. Looking for photos of my grandfather as l have never seen him his name was John Reynolds he died in 1939 he left a wife and son and another son on the way

    Liked by 1 person

    • ** REQUEST 31 – JOHN REYNOLDS **

      Hi John. Sadly I have no photos of John Reynolds (yet), but will always keep a lookout for you. You may meantime be interested in this story. A John Reynolds was directly involved in a pit dispute in 1926. If this is the same man, it may give a little insight into his life. I have NO IDEA if this is the same man as your grandfather but hope this is interesting meantime.

      Before Sheriff Mercer, at Hamilton Sheriff Court on Monday 1st November 1926, seven men were charged with forming part of a disorderly crowd of over 700 people in Glasgow Road, Blantyre.

      This was a time towards the end of the great mining strike and feeling amongst the unemployed miners were still running high, especially to those who were deemed to have broken picket lines or returned to work at concession. The men were charged also in acting together to attack some of the miners coming from Auchinraith and struck a constable by hitting him on the head with a brick and other missiles.

      Content this was over 90 years ago and in the distant past, the men were:—Francis McLernon, miner who lived at 8 Hardie Street; Michael McKee, 16 Hardie Street; Charles McDade, a barman of Rosendale Place, John Reynolds, colliery fireman of 2 Craighead Rows; John Dennis of 12 Alpine Street; James Stevenson of 76 Merry’s Rows; and James Meechan of 64 Craighead Rows—all of Blantyre.

      According to the principal witnesses for the prosecution, who came trom Strathaven and Meikle Earnock and were “barracked” by the crowd, they were met as they left the colliery at the foot of Auchinraith Road by an angry large mob. The frightening situation for those miners who had returned to work, was made worse by being surrounded by a crowd, which gradually increased in number to about 700.

      There was much shouting, and the situation became very serious when stones began to be thrown. Two of the men from the colliery made their escape by jumping on a passing lorry on Glasgow Road. The mob turned to the lorry smashing the windscreen and attacking the tyres. Owing to the damage that was done to the vehicle, however, they had to jump off and run down a side road, away from the mob.

      Another man from the colliery was severely kicked and mauled. Finally, the police came to the scene and attempted to hold the crowd in check. One constable was hit with a stone or similar missile on the head, and batons were drawn and the mob partly dispersed.

      The assaulted men were put on a tramcar by the police and they got away to safety. Large groups of men still hung around in the vicinity of the disturbance for a considerable time,. Fearing a repeat of the Blantyre Riots of the 19th Century, police extracted individuals as ringleaders picking them out from among the remaining mob and apprehended them within half an hour of the actual disturbance.

      The defence rested mainly on pleas of alibis and the question of identification. Their trial concluded on the evening of Wednesday 3rd November 1926. Each of the accused was convicted and sentenced to 40 days imprisonment.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Hi Paul, I am looking for information on my ancestors John Connell and his wife Margaret Russell. John is referred to as a Miller in Millheugh late 1700s. Their daughter Margaret born in 1798 is my direct ancestor. I would be glad of any information that you can find on them


  22. Hi Paul Feb 22nd you gave me a lot of details regarding our Granny, the other thing if possible we would like to know is how many children did she have, we know of Robert our dad, John, Gavin, Christine, and Wallace, we have a picture of ur dad with Catherine who died but how many others did she have that died, probably as infants.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Paul just wondering if you were able to find anything about my dad’s siblings that died. it would be after 1909, because that was when he was born and he was the oldest

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Only just spotted this after putting a request for info on fb page…sorry! It was to do with miners records for Dixons pits and where I might find any info on bothe my gt grandparents and their families who lived at Dixons Rows. I have seen the excellent article on the houses at Dixons Rows. Thanks

    Liked by 1 person


      Hi Sue – thanks for your request. Hopefully you’ve long since found any records you need, and apologies for the time take to get to this post.

      There are no known records for Dixon’s Pits available locally but libraries in Glasgow may contain more information, especially the Mitchell Library. If it is information on anybody in particular you wish, for example your grandparents, all I need is both their names and ideally when they married. I can usually start from there. Feel free to reply below rather than log any new request!

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Hi Paul-
    I would love any information you have on any family members. My great grandfather William Whitefield born Oct 28, 1870 (?) in Carluke, but lived and worked (?) in Blantyre. He married my great grandmother Mary McFarlane (born June 14, 1873) They lived in the area (Larkhall and Bells Hill) and then in Blantyre when my grandfather’s (Montgomery James Whitefield born December 9, 1897) sister was born on April 6, 1901 in Brown Lea Cottage. Her name was Mary Johnston Whitefield.

    The children born in the area are:
    William Whitefield born Oct. 6, 1893
    Frances Hutchison Whitefield born July 23, 1895
    Montgomery James Whitefield born December 9, 1897
    Robert McFarlane born Jan 14, 1900
    Mary Johnston Whitefield born April 6, 1901
    John Robert Whitefield born June 14, 1903

    I’m planning a trip to Blantyre in May so I hope to find the cottage and any sites that may have a relationship to my family. Any help or information would be amazing. Thank you!
    Monte Whitefield

    Liked by 1 person


      Hello Monte – Hope you’re well. Apologies for time taken to reply, better late than never. Hope you managed to find the cottage. William Whitefield was a mining contractor.

      I’ve ascertained that the family only lived a short while in Blantyre. A son was born in Bellshill in 1898 and the family are living at Brownlea Cottage in the 1901 census, when Mary Johnston Whitefield was also born that year. They’re not in the 1905 valuation roll, having moved by that time. At the absolute maximum , they lived in Blantyre 7 years, but I suspect it was shorter.

      I have written about Brownlea in a little detail published recently in a book. Here’s an extract, which I hope you find interesting. I’ve scheduled a post to appear here on the website covering this subject on 3rd July 2018.

      “Brown Lea Cottages Brief Summary: Incredibly important building for our heritage, for by our reckoning, this is the oldest surviving house on Glasgow Road South between Springwell and the Westend! Built in 1869 by constructor and bookseller, Robert Lindsay (who lived nearby at Clyde Cottages and would later build Allison Place), it was originally called ‘Jeanfield Cottages’.

      By the early 1880’s, Robert had moved away from Blantyre and the property was bought by Penelope Galt Renfrew, of Muir Street, Hamilton, who owned it and let it out until her death in 1900. The Whitefield family lived there briefly around 1901, coming to Blantyre a little earlier and had left by 1905. On 12th October 1912, the Thomson family renting here lost a baby son (aged 10 month), named Wee Bunty.

      In 2 separate homes, it was twinned with an identical separate building to the west, and renamed ‘Brownlea Cottages’ although it is not connected in any way to the Brownlie’s of Barnhill. Of solid, functional 2 storey construction it is short on ornate detail. By 1905 John G Johnston of Glasgow was the owner, although he had died by WW1. Tenants included Henry RS Oliver, draper and Thomas Devaney, a publican.

      Owners changed often. Joseph Hughes in 1920, Alexander Struthers by 1925 and by 1930 subdivided into private homes, one belonging to Struthers, the other to Thomas Little a works manager. The Bennett family have lived there now for over 35 years.

      At almost 150 years old, we see no reason why this won’t still be standing and be occupied in another 150 years. Lovely, quality family home.

      From the book, “Blantyre Glasgow Road South – The Real Story” by Paul Veverka [Page 510]”

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Hi Paul – don’t know how to do the cut and paste thing so will redo request here. Thankyou for reply! My grandfather was Samuel Dobbins, Born1877 in Durham. His father was Alex Dobbins and mother Elizabeth. They are all listed on1881 census as residing at BairdS Rows Blantyre along with other children Alex 12 Henry 7 and Elizabeth 2.My father said little about his father Sam -I believe he died around1938 -Dad grew up Coatbridge/Motherwell area though I think some family may have stayed in Blantyre. I don’t think he knew his grandparents so maybe they died quite young he seemed to think his grandfather (Alex ) was Irish but no more info. I’d be interested in finding out anything more about their life in Blantyre if it’s possible at all and then maybe try to find what led them there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Paul Having read more on the website was surprised to find my grt grandfather’s name in the list of accidents. poor Alexander Dobbins was killed in 1882.His wife Elizabeth at 31 or so was left with 5 children including a young baby and must have gone home to Old Monkland where again surprise I’ve discovered she remarried quite quickly whether through love or necessity. I had thought Alexander and Elizabeth had come from Ireland but now know his parents John and Mary Dobbins came from Ireland in the 1840s when Alexander was a small boy. Elizabeth was Scottish. It now seems they only lived in Blantyre a few years. I don’t want to waste your valuable time though any further info would be great. Is there any reading material on life in the rows and what happened to widows of miners maybe?

      Liked by 1 person

      • ** REQUEST 28 – DOBBINS **

        Jenny – I think you’re right, the family only lived in Blantyre a short time in the 19th Century. They’re not in any valuation roll for 1875, 1885 or 1895, although a William Dobbins appears in Stonefield in 1905 and a James Dobbins in 1920 at 100 Craighead Rows (Bairds Rows).

        As you mentioned little was known about Samuel, I thought I’d fill in some extra information. Samuel Dobbins, your grandfather was indeed born in Durham in 1877, and lived a short time in Blantyre in the early 1880’s. I’m quite sure the family would have moved after the death of his father, no longer being accommodated in miner’s tied cottages at Bairds Rows. The miners at those homes would have worked at either Craighead Colliery or walked along to Bardykes.

        Samuel was son to Alexander Dobbins and Elizabeth McGowan (although she had been married previously to a man named Adamson, who left her a widow).

        Samuel though, became a gas fitter. He would have been much needed in the parish as the evolving industry fitted new lighting. He lived longer than wife Janet Mitchell and you’re right he died in 1938, on 24th March to be precise. Sadly, he passed away at Hartwood Asylum at Shotts, although his usual residence before that was at New Stevenson Road in Carfin. (I have attached his death certificate in a post scheduled for 2nd July 2018). With pneumonia, he died primarily of a heart attack.

        Life was indeed tough for widows. There was little or no sympathy from colliery owners and they would have acquired their tied cottage fairly fast. It was most common in those days to remarry quickly to ensure the family could continue to be supported. That said, this appears to be a fairly sizeable family and as the children got older, they would likely have been in working positions quickly to look after their mother. I hope this helps fill in some gaps. I’ll be writing about Bairds Rows a little later this year as part of my Glasgow Road North book.

        Liked by 1 person

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