One might think of Glasgow, Scotland as being a perfect example of the effects of the Industrial Revolution, why the very catalyst for it was a Scottish invention. James Watt, the mechanical engineer and inventor had improved upon the Newcomen steam engine allowing for greater production levels than ever before. However, along with the great prosperity came unprecedented population growth that led to poverty, disease and squalor. You can get a sense of the situation here.
Initially, James and Marion lived at William Millers Land in Airdrie, New Monkland along with their first born Jessie and Marion’s sister Elizabeth Gartshore. My grandmother, Jane was born at 7 Paddock Street on December 13, 1887. I believe Paddock Street still exists, and 7 Paddock would have been where there is now a care center. In the 1891 census, the family was at 6 Sykeside .Sykeside is a continuation of Paddock Street but though I contacted the map department of the National Library there, no location for that address could be found on a map of that time. Paddock was there but no #7. Perhaps, the two addresses were in the same location.
Paddock and Sykeside Streets, Coatbridge
After the death of Jane in 1975, my aunt and uncle went to Scotland to try to find these places. My aunt said they had gone to a large house which I believe would have been at 3 School Street. I am not sure whether she knew that it was a multiple dwelling. They then went to visit my grandmother’s two youngest sisters who were quite elderly and did not want to let them in. That behavior was also typical of my grandmother. No one got past the door unless they were invited in! I remember her telling me to never live in a “port city”, glad she doesn’t know where I am now!
Here is a picture of my grandmother, taken at Studio Cecil on Sauchiehall Street in Glasgow. That studio operated between 1901-14 which would put her age at between 14-25 years. She looks very young though and her clothing shows a modicum of affluence.
Jane Gartshore Smith
One of the ways that people survived these times was through family and acquaintances. That being said, once you were old enough, generally around 14, you were out in the world. My grandmother was not at 6 Sykeside in Coatbridge in the 1901 census nor any that followed very likely out at work. I do know that she came to Canada with a trunk full of beautiful gowns which she “made down” for her oldest girl Heather.
Marion Smith died in 1913 of a cerebral hemorrhage at 4 School Street in Coatbridge. James, surprisingly, in view of his profession, would not die until 1934, aged 77, from heart problems. That was at 3 Reid Street in Coatbridge, the home of Margaret his youngest daughter. There were murmurings of the coming war with Germany. Whatever Jane was doing, she packed up her trunk and left Scotland for good. She left behind the following siblings:
Jessie born in 1880, was the oldest of the Smith children. She went to work as a domestic at the home of the Montgomery family who were grocers at 6 Cecil Street in Govan, Glasgow. She spent all of her life with that family, finally marrying the son, Alexander in 1914 when she was 34 and he was 36. One wonders what the impediment might have been previous to that. One of the witnesses is Jeannie Smith, one would suppose to be my grandmother.
The couple had no children. So Jessie rose to becoming a woman of some means, passing some money on to close members of the family and the remainder of her estate to another sister upon her death in June of 1949.
Annabella, the second child, born in 1883, spent her young years in the same way (in service) until she met Joseph Collins Peat. It is likely that Joe was an acquaintance of her brothers since he was an iron worker as well. They were married in 1908. Joe served in the machine gun corps during the war. In 1920, they left Scotland for New South Wales, Australia. At that time, they had 4 children, Marion, Joseph, James and George. Marion was 7 years old which would mean that they had no children until 1915 unless some stayed behind. Like my grandmother, Annabella would be leaving her family behind to start a life in a strange and hard land, especially with her husband working in the mines. You can find them at Linlithgow, McQuarrie, NSW, in the Australian Electoral Rolls.
Joe and Annabella Smith Peat 1908
I have always been fascinated by the bodice of Anna’s wedding outfit. It shows such an intricate celtic design. She was obviously proud of her heritage. Now if we only knew what colour her dress was!
Annabella’s Wedding Dress
To Be Continued …..