Thursday, 12 August 2010

Donnan family of Monreith by Glasserton

Garlieston Harbour at low tide

Stewart Donnan was the wife of William McMeekin mentioned in a previous post. With such an interesting girl's name, her family merited further investigation.

I first found Stewart in a census with a William McMeekin in Lancashire and was doubtful it was the right McMeekin because of the location. I found eventually the marriage in 1870 to William McMerken (a new variant!) in Liverpool and got her surname from that. It was easy to find her then. She is the oldest of the 10 children of George Donnan innkeeper at Monreith and Helen Milroy. Here's the family on my ancestry tree.

They were both in their mid thirties by the marriage. I wonder what took them so long?

They both were born in the Machars (Wigtownshire) he in Sorbie about 1834 and she in 1836 in Monreith by Glasserton.

In 1861 she is a servant in Sorbie. I can't locate him in 1861 but in 1851 he was a sailor age 16 with his Flinn grandparents at Pouton in the parish of Sorbie (near Garlieston). Surely they knew each other then?

They lived at 63 Latham Street in Kirkdale (Liverpool dockland) from the 1871 census on. He was a mariner.

It is always worth checking out the neighbours. In the same house in 1881 are William Anglesea born Jersey and wife Agnes born Scotland. A marriage check 1877 shows she is Agnes Donnan, a younger sister. A few doors away at no 59 are Catharine Donnan age 26 and husband John Williams a mariner and baby son Albert.

In 1891 census they are still together at no 63 except in the meantime Agnes's husband has died and she has a new one. Similarly sister Catherine and her second husband are next door at no 65 and sister Jane Donnan, 40, is visiting. So 4 sisters in 2 neighbouring houses!

In 1901 William McMeekin has died. At no 63 there's Stewart and daughter Ellen sister Agnes and husband and children and brother Maxwell Donnan visiting, at no. 65 sister Catherine husband and children.

So, in case I've lost you, 5 of the Donnan children are at Latham Street in Kirkdale at some point.
Of the others they are mainly in Wigtownshire except for the youngest Robert Donnan who emigrated to the USA in 1910 and died in Hartford Connecticut.

Until writing these posts, I hadn't realised that William's sister Jane McMeekin and husband David Fraser also were also in Kirkdale in 1881 and 1891. Who went first?

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