Friday, 6 August 2010

Rolinson - Miners from the Black Country

All I knew about my grandfather James Ball Rolinson's origins was that he was born in Yorkshire that his mother was Emma and that they lived in Calderbank in Lanarkshire.

I found the family very quickly in the 1881 census. Good gracious, they are in Cumnock in the same miners' row that my husband's family lived in, Glengyron Row. I think that is what got me hooked on this genealogy.

Three generations of Rolinsons are there in Glengyron Row in 2 houses next door to each other. My great grandparents James Rolinson and Emma Ball and 3 daughters (my grandfather is still to come), the gg grandparents John Rolinson and Jane (Holmes), their son Matthew Rolinson who is married but with no wife present and a lodger. Next door is son Emmanuel Rolinson and wife  Hannah (Jones) 4 sons and 3 adult male lodgers. So 8 in one house and 9 in the other. These houses had 2 rooms! All of them are born in England except for 2 of the children who were born in Cumnock. They are all from Walsall or Tipton in Staffordshire.

Of course, I had to investigate the lodgers too. With Emmanuel and Hannah are Zachariah Jones and James Jones who turn out to be Hannah's brothers and one Charles Dickens (no, not that one) who later marries into the family, Fanny Price a cousin.

The other lodger Joseph Hunt also later marries into the family, Louisa Yates a cousin. They certainly stuck together.

10 years earlier they are in Cumnock too, at another address. I reckon Glengyron Row was built about 1873 to house the influx of miners, so it probably was the height of luxury, as it was at the time and a way of attracting miners to the area!

I find Matthew Rolinson with his wife Mary Ann Price who also turns out to be his cousin. More of her another time.

Although they are in Cumnock in these 2 census it seems they have gone back to England between censuses judging by the birthplaces of the children. I can only suppose they went where there was work.

In 1891 I find James and Emma in Calderbank, as expected, with widowed mother Jane and Matthew nearby. But between 1881 and 1891 they were in Yorkshire where indeed my grandfather was born. They stayed put in Calderbank and there are still some Rolinsons there.

Although my direct line is no longer in Cumnock others, Yates and Price, stayed on in Cumnock, Auchinleck and Dalmellington. I had no idea I had any connection to Ayrshire where I have lived since 1973.

My grandfather was a miner in the 1901 census but by 1906 he was driving the first public transport bus service in Edinburgh. In 1913 he was a chauffeur in Dollar. He worked for Anderson's in Newton Mearns and also Rosslea Motors and in 1935 he opened his own garage business in the Gallowgate in Glasgow. My father and his brothers also joined the firm and it went on until about 1980.

Papa at the wheel of a Maudsley bus of the Scottish Motor Transport Group, Edinburgh 1906

Link to the Rolinsons on my tree

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