Findlay, Hannah and Craig connections (1826–1909)

Note: To help with the following story, all names in purple are my direct ancestors. Any blue text [inside square brackets] has been inserted by the author to provide additional information, or corrections to the records — that text did not form part of the original documents.

Sometime before about 1826, Catherine Findlay moved from the Loch Lomond district to the booming metropolis of Glasgow. We originally discovered that she hailed from Buchanan, Stirlingshire, from information in the 1851 census, when she was already a widow with three adult children and two grandchildren. Finding that census record (and, later, the births of her children) required some deep research and, in the end, some luck. It didn’t help that we already knew our Craig family in Rutherglen had strong connections with another, but unrelated, Catherin Findlay, so our original search for our Catherine started completely in the wrong direction — but more about that later.

What we were eventually able to establish from her children’s death records was that Catherine had married a John Hannah, weaver, probably around 1827, but we have never found any records for him, and that marriage date is assumed from the birth of their first born. As you will soon see, John must have died somewhere between 1833 (birth of his third child) and the 1851 census, in which Catherine declares she is a widow — and, despite valiant efforts, we have never found any members of that family in the 1841 census. To add to our research difficulties, we had to contend with several spelling variations of the name ‘Hannah’: Heny, Hanna, Haney, Henie, and even Kinny (which turns out is an indexing error for Henny!) However, it was a serendipitous wildcard search that found us the 1851 census for our Catherine and her three children (note: records for direct ancestors are marked in purple):

1851 SCOTLAND CENSUS: 7 Burn Road, Rutherglen, Lanarkshire 1Source: HANNA, Cathrin [Findlay]; 1851 Scotland Census; 654/ 5/ 2; Rutherglen, Lanarkshire.

Cathrin Hanna [Findlay]; Head; Widow; 57; born Buchanan, Stirlingshire
Rachal Hanna [Craig]; Daur; Mar; 24; Factory Weaver; born Tradeston, Glasgow
Catrin Hanna; Daur; Unm; 16; Factory Weaver; born Tradeston, Glasgow
Mathew Houston; Lodger; Unm; 21; Labourer Coal work; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Thos. [4] Craig; Orphan [?]; 1; Parochial Relief; born Rutherglen, Lanarkshire
Edw. Harrigan; Lodger; 10; Scholar; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Margaret Harrigan; Lodger; 5; Parochial Relief; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Sarah Harrigan; Lodger; 3; Parochial Relief; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Agnes Crawford; Lodger; 9; Scholar; Parochial Relief; born Rutherglen, Lanarkshire
Name;James Crawford; Lodger; 8; Scholar; Parochial Relief; born Rutherglen, Lanarkshire
David Hanna; Head; Mar; 22; Labourer; born Tradeston, Glasgow
Mary Hanna [Houston]; Wife; Mar; 22; born Kilbride, Lanarkshire
John Hanna; Child; 11 months; born Rutherglen, Lanarkshire

Bingo! This document is one of the most providential and informative records I have for our family — it gave me a number of important clues that led to other amazing discoveries — but first: what about married Rachal’s husband? Where is he on census night? Well, it turns out he was further along the street with his parents and six siblings:

1851 SCOTLAND CENSUS: 15 Cathcart Street, Rutherglen, Lanarkshire 2Source: CRAIG, Thomas [3]; 1851 Scotland Census; 654/ 5/ 14; Rutherglen, Lanarkshire.

Thomas [3] Craig; Head; Mar.; 58; Quarry man; born Rutherglen, Lanarkshire
Margaret Craig [Campbell]; Wife; Mar; 56; born Partick, Renfrewshire
Archibald Craig; Son; Unm.; 27; Labourer; born Rutherglen, Lanarkshire
John Craig; Son; Mar.; 25; Carter; born Rutherglen, Lanarkshire
Agnes Craig; Daur.; Unm.; 21; Power-loom Weaver; born Rutherglen, Lanarkshire
Mary Craig; Daur.; Unm.; 18; Power-loom Weaver; born Rutherglen, Lanarkshire
William Craig; Son; Unm.; 16; Servant; born Rutherglen, Lanarkshire
Robert Craig; Son; Unm.; 14; Servant; born Rutherglen, Lanarkshire
David Craig; Son; 8; School; born Rutherglen, Lanarkshire
Jean Craig; Grand Daur.; 9; School; born Kilbride, Lanarkshire

So, what’s going on here!? Well, Burn Road was basically just an extension of Cathcart Street, so these families were living within yards of each other. Just why Rachel and baby Thomas were with her mother while the husband, John, was with his parents on census night is open for suggestion — perhaps they’d had a tiff! Who knows? But Rachel and John had only been married for nine months, and had married three months after the birth of their first child, Thomas [4] (my great-great-grandfather) — these records tell that story:

1850 SCOTLAND O.P.R. MARRIAGES: Rutherglen, Lanarkshire 3Source: CRAIG, John & HENY [Hannah], Rachel; 1850 Scotland O.P.R. Marriages; 654/ 40 161; Rutherglen, Lanarkshire.

John Craig and Rachel Heny both of this Parish
were thrice several Sabbaths lawfully proclaimed in the
Parish Church here in order to marriage and no objections
offered and married at Rutherglen the 21st day of June 1850
by the Rev Peter Brown, Minister of Rutherglen

1850 SCOTLAND KIRK SESSIONS: Rutherglen, 30 June 4Source: CRAIG, John & HENY, Rachel; 1850 Rutherglen Kirk Sessions; CH2/ 315/7–185.

Voluntarily compeared John Craig and Rachel Heny Spouses and acknowledged
themselves to have been guilty of the Sin of Antenuptial fornication, the Session
being satisfied with their signs of Contrition agreed that they be rebuked and absolved which
was done accordingly by the Moderator, and also agree that their Child be baptized.

1850 SCOTLAND O.P.R. BAPTISMS: Rutherglen, Lanarkshire 5Source: CRAIG, Thomas [4]; 1850 Scotland O.P.R. Baptisms, 654/ 30 413, Rutherglen, Lanarkshire.

John Craig labourer residing in Rutherglen and
married to Rachael Heny had a lawful Son their
1st child, born the 14th March 1850 & baptised the 30th June
                                     Named Thomas

So, baby Thomas was born 14th March, but his parents weren’t married till the 21st of June. They confessed their guilt to having had pre-marital sex and were absolved of the sin by the Church on the 30th of June, and were then allowed to baptise wee Thomas on the same day … well, thank goodness for that! So, let’s get back to the 1851 census records above:

We can see that two families lived at 7 Burn Street: Cathrin Hanna with two daughters, a lodger, and six children; and, in the same house, David Hanna with his wife a baby. It didn’t take long to discover that David was also a child of Cathrine’s, and his wife was a Mary Houston, who was only 16 when he married her in 1849. Presumably, Mathew Houston, the lodger, was a brother to David’s wife. The two daughters were Rachel (now married to John Craig with a baby Thomas), and 16-year-old Catrin (Catherine), who didn’t marry until 1856.

So, who are the other five children, all receiving “parochial relief”.  Well, after some research, it seems these were orphaned children, and we might guess that Cathrin was running a ‘foster home’ for parish orphans, or something of that ilk — and was she claiming her grandson Thomas as an orphan for additional parish funds? Hmm? However, the information that Cathrin was 57 and born in Buchanan, Stirlingshire, gave us the clue that led to the discovery of all the records in the first part of this story — without that, we would would never have known about our McAlpin, Allan, McNicol, McFarlane and Findlay connections.

The “Hannah” children

So, having the names of Cathrine Findlay’s three children, you would assume it would be easy to find their baptisms and her marriage — but in genealogy, you can often be gazumped by assumptions. Knowing the ages for Rachel, Catherine and David, I spent hours searching the old Church of Scotland parish records using every wildcard trick I could imagine. I looked for surnames (for example, with “H*n*a*” or “H*a*”) in Glasgow, Stirlingshire, Dunbartonshire, and eventually everywhere in Scotland — but nothing! After six generations of her family having a baptismal record for every child, did Catherine Findlay not baptise her own!? I had hit the infamous ‘brick wall of genealogy’ … or had I?

Staring forlornly at my search page on ScotlandsPeople, my eye suddenly focussed on three check boxes on the form I had never previously used: ‘Church of Scotland’; ‘Roman Catholic Church’; ‘Other Churches’. Every Scottish parish record I had ever found for my family (and Robyn’s) had been a Church of Scotland record — we had always been good Scottish Presbyterian stock, right!? But ‘Hanna’ … that sounds kinda Irish, no? Perhaps I should try the Catholic records … nothing to lose … and with a few more wildcards — bingo!

1827 SCOTLAND CATHOLIC BAPTISMS: Glasgow St Andrews 6Source: HANEY [Hannah], Rachel; 1827 Catholic Registers of Births & Baptisms; MP 62 1 2 2 110; Glasgow St Andrews.

Rachel lawful daughter of John Heney & Catherine Finlay born on the 1st Janry
1827 was baptized by me on this 7th day of Febry 1827. The sponsors were
Thomas McNoch & Rachel Heney.
                                                                                                  Jas Kyle

St Andrew’s Catholic Church, Glasgow c.1890. It was the first place of worship for Glasgow’s Catholics.

St Andrew’s Catholic Cathedral is in Clyde Street, Glasgow, just north of the Clyde River. It was completed only 11 years before Rachel was born, and met some resistance (including sabotage) from Protestant Glaswegians during its construction. However, congregations from other Christian denominations donated money for its completion in a gesture of ecumenism, and it was raised to cathedral status in 1884.

Almost the first thing to note from Rachel’s baptismal record is that the word “lawful” had been written in and then crossed out — probably indicating that the curate discovered her parents were not yet married (more ante-nuptial fornication, I’m afraid!). Also of note is that one of the sponsors was also a “Rachel Heney”, and likely to be John’s mother. Further wildcard searching in the St Andrew records found Catherine’s second child:

1929 SCOTLAND CATHOLIC BAPTISMS: Glasgow St Andrews 7Source: Henie [Hannah], David; 1829 Catholic Registers of Births & Baptisms; MP 62 1 2 2 312; Glasgow St Andrews.

David son of John Henie & Catherine Finlay born 29th Decr. 1828 was
baptized by me on this 24th day of April 1829. The godmother
was Jane McMahon.
                                                                    Jas Kyle

The third child was actually found by a fellow researcher (Ancestry member and distant cousin “chmgenealogy”), and just how is a mystery, because it was incorrectly indexed under “Kinny” :

1833 SCOTLAND CATHOLIC BAPTISMS: Glasgow St Andrews 8Source: Kinny [Henny/Hannah], Catherine; 1833 Catholic Registers of Births & Baptisms; MP 62 1 2 3 300; Glasgow St Andrews.

Catherine daughter of John Henny and Catherine Findly born on the
1st. Oct. 1833 was baptized by me on the 21st. Nov. 1833. Sponsor
Margaret Burns.
                                                                                       Peter Forbes

So, I had Catholic ancestors in my paternal line after all (and, of course, I have my Lithuanian forebears from my mother’s side) — and learnt some useful lessons about doing family research. However, despite their Catholic baptisms, all three ‘Hannah’ siblings went on to marry in Presbyterian churches, and all their children born before the introduction of statutory records (1855) were baptised in the Kirk — and by the 1860s, the whole family had adopted ‘Hannah’ as the preferred spelling of their surname. Presumably, John Hannah was a Catholic (probably Irish), and although he had married a woman with a Protestant lineage, had wanted his children baptised in his faith; this is not an uncommon situation in families by any means. This is all we know about John Hannah, and hopefully, one day, I will find his family records in Irish registers.

The 1861 Census, and two final curtains

We saw above that Rachel Heny married John Craig in 1850, but her brother, David, had married Mary Houston the previous year — both in Rutherglen, and both in the Church of Scotland. The younger sister, Catherine, tied the knot with Thomas Stewart in March 1856, and had their only child, George in September, and all three were living with her mother in 1861:

1861 SCOTLAND CENSUS: 15 Sydney Street, Calton, Glasgow 9Source: HANNAH [Findlay], Catherine; 1861 Scotland Census; 644/2 76/ 10 ; Calton, Glasgow.

Catherine Hannah [Findlay]; Head; Widow; 66; born Dumbarton, Dunbartonshire
Thomas Stewart; Son-in-law; Mar.; 32; Labourer; born Ireland
Catherine Stewart [Hannah]; Daur.; Mar.; 27; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
George Stewart; Grandson; Unm.; 4; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire

Catherine Hannah is given here as being born in Dunbartonshire, but we know from earlier records this is wrong. However, for both Catherine and her son-in-law John Craig, this was to be their last census records. Catherine died just before Christmas in 1867, and John less than a year later and only two-and-a-half years after his last child, David, was born:

1867 SCOTLAND STATUTORY DEATHS: High Church, Glasgow 10Source: HANNAH [Findlay], Catherine; 1867 Scotland Statutory Deaths; 644/2 1912; High Church, Glasgow.

Catherine Hannah,
Widow of John Hannah, Cotton Weaver

died: 12th December 1867  (2:00 am)   age: 64 years    at: 15 Sydney Street, Glasgow

father: David Findlay, Cotton Weaver (deceased)
mother: Catherine Findlay M.S. McFarlane (deceased)

cause: Sub Acute Bronchitis    doctor: James Smellie M.D.
informant: David Hannah, his x mark, son

1868 SCOTLAND STATUTORY DEATHS: Hutchesontown, Glasgow 11Source: CRAIG, John; 1868 Scotland Statutory Deaths; 644/10 1267; Hutchesontown, Glasgow.

John Craig, Carter,
Married to Rachel Hannah

died: 28th November 1868  (2:00 am)   age: 42 years   at: 43 McNeil Street, Glasgow

father: Thomas [3] Craig, Quarrier (deceased)
mother: Margaret Craig M.S. Campbell

cause: Heart Disease. Suddenly   doctor: Not Certified
informant: Thomas [4] Craig, Son

The Final Years (1871–1908)

When John Craig died, he left Rachel a widow with six children still at home. The eldest, Thomas, had married Sarah Norwood and was, at that time, living with her widowed mother at 115 High Street, Blackfriars. You can read the Norwood story here. Rachel had moved to 45 McNeil Street, and was to spend the next 40-odd years at that address. The following census records show some of the comings and goings of her children and grandchildren:

1871 SCOTLAND CENSUS: 45 McNeil Street, Hutchesontown, Glasgow 12Source: CRAIG, Rachel [Hannah]; 1871 Scotland Census; 644/10 9/ 4; Hutchesontown, Glasgow.

Rachel Craig [Hannah]; Head; Widow; 46; Housekeeper; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
John Craig; Son; Unm.; 19; Cotton Dyer; born Rutherglen, Lanarkshire
Archibald Craig; Son; Unm.; 17; Printer’s Assist.; born Camlachie, Lanarkshire
Catherine Craig; Daur.; 15; Yarn Lacer; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Wm. Craig; Son; 13; Message Boy; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Margaret Craig; Daur.; 8; Scholar; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
David Craig; Son; 5; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire

1881 SCOTLAND CENSUS: 45 McNeil Street, Hutchesontown, Glasgow 13Source: Thomas [4]; 1881 Scotland Census; 644/11 51/ 4 & 5; Hutchesontown, Glasgow.

Thomas [4] Craig; Head; Mar.; 31; Brass Finisher; born Rutherglen, Lanarkshire
Sarah Craig [Norwood]; Wife; Mar.; 30; born Ireland
James Craig; Son; 9; Scholar; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
John Craig; Son; 6; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Thomas [ii] Craig; Son; 4½; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
David Craig; Son; 2½; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Rebecca Craig; Daur.; 2 months; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Rachel Craig [Hannah]; Head; Widow; 55; Cotton Mill Worker; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Archibald Craig; Son; Unm.; 27; General Labourer; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Catherine [Kate] Craig; Daur.; Unm; 24; Cotton Mill Worker; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Margaret Craig; Daur.; Unm.; 18; Cotton Mill Worker; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
David Craig; Son; 14; Van Driver; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
William Devlin; Boarder; Unm.; 23; Shoemaker; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
James Tracey; Boarder; Unm.; 25; Engine Fitter; born Govan, Lanarkshire

1891 SCOTLAND CENSUS: 45 McNeil Street, Hutchesontown, Glasgow 14Source: CRAIG, Rachel [Hannah]; 1891 Scotland Census; 644/11 65/ 6 ; Hutchesontown, Glasgow.

Rachel Craig [Hannah]; Head; Widow; 66; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Kate Craig; Daur.; Unm.; 34; Cotton Warper; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Margaret Cronin [Craig]; Daur.; Mar.; 28; Kitchen woman; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Rachel Cronin; Grand Daur.; 6; Scholar; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Daniel Cronin; Grandson; 5; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Kate Cronin; Grand Daur.; 3; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire

1901 SCOTLAND CENSUS: 45 McNeil Street, Hutchesontown, Glasgow 15Source: CRAIG, Rachel [Hannah]; 1901 Scotland Census; 644/11 60/ 8; Hutchesontown, Glasgow.

Rachel Craig [Hannah]; Head; Widow; 75; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Kate Craig; Daur.; Single; 44; Theatre Asst. (worker); born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Thomas [4] Craig; Son; Mar.; 51; Brassfinisher (worker); born Rutherglen, Lanarkshire
David Craig; Son; Widower; 34; Iron Planer; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Rachel Cronin; Grand Daur.; Single; 16; Pastry Packer; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
David Craig; Grandson; 6; Scholar; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Margaret Craig; Grand Daur.; 2; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire

When Rachel headed for the Pearly Gates, she had been a widow for a month short of 41 years, and had never remarried. Her death certificate had been the first place in our research to reveal her parents, and all other records we found by working back from this information:

1909 SCOTLAND STATUTORY DEATHS: Hutchesontown, Glasgow 16Source: CRAIG [Hannah], Rachel; 1909 Scotland Statutory Deaths; 644/15 611; Hutchesontown, Glasgow.

Rachel Craig,
Widow of John Craig, Carter

died: 26th October 1909  (4:55 am)   age: 81 years     at: 393 Rutherglen Road, Glasgow

father: John Hannah, Handloom Weaver (deceased)
mother: Catherine Hannah M.S. Finlay (deceased)

cause: Carcinoma of Liver     doctor: J. Alexander Aiken M.B.C.M.
informant: Catherine [Kate] Craig, Daughter (present)

The children of John Craig & Rachel Hannah

Thomas [4] Craig (1850–1932) — is my great-great-grandfather, and he married Sarah Norwood in 1870. His family lived with Sarah’s widowed mother to begin with, but as you can see from the 1881 census, they had moved to Hutchesontown on the south-side. Thomas and Sarah separated sometime after 1891 and never reunited.  Their story is partly told in the Norwood saga, but Sarah died in 1922 and Thomas in 1932. They had six children, two dying young: Thomas (i) (1870–1874); James (1871–1949); John (1873–1951); Thomas (ii) (1876–1961); David (1878–1938); and Rebecca (1881–1882).

John Craig (1851–1928) — was a slotting machine mechanic and married a twice widowed Margaret Morrison in 1879. They had no children of their own, and lived most of their lives in and around Glasgow. Margaret, who had been born in Thurso, Caithness, died in 1919, but John lived for another nine years and died of heart and lung problems at the Powfoulis Home in Airth, Stirlingshire, many miles east of his native Glasgow.

Archibald Craig (1854–1886) — had been a printer’s assistant, a labourer, and a lamplighter. He never married and died of pneumonia at the family home in 45 McNeil Street. Archibald was just 32, and only his father had pre-deceased him.

Catherine “Kate” Craig (1856–1934) — for most of her 78 years, Kate had been a cotton or yarn weaver, but in the 1901 census, she was a theatre assistant. She never married, and had mostly lived with her mother till 1909. Kate took care of her brother David’s two orphaned children, and was living with them at 351 South Wellington Road in 1911. At the 1921 census, Kate was a patient at the Stoneyetts Institution in Moodiesburn, at that time mostly treating people with epilepsy. She died at 63 Rosebery Street of cardiac failure in December 1934, having outlived all her brothers. She left her estate of £143 to her married niece, Margaret McLeod (David’s daughter).

William Craig (1858–1914) — had been a message boy, a printfield labourer, and a grocery vanman in his 56 years. He married Margaret Cruickshanks on New Year’s Eve 1879, and they had four children at Hutchesontown between 1880 and 1892. He was living just along from his mother at 60 McNeil Street when he died of bone cancer in November 1914. His wife, Margaret, outlived him by more than 29 years, and was 84 when she died of heart disease at Rutherglen in 1944.

Margaret “Maggie” Craig (1863–1959) — outlived all her siblings by quite some margin. She married Irish-born John Cronin in 1882, and they had eight children between then and 1902.  John had been a steamship stoker, and was presumably at sea in 1891 when Margaret and three of her children were living at 45 McNeil Street. By 1901, the Cronin family were living at Falkirk, but were back at 12 South York Street in 1911,  John now a soap salesman. World War One came, and John became a Chief Petty Officer on HMS Princess Irene, a minesweeper. However, in May 1915, the ship exploded off Sheerness, near the Thames Estuary, and John was killed. In 1921, the war-widowed Margaret was living at 115 Thistle Street in the Gorbals with just one daughter, but she died on the Island of Rothesay, Bute, in 1959, aged 95.

David Craig (1854–1886) — was an iron planer, and married an Irish lass, Susan Trew, in 1887. This couple had three children, the first dying when only one. Sadly, Susan died of a stroke in 1899; she was only 30 years of age. Widower David and his two surviving children were living with Rachel in 1901, but things went from bad to worse when he died the following year of fluid on the lungs (pulmonary oedema), leaving two orphaned children: David (1894–1973) and Margaret (1898–1976). After Rachel died, the children lived with their aunt Kate. His daughter, Margaret, married John McLeod in 1927, and eventually moved to Ontario, Canada in 1957. 

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3. Hannah: 1740–1824 — 2 Comments

  1. I came across this article whilst doing family ancestry research. John Hannah who married Catherine Finlay is my great great great grandfather. His son David is my Great great grandfather

    • Hi Cousin! Great to meet you.
      David Hannah, I think, only had one son who married, and that was John who married Elizabeth Waddell in 1891. Is that your line?

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