James Norwood & Rebecca McBride (3g-grandparents)

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.

Of all the families in my direct line, the Norwood family seems to me to be the most tragic. James [1] and Rebecca were both born in Belfast, Ireland, but we only know this from the 1855 birth certificate of their son James [2].1Source: Norwood, James; 1855 Scotland Statutory Births; 644/1 884; Central District, Glasgow. That was the only year statutory birth certificates recorded the parents’ place of birth. In fact, almost everything we know of their earlier life in Ireland comes from Scottish records. We are not given a precise date and place for their marriage until their daughter Elizabeth’s 1861 birth certificate:2Source: Norwood, Elizabeth; 1861 Scotland Statutory Births; 644/1 1404; Central District, Glasgow. 21 August 1846, at Lisburn — a town about 13 km (8 miles) south-west of Belfast centre. The 1861 Scotland Census tells us that their first two children were born in Ireland (though Annie may actually have been born in Liverpool, England), and James [1] Norwood’s police service record informs us that he was born in the small village of Drumbo, County Down, which is 5 km (3 miles) due east of Lisburn. Apart from their parents’ names, which we get from their death certificates, this is all we know about their lives before they arrived in Glasgow somewhere around 1853.

When I was a child, my dad sometimes told the story that his ‘great-grandfather’ was “the first policeman in Glasgow.” — my granddad had a similar story. As it turns out, they were talking about James [1] Norwood, my dad’s great-great grandfather, and he wasn’t “the first” by any means! The City of Glasgow Police were established by an act of parliament on 30 June 1800, and James was recruited as a constable in ‘A Division’ (Glasgow Central) on 27 October 1853, after previously serving as a constable in Liverpool, England. His service record shows he was 6’2″ (1.88 m) tall, and aged 26 (so, born around 1827). James’ service record is a very revealing document, and more will be said about it as we read on.

Apart from James’ service record, the first we hear about this family is the 1855 Valuation Rolls for Glasgow. Here we find James as the tenant and occupier of a house at 75 High Street, Blackfriars, which is just up from Glasgow Cross (Tollcross) and, at that time, one of Glasgow’s worst slum areas. They were paying £4 a year (1/6 a week) to live in the squalor of Glasgow Central. It was at this same address that their 5th child, James [2], was born at on 24 July of that same year. Rebecca is recorded on that certificate as have “2 girls living” and “2 boys deceased” — the girls, we will soon find out, were Sarah and Anna, and the boys must have been born and died between 1846 and 1855 — either in Ireland, Liverpool or Glasgow.

Glasgow Central Police Station, 9 South Albion Street — as seen from the corner of Stirling Street.

The Central Police Station in those days was at 9 South Albion Street, less than 100 metres (109 yards) from where the Norwood family were living at that time. In Febuary 1856, James’s service record shows that he was  “admonished” (not for the last time) for “bringing a prisoner to the office without reason”; this first offence didn’t seem to worry his superiors, because, in February 1857, he was promoted to sergeant! However, the goodwill from his employer was about to fade when, in October of that year, he was “reprimanded” for being “found in a Public House during the hours of duty” — my goodness! The family are next recorded in October 1857, when their 6th child, John,3Source: Norwood, John; 1857 Scotland Statutory Births; 644/1 1779; Central District, Glasgow. was born at 55 High Street, just a few paces closer to the Tollbooth on Trongate; the poor child died just six months later of hydrocephalus  (fluid on the brain)4Source: Norwood, John; 1858 Scotland Statutory Deaths; 644/1 750; Central District, Glasgow.James and Rebecca had lost their third child in 10 years. Worse was to come.

Glasgow Police uniforms – left is a sergeant in 1854, and the right is a constable in 1870.

The family had moved from High Street to Stirling Square (close by the police station at South Albion Street) by the time their 7th child, Mary Jane, was born in March 1859.5Source: Norwood, Mary Jane; 1859 Scotland Statutory Births; 644/1 651; Central District, Glasgow. James, however, was still occasionally getting into trouble at work. In January 1860, he was given a black mark in his service record for “insubordination”, and a year later, another for “entering a Public House when on duty” — he obviously hadn’t learned from the previous disciplinary actions!

Looking down Bell Street from High Street — Nº 55 High Street was in the corner building to the left of Bell Street, and Nº 75 in the one to the right. The police station was towards the end of Bell Street on the right.

1861 Census – and tragedy

By April 1861, James and Rebecca and their four surviving children had moved once again — this time, just around the corner to what was then Stirling Street (now Blackfriar’s Street). My direct ancestors are marked in purple

1861 SCOTLAND CENSUS: 13 Stirling Street, Blackfriars, Glasgow 6Source: NORWOOD, James; 1861 Scotland Census; 644/1 38/ 14; Central District, Glasgow.

James [1] Norwood; Head; Mar; 35; Sergeant of Police; born Ireland
Rebeca [McBride] Norwood; Wife; Mar; 37; born Ireland
Sarah Norwood; Daur; Unm; 13; ?; born Ireland
Anna Norwood; Daur; Unm; 9; [School]; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
James [2] Norwood; Son; 6; [School]; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Mary [Ann] Norwood; Daur; 2; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire

This is the first census in which we find the Norwood family — the 1851 record could be either in Ireland or Liverpool. Exact ages for James [1] and Rebecca have been difficult to calculate due to discrepancies recorded during their lives, but these ones in the 1861 census (35 and 36) must be close. The record says there are two members of the household at school, but none of the children have that marked against their names — presumably the 6- and 9-year olds are at school, and Sarah’s occupation is given as a question mark. At 13, Sarah would almost certainly be working. Anna is given as being born in Glasgow — but a thorough trawl though Scotland’s old parish records (up to 1854) reveals no record — so it may be that she was born in either Ireland or Liverpool.

Three months after the census, and at the same address, the last child, Elizabeth, was born.7Source: Norwood, Elizabeth; 1861 Scotland Statutory Births; 644/1 1404; Central District, Glasgow. And, in November that year, James was once again in strife when he was demoted to second-class constable for, like an echo, “bringing a prisoner to the office without cause”; he was certainly a wayward copper! However, we can now start to appreciate how wretched his family life was, and perhaps understand why his work life was so chaotic. A week after his demotion, Anna (9) died from tuberculosis, which she had suffered from for 6 years.8Source: Norwood, Annie; 1861 Scotland Statutory Deaths; 644/01 1404; Glasgow Central. But more horrors were on their way. Less than three months after Anna’s death (February 1862), the youngest, Elizabeth (7 months),9Source: Norwood, Elizabeth; 1862 Scotland Statutory Deaths; 644/1 271; Glasgow Central. died of hooping cough — and, a week later, Mary Ann (3) succumbed to the same disease.10Source: Norwood, Mary; 1862 Scotland Statutory Deaths; 644/1 334; Central District, Glasgow. James and Rebecca had now lost six children in the 16 years they had been married. Only two, James [2] and Sarah, were to make it to adulthood, and only one of them to old age.

Blackfriars, 1863–1879

After the virtual decimation of his young family, James’ career continued on its downhill slope. In May 1863 he was fined 1/- (a week’s rent) for being “absent from a fire” (maybe he was in the pub!); two years later, he was yet again “admonished”, this time for “striking a woman” — oh, dear me! This was the same year (1865) that the Valuation Rolls showed the remnants of the family were still living at 13 Stirling Street, where four of the children had died.

In March 1866, James’ police service record shows he was promoted to “2nd Class” (on 21/- a week), and for the next three years, he had no more run-ins with his work. Rebecca would no doubt have appreciated the extra money over that time; however, three-and-a-half years later, James was back in the bad books: fined 1/- for, yet again, being “absent from a fire”. This was, it seems, to have been the last straw for the Glasgow Constabulary for, two months later, James [1] Norwood was “Superannuated” (i.e. sacked) from the police on 22 November 1869. He was about 45, had lost six children, was living in the slums, and without a job. The only bright spot in his otherwise sorrowful life was that, in March 1870, his surviving daughter, Sarah, married my great-great grandfather, Thomas [4] Craig. It would be one less mouth to feed:

1870 SCOTLAND STATUTORY MARRIAGES: Central District, Glasgow 11Source: CRAIG, Thomas [3] & NORWOOD, Sarah; 1870 Scotland Statutory Marriages; 644/1 121; Glasgow Central.

married: 18th March, 1870   at: 115 High Street, Glasgow
After Banns, according to the Forms of the Free Church

Thomas [4] Craig, Brassfinisher (Bachelor)  age: 20
of: 115 High Street, Glasgow
father: John Craig, Carter (dec’d)
mother:  Rachel Craig M.S. Hannah

Sarah Norwood, Power Loom Weaver (Spinster) (X mark)   age: 20
of: 115 High Street, Glasgow
fatherJames [1] Norwood, Police Constable
mother:  Rebecca Norwood M.S. McBride

minister: William Barrow   witnessesJohn Craig; Elizabeth Fowler

However, by now, James Norwood had contracted phthisis (tuberculosis) himself, and was only to live for another 11 months. The family seems to have moved back to High Street by the time Sarah married, but James was to die in Nelson Street, a short lane extending south from South Albion Street — he had never lived far from the police station where he had such a turbulent career:

1871 SCOTLAND STATUTORY DEATHS: Central District, Glasgow 12Source: NORWOOD, James; 1871 Scotland Statutory Deaths; 644/1 390; Central District, Glasgow.

James [1] Norwood,
Police Constable, Married to Rebecca McBride

died: 14th February 1871  (5:15 pm)   age: 39 years [actually, he was about 45]
at: 53 Nelson Street, Glasgow

father: Malcolm Norwood, Agricultural labourer (dec’d)
mother: Agnes Norwood M.S. Blakeley (dec’d)

cause: Phthisis – years   doctor: A. Patterson
informant: Rebecca Norwood (X mark), Widow (present)

The death certificate infers that James [1] had TB for “years”, so perhaps that’s the reason he had been ‘superannuated’, rather than his bad conduct — we’ll never know whether he was a wayward fellow who was a bit brutish, or just a man who was depressed with his miserable circumstances, and lashing out at life in general. Many of the police recruited in Glasgow were from Ireland, and specifically hired for their bulk and strength; he may not have been much different from many of his colleagues.

Six weeks after James died, the 1871 census was taken, and we now see the remaining family living back in High Street — and it’s a very different household:

1871 SCOTLAND CENSUS: 115 High Street, Blackfriars, Glasgow 13Source: NORWOOD, Rebecca; 1871 Scotland Census; 644/1 36/ 25; Central District, Glasgow.

Rebecca Norwood [McBride]; Head; Widow; 41; born Ireland
James [2] Norwood; Son; Unm; 16; Message Boy; born Glasgow
Sarah Craig [Norwood] ; Daur; Mar; 20; born Glasgow [actually Ireland]
Thomas [4] Craig Senr.; Son in Law; Mar; 20; Brass Finisher; born Glasgow [actually Rutherglen]
Thomas (i) Craig Junr.; Grandson; 14 mth; born Glasgow
James Craig; Grandson; 1 week; born Glasgow

High Street looking south towards the Tolbooth Steeple at Glasgow Cross. Stirling Street would have been directly to the right of the camera. This scene would have been very familiar to the Norwood family.

The newly widowed Rebecca (who was more likely to be 46) was living with her remaining children and her daughter’s family, which included two grandsons. Sarah, as we know, was actually born in Belfast, and was really 23; the one-week-old James Craig is my great-grandfather. Rebecca was still at 115 High Street for the 1875 Valuation Rolls, and was paying £4/15/- a year to do so (1/9d a week). Her only surviving son, James [2], had moved across the Clyde to the Gorbals, and was living in Hospital Street when he married Catherine Borthwick in April 1878:

1878 SCOTLAND STATUTORY MARRIAGES: Gorbals, Glasgow 14Source: Norwood, James [2] & Borthwick, Christina; 1878 Scotland Statutory Marriages; 644/12 201; Gorbals, Glasgow.

married: 23rd April 1878   at: 5 Abbotsford Place, Glasgow
After Banns, according to the Forms of the Church of Scotland

James [2] Norwood, Soap Manufacturer’s Van Driver (Bachelor)   age: 22
of: 3 Hospital Street, Glasgow
father: James [1] Norwood, Police Day Constable (dec’d)
mother:  Rebecca Norwood M.S. McBride

Christina Borthwick, Soap Work Packer (Spinster)   age: 21  [actually 16]
of: 24 Adelphie Street, Glasgow
fatherRobert Borthwick, Mercantile Clerk (dec’d)
mother:  Catherine Borthwick, formerly Leechman M.S. Lamb (dec’d)

minister: Andw. Leiper, Gorbals Parish   witnessesJames McConnachie; Catherine Murdoch

Obviously, James [2] and Christina worked at the same soap factory. However, Christina (an orphan) had lied about her age; she was born at the Trongate on 3 July 1861, so she was only 16 when she married. Fourteen months later, this couple had their only child, and named him James [3] — but things were about to go horribly wrong for that family too.

Moving to Hutchesontown, 1881–1897

The April 1881 census showed that the young James and his wife and child had moved back over the Clyde, and were living in Stanhope Street (just north of Rottenrow).15Source: Norwood, James [2]; 1881 Scotland Census; 644/6 25/ 11. St Rollox, Glasgow. His widowed mother, however, was living by herself, though within walking  distance, on a street running south from Rottenrow:

1881 SCOTLAND CENSUS: 6 Balmano Street, Blackfriars, Glasgow 16Source: NORWOOD, Rebecca (McBride); 1881 Scotland Census; 644/5 10/ 18; Blackfriars, Glasgow.

Mrs Rebecca Norwood [McBride]; Head; Widow; 61; born Ireland

Looking down Balmano Street towards George Street (1939). This area is now part of Strathclyde University.

Balmano Street was only 100 m (109 yd) long and ran down from Rottenrow to George Street, but this whole area has now disappeared under the buildings of Strathclyde University. The Glasgow Infirmary, Maternity Hospital (where I was born) and Lock Hospital (for ‘fallen’ women) were all situated on Rottenrow.  Meanwhile, Sarah and her growing family had taken up residence in Hutchesontown, which was south of the River Clyde about 1 km (0.6 miles) from their old stamping grounds. Hutchesontown, which has now been completely redeveloped, was part of the infamous and densely populated Gorbals district of Glasgow. We now find the the family living at 45 McNeil Street, an address that was to become a focal point for the Craig family for at least the next 20 years or so:

1881 SCOTLAND CENSUS: 45 McNeil Street, Hutchesontown, Glasgow 17Source: CRAIG, Thomas; 1881 Scotland Census; 644/11 51/ 4 & 5; Hutchesontown, Glasgow.

Thomas [4] Craig; Head; Mar; 31; Brass Finisher; born Rutherglen, Lanarkshire
SarahCraig [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 Craig; Daur; Unm; 24; Cotton Mill Worker; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Margaret Craig; Daur; Unm; 18; Cotton Mill Worker; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
David Craig; Son; [Unm]; 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

This view is looking northwards from the corner of McNeil Street & Upper Govan Street (now Ballater Street), Hutchesontown, around 1890. To the right is St Andrew’s Bridge, which crossed the River Clyde to Glasgow Green. Our family lived just to the right, off camera, at Nº 45.

As we can see, Thomas’ widowed mother, Rachel Hannah, was also living at the same address with four of her children and a couple of boarders. By this time, Thomas [4] Craig and Sarah Norwood had finished having children, but their first born, Thomas (i), had died of scarlet fever in 1874, while they were still living at 115 High Street.18Source: Craig, Thomas [Stewart]; 1874 Scotland Statutory Deaths; 644/1 2024; Central District, Glasgow. Their last born was only to survive till April 1882, when she died of concussion from a fall.19Source: Craig, Rebecca; 1882 Scotland Statutory Deaths; 644/ 11 352; Hutchesontown, Glasgow.

However, in September 1881, James [2] and Catherine were back at Stirling Street when, tragically, she succumbed to tuberculosis, aged only 20 (though her death certificate showed her age as 24).20Source: Norwood, Christina (Borthwick); 1881 Scotland Statutory Deaths; 644/6 1134; St Rollox, Glasgow. James, 26, was now left a widower with a small child. Nothing else has been found for the family until the 1891 census:

1891 SCOTLAND CENSUS: 22 Stirling Street, Blackfriars, Glasgow 21Source: NORWOOD, Rebecca (McBride); 1891 Scotland Census; 644/5 26/ 12; Blackfriars, Glasgow.

Mrs Rebecca Norwood [McBride]; Head; Widow; 61; born Ireland
Jno Mitchell; Lodger;60; Navvy; born Forfar, Forfarshire
Joan Mitchell; Lodger’s wife; 29; born Dundee, Forfarshire

1891 SCOTLAND CENSUS: Robert Burns Lodging House, 15–36 Watson Street, Blackfriars 22Source: CRAIG, James; 1891 Scotland Census; 644/5 71/ 11; Blackfriars, Glasgow.

— Multiple entries —
James Craig; Lodger; Unm; 20; Window Cleaner (employed); born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
— Multiple entries —
James [2] Norward [Norwood]; Lodger; Widower; 36; Dock Labourer; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
— Multiple entries —

Interestingly, my great-grandfather James Craig and his uncle James [2] Norwood were both lodgers at the Robert Burn’s Lodging House, which was located only 80 m (87 yards) on the other side of High Street from where the family had lived on and off for 36 years. I have not been able to find any census record in 1891 for the the 12-year-old James [3] Norwood, but his aunt Sarah was still at Hutchesontown with her husband Thomas and three working-age children:

1891 SCOTLAND CENSUS: 420 Rutherglen Road, Hutchesontown, Glasgow 23Source: CRAIG, Thomas [4]; 1891 Scotland Census; 644/11 82/ 8; Hutchesontown, Glasgow.

Thomas [4] Craig; Head; Mar; 41; Brassfinisher; born Rutherglen, Lanarkshire
Sarah N. [Norwood] Craig; Wife; Mar; 46; born Ireland
John Craig; Son; Unm; 18; Ship Yard Lab.; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Thomas [ii] Craig; Son; Unm; 15; Message Boy; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
David Craig; Son; 13; Message Boy; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire

Less than 10 months after this census, James [2] Norwood, a pauper, died at the city poorhouse from pneumonia.  He was only 36, and left an orphaned 12-year-old son who was probably with his grandmother in Stirling Street.

1892 SCOTLAND STATUTORY DEATHS: St Rollox, Glasgow 24Source: Norwood, James [2]; 1892 Scotland Statutory Deaths; 644/6 124; St Rollox, Glasgow.

James [2] Norwood
Pauper, formerly a Grocer’s Van driver
Widower of Christina Borthwick

died: 28th January 1892  (7:40 am)   age: 36 years   at: City Poorhouse, Glasgow Canal
usual residence: 22 Stirling Street, City

father: James [1] Norwood, Police Constable (deceased)
mother: Rebecca Norwood M.S. McBride

cause: Pneumonia   doctor: G.A. Clark L.R. C.P.
informant: Rebecca Norwood, X mark, Mother   of: 22 Stirling Street, City

With James [2]’s death, the only surviving members of the Norwood family were Rebecca, Sarah and James [3]. Rebecca was still living at 22 Stirling Street in 1895, but by 1896, the Electoral Register shows she had moved across the Clyde and was living at 114 Trongate — and this is where she died in 1897:

1897 SCOTLAND STATUTORY DEATHS: St Rollox, Glasgow 25Source: NORWOOD, Rebecca (McBride); 1897 Scotland Statutory Deaths; 644/6 975, St Rollex, Glasgow.

Rebecca Norwood
PauperWidow of James [1] Norwood, Police Constable

date: 14th July 1897 (9:45 pm)   at: City Poorhouse, Glasgow
usual residence: 114 Trongate   age: 77 years

father: John McBride, Farmer (deceased)
mother: Rebecca McBride M.S. Johnston (deceased)

cause: Cardiac Disease, Bronchitis
doctor: Alex. Roberston MD
informant: Sarah Craig [Norwood], X mark, Daughter   of: 420 Rutherglen Road

The Trongate in 1881 — looking east towards the Tolbooth Steeple at Glasgow Cross. The clock tower to the right is the Tron Kirk Steeple.

The New Century, 1901–1904

Sometime between Rebecca’s death and the 1901 census (and the end of the Victorian era), Sarah Norwood and Thomas [4] Craig seem to have permanently separated. At the census, Thomas was living with his own mother and three of his siblings, and some nieces and a nephew:

1901 SCOTLAND CENSUS: 45 McNeill Street, Hutchesontown, Glasgow 26Source: 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 Attendant (worker); born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Thomas [4] Craig; Son; Mar; 57; Brassfinisher (worker); born Rutherglen, Lanarkshire
David Craig; Son; Widower; 34; Iron Planer (worker); born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Rachel Cronin; Grand Daur; Single; 16; Pastry Packer (worker); born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
David Craig; Grand Son; 6; Scholar; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Margaret Craig; Grand Daur; 2; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire

Meanwhile, Sarah was still at Rutherglen Road, with two of their grown-up sons:

1901 SCOTLAND CENSUS: 420 Rutherglan Road, Hutchesontown, Glasgow 27Source: CRAIG, Sarah (Norwood); 1901 Scotland Census; 644/11 63/ 37; Hutchesontown, Glasgow.

Sarah Craig [Norwood]; Head; Mar; 56; born Ireland
Thomas [ii] Craig; Son; Single; 24; General Labourer (worker); born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
David Craig; Son; Single; 22; Spirit Salesman (worker); born Glasgow, Lanarkshire

Thomas [4] and Sarah were never to reunite. However, the last male carrying the ‘Norwood’ name in this line was working in the old Blackfriars region they had always lived in since 1853:

1901 SCOTLAND CENSUS: 48 Duke Street, Blackfriars, Glasgow 28Source: Norwood, James [3]; 1901 Scotland Census; 644/5 48/ 1; Blackfriars, Glasgow.

Conner McGuire; Head; Widower; 57; Lodging House Proprietor; “Own Home”; born Ireland
James [3] Norwood; Officer (Warder); Single; 21; Warder in Lodging House; born Glasgow
—— Multiple entries ——

But it was less than three years before the hand of fate wiped out the last Norwood but one:

1904 SCOTLAND STATUTORY DEATHS: Milton, Glasgow 29Source: Norwood, James [3]; 1904 Scotland Statutory Deaths; 644/8 68; Milton, Glasgow.

James [3] Norwood,
Hotel PorterSingle

died: 27th January 1904  (7:20 am)   age: 24 years  at: 105 Stirling Street, Glasgow

father: James [2] Norwood, Van Driver (deceased)
mother: Christina Norwood M.S. [Borthwick] (deceased)

cause: Phthisis Pulmonalis [TB]   doctor: Wm. Gladstone Cook R.A.C.P. Edin.
informant: James Craig, Second [1st] Cousin   of: 7 South Wellington Place, Glasgow

So, now, the only survivor of the Norwood family that came to Glasgow in 1853 was my great-great grandmother Sarah; but she, at least, had a few more years left. My great-grandfather James Craig was the informant, and he was, in fact, James [3]’s first cousin.

The foreground in this 1900 photo shows the area behind the tenements on the west side of High Street, looking south past the junction with Duke Street towards Glasgow Cross. The Tolbooth Steeple can just be seen to the left in the background, while in the top right corner we can see the Ramshorn Kirk on Ingram Street. The thick smoke in High Street was probably from railway engines working at the High Street Goods Yard, on the south side of Duke Street.

The Final Years, 1911–1934

Sarah, the last surviving member of our Norwood family, lived the rest of her life at Rutherglen Road, still separated from her husband:

1911 SCOTLAND CENSUS: 420 Rutherglen Road, Hutchesontown, Glasgow 30Source: CRAIG, Sarah [Norwood]; 1911 Scotland Census; 644/15 49/ 30; Hutchesontown, Glasgow.

Sarah Craig [Norwood]; Head; 65; Mar for 45 years (6 children, 4 living); Weaver; born Ireland
Thomas (ii) Craig; Son; 34; Single; Carter; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Jeannie Burnett Craig; Daur-in-law; 28; Mar for 3 years (1 child, 0 living); Tambourer; born Glasgow

1911 SCOTLAND CENSUS: 25 East Market Street, Calton, Glasgow 31Source: CRAIG, Thomas [4]; 1911 Scotland Census; 644/3 20/ 6; Calton, Glasgow.

Martha Arkison; Head; 49; Widow; Cleaner of Schools; born Glasgow, Lanarkshire
   —— Arkison family ——
Thomas [4] Craig; Boarder; 58; Mar; Brass Finisher, Foundry (worker); born Rutherglen, Lanarkshire

What had separated Thomas [4] and Sarah is not known, but while she was living with two of her adult children in Hutchesontown, Thomas was boarding with a family in Calton. The ages they both gave the 1911 census collector were wrong; Thomas was actually 61, and Sarah would have likely been only 63. Jeannie Burnett was the wife of their son David, but his whereabouts on census night has not been found.

I have not been able to find Sarah in the 1921 Census, but it is almost certain that she would still be living at 420 Rutherglen Road. However, Thomas [4] was still an outcast from his family, and now living in a lodging house for men in Greendyke Street, which ran along the northern edge of Glasgow Green off the Saltmarket:

1921 SCOTLAND CENSUS: Lodging House, 49 Greendyke Street, Calton, Glasgow 32Source: CRAIG, Thomas [4]; 1921 Scotland Census; 644/3 78/ 2; Calton, Glasgow.

    ======= Multiple entries ======
Thomas [4] Craig; Lodger; Mar; 70 years, 1 month; Brass Finisher (Young Stanly Sons); born Glasgow
    ======= Multiple entries ======

Sarah (73) and her mother (77) were the only members of the Norwood family to reach old age, and Sarah was the only one of her siblings to leave descendants. Sarah herself had lost two young children — Thomas (4) and Rebecca (1) — but for those times, that was not unusual. She had lived apart from her husband for at least 21 years when she died of heart problems in 1922:

1922 SCOTLAND STATUTORY DEATHS: Hutchesontown, Glasgow 33Source: CRAIG (Norwood), Sarah; 1922 Scotland Statutory Deaths; 644/15 416; Hutchesontown, Glasgow.

Sarah Craig
Married to Thomas [4] Craig, Brassfinisher

died: 11th June 1922  (11:45 pm)   age: 73 years
at: 420 Rutherglen Road, Glasgow

father: James [1] Norwood, Police Constable (deceased)
mother: Rebecca Norwood M.S. McQueen [sic – McBride] (deceased)

cause: Valvular Disease of the Heart; Cerebral Embolism, Hemiplegia
doctor: Albert A Peek M.B B.Ch. etc.    informant: T. Craig, Son (present)

Looking north-west along Rutherglen Road, Hutchesontown, around 1930. The Co-Op shop at the right (where the man on the bicycle is) was on the corner of Snowden Street, where my grandmother, Mary Brown, was born in 1911. Nº 420 Rutherglen Road would be at the near corner of the next street on the left, and the building diagonally opposite (far side, right) was Nº 393, where Rachel [Hannah] Craig died in 1909. The street to the right at that corner is McNeil Street. All of these buildings have now gone.

Thomas [4] Craig was to die nearly 10 years later. Almost nothing is known of his life in that time, but one family story comes to mind. My father and my grandad used to claim that Thomas, who had always identified as a ‘brassfinisher’, had worked on the brass fittings for the original R.M.S. “Queen Mary”. However, if that were true, he would have had little time to do it, as that ship was not laid down till December 1930, and was launched in September 1934. Thomas died in March 1932, aged 82 — very old to be still working in the shipyards. At best, if he was indeed still toiling away in his old age (and his death certificate seems to suggest he had retired), he could have done no more than 14 months work on “Queen Mary” — possible, but a little dubious.

1932 SCOTLAND STATUTORY DEATHS: Blythswood, Glasgow 34Source: CRAIG, Thomas [4]; 1932 Scotland Statutory Deaths; 644/10 47; Blythswood, Glasgow.

Thomas [4] Craig,
Formerly a Brassfinisher Journeyman
Widower of Sarah Norwood

died: 17th March 1932  (9:40 am)   age: 81 years
at: 81 Rottenrow, Glasgow

father: John Craig, Carter (deceased)
mother: Rachel Craig M.S. Hannah (deceased)

cause: Senile Exhaustion, Cardiac failure   doctor: Robert Grieve M.B.Ch.M.
informant: James Craig, Son   of: 203 Waddell Street, Glasgow

So, with Thomas’ death, only his children were left to pass the name ‘Norwood’ on to their own children and grandchildren. Of Thomas [4] and Sarah’s six children, only three married and passed on the Norwood genes: my great-grandfather James Craig (who married Jessie Littlejohn in 1900); John Craig (who married Grace McIntyre in 1894); and  David Craig (who married Jeanie Tennant Burnett in 1908). I do have at least five DNA matches through that tie in with the Norwood name — and these appear to be the descendants of two of James [1] Norwood’s uncles from Belfast: a David Norwood born in 1806, and a Samuel Norwood born in 1809. These are both likely to be older brothers to Malcolm Norwood, but more research is needed to confirm the precise relationship of these matches.

See the relevant maps (maps open in new browser tabs):

Bell o’ the Brae, 1904 — this was the old name for the stretch of High Street leading up from the Duke Street intersection to Drygate. The name comes from a ‘deid bell’ that had been installed in a little turret at the top of the hill in medieval times, and which tolled at funerals.

Glasgow Cross, 1900 — looking west along the Trongate from the Tolbooth at the corner of High Street. The Tron Kirk Steeple is prominent at the centre.

Somewhere along the Gallowgate, east of Glasgow Cross, in 1880.

A ‘close’ in High Street, Blackfriars, 1868. This would have been a scene quite familiar to the Norwood family.

The Lock Hospital on Rottenrow, Blackfriars. This 19th-century hospital was for the treatment of women with venereal diseases, and lay between the top end of High Street and Balmano Street. Thomas [4] Craig died near here in 1932.



4. Norwood: 1840–1932 — 2 Comments

  1. This isn’t a comment or Feedback. However I have been given the name of Alan Craig by a Stephen Walsh in the UK. As it is my understanding from Stephen that Alan has done some extensive research on the Warburton’s in Lancashire.
    I would love to know more as I’ve hit a brick wall and DNA matches none.
    Any help your reply would be greatly appreciated.
    Robyn Cook
    Brisbane Australia

    • Hi Robyn,
      “Extensive” research on the Warburtons might be egging it a bit, but my wife is descended from Ann Warburton and James Frankland. Their daughter Mary Ann married James Hardman in Middleton in 1828. They had 8 children, and all of them migrated to Australia around 1863.
      Since you are in Brisbane, I’ll contact you directly via your email; we’d be happy to help in any way we can with your research.

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