District of Blackfriars, Central Glasgow. This is the area where James Norwood and his wife Rebecca McBride (my g-g-g-grandparents) lived with their daughter Sarah. Sarah married Thomas [4] Craig in 1870 and lived at 115 High Street, opposite the goods yard. Their son James Craig (my g-grandfather) lived at the Robert Burns Lodging House in 1891. James Norwood was a policeman in the Glasgow Constabulary and lived in Blackfriars from 1853 to 1869—but he and all his other children died young while living here.

This map also shows where I was born at the Maternity Hospital (aka Rottenrow). My father (Iain Craig) left school at 14 and went to work at Campbell Stewart and McDonald’s Warehouse, on the corner of Ingram and Brunswick Streets (left-centre of the map). However, much of this district has completely changed, and Strathclyde University now occupies the area around Rottenrow at the top left of the map. The current university boundary is marked with a light green ….. dotted line.


Blackfriars (Glasgow) Map — 4 Comments

  1. I believe that my great, great grandfather James McCall may have resided in Robert Burns Lodging in 1891 as well but I wanted to know how long he was there and any other information I can about him. There is a mystery in our McCall family that he left his family in Philadelphia for a couple years and came back a wealthy man. No one knows where he went and where he got his money. Only census I can find for a James McCall at the approximate age is in the 1891 census residing at the Robert Burns lodging. It would mean alot to my father to solve this mystery and see if this was him. He died in 1894 in Philadelphia.

    • Hi Kellie,

      Yes, family history is often full of blanks, but if you keep searching, eventually bits of information come together. My great-granddad, when he was 20, was missing from the family home on census night 1891. The only James Craig of that age I could find in Glasgow was a prisoner at the police lock-up in South Albion Street, and for many years I thought I had a felon in my tree! 🙂
      However, I was looking for one of his uncles (James Norwood) last year and found him at Robert Burns Lodge in 1891. This was close by where other members of his family lived. Lo and behold, while looking at the census for James Norwood, I found a 20-year-old James Craig at the same address! Not sure how I’d missed that in my original search! My great-grandfather and his uncle knew each other well, so this Robert Burns Lodge is more likely to be him rather than the prisoner at the police station. Whew! 🙂

      A suggestion for your James McCall: if he travelled from the US to the UK and back again, then you’ll probably find US and UK immigration records for him. I have a number of close family members who went to the US, and almost all have US immigration records, and some UK records. This may help you work out where he might have been in the ‘missing years’.

  2. My grandmother was born in the district of Blackfriars at 47 RottenRow. Thats all I know, she landed up here in Aberdeen where she married age 28.
    Both her and my Grandfather were deaf and mute, they had an amazing life even though their disability wasn’t as understood as it is today.

    • Hi Caroline,
      Rottenrow was the address of the Glasgow Infirmary and Maternity hospital, so a huge proportion of Glasgow’s population were born there. The immediate area was also a fairly bad slum district and, of course, many children were born at home before WW2. My 3G-Grandfather, James Norwood, was a policeman in Blackfriars from 1853 to 1869, and 4 of his 6 children were born in the tenements, even though the hospital was right next door! Sadly 4 of his children died as infants (mostly whooping cough), and only my GG-Granny Sarah had descendants. Your story of deaf grandparents is very interesting – remarkable how people will get by!

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