Sunday, October 26, 2014

52 Ancestors #43: Questions, Questions, Questions

Ancestor Name: Robert MUIR (c1800-1869)

I promised my father I would write a book about about his great great grandfather, Robert Muir, who was a coal miner in Scotland, and his descendants. When Dad was able to research our family, he did not have access to Scottish records and so knew very little about his only immigrant line. I have finally gotten serious about this project; and, after exploring several self-publishing options, decided the easiest was writing the stories in a blog format and then "pointing" the publishing application at the blog. So I started the Robert Muir Family blog after creating an outline and determining how that outline would translate to blog categories, or labels.

It was when I was writing the post about Robert's children and typing all the birth and death dates and locations, I had an a-ha moment. Robert Muir and his family HAD to be living in East Kilbride parish when the 1841 Scotland census was enumerated because he had a daughter born there that year and several children born before her and after were born in East Kilbride. So I went back to ScotlandsPeople and finally found it, several search permutations later.

1841 Scotland Census record for Robert Muir's family; document
courtesy of ScotlandsPeople

I transcribe all my documents and refer to the transcriptions when writing.

1841 Scotland Census Transcription:
06/06/1841 Moore, Henrietta (Census 1841 643/00 001/00 001)
Parish of East Kilbride
Place: [illegible, possibly Leugh, perhaps for Low?] Common
Houses: One inhabited House
Robert Moore, 35, Male, Coal cutter, foreign born, including England or Ireland
Henrietta Moore, 30, Female, born in Lanarkshire
William Moore, 15, Male, Coal cutter, born in Lanarkshire
Elizabeth Moore, 12, Female, born in Lanarkshire
Martha Moore, 10, Female, born in Lanarkshire
Jane Moore, 3, Female, born in Lanarkshire
Robert Moore, 1, Male, born in Lanarkshire
[illegible] K., 1 month, Female, born in Lanarkshire
Francis McColl, 30, Male, Agricultural laborer, foreign born, including England or Ireland
Stephen McColl, 26, Male, Agricultural laborer, foreign born, including England or Ireland
Francis McMillan, 20, Male, Agricultural laborer, foreign born, including England or Ireland
Peter Roony, 25, Male, Agricultural laborer, foreign born, including England or Ireland

What's Right?
I concluded this was the correct record for "my" Robert Muir family because:
  • Robert Muir's family was known to be living in East Kilbride in 1841
  • Robert Muir was foreign born
  • Robert Muir was a coal miner (also described as hewer or cutter)
  • Robert Muir's wife's name was correct
  • The birth order, names, and ages of their known children was also correct
Good News!
Like most new finds, this one included new information:
  • Henrietta (Brown) Muir's approximate age and birth location
  • 15-year-old son, William
What's Wrong?
Like some records, there are bits and pieces that are not accurate:
  • The spelling of the family's surname as Moore instead of Muir
  • Robert Muir's age, which doesn't match two other records
There's Always More Questions
Why does each new find bring excitement, especially when they've been so hard to find; and why do they always generate more questions?
  • What was William Muir's life like? Did he marry? When did he die?
  • Was Robert Muir married before and is William Muir a product of that marriage?
  • Research each of the foreign-born boarders living with Robert Muir's family. Were they relatives of Robert's?
  • Will I ever find Robert and Henrietta (Brown) Muir in the 1851 Scotland census
  • Could the new information about Henrietta's date and place of birth help me find her parents?
  • Explore Robert's new birth date; perhaps it is not wrong?
Robert Muir was born about 1800 in Ireland. His parents are unknown, though his father's name was listed as James Muir on his death registration. He married Henrietta Brown on 26 January 1828 in Avondale, Lanarkshire, Scotland. He was a coal miner and lived in Glassford, East Kilbride, Larkhall, and Storehouse, Scotland. His wife, Henrietta died between 1851 and 1869. When the 1861 census was enumerated Robert was listed as a "former coal miner." He died on 20 April 1869 in Stonehouse of palpitation of the heart and bronchitis.

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