Friday, April 26, 2019

Early-Muir Marriages: Andrew Airlie (1877-1944) and Martha Muir (1876-1961)

Three children of my three times great uncle, Robert Orr Muir (1839-1917), married siblings. Andrew Airlie[1] and Martha Muir were the last of the three pairs of siblings to marry.

The Early-Muir marriages; created using Microsoft PowerPoint

Martha Muir was born on 12 April 1876 in Lesmagahow Parish in Lanarkshire, Scotland, to Robert Orr Muir and his second wife, MaryWatson Shaw. The birth occurred at her parent's home on Shoulderigg Road in the Coalburn area of the parish. Her father was a coal minter.

When the 1881 census was enumerated, the family still lived on Shouldrigg Road. The three living children from Robert Orr Muir's first marriage lived with their parents and several children from Robert's second marriage, but Martha was not listed with the family. By 1891 Robert had moved his family to Bathgate Parish, in West Lothian. He continued to work as a coal miner. Martha was 14 years old had finished her schooling and worked as a dress maker. By 1901, Martha worked as a domestic in the home of Robert Rutherford, a wholesale grocer, in Edinburgh.

She married Andrew Airlie on 27 December 1901in Gatashiels, a town in Bathgate Parish. Andrew was the son of Ralph Early and Catherine McNair White. He was a year younger than Martha, worked as a coal miner, and lived in Coalburn -- where Martha was born. They were married according to the forms of the United Free Church of Scotland, a Presbyterian denomination formed in 1900 by the unification of several denominations which had broken away from the national church after the Schism of 1843.

Martha had their first son, Alexander, on 3 August 1903 in Coalburn. Nearly a year later, on 21 May 1904, the family left for Nova Scotia aboard the Allan Line's SS Mongolian. Their destination was Sydney in the Cape Breton area of Nova Scotia. The province was Canada's foremost producer of coal from 1827 until 1945, according to the Nova Scotia Museum of Industry.

Coal pier in Sydney, Nova Scotia, circa 1900; courtesy of Wikipedia

Their second son, Robert Orr Muir Airlie, was born on 8 June 1905 in New Aberdeen, Nova Scotia. The neighborhood developed in the latter part of the 19th century to house workers at the Number 20, or Dominion Number 2 coal mine. The mine was owned by the Dominion Steel and Coal Company.

They returned to Scotland by 1906 and rented a house in Bridgend, which was located in Bathgate. Their third child, Andrew Airlie was born on 23 April 1907at that location.  He died on 16 April 1908 of food poisoning.

Their youngest child, Mary Watson Shaw Airlie, was born on 31 August 1910 at Smith's Buildings in Bridgend. The family lived at the same location when the 1911 census was taken. However, in 1915 they had moved to 16 Tinto View Terrace in Coalburn.

By 1920 the family was back in West Lothian and lived at 10 George Terrace in the Blackburn area of Whitburn Parish. They remained at there until they moved to their final address, 36 Redmill, in the same parish by 1930.

Andrew remained a coal miner the rest of his life and died suddenly on 4 July 1944 at his home of a supposed heart attack. His widow, Martha (Muir) Airlie lived another 17 years, dying on 15 April 1961 in Coalburn. She had suffered from a cerebral hemorrhage a month earlier. Her son-in-law, Archibald Naismith, was present at the time of her death and registered it with parish authorities.

  1. Alexander Airlie, born 3 August 1903 in Coalburn, Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire; death date and location unknown; married Jane O'Rorke, daughter of James O'Rorke and Anne Keirnan, on 31 December 1925 in Whitburn, West Lothian
  2. Robert Orr Muir Airlie, born 8 June 1905 in New Aberdeen, Nova Scotia, Canada; died 23 April 1981 in Hollywood, Florida; married 1) his second cousin, Annie Lee Muir, daughter of Robert Muir and Annie Robertson Lee, on 3 October 1930 in Finleyville, Pennsylvania, and 2) Mary Madeline (White) Kenny, on 14 April 1979
  3. Andrew Airlie, born 23 April 1907 in Bathgate, West Lothian; died 16 August 1908 in Bathgate
  4. Mary Watson Shaw Airlie, born 31 August 1910 in Bathgate; died 3 June 1986 in Coalburn, Lanarkshire; married Archibald "Archie" Gray Naismith, a son of George Naismith and Margaret Taylor, on 29 March 1952 in Whitburn, West Lothian. Neither had been married previously
[1] The Airlie surname was spelled in a variety of ways in the records on ScotlandsPeople, including Airley, Earlie, Early, and Earley. Andrew's surname was spelled Early on his birth registration but he changed it to Airlie and all his children followed suit.

Early-Muir Marriages: Ralph Early (1863-1909) and Elizabeth Hamilton Muir (1867-1902)
Early-Muir Marriages: Robert Muir (1863-1927) and Janet Early (1868-1939)
Immigration Redux

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