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The Whitehills of Rottenrow

Catherine Gray Whitehill’s parents as named on her marriage certificate were John Whitehill and Elizabeth Christie.  In the census returns after her marriage, her year of birth is consistently given as 1847, unfortunately just before official registration began in Scotland in 1855. I have not found a marriage between these two names, although a John Whitehill did marry an Elizabeth Marshall at about the right time. This couple appear with their children from 1841 to 1881 with their children, including Jean – born 18 August 1847. They had a 7 year old granddaughter named Elizabeth Gray (Whitehill) with them in 1881.

The only Catherine Gray Whitehill born anywhere near 1847 to be found in the records currently on ScotlandsPeople, or any census returns, appears with Catherine Gray Whitehill in 1851 and 1861. This Catherine was the widow of Alexander, a weaver.

They married in Glasgow on the 20th March 1829. Catherine’s death certificate from 1864 names her parents as Peter Gray and Catherine.

Alexander and Catherine appear together in 1841 living in Rottenrow with 3 of their 6 oldest children: James, Isabella and John. Margaret, Alexander and William presumably having died.

  1. Margaret (9 May 1829 – before 1841)
  2. James (23 July 1833 – before 1881)
  3. Isabella (23 May 1834 -1875)
  4. Alexander (10 May 1836 – before 1841)
  5. John (9 August 1837 – after 1901)
  6. William (23 July 1840 – before 1841 )
  7. Thomas Maitland (6 February 1842 – before 1851)
  8. Hugh Stewart (20 April 1845 – 1927)
  9. Catherine Gray (31 May 1847 -1927)

All the other Catherine Gray Whitehills who appear in the Scottish records are descended from Alexander and Catherine. Whoever Catherine’s parents were, assuming that the details on her marriage certificate are correct, she certainly appears to have been brought up with Catherine and Alexander’s family. 

Catherine is listed as a muslin warehouse girl aged 13 in 1861. Catherine was a steam loom weaver in 1871, and when she married James Simpson in 1873, she gave her occupation as a woollen powerloom weaver. Her “mother”, Catherine, was a yarn winder, and Alexander Whitehill, her “father” a weaver both at his marriage and in 1841. Alexander Whitehill, a weaver of Rottenrow died of Cholera in December 1848 – there was a severe epidemic in Glasgow at this time.

Catherine’s mother died in 1864, of paralysis (2 days), and in 1871 she was boarding in Calton at 174 Main Street. There are three cotton factories to the west of Main Street marked on the map from 1878. There was also a weaving factory on the opposite side of the road from the Barrowfield Pottery and a cotton works marked a little further north on the 1878 map.

Like Catherine, her youngest brother, Hugh, also left Scotland and eventually settled in England: Hugh Stewart Whitehill 1845-1947

Week 10: Strong Woman

Week 10: Strong Woman

I have been fascinated by the story of my great x2 grandmother, Catherine Whitehill, born in Glasgow on the 31st May 1847. She had a tough life judging by where she lived, yet she raised 9 children to adulthood in 3 cities, Glasgow, Edinburgh and London, at a time when infant mortality was high.

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The Bradley Diamond Wedding 1952

  We do not know who most of the people are in this picture of the guests at their Diamond Wedding Anniversary celebration in 1952. Were Catherine's Simpson siblings or her Whitehill cousins there? Perhaps William's siblings were guests. 1. Irene Lewcock née...

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Catherine Gray Simpson

Catherine Gray Simpson, future wife of William Eli Bradley, was born on the 6th September 1872 at 10 David Street in Bridgeton, Glasgow, the oldest child of James Rae Simpson and Catherine Gray Whitehill.

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