STEWART

This page is an attempt to outline what I know about my Stewart ancestry in as "readable" format as possible. Please note whereas I try to ensure that what I publish is correct, and to differentiate between what is supported by documentation etc, and what is, in my opinion, a reasonable assumption, everything should be treated with caution. IF you have come across information that you believe is relevant to your own research please either verify it independently or drop me a line to confirm its validity. Equally if believe something is incorrect, or if you wish to add any details or discuss please get in touch using the Contact Form.

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The furthest back we can trace our Stewart family history initially is to my great great great grandparents, John Stewart, a farmer, and Jean Pollock of Craigend in Mearns, Renfrewshire. They are identified as the parents of my great great grandfather Robert Stewart on his death certificate and this is confirmed by a record of his birth in the Mearns parish register "February 25th Was born Rob't, lawful son of John Stewart and Jean Pollok in Craigend, and bapt'd 4th March."

However one of the children of John Stewart and Jean Pollock, a daughter Susannah Stewart, appears as the informant on the death certificate of an Andrew Pollock, who died on 9 September 1864. This Andrew Pollock was identified as an unmarried Grocer and Merchant, aged 75, the son of Rober Pollock, a Farmer and Inn Keeper, and Mary Mather, both deceased, with his address at the time of his death given as 68 Dale Street, Glasgow, and the informant, Susannah Stewart, was identified as "niece". That this Susannah Stewart, was the daughter of John Stewart and Jean Pollock, is confirmed by the fact that 68 Dale Street, Glasgow was the same address as given by her on at the time of her marriage two years later in 1866, and the marriage certificate identified her as the daughter of John Stewart and Jean Pollock. In addition Andrew also appears in Susannah's household for the census of 1861 identified as "uncle". It would follow therefore that this relationship i.e. Susannah being the being the niece of Robert Pollock would mean that Susannah was the daughter of a sister of Robert Pollock.

I believe the birth and baptism of this Robert Pollock was recorded in the Mearns parish register of 1789 "21 February Was born Andrew lawful son of Robert Pollok and Mary Mather in Newtown and baptized 1st day of March." and there was also a Jean Pollok, a daughter of Robert Pollock and Mary Mather, whose birth and baptism were recorded in the Mearns parish register. "April 16 Was born Jean a lawful daughter to Robert Pollock and Mary Mather of Newtown, and baptized the 25th of ditto.". This would fit with this Jean Pollock being the husband of John Stewart, with their daughter Susannah being Robert's niece as per his 1864 death certificate. On this basis I believe that Jean Pollock, the wife of John Stewart, was born on 16 April 1773, and was the daughter of Robert Pollock and Mary Mather. (For brief details where know of Robert Pollock and Mary Mather and their children - click here)

The belief that Jean's parents were Robert Pollock and Mary Mather also fits with John Stewart and Jean Pollock following the often used Scottish naming convention i.e. The first daughter was named after the maternal grandmother i.e. Mary for Mary Mather, and the second son was named for the maternal grandfather i.e. Robert for Robert Pollock. Logically therefore, if John Stewart and Jean Pollock were indeed following the Scottish naming convention, John's parents, the paternal grandparents, would be Thomas Stewart and Agnes ?????? based on the fact that their first son was named Thomas and their second daughter was named Agnes. There is a record of a John Stewart born to a Thomas Stewart and an Agnes Pollock on 12 December 1769 and baptised 17 December 1769 at Green, Mearns, a farm around a mile to the west of Craigend. "December 12 Was born John son lawful to Thomas Stewart, and Agfness Pollock in Green, and baptized the 17th of ditto." This would make John about 27 at the time of his marriage assuming Mary was their first child and give an estimated marriage date of 1798'ish.

Therefore I believe that it is probable that John Stewart, the husband of Jean Pollock, was born on 12 December 1769, and was the son of Thomas Stewart and Agnes Pollock. (There is also a record of a John Stewart born to a John Stewart and an Enaple Alison on 11 May 1775 and baptised 28 May 1775 in Crofthead, Mearns, a farm about a mile and a half to the south of Craigend, but I am inclined to discount this.)/p>

What is intriguing is that one can say with little doubt that my great great great grandparents woould have been acquainted with my wife's great great great great grandparents Robert Allison and Agnes Gilmour and great great great grandparents James Allison and Margaret Ritchie who farmed at Malletsheugh, Mearns. All the aforementioned farms, Malletsheugh, Craigend, Shilhill, Green and Crofthead are within one or two miles of each other and as part of a small rural community and attending the same church it would seem probable that they would have been well known to one another. (The Rev Patrick recorded that in 1831 there were 456 families in total in Mearns parish with 149 of them "chiefly invoved in agriculture".) However the connections possibly go beyond that with the surname Pollok on both sides.

As to John Stewart and Jean Pollock as already mentioned, although initially I identified them as having had five children, further research has identified a further 3. Two of these were recorded as children of John Stewart and Mary Pollock but but I believe were actually children of John Stewart and Jean Pollock as they were born at Craigend, and one was recorded outside the parish of Mearns, in Cadder on the other side of the Clyde just to the north of Glasgow. (For further details of these children where known - click here) So this would mean that John Stewart aka Stuart and Jean Pollok had eight children in total -

On 31st December 1832 in Abbey parish, Paisley, John Stewart and Jean Pollock's son, Robert Stewart, my great great grandfather, married Janet Beith. Despite the fact that Janetís death certificate states that her parents were William Beith, a weaver, and Janet Lochhead, it seems almost certain that she was actually the daughter of James Beith and Elizabeth Lochhead, born in Paisley on 6th August 1809. This parentage is supported by my DNA connection to a confirmed descendent of the aforementioned James Beith and Elizabeth Lochhead. (For further details of James Beith and Elizabeth Lochhead - click here)

Robert and Janet had their first child, a son John Stewart, born 2nd June 1833 in Abbey parish, Paisley, as was their second, Robert Stewart, born 12th January 1835. Sometime after the birth of Robert but before 1837 the family moved to Lochwinnoch parish, as the birth of their third child, a daughter Jean, is recorded on 18th April of that year in the Lochwinnoch parish register. It is still in Lochwinnoch parish, at Bowfield, that we find the family for the census of 7th June 1841, with the addition of a fourth child, Elizabeth, having been born circa 1839, although her birth does not seem to have been recorded in the parish register. John their first born is not included in this census which may signify his death in infancy.

1841 Census (7th. June) Lochwinnoch (570) Book 11. Page 10.

Bowfield Hamlet.

Name Age Occupation Born in County
Robert Stewart 35 Operating Bleacher Yes
Janet Stewart 30   Yes
Robert Stewart 6   Yes
Jean Stewart 4   Yes
Elizabeth Stewart 2   Yes

A further two daughters were born to Robert and Janet at Bowfield in Lochwinnoch parish, Janet born 7 August 1842, and Agnes (next step in our family history) born, according to her age from census records and later marriage and death certificates, circa 1845. (For further details of the known children of Robert Stewart and Janet Beith - See Appendix D). Sometime after 1845 Robert Stewart and his family quit Bowfield, and moved to live in Lintmill Cottages, Neilston, again with Robert Stewart Snr. working as a cotton bleacher as it is there that they were living for the census of 31st March 1851. Agnes Beith, Aged 34, born in Paisley, listed in this census as visitor was actually Janet’s sister. I assume that the child Agnes Gibson, niece, aged 6 months, was the daughter of Janet’s sister Mary and her husband Andrew Gibson. Mary seems to have died in the previous six months and Andrew Gibson and the rest of his children by Mary were living in Glasgow with his in-laws, (Janet’s parent’s) John and Elizabeth Beith, although Andrew is wrongly recorded as John.

1851 Census (31st. March) Neilston (572) Book 5. Page 20.

Lintmill Cottages, Neilston.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Robert Stewart Head 47 Boiling house worker Neilston, Renfrewshire
Janet Stewart Wife 42   Paisley, Renfrewshire
Robert Stewart Son 15 Carter Paisley, Renfrewshire
Jean Stewart Daughter 13 Scholar Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire
Janet Stewart Daughter 8 Scholar Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire
Agnes Stewart Daughter 6 Scholar Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire
Agnes Gibson Niece 6 months   Glasgow, Lanarkshire
John Sim Visitor 30 Seaman Paisley, Renfrewshire
Agnes Beith Visitor 34 Laundresser Paisley, Renfrewshire

For the census of 3rd April 1861 the family were still living in Neilston, but at "Parkhill Land", next door to the Wheat Sheaf Inn. Of their children only Jane was still living with them working as a "Shirt dresser". As with the 1851 census Agnes, Janet’s sister, Agnes, is recorded in the household. Now recorded as Agnes Sime she had married the John Sim recorded as "visiting" with her in the 1851 census, four months afterwards on 29th August 1851, in Govan. Their son Peter, also recorded in this census was born on 23rd February 1855. The previously mentioned Agnes Gibson, is again also recorded in the household.

1861 Census (3rd April) Neilston (572) Book 5. Page 31.

Parkhill Land, (next door to Wheat Sheaf Inn), Neilston.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Robert Stewart Head 58 Cotton bleacher Paisley, Renfrewshire
Janet Stewart Wife 54   Paisley, Renfrewshire
Jane Stewart Daughter 22 Shirt dresser Paisley, Renfrewshire
Agnes Gibson Niece 10   Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Agnes Sime Visitor 44 Sailor’s wife Paisley, Renfrewshire
Peter Sime Visitor 6 Scholar Glasgow, Lanarkshire

Their daughter Agnes was not listed in the family home and was recorded for this census as living along with her big sister Janet, with her widowed maternal grandmother Elizabeth Beith at 32 Nelson Street, Govan, in Glasgow. Both were working as a laundresses.

1861 Census (3 April) Tradeston (644-2) Book 41. Page 11.

32 Nelson Street, Govan, Glasgow.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Elizabeth Beith Head (Widow) 72   Paisley, Renfrewshire
Robert Beith Son 30 Bill Poster Paisley, Renfrewshire
John W. Beith Son 27 Wood Carver Paisley, Renfrewshire
Janet Stewart Granddaughter 19 Laundress Bowfield, Renfrewshire
Agnes Stewart Granddaughter 17 Laundress Bowfield, Renfrewshire
James Gibson Grandson 16 Clerk - out of Employment Glasgow, Lanarkshire

Agnes was still living with her grandmother at 25 Clyde Place, Glasgow working as a domestic servant when on 31st August 1866 she married William Adam. William was a railway locomotive fitter, born circa 1837 in Newton-upon-Ayr, the son of James Adam, a shoemaker, and Jane Burns,. (SEE ONLINE ADAM FAMILY HISTORY).

By the time of the census of 4th April 1871 Robert Stewart and Janet Beith had moved to 21 Herriet Street, Pollokshaws, in Eastwood parish, where Robert presumably worked in the bleachworks close by.

1871 Census (4th April) Eastwood (562) Book 11. Page 19.

21 Herriet Street, Pollokshaws.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Robert Stewart Head 67 Cotton bleacher worker Mearns, Renfrewshire
Janet Stewart Wife 63   Paisley, Renfrewshire

Four months after this census, on 17th August 1871, whilst still resident in Herriet St., Robert Stewart died, Aged 67.

For the census of 1881 the widowed Janet, was living with her already widowed daughter Elizabeth. Elizabeth had married Walter MacDonald 8th March 1861, and had borne at least two children, John, born 19th January 1862, and Robert Stewart, born 15th February 1864 - both born in Tradeston. Glasgow and both included in this census. (One would guess that Walter MacDonald had died mid to end 1860’s. )

1881 Census (4th April) Govan (644-11) Book 10. Page 15.

327 Crown Street, Govan, Glasgow

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Elizabeth McDonald Head - Widow 41   Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire
Janet Stewart Mother - Widow 72   Paisley, Renfrewshire
John McDonald Son 19 Warehouseman - Dyers Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Robert S. McDonald Son 17 Clerk - Stockbrokers Glasgow, Lanarkshire

Janet Beith outlived her husband by 13 years, dying on 22nd September 1884, Aged 76. She had been confined to bed for 5 months, and at some time in the previous 3 years had moved to live with her eldest daughter, Jean, and her son-in-law, David Saddler, (a sewing machine manufacturer), at their home at 2 Morris Pl, Glasgow.