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I’m afraid I have even less information about George’s wife, Jessie (or Janet) Allison.

Jessie was born Janet Simpson Allison on 21 April 1856 at Perth, Perthshire, to George Allison, plumber, and Georgina Patullo (an unusual surname of ancient Scottish origin, it seems).  Jessie was the second child of eight, which included two boys.  While Jessie was born in Perth, the rest of her siblings were born in either Edinburgh or Glasgow.  Were her parents (or her mother) visiting relatives in Perth at the time of Jessie’s birth?  (But both parents were born in Edinburgh.) At some stage the family moved from Edinburgh to Paisley in Renfrewshire (Jessie’s brother was born there in 1859) and then had moved to Glasgow between then and 1861.

In 1861 the family of five were living at 9 William Street in Glasgow.  Nothing remains of what used to be there.  Some huge ugly building straddles the road now.  By 1871 three more children had been born and they were living at the same place.  Jessie and her older sister, Mary, were callender workers (they pressed cloth between heavy rollers) while their younger brother, George, was a baker’s message boy (at the age of 11).

In 1876 Jessie married George Sutherland at 109 Dale Street in Glasgow.  By this time, Jessie’s mother had died, but, strangely, her mother’s name is put down as Jane, maiden surname Wilson on the marriage certificate, but that was George Sutherland’s mother’s name.  Whoever wrote it down has put Jane Wilson for the mothers of both George and Jessie.

By the 1881 census, therefore, the family had split up.  Jessie’s father was a widower boarding with the Strang family; Jessie’s older sister, Mary, had married John Cowie and was living with in-laws, two young sons, and her sister, Georgina ; Jessie and George were living at 86 Hospital Street with a young daughter and Jessie’s two younger brothers.  I’ve been unable to find Jessie’s other three sisters.  Perhaps they died.  One at least, is supposed to have married, but I have been unable to find the marriage record.  That same year, Jessie’s second daughter was born.

By 1891, as mentioned in the previous post, Jessie had four children and they lived in George Street Glasgow.  By 1901 there were six children and they were living in Parson Street.  In 1911 they had moved to Taylor Street.  [Edit: It appears I haven’t mentioned the children’s names and dates of birth particularly. They were: Georgina (1880); Jessie (1881); Margaret (1884); George Archibald (1888); Jeanie (1890); Lizzie (1893); and Effie (1896).]

Since scotlandspeople changed their website to allow free searches, I have been able to find the death of Jessie in 1929 at the age of 73.  At some stage I will find out exactly when.

As I said before, there are many gaps.  I wish I could fill them.

Sources: family archives; familysearch; findmypast


The Scottish side of my family is mostly a closed book to me.  I haven’t done a lot of research in this area, thanks to the monopoly that is scotlandspeople and their payment plans.  I intensely dislike having to pay to look at search results (especially when you don’t know if what you’re looking at is relevant).

Anyway, I’ll outline what I do have in this and some future posts.

George Sutherland was born on 9 November 1850 in Glasgow.  It seems I don’t have a birth certificate so how do I know this?  I obtained the information some years ago before realising the importance of recording resources.  I have it recorded elsewhere, however, that I got it from the IGI but I can’t find anything in my file saying this.  A search on familysearch and findmypast reveal nothing at all.  I finally found it on scotlandspeople.

Regardless, according to census returns, George was born about that time.  He was the son of Archibald Sutherland and Jane Wilson.  According to my information he had a brother and four sisters, at least one of whom died young.

At the time of the 1851 census the family of five were living at 132 Gallowgate in Glasgow.  Any old buildings from that time are long since gone.  George’s father was a tailor.

In 1861 the family of six were living at 258 High Street.  The black-fronted shop below is not numbered, but sits between 260 and 252.  (I don’t know how old these buildings are though.)


I found this article in the Glasgow Morning Journal.


14 December 1863

The Sutherland family may have been neighbours.

By the following census in 1871, George’s father was dead.  His widow, Jane, was now head of the household with George and the youngest, Christina.  Jane was just 47 and worked as a winder (someone who winds thread onto the spindles used in shuttles).  George was a cloth lapper (someone who took the cloth from the carding machine and readied it for the next process).  They were now living at 4 Weaver Street (also long gone – the buildings on Weaver Street were cleared after the First World War).

George married Jessie Allison on 24 March 1876 at 109 Dale Street in Glasgow (also long gone).  He was still a cloth lapper (journeyman).  George’s residence at the time was 14 Maitland Street (no longer there) and Jessie lived at 16 Renfrew Street (you guessed it – gone).  So much of Glasgow history has been demolished, and what it’s been replaced with is no prettier.

The couple’s first child (as far as I know) was a daughter, Georgina, born in 1880.  Before the birth of their second daughter, Jessie, in 1881 another census was taken.  The family were living at 86 Hospital Street.  George’s two brothers-in-law were there too.

In 1891 the family of six (with four children under 10) were living in George Street, Glasgow, George still a cloth lapper.  The eldest, Georgina, is no longer with them.  She probably died, unless she was visiting relatives, but I’ve been unable to find her in the census returns, or to find a death record.

By 1901 the family had increased to eight, the children ranging in age from 19 to 6 years old.  They were living at 94 Parson Street.  You can see my earlier post with regard to where they lived then and in 1911.

In 1920, George’s fourth daughter, Jean, left for Australia to get married.  By this time, George had stopped being a cloth lapper and was a warehouseman at the age of 70.

I’m afraid I have no further information on George.  I don’t even know when he died.  I haven’t been able to find a record at all.  There are a lot of gaps.

Postscript: Since writing the above, scotlandspeople has changed their website, making it possible to do a search without paying.  I have confirmed George’s birth date but have been unable to find a death.


Sources: family archives; findmypast; Google;;



I don’t know a great deal about my great-grandmother, Lavinia Stevens.

She was born on 13 December 1869 at Icely, New South Wales according to her birth certificate.  There doesn’t appear to be a town or village by that name, but a mine – the Icely copper mine as it was then.  (Her father, Edwin, was a miner.)  It’s near the town of Orange.  I’ve been unable to find any information about Icely as a “residence”.  Lavinia and her three younger siblings were born there.  Presumably the miners lived on site.  You can see the area is full of mines.  How many of them were in operation in the 1860-70s, I don’t know.


Lavinia had nine siblings (five sisters, four brothers).  Her parents were Edwin Stevens and Elizabeth Dart (both from Cornwall).  I’ll write more on her Cornish miner father in another  post.

I know nothing about Lavinia’s early life, or how she met Edward Kercher.  By the time she married she was working as a fruiterer in Goulburn, possibly helping her brother, Edwin, in his business. Their mother had died in 1885.  Lavinia moved to Goulburn in 1888, perhaps joining her brother.

Edward and Lavinia married at the Wesleyan church in Goulburn, New South Wales, on 15 January 1895.  Lavinia was pregnant, giving birth to her first child five months later.


Goulburn Evening Penny Post, 15 January 1895

“Miss Ritchie” may have been Edwin’s sister-in-law.  (Edwin married Rebecca Ritchie in 1888.)

Although Lavinia’s father was still alive (age 67), he evidently did not attend the wedding.  It’s quite some distance between Orange and Goulburn.  Edwin senior had by then remarried.


After the marriage, Lavinia stopped working (as was often expected), and started the family.  Edward and Lavinia had six children altogether: Percy, Stanley, Myree, Lewis, Leila, and Allan, the last son being born in 1906.

According to my aunt, Lavinia was a great cook and housekeeper, if a bit bossy.  She was a large woman (as it appeared to a small granddaughter) who stuck religiously to a weekly roster: wash on Monday, iron on Tuesday, clean on Wednesday, afternoon tea for the daughters-in-law on Thursdays, and Friday or Saturday mornings for the sons.  After the wash she would go inside, wash her face, and put on Charmosan face “creme”.  (It was certainly well-advertised in the 30s, used by famous actresses such as Bette Davis, according to some advertisements.)

All the children married, most of them in the 1920s and then the youngest in 1930 and 1937.

Lavinia’s husband died in 1937.  In the 1936-37 electoral roll, Lavinia was living at 92 Bradley Street in Goulburn.  As far as I can make out from Google streetview, it’s this house.


I have no other information on Lavinia, and sadly, no photos.  She died on 30 January 1943.


Goulburn Evening Post, 2 February 1943

I don’t have a death certificate, but presumably she was ill, having died in hospital.



Sources: family archives;, Trove; Google; Joyce Stuart


Edward James Kercher was born on 8 December 1867 at Tirrannaville near Goulburn, New South Wales.  He was the ninth child of 10, the seventh son, of Charles Kercher and Mary Grunsell (although two boys had died in infancy before Edward was born).

tirrannaville tirrana

I can find no information about the history of Tirrannaville, or Tirranna, as it was also known.  These days there appears to be nothing there.  The Google pin appears in the middle of nowhere, with a dirt track leading to it.  Not helpful.  There are buildings nearer the main road, but none where Google claims Tirrannaville to be.  Stupid Google.

Edward’s father, a gardener, died when Edward was just three years old.  The family moved to Goulburn sometime after.

Edward became a carpenter. He was involved in the building of the Kenmore Mental Hospital, eventually becoming a foreman.


Unfortunately he met with an accident while at work there, but recovered.


Goulburn Herald, 17 October 1894

Edward also became a volunteer fireman (along with his brother, Alfred), being a member of the Goulburn Fire Brigade from 1887, taking part in demonstrations and competitions (as well as putting out local fires).

Edward married Lavinia Stevens on 15 January 1895 in Goulburn at the Wesleyan church.  Their first child was born just five months later…  They had five more children, the last being born in 1906 – altogether four sons and two daughters.

Sometime in the 1890s, Edward became a member of the Masonic Lodge.  He was also a member of the G company 2nd volunteer regiment, and as such, was said to be a good rifle shot.

Edward competed in road and track cycle races, and was treasurer of the Argyle Bicycle Club.


Edward James on the left, with brother Alfred centre, sporting fire brigade medals

In the 1913 electoral register, the family were living in Ruby Street, Goulburn, Edward listed as carpenter.  By this time, two more of Edward’s older siblings had died.

Two of Edward’s sons enlisted during the First World War.  They both fell ill.


Goulburn Evening Penny Post, 30 April 1918

However, they returned safely.


Goulburn Evening Penny Post

Long service medals were presented to Edward and Alfred for their work in the volunteer fire brigade.


Goulburn Penny Post, 15 February 1921

Edward worked for the railways as a carpenter for some years.  In 1930, the family were still living in Ruby Street, Edward still listed as carpenter, but he must have retired shortly after.

In about 1933 Edward fell ill and suffered for three years before his death in 1936.  By this time, five of his six children had married and he had about seven or eight grandchildren.  He died on 21 April 1936, at the age of 68.


The Sun, 24 April 1936

His death certificate states that he had a chronic ulcer of the leg with endarteritis for about three years, and the leg had become gangrenous.  It sounds painful.

The funeral was held at the Masonic Temple.



Sources:  family archives; Trove; Google