William Jamieson

My 2nd great-grandfather, William Jamieson, was born on 19 Sept 1842, in Lerwick, Shetland. The eldest of ten children, he was the son of Neil Jamieson and Mary Hunter. His grandfather was William Jamieson, Fishery Officer for Lerwick.

He was christened on the 15 Dec 1842, within the Church of Scotland, in Lerwick.

William’s early life was comfortable. When he was a young child the family moved to Leith, Edinburgh, where his father worked as a Shipping Clerk. The family appears on the 1851 census living at 24 Mitchell Street. William was 8 years old and attending school.

When William was about twelve years old the family returned to Lerwick. It was the mid-1850s. The return to Lerwick may have been due to the illness and subsequent death of William’s grandmother, Barbara Scollay. Barbara had been suffering from liver disease for many years and died in October 1856 at the age of 67.

They lived at 94 Commercial Street, Lerwick where they appeared in the 1861 census. William was 18 years old and had found employment as an apprentice joiner.

He met Elizabeth Robertson from Greentown, Walls, Shetland.  Elizabeth’s father was Magnus Robertson. Magnus was a carpenter. Her mother was Agnes Adamson.

William and Elizabeth were married by Archibald Nicholl on the 5th May 1864, in Stove, Walls, Shetland.

The marriage was witnessed by John and Jessie Twatt, their neighbours in Voe.

On 14th March 1865, Bessie gave birth to a daughter. They named the baby Agnes after Bessie’s mother.

By the time their second child Neil Jamieson was born the family had left Shetland and moved to Glasgow. Neil was born at 19 Bolton Street in Tradeston. William was working as a Merchant’s Porter. This probably meant transporting goods by cart.

When my great grandfather, Magnus Robertson Jamieson, was born in 1869 the family were living at 198 Eglinton Street, Glasgow. William had a new job as a Shipping Clerk in the Iron Foundry.

William’s parents returned to Edinburgh where they were living in 1871 when the census was taken.

At that time of that census, William and Bessie were still living in Glasgow, at 256 Garscube Road and William was still working as a shipping clerk.

In October 1871, Bessie gave birth to another daughter, Mary Jamieson.

Shortly after Mary’s birth, they moved to Edinburgh, perhaps to be closer to William’s parents. William found employment as the Manager of the Co-operative Store in Newhouses.

They lived at 72 Pitt Street, North Leith, the same street as his parents lived. It was there that their son, William Jamieson was born in December 1873.

Shortly after this, the family moved back to Glasgow. William was working as an insurance clerk. They resided at 58 Cornwall Street, Govan and it was there in December 1875 that their last child, Samuel Dunn Hunter Jamieson was born.

William died in the years following Samuel’s birth and, by the time of the 1881 census, Bessie was living as the widowed head of her family at 11 Smith Street in Govan.

In the Census of 1891, she was still living at 19 Rutland Crescent. Four of their children were still living with her, Wilhelmina, 26, Neil, 19, Mary H, 17, and Samuel D, 15.

She was still residing in Rutland Crescent when the 1901 Census was taken. 

In March 1895, their son Magnus Robertson married Mary Ann Bryan. By the end of the century, Magnus and Mary had presented Bessie with three grandchildren, Wilhelmina Jamieson, 1895, Mary Hunter Jamieson, 1897, and Elizabeth Carlton Jamieson 1899.

Bessie found work cleaning offices. In the 1901 Census, she was still living at 19 Rutland Crescent. Her youngest son, Samuel, was 24 and working as a Locomotive Engineer’s Apprentice. Her son William was 26 and he and his wife Jessie, 18, were also staying with her. William was a roofer’s labourer.

Bessie lived in Glasgow until her death in 1921. She died from stomach cancer, aged 78. On the day she died, she was in the home of her youngest son, Samuel, at 38 Preston Street. He registered her death.

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