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My great grandfather’s brother George Watson’s first wife Ann (nee Hodge) Watson died on 4 December 1897 after being ill with typhoid fever and enlargement of liver for 21 days. She died in Elgin Road, Cowdenbeath. Mayfield House, the home of my great grandparents William and Ann (nee Balfour) Watson, is situated in Elgin Road. When Ann died she left George to care for five children, the youngest Christina Deas, born on 16 January 1897, was only 11 months old.

Nine months after Ann’s death, on 7 September 1898, George remarried. George was 37 years old and his new bride was Elizabeth Robertson, aged 42, occupation housekeeper. The ceremony took place in Parnwell, Cleish. Just over a year later Elizabeth gave birth to a son. William Hugh Watson was born at 7.45am on 30 September 1899 at Elgin Road, Cowdenbeath.

The 1901 census shows the family living at Glow House in the village of Oakfield. Interestingly, Christina does not appear on this census. I wonder where she was?

george census 1901

postcard_upper_oakfield_kelty_1911William Hugh Watson emigrated from Scotland after WWI and ended up in the Cook Islands some time between 1928 and 1930 after working in New Zealand and Australia. He established a firm of clothing manufacturers in Rarotonga which later became United Island Traders Ltd. He was a member of the Rarotonga Island Council for seven years, a member of the Cook Islands Legislative Council for six years, and a member of the Cook Islands Legislative Assembly from 1957 to 1960.

William married a beautiful Cook Island lass, Marie Peyroux. I recall seeing this photo of them sitting on my nana’s (Jean Charlotte (nee Wilson) Watson) mantlepiece.

Marie (nee Peyroux) and William Hugh Watson

Marie (nee Peyroux) and William Hugh Watson

Here’s another photo of Willie that I found online.

Willie Watson, Rarotonga. Whites Aviation Ltd :Photographs. Ref: WA-00963-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22836068

Willie Watson, Rarotonga. Whites Aviation Ltd :Photographs. Ref: WA-00963-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22836068

To be continued …

 

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Jane RHYMER

Jane is my great great grandmother. She was the wife of John WATSON, mother of William and grandmother of my grandad David George WATSON.

I have not yet found a record of Jane’s birth.  According to the 1851 census 28 year old Jane was living in Auchtermuchty, Fife and was born in the Parish of Abdie, which adjoins Auchtermuchty. Living with her were her 24 year old sister, Elisabeth, and a lodger, Christian CARSWELL aged 25. Elisabeth RHYMER was to marry Christian’s brother, Robert CARSWELL, in 1852.

Proclamation of Banns
The proclamation of banns was the notice of contract of marriage, read out in the Kirk before the marriage took place. Couples or their ‘cautioners’ (sponsors) were often required to pay a ‘caution’ or security to prove the seriousness of their intentions. Forthcoming marriages were supposed to be proclaimed on three successive Sundays, however, in practice, all three proclamations could be made on the same day on payment of a fee. If the bride and groom lived in different parishes, the impending marriage was proclaimed in both parishes, although not necessarily on the same days, therefore the dates in each register may be different. You may also find that one register may show the proclamation date and the other the date of the marriage itself.
Information from http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/Content/Help/index.aspx?r=554&406

In 1852 Jane married John WATSON. The proclamation of banns were recorded in the Old Parish Registers of Kettle and Auchtermuchty.  According to Kettle registers Jane and John were contracted to marry on 25 January 1852 and married on 6 February.

Old Parish Register – Parish of Kettle 1852

Initially I was somewhat confused by the entry in the Kettle register as it said Jane was “of the parish of St Andrews”. I wondered if she had moved to St Andrews from Auchtermuchty after the 1851 census. Now, however, I believe it may be a clerical error as the Auchtermuchty register (shown below) shows that she [one parish calls her Jean and the other Jane] was  “of this Parish” and John was “of the Parish of Kettle”. The date entered in the Auchtermuchty register is 24 January 1852. Robert CARSWELL and Elizabeth RHYMER married on March 6 1852.  These OPR entries are quite difficult to read – not surprising since they are over 150 years old.

Old Parish Register – Parish of Auchtermuchty – 1852

The 1861 census shows John and Jane living in Kettlebridge, Parish of Kettle in a house that only had one room with a window! Interestingly, Jane gave her parish of birth as Auchtermuchty, not Abdie as in 1851. Living next door to the Watson family was John’s sister Agnes (nee WATSON) CAMPBELL and her son John.

John and Jane’s three sons William, John and George were living with them in 1861. Another son had been born in 1852 but, sadly, died of croup in 1855 aged 3 years. His name was John, named after his father’s father. It was customary in Scotland, if a child died, to name the next born child after the one who had died.

Jane was to have two more children, Christina Deas and Hugh. Hugh was only three years old when his mother died in 1870.

I searched the internet for a definition of Phthisis Pulmonalis and this is what I found:

Other names: TB, Consumption (old name), phthisis (Greek for consumption), phthisis pulmonalis, Scrofula (skin TB), wasting disease, white plague, king’s evil (old name for skin TB), Pott’s disease (extrapulmonary TB).

TB is transmitted mainly by inhalation of infectious droplets produced by persons with pulmonary or laryngeal tuberculosis during coughing, laughing, shouting or sneezing. Invasion may occur through mucous membranes or damaged skin.

Symptoms include chest pain, coughing up blood, and a productive, prolonged cough for more than three weeks. Systemic symptoms include fever, chills, night sweats, appetite loss, weight loss, pallor, and often a tendency to fatigue very easily.

Tuberculosis most commonly attacks the lungs (as pulmonary TB) but can also affect the central nervous system, the lymphatic system, the circulatory system, the genitourinary system, bones, joints, the digestive system, and even the skin.

The bacillus causing tuberculosis, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, was identified and described on March 24, 1882 by Robert Koch. He received the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine in 1905 for this discovery. Koch did not believe that bovine (cattle) and human tuberculosis were similar, which delayed the recognition of infected milk as a source of infection. Later, this source was eliminated by the pasteurization process.

Sounds like an awful disease. Poor Jane was only 47 years old when she died. Her husband was left to care for five young children. Little wonder he had remarried by 1872!

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