Saturday, 26 February 2011

The Fowlers of Slamannan

Slamannan is a village in south east Stirlingshire. The village stands near the right bank of the Avon, south and west of Falkirk. The rocks in the area are mainly carboniferous, and include both coal and ironstone. Mining employed a large portion of the population. The population of the village in 1861 was 482. Of those, 28 were Fowlers. There were a number of small mines in the area of Slamannan including Binniehill, Limerigg and Southfield Colliery. The 1861 census shows the following Fowlers living in Slamannan:

At 23 Binniehill Row were John Fowler and his wife Isabella (Grey) along with their children, James, John, Archie, Jean & William. John’s father was Henry Fowler of Lasswade (who was married to Jean Kerr). John’s son Alexander, who died in 1865, is not shown on the census. John, of course is a coalminer.

At 54 Binniehill Square were John’s brother, Alexander, and his family. Alexander was married to Isabella (Grant) and their children were Henry, Thomas, Jean, Alexander, Isabella, and William. Also living with them was Isabella’s nephew, Thomas Grant. Alexander was a coalminer and so were his sons Henry (19), and Thomas (16). These boys were old enough to be working in the mine proper. Isabella’s nephew, Thomas, who was 13 would likely have been working at the pit head, or above the ground.  Alexander died 2 years later on March 22, 1863.

Another brother, Joseph, shows up on the 1861 census for Slamannan village but no street address is given. This is likely a clerical error on the part of the census taker. Joseph was married to Jane McIntosh. This couple were granny Mack’s grandparents. Their son, Henry later married Jeannie Carrick. On the 1861 census, Joseph and Jane are shown with their children, Henry, Agnes, Jane and Margaret. Jane’s mother, Jane Kerr, is also living with the family. Joseph and his son Henry (12) were both working in the mines. Jane’s mother is listed as being a pauper. Daughter Margaret was only a year old at the time of the census.

A nephew of these three brothers, Henry, (son of Henry Fowler and Clementina Anderson) is shown living at 56 Pirneylodge Row. Henry’s father, Henry, was the brother of Joseph, Alexander and John. Young Henry is married to Margaret (Fowler) - his cousin. Margaret’s father is Henry’s uncle, Alexander (married to Isabella Grant). Young Henry and his wife, Margaret, have three children by the time of the 1861 census, son Henry, daughter Isabella and daughter Clementina. Henry is only 26 and Margaret is 22. Henry is working in the mines. Daughter Clementina was only a month old at the time of the census. Mining, for the Fowlers, was very much a family affair.

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