Thursday 30 September 2010

Tracing Their Tracks

I recently found a new search method and was playing around with names. The first one I entered, of course, was Hugh Crawford (the son) to see if I could find any more pieces to the puzzle of his life. Lo and Behold, I found him - and found his immigration papers to boot. I entered the names of Harry and this other two brothers, Joe & Tommy. I found Joe on the ships passenger lists. He came to Canada in 1929. He left Greenoch (port near Glasgow) aboard the SS Antonia on June 8, 1929. He landed in Quebec on June 16, 1929. A pretty quick passage for those days. He sailed third class and paid his own passage. He was destined for his brother Hugh who at the time was living in Windsor, Ontario. Windsor is on the border with Detroit, Michigan. Joseph lists his next of kin as his wife, Elizabeth (Lizzie). Their address in Scotland at the time was 7 Preston Street, Rosewell. I sent the information to Joe's son, Bob and learned that his dad came to visit in the US with either his brother Hugh or his cousin, Henry Fowler, who at that time was a butler for Henry Ford in Detroit. (Henry Ford actually lived in Dearborn Michigan - on the outskirts of Detroit).

Joseph's cousin, Henry Fowler, was already in the Detroit area and managed to get Joe a job. Not long after, Joe's wife, Liz arrived in the US and also worked for the Ford family.  While Joe & Liz were in America, their son Hugh and their daughter May were being looked after by Granny Mack at Forrestfield. It is thought that daughter Agnes may have been staying with Harry & Dora at that time.  Harry and Dora would already have had son Hugh, 6 months of age.

Armed with that information, I went looking for the cousin Henry Fowler. Remember we have no less than 37 Henry Fowlers in the family tree. However, narrowing it down to Henry Fowlers of the same age as Agnes' sons leaves us with about 15 to choose from. Joseph arrived in Canada in June 1929. The nearest census that would show Henry living in Detroit would be the 1930 census. I found him living in the Hazel Park area with his wife, Margaret and their two children, Joseph, aged 6 and Agnes, aged 2. A quick look through the family tree helped me pin Henry down to a couple of possibilities. I went searching for his ships list or his immigration papers and found him there as well. This Henry is the son of Granny Mack's brother, Joseph. Joseph married Granny Mack's sister in law, Agnes Crawford (sister of Hugh and daughter of Tom Crawford and Mary Ann Sherry). Joseph and Agnes' son Henry was born in 1901 in Caldercruix. He married Margaret Reid McKay. Margaret was also born in Caldercruix - in 1904. Henry emigrated to Canada aboard the SS Pretorian on January 28th 1920 along with his father, Joseph. Both men were destined to a Mr. Roberston in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Henry's Passenger Declaration has him destined to work at the Ridge Coal Company. This is the same Coal Company that Harry's brother Hugh went to work for when he landed in Canada 2 days prior on January 26, 1920.
At some point, Joseph returned to Scotland and remained there. Henry returned to Scotland as well and then came back to America on August 11, 1923. His wife, Margaret arrived a month later on September 26, 1923.
The 1930 census for the Hazel Park area of Michigan shows Henry and Margaret as home owners. Their home at that time was valued at $1,000. A fairly decent home. And likely one that would have enough room for visiting family members. Henry is listed as working in the auto industry. So, in stating that he worked for Henry Ford, it was more likely that he worked for the Ford Motor Company than for Mr. Ford himself. I have not been able to locate any census records listing a Crawford or a Fowler working as a servant in the Henry Ford household. (If one did, it wasn't during the time of a census). Mr. Ford's home was valued at $400,000 in 1930. One can only imagine the oppulence of his home!

Sunday 26 September 2010

My Two Elusive Hughs

The search continues for my two elusive Hughs, father and son. The first Hugh is Hugh Crawford, father of Harry, Tommy, Josey and Hugh. The other is son Hugh. Father Hugh, Granny Mack’s first husband, we are told went off to fight in the Boer War and never returned. Agnes received a letter saying Hugh was MIA—presumed dead. No record of his death has been found to date. Thanks to Jeanette and her genealogy links, we now have the attestation papers for Hugh when he joined the forces. The first time Hugh signed on was 22 December, 1887 when Hugh joined the Highland Light Infantry. Hugh was 18 years 6 months at the time. Hugh was discharged 43 days later on 2 February 1888. Hugh once again signed on to be a soldier on 8 March 1889 at the age of 19 years, 7 months. This time Hugh signed on with the Kings Own Scottish Borderers. Hugh signed on for “short service” which meant 5 years in the field followed by an additional 7 years in the reserves. Hugh was discharged from the KOSBies 258 days later on 22 November 1889. It is
unclear at this time whether he later was called up to serve in the Boer War or whether he chose to enlist with another platoon. More research continues.

Hugh (Jr) left Scotland and headed for Canada. He arrived on January 26, 1920 at the age of 25. He lists himself as being single, although we know he left his wife, Kate and their two children Daniel and Mary at home, Daniel being only a year old at the time. Hugh states on his immigration papers, in St John New Brunswick, that he is destined to his employer, the Ridge Coal Company in Fredericton, New Brunswick. He further states that it is his intention to settle in Canada. His time in Canada requires more research. We know that Hugh eventually made his way to California where he managed a barbershop and dry cleaning business. We also know he died a lonely man after poisoning himself with cleaning fluid. Hugh had a second wife, Janet, in California. She assumed his surname but it is unknown whether the two formally married.