Further details of the children of Alexander and Catherine McConachie - where known.

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Catherine Thomson Williamson, born 17 December 1873, Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire.

Catherine was born on 17 December 1873 in Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire. 

For the census of 1891 the orphaned Catherine was boarding in a local private school in 27 Colquhoun Street, Helensburgh, along with her siblings

1891 Census (66 April) Row (Rhu) (503) Book 6 Page 11

27 Colquhoun Street, Helensburgh.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Catherine Williamson Boarder 17 Scholar Row, Dunbartonshire
Alexander Williamson Boarder 15 Scholar Row, Dunbartonshire
Violet Williamson Boarder 13 Scholar Row, Dunbartonshire
Jeannie Williamson Boarder 11 Scholar Row, Dunbartonshire
Harry Williamson Boarder 8 Scholar Row, Dunbartonshire

For the 1901 census what is almost certainly Catherine was recorded resident in the High Street, Totenham, employed as an "English and Modern Language Mistress" in the school of Edith Barringer. She was recorded as Kate Williamson, aged 27 and born in Scotland.

1901 Census (7 April) Edmonton (??) Book ?? Page 1

High Road, Edmonton, Tottenham, Middlesex

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Edith Barringer Head 41 Head Mistress School Tooting Graveney, Surrey
Kate Williamson Assistant 27 English and Modern Language Mistress Scotland
Lena Petty Assistant 26 Kindergarten Mistress Scotland
Edith Groves Assistant 25 Mathematics and Science Mistress Henley, Oxfordshire
Beatrice Graham Boarder 17 Pupil N Shields, Northumberland
Ivy Wickhing Boarder 7 Pupil Marylebone, London
Hannah Machlin Cook 52 Domestic Cook Cleonger, Herefordshire
Alice Maynard House Maid 30 Domestic Barkham, Berkshire

I have not found Catherine\Kate in the 1911 census, but it is believed that she studied music in either Dresden or Leipzig when she was young attaining LRAM and possibly other qualifications, and this may explain her not being found in the UK census. Latterly it is believed that she worked and maybe lived in the Bloomsbury area.

Catherine died aged 78 on 3 November 1952 at 11 Cornwall Avenue, Finchley, the home of her sister Jane Glen Martindale. (Hendon, Middlesex - Vol 5e Page 530)

Alexander Williamson born 30 October 1875, Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire.

Alexander Williamson was born on 30 October 1875, in Blythswood Terrace, Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire. 

For the census of 1891 the orphaned Alexander was boarding in a local private school in 27 Colquhoun Street, Helensburgh, along with his siblings.

1891 Census (6 April) Row (Rhu) (503) Book 6 Page 11

27 Colquhoun Street, Helensburgh.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Catherine Williamson Boarder 17 Scholar Row, Dunbartonshire
Alexander Williamson Boarder 15 Scholar Row, Dunbartonshire
Violet Williamson Boarder 13 Scholar Row, Dunbartonshire
Jeannie Williamson Boarder 11 Scholar Row, Dunbartonshire
Harry Williamson Boarder 8 Scholar Row, Dunbartonshire

Alexander married Daisy Maud Hackman on 16 October 1922 in the registry office Knaresboro' Yorkshire. (Vol 9a page 258). Alexander was recorded as  46  years old, a  Civil Servant , and the son of Alexander Williamson (deceased), an Mineral Water Manufacturer. Daisy was recorded as 37 years old, a spinster, the daughter of  Charles Hackman, a baker. The couple both gave their address as 32 Westcliffe Grove, Harrogate. The witnesses were Anne S. Lowden and Harriet Firth. Daisy was almost certainly born in the June quarter of 1883 in Epsom. (Vol 2a Page 5)

 Alexander and Daisy had no children and lived out their days in Weston super Mare. What is almost certainly the death of Alexander aged 76 is recorded in the BMD Index in the October-December quarter of 1952 in Weston Super Mare. What is almost certainly the death of Daisy M. aged 80 is recorded in the BMD Index in the April-June quarter of 1963 in Weston Super Mare. 

Violet Williamson born 6 September 1877, Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire. 

Violet Williamson was born on 6 September 1877 at 7 West Clyde Street, Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire. 

For the census of 1891 the orphaned Violet was boarding in a local private school in 27 Colquhoun Street, Helensburgh, along with her siblings.

1891 Census (6 April) Row (Rhu) (503) Book 6 Page 11

27 Colquhoun Street, Helensburgh.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Catherine Williamson Boarder 17 Scholar Row, Dunbartonshire
Alexander Williamson Boarder 15 Scholar Row, Dunbartonshire
Violet Williamson Boarder 13 Scholar Row, Dunbartonshire
Jeannie Williamson Boarder 11 Scholar Row, Dunbartonshire
Harry Williamson Boarder 8 Scholar Row, Dunbartonshire

.There is a record for what is almost certainly Violet in the 1901 census for England, aged 23 and born in Scotland, and listed as a student in Winkworth Hall, on the corner of Salusbury Road and Chevening Road, Willesden, London. This was the hall of residence of Maria Grey Training College and it would seem Violet was training as a teacher.

The Maria Grey Training College

The Englishwoman's Year Book and Directory for the Year (1899)
Volume: 1
Publisher: F. Kirby, Publisher
Year: 1899

 

1901 Census (1 April) Willesden, London RG 13 /1223 Page 8

Winkworth Hall, corner of Salusbury Road and Chevening Road, Willesden, London

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Emma M Case Head 49 Warden of Boarding House St Pabcras, London
Emily B Brabner Boarder 30 Student Dulwich, London
Emily Lawn Boarder 27 Student Dalton in Furness, Lancashire
Inez de Cartes Boarder 25 Student Baywater, London
Lilian S Tuckett Boarder 24 Student Clevedon, Somerset
Fanny L Bresh Boarder 23 Student Liverpool
Violet Williamson Boarder 23 Student Scotland
Annie Grime Boarder 22 Student Halifax, Yorkshire
Hilda H Matthews Boarder 22 Student Kirkham, Lancashire
Dorothy Clarke Boarder 22 Student Goudhurst, Kent
Ethel Harris Boarder 21 Student Truro, Cornwall
Marrianne Bywater Boarder 21 Student Scotland
Winifred Morgan Boarder 21 Student Blundellsands, Lancashire
Frances F Forgan Boarder 19 Student Northwich, Cheshire
Kathleen Wooley Boarder 19 Student Brighton, Sussex
Alice A Gunstone Servant 44 Housekeeper Domestic Kingsdown Box, Wiltshire
Emma Miles Servant 57 Sewing Maid Domestic Bromsgrove, Worcestershire

I have not been able to identify Violet anywhere in the UK for the census of 1911. However there is a family story that Violet trained in music in Germany for a while (like her sister Catherine?), and latterly became some sort of governess to the Romanian (or Yugoslavian??) royal family which may explain her not being found in the 1911 census for the UK. In fact there is a record in the National Archives for the issue of a passport to a british national Violet Williamson on 29 June 1914. She was described as a Governess aged 32, resident in Bucharest, and this would suggest she was certainly in the right place for this story to be correct. However on 28 June 1914, the day before this passport was issued Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was assasinated in Sarajevo, starting the chain of events that lead to the outbreak of hostilities between the major powers in Europe and leading to Britain declaring war on Germany on 4 August 1914. Whether the issue of this passport signified a decision to quit Romania or whether she hung on during the following turbulent times is unknown. (At the time the passport was issued King Carol I was still on the throne of Romania and was pro German. However Carol died shortly after on 10 October 1914, and was suceeded by his nephew Ferdinand who was pro the Allied alliance. Even so Romania remained neutral for the first two years but eventually entered on the side of the Allied powers on 27 August 1916 Fighting took place from August 1916 to December 1917 across most of present-day Romania, including Transylvania, which was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire at the time, as well as in southern Dobruja, which is currently part of Bulgaria. Despite initial successes, the Romanian forces (aided by Russia) suffered massive setbacks, and by the end of 1916 only Moldavia remained. After several defensive victories in 1917, with Russia's withdrawal from the war following the October Revolution, Romania, almost completely surrounded by the Central Powers, was also forced to drop out of the war; it signed the Treaty of Bucharest with the Central Powers in May 1918. On 10 November 1918, just one day before the German armistice and after all the other Central Powers had already capitulated, Romania re-entered the war after the successful Allied advances on the Macedonian Front.)

In a letter written by Violet's cousin Agnes Shearer Williamson shortly before her death in 1968, she states "Alex died young leaving a family of three girls and two boys who were all rather clever and did very well for themselves. One of the girls had a school for girls in France." Taking into account Violet's time at Maria Grey's and her time abroad it is possible this may refer to Violet. However this could equally apply to her elder sister Catherine who was recorded in the 1901 census as an "English and Modern Language Mistress".

Sadly we do have the details surrounding her death as she seems to have chosen to end her own life by drowning herself in the River Doub in Besacon, France in the May of 1930. Her death and the details were reported in a number of British newspapers and extracts from two are included below, although no explanation is provided as to what drove her to this act. She is identified as having her home in London, and one wonders if the town of Besacon held a particular significance or if it was simply where she was at the time when the fateful choice was made.

Hull Daily Mail - Thursday 5 June 1930

WOMAN'S BODY IN RIVER. LETTER WRITTEN EXPRESSING SUICIDE INTENTION. PARIS, Thursday.

According the Dijon correspondent, of the Paris Midi, police are inclined to believe that the body of an unknown woman found in the river Doubs, near Besancon, a few days ago, is that of an English woman, Miss Violet Williamson, aged 53, who was staying in the district. As the result the post-mortem examination it was at first thought she had been strangled and then thrown into the water. In the course of their inquiries, however, the police learned that Miss Williamson had written to the British Consul at Strasbourg saying that she was going to throw herself in the Doubs. Luggage left by Miss Williamson at the Besancon Railway Station contains clothing similar to that worn by the dead woman. Inquiries are proceeding aud the British Consul is expected at Besancon

Daily Herald - Friday 6 June 1930

CITY GOVERNESS VANISHES LETTER NEAR RIVER

From Our Own Correspondent PARIS, Thursday. An Englishwoman. Miss Violet Williamson, has disappeared mysteriously at Besancon, in Eastern France. woman's body corresponding the description of Miss Williamson has been found the River Doubs. near Besancon. Miss Williamson, an elderly governess whose home was in London, arrived recently in Besancon from Paris. Her disappearance a fortnight ago passed virtually unnoticed.

DESIRE FOR SECRECY

Then a letter addressed to a non-existent British Consul of Besancon was found on the banks of the Doubs. This letter, signed with the missing woman's name, declared her intention of ending her days by throwing herself into the river. In it she requested the consul and the police to keep the secret her death. When the police visited her rooms they discovered her passport, giving her age as 53, and some clothing.

NOT MURDER.

The underclothing on the body found the river which had evidently been the water for least two weeks, bore the same laundry marks as those found in Miss Williamson's room. The police surgeon at Besancon declared there was absolutely no evidence of murder.

Nellie Williamson (twin) born 28 October 1879, Helensburgh

Nellie Williamson was born on 28 October 1879 at 7 West Clyde Street, Helensburgh. One of twin girls, the other being Jean Glen, sadly Nellie died on 15 February 1881 in Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire.

Jeanie Williamson (twin) born 28 October 1879, 7 West Clyde Street, Helensburgh,, Dunbartonshire.

Jeanie Williamson was born on 28 October 1879 at 7 West Clyde Street, Helensburgh. One of twin girls, the other being Nellie who did not survive infancy. Interestingly in her later life Jane was known as "sma" Glen which referred to her slight stature.

For the census of 1891 the orphaned Jean was boarding in a local private school in 27 Colquhoun Street, Helensburgh, along with her siblings.

1891 Census (6 April) Row (Rhu) (503) Book 6 Page 11

27 Colquhoun Street, Helensburgh.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Catherine Williamson Boarder 17 Scholar Row, Dunbartonshire
Alexander Williamson Boarder 15 Scholar Row, Dunbartonshire
Violet Williamson Boarder 13 Scholar Row, Dunbartonshire
Jeannie Williamson Boarder 11 Scholar Row, Dunbartonshire
Harry Williamson Boarder 8 Scholar Row, Dunbartonshire

For 1901 Jane Glen was working as a nurse in the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Jordanhill in Glasgow. 

1901 Census (1 April) Kelvin 644/09 Book 114 Page 1

43-45 Scotts Street, Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Jordanhill

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Robert Crawford Officer 25 Resident Physician MB ChB Glasgow, Lanarkshire
James Cameron Turnbull Junior Officer 23 Resident Surgeon MB ChB Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Louisa Harbin Matron 53 Matron of Institution England
Jeannie McDonald Watt Servant 31 Hospital Sister Greenock, Renfrewshire
Kate Sinclair Servant 31 Hospital Sister Bavos, Argyllshire
Mary Ann Brown Servant 40 Hospital Sister Kincardine, Clackmannanshire
Lucy Margaret McLean Servant 29 Hospital Sister Edinburgh, Midlothian
Nora Winifred Sumner Servant 30 Night Sister England
Mary Fleming Christie Servant 33 Home Sister Kilmarnock, Ayrshire
Hilda Lindsay Alexander Jack Servant 25 Hospital Nurse Edinburgh, Midlothian
Rita Elizabeth Grant Servant 23 Hospital Nurse Thornliebank, Renfrewshire
Margaret Mary Brown Servant 26 Hospital Nurse Reay, Caithness-shire
Georgina Bridget Jerment Ritchie Servant 25 Hospital Nurse Portobello, Midlothian
Margaret Agnes Swan McKechnie Servant 24 Hospital Nurse Ireland
Jane Glen Williamson Servant 21 Hospital Nurse Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire
Edith Amy Kerr Servant 29 Hospital Nurse England
Margaret Eadie Ritchie Servant 26 Hospital Nurse Milton of Campsie, Stirlingshire
Nora Marguerite Terry Servant 26 Hospital Nurse England
Janet Rose McGoun Servant 24 Hospital Nurse England
Helen Denny Leslie Servant 22 Hospital Nurse England

Jean Glen Williamson married Arthur Percy Martindale in the July-September quarter of 1909 in West Ham. (West Ham Vol 4a Page 730.) Arthur Percy Martindale was probably the son of James and Mary Ann Martindale born 23 November 1874, and christened on 17 December 1874 in St Martins in the Fields, Westminster. Jean and Arthur had a son James Patrick Alexander Martindale born in the January-March quarter of 1911 in Barnet, Middlesex. (Barnet, Vol 3a Page 424).

For the census of 1911 Arthur, Jean and their baby son James were living at 11 Cornwall Avenue, Church End, Finchley, London, in a dwelling of 6 rooms. 

1911 Census (3 April) 

11 Cornwall Avenue, Church End, Finchley, London (six rooms with windows)

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Arthur Percy Martindale Head 37 Stockbroker's Clerk London, Middlesex
Jane Glen Martindale Wife 30    Helensburgh, Dumbartonshire
James Patrick Alexander Martindale Son 1 Month   Finchley, Middlesex

James was to be Arthur and Jane's one and only child. Not only was James their only child but also the only offspring of any of the five children of Alexander and Catherine. However he did go on to marry and his line continues to this day.

Arthur Percy Martindale died on 21 Nov 1950 in 11 Cornwall Ave., Finchley, London. (Ref: Oct-Dec 1950 Hendon Vol 5e page 485). Jean Glen Martindale, nee Williamson, died in Jan 1959 in Hendon, Middlesex - (Ref: Jan-Mar 1959 Hendon, Vol 5e Page 638.)

Harry Williamson born 9 Apr 1882, Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire. 

Harry Williamson was born on 9 Apr 1882 at Bonnie Braes, Sinclair Street, Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire. 

For the census of 1891 the orphaned Harry was boarding in a local private school in 27 Colquhoun Street, Helensburgh, along with his siblings.

1891 Census (6 April) Row (Rhu) (503) Book 6 Page 11

27 Colquhoun Street, Helensburgh.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Catherine Williamson Boarder 17 Scholar Row, Dunbartonshire
Alexander Williamson Boarder 15 Scholar Row, Dunbartonshire
Violet Williamson Boarder 13 Scholar Row, Dunbartonshire
Jeannie Williamson Boarder 11 Scholar Row, Dunbartonshire
Harry Williamson Boarder 8 Scholar Row, Dunbartonshire

For the census of 1901 was lodging at 233 Kenmure Street, Pollokshields in the house of Mary Gray. He was recorded as a pupil Civil Engineer, and was only a few streets away from his Uncle Ebenezer Hendry and his family at 256 Maxwell Road.

 

1901 Census (1 April) Govan 644/13 Book 31 Page 8

233 Kenmure Street, Pollokshields, Glasgow

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Mary Gray Head 51    Glasgow
Catherine Gray Sister 37    Glasgow
John Scott Boarder 27 Wholesale Drapery Buyer Ireland
Wm. H Willoughby Boarder 30 Warehouseman (Drapery) England
Harry Williamson Lodger 18 Pupil Civil Engineer Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire

Family tradition states that Harry Williamson went to Argentina to work on the quickly expanding railways there as an engineer, and I have been unable to find a record of Harry anywhere in the UK 1911 census which would seem to coroborate this.

Certainly there is a record in 1913 of his return to the UK from Argentina on 5 August 1913 on board the RMS Darro which had sailed from Buenos Aires, docking at Liverpool. He is described as a Civil Engineer, aged 29 and he gives his "Country of Intended Future Permanent Residence:" as Argentina, indicating his intention of returning to South America.

I suspect when it became obvious that the war with Germany was going to not "be over by Christmas", Harry returned to the UK, as there is a record of his arrival on board the Highland Glen from La Plata, Argentina, which docked in London on 22 November 1915. He is described as a Civil Engineer, aged 33 and he gives his "Country of Intended Future Permanent Residence:" as England. Whatever prompted his return, just over 3 months after is arrival in the UK Harry joined the Royal Engineers on 8 March 1916 (according to his later medal card) with the rank of Lieutenant, although he was latterly promoted to Major.

Harry Williamson married Marie Henriette Schunter on 22 July 1916 in St Giles, London. Harry was recorded as 30 years old, a lieutenant in the Royal Engineers (Civil Engineer), resident at the Waverley Hotel, Southampton Row, London, and the son of Alexander Williamson (deceased), an Aerated Water Manufacturer. Marie was recorded as 22 years old spinster with no occupation given, resident at 11 Cornwall Avenue, Finchley, and the daughter of Thomas Robert Schunter (deceased), a Captain in the Merchant Services. The witnesses were K.(ate) J.(should be T for Thomson) Williamson, J.(ane) G.(len) Martindale and A.(rthur) P.(ercy) Martindale. Kate and Jane were Harry's sisters and the address Marie was resident at was the house of Jane Glen and Arthur Martindale.  I believe Marie was the daughter of Thomas Robert Schunter and Marie Dorothea Softley who were married in April-June 1893 in Sunderland (REF: Sunderland Vol 10a Page 876)

Sometime presumably after the war the couple went to have gone to Spain with Harry employed as a civil engineer in the railway as there is a record of their return from Vigo to the UK in 1921 and there are a further eight records of the couple arriving from Vigo or Lisbon over the next 8 years.

The first three records, 17 December 1921, 9 December 1922 and 3 June 1924, show Harry's occupation as working with the Railway and his address as in the UK was given 221 Elgin Avenue, Maida Vale. In the first two records the "Country of Intended Future Permanent Residence:" is given as "Foreign Countries" i.e. Spain? However in the third record the "Country of Intended Future Permanent Residence:" is given as "England".

The next two records of 5 May 1925 and 14 December 1925 show a change to both his occupation and his address as he is now listed with his occupation being "Consular Services", and his address in the UK being listed as 47 Parliament Street, Westminster, London S.W.1. Again the "Country of Intended Future Permanent Residence:" is given as "Foreign Countries" i.e. Spain? For the following record of 19 April 1927, Harry's occupation and address in the UK remain the same however the "Country of Intended Future Permanent Residence:" is given as "England".

In the next two records of 10 July 1928 and 9 March 1929, his occupation is still listed as "Consular Services", but his address in the UK has changed again this time to Granville House, Brunswick Square, London. Also the "Country of Intended Future Permanent Residence:" has reverted to "Foreign Countries" i.e. Spain?.

The final record of 9 October 1929 still lists his UK address as Granville House, however his occupation is listed as Consul, with his "Country of Intended Future Permanent Residence:" given as "England".

There are a matching pair of passenger record, this time from 1933. Harry and Marie were firstly recorded in New York en route to the UK from San Salvador via New York. They were recorded on board the SS. Resolute with Harry recorded as aged 51, born in Helensburgh, England with his calling or occupation given as "Major". (Obviously Helensburgh is in Scotland but many Americans still believe Scotland is part of England!!) Marie is recorded as aged 37 born in Sunderland, England, with her calling or occupation given as "Housewife". There is a corresponding arrival off the couple in the UK although Harry has no occupation given and his age is out by 4 years being given as 55. Marie was recorded as a housewife and her age is given as 52 - 15 years out. Their address in the UK was given as 11 Cornwall Avenue, Church End, Finchley, the home of his sister Jane Glen. Their "Country of Last Permanent Residence:" given as "San Salvador" and their "Country of Intended Future Permanent Residence:" given as "England".

There are a couple of records in the Supplement to the London Gazette 1939-1940 of a Harry Williamson ex. Major in the Royal Enginners being enlisted in the Territorial Army Reserve officers list with the rank of Lieutenant. These are followed a notice in the Supplement to the London Gazette of 4 November 1941of his removal in due to having reached the age limit for Territorial Army Reserve Officer's viz. "Lt. H. Williamson (102817) having attained the age limit, ceases to belong to the . T.A.R.O. I2th Aug. 1941, and is granted the rank of Maj.". I would imagine these are also "our" Harry. 

The final record for Harry is that of his demise in Guernsey on 10 August 1953. He was identified as aged 70, a retired engineer, the son of Alexander Williamson and Catherine Thomson, born in Helensburgh, Scotland, and his address was given as L'Arbre, Toulon Road, St. Peter Port, Guernsey. His mothers maiden name is wrong, as it should of been McConachie, but as Thomson was HER mother's maiden name, hence the confusion. There is a newspaper clipping in the Andrews Newspaper Index Cards viz. "WILLIAMSON - On Aug 10th 1953, peacefully, at his home in Guernsey, LT-COL. HARRY WILLIAMSON, M.I.C.E. younger son of the late Alexander Williamson, Helensburgh. El Simpatico." It is an intriguing snippet, not only for the fact he was he recorded as a Lieutenant Colonel, but also due to the the Spanish "tag" El Simpatico?

With regards to his wife Marie, there is a record of a Marie Henriette Williamson dying in Derbyshire in 1974. The actual death occurred in the Debyshire Royal Infirmary on 22 January 1974. The deceased Marie was recorded as aged about 78 but there is no actual date of birth and no maiden name given. She is recorded as "widow of ??? Williamson, Occupation unknown" and the informant's qualification being "causing the body to be cremated". The only "useful" information is that the deceased occupation and usual address are given as" housekeeper 43 Belle Vue Road, Ashbourne". I suspect this may well be Harry's widow, as although it is somewhat surprising to find her living in Ashbourne, it would seem unlikely that there was more than one widowed Marie Henriette Williamson, born 1896. The paucity of detail on the death certificate would also fit with Marie having been a widow for just over 20 years.