This page is an attempt to outline what I know about our Allison ancestry in as "readable" format as possible. Please note whereas I try to ensure that what I publish is correct, and to differentiate between what is supported by documentation etc, and what is, in my opinion, a reasonable assumption, everything should be treated with caution. IF you have come across information that you believe is relevant to your own research please either verify it independently or drop me a line to confirm its validity. Equally if believe something is incorrect, or if you wish to add any details or discuss please get in touch using the Contact Form.

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It would appear that the name Allison in its various spellings has a long association with Mearns, Renfrewshire. The booklet "A History of Mearns" published by Eastwod District Libraries has a reference to a "George Alaneon" in a document dated 1494, and a further reference to a "John Allasoune" in a list of heretors in the Poll Tax roll of 1695. There is also refernce in "The History of the Alison or Allison Family - In Europe and America" by Leonard Allison Morrison, A. M., published in 1893 in Boston, Massachusetts, suggesting that many of the Allison's in Mearns were descended from a James Allison who was originally from Cairnduff, near Strathaven, in the neighboring county of Lanarkshire but in 1664 was driven out of his home there due to his Covenanting beliefs and settled in Renfrewshire. (Full text available at In truth I suspect that there were enough families with the surname Allison in Mearns who inter married over the years, so that if one was to trace back though the 18th century and beyong one would have a number of different Allison lines to follow, some that would converge to common ancestors and some that would lead to Allisons from further a field. This is borne out to some extent by our own Allison family, with William Allison, the son of James Allison and Margaret Ritchie, marrying Christina Allison, the daughter of Hugh Allison and Janet Todd. DNA would also seem to bear this out as there are DNA links to ancestors of the James Allisons who were all farming in Mearns in the 1841 census. The two to be anticipated are James Allison at Malletsheugh who was William Allison's father, and James Allison at South Faulds who Christina Allison's grandfather, are to be expected, however there are also DNA links to decendents of James Allison at Westfield. So in reality we can claim to have Allison roots in Mearns and the surrounding parishes dating back to the 16th and 17th century with some confidence but with little chance of documentary proof! As to the Covenanting credentials the same arguement applies. It is also interesting that the appears to be Allison DNA amongst a number of New Zealanders some of which is directlt related the "our" Allisons.

The first traceable members of the Allison branch of our family history are a Robert Allison, a farmer at Malletsheugh, Mearns, and his wife Agnes Gilmour. The first actual record of them is the entry in the Mearns parish register of the baptism of their son, James, the next generation in our family history, on 9th June 1782. (For further details of Malletsheugh farm - See Appendix A.) The first actual record of them is the entry in the Mearns parish register of the birth at Malletsheugh on 2nd June 1782 of their son, James, the next generation in our family history, and his subsequent baptism on 9th June 1782. No record of Robert and Agnes marriage has been found, but would seem likely that James was actually their first child, and therefore any marriage of Robert and Agnes would have occurred circa 1780, with them being born circa 1750.

The Mearns parish register records the baptism of a further four of Robert and Agnes's children after James. The first of these was Robert, baptised on 5th June 1787, followed by Agnes, baptised on 11th March 1787, Janet, baptised on 6th December 1789, and a second Agnes, baptised on 29th October 1797. (The first Agnes may have died in infancy.)

It is not known when Robert Allison and Agnes Gilmour died, although there is no record of them in the census of 7th June 1841 for Mearns district. There is a record of their gravestone in the "Memorial Inscriptions of Renfrewshire" as existing in the graveyard of Mearns parish church, but unfortunately the majority of the inscription seems to have been illegible at the time of recording. The little that did remain is only sufficient to identify it as their gravestone, without giving any meaningful dates. The stone itself is no longer visible at, or near, the site shown in the diagram in the "Memorial Inscriptions of Renfrewshire", and the assumption is that it was a recumbent stone and probably still exists, overgrown by turf and moss. 

Inscription on the "missing" Allison gravestone in the graveyard of the Mearns parish church, from  "Memorial Inscriptions of Renfrewshire".

Identified in the "Memorial Inscriptions of Renfrewshire" at position 19 (see map and index) this stone cannot now be found at, or near, the position marked. It may well have been recumbent, and is now possibly covered with moss and turf . Most of the inscription was illegible at the time it was recorded, and it is impossible to interpret the minimal information, other than it is the gravestone of Robert Allison and Agnes Gilmour, and that they were residents of Malletsheugh.


(R) ALLISON AND A(GNES) GILMOUR _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

_ _ MALLETSHEUGH _ _ _ _ _ _ SON _ _ 9 JUNE 1782 _ _ _

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _  _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ 10 _ _ _ 182 _ _ _


The reference to "SON _ _ 9 JUNE 1782" may well be part of an inscription recording Robert and Agnes's son James Allison who was born/baptised on that date. (e.g.. "their son James AlliSON born 9 JUNE 1782 died 9 January 1865"). Interestingly James Allison's death is recorded on an adjacent but later Allison headstone in the same graveyard, but it is possible that he was buried alongside his parents, with his details originally recorded on their gravestone. His details may also have been inscribed on the second Allison headstone when it was raised, possibly because the first stone was starting to deteriorate.

Sometime circa 1810, James, the eldest son of Robert and Agnes,  married Margaret Ritchie, the daughter according to her later death certificate, of James Ritchie, a farmer, and Jean Pollok. Her age of 66 given on this certificate, would make her born circa 1791, and the 1851 census gives her place of birth as Mearns, but no record of her birth, or her later marriage to James Allison has been found. (For further details of Margaret Ritchie's parentage and siblings where known - Click here.)

James Allison and Margaret Ritchie's first recorded child was a son, Robert Allison, whose birth was recorded in the Mearns parish register on 5th August 1811. Over the next twenty-two years the births \ baptisms of another eight of James Allison and Margaret Ritchie's children were recorded in the Mearns parish register: - Jean Allison, born.7th July 1814; Agnes Allison, born 15th July 1816; Margaret Allison, born 3rd March 1819; James Allison, born 7th April 1821, Janet Allison, baptised 28th February 1823, William Allison, born 1st August 1824, (next generation in our family history); Janet Allison, born 21st July 1828; Elizabeth Allison, baptised 26th February 1833. (For further details of James Allison and Margaret Ritchie's other children - See Appendix D.)

By the census of 1841 for Mearns, James Allison, his wife Margaret, and seven of their children were living at Malletsheugh farm, near Mearns village. James had presumably taken over the farm, as eldest son, after the death of his father, Robert. There were in fact two other James Allisons along with their families farming nearby, James Allison and his wife Janet Craig at Westfield and James Allison and Agnes Russell farming at South Faulds. (For further details of these "other" Allisons- see Appendix Q)

1841 Census (7th. June)  Mearns (571)  Book 3.  Page 18.

Malletsheugh farm, by Mearns village.

Name Age Occupation Where Born
James Allison 55 Farmer Yes
Margaret Allison 45   Yes
Robert Allison 25   Yes
Agnes Allison 20   Yes
Margaret Allison 20   Yes
James Allison 15   Yes
William Allison 15   Yes
Janet Allison 12   Yes
Elizabeth Allison 7   Yes

By the census of 31st March 1851 James and his wife, Margaret, were still resident at Malletsheugh farm, but only their sons, and their youngest daughter, Elizabeth, seem to have been still living with them.

1851 Census (31st. March)  Mearns (454)  Book 7.  Page 2.

Malletsheugh farm, by Mearns village.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
James Allison Head 67 Land Proprietor Farming 50 acres Mearns, Renfrewshire
Margaret Allison Wife 50**   Mearns, Renfrewshire
Robert Allison Son 39   Mearns, Renfrewshire
James Allison Son 28   Mearns, Renfrewshire
William Allison Son 24   Mearns, Renfrewshire
Elizabeth Allison Daughter 17   Mearns, Renfrewshire
Janet Ritchie Servant 24 House Servant Mearns, Renfrewshire
James Andrew Nephew 12 Scholar Mearns, Renfrewshire

** This age would seem to be incorrect as it would make Margaret aged only 11 at the birth of her eldest son Robert.

In this census the farm was identified as being 50 acres, with a Janet Ritchie, a house servant, and James Andrew, identified as nephew, in the house along with James Allison and his family. James Andrew was in fact the eldest son of Jean Allison, (James Allison and Margaret Ritchie's eldest daughter), and her husband William Andrew. They had been married on 15th June 1838 in Mearns, and James was baptised on 5th July 1838. James Andrew was therefore the grandson of James Allison and Margaret Ritchie, not their nephew. It is possible however that the details in this census were supplied by one of James and Margaret's children, who would have correctly identified James Andrew as their nephew. This would also go some way to explaining the obvious inaccuracy of Margaret Ritchie's age in this census.

Six and a half years after this census, , on 29th October 1857, Margaret Ritchie died aged 66.  She was laid to rest in the Mearns parish church graveyard along side her second eldest son, James, who had died four and a half years previously, on 9th May 1853, aged 32. 

Inscription on the second Allison headstone in the graveyard of Mearns parish church - as seen.

#                                                    WHO DIED 31 OCTOBER 1858 AGED 66 YEARS
BORN 31 JANUARY 1865 DIED 29 JULY 1874
##                                                            ROBERT WILLIAM MARY WILLIAM

# This is incorrect - Margaret Ritchie actually died on 29 October 1857, Confirmed by her death certificate
## Twins Robert and William, born 14th May 1866 and twins, Mary and William, born on 16th December 1870

Looking at this inscription it seems likely that this stone was raised later than the earliest date on the headstone i.e.. 1853.  I would suspect that it was raised by Robert Allison sometime after his father James's death in 1865.  The details may have been copied off the earlier, and now missing Allison gravestone.

On 8 June 1860 in Mearns, Renfrewshire, William Allison, James and Margaret's youngest son, married Christina Allison. The marriage certificate identified William as aged 34, of Malletsheugh Mearns, an Innkeeper, the son of James Allison, a farmer, and Margaret Allison, maiden surname, Ritchie, (listed as deceased). Christina was identified as aged 25, of High Church parish, Paisley, a Farm Servant, the daughter of Hugh Allison, a Surfaceman, (listed as deceased), and Janet Russell, formerly Allison, maiden surname Todd. The witnesses were John Wilson and John Maiklam. There is a record in the Mearns Parish Register of the birth on 12 October and baptism on 10 November of Christina Allison to Hugh Allison and and Janet Todd in Doddside, Mearns, Renfrewshire. (For further details of Christina's parents and family - Click here.)

With the marriage of William Allison and Christina Allison we come up against a potential problem. Their "son", Andrew Todd Allison, who is the next generation in our family history, is certainly the son of Christina Allison, being named after her maternal grandfather, Andrew Todd. However his birth occurred some six years before the record of his mother's marriage to William Allison, which could potentially shed some doubt on William Allison being his biological father. Although both his marriage and death certificates identify him as the son of William Allison, no actual record of his birth has yet been found to settle this matter one way or other. However with the advent of DNA testing my wife, his g grandaughter, was identified as sharing DNA at 4th\5th cousin level with a descendent of a James Ritchie and Jean Pollock. James Ritchie and Jean Pollock were the parents of Margaret Ritchie, William's mother, as recorded on her death certificate. For there to be a DNA link back from my wife to James Ritchie and Jean Pollock, via Andrew Todd Allison, he would seem to have to be the biological son of William Allison.

For the census of 8th April 1861, William and Christina were resident at the Malletsheugh Inn, Mearns with William recorded as a Spirt Merchant, as per the earlier marriage record. (For further details of the Malletsheugh Inn - Click here.) Included in the household were his wife Christina. along with 6 year old Andrew, recorded as son and not step son, and his baby daughter, Margaret who had been born five and a half weeks before the census, on 27th February 1861.

1861 Census (8th April)  Mearns (571)  Book 8. Page 8.

Malletsheugh Inn, by Mearns village.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
William Allison Head 35 Spirit merchant Mearns, Renfrewshire
Christina Allison Wife 26   Mearns, Renfrewshire
Andrew Allison Son 6 Scholar Mearns, Renfrewshire
Margaret Allison Daughter 1 month   Mearns, Renfrewshire

Back at the Malletsheugh farm itself, William's widowed father, James Allison, aged 78, was living with his eldest son, Robert, and three grandsons, James Andrew, James Leggat, baptised 9th November 1843, the son of James Allison's second eldest daughter, Margaret and William Leggat, married 3rd October 1841 in Mearns, and Allison Carse, baptised on 8th June 1854, the "natural" son of James Allison's youngest daughter Elizabeth and William Carse. He also has two "servants" in residence, Mary Hopkin, a dairymaid, and Janet Cameron, a domestic servant

The grandson, James Leggat, had come to live at Malletsheugh sometime after the death of his mother Margaret Allison and prior to 1853 when his father William Legggat had set off for Australia to chance his luck among the goldfields around Ararat, leaving his two children James and Margaret, in the care of their paternal grandparents, James and Margaret. James Leggat left a diary including details of his time at Malletsheugh which provides some wonderful background to the personalities of his grandparents and life at Malletsheugh. This is available in an article on the Mearns History web site - "Farm life in Mearns in the 1850s through the eyes of a young boy".

1861 Census (8th April)  Mearns (571)  Book 7. Page 11.

Malletsheugh farm, by Mearns village.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
James Allison Head 78 Farmer of 50 acres Mearns, Renfrewshire
Robert Allison Son 47 Farmer of 50 acres Mearns, Renfrewshire
James Andrew Grandson 22 Ploughman Mearns, Renfrewshire
James Leggat Grandson 17 Servant Mearns, Renfrewshire
Allison Carse Grandson 6 Scholar Mearns, Renfrewshire
Mary Hopkin Servant 27 Dairymaid Monkton, Ayrshire
Janet Cameron Servant 23 Domestic servant Argyllshire

A year and a half after this census William and Margaret had a second daughter, Janet, born on 2nd December 1862.

On 9th January 1865, James Allison died, aged 82, and was laid to rest alongside his wife, Margaret Ritchie in the graveyard of the Mearns parish church. The farm was inherited by Robert, his eldest son, who had married Mary Hopkin, (the dairymaid in the 1861 census), on 8th July 1862 in Hutchesontown, Glasgow. (For a transcription of James Allison's will - Click here.)

William Allison, James's youngest son, was bequeathed the rent free tenancy of "a tenement" on the lands of Malletsheugh for life. This bequest may well explain why, on the birth certificate of his next child, a son William, born on 8th May 1865, he is recorded as living at simply "Malletsheugh", working as a farm labourer, (probably for his brother Robert on the Malletsheugh farm), having seemingly left the Malletsheugh Inn, and his job as spirit merchant there.  

By the census of 3rd April 1871 William Allison and Christina Allison's family had increased with the births of three more children, Christina on 23rd February 1867, Jane on 12th December 1868, and James on 5th January 1871, all born at Malletsheugh, Mearns, with their father's occupation recorded as farm labourer/ ploughman. The family's income seems to be being supplemented with the inclusion of a lodger, Catherine Black, a bleachfield worker at one of the neighbouring bleachfields.

1871 Census (3rd April)  Mearns (571)  Book 8. Page 10.

Malletsheugh, by Mearns village.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
William Allison Head 45 Farm servant Mearns, Renfrewshire
Christina Allison Wife     Mearns, Renfrewshire
Margaret Allison Daughter 10 Scholar Mearns, Renfrewshire
Janet Allison Daughter 8 Scholar Mearns, Renfrewshire
William Allison Son 6   Mearns, Renfrewshire
Christina Allison Daughter 4   Mearns, Renfrewshire
Jane Allison Daughter 2   Mearns, Renfrewshire
James Allison Son 3 months   Mearns, Renfrewshire
Catherine Black Lodger 20 Bleachfield worker East Kilbride, Lanarkshire

Andrew Allison their? eldest son, is not living at home at this time, and in fact was working at Hillhead South farm, for John Armour as a farm servant.

1871 Census (3rd April)  Mearns (571)  Book ?. Page ?.

Hillhead South farm, by Mearns village.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
James Armour Head 66 Farmer and landowner - 60 acres arable Kilmarnock, Ayrshire
Marion Armour Wife 54 Farmer's wife Kilmarnock, Ayrshire
Thomas Armour Son 20 Farmer's son Kilmarnock, Ayrshire
Mary-Ann Armour Daughter 18 Farmer's daughter Kilmarnock, Ayrshire
Sarah Connarie Servant  17 Farm servant Kirkoswald, Ayrshire
Andrew Allison Servant  16 Farm servant Mearns, Renfrewshire
Mary Currie Servant  12 Farm servant Mearns, Renfrewshire

Over the next seven and a half years William and Christina's family was completed with the births of a further two daughters, Elizabeth on 23rd June 1874, and Agnes on 10th September 1878. Both children were born at Malletsheugh, with William's occupation being recorded as farm labourer on Agnes's birth certificate. On the birth certificate of Elizabeth, William's occupation is given as "Feuar", referring to William's tenancy as bequeathed to him by his father.  (For further details of the children of William Allison and Christina Allison - Click here.)

Two and a half years after the birth of William and Christina's last child, their? eldest son, Andrew Todd Allison, married Mary Marshall. (For further details of a Marshall/Allison connection - Click here.) The marriage took place on 29th November 1878, at Townhead, Mearns, where Mary was employed as a female servant, although she was born at Scott's Land, Milngavie, on 21st February 1857, the daughter of William Marshall, a quarryman/contractor, (deceased by 1878), and Annie Henderson. She was the eighth on nine children, although William Marshall had had five previous children by his first wife, Mary Brown. (SEE ONLINE MARSHALL FAMILY HISTORY).

Andrew Allison and Mary Marshall's first child, a daughter Annie, was born at Malletsheugh on 9th June 1879, but for the census of 4th April 1881, the family were living at 3 St. James Street, Govan.  Andrew, the father, is listed as a "Railway carter", presumably providing a delivery/transport service to and from nearby stations and goods yards. (Note - Andrew Allison is missing from the LDS 1881 census transcription  - this is from the original!)

1881 Census (4th April)  Govan (644-13)  Book 30. Page 14.

3 St. James Street, Govan, Glasgow

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Andrew Allison Head 26 Railway carter Mearns, Renfrewshire
Mary Marshall Wife 24   Milngavie, Stirlingshire.
Annie Allison Daughter 1 Scholar Mearns, Renfrewshire

 William and Christina Allison, Andrew's parents, were still at Malletsheugh, along with their children in the 1881 census.

1881 Census (4th April)  Mearns (571)  Book 8. Page 1 & 2.

Malletsheugh, by Mearns village.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
William Allison Head 56 Farm servant Mearns, Renfrewshire
Christina Allison Wife 43   Mearns, Renfrewshire
Christina Allison Daughter 14 Scholar Mearns, Renfrewshire
Jane Allison Daughter 12 Scholar Mearns, Renfrewshire
James Allison Son 10 Scholar Mearns, Renfrewshire
Elizabeth Allison Daughter 7 Scholar  Mearns, Renfrewshire
Agnes Allison Daughter 2   Mearns, Renfrewshire

Six months after this census, on 29th October 1881, William and Christina's eldest daughter, Janet, gave birth to a "natural" child, a son Hugh. The birth occurred at the Malletsheugh Inn, and  although the father's name is not recorded, the birth certificate is of interest as the birth was registered by the grandmother, Christina Allison, and instead of a proper signature, it simply bears her "mark", a cross, suggesting that she was unable to write. (The Malletsheugh Inn was being run by an Alexander King at this time.)

Three weeks later, on 18th November 1881, Andrew Allison and Mary Marshall's second child, a son William, was born. He was born at Whitehill, Shotts, where his father, Andrew, seems to have been working as a Farm overseer.

Andrew and Mary remained at Whitehill, with Andrew as farm manager/overseer for the next eight years. They had a further three children over this period with the births of Andrew Todd, on 7th February 1884, Mary Marshall, the next generation in our family history, on 6th October 1886, and Janet born on 12th January 1889.

The  year after Janet's birth, back in Mearns, Christina Allison, Andrew's mother, died, on 17th January 1890, at Malletsheugh, aged 55.

For the census of April 1891 William Allison, Andrew's recently widowed father was visiting his married daughter Margaret.  She was living at Nethershields farm, Glassford, Lanarkshire with her husband, William Hamilton, a farmer, and their two young sons, James, aged 3,  and William, aged   Note that one of the general servants, Christina MacDonald, from Stornaway, spoke Gaelic as well as English, and the farm servant John Hendry is no relation - as far as I know!

1891 Census (6th  April)  Glassford (645)  Book 4. Page 2.

Nethershields farm, Glassford, Lanarkshire

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
William Hamilton Head 37 Farmer Glassford, Lanarkshire
Maggie Hamilton Wife 30 Farmer's wife Mearns, Renfrewshire
James Hamilton Son 3   Glassford, Lanarkshire
William Hamilton Son 2   Glassford, Lanarkshire
William Allison Father-in-law 66 Visitor Mearns, Renfrewshire
Christina MacDonald Servant 24 General servant Stornaway, Lewis**
James Willie Servant 19 General servant England
John Hendry Servant 14 Farm servant Glassford, Lanarkshire

**English and Gaelic speaker

Andrew and Mary had moved from Whitehill and were living at Cityside, Shotts, although Andrew, the father's, occupation remains farm grieve (manager).

1891 Census (6th April)  Shotts (655-1)  Book 6. Page 1.

Cityside, Shotts.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Andrew Allison Head 36 Farm grieve Mearns, Renfrewshire
Mary Marshall Wife 34   Milngavie, Stirlingshire.
Annie Allison Daughter 11 Scholar Mearns, Renfrewshire
William Allison Son 9 Scholar Shotts, Lanarkshire
Andrew Allison Son 7 Scholar Shotts, Lanarkshire
Mary M. Allison Daughter 4 Scholar Shotts, Lanarkshire
Janet Allison Daughter 2   Shotts, Lanarkshire

Although it was at Cityside that Andrew and Mary's sixth child, a son David, was born, one month after this census on 29th June 1891, by the birth of their seventh child, a son Robert, on 14th September 1893 the family had returned to Whitehill, as it was there that his birth was recorded.  A further two children were born at Whitehill to Andrew and Mary before the turn of the century, Margaret born on 19th December 1895, and John born on 9th November 1898 and it is at Whitehill that we find the family for the census of 1901. Sadly their son David, born on 29th June 1891, is missing from the census having on 24th June 1896, just before his fifth birthday.

1901 Census (1st April) Shotts (655/1)  Book 3 Page 1.

Whitehill Farm, Shotts.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
Andrew Allison Head 46 Farm grieve Mearns, Renfrewshire
Mary Marshall Wife 44 Milngavie, Dumbartonshire.
Annie Allison Daughter 21 Farm Servant  Mearns, Renfrewshire
William Allison Son 19 Farm Servant Whitehill, Lanarkshire
Mary Allison Daughter 14 Farm Servant Whitehill, Lanarkshire
Janet Allison Daughter 12 Scholar Whitehill, Lanarkshire
Robert Allison Son 7 Scholar Whitehill, Lanarkshire
Margaret Allison Daughter 5 Scholar Whitehill, Lanarkshire
John Allison Son 2 Whitehill, Lanarkshire

Seven months after this census Andrew and Mary  had their tenth and final child, Christina, born on 15th August 1901.   Sadly two years later, on 7th November 1903, their eldest son, William, (born 18th November 1881), died, just a week and a half before his twenty-second birthday. (For further details of Andrew Allison and Mary Marshall's children - Click here.)

Back in Mearns, William Allison, Andrew Allison's father?, was living closeby the Malletsheugh Inn in one of the farm cottages. (The census record for William Allison is the one immediately following that of the Malletsheugh Inn).

1901 Census (1st April)  Mearns (571/2)  Book 5 Page 2.

Malletsheugh, by Mearns village.

Name Relationship Age Occupation Where Born
William Allison Head 76 Retired Farmer Mearns, Renfrewshire
Christina Allison Daughter 34 Farm Servant Mearns, Renfrewshire

On 19th May 1910 Andrew and Mary's oldest daughter, Mary Marshall Allison gave birth to a baby girl Mabel Marshall Dalglish Allison. The baby was born at Craighead Farm where her parents had been farming since 1908\09. The birth certificate does not give a father's name but the Mabel's descendents were led to believe that Mary was working as a maid and the father was her employer, (?? Mr Aitken ??) who had an invalid wife, and possibly with no children of his own.. The father wanted to bring her up in his household, but his family wouldn't hear of it. He did provide money to look after the child  until she was 14, when she left school. The baby Mabel was taken under the wing of her grandparents and grew up at Craighead Farm., whilst Mary got on with her life. (for further details of Mabel's life and her descendents - Click here.)

For the census of 1911 Andrew Allison, a farmer, and his wife Mary recorded in Salsburgh Village along with 5 of their surviving 8 children and Mary's daughter Mable (Mabel).

1911 Census (2 April) Shotts - 655/01 Book 2, Page 19

Salsburgh Village, Shotts, Lanarkshire (6 Rooms with 1 or more windows)




Duration of


No of

Children Born

No of Children



Where Born

Andrew Allison Head 56       Farmer Mearns, Renfrewshire
Mary Allison Wife 54 32 10 8   Milnagavie, Dunbartonshire
Mary Allison Daughter 24         Shotts, Lanarkshire
Robert Allison Son 17         Shotts, Lanarkshire
Maggie Allison Daughter 15         Shotts, Lanarkshire
John Allison Son 12         Shotts, Lanarkshire
Chrissie Allison Daughter 9         Shotts, Lanarkshire
Mable Allison Granddaughter 10 months         Shotts, Lanarkshire

On 16th April 1912, Andrew and Mary's oldest daughter, Mary Marshall Allison, now aged 25, married Thomas Law, a timber salesman, who was living at the time in Falkirk. Thomas Law was born on 16th September 1878, at Netherhouses farm, Armadale, near Bathgate, the son of Hugh Law, a farmer, and Susanna Robb. (SEE ONLINE LAW & ROBB FAMILY HISTORIES). As Craighead farm was no great distance from Thomas Law's parent's farm of Netherhouses, it is probable that the parents of the bride and groom were already acquainted. (For further details of Craighead Farm - Click here.)

Thomas and Mary's first child, a daughter, Mary, was born on 10th November 1912, at Bankrigg, parish of Yester, but their second child, also a daughter, Susanna Margaret, born two years later, on 12th September 1914, was born at St. Ives, Laurieston, Falkirk. Sadly Andrew Allison, Mary's father, died on 30th May 1914, at Craighead, five months before the birth of this second grandchild. He was buried in Kirk O'Shotts graveyard beside the two sons that had predeceased him, William and David. 

Back in Mearns, William Allison, Andrew Allison's father?, and great-grandfather to Mary and Margaret, died at  Malletsheugh on 22nd December 1915, aged 90, having outlived his son by a year.

By the birth of Thomas and Mary's next child, a son, Andrew Allison, on 23rd November 1916, the family had moved to 9 St. Ronan's Terrace, Morningside, Edinburgh, as it was there that the birth was recorded. This was to remain the family home for over sixty years, and it was here that Thomas and Mary's family was completed with the births of a further two children, Thomas on  11th April 1921, and Janet Allison Spence on 9th August 1927.

Three years after the birth of Janet Allison Spence, her sole remaining grandparent, her maternal grandmother, Mary Marshall, died, aged 73. She died on 19th March 1930, at Motherwell Hospital, although her usual residence was given on the death  certificate as Mill farm, Gartness. She was laid to rest alongside her husband, Andrew Allison, and her two sons William and David in Kirk O'Shotts graveyard.

Inscription on Allison headstone in Kirk O'Shotts parish church graveyard