David and Janet GARVEN


b. 1833 - d. (?)


b. 1836 - d. (?)


b. 1864 - d. 1890

Biographical notes

All the information about this family stems from the death certificates of their son, Thomas Garven and of Thomas's stepfather John Pettigrew. Thomas is recorded as the illegitimate son of Janet Macken and David Garven. At the time of the death of Thomas in 1890 at the age of 26, his natural father David had already died as had his stepfather John Pettigrew. Thomas's mother, Janet, was the informant of her son's death. We know that both Janet and Thomas were illiterate as Thomas had previously signed the death certificate of his stepfather John Pettigrew with a cross. Janet did likewise on Thomas's death certificate.

The first tenuous record in the 1851 Census identifies a David Garven, unmarried, with a recorded age of 19, born in Dundonald, Ayrshire, employed as a Farm Servant in Kilwinning (Thomas Garven had the same employment at the time of his death).

In the 1861 Census, a David Garven aged 28 is a Mariner, born in Dundonald, living in Dundonald (at 1, Portland Land, Dundonald, Ayrshire), with his wife Janet who is aged 25 (born in Dundonald Par Troon), with a single child called Thomas (born in Dundonald Par Troon), aged 6 (which would suggest a birth date of about 1855). This date is nine years more than the age ascribed to the Thomas Garven who died in Ayr.

No record of the Garven's can be found in the 1871 Census, but in the 1881 Census we find a Janet Pettigrew (41), born in Troon, an Out Door Worker, married to John Pettigrew (52), Shoemaker, and living at Newton on Ayr. In the same Census, Thomas Garven (26), born in Dundonald, is a Farm Servant at Potterston Farm, Dalrymple, Ayrshire. No record of David Garven has been found after the 1861 Census. No record has been found for Janet Pettigrew after the death of her son in 1890.

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