Margaret ALLAN

Born:- 4th December 1810, Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland Died:- 14th February 1900, Broughton, Salford, Lancashire

Child of: Wallace and Anne ALLAN

Marriage: Joseph and Margaret SMITH

Biographical notes

There is a photograph in the Pettigrew family collection of Margaret Smith (labelled on the back by Andrew Alexander Pettigrew), as 'Aunt Maggie Smith about 1900'. The photographers stamp is Bradshaws (Gt Clowes Street Broughton). Other evidence to her identity came from examination of the Scotland old parish registers which showed her maiden name was Margaret Allan, daughter of Ann Anderson and Wallace Allan, born at Irvine in Ayrshire. The only other evidence was in the family reminiscence of Wallace Allan (1848 -1931) written in 1930:

quote : Family [of Wallace Allan] ...... - Margaret - (eldest) Mrs Smith (died in Manchester over 90).

These pieces of information allowed a search of the BMD registers which identified the death of a Margaret Smith aged 89 at Broughton, Salford in 1900. Crucial pieces of evidence on the certificate were the fact that she was a widow, and the name and occupation of her husband were given as Joseph Smith Clogger Journeyman. The informant of Margaret's death was given as S. Smith grand daughter. These facts allowed the gradual piecing together of Margaret's life as follows.

A search of the Scotland Old Parish Registers revealed that a Margaret Allan had married Joseph Smith in Dumfries in 1836.

In the 1841 Scottish Census, the family was recorded as living in Dumfries. Crucial identification included the occupation of Joseph Smith (25) as a Clogger Master, born in Dumfries-shire whilst his wife, Margaret (25), was listed as being born outside the census county (Irvine, Ayrshire from other evidence). They had three children; Joseph (5), Ann (3) and William (1) all born in Dumfries-shire

So far the family has not been located in the 1851 census returns but other evidence suggests that by 1850 they had moved to Manchester. The 1861 census shows the family living at Salford. Crucial evidence is the listed birthplaces of Joseph (44), Margaret (45), Joseph (son, 24), William (20) and Wallace (18), all in Scotland (county not given). Also Joseph Senior's occupation of Clogger. Their youngest child, Thomas (11) was born in Manchester which dates the move from Scotland to Lancashire between 1843 and 1850.

The last record of the family before Joseph's death has been traced in the 1871 Census where Joseph and Margaret are living on their own at Regent Road in Salford

In the 1881 Census there is a record of Margaret Smith (70), a widow, born in Ayrshire Scotland with the occupation of Domestic Servant. She is listed as an inmate of the Salford Union Workhouse, Eccles New Road, Salford. Presumably after the death of her husband and with no other members of the family able to support her, there was no other option than the Workhouse.

It looks as if her time in the Workhouse was brief as, ten years later In the 1891 Census, Margaret is listed as living with the family of her youngest son Thomas Smith in York Street, Broughton, Salford. She is listed as Margaret Smith (80), Mother (of Thomas Smith), Widow, born in Scotland.

And so, returning to the death certificate which records the death of Margaret on the 14 February 1900, the identity of the informant (Margaret's grand daughter), given as S. Smith, can now be fully identified from the 1891 census, as Sarah Smith, born 1875, daughter of Margaret's son Thomas Smith.

Finally, the photograph, tentatively dated to 1900, shows Margaret looking very frail and it is entirely consistent with her recorded death soon afterwards.

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