Thursday, 11 August 2016

Frank Matheson's wives and children 1

My maternal great grandfather Frank Matheson married twice. His first wife was Isabella McKenzie (1840-1871). They married on 20 Apr 1866 in Inverness. As you can see from their marriage extract, he was a railway plate layer and she a domestic servant. The industrial age had reached the Highlands. This record also tells me that Frank's parents Donald and Margaret were deceased by the time Frank married.

Frank & Isabella marriage 20 Apr 1866
Frank and Isabella had three daughters, but sadly, Isabella died four days after the birth of her namesake, who herself died six weeks later.
  • Margaret Finlayson (1868-1887
  • Catherine (1869-1950)
  • Isabella (1871-1871)

The cause of Isabella's death was rheumatic fever.

Here is the page from Frank's bible recording his and Isabella's marriage and their children, as written by Frank.

Frank & Isabella and family
For 12 years, Frank was a single parent. The 1871 census for his household in Rafford, Morayshire, includes the name Catherine Matheson, who is identified as his sister-in-law and whose occupation is given as 'mother's wife' and her nine month old daughter, Margaret Matheson. Is 'mother's wife' a Highland term? Clearly, Margaret was helping to raise Frank's girls.

Only one of Frank's and Isabella's daughters lived to adulthood. Catherine (or Kitty as she was known), married Finlay Graham, a Glasgow police officer, the family story goes, on 2 Dec 1904. They had no children.

The never ending story continues...

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