Monday, 10 October 2016

Robert Alexander Young (1854-1915) of the Greenses in Berwick

My maternal great grandfather Robert Alexander Young, father of my grandmother Dorothy, was a railway man in Berwick-upon-Tweed in Northumberland on the border between England and Scotland. He was the second eldest of eight children born to Peter Cowe Young (1828-1903) and Elizabeth Diana Pattison or Patterson or Paterson (1830-1903).

The Young and Pattison names go back centuries in Berwick, as do all the names in my ancestry there. I've traced them back to the mid to late 1600s. They all had large families in each generation, and most stayed in the area. Apart from the name Robert, the families used the same names, generation to generation: Peter, George, Clement, Margaret, Henry.....

Researching these lines, I can say, is a challenge. I continue to explore these I actually have two Pattison lines in Berwick, and they must be related since the same names (Clement, Elizabeth) appear in both lines, about 100 years apart.

Berwick Advertiser, 26 Feb 1915
My great grandfather's generation was the first to stray from the main occupation in Berwick before the industrial age -- fishing. Robert worked for the North British Railway, first as a fireman when he was a young man, and eventually as an engine driver. I know from censuses completed from 1841 going forward that my Young ancestors were all fishers.

Above, you can see the notice that appeared in the local newspaper when Robert died in 1915.
Berwick Advertiser 5 Mar 1915

This is the note of thanks that my great grandmother Isabella Knox Young (1862-1937) placed following his death.

Many branches of the Young family (and there were many branches!) lived on the same streets in central Berwick: Low Greens and High Greens. Sometimes these streets were for simplicity sake, even in census and other official documents, just called the Greenses or the Greens.

The Youngs seem to have moved about from house to house, back and forth, street to street, judging from censuses, as family sizes grew and shrank. You'll see that reflected in these death notices for Robert's mother Elizabeth...

Berwickshire News 7 Apr 1903
Berwickshire News & General Advertiser 15 Dec 1903


  

...and for his father, Peter Cowe Young. Elizabeth died at one address, while Peter died nine months, one number over, across the street. No doubt Peter was living with other family after Elizabeth died earlier in the year. But isn't it nice how this happened -- family was always cared for and housed, is the impression that I get. There was always family close by.
Berwick Advertiser 21 Jan 1937
Berwick Advertiser 21 Jan 1937





My Youngs were still living in the Greens as late as the 1937 and beyond. After my great grandmother Isabella died in 1937, her son Peter (1904-?) placed this note of thanks and also this death notice in the same edition.

It's definitely a bygone era when family members lived close by each other. It must have been nice though, to be able to run a few doors down to chat with an aunt or see your gran.

The never ending story continues ....

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