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A wee bit of info to help you in your journey to discover your Scottish Ancestors and maybe even crack a brick wall or two!

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Tracing Their Tracks

I recently found a new search method and was playing around with names. The first one I entered, of course, was Hugh Crawford (the son) to see if I could find any more pieces to the puzzle of his life. Lo and Behold, I found him - and found his immigration papers to boot. I entered the names of Harry and this other two brothers, Joe & Tommy. I found Joe on the ships passenger lists. He came to Canada in 1929. He left Greenoch (port near Glasgow) aboard the SS Antonia on June 8, 1929. He landed in Quebec on June 16, 1929. A pretty quick passage for those days. He sailed third class and paid his own passage. He was destined for his brother Hugh who at the time was living in Windsor, Ontario. Windsor is on the border with Detroit, Michigan. Joseph lists his next of kin as his wife, Elizabeth (Lizzie). Their address in Scotland at the time was 7 Preston Street, Rosewell. I sent the information to Joe's son, Bob and learned that his dad came to visit in the US with either his brother Hugh or his cousin, Henry Fowler, who at that time was a butler for Henry Ford in Detroit. (Henry Ford actually lived in Dearborn Michigan - on the outskirts of Detroit).

Joseph's cousin, Henry Fowler, was already in the Detroit area and managed to get Joe a job. Not long after, Joe's wife, Liz arrived in the US and also worked for the Ford family.  While Joe & Liz were in America, their son Hugh and their daughter May were being looked after by Granny Mack at Forrestfield. It is thought that daughter Agnes may have been staying with Harry & Dora at that time.  Harry and Dora would already have had son Hugh, 6 months of age.

Armed with that information, I went looking for the cousin Henry Fowler. Remember we have no less than 37 Henry Fowlers in the family tree. However, narrowing it down to Henry Fowlers of the same age as Agnes' sons leaves us with about 15 to choose from. Joseph arrived in Canada in June 1929. The nearest census that would show Henry living in Detroit would be the 1930 census. I found him living in the Hazel Park area with his wife, Margaret and their two children, Joseph, aged 6 and Agnes, aged 2. A quick look through the family tree helped me pin Henry down to a couple of possibilities. I went searching for his ships list or his immigration papers and found him there as well. This Henry is the son of Granny Mack's brother, Joseph. Joseph married Granny Mack's sister in law, Agnes Crawford (sister of Hugh and daughter of Tom Crawford and Mary Ann Sherry). Joseph and Agnes' son Henry was born in 1901 in Caldercruix. He married Margaret Reid McKay. Margaret was also born in Caldercruix - in 1904. Henry emigrated to Canada aboard the SS Pretorian on January 28th 1920 along with his father, Joseph. Both men were destined to a Mr. Roberston in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Henry's Passenger Declaration has him destined to work at the Ridge Coal Company. This is the same Coal Company that Harry's brother Hugh went to work for when he landed in Canada 2 days prior on January 26, 1920.
At some point, Joseph returned to Scotland and remained there. Henry returned to Scotland as well and then came back to America on August 11, 1923. His wife, Margaret arrived a month later on September 26, 1923.
The 1930 census for the Hazel Park area of Michigan shows Henry and Margaret as home owners. Their home at that time was valued at $1,000. A fairly decent home. And likely one that would have enough room for visiting family members. Henry is listed as working in the auto industry. So, in stating that he worked for Henry Ford, it was more likely that he worked for the Ford Motor Company than for Mr. Ford himself. I have not been able to locate any census records listing a Crawford or a Fowler working as a servant in the Henry Ford household. (If one did, it wasn't during the time of a census). Mr. Ford's home was valued at $400,000 in 1930. One can only imagine the oppulence of his home!

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