The History of Leith

June 27, 2006

The Story of a Family in Leith

(To see the documents upon which this is based please go to the image gallery)

01 1869 marriage of John Lockhart to Marion Cumming Somerville
02 1871 census record of John Lockhart and family
03 1871 birth of Marion Cumming Lockhart
04 1873 marriage of Janet Lockhart to John Scott
05 1873 marriage of Thomas Lockhart to Marion Wilson Scott
06 1875 death of Andrew Scott
07 1876 marriage of James Greenfield to Agnes Susan Scott
08 1881 census transcript of John Lockhart and family
09 1890 death of John Lockhart
10 1891 census record of Marion Lockhart and family

Document 01 – 1869 Marriage
The Lockhart family had lived in Leith for only a short time. John, son of a farming family in Lanarkshire, had moved from there (for personal and/or or economic reasons) in the early eighteen fifties with his first wife, Elizabeth, and three children – John, Thomas and Mary. John had known hard times, but life seemed to be improving for him, and in economic respects would continue to do so. He had once worked as a weaver, but in Leith had found employment in the iron business. By 1859 he seems to have been managing an ironstone facility. Between 1854 and 1859, three more daughters were born, at Yard Heads and Pillans Place, South Leith – Janet or Jessie, Christina and Elizabeth.
Some time around 1865, Elizabeth, John’s wife, died. Marion, his second, had it seems recently acquired an interest in a wine and spirits business, and 33 Bridge Street was her address. John is described as ‘Manager of the ** Iron Company.
John’s father was Robert, and not Ronald Lockhart; mistakes are made only too easily, as I can testify from personal experience!

Document 02 – 1871 Census
The whole Lockhart family had moved into Bridge Street, which seems to have been a large property, housing several other families. Their accommodation is described as having five rooms with one or more windows – a size more appropriate to such a big and expanding family. Not only had John fathered another daughter, Helen, by Marion – with another on the way – but he had inherited three step-children. Also of note here is that Thomas is described as a boilermaker, having presumably served an apprenticeship. It was a job he would forsake, I believe (see below), temporarily for something else.

Document 03 – 1871 Birth
This was John’s second daughter by Marion – another Marion – referred to impersonally in the above paragraph.

Documents 04 – 1873 Marriage
On 16th February, Janet or Jessie, John’s second daughter, married John Scott, the son of a citizen of South Leith, Andrew Scott, variously described in official records as a ‘manufacturer of waterproof clothing’ or ‘hatter,’ and his wife, Georgina Wilson. The witnesses were Christina Lockhart, Janet’s younger sister and James Greenfield. This event was the beginning of an association between three families whose fates seem inextricably linked.

Document 05 – 1873 Marriage
The second marriage that year took place on 14th November. Thomas Lockhart, John’s second son, married Marion Wilson Scott, Andrew Scott’s elder daughter. Marion seems already to be already living at 33 Bridge Street, possibly because she was already pregnant – or because the whole Scott family had moved to that address (see below). It is significant that the groom is now a ‘bridge erector.’ Included in the expansion of Leith Docks about this time was the construction of a hydraulic swing bridge. Whatever Thomas’s involvement in that project was, and whatever engineering skills he possessed, he would later revert to his earlier profession, boilermaker, which, a decade later, he would be practising in Middlesex.
The male witness, or best man, was again James Greenfield.

Document 06 – 1875 Death
What Andrew Scott was doing at Bridge Street is not known. He may simply have been visiting. The Lockharts and the Scotts were probably on good terms since the marriage in 1873, or maybe had been friends for some time. It is also possible that Scott had moved in there with his younger daughter or with both (see above and below). After all, there were several houses at that address. [Any useful theories would be welcomed!!]

Document 07 – 1876 Marriage
On 29th September, James Greenfield married Agnes Susan, Andrew Scott’s second daughter.
James’s father, John Greenfield, a bricklayer and furnace builder, was born in Edinburgh around 1811 and was married to (another) Marion at St Cuthberts in 1848. The Greenfield origins are unclear; Greenfield is not a common name in Scotland, even today, though some early records do exist. Two theories are worth exploring: that the first Greenfields came to East Lothian as workers on the Tweeddale estate, or that they were seamen. There may be other explanations.
The exact date of James’s birth is not known, but was some time between October 1851 and January 1852. The family moved to Surrey but returned to Scotland in time to register the birth of their third child, Magdalane, in April 1856. James was by then four or five years old and already had one younger brother. By 1861, they were back in Leith, where they took up residence in Burns Street. By 1871, there were several other children. Some of those settled in Edinburgh.

Document 08 – 1881 Census Transcript
This shows the composition of the Lockhart family at this date.

Document 09 – 1890 Death
John Lockhart died on 27th December. John Greenfield, the informant, was not strictly the deceased’s son-in-law, (unless he had contracted a marriage I have not discovered). He was the second son of John Greenfield Senior, and James Greenfield’s younger brother. Both John Senior and James had died earlier in 1890, James before his father at the very young age of 38. The families had remained close for twenty years and, though scattered and separated by thousands of miles, several of their descendants still maintain contact today.

Document 10 – 1891 Census
Agnes Cumming, Marion’s daughter by an earlier relationship, has taken the Lockhart name. Jessie (Janet), John’s daughter by his first marriage, now Mrs Scott, is working in the ‘wines and spirits’ business. I do not know where John Scott was at this time, or whether alive or dead, but I believe that in 1881 he was lodging with Thomas and Marion Lockhart in Middlesex. Try finding John Scott in the records!!!
Marion retired and continued living at 33 Bridge Street until her death in 1902.

Quite literally, I owe my existence (half of it anyway) to 33 Bridge Street, North Leith. Thomas Lockhart, Marion Scott, James Greenfield and Agnes Scott were my great-grandparents. According to my count, they have about eighty living descendants scattered around the world today, and at least two in the pipeline, so to speak. There may be others I do not know about.

(c) Andrew Greenfield Lockhart
27th June 2006
reprinted by permission

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