Family History

This page is only as reliable as the information it receives. 

You are advised to check original sources wherever possible.

PLEASE NOTE: Links from this website to thumbnail images, followed by  * , indicate images that are held by SCRAN

Updated 27 September 2012

The Armadale Public School Roll of Honour

Click on image for detail

A warm welcome was assured at the Scottish Association of Family History Societies' 21st Annual Conference and Family History Fair, successfully hosted by West Lothian Family History Society on Saturday 17th April 2010 at Howden Park Centre, Livingston.

West Lothian Family History Society and their first Family History Roadshow at Armadale Library on Saturday 14 April 2007

Rhona Gordon and Helen Laing

Bill Williamson

Tom Smith and Wendy McGroarty

West Lothian Family History Society during Silver Surfers Week at Armadale Library in May 2008


Tom Harkness, Allan McMurchie, Derek Newton, Bill Paterson and Tom Smith

members of  the WLFHS who gave their valuable time to help local researchers

The WLFHS presentation Margaret Hadden demonstrates!
Tom Harkness and Bill Paterson investigate a query Sybil Cavanagh (left) at the Silver Surfers Family History session

The KERR Family of Armadale in 1900 at the back of Marchbank Cottage, East Main Street, which was built with Muir bricks for Muir Brickworks manager.
Robert (middle row left)
Davie (middle row second from left)
Abraham (middle of back row)
James (back row right)
Other members of the family: wife, Agnes; other sons: Thomas, John, William and George; daughters: Jane, Agnes, Isabella,
Davie was born c1856 in Duddingston, Midlothian, the son of Robert Kerr, bc1815 Dalmeny, a ploughman, and Jane, bc1813 Kirkliston
When Davie was young, the family (with other sons: James, John, Robert; and daughters: Janet, Ann and Jean) stayed at North Mains, Inverleith.
Originally a ploughman, Davie Kerr worked as the manager of Muir Brickworks at East Main Street and, although he retired at 70, he was called back to work for Etna Bricks.

On this page:

  • Researchers with Family Links to Armadale 

  • Useful Family History Research Links

  • Family History Software Links

  • Quotations from publications produced by The History of Armadale Association (My grateful thanks for their permission to include extracts.)

  • Assorted photographs which may be of interest to family researchers

  • See the POPULATION and the DEVELOPMENT pages for statistics and additional details about specific Armadalians

  • Useful Sources for Local History

Researchers with Family Links to Armadale

All new listings will have a non-clickable e-mail address unless otherwise instructed.

(The @ does not copy and paste into Outlook, so when you are typing out the address, don't forget to insert an @ sign!)

It's FREE to be listed here! Please e-mail Rosie



Jay: My great grandfather was William Hunter who was a manager at Loganlea colliery from 1905 to 1915 and then at Butress colliery from 1915 until he retired in 1924. His daughter Margaret Bisset Hunter was my grandmother and her husband was James Dalziel Brown Dymock who lived with his grandmother Mary Dalziel at Muirdykes farm. My father, his brother and sister were born in Armadale and went to Armadale public school.

I would be interested to know if anyone could give me more information on either the Hunters or the Dalziels.

I attach a photo of William Hunter with his family, my father being the little boy at the front of the photo.

My grandparents moved into Edinburgh around 1932, however my great grandmother Martha Hunter nee Simpson lived in Armadale until her death in 1943.

I typed out a copy of my great grandfather’s William Hunter’s Obituary which I hope you find interesting.

Copy of Obituary - 1928 - ? in West Lothian Courier 4th May 1928 for William Hunter:

"Death of Mr William Hunter - Retired Colliery Manager - An interesting Career

There has passed away in the person of Mr William Hunter, retired colliery manager, 18 Academy Street, Armadale, another member of the "old school" of Armadalians which is rapidly dwindling in numbers. Mr Hunter who had been in indifferent health for several years was conveyed to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary on Wednesday and his death took place on Thursday morning. The news of his demise came as a shock to his large circle of friends and caused general regret among the townspeople to whom he was well known, and who held him in high esteem.

Mr Hunter was 72 years of age, had a varied and interesting career. Born in Colinshiels, he began work at the age of 9 years in Woodend (No 3 (?) Colliery). Later he was employed at Cappers Colliery and when still in his twenties he was appointed underground manager at Butress Colliery which was owned successively by Monkland Company, Chapelhall Company, W. P. McLellend Company, Duncan and Company and he continued to do much useful work in this sphere until United Collieries Ltd came into being and absorbed most of the collieries in the district. United Collieries recognised his valuable services by appointing him in 1905 to the position of manager at Loganlea (No2) Colliery where he remained until 1915. Under his supervision the colliery prospered and so capable and sympathetic was he in handling affairs that trouble between the management and men was practically unknown. In 1915 Mr Hunter was appointed manager at Butress (No 15 ) Colliery and continued to serve in that capacity until his retirement from active service in 1924. He had a thorough knowledge of coal mining in all its phases and was ready and willing to appreciate the difficulties of the miners. He had the dual reputation of being a tried and trusted servant of the company and well-liked by the men under him, as was shown by the number of presents he received from officials and employees both at Loganlea and Butress Collieries.

Lover of Music. - Apart from mining Mr Hunter's keenest interest in life was music, he having been a member of the London Tonic Sol-Fa College. While under manager at Butress Colliery he was conductor of the juvenile choir in connection with Armadale Co-operative Society and produced most successful kinder-spiels for a number of years. For 10 years (1881 - 1891) he was Precentor in the Wesleyan Church, Armadale, and for four years thereafter occupied a similar position in the Whitburn U F Church. For seven years prior to his leaving to go to Loganlea, he was precentor and choirmaster in Armadale U F church. He produced many sacred cantatas and his abilities in this direction was readily recognised and much appreciated. While at Loganlea, he was an elder in Addiewell U F Church and on his return to Armadale was elected an elder of Armadale U F Church and remained one until his death.

Other Activities - Mr Hunter was one of the pioneers of the Co-operative movement in the district, having acted as treasurer to Armadale Co-operative Society for 4 years in all, 1899-1901, and1903-1905. He was also, for a period, a member of the Board of Management. In his younger days Mr Hunter took a deep interest in politics and local administration. He was a member of the Midlothian Liberal Association and from 1902-1904 he sat as a member of the Armadale Town Council and was an ex Bailie. During his stay at Loganlea, he served on the West Calder Parish Council, and sat on the old School Board.

Mr Hunter invented several appliances for use in the mines and was also well informed on astronomy. A non smoker and teetotaller, he was full of vitality and always applied his full energies to whatever work he was engaged upon.

Mr and Mrs Hunter celebrated their silver wedding 27 years ago but their golden wedding which fell due in October 1926 was not the occasion for a social gathering due to the illness of Mr Hunter.

He is survived by Mrs Hunter and a family of five sons and three daughters. The funeral took place at Bathgate Cemetery on Monday afternoon."

If you can help, please e-mail Rosie who will pass on any information to Jay.

posted September 2012


Lyn Tilbury, Dunedin, New Zealand: My great grandmother, Mary Mitchell Paton, née Baillie, died at 'Cathlaw', James St, Armadale, on 16 March 1953. I am trying to find her final resting place. Her husband, James Paton died in Torphichen on 3rd May 1889.

At one time, the couple ran the Burnside Inn in Torphichen (now Torphichen Inn).  On 8th November 1880, James Paton (24), Mary Paton née Mitchell Baillie (21), John Baillie Paton
Backside Cottage [ Mary's Mother ]: Elizabeth Melville Baillie (56), Jane (26), William (14), Elizabeth Marshall, granddaughter

James and Mary's daughter, Eliza Melville McNair, also died in James Street, Armadale, in 1953 at 'Benridge'.  Her son in law, a Marshall, was the informant of her death.  She was the widow of William McNair, a master builder.

My Dad, born 1911, came and stayed with Mary and worked over there when he left school. I remember him saying that he worked as a hooker.  He was back home in time to go to the second war.

I believe that James and Mary's son married Janet Hay.

If you can help, please email: letxtra.co.nz


As a result of her posting on this page, Lyn received information from various people including this very detailed one from Lorna Marshall, now in Yorkshire.  I would like to thank Lorna, and Lyn, for allowing me to post the following detailed account and photo:

Eliza McNair nee Paton

"I know TORPHICHEN very very well, Dad had the post office there for 10 years, which faces the TORPHICHEN Inn, there are still McNairs, Patons and Marshalls living there! On chatting to my Dad he believes that James Paton was buried in Torphichen and believes that Mary Paton, his Greatgrandma Paton (who he remembers very clearly) was buried in Woodend Cemetery ARMADALE, certainly William McNair and Eliza were both buried there. We knew about Mary (May) who died as a child, I remember my Grandmother talking about her. I was very close to Grandma so have a bit of knowledge of the family.

In ARMADALE the family all lived in James Street and the crossing street George Street. Cathlaw was a large semi detached family villa built by David and William McNair. Great Uncle James bought it when he married Aunt Jessie and James, Mary and Harry all lived there. Mary, moved to ARMADALE and lived in a flat above William McNair's building office, Eliza was the only [one] of the children around at this time as John had moved to NZ and James was in the Navy. My Dad remembers her as a formidable woman who no one dared cross. She had a fall lighting the gas lights and broke her hip, at that time she moved into Cathlaw with James and Jessie and died there.

Eliza and William McNair lived 4 houses further down the street in Glenavon, a very grand house build by William McNair for his family. Jane (Jean), Eliza (Betty) and Lillian were all brought up there and the three girls were very beautiful. All skilled musicians and seamstresses. William insisted they were all educated and all three went on to be teachers until they married and remained very close all their days. Lillian married James Carlaw, they had one daughter Ann and lived in Edinburgh. Eliza (Betty) married Robert Simpson (Robin) they had three children Elizabeth, Adam and Janine they lived in Fife. Jane (Jean), my Grandmother, married David Marshall and moved across the street to live all her married life in Benridge, James Street. She died in 1996, and was a wonderful woman. I was fortunate to know her as a friend as well as a Grandmother. They had two sons, William Branks McNair Marshall...., my Dad, and David Stein Marshall..... Also in James Street lived my Grandfather's sister Liza, lived opposite James and Jessie. The Marshall business a fruit merchants was based in George Street at the bottom of James Street and my Mum and Dad lived in George Street as well. It was a great place to grow up with so many relatives around.

I remember being about 8 and playing out. Desperate for the loo I ran into Aunt Jessie and Uncle James house, we always went into the kitchen at Cathlaw, never the front rooms. They had a toilet just off the kitchen and I stood desperately asking if I could use the toilet while both being very deaf asked how everyone was, said how lovely it was to see me, how were my new roller skates etc etc. Being too polite to just cut them off and run to the loo I vividly remember wetting myself there standing in the kitchen....ha ha ha. "

Posted 19 May 2012


Jan Palmer: I'm tracking any information that will help with my family history.

I know my great grandfather was Henry Halbert FORSYTH.  He was born around 1867 in Armadale.  He left Scotland in 1929 to join some of his children in Chicago.  His mother was Helen BINNIE and his wife was Mary Forsyth.  I visited Mary's grave in Broxburn in 2011.

If you can help, please email: janicempearthlink.net

Posted 9 April 2012


Henry EDWARDS b1827, d1875 Armadale, married, 1847 N Wales, Margaret ROBERTS b1827 Flintshire, d1891 43 East Main St, Armadale.  Their son, Esau b1853 Bathgate, d1900,  married 1873, Margaret KERR b1855, d1932.  Son Henry b1889, d1943 at 5 Wardrop  Crescent, Armadale, married 1895, Elizabeth MARSHALL b1895 d1974.

Son Esau b1915 Armadale, d1989, married 1941, Marion Young Graham BENNETT b1919 d1997.

Daughter Janet EDWARDS born 1942? died 2009?

Daughter Elizabeth EDWARDS. Married John AGNEW. 2 sons.

Son Henry EDWARDS. Married Ada FOSTER. 2 sons Graeme and Brian.

I would like to thank Brian Edwards for this update on the Edwards family. 

My thanks to Kenneth for the most recent update, Rosie:

"The plot is in Boghead Cemetry, Bathgate. .... Nearby there is also a plot for William EDWARDS, the purchaser of Armadale Inn in 1858, who was the brother of our direct ancestor Henry EDWARDS. The EDWARDS family came from North Wales to Armadale around 1850."

Updated and posted 24 March 2012; updated September 2012


Greg Muir: My grandfather was born in Armadale in 1914. His name was Andrew Muir. He and his family moved to Toronto, Canada, around 1928. His father’s name was James.
Andrew had brothers named Bill and James and had a sister named Isabelle.

Has anyone got any information about the family?  Are there any Muir descendants still in the area?

If you can help, please email: Greg_Muirirco.com

Posted 24 March 2012


Margaret Bartlett: Regarding my father's roots in Armadale, my grandfather's name was Alexander Turner who was married to Jean née McIver and they lived at Craigengall Farm.

My father, David Turner, was born in 1906.  He married Minnie in September 1933 at Ecclesmachen church.  For possibly one year after the marriage they also lived at Craigengall.  As my eldest brother was born in England in 1934, they didn't stay long in Scotland after the marriage.

At the time of my father's birth, my grandfather was listed on the birth certificate as 'pithead worker', but then, in 1933, when my mother and father married, my father's occupation was 'ploughman' and my grandfather's as 'brickwork labourer'.  Do you know who owned the farm?

My mother was also born in Armadale and lived on East Main Street.  She was born 7th July 1911.  Her father was William Harrison, a coal miner, and her mother was called Maggie.  They had 11 children: Margaret b1906; Susan b1908; Janet b1910; Minnie b1911; Annie b1912; Emily b1914; Elizabeth b1919; Joan b1922; William b1924; Martha b1925; James b1930.  By 1933, my grandparents, the Harrisons, had moved to James Place, Threemiletown.

Does anyone know anything about Craigengall Farm and its owner at that time or any additional information about the families mentioned? 

If so, please email: Margaret65aol.com

Posted February 2012


Joan Bryans from Vancouver: My Grandfather was James Alexander Bryden who had the drapery shop in West Main Street. I'm trying to find out how long the shop was there and also the exact address.

I know they lived at 1 North St. in 1896 (when my father was born) and that they then moved to 39 West Main Street. Was this above the shop?

If you can help, please email: j.bryanstelus.net

Since Joan wrote, she has been told that James Bryden, draper, was elected as an Armadale Commissioner in 1893, and there was a Bryden family living in Bloomfield Place, Bathgate.  Can anyone supply any more information? Rosie

More information has arrived with photos.  Can anyone help with the missing names? 

Joan wrote about the photo above:

"taken in Armadale... probably around 1905/6. The young boy at the front is my Dad and the young girl may be his sister Effie, but who are the rest? Anyone recognize anyone?"

and about the photo below:

"the attached photo of my grandfather's shop in Armadale.... the picture was taken in about 1899 (I'm going by the age of the baby) and features, left to right, my grandfather James Alexander Bryden, his son (my father) John Bryden, his wife Maggie (née Aiton) holding their daughter Effie. Who the woman on the right is I don't know."

Posted January 2012


Agnes MacDonald: Re: Elizabeth, illegitimate daughter of the poet Robert Burns.

I have been told by a member of my family that a great aunt of mine is related to the poet. She married my great uncle, Henry Smith on 3 Jan 1930 in Armadale, and on their marriage certificate it states that his wife was Mary Bishop formerly Millar. Her parents were William Miller and Elizabeth Stewart McIlroy. I have been unable to trace the information which would confirm that Mary is in fact a relation of Robert Burns.

If you can help, please email: amacdxsinet.co.za

Robert Burns museum

Posted January 2012


Re Tom and Bill Smellie and the Mallons

Ethel Mallon

Adele Cosgrove: 'I have inherited a collection of Post Cards belonging to my grandmother and her sister Ethel. Until recently I only looked at the picture and have just begun to read the messages. I have found it all very interesting. To date I have found five Cards from Tom Smellie of Armadale but know little more about him except the mention of Bill going to London who I have assumed is his brother or best friend. The dates on the Cards seem to be 1904 and 1905.

I would love to know if there is family still living in Armadale and if they would like copies of these cards that I would be happy to forward. It would be great to have a photograph of Tom and maybe some history; maybe even something writing by my great aunt to Tom!'

If you would like to contact Adele, please email Rosie

Posted 6 December 2011


Re Tommy HARRIS and the Nu Notes

'I am Agnes MacDonald (née Harris). I have been in your great website - it is amazing - and came across the section re the bands. I can fill you in a bit on the abovementioned band - the Nu Notes. My Dad, Tommy Harris, was the leader of this band. He was the trumpeter. I am not sure of the exact date he started up this group but I think I am safe in saying early to mid 50's. The band played at the Norbury in Union Road, Bathgate for some time and I think he also played at the Palais in Jarvey Street, Bathgate at some time. Other members of his band were: Jimmy Smith (from Bathgate) - saxophone, Davie Bryce (from Bathgate) - drummer, Jenny McClure (Armadale) - pianist/accordionist, and Frank Knox (Armadale) - saxophone. My father filled in as vocalist.

The band played at Wee Sanny's in Armadale (run by Sanny Gorman). This is where I met my husband, Malcolm MacDonald who stayed in Barbauchlaw Avenue at the time - August 1954. We got married in 1958 and lived in West Main Street, Armadale, and then in Mayfield Drive, Armadale.

We moved to South Africa in 1981 with our son and daughter. We are connected to the Torrie, McIndoe, Smith, Whitefield, Harris and Thomson families from Armadale.

I am sorry I have no pictures of the band.

Wishing you all a Merry Xmas and a Prosperous and Healthy New Year.'

If you have any other information / photos / memories of the band, or if you would like to contact Agnes MacDonald, please email Rosie

Posted 5 December 2011


Sally Harris:  I have been researching my family for over 30 years and have made several trips to Scotland. Now, I would like to put this information together.  What I have not been able to find are old pictures of any Ballochs (Bullochs) of the area (Armadale and Bathgate) who were my relatives.

Here are some of the family members I have information on.
Last Name, First, Life Span, Place of Death
Balloch Alexander 1859-1862 Scotland
Balloch James 1835-1899 Scotland
Balloch Alexander before 1835 Scotland
Balloch Matthew B 1861-1915 Manitoba, CA
Balloch Matthew 1890-1933 Scotland
Balloch James Russell 1886- Australia
Balloch Charles 1887-1978 Manitoba, CA
Balloch William 1892-1933 USA
Balloch Christina 1894-1997 USA
Balloch Alexander 1901-1977 USA
(Russell) Balloch Elizabeth Scott 1805-1851 Scotland
Russell Jean Brown 1776- Scotland
Russell Elizabeth 1905-1994 Scotland
(Russell) Balloch Janet Hailstones 1857-1927 Scotland
Baxter Christina 1838-1897 Scotland
Brown Jane 1864-1925 Manitoba, CA
Herd Janet 1884-1963 Scotland

If you can help, please email: SalHarrisaol.com

Posted September 2011


Karen Thomson née Brown: I am doing some research into my family (Brown) who lived at 10 Engine Street, Bathgate, Armadale from the 1800s.

I have gathered quite a few details and was wondering whether there are any of the family left in the area. Below are some names that I have researched for your information:

George Brown (1882–1953) son of Thomas Brown and Jane Brown (née Boyle), husband of Helen Brown (née Mularkie), lived at 10 Engine Street, Bathgate. He was father of Nellie Brown, Thomas George Brown (married to Agnes Hervey), Jane Brown born 1910 and Brown born 1915.

My father Patrick Brown is the son of John Brown. We have no information on Nellie, Jane and John Brown and would love to know if they are still around or had some children.

Any information would be much appreciated.

If you can help, please email: dayneandkarengmail.com

Posted August 2011, email updated September 2012


Additional data re Brown Family Tree

George Brown b1837, married Ann Reesan who later divorced and married Mr McTeague – then known as Ann McTeague
1. Thomas Brown b1858

Thomas Brown b1858 married Jane Boyle b1858, died 1886 - 1890, on 18/11/1875 at St Margaret's Roman Catholic Church, Airdrie

Thomas Brown had 7 children in 2 marriages.
1. Mary Brown b1876 – No information
2. Jane Brown b1879 – No information
3. George Brown b1881
4. Neil Brown b1885 – 1920 married Rose Nagle and lived with brother George at 10 Engine Street, Bathgate during the 1911 census aged 25.

Thomas Brown married Hannah McPhee/McFee b1867 on 1/01/1890 at the Roman Catholic Church, Bathgate
1. Thomas Brown b1891– No information
2. John Brown b 1892 – No information
3. Peter Brown b 1897/8 – No information

Hannah Brown née McPhee/McFee had an illegitimate daughter, Annie McFee born 6 April 1886.  She lived with Thomas Brown during the 1901 Census at 15216 Durhamtown, Bathgate.  Hannah Brown née McPhee/McFee died in 1898 presumably at the birth of Peter Brown her youngest son.

George Brown b1881, d1953, married Helen Mularkie b1881 on 27/07/1905 at the Roman Catholic Church, Bathgate
1. Nellie Brown b1907 married George Prentice and lives in Canada – 1 daughter, Barbara, 2 sons
2. Thomas George Brown b1908, d1938 – Carcinoma of Kidney, married Agnes Harvey b1916, d1939 – suicide/drowned, had 1 son, Thomas Brown, b1938
3. George Brown b1909, d1911 aged 2 – Whooping Cough Pneumonia
4. Jane Brown b1910, d1911 aged 9 months – Whooping Cough Convulsions
5. John Brown b1915 – emigrated to South Africa


David Broughton, Beverly, Massachusetts, USA: I am 2nd great grandson of David Kerr (b1856) through my mother who is a Kerr by birth.

I was fascinated to see the photographs as well as read the biographies on all the Kerr Clan. If anyone has any more information on him or his family I would be interested to know.
I'm also looking for information/photographs on his parents Robert Kerr/Jean Gardiner.

If you can help, please email: davidbroughtonlive.com

Posted August 2011


James S. Laird: My grandfather William Laird I believe  was born 7/08/1885. He married Agnes Lambie at West Church in Armadale, Scotland 06/12/1908. I believe he had at least one brother who travelled with him to the States and he may have had a sister who ended up in New Zealand or Australia.
He travelled to the States in 1913, with his dear wife following a short time after.
My grandfather went on to have 10 children: 8 girls and 2 boys. My father Ivan Laird had two sons, William and myself; his brother William had 1 adopted daughter. I know nothing of probably his brother Robert who died in the mines here in Indiana not long after making their way to the States, unsure if he had any children. When I was growing up there was 1 Laird in the directories, now I meet them in the streets and many more are listed in the directories. My Detroit Tigers Catcher was a Laird, now Martin Laird the golfer!
I know my grandfather sang often and he also played the horn. Seems to me he had mentioned something about playing in a band in Scotland. His daughters and sons all sang in the church choir.
He worked until he was 75 as a boiler operator. He often talked of the terrible working conditions in the mines but said anything is possible if he could end up walking the beaches of sunny Florida in the early 1960s. He travelled around the world at age 88 on his own. Surprisingly his last stop was in Scotland. He said he walked to the middle of town where the boys would meet and noted that not too many fellahs were walking about.
If you can help, please email: jimlchartermi.net
William was born in Torphichen to William (b. c1856 Airdrie) and Mary Laird, who moved to Woodend Rows and later to 6 Academy Street, Armadale, where in 1901 were also Agnes (17), Robert (14), Isabella (11), Helen (10), Mary (8) and Barbara (4) Laird. His father was also a William Laird (b. c1832 Uphall) who married Isabella.
There are the Laird sisters, singers of Academy Street, Armadale, who performed nationally and eventually emigrated to America.

Posted 30 April 2011


George Wardlaw Lawson: I am interested in finding out anything about Peter Wardlaw and Janet Brown married Armadale 1864 and their offspring: George, Margaret, Peter, John, Janet, Agnes and Walter.  Also George Wardlaw and Agnes Tweedie married Armadale 1890 and their offspring: Rachel, Janet, Elizabeth, Agnes and Peter.  I would particularly like to hear from any descendants still in the area.

If you can help, please email: djgeorgekuteblueyonder.co.uk

Posted 20 December 2010


Christine D. Maxwell: I have recently become interested in my father's history, and know that he was the son of William and Isabella Maxwell.

They were married in 1909, at which time William lived on Park Terrace in Armadale and Isabella Mallace Leckie lived on Hardhill Terrace.  My father was born in 1911 and may have attended the local school in Armadale.  William, his father, was a coal miner.  My father, an only child, was also known as William Maxwell.
Do the addresses above still exist?     Are there any photos of school attendees at the time or school records?  I believe the family emigrated to Australia in the early 1920s, and that William senior and Isabella may have died there.
If anyone has any information about the family I would love to hear from them.  My father always spoke of being from Glasgow, so I am wondering whether they moved there from Armadale before going to Australia?  Any information about Isabella Leckie's family would be welcome as well as William Maxwell's.

If you can help, please email: cmaxwelltrentu.ca

Posted November 2010, Updated 7 December 2010 with surname correction


Aileen Sinclair wrote to ask for help in tracing some information about her granddad (her father's father), Edward Murphy, who died in a Woodend Pit accident.  According to NAS records, we were able to tell her that there was a Fatal Accident Enquiry about his accident, when he was struck by a rake of empty hutches on No 2 Mine, Woodend Colliery and that he died the same day, on 19 March 1964, at Bangour Hospital.

Aileen told us that her father, who lived in Greig Crescent at the time of his death, had a best friend called Eddie Welsh.  She asked us if there are any old pictures possibly of her grandfather and friends as her father has none.

If you can help, please email: aileensinclairhotmail.co.uk

Posted 14 October 2010

The GRAHAM family of Woodend Farm

We would like to thank John Graham and Anne Murray for allowing us to post his life story on the Armadale website.  We have found it to be a fascinating story of the social history of the area, and particularly Woodend, and we're sure that readers will enjoy reading it also. If your family lived in the area, you may find a reference to them! Contact details for John Graham are on the page: The Life of John Graham



Sue Chitty from Marseille, France: I'm trying to find out about my father, whom I never met. I only knew his name (which helped because he had three Christian names) and I knew his approximate date of birth.

From his birth certificate,  I find that he was born in North Street, Armadale (then in the county of Linlithgow) on 10th December 1913. His name was Thomas Henry Ross Watson, and his parents were Samuel Watson, listed as a coal miner, and Agnes Watson, née Sheddon (SNEDDON). They were married on 26th February 1910.

My father left my mother before he knew I was on the way, although he was also the father of my two older sisters. It leaves a huge gap in your life, and I feel I've been looking all my life for that missing link.

email: psalm122v6_9yahoo.co.uk

Research following this email has revealed the following about her grandmother's roots:

Peter Sneddon b 10 March 1810, bap 8 April,  West Linton, Mid Lothian, an ironstone miner, married 1835 at West Linton Elizabeth bc1812 Lasswade, Midlothian.  Peter was possibly the son of James Sneddon b1785, d1835, and Elizabeth Paterson b1778, d1851, and that he was one of up to 11 children.  His death is recorded as 1873 Armadale.

In 1851, they were living with their children in an area called Rawyards (?New Monklands) in Lanarkshire and Peter was a coal miner.  Their children were: Janet, an agricultural labourer, bc1833 Inveresk Midlothian; Betty, general servant, bc1835 New Monkland, Lanarkshire; James, general servant b1839 Clackmannshire; Susan bc1844 Old Monkland, Lanarkshire; Cathrine bc1848 Shotts, Lanarkshire; Peter b1851 (one month old) New Monkland, Lanarkshire. 

In 1861, Peter=Elizabeth were living in Armadale in miners' cottages at 32 Polkemmet Row with two sons: James b1839, an iron stone miner, and Peter, b1851, scholar.

In 1871, James b1839 was still a miner, living at 4 Polkemmet Row with his wife Margaret b1844 Chapelhall, Lanarkshire, and two children: Peter bc1866 Armadale and Mary N. b1869 Armadale.

In 1871, James's parents, Peter=Elizabeth, were still in Armadale.  Peter was still an ironstone miner.  They were living with son Peter, b1851, an ironstone miner, and grandson Peter bc1866.  (Perhaps this Peter is visiting...)

In 1881, Peter b1851, was living on McDonalds Land at Main Street, Armadale with his wife Elizabeth bc1852 Newbattle, and their children Georgina bc1878 Bathgate and Peter bc1880 Bathgate. 

In 1881, Peter bc1863-1866 Armadale was a coal miner living with his mother Elizabeth in the Armadale area.

In 1891, Peter  bc1866 was a coal miner living at 70 West Main Street, Armadale, with his wife Agnes bc1863/4 and their children: Jeanie bc1886; Maggie bc1889, Agnes b1890 (9 months old).

In 1901, Peter Sneddon bc1866, coal miner, was living at 4 North Street, Armadale, with his wife Agnes H bc1863/4 Armadale and their children Jeanie, housekeeper,  bc1886 Armadale; Maggie bc1889 Armadale, scholar; Agnes b1890 Armadale, scholar; Mary bc1893 Stirlingshire; Catherine bc1895 Stirlingshire; James A bc1897 Stirlingshire; Peter bc1900 Bathgate, plus a boarder called Alex Davidson, a miner from Fifeshire.

I believe Agnes b1890 Armadale married Samuel Watson in 1910.

Posted 6 June 2010


Above: Margaret's class in Primary 1 or 2. She was the tallest girl in the middle row! The date is around 1941/42.

Left and above: Margaret and her brother, Bob, with their grandmother Jean Beatson in the garden at Calder Crescent.

Below: Margaret's brother Bob (Bobby) and her cousin Tommy at the gala in 1937.


Margaret Beatson Sloane née Smith

Both sides of my family, the BEATSON / HARRIS family and my father's family (SMITH) had connections with Armadale and had lived there since 1900 and 1868 respectively. My mother, Margaret BEATSON was visiting a cousin Jim HARRIS in the mid 1920s  when she met my father Robert SMITH, called Bob or `Kilt`, born in Armadale 1899. He worked at the Atlas Foundry and his father, William SMITH, was possibly a miner. They lived at Gladstone Terrace or Place. My mother and father emigrated to Canada but returned to Armadale in 1936. Sadly, my mother died shortly after that in 1937. I have a memory that she may be buried in Boghall Cemetery in Bathgate. I lived at 57 Calder Crescent until 1942 with my maternal grandmother, Jane ( Jean ) BEATSON.  We moved to Dundee to live with my mother`s family.

I have lots of memories of Armadale and have attached some photographs which may be of interest.

Unfortunately I lost touch with much of my Armadale family so would welcome any contact or news.

email: msloaneblueyonder.co.uk

Posted 8 May 2010

Photos added 14 May 2010


I would like to thank Andy for allowing the website to display his photos as well as the account written by John Leslie.  I think readers will agree that it is a fascinating and valuable document because of the eighteenth century world of work that it reflects. Rosie

Andy Brownlie

I have a copy of a transcription (done by my grandfather I believe) of an account of the Tannoch LESLIE family written by a John LESLIE born 1800. He was the son of John Hope LESLIE, and in his account, he describes how his father was baptised at a time when old Lord Hopeton was there for the shooting, and his lordship "begged his name".

John Leslie states in the account that his grandfather, and his greatgrandfather before him, were tenants at Tannoch. The transcription names the grandparent as Patrick LESLIE and Janet WARK, and states that the family consisted of four sons and one daughter, the three other sons being George, Peter and James (who mysteriously "all stopped at Grangemouth till they died").

Checking of the Torphichen OPRs, however, reveals that:

22 Aug 1771: To John Leslie and Janet Wark in Tannock, a son called Patrick. Witnesses George Leslie and David THOMSON.
18 Jun 1773: To John Leslie and Janet Wark in Tannick, a son called George. Witnesses George Leslie his brother and Robert BURNS.
29 July 1777: To John Leslie and Janet Wark in Tannick a son called James. Witnesses James PENDER and Helen BAILLIE.
14 April 1779: To John Lesilie (sic) and Janet Wark a daughter called Elizabeth. Witnesses John PENDER and David CROMBIE.

Points to ponder:
1. John Hope Leslie's birth does not appear to have been registered. Was that because Lord Hopeton appeared at the baptism and made it legal by his presence?
There is certainly a gap in the years of the births (1775) which could have been the year of his birth.

2. His father seems to have been John, and not Patrick. Was there a transcription error from the original document perhaps? Was Patrick the great grandfather's name perhaps? (There is no trace of the original, just the typed transcript). It is clearly the same family, and the three brothers are the same (allowing a Patrick for a Peter).

email: andy.brownlieblueyonder.co.uk

The remains of Tannoch Farm

Above Andy Brownlie, below Tom Leslie, on their visit to the site of Tannoch Farm



Posted 14 May 2010


Ken Thompson from the Lake District:

"I used to live with my parents at Bedlormie Toll (between Blackridge and Forrestfield) between 1950s and up until about 1963 and I worked for Jim KIRKWOOD at the Baads farm. The house is now obviously demolished and, of course, a new bridge is being built there due to the new rail link being constructed.

Does anyone know the history of the house? I know it was owned by the JACKS of Forrest Farm up by Cairneyhill Quarry, Forrestfield.

Grateful for any information."

email: kenmthompsonmsn.com

Posted 22 April 2010


Alison KELLY

Allison,  daughter of Robert MARSHALL  and Elizabeth Smart MARSHALL née McNAMEE would like to make contact with any relatives that are still living in Armadale. 

email: allison.kellybtinternet.com

Posted February 2010



Alan is interested in discovering more about the Armadale members of his family tree, particularly Margaret PEDEN (née GIBSON) who married a Robert Thomas PEDEN, son of Alexander and Isabella PEDEN who lived in West Main St, Armadale.

email: alan.dohertyblueyonder.co.uk

Posted 14 February 2010


Debra Marion TODD

She is seeking her father William (Billy) TODD, b 6 July, who grew up in Armadale, and other family members (a brother, perhaps two sisters). 

email: dparkparkeraol.com

Posted 20 January 2010


Kenneth FORRESTER from Musselburgh wrote to say:

"I lived at the time in James Street.  I was also in the Boys Brigade, Alex Notman was our captain.  Other names were Walter Notman, James Wotherspon and another was Lundie (I can't remember his first name) and Tom and Colm Dowie.  Yes, I knew Billy and Jimmy Wood very well.  They were a good help to our 1st Armadale Company.  I knew Davie Kerr and Robert Kerr as well.  My friend Dougal Somerville who passed away a few months ago was also in the BBs.  I sometimes come through Armadale because I had good and happy times there..." 

Posted 11 July 2009    


Jean HARDIE née McGILLIVRAY from Winnipeg wrote to say:

Some time ago I made contact with George ARCHER re his mother Chrissie BAIRD but we seem to have lost email addresses.

If possible will you mail me George?

posted 23 November 2009

I have Jean's email address and can put you in touch. Rosie


Previous messages:

"I continue to enjoy your website and I am particularly interested in the renewing of the station and rail line to Edinburgh.
It appears as if the area will be well populated unlike the years I lived there when the last house on the road up was DUNLOP's until reaching Tam DOW the scrap merchant. LAUDER's post office and the BOYDs in Cappers farm, as well as BOYD and BROWN in the Polkemmet Cottages.
Thanks for keeping this site so up to date." Posted 3 July 2009

" I am Jean McGillivray and love to read over the Armadale website but know very few people as we arrived at the station in 1936 and left eight years later to go to Linlithgow. One name I recognise is Charlie COLQUHOUN. We went to the first year at the Lindsay High in 1939 and he used to pick up the papers at the station. School friends I remember are Helen MUNRO, Chrissie BAIRD and Nancy McINTYRE who is in Toronto. I now live in Winnipeg, Canada and have been here since 1951. I would be happy to hear from anyone who remembers me."  If you would like to contact Jean, email:  arjay208mts.net 

Posting updated 9 April 2009


Bob OWENS who left his Scottish home in 1974, and now stays in Melbourne, Australia, wrote to the website:

"I was just browsing, and I thought I would look up Ogleface Quarry, this was started by my father Evan and his two brothers Bob and Richard, the latter married a local girl, Bella FOULTON of Blackridge. I believe the quarry failed owing to the depression 1926. 

My dad, Evan, is third from the left, arms folded, uncle Bob is the one enjoying the cup of tea, with his collar and tie no less. I think the elderly gentleman standing second left is Cha DENHOLM from Woodend, and the group may contain one Sandy SWARBECK.
Dad told the story of coming home with two shillings and sixpence for the week's wages; mum told him to keep it.
They were married New Year's Day 1919, and took up house at Quarry Buildings, Blackridge, long gone, the corner of Bedlormie Drive and Main Street.  

Give my regards to the Dale"

posted 26 November 2009


Help Needed!  Do you remember The Keynotes of the 1960s?

I would like to thank Joyce McLaren, daughter of Davy GIBSON, for supplying five photos, one of which is shown below. All the photos are shown on the Bands Index Page. If you can name any unidentified members of the bands shown in the photos, or if you have any other information / photos / memories of them, please Contact Rosie

Third from left Vince EZZI, fourth from left George HUNTER and second right Davy GIBSON, others are unknown, The band member second from the left could be Alex THOMSON.

posted 26 November 2009


Jim Nimmo of Australia

I was born and raised in Avondale Crescent  Armadale West Lothian. Currently living in Adelaide South Australia/Australia

I note with interest photographs of Armadale school football teams.   On one photo it included the name of Jim Nimmo This was not myself although I did play for the school and also for the county team.  The year would have been approximately 1962 /63 ?  [Update 11 November 2009: That was another Jim Nimmo - my thanks to those who contacted me! Rosie]

Adelaide has become the home of many ex Armadale folks.

  • Betty MAXWELL (née REID) 

  • Cath POLLAND

  • Danny POLLAND (now deceased) husband of Cath.  Danny was a baker at the Co-op

  • Ross HUTTON (now deceased)

  • Bill (William) CURRY


  • The THOMPSON family - who owned the garage on West Main Street and were stock car racers

  • Raymond NIMMO

  • May MORTON

  • George NIMMO (deceased)

  • Lizzie NIMMO (née MAXWELL - husband of George )

These are a few that come to mind. I left Scotland at the age of 17 years and have been back to Scotland on at least 4 occasions whilst my parents were alive.

I would be interested to hear from any old school / football friends.

My email address is jim.nimmo1@optusnet.com.au

posted 7 November 2009


Aylene Gardiner from Italy:

I am searching for information on Robert SMITH (c1873 - 1934); Gladstone Terrace; miner & political agent,  Provost of Armadale.

I think he may have been the father of my grandmother, Mary Calder SMITH, who was the illegitimate daughter of Marion AITKEN, domestic servant, and Robert SMITH, miner of Armadale.  Mary was born born at 6am on 6 July 1888 at Glenbrook, Currie.
I have his signature on the birth certificate and have been trying to find any other information I can about him. A document signed by him would be a great help and I was hoping that if he was Provost of Armadale then maybe there is a signature somewhere?  I believe Robert married Williamina MARTIN from Whitburn and they had at least 4 children.

email: aylenegardinermac.com

posted 2 October 2009


Frankie 'Maxwell' Goebel from Florida:

My Great Grandfather Robert MAXWELL was married to Janet McEWAN and they lived in Armadale during the early 1890's they lived at 117 West Main Street and he was a coal miner. His brother George MAXWELL also lived in Armadale (Bathgate) and was married to Mary McCORRIE.

email: livinwellcfl.rr.com

posted 14 September 2009


Dianna Norton sends greetings from North Ogden, Utah!
I am searching for relatives. My great-grandmother was born in Armadale, Bathgate, West Lothian, Scotland.  Her name was Jeanne Campbell, born to Thomas Campbell and Elizabeth Smith. Born in 1865.  Are there any living relatives in the area?
If you would like to be put in touch with Dianna, e-mail Rosie

posted 1 September 2009


Graham Marshall is enquiring about two family groups.

My father, William MARSHALL was born in Armadale in 1925 and the family lived at Church Place. He and his younger brother, John, attended school in the village and their father, William MARSHALL, born in Bathgate in 1892, was a foreman at the Atlas Steelworks. The family association with the village was, sadly, curtailed when William died in  Armadale on 1 March 1933 and my grandmother moved back to Edinburgh where her family lived.  Does anyone recognise any of the people in the photos?

A law firm in Singapore  was founded by a distant relative, a Torphichen AITKEN. He attended Bathgate Academy and they had a portrait of him, now apparently mislaid. The boy did well and his firm celebrates its 135th anniversary in November. The firm would love to have a copy of the portrait.  Does anyone know where a copy might be found?

email: worldlywandererhotmail.com

Above: William Marshall “and pals”
Right: William Marshall, possibly outside 6 Church Place.

Below: The Marshall family lived in a company house whose last rent receipt for 6 Church Place is shown.
Right: Willie Marshall b1925, his brother John b1928, and two pals, Joe  and George. They lived around Church Place. Probably all their fathers worked for the Atlas.


You may remember that Tom ALLAN, formerly of High Academy Street, wrote to us as he wanted to make contact again with the friends he left behind when he left Armadale for Toronto in February 1957: Charles FLYNN, Robert FRIEL, Tommy SNEDDON, Tom GRAHAM, Mary STEWART.  He sent us a 1950s photo (above) that had been treasured over the years, showing Charles Flynn on the left, Tom Allan, Tom Graham and Tom Sneddon.  It's always good to hear of a happy ending when people post requests.  We're delighted that Tom Allan and Tommy Sneddon were able to meet again after 50 years (2008).  Tommy would like to thank the people that let him know about the posting on this website: "Thanks Mary and Allison."



Alistair Adams is researching the ADAMS family.  His great-grandfather, John Hunter ADAMS, was the twin of Mark ADAMS, born 1843 in Dalkeith.  Francis Dickson ADAMS was Mark's son.  Francis Dickson ADAMS and Jessie (Bryce) ADAMS were the parents of Mark ADAMS who lived in Dougans Square, Armadale and died in 1988.

Are you a descendant?  Do you have information to share?  You can contact Alistair through his interesting website where he has added family and social history and photographs:


Posted 25 May 2009


Armadale Gala Committee are looking for relatives of the first Queen (1911), Janet Russell McLEAN who was born in South Street in 1897. Her mother, Janet MIDDLETON, married John McLEAN, but he died and she married James LOVE. Janet was sometimes known by that name.
Janet married Walter FRASER, a steel moulder form Unity Terrace, in 1917 and may have had a child later the same year, also Janet.
Sadly, the first Armadale Gala Queen died at the age of 21 in 1918.
If you have information about Queen Janet, the Gala Committee would really appreciate hearing from you.

email: stuartborrowman@btinternet.com

Posted 18 May 2009


Pam Chetland is interested in the HONEYMAN / Carron Ironworks connection.

My g-g-g-grandmother was a Margaret HONEYMAN b abt 1770. I have her parents as William HONEYMAN and Helen BRYCE but this was based mainly on naming pattern as she died before death records came into being and have not found her on OPR deaths.

I am interested in the HONEYMAN link to Carron Ironworks as my Margaret HONEYMAN married Alexander COCKBURN in 1793 who was the head bricklayer for Carron Iron works so I have been led to believe and they were living in Carron Larbert when she died approx 1810.

email: chetland.pamgooglemail.com

Posted 13 April 2009


Archie SHIEL is trying to contact his old army pal, John HARRIS (Whitby 1942), whose last known address was Wood Terrace, Armadale.  He would be grateful for any information and can be contacted on 07824553716. 



Updated February 2009
Kathryn: I am looking for relatives of the WALKER family who had links to Armadale.
I am searching in particular for relatives of Bessie and Alexander STIRLING, who moved to Fife and also relatives of Rose Ann and Robert MAXWELL who lived in West Lothian.
Bessie and Rose Ann's maiden surnames were WALKER. They were both born and grew up in Armadale in 1914 and 1916.
They had a sister, Elizabeth, born in 1921 and died in 1951.
I am also looking for relatives of a Margaret (Meg) who's maiden name may also have been WALKER.
I am ultimately searching for a James (surname unsure) born in 1950 in and Monica (surname unsure) born in 1951, both were born in Armadale.
I would be grateful if anyone recognised these names to contact me please.

email: kathryn1reeveshotmail.com

Posted 27 February 2009

Updated 4 April 2010

A display from the Bevin Boy exhibition,
which toured West Lothian in 2007


Can anyone help?  Information is sought about Bevin Boys who stayed in huts behind the Institute around where King
Street is today.  Billy and  Jimmy WOOD from Torry in Aberdeen have been remembered so far.  Ron Dingwall has told us that both Billy & Jimmy were keen B.B.s and gained the highest medal available to boys. It was the 1st Armadale B.B. Company attached to the East Church.

How many Bevin Boys were there?  How many stayed in Armadale? Can anyone supply more names? e-mail Rosie

Posted 27 January 2009

Update posted 8 February 2009: I'm grateful to Marion Hossack for telling me that John Struth, Eddie Murray and Peter Horsbrough of Seafield trained the Bevin Boys at Balbardie Pit.  I understand the three went on to Moorcock Hall in Fife and that John Struth was awarded a medal for his part in the pit rescue at the Burngrange mining disaster.

Bevin Boys Association; The Wartime Bevin Boys Project; Bevin Boys Research Project; Bevin Boys in Wikipedia

See Bevin Boy info on Armed Forces and World Wars


Elizabeth Kidd Klapp wrote:

' I have recently found a photograph of my father, grandfather, and two of his supervisors. Their names are John FORSYTH1885-1925; W. C. FORSYTH 1925-1935. My grandfather's name is Allan John BEVERIDGE, he was a joiner and I believe he worked for the FORSYTH's. Also in the photo is my father, Norman J. BEVERIDGE. The photo was in precognition of my grandfather's fifty year service. I also believe this was the start of my father's apprenticeship as a joiner. The photo was taken by TOWNSON's of Bathgate. My grandfather and grandmother (Elizabeth Kidd) are buried in Armadale or Bathgate.  The house was near a slaughterhouse, and I have been told the house is now some kind of shop. Thank you for any help you can give.

email: Bobbettyjnraol.com

Posted 20 January 2009


Mark Bell is seeking information about James BELL (b1912 Whitburn), resident Hawthorn Cottage, Station Road, Armadale 17th June 1936.

James was a motor driver, then baker's van driver or taxi driver up to 1936 when he disappears. Sometime around 1933 he received an injury to his face/eye and may have worked in a garage in Armadale

James was a reluctant witness in the 1936 trial of Robert MAXWELL & Roderick GILCHRIST for armed robbery in Slamannan, December 1935. Previously arrested for the crime himself in connection with some London criminals (Edward LUCY & Co), then operating in Scotland, James decided
to give evidence against MAXWELL & GILCHRIST.

It is anyone's guess as to who was lying about what in the trial but BELL testified, MAXWELL was convicted and GILCHRIST cleared.

I believe James, after serving 1 month in Saughton for contempt, fled Scotland arriving in Devon in 1936.

The case was reported in detail in The Scotsman & London Times newspapers and I even have the 1936 Saughton Prison Register. There was a petition organised to plead for mercy after MAXWELL was handed down a sentence of 8 years penal servitude. The committee included Provost W AITKEN and Councillor C BARRAS.

What I need is anything that can confirm or deny James' presence in Devon from July 1936 onwards.

email: mrb202btinternet.com



Denis L. Slattery has sent in a photo of a billiards championship medal, dated 1933, belonging to either his grandfather, John TRAYNOR, or his uncle Jimmy TRAYNOR, (both of Woodend). He would like to discover which relative received it.

email: pur2460dietiscali.co.uk



October 2008

Margaret Bijl née McPherson is searching for information about her great grandfather James McGOWAN.

I do not know any of the family, but it would not be unreasonable if some descendants were still living in Armadale.

I do not know when he moved to Armadale, but he was in Glasgow in the 1891 Census and there were 3 older children there, including my grandmother. The 1901 Census shows James McGOWAN aged abt 49. His occupation was Manager Public House. He lived at 87 South Street,  Armadale. His wife was Catherine; children: Thomas, 19, Isabella, 16, Mary, 12 and Jemima, 6.

James McGOWAN, publican of Bathville Stores, Armadale died on 10 May 1934. The Bathville Stores comprised a public house, a dwelling house and a shop. (His first wife died and the second died about 1936.) His will said that his estate was to be divided between his children. However, this did not happen and his son, Thomas, continued managing the business until he died intestate on 5 May 1950, leaving widow, Elizabeth SHAW or McGOWAN. Two of James' daughters then petitioned for the estate to be wound up. From that source I have the learned that some of his descendants were still living in Armadale.

Isabella McConnachie Rose McGOWAN or WHITE, Woodlands Cottages, Armadale

Mary McGOWAN or BALLANTYNE , of Acadamy Street, Armadale

Jemima McGOWAN or MURRAY died 28 March 1935, but her daughter was Jean B MURRAY or HALLIDAY, 52 Hailstones Crescent, Armadale, and I think Jemima's granddaughter, from a second daughter, was Catherine Taylor MURRAY or WATSON, West Main St, Armadale.

I would be pleased to find out more of the family history as none of my father's generation is alive. I have not found anyone who can tell me anything about the family.

email: margbijlpl.net


George Marshall is searching for information about his gt gt grandfather Thomas POW, one time Provost of Armadale.  He would also like to know if William MARSHALL, also a Provost, was Thomas POW's son-in-law.

email: akajoekinggmail.com

Posted September 2008


William T. Young is searching for information about his wife's family lines:

Richard Nigel EDWARDS, born c1897, was the son of William James Nigel EDWARDS and Elizabeth née FIELDER.  The family lived at 65 Lower Bathville, Armadale.

Richard EDWARDS married Mary McFARLANE on the 5th April 1921 Whitburn.  He was 24 and she was 21.  They had twin daughters, Margaret and Elizabeth, born 1 July 1925 in Goschen Place, Uphall, registered Broxburn.  Their mother, Mary, died in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary in 1928.  It is believed the daughters were put up for adoption. Little is known about the father, Richard EDWARDS, apart from the fact that he served on HMS Bruce.

Mary McFARLANE was the daughter of  John McFARLANE and Elizabeth née STEWART, both of Bathville, Armadale, in 1897. Patrick McFARLANE, a general
labourer, and Bridget née SMITH were John McFARLANE's parents.  John STEWART, a brickmaker, and Maria née REYNOLDS were Elizabeth STEWART's parents.

Any information will be appreciated!

email: williamyoung51aol.com

Posted August 2008


August 2008, email update October 2011

Diane McDonald: My grandfather, Forrester SMITH (born 1900 in Armadale) was a pianist in the Armadale area. He died in Kirkcaldy in 1979, but I believe he lived in the Armadale area for the majority of his life. I wonder whether there could be any local newspaper articles that mention him during his time as a musician. Any information would be greatly appreciated.

email: Dimcdonaldhotmail.co.uk

Readers may have seen details about him on the Bands Index page: 'Forrester Smith aka Fossy, a pole erector (for electric power conveyance) for the United Collieries, was a fine pianist, who  played at the Pavilion and Star.  The orchestra accompanied visiting performers and comprised: piano, violin, cornet and drums.  He was a founding member of a popular local dance band called  The Charleston Band.'  

Twenty years before Forrester's birth, his father, Daniel, was a ironstone miner living at Mason's Land, Main Street Armadale, with his wife Emmalina and his son William.  Ten years later the family was living at 38 Russell's Row and Daniel was a coalminer.  When Forrester was one, his father and two of his brothers were coalminers.  They lived at 16 Thomson's Land.  Forrester's name appears on the Armadale Public School Roll of Honour

As Diane has never seen a clear photo of her grandfather, we would love to help her.  Rosie



Following the sad death of Jack LOVE of Armadale earlier this summer,  his son, Sandy, told me that his father was born in Armadale in 1910 and that he lived the later years of his life in Ochilview Court.  He was a mine surveyor with United Collieries, and then NCB, all his life and, also, he was part-time assistant registrar to Johnnie whose sister Clementina McNICOL married Alex LOVE.

I would like to help Sandy research Robertson, Love & Co Ltd, which Sandy's great grandfather, James LOVE, established after moving his family to Armadale from Ayrshire.

If you have any information that could help the research, please e-mail Rosie.





Lorraine Storry Mockford of Nova Scotia, Canada, was scrolling through the Armadale History pages and felt a chill when she saw what she believed to be her ggg grandparents' headstone in the Kirkton Churchyard at Bathgate.   She told us:

My Grandmother, Grace Elizabeth WILSON was a teacher in Armadale before she came to Saskatchewan, Canada, as teacher, in the 1910s. The above couple would have been her maternal grandparents. She met and married my grandfather, William STORRY, in Bladworth Saskatchewan. I know from pictures and remaining family letters that she had cousins who remained in the Armadale / Bathgate area, including the children of Dr. ANDERSON. His wife, Grace Symington JEFFREY, was the sister of my G-Grandmother, Elizabeth.

Grace Elizabeth WILSON's sister, Mary Arthur (Polly) WILSON, was a nurse who never married.   She travelled as a nursing sister, and worked at Tippethill.  Aunt Polly and their mother, Eliza, moved to Saskatchewan shortly after my father was born in 1918.  Polly continued her nursing in Canada, working both as a midwife and at the TB San at various times.  They are all buried in Bladworth, Sask.

Dr. John ANDERSON came to Armadale in 1882 and married my G-Grandmother's sister, Grace Symington JEFFREY, on 28 June 1887 in Armadale. Children: William, 1888 (Armadale's 2nd Dr ANDERSON); Janet Rankine (Jenny), 1890; John Jeffrey, 1893. Jenny's birth record states she was born at Coltness Cottage, West Main Street, Armadale.  Jenny was also a medical doctor, although we are unsure how long she practiced or where, before she married and had a family.

Janet Thomson RANKINE, wife of John Smart JEFFREY (on the gravestone), is the granddaughter of William SYMINGTON, the inventor of the world's first practical steam boat Charlotte Dundas, by way of his eldest daughter Elizabeth SYMINGTON who married John RANKINE. Elizabeth was the only one of his children to remain in Scotland, the rest emigrating to Australia.  This had always been in the oral tradition of the family and is one of the pieces we are connecting.

I'm looking for information about any family members with the names JEFFREY; WILSON; ANDERSON; GIBB.  In particular, we would like to know what happened to Jenny ANDERSON.  Did she marry?   Did she have any children?

email: lorraine_mockfordyahoo.ca

Posted August 2008


[Here are a few tidbits of information relevant to families mentioned above, which may be of interest to researchers:

In June 1844, John WILSON married Mary Briggs ARTHUR in Bathgate. Six years later he was a grocer and meal dealer living with wife, Mary Briggs ARTHUR, in South Street, Armadale.

The children of the couple found so far include: Alexander Arthur b December 1846 Armadale; Margaret b May 1848 Bathgate; Janet bc1850 Bathgate; Jessie bc1850 Armadale; James b August 1851 Armadale; Adam b October 1854 Armadale; Mary Wilhelmina b Jan 1857 Armadale; Helen b June 1860 Bathgate; John b March1845 Armadale, shopkeeper later grocer. John was married to Elizabeth JEFFREY bc1846 Slamannan, sister of William JEFFREY bc1856 Slammanan, unemployed gold miner, later of Maryhill, Glasgow

In June 1867, John WILSON married Eliza aka Elizabeth JEFFREY in Bathgate.  Their children included: Janet Rankin(e) b March 1868 Bathgate; Jessie b1868 Armadale; Grace Elizabeth b1884 Armadale; John bc1880 Armadale; Mary Arthur b December 1873 Armadale.

The History of Armadale Association's recently published book 'Armadale in Minutes', contains many references to the WILSON family, eg: 'John Wilson of Whitockbrae owned a house, shop and bakehouse and several other houses.  Mathew Wilson, grocer, owned several houses and two shops.' (page 50) 

In 1858 Mr. WILSON bought the Crown Hotel and Stonerig Farm on the Polkemmet Estate. John CALDERHEAD became farm manager.  In 1862 John WILSON sold the Crown Hotel and leased Whitockbrae Farm.

Details about medical personnel;   ANDERSON is one of many local surnames (of men who served during WW1) on Armadale Public School Roll of Honour; the WILSON surname appears throughout the National Relief Fund documentation. Rosie]


Posted August 2008

Allan from Wales: Seeking information about relatives of his mother, Julia MacLEASH of Armadale (her mother was Katie MacLEASH), of his father,  Allan MORRISON of Blackridge, and also about cousin John GALLAGHER.

email: allaninnewportyahoo.co.uk


Posted August 2008

Maree from Matamata, New Zealand: William Williamson MARSHALL b 1915 / 1925 Armadale; mother's name WILLIAMSON.  Descendants are totally in the dark about their Scottish roots and are trying to make contact.  They are ever hopeful of someone recognising their relatives within the coalmining fraternity...

email:  tappetsclear.net.nz



Posted August 2008

Perry: I have a friend at my church who grew up in Armadale and I told him I would try to find out what happened to his best friend John O'BRIEN.  John would be in his late 70s or early 80s.  My friend's name is Dave KNOX.

email: perrycalisicomcast.net



Posted July 2008

Jamie from Canada: Andrew LEES and his wife Elizabeth McFARLANE had 15 children and lived in Armadale Bathgate in the 1850s. After the couple moved to the Hamilton area due to Andrew's work some of the older children
stayed behind until the 1950s and maybe there are still some relatives there today! I am currently searching for my families' resting places.

Here are the dates of those who lived and died in Armadale/Bathgate:

Janet LEES b. 16 Dec. 1857 Armadale. d. 3 Jan. 1858 Armadale/Bathgate. Died from disease unknown. Record says Burial Broomknell Church Yard, Airdrie, Lanarkshire, Scotland.

Jane LEES b. 29 Nov 1858 Armadale. d. 5 Jan 1859 Armadale/Bathgate. Died from Undilated lungs very likely from birth. Record says Burial East Chapel Yard, Airdrie, Lanarkshire, Scotland.

William LEES b. 19 Apr 1862 Armadale. d. 3 Oct 1862 Armadale/Bathgate. Died of Bronchitis for 10 days. Record does not state where buried.

Jane LEES wife of Robert BLAIR b. 18 Aug 1863 Armadale. d. 24 Oct 1948 Woodend, Armadale, District of Blackridge.
Died from Senile Myocarditis (6 months). Informant Rober Blair grandson, of Mossend, North Street, Armadale. Record does not state where buried.

Robert BLAIR, coal miner husband of Jane LEES b. 24 Apr 1862 Torpichen, Linlithgowshire. d. 25 Mar 1917 Woodend,
Armadale, District of Blackridge, of Myocarditis and Syncope.  Record does not state where buried.

Robert BLAIR, grandson to Robert BLAIR and Jane LEES b. 12 May 1911 ? d. 2 Feb 1995 Armadale/Bathgate at home (East Main Street, Armadale). Widower of Margaret Storrie McIndoe. Record does not state where buried. Informant Joseph McIndoe, nephew of Barbauchlaw Mill, Armadale.

email: jamieleescogeco.ca



Posted June 2008

Gerry from Adelaide Australia: I am attempting to develop a family tree and would appreciate any information that might help me. My parents were Frances McPHILLIPS (née GILLIES) and James McPHILLIPS who lived in George Street. My father was the publican of the Athletic Bar on South Street for many years, and my mother worked at the Bowls Club for a time after my father’s death in 1974. My mother also died in 1994. My father was born on 29 Oct 1919 and mother on 20 Jan 1929. They were married in Bathgate on 4 Nov 1950.

I am interested in finding out any information about them, prior to 1950.

Also, I am interested in trying to find out any information about my father’s parents. His father was Edward McPHILLIPS, also a publican, and mother was Margaret McPHILLIPS (née KERR). I would also appreciate any information at all about Edward and Margaret.

email: gmcphillairnet.com.au



Sir William Honeyman, Lord Armadale, 1756 - 1825; Family Tree; David Partner's Notes on Family Tree; other Honeyman / Honyman families and their researchers can be found via the link


Wembley 1946

Left:  Wee Fat Boabs's faither - Bobby HUME (Armadale / Blackridge)

Middle:  Tam (Tosh) French's faither - Tam FRENCH (Armadale / Blackridge)

Right:  Big Yo Ho's faither - Andrew LAMONT (Westcraigs / Armadale), sadly Andrew is no longer with us

Taking the photograph was number 4 in the party, Jake BLAIR, info required

From Bobby Hume,

Armadale Sons of Wallace


Posted April 2008

Sharon from New Zealand: Searching for information about the WILLIAMSON family: William WILLIAMSON, son of Duncan and Mina (Wilhelmina) Williamson (née BOYD) was born in Armadale in 1918. He emigrated to New Zealand in 1939, and his parents and siblings later followed. Duncan’s siblings George, Robert and Mary had already made the move to New Zealand, Archie, Peggie and Peter having emigrated to the USA.

Duncan's parents were William and Mary Hamilton WILLIAMSON.

William as well as his dad Duncan were members of Armadale Silver Band.

We are trying to research the family history to share with cousins in California.  Any assistance in tracing relations remaining in Scotland would be appreciated, especially the Family Tree back beyond Duncan and Duncan’s siblings who remained in Scotland.

email: andrew.williamsonxtra.co.nz


Posted October 2007

Victoria from Australia: Searching for information about a PATERSON family which owned/ran a fish and chip shop in the Bathgate area in the 1950’s. Any information would be wonderful.

email: victoriajaydenetspace.net.au



Posted October 2007; updated 17 November 2007

Agnes from Hull:  I am trying to find out information about my late father and any of his relatives.  My father, John, was born in Armadale in 1933, the son of Thomas FRIEL and Elisabeth McALPINE.  Their other two children were Helen and Elisabeth. 

My father had two sisters: Helen McCALLUM née Friel, whose children were George and Shirley, and Elisabeth LAMBIE née FRIEL whose son Robbie is believed to live in Canada.

My father was a keen footballer and spent some time in the RAF. He married my mother in 1954, but he died in 1972 when I was young, and so I do not have much information about, or any contact with, his family.  I would love my own children to have more information about their grandfather's family.

email: mum.79hotmail.com



Posted July 2007

Lorraine From Canada:  I am currently working on my father and mother's family tree's. My father was born and raised in Armadale and is a BRADY. His father was Edward BRADY and his mother Margaret SWAN. He and Mom came to Canada in 1957. Mom was from Bathgate - a VALLELY.

I am wondering if anyone knows the connection of the HANLIN family to my grandfather Edward BRADY. We know he and his twin brother and younger sister were raised by the Hannah HANLIN and her husband. We also know Edward BRADY's parents were Andrew and Agnes BRADY (Brady was also her maiden name).  Andrew & Agnes had elder children but we are not sure if they stayed with the HANLINs or not. And what happened to Andrew & Agnes? My Dad used to buy Thomas HANLIN's paper for him when he was a boy when Tom was writing his books.

My Dad is also interested in the SWAN history as he remembers them owing land in Armadale and Hopetoun areas, including pub and movie house and farm land(s).

Can anyone help us?

Lorraine on behalf of Canadian Bradys: email: liveslikeloisrogers.com

George SWAN built an inn on west side of The Cross, called The Armadale Inn, which later became The Regal Bar. Rosie



Posted June 2007

Elizabeth, illegitimate daughter of Robert BURNS and Elizabeth PATON, farm servant, was born 22 May 1785 Tarbolton, Ayrshire.    She married John BISHOP, overseer at Polkemmet, son of Thomas BISHOP and Jane WEIR, on 11 January 1807 in Galston, Ayrshire. Elizabeth died on 8 January 1817 in Polkemmet, Whitburn and  her daughter, Mary Lyon, aged two, died three months after her mother. John BISHOP was born 11 January 1782  Whitburn.  After Elizabeth's death, he married Mary MILLAR.  He died 20 June 1857 Whitburn.

Details of Elizabeth's life;  Burns's Address to an Illegitimate Child;



Posted May 2007

Lynn from England: My family in the Armadale area starts with William MARSHALL whose daughter, Jessie MARSHALL (later PENMAN by marriage) was my GGrandmother.  William lived in Armadale until moving to New Monklands around 1900.  William's son William was killed in the Stanrigg Disaster in 1918.  William's parents, William MARSHALL and Isabella STIRLING, also lived and died in Armadale.

I was born in England so do not know of any relatives, but would love to hear from anyone that may be out there.

email: Lynnpatemanaol.com



Posted May 2007

Jeanne from New Brunswick, Canada:  My father, David MACKAY (b.c1902 Armadale), came to Canada in the early 1900s when he was about ten years old. I know little of his life in Scotland, but he did tell me that he came from Armadale. I know that my grandfather, Robert MACKAY, worked in a brickyard and was a football player. After Robert came to Canada, he became foreman of a brickyard in a small town called Beamsville in southern Ontario, Canada. His wife, Alexina, and four of their children, joined him in Canada somewhere around 1912. The family then moved to Hamilton On. where my grandfather worked in a big steel mill until he died of a heart attack in 1943. My father had an older brother Mathew and a younger brother Robert.

email: jeannebrookermsn.com

Since receiving this e-mail, it has been established that Robert MACKAY was born c1875 in Bannock Burn, Stirlingshire. In 1901 he was staying at 107 South Street, Armadale with his wife Alexina who was born c1883. He was a Miners Checkweigher.



Posted March 2007

Bill Barr has sent these photos to me asking if anyone has any further information about the individuals featured.  Confirmation or correction of identification of individuals would be appreciated.

email: bill_barrblueyonder.co.uk

Annie and Maggie WEIR,

Barbaughlaw Farm, Armadale c1904

Adults from left:

John ORR, second husband of Ann WEIR; Ann WEIR b1881, d 17/12/1944 at Kirkintilloch; Margaret (Peggy) WEIR b1902, d1985 Quothquam, her sister, ?John VEITCH.

Children from left: Jean and Martha ORR



Help wanted!  Were you evacuated to Armadale in 1939 or later?  Did your family take in an evacuee?  Do you have any memories of evacuees in Armadale?

Does anyone remember an evacuee called James VANDEPEEAR who was sent to stay with an Armadale family in 1939? He has told me, "I was an evacuee from Edinburgh at Armadale.   I did not stay there long, and can only remember a row of terrace cottages sloping down to a field or play ground, and I recall sliding down a bing on a shovel.  I was barely 5 years old at the time, and what I do remember is very little.  The row of cottages on a slope is fairly certain, and a swing park at the bottom of the hill.  As to the names of the family I was with, I cannot remember them at all, except that they had three sons, at least, and I think I shared a bed with them." 

James Vandepeear's sister has written about the day she visited Armadale to collect James and to return with him to Edinburgh.  Here are extracts from her account:

"I was sent to bring him back.  It was also the first time I had ever been allowed to travel anywhere on my own, so I was nervous....

I boarded an SMT bus, asked the conductor to tell me when we reached Armadale then sat down....... when I saw Armadale my first impression was 'grey', grey skies, houses, streets, even the people on the bus were grey and dour looking.

However I got off the bus at the first bus-stop in Armadale, stayed on the left side of the road, passed by a rough hedge, there may have been a house behind it.  I must have walked about 100 yards before turning left into a long sloping street lined with houses which were stone fronted with a window each side of the front doors painted either black or dark green.  This was the first row of houses.  I stayed on the left hand side, walked over half way down on a slabbed pavement until I saw Jim sitting on the doorstep, a rather strange doorstep, the house being on such a long slope meant that if you lived at the top you had a thin step - the lower down the slope the higher the step.  The house Jim lived in had two and a half steps but they were not whitened with pipe-clay.  The pavement was not wide but had small kerbstones.  I remember how bleak it all looked, not a tree anywhere.

There was another little boy with Jim, also an evacuee, they were not allowed to play in the house even though it was late summer and chilly.  The adults in the house were, I believe, a single brother and sister in their late thirties."

Other possible clues: the surname 'BEGBIE' and the numbers 5 and 15.

If you have information to help James to identify the place where he stayed, please e-mail Rosie



Posted February 2007

Dominic Toye: Could anyone tell the names of the coal mines which were operating around 1861.  The reason I ask this question is that my gggranda Neil TOY worked as a miner then and lived in Bathgate with his mum and brother William who also was a miner.  Their address was 36 Bathville Row. Where was it situated and does it exist today?

I wonder if anyone can help me tracing my ggggran's family Ann SAMUEL.  I have traced them back to abt 1717 and they seemed to have stayed in the one place for about a century which is Bathgate. Her mother's name was Margaret TENNENT born abt 1760 Bathgate: could any give me her parents' name?

email: dt1708blueyonder.co.uk

Dominic has now been told: Margaret TENNENT: Birth: 28 MAY 1761; Christening: 21 JUN 1761 Bathgate
Father: William, Mother: Jean ROBERT.  William TENNENT married Jean ROBERT on 25 JAN 1760 Bathgate
There are 2 WILLIAM TENANTs who may be this man, both born in Bathgate.
William TENANT’s christening: 10 FEB 1735 Bathgate.  Father: Walter TENANT; Mother: Janet MERRY
William TENANT’s christening: 05 JAN 1735 Bathgate.  Father: John TENANT; Mother: Margaret PATERSON who married 18 APR 1731 Bathgate


Posted February 2007

Duncan Robertson: My great-grandfather, David HAMILTON, was secretary of The Goth for 17 years up until his death. The BLADES family of Armadale went on to produce one the country's most prominent law lords of the mid-20th century as well as a director of education who went on to receive the OBE. All from 'humble' Armadale mining stock!

e-mail: duncangrayrobertsonbtinternet.com

See more information about The Goth

Edward BLADES born 6 March 1875 Armadale, died 1953 Edinburgh: lived in Academy Street, attended Armadale Public School where he became a pupil teacher before matriculating at Edinburgh University (1894). MA (Hons) in Mathematics and Natural Philosophy (1900); BSc (subjects of study included Mathematics, Astronomy and Geology) (1902); Diploma of Education at Higher Grade;  Kelland Memorial Prize; Ramsay Memorial Prize; 6 medals.  Elementary schoolteacher; junior Lecturer in Mathematics; assistant Lecturer in Science and Geography, Moray House Training College, Edinburgh; Lecturer in honours Geology at Heriott-Watt, Edinburgh; Head of Mathematics, George Watson's Ladies' College, Edinburgh.  Executive Officer to West Lothian Education Authority, 1919 appointment; Director of Education, West Lothian Education Committee (1930 onwards); retired 1939; Honorary LL.D degree from Edinburgh for war work (1946); OBE for services to army education in Scotland (1948)Full biography



Photo of Hugh Friel, b1899 Armadale; Photo taken c1922 of James and Mary Friel

Posted January 2007

Chris from America: Researching the FRIEL family (a rather large family of 13 children) who lived in Armadale from the 1890s – possibly present.

email: cfriellynchandfriel.com



Posted September 2006

Janet from America: Looking for info about John PEDEN's [b1882 Armadale d1959 Armadale] parents John PEDEN and Margaret McALPINE and her parents J. McALPINE and Margaret [Magnet] BELL [b abt 1826 d abt 1925].

Also looking for info about John PEDEN's wife - Maria Margaret McAllister PEDEN's [b1880 High Gate, Broxburn, West Lothian d 1972 Pontiac, MI, USA] parents Christopher McALLISTER and Margaret Higgins Martin McALLISTER.

I have Margaret McAllister and John Peden's descendants for four generations and would be glad to share.

email:  jlroumpzearthlink.net


Bruce from Australia: Research includes the WILSON families of Armadale and Bathgate.  Individuals include: George WILSON b1814 Clackmannshire, d1876 (Mossend Cottage, Armadale), =Christina METHVEN; George WILSON b1844, 1873 Bathville Cottage =, Christina CAMERON; William WILSON b 1835 Dunfermline d 1914 Mossgiel Cottage, Armadale, 1857 Alloa=Helen GILLESPIE bc1838, d 1918 100 South Street, Armadale; William WILSON b1871 Bathgate, 1898 Armadale=Mary MATHIESON; Christina WILSON b1855 Carnock, 1876 Armadale=William RAMSAY; Adam Black Douglas WILSON b1885 Carnock, collier in Armadale, emigrated to Australia 1885, 1893=Jessie MOORE.  Other Armadale-born individuals married BLACK, HUMBLE, CAMERON, COBB.

For the full tree visit: http://www.wilshep.com/

email: wilshepmcmedia.com.au

mail: Bruce R. Wilson, 17, Scoresby Avenue, Shepparton 3630, Victoria, Australia



Betty from Hampshire:  My maternal grandfather, James SIMPSON, b1867 Jack's Land, Armadale, married Ann McDONALD b1866 Whitburn Road, Bathgate, in 1893.  They had 6 known children, all born in Armadale, between 1892 and 1904, and a son William, who definitely existed, probably the eldest, but I haven't yet managed to find his birth details.  Their daughter, Margaret SIMPSON, was born in 1900 at The Cappers, Armadale.  She married my father, John FAIRLEY, in Whitburn in 1922.  I would be happy to hear from any other researchers.

email: jonettyntlworld.com


Louise from USA:  Jane (Jeanna) Jenny CAMPBELL b 30 March 1864 Armadale, d 27 July 1944 Salt Lake City

For family tree see: www.nathanielspens.com

Louise can be contacted on that site.

The COCHRANES of Barbauchlaw:

Unfortunately the website with contact email does not work any more.  Does anyone know of the replacement site?


Bernz from New Zealand: William MARSHALL b 1856 Carluke, married Jemina WADDELL  1862 - 1934) at Barbanshaw Mill.  Some of their children were born in the Armadale area including Janet (Jessie) b1902 d1983, a domestic science teacher; Margaret (Peggy) bc1888; Robert bc1885; Thomas bc1886.  William MARSHALL was a Master Baker in Bathgate and later a farmer at Barbauchlaw Farm where he and his wife died.

email: BernzGgmail.com



Heather Beveridge from Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada: 

James BEVERIDGE 1837 Carfin - 1890 Rotherglen ;

Joseph Todd BEVERIDGE 1869 Armadale, West Lothian - brothers and sisters - Elizabeth, James Spowart, Mary, Joseph Todd, Jennet, Ann, William, Margret, David, Nellie (Helen)

William Gillon BEVERIDGE 1905 Arbroath - 1972 Canada - brothers and sisters - Bess, Joseph, Rachel (Ray), Margaret, James (only Margaret stayed in Scotland)

Robert GILLON married Marion SIMPSON; James GILLON J.P. 1843 Carluke – 1917 Armadale

brothers and sisters - James, Mary, William, Alexander, Elizabeth, Janet, Agnes Love, Charles, Anne, Rachel; Margaret (Maggie) Esson GILLON 1876 Bathgate - died Canada

Margaret ESSON 1842 Carbusnethan – 1913; parents John ESSON & Jessie SIMPSON

John TODD married Agnes MILLAR; Elizabeth (Betsy) Wright TODD 1840 Clackmannan - 1886 Armadale

email: hbeveridgepowergate.ca


William DYETT b1840 Langriggend Kelvin Dock (d 1912 USA), son of William DYETT and Johanna CAMPBELL, married, 1858 Stirlingshire, Martha BARNES b1841, daughter of Mark BARNES and Ann ARMSTRONG. At least 5 of their children were born in Armadale: Alexander DYETT b 1865 Armadale, d 1917; Mark DYETT b1863 Bathville, d 1864; Joseph DYETT b 1865 Armadale, d 1947, = Catherine Bain SMITH; Martha DYETT b1867 Armadale, d 1951; John DYETT b1870 Armadale, d 1939.



Margaret HOOD b1830 Newton married, c1852 Prestonpans, John PENMAN.  They had at least 8  children including: Nicol b 11 Jan 1856 Bathville Row, and Janet Rankine b 2 Nov 1857 Armadale.  Thomas HOOD b1833 Claybarns Newton married, in 1854 Bathgate, Janet ANTHONY.  They had 11 children including Helen b 1864 Armadale.  Peter HOOD b 13 July Prestonpans (d 1905 USA) married, 1855 Glasgow, Mary O'NEIL daughter of Andrew O'NEIL.  They had 13 children including Andrew b 30 Oct 1856 Armadale (d 8 Nov 1856) and Elizabeth b 29 Nov 1857 Armadale (d 20 April 1884 USA)



The WANLASS family lived in Newbattle in 1851.  In 1861 they were living at 45 Bathville Row: James WANLASS, a coal miner, b1825 Musselburgh / Edinburgh, and his wife, Margaret NEILSON, b Tranent, had 7 children.  In 1871 they were living in Armadale with their 3 children born in Armadale: Alexander, Joseph and Helen.  In 1874 the family emigrated, travelling from Liverpool to New York.  james WANLASS died in 1895.  Website


Hugh NICOL b1855 Airdrie, son of James NICOL and Elizabeth ARCHIBALD, married 31 December 1877 Armadale, Margaret MEECHAN b 1856 New Monkland, d 1899 Newbattle, daughter of William MEECHAN b1835 Antrim and Sarah Ann WELSH b 1835 Antrim.

Renshaw family tree


Margaret Silver Soutar MOLLISON b 15 February 1887 Armadale, d 4 May 1956 Brechin, daughter of James MOLLISON b1858 Montrose and Margaret Silver SMITH b 1856 Kincardine.


James RUSSELL son of Alexander and Annabella RUSSELL was b 1845 and, in 1870 Carluke, married Margaret DYER, daughter of John DYER and Mary KIRKHOPE.  They had 8 children: Alexander, Mary, John, Annabella, James, Jane and two who were born in Armadale, Matthew b1887 and Robert b 1889.  William RUSSELL was b 1875 in Armadale, son of Alexander RUSSELL and his wife, Maria GIBB, daughter of Archibald GIBB and Ann NEILSON.

Details of the RUSSELL family

LAW family of Netherhouses Farm, Armadale (known as Blackdubbs and occupied by the PRYCE family in 1851 census)

Hugh LAW b Carnwath farmed Netherhouses from the late 1860s until his death in 1895.  He was married to Susanna ROBB, daughter of James ROBB and Mary DONALD.  Hugh and Susanna had a large family, some of whom were born at Netherhouses


Christina SIMPSON b 28 March 1865 Cockpen, Midlothian, daughter of James SIMPSON and Janet MORRISON, married 2 April 1886 Armadale, Robert CLEPHANE b 29 Dec 1864 Cramond, d Edinburgh 12 May 1887.  After Janet death, James SIMPSON married Margaret CLEPHANE (Robert's sister) and of their 6 children, one was born in Armadale: William bc1887.


BENNETT / KERR / LOUDEN / McCONNELL / NEIL (all births below in Armadale)

BENNETT: James Alexander b 17 March 1886; Mary Loudon b 5 Dec 1908; KERR: Mary b 1875; LOUDEN: Agnes b 1898; Agnes b 13 July 1866; Annie Dowie b 2 Dec 1888; Flora b 19 Oct 1872; James b 13 May 1875; Jane Louden b 6 April 1870; Mary b 7 Nov 1906 at 62 East Main Street; MCCONNELL: Catharine b 1 April 1930; Neil Agnes b1880

DOBIE/ WILLIAMSON / EASTON:  Thomas DOBIE married Mary WILLIAMSON in Armadale 28 Nov 1873.  He was a baker at North Street, Armadale in 1891 and at 8 East Main Street, Armadale in 1901.  Mary was the daughter of William WILLIAMSON and Sarah EASTON. 

For more about the family visit the Fairbairn family of Stirlingshire's website

See the local history page for a sampler made by Jeanie Walker from Tippethill in 1882, when she was just twelve.  It has a lovely example of a strawberry motif, a biblical quote and initials of family members.


Bathgate Cemetery

(Larger Image)

Kirkton Churchyard, Bathgate
Torphichen Woodbank Cemetery, near Armadale

Gillon Memorial, (Inscription Downe, Gillon, Hamilton, Scott)

Armadale Parish Church

Above: Stained glass window in memory of William and Ann Forsyth

Above: Stained glass window in memory of Barbara Smith Calderhead, gifted by her husband John Forsyth

You may also be interested in Religious Groups and Buildings


Family History

Armadale Statistics in 2001

West Lothian Local History Library has much to offer the family historian

New address from 29 March 2011:

Heritage and Information Centre,

County Buildings,

High Street,


EH49 7EZ

Phone: 01506 282491


Open: Monday - Thursday: 8.30am - 5pm; Friday: 8.30am - 4pm

1st Saturday every month: 9am - 1pm

Useful  Publications

"Ye had a room and kitchen and ye hadnae many cupboards, and it was set-in beds. And ma sister and I had a three-quarter bed alongside that wall, see, and underneath was the gas meter. And we had rats in the house and ma dad got Tam Milne's rat-trap - it was a cage - and it was put in where we were sleeping, and we were terrified, terrified, because it didnae kill the rat, it caught them..."
Jessie Baxter née Friel, born 1907, Tales Fae The 'Dale 'Easy Pleased', Recollections of Childhood in Armadale

Birth Marriage and Death FreeBMD Project  

Births, deaths & marriages from 1837 in England & Wales (a growing database)

Births - historical searches Marriages - historical searches

General Register Office for Scotland

LDS Database  

A vast free database

IGI Batch Numbers for Scotland

A handy way to look at names and connections in communities

Family History and

Genealogy - general info


Armadale & District Great War 1914 – 1919 Roll of Honour 

Tom Gordon's Dale Boys website
Scotland BMD exchange Deaths (and Burials post 1855) - historical searches West Lothian Council Cemeteries Free Index to Wills but

register first


Ultimus Haeres
Recording Scottish Graveyards        
Census Census 1

Good for finding Scots living outside Scotland

Census 2 US Census - various years/states 1911 census of Dublin
Family History Associations West  Lothian Family History Society Lothians Family History Society Fife Family History Society SAFHS: Scottish Association of Family History Societies
Family History Societies UK        
Research and Researchers GenForum

Worldwide researchers of listed names

Scotlands Family Ancestry



Association of Scottish Genealogists
& Researchers in Archives
Rootsweb - Worldconnect Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites for Scotland Ancestry.com message boards Scottish Roots (BBC site) Scotgenealogy


    Scotland's People



Scots Origins



Names, Terms and Tartans West Lothian Place Names Online Scottish Names Directory Surname Distribution Glossary of archaic terms
  West Lothian Surname List The Guild of One-Name Studies Guide to Tartans  
Archives and Libraries Libraries: local history and heritage

West Lothian history at

Blackburn Library HQ

National Archives of Scotland National Library of Scotland Scottish Archive Network
National Archives Online Catalogue National Archives Online  

Wills etc


National Register of Archives

British historical documents


West Lothian Museum Service: Reminiscence Boxes

Loan Service

Library HQ, Connolly House, Hopefield Road, Blackburn

01506 776321


Photo collection



    Scottish handwriting

Useful aids to reading documents

Worldcat booksearch
Emigration and  Evacuation Did your Scottish ancestor emigrate? Scottish Emigration Database Ship and Passenger Lists Ellis Island Records
West Lothian Scotland GenWeb Project

GENUKI Scotland

Family Records Links Pages Evacuees to Armadale  

Free LDS Genealogy Software

Personal Ancestral File - Excellent free program for recording your family history etc

Cyndi's genealogy software and computer list


Our Free software links


Internet Guide: Scottish Family History
Armadale-specific Information

Did you know....?    The most popular surname in Armadale is BROWN. (1.5% of the town's population)

The 1915 Gretna Rail Disaster

Names of Armadale dead include: James ANDERSEN; William Thomson BISSET, 54 South St; Hugh HART, 67 Lower Bathville.

Names of Armadale injured include: J. McCONNELL, 85 East Main St; J. NEALLY / NEILLY, 20 Mount Pleasant; J. SMITH, Etna Cottages.  Research details    

Armadale-related files in the National Archives of Scotland Catalogue


William SNEDDEN with sisters and cousin, Armadale c1903 (Scran*)

Bathville-related files in the National Archives of Scotland Catalogue



Woodend-related files in the National Archives of Scotland Catalogue

Names include: FORBES, WATSON, GRAHAM.


Did you know...?  The most popular forenames given to babies born in West Lothian in 2006 were: Jack*, Ryan and Sophie* (* also the popular names in Scotland). 
NRF TRANSCRIPT: National Relief Fund, Armadale Local Committee Minute Book, 1914 - 1916


See the


and the


pages for additional details about specific Armadalians

Was your ancestor a  miner in the Armadale area? Mining Engineers 1896-7

BORROWMAN, James, Armadale Station, Linlithgowshire.

PARKER, William, Woodville Cottages, Armadale, Bathgate

WATSON, John G., Ivy Bank, Armadale Station, Linlithgowshire.

WILSON, Robert, Bathville Collieries, Armadale

Memories of working in Armadale-area collieries:  


Includes Hard Hill Colliery and Barbauchlaw Colliery testimonies:

  • Alexander WARK;

  • Margaret HARPER;

  • Thomas BROWN;

  • Margaret HERVIE;


"We went to school in our bare feet.  Mostly we went to school with our bare feet because we hadnae got anything else to put on.  There was no such thing as going to school with shoes on - all the boys wore tacketty boots or clogs."

Jack Mackinnon, Mair Tales  Fae The 'Dale, 2,  Schooldays and Holidays, Further Recollections of Childhood in Armadale

Demolition of derelict building on West Main Street, Tuesday 21st November, 2006, ready for a flatted development.

Denis Slattery has told us that, in the early 1900s, the building was a general store owned by the Geddes family. 

Annie Geddes married Peter Traynor and, eventually, they moved to Lochgelly where he was under-manager in the mine.

Armadale Wedding Rhyme
Monday for health
Tuesday for wealth
Wednesday no luck at all
Thursday for losses
Friday for crosses
Saturday the best day of all