When John and I met and got to talking about our “kin” and “roots” I was surprised to learn that his grandfather was born in Scotland! A little more conversation happened, and then I learned that John’s Mom had been 42 years old when John was born. So – in a sense, almost a skipped generation there. John’s Grandfather – James Halladay Jr. was born September 25, 1878 in Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland to James Halladay Sr. and Eliza Black. In the 1881 Scotland Census they lived at 41 Polmadie Street, in the civil parish of Glasgow Hutchesontown, in Lanarkshire County.
[This is James Halladay Jr. in later life.]
He was 2 years old on that 1881 Scottish Census, and at the grand old age of 11 he immigrated to the United States with his mother and siblings. My mother-in-law, Hazel Halladay McBride, told me once that James Sr. did not come until later, as he was in the Royal Navy and had to wait until his term of service was finished. One of the Halladay cousins told me recently that James Jr. didn’t have a middle name – nor did his siblings, apparently – because in Scotland they were taxed if their children had more than one forename!
When John and I were first married, we were gifted with an amazing stash of old family documents, photos, tin types, Bibles, and other treasures. Not only that, we had the rare and precious privilege of having Hazel live with us at that time – and as we unearthed new treasures, we could turn to her with a question mark on our faces and she’d smile, and then say something like, “Oh… that’s Grandfather James Halladay Sr….” and she’d then go on with some of her remembrances that were handed down to her.
That, my friends, is a gift beyond compare!
(James Halladay Sr. and his wife Eliza Black)
There have been various oral traditions about the Halladay and Black families – but we’ve had little documentation to support it! As I’ve lamented previously, I’ve not spent much time working on this treasure trove of family history. But with a daughter contemplating DAR membership and a deep desire on my part to teach my kids some of this amazing stuff – I caved a bit when faced with a 14-day free subscription to Ancestry.com. Can I just tell you what a fabulous thing this place is? Actual scanned copies of census records – from all over the world! I should probably warn you, though – that those 14 days go fast, and it’s not cheap to purchase the subscription. So much so, that I’ve been burning the midnight oil quite a lot to get as much digging done while I can! J
Yesterday, as I was pondering the fact that we had the rare gift of knowing actual NAMES of some of John’s Halladay ancestors, I wondered if I could find them on some of the Scottish Census records. Yes, as a matter of fact, I could. And it didn’t take long for me to blow through – oh, about 10 hours – trying to figure out this whole confusing Halladay family!
First of all – I should say that I really believed previously Halliday (and its variations thereof) to be a fairly unique name. I mean, not Smith, right? So should be a LOT easier to find records, etc. because of the unique nature of the name. (I have always been grateful that my great-great-grandfather was named Lycurgus Cincinnatus Barrett – I mean, there couldn’t possibly be TWO of them on the planet, right?!) However, all one has to do is take one peek into the Scottish, English, Canadian, and US records to realize- not so unique, after all! And you know what? They followed standard naming conventions – i.e., John’s grandfather’s name is James Halladay, his father’s name is James Halladay, his father’s name we don’t know, but HIS father’s name is James Halladay. Yep – no middle initials. Yep. All in the same general vicinity for the most part. With loads of cousins who followed similar naming conventions. Lord have mercy!
However, bless Hazel’s sweet heart, I have some great notes from the considerable time she took with John and I to share some of what she knew – and I was able to remarkably easily find OUR James Halladay on that 1881 Scottish Census. Woo Hoo!
Without too much more effort – although quite a lot of time eliminating families that weren’t ours – I was eventually able to find James Halladay Sr. in the Scottish Census records! And I knew from Hazel that James Sr.’s mother’s name was Emma Frame, although we didn’t know his father’s name, unfortunately. Imagine my surprise when I found this on the 1861 Scottish Census:
1861 Scotland Census
Emma Halliday – age 32 – head of household
Born abt 1829 in Alloa, Stirlingshire
Registration Number 644/5
Registration District: Clyde
Civil Parish: Glasgow St. Mary
Address: 59 Trongate Street
Household schedule number: 51
Sarah A Halliday, age 13 – daughter
James Halliday, age 13 – son
William Halliday, age 9 – son
Alexander Halliday, age 6 – son
Marion Frame, age 20 – sister
James Halliday, age 63 – father-in-law
Ann Halliday, age 39 – sister-in-law
Gabriel Halliday, age 9 – nephew
That’s our Emma! And she was a widow already, at age 32! And there were no fewer than 9 souls in her household – including her father-in-law, sister-in-law, and a nephew. So cool! Great info gathered there, but kinda sad – a widow at such an early age. And, no name for James Sr.’s Dad. (I’m going out on a limb here – sorry, bad genealogy joke – and gonna posit a guess that his name well may be James!)
So, I did some more digging. This time I decided to do some more digging into Emma’s background. It didn’t take long for me to find her – but NOT someplace I thought I might! In fact, I’m still kind of reeling from it all!
Okay – let’s recap a bit.
James Halladay Jr. – John’s grandfather
James Halladay Sr. – John’s great grandfather
Eliza Black – John’s great-grandmother
Unknown Halliday – John’s great-great grandfather
Emma Frame – John’s great-great grandmother
William Black – John’s great-great grandfather
Margaret Unknown – John’s great-great grandmother
Hold on to your hat – here’s where it gets trippy.
William Black, married to Margaret Unknown, was the father of Eliza Black. Margaret Unknown passed away – probably sometime between 1861 and 1871 (Scottish Census years) because the youngest child, Arch (Eliza’s youngest brother) was born in 1861, but by the 1871 Census William had remarried.
Unknown Halliday, married to Emma Frame, was the father of James Halladay Sr. – right? Unknown Halliday passed away, I’d guess some time between 1855-ish and 1861, because James Sr.’s youngest brother was born in 1855, and Emma shows up as a widow on the 1861 Census.
On the 1871 Scottish Census Emma has remarried.
As noted above, William Black has also remarried by the 1871 Scottish Census.
These are our lovely couple above’s parents, right? James Halladay Sr. and Eliza Black.
William Black and Emma Frame Halladay are MARRIED TO EACH OTHER on the 1871 Census!
That means James and Eliza are step-brother and sister, right?
My head is still reeling.
From what I can see on Census records thus far – it appears that William and Emma did not have any children together. My, that would be a work out for my genealogy program, keeping those relationships straight if they did! Emma was in her 40’s by then, so I’m guessing the likelihood of many more babies to be fairly slim.
So – WOW! Unless you’re one of the family reading this I probably lost you WAY back when. But – WOW! How wild is that?
Needless to say, this just lures me into NEEDING to spend more time researching. Ugh! My free subscription ends on Friday.
Wanna guess what I’m going to be doing between now and then?!