The Scottish Connection

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 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

County: Lanarkshire

Address: 59 Trongate Street

Occupation: Bootbinder

ED: 2

Household schedule number: 51

Line: 20

Roll: CSSCT1861_104


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!

Good gracious!

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?!

11 thoughts on “The Scottish Connection

    • Thanks Farmchick! I gotta admit – I get sucked in again all over again every time I open the genealogy program and start thinking something along the lines of, “I wonder if I can find so and so on the 1890 census….” and then before I know it – HOURS have passed! 🙂

      Thanks for the wishes for luck – I think I’m gonna need it!

  1. I can totally see resemblance between my dad and both James Halladay pictures. I love seeing old pictures…it is amazing how physical characteristics are passed down over so many years.

    • I know – right?! Same with John, too. I’ll have to post some pictures of Hazel when she was younger – with her siblings – you can totally see the connection between her father and grandparents – and your Dad and John. Amazing!

      When I’ve got things fleshed out a little more, I’ll get copies of stuff to you and your sisters, okay?

      Love you!

  2. I am sure glad that you wrote down all the info that mother gave you. I only vaguely remember any of the info and would not know where to start. Enjoyed reading

    • Hey Jim! I could just kick myself for not spending more time with Hazel and asking more questions! Of course, way back then I didn’t know which questions to ask, necessarily!

      I’ll keep updating as I find more info, okay?


  3. Dina,
    If you’re doing genealogical research in the UK, here is a newletter by Peter Calver, which has lots of money-saving tips when using UK records…

    PS– About those step-siblings, if they were older when the parents married each other, they probably considered the other family as co-sharers in the house & since they usually married locally,…

  4. My grandmother, Margaret Halladay Travis, was one of the siblings aboard that ship when the family immigrated to the US. We believe we have established her age as nine at the time. According to my mother, second daughter of Margaret and Asa James Travis, James Halladay preceded the family and was working in Irondale, Ohio. This information comes from a written record she made for her only child, me, and her 4 grandchildren. I can go into more detail in a follow on message, the written record is with my daughter, another Margaret! We are doing this research together and are so excited to have found you and all your good information. Or maybe you found us, how ever it happened we are grateful.
    One of my first comments concerned the eyes in the photo of James Sr. I know those eyes! My mother had them, my grandmother had them and I have them. Wow!

    • Peggy – SO glad you found us! Oh hooray! In fact, there are other cousins that would very much like to meet you as well! What a delight!

      SO interesting about the notation that James Sr. was here BEFORE the family – that makes WAY more sense to me just in terms of historical precedent, but Hazel felt so sure that he’d not come because he was finishing out his term in the Royal Navy. I’ve got to see if I can’t find any record of his service… Of course, they emigrated at a time that was between census years in the US, so won’t find him that way… What a *lovely* thing that your Mother did writing that down – what a precious gift!

      I’ll email you, okay?


  5. I’ll be watching for that email and sending up rockets that I have found cousins!! My daughter and I were wondering about the photo’s of the crest and the castle, do you know how they are connected to the Halladay’s? Also could you perhaps put the photo on of Eliza Black? We would love to have both of those on the site we are building.

    We do know from my mother’s written record, you’re correct, what a gift, that James Halladay who was my great-great grandfather died young leaving his wife Sarah with seven children to raise alone. There is a photo of her with the seven, all identified, on our site. Not sure how you can access that but will find out from my daughter.

    My mother had one sister, Mae, 10 yrs older, who married George Cline and moved to California. They had a large family 6 or 7 children some of whom live in Grants Pass, OR or did the last I checked.
    Sending hugs back,

  6. Oops, have to correct above comment. It was not James Halladay who died leaving his widow and large family it was my Travis great grandmother who found herself with seven children to raise. I am right about the photo being posted along with the tree we are building!

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