Friday, 5 April 2013

The Allen family so far


Mary Maitland Allen

This photo is of my great-grandmother, Mary Maitland Allen. The story that was passed down to me by my grandmother was that she was born in Glasgow, Scotland and emigrated to Canada as a young woman. She apparently met her future husband, Samuel Mulligan, on the voyage over and after first settling in Montreal later moved to Ottawa. There was mention that her brother Peter also emigrated to Canada. (I have used the spelling of her surname as ‘Allen’ consistently throughout this as it was stressed to me by my grandmother that that was how she spelled her name though the records in Scotland say ‘Allan’). 

Civil registration did not begin in Scotland until 1855.  I have found parish records for the births of her brothers and sisters but not one for Mary Maitland Allen. She was shown as 4 yrs old on the 1851 Census and aged 13 on the 1861 Census which suggests her birth was between 1846 and 1848. Like her brothers and sisters, she was most likely born in Glasgow. The 1901 & 1911 Canada Census asked for both date of birth and year of immigration. Her birthdate is listed as Feb 1849 on one and 15 Dec 1850 on the other. Both times she gave her date of immigration as 1866. I have yet to find her on a Passenger List to Canada then, on a Census in Quebec, or even of her marriage to Samuel Mulligan. But that is, as they say, another story and for now I will address her family in Scotland.

The next generation was apparently not well informed about her ancestors, as shown when they provided details when she died in Ottawa on 18 March 1926. Her Ontario death registration gave her birthdate as 1850 and named her parents incorrectly as Allan and Agnes Maitland. This information was provided by her eldest son. Beechwood Cemetery records list her mother’s name as Agnes Allen and leaves her father’s name blank. Her brother Peter did emigrate to Canada and his Ontario death registration in 1925 lists his parents as Duncan Allen and Margaret Maitland as provided by his eldest son. These conflicting leads did give me some clues for my later searches in Scottish records.

Mary's parents


Her parents, Duncan Allen and Agnes Maitland, were married in Barony, Glasgow on 21 Aug 1836 (see blog entry March 6, 2013). They had 6 children:
  1.  Janet (aka Jessie) Allen - born 11 Aug 1837
  2. Agnes Turnbull Allen - born 30 Apr 1839
  3. Peter Allen - born 15 Jan 1841
  4. Isabella Allen - born 6 February 1843, died 1843 - 1851
  5. Ann Allen - born 26 Nov 1844, died 1844 - 1851
  6. Mary Maitland Allen - born about 1847
Duncan Allen was born in Gorbals, Glasgow on 15 November 1815 and was the son of Peter Allen and Janet Millar. As well as Duncan, Peter and Janet had four other children: Margaret b.1805 in Barony district of Glasgow; Peter b.1810, John b. 1813, and Isobel b. 1818 all born in Gorbals, Glasgow. Still searching for their marriage.


He is listed on the 1841 Scotland Census as a Smith, aged 20, living on Portugal Lane in Gorbals, Glasgow with Mrs. Allen, and children Janet aged 3, Agnes aged 2, and Peter aged 5 months. Though I have not found a death record for him, Duncan seems to have died sometime between Mary’s birth and Agnes Maitland Allen’s subsequent marriage to a Hugh Brown on 27 April 1849. On the 1851 Scotland Census, Agness Brown is listed as living at 36 Hope St. in Barony, Glasgow with her husband, Hugh Brown a shoemaker, and her children Janet, Agnes, Peter, and Mary Allen as well as Hugh’s children Gavin and Margaret Brown.  Neither Isabella or Ann appears with the family on the 1851 or any later Census and I assume that they both died in childhood though I have not located death records for them.

The 1861 Scotland Census shows the blended family still living at 36 Hope St. in Barony parish Glasgow. Along with Agnes, Peter, and Mary, there are now also Hugh & Agnes’s children: Annie aged 7, James aged 5 and Robert aged 3.

Agnes Maitland, the daughter of James Maitland and Janet McEwan, was born 11 January 1816 in Glasgow. She died in Glasgow on 19 September 1887. According to the Census, Hugh Brown had been born in Ireland about 1808. He died 13 Apr 1879.

Mary's brothers and sisters:   

  1. Janet Allen was not shown living with the family on the 1861 Scottish Census. She may have already emigrated to Canada for I found the marriage of a Jessie Allen to Thomas Kingston in Ottawa, Ontario on 13 Oct 1862. Jessie being a common Scottish nickname for Janet. The bride had been born in Glasgow and her parents are shown as Duncan & Agnes Allen and his as Thomas and Elizabeth Kingston. Jessie and Thomas are listed on the 1871 Census living in Ottawa but I have not found them there on later censuses or of their deaths there. They may have moved away from the area as I found a death in Michigan in 1913 of a widower named Thomas Kingston which could be him. His parents are listed as Thomas Kingston and Elizabeth Chambers. Another indication that this is the same Janet Allen is that her brother Peter named his second son Thomas Kingston Allen. Though why his brother in law was honoured in such a way I am unsure.
  2. As yet I’m not sure what happened to Agnes Turnbull Allen. I haven’t found a death or a marriage. She was last listed with the family on the 1861 Census and I will continue to look for her.
  3.  As mentioned, Peter Allen came to Canada as well. He had married Janet Russell in Glasgow 12 Jul 1867. The family emigrated to Ontario about 1873.  They had 9 children:
  •  Duncan Allen - b. 26 March 1868 in Blythswood, Glasgow, died 1871-1881
  •  Jessie Cowan Allen - b. 12 Oct 1869 in Anderston, Glasgow, died 1871-1881
  • Thomas Kingston Allen - b. 18 Feb 1872 in Anderston, Glasgow, Known as T.K., became a lawyer, married Catherine Christie, lived in Kemptville, Ontario
  • Agnes M Edith Allen - b. 29 Jul 1875 in Prescott, Ontario, married Edward Pepper in 1901, died in  Toronto in 1935
  • Lucy Annieta Allen - b. 3 Apr 1877 in Prescott, Ontario, married William Carruthers in Winnipeg,      Manitoba, lived in Kenora, Ontario
  • Ellen Jane Allen - b. 5 May 1882 in Prescott, Ontario, died 1882- 1891
  • Jessie Elizabeth - b. 29 Sep 1884 in Prescott, Ontario, became a school teacher, died 29 Nov 1906 in Prescott, Ontario  
  • John Russell Allen - b. 17 Apr 1887 in Prescott, Ontario, died 1887-1891
  • Alwilda Jean Allen - b. 14 Sep 1889 in Prescott, Ontario, Married Hugh Kelso in 1919 
The 1871 Scotland Census shows Peter and Janet Allan living at 41 Elderslie St., in Barony, Glasgow with their children Duncan aged 3 and Jessie aged 1.  Peter’s occupation is given as Blacksmith, like his father before him.  On the 1881 Canada Census they are living in Prescott, Grenville County, Ontario with Thomas 9, Agnes 6 and Lucy aged 4.  Here his occupation is shown as Machinist. Duncan and Jessie are not listed and it is presumed they died in childhood possibly before the family came to Canada. By 1891, Peter and Janet are 48 and 45 yrs old. Their children are listed as Thomas aged 19, Agnes 16, Anniet 14, Jessie 6 and Alwilda aged 1 year. Ellen and John are not shown and it is presumed that they also died in infancy.
    4. Isabella - as mentioned she probably died in infancy
    5. Ann - also died in infancy

    Taken in Glasgow of Unknown couple
    There must have been some family left in Glasgow as Mary Mulligan returned in 1910, 1914 and 1921 to “visit family”. There are passenger list records for these trips. I have a wedding photo of an unknown couple taken in Glasgow about that time and wonder if she returned to Scotland to attend this event. It could be of a descendant of sister Agnes, one of her Brown step-siblings, or even one of her cousins. Unfortunately, there is nothing on the back of the photo to tell us.


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