James and Majory McFarlane Hall

James and Marjory can be found in the 1901 and 1911 England Census, living at 57 Ashley Farm Road in Bristol, Gloucestershire, England in 1901 and at 92 Church Road, Horfeld, Bristo,l in 1911. In both of these census records, James’ half-sisters are shown living with James and Marjory. These two girls were the daughters of William Hall and his second wife Mary Cumming.

October 16, 2012 at 7:00 pm Leave a comment

James Hall, My Great Granduncle

James Hall was the second child born to William Hall and Lydia Selina Ramsbottom Hall, on July 3, 1868, in Secunderabad, Madras, India. His early life was the same as his brother Thomas’ – leaving India and returning to Perth, Scotland, living first with William and Lydia when he was 12  (1881 Scotland Census) and then with William and Mary Cumming when he was 22 (1891 Scotland Census) . In 1991, he was identified as a printer’s warehouseman, and he seems to have held that job for the rest of his life.

At first I thought a printer’s warehouseman was just a general labor job, but I found out differently. Printers warehousemen were skilled craftsmen, trained in a five-year apprenticeship and represented by a trade union. The warehouseman’s job was to receive the paper as it was delivered to the warehouse, inspect it page by page, and counting it out for specific printing jobs. After the paper was printed, he also was responsible for hanging the paper to dry, putting it together into books, and again inspecting each page. For more information on this job, check The Printer’s Complete Guide.


Warehouseman – not one of all the uncanny controlling-devices
has even a flicker of the expressiveness of the human hand. ~ Beatrice Warde

The next record I have for James is his marriage to Marjory McFarlane on November 17, 1898, in Perth. James was 32 and identified as a warehouseman and Marjory was 32 and identified as a dyer’s ironer and a spinster. The marriage took place at the bride’s residence at 8 Mill Street in Perth. James’ residence is listed as 8 Lower College Green in Bristol, England. James’s parents were William Hall, a factory gatekeeper, deceased, and Lydia Celena Hall, born Ramsbottom and also deceased. Marjorie’s parents were John McFarlane, an engine fitter, and Mary McFarlane, nee Laing. Marjory’s brother Alexander was one witness and the other was Isabella Ann Walkerston. The celebrant was W Carmichael, minister of St. John’s (East Parish) in Perth.

St. John’s Church, Perth, Perthshire, Scotland

August 29, 2012 at 3:24 pm Leave a comment

Sarah Purdie Barnes Hall

Sarah Purdie Barnes was born on October 6, 1878 at 30 Townhead, Irvine, County of Ayr, in Scotland. Her parents were James Barnes, a joiner journeyman, and Sarah Barnes, née Purdie. James and Sarah had been married on April 29, 1870, in Kilmarnook. This information came from Sarah’s birth record on Scotland’s People.

The Barnes family can be found in the censuses of Scotland:

  • 1871 – James, head, 25, cabinetmaker, living at 12 Douglas Street, Kilmarnock; Sarah, wife, 22; and Barbara, daughter, 9 months.
  • 1881 – James, head, 35, joiner, living at 22 Bentinck Street, Kilmarnock; Sarah, wife, 33; Barbara, daughter, 10; Maggie, daughter, 6; Sarah, daughter, 2; and John Aflack, 35, boarder.
  • 1891 – Sarah, head, 43, living at 17 James Little Street, Kilmarnock; Barbara, daughter, 20; Maggie, daughter, 16; Sarah, daughter, 12; and Agnes, daughter, 7.
  • 1901 – Sarah, head, 51, laundress, living at 15 James Little Street in Kilmarnock; Maggie, daughter, 24, laundress; Sarah, 21 ,daughter, laundress; and Nancy, 17, daughter, wool shop assistant. (Note: Nancy can be a nickname for Agnes.)
  • 1911 – Sarah, head, 63, living at 15 James Little Street, Kilmarnock; Sarah, 29 ,daughter, laundress, working on own account at home; Agnes, 25, daughter, assistant photographer; Sissie P. Blain, 4, granddaughter, school; and John B. Watt, 20, boarder, photographer. The grandchild was Sarah Purdie Blaine, born to Margaret Paterson Barnes and James Blain on August 11, 1907. Maggie and James were married on June 5, 1902.

Remember, Sarah married Thomas Hall on September 1, 1916, in Kilmarnock. When Thomas died in 1917, Sarah is listed as his wife, living at 22 Hauraki Road, Takapuna, Auckland, New Zealand. And yet Sarah was also listed st present in Glasgow at Thomas’ death on his death certificate. I can’t find Sarah on passenger lists to New Zealand. Later New Zealand records indicate that Sarah lived in New Zealand until she died in 1958, and that her sister Nancy (Agnes) Boyd Honore was the executor of her estate. Nancy (Agnes) also died in New Zealand, in 1965. There is a story here somewhere. I just haven’t found it yet.

August 27, 2012 at 8:24 pm Leave a comment

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My Mom Ada


This blog traces the family history of my mom, Edith Porter Duffy. From the time I was a little girl, my mom would tell me stories about her family, who all called her Ada. I only wish I had asked her more questions while she was still here!

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