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Message #57033

Board Name: Scotland
Mary Walzer El Cajon, CA Apr 12, 2006
Looking for any info on my gggrandfather, Angus McKay & his wife Ardelle. They immigrated to Montreal, Canada from Scotland in the mid-to late
1800's. I don't know much but here goes. Maybe someone will recognize their story. Mr. McKay (we think his first name was Angus) and his wife (we think her name was Ardelle Margaret, surname unknown) had four children. My ggrandmother was their first born in 1882. Her name was Ardelle Margaret McKay. There were three sons born sometime later, they were, Angus, Daniel A. & Walter C. Mrs McKay died sometime before 1900 & her sons were young enough that their father took them to an orphanage. Ardelle was married on 10/9/1903 in Danville, Ohio, to Frank Benjamin Thompson b.1875 in Taylorville, IL. They moved to Springfield, Il shortly after their marriage. She took in extra laundry & cleaned homes to earn enough extra money to send for her brothers. By the time they went to live with their sister, they were teenagers. The McKay sons were not well cared for or well educated in the orphanage and their social skills left much to be desired. They never married or had children. They lived & worked together as coal miners in Springfield until they died sometime after 1942. Between 1906 & 1928, Ardelle McKay & Frank Thompson had 6 kids, Gerald, Frank, Margaret (my grandmother), Harold, Annabelle & Walter. My grandmother & her mother were pregnant at the same time & their sons were born just 4 months apart. Ardelle McKay died on 10/30/1942. Frank died 7/1/1946. They lived in Springfield all of their lives. Frank was a veteran of the Spanish War. He was a master shoemaker, but had to work as a carpenter most of his life since there were more jobs available. I have a lot of pictures that appear to be from the late 1880's and they appear to be of infants & family gatherings of the same people over a number of years. Most were taken in a rural mountain area on a farm. Nothing is written on them & I have no living relatives to ask. I am pretty sure they are of the McKay family, because I can identify all of the Thompson photos. I have no idea what became of Angus McKay, my grand-mother said her mother never spoke of him, or of her life in Canada. The only hint of first names for the McKay's came from my grandmother's sister-in-law. My grand-mother once told her that her mother named her for herself & her grand-mother. She reversed it to Margaret Ardelle. Her mother also went by Margaret but it was her middle name. I too have the middle name Margaret. She also said that her Uncle Angus was the first born son & was given his father's name. (Even though all of the other children were given middle names, no record has ever been found of a middle name for him & he was never referred to as a JR.) My grandmother said her mother was very adamant that all of her children finish school, but the girls only had to finish the eighth grade. She didn't want them to grow up like her brothers. She also instilled a very strong family bond that kept them all close even though they lived 2,000 miles apart for most of their adult lives. Her mother was very religious, she was raised in the Presbytarian faith. She was also an expert seamstress, taught by her mother. She passed this on to my grandmother who passed it on to me. All of the other names & dates I have came from my ggrandmothers obituary and a beautiful little leather bound diary/journal that she received for christmas in 1900 when she was 18 years old. I have it still. She only wrote her name and the date she received it. All of the other entries are poems or personal notes made by family and friends at different times in her life. The note her father wrote was very sad so I suspect mother's passing had been recent. He signed it Angus McKay, not father. There were notes from each of her brothers who wrote of how much they missed her and the handwriting of that Angus was childish. Those are all of the clues I have. I hope someone out there will recognize this family's story as I have been up against this brickwall for the last 6 years. I would really like to know who the people in the photos are. They, like her diary, are in wonderful condition and were obviously treasured. Any information no matter how small would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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