Sunday, 22 August 2010

Alexander Fergusson Kennedy

Alexander Fergusson Kennedy was born at 9 Whitehill Street, Dennistoun on 31 March 1877.

By 1891 he was a pupil at Woodside Public School, which had opened its doors in 1882 and was given a prize in standard eight for “three specific and science subjects.”

He married Amelia Monteith Thomson at the United Free Church on 7 March 1907 and their children were Stewart, William, Margaret, Thomas and James.

This photograph was taken at the West End Studios at 127 Sauchiehall Street, probably sometime between 1893 and 1897. It shows the following people. The lady seated on the left is Margaret Thomson, Amelia Monteith Thomson’s mother, with her little son Ralph on her knee. He was to die in childhood. Amelia Monteith is the young lady standing in the centre and on her left is Margaret. Seated on the right of the picture is Mary and on her right is the youngest sister, Nancy.

Margaret is Great-aunt Maggie, who went to South Africa to make hats there and met General Smuts. She later returned to Glasgow and took up religion in quite a big way. It was she who sang to the whale that surfaced near Port Bannatyne and threatened to overturn the whole family in their rowing boat. She renounced alcohol but considered cider innocuous. She held the cinema to be evil.

Amelia Monteith Thomson was named after a distant relative Lady Amelia Monteith, who was said to have eloped with a coachman.

The 1891 Census shows the Thomson family living at 20 Bath Street, Glasgow. The head is James Thomson, in employment as a skinner aged 65 and his wife Maggie is 51. Also in the house were Helen, a clerk aged 24, William, a chemists assistant aged 22, Maggie, a milliner aged 21, Amelia Monteith, a scholar aged 16, Mary a scholar aged 11 and John, a scholar aged 7. Adding Nancy and little Ralph means there were at least eight Thomson children. They had a lodger too.

Alexander died at 5 Broomhill Terrace, Glasgow on 27 January 1946. He is described as a house factors clerk, having taken over his son James’ work at Hendry & Steel when the latter went off to War. He had previously lost his bank job and pension rights as a result of allowing some tradesman customers to have unsecured overdrafts at the time of the Great Depression.

Amelia Monteith Kennedy died on 24 June 1953, her address being 4 Roxburgh Street, Glasgow.

The picture of Alexander, above, is probably from the 1920s.

I am not going to detail the generations from now on, as there is no risk of the records being lost.

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