brian mckay's family tree
I had first discovered Janet through the Marriage record of her daughter, Margaret Richmond. This gave the name of her parents as John Richmond and Janet Barr. For a long time I only had Janet's Birth and Marriage records along with the births of two of her children. However, in June 2015, through my investigations into her husband, I gleaned more information on Janet.
Sadly, Janet died in a Poorhouse in Irvine, Ayrshire. Although she had been born and brought up in the West of Scotland, she had spent much of her married life in and around Leith. According to the 1881 Census, she was living in an institution (a Poorhouse?) in South Leith, but how she came to be in Irvine 10 years after her husband's death is a mystery and why she should have ended her days in a Poorhouse is also puzzling, given that members of her family were alive and well in Leith. I don't suppose we'll ever know what happened.
KEY EVENTS AND DATES
Birth - 8th June 1812
Janet was born in Houston & Killearn, Renfrewshire. Her parents were John Barr and Margaret Kay. The actual entry in the Parish Records reads:
John Barr Shoemaker in Houston & Killearn & spouse Margaret Kay had a child born 8th June named
Marriage - 15th September 1832 or 1833
Not sure whether the year was 1832 or 1833. I have two transcripts of the record, one for each date. This needs to be checked further. However, on on of these dates, Janet Barr married John Richmond (6) in Houston & Killearn in Renfrewshire. Given that their first daughter was born in April 1833, the marriage probably took place in 1832, but Janet would already have been pregnant at the time of the wedding. One of the actual record reads:
August 25 -
Proclamation of Marriages in 1832
John Richmond and Janet Barr, Parishioners, booked their names
for proclamation of banns, on purpose of marriage, & were
married on 15th September thereafter.
24th April 1833
Janet's daughter, Isabel Fraser Richmond, was born in Houston & Killearn. John's occupation was 'Carder'. The actual record reads:
John Richmond Carder Houston and Janet Barr his spouse had a child born 24th April named
- Isabell Fraser
In the actual record the second 'l' in 'Isabell' was scored through.
1st September 1836
Janet's son, John, was born in Houston & Killearn. By this time John was a Tea Dealer in Crossley. The actual record reads:
John Richmond Tea Dealer Crossley & Janet Barr his wife had a son born 1st September named
Details from Census and other records suggest that Janet's daughter, Margaret, was born in this year, but her place of birth is uncertain. Some of the records say it was in Houston, Renfrewshire, but others say Edinburgh. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find the record of her Birth anywhere in Scotland.
The Census records that Janet, aged 29, was living at 16 Calton Street, "South Leith part of the Sacra Parish of Lady Glenorchy's". Living with her were her husband, John aged 30, a "Post Office Runner" and her children Isabella (8), Margaret (3) and John (6 months). The record for the young John is interesting, because I have a Birth record for John for 1836. Clearly, this cannot be the same John, so I wonder if the '1836 John' died in infancy and if this' newer John' was named in his memory? There is however, no record of the birth of a second John, nor a record of the death of the first John. There is, however, a record of a John Richmond, who died aged 10 months in Leith in 1841. The father is also named as John Richmond. It seems likely that this is the second John.
18th September 1841
As noted above, from the 1841 Census, it looks like Janet's son John, who was born in 1836, had died by the time of the Census. This is because there is a record of a John aged 6 months in the Census. The Census took place in May 1841 and I have found a record of a John Richmond dying in Leith 4 months later, aged 10 months. He died from "Water on the Brain" and his father is recorded as John Richmond.
Janet is recorded as living at 3 Catherine Street in the Parish of St Cuthberts, Edinburgh. She was aged 38 and was employed as an "Embroideress". Her place of birth was given as "Renfrewshire, Houston". Her husband, John, was aged 39 and was employed as a "Messenger G.P.O. His place of birth is given as "Ayrshire, Stevenson". A number of interesting people were living with them, John's mother and a lodger who may have been the father of two of Janet's grandchildren. John's mother, Isabella Richmond, was aged 79 and and a widow. She was described as an "Annuitant" (one who lives on an annuity) and her place of birth was recorded as Loanhead, Stirlingshire.
Also living there were Janet's daughters Isabella (17), Margaret aged 12 and a Scholar and Mary aged 8 and a Scholar. The lodger is called John Wallace, a Shoemaker aged 20, born in "Haddingtonshire, Dunbar". He is an interesting character because in the 1861 Census, two of Janet's grandchildren with the surname 'Wallace' were living with him.
The Census records that Janet was living at 2 Gilchrist Lane, Parish of Greenside, Edinburgh. She was aged 48 and recorded as , having been born in "Renfrew, Houston". Her husband, John, was aged 50 and by occupation was a "Messenger G.P.O.". His place of birth was "Ayrshire, Stevenston". Also living there were her children Margaret, aged 22, a Domestic Servant; Mary, aged 20 and a widow and also a Domestic Servant; David, aged 5 and a Scholar; and their grandchildren - James Wallace (8), John Wallace (7) and Janet Bradley Richmond (11 months). The name 'Wallace' suggests that they may be the children of John Wallace, the lodger who was recorded as living in John's house in the 1851 Census. What is more interesting is that they may have been Mary's children. She is now a widow, but if they were hers, the oldest, John, would have been born when Mary was 12.
17th June 1864
Janet's daughter, Margaret, married David Campbell at 2 Gilchrist Lane, Greenside Row, Edinburgh. She was 25 years old and lived at 7 Comely Green Park, Edinburgh. Her parents, named as John Richmond and Janet Barr, were still alive.
The Census records Janet as living at 24 Greenside Street, Parish of St Andrews, Edinburgh. I'm wondering if this is actually the same house in which they've lived for the past 20 years or more, as the entries either side of hers are for 2 and 4 Gilchrist Lane. Anyway, Janet is aged 58 born in Renfrewshire. Her husband, John, is aged 60 and is described as a "Messenger G. P. Office". His place of birth is confirmed as Ayrshire. Also living there were Janet's son, David, a Painter aged 18 and two grandsons - James Wallace, also aged 18 and a Brass Founder and Robina Richmond, aged 8 and a Scholar. The son and grandsons were all born in Edinburgh.
28th December 1880
Janet's husband, John, died at 5 a.m. at Laurie's Close, Giles Street, Leith. He was aged 70 and his occupation was recorded as Messenger General Post Office. His condition was described as being "Married to Janet Barr". The cause of John's death was recorded as "Paralysis 12 months". John's parents were given as John Richmond, Coal Miner, (deceased) and Isabella Richmond M/S Fraser, also deceased. The informant was John's daughter, Margaret Campbell, living at Hillhousefield.
Just over 4 months after the death of her husband, Janet was recorded in the 1881 Census as being an "Inmate" at an institution in South Leith. Unfortunately the Census record does not provide a name for the institution, nor an address, but, given that she died in a Poorhouse, (see below), my assumption is that it was a Poorhouse. So, once again, here is an ancestor assigned to a Poorhouse while close relatives are living nearby. Whatever the circumstances, Janet was recorded as being "Janet Barr or Richmond", a widowed housewife aged 69 and having been born in Newton, Renfrewshire.
Death - 15th July 1890
Janet died at 3.30 a.m. in the Poorhouse in Irvine, Ayrshire. She was aged 78. She was described as the Widow of John Richmond, Mail Inspector. Her parents were recorded as having been John Barr, Butcher (deceased) and Margaret Barr, M/S Kay, (deceased). Janet died from "Senile Debility". Her death was reported by Hugh Lockhart, the Governor of the Poorhouse.