Saturday, 19 April 2014

52 Ancestors #18 Agnes Campbell Black

Locating information about some family members can be a challenge, especially when the family members are female. In order to locate information about Agnes Campbell Black I was fortunate in that a cousin of my father had given him some notes about the Thom family. Searching through Trove and gleaning what I could from I have been able to trace some additional information about her life.

Agnes Campbell Black was born in Glasgow, Scotland on 5 December 1829. Her father was James Black (born c 1800) who was a baker. Her mother, Agnes Campbell, was probably born in 1805.

James and Agnes were married on 22 June 1822 and appear to have had six children - Janet Black (born 1824), Mary Stewart Black (1825-1914), Elizabeth Black (born 1827), Agnes Campbell Black, James Black (born 1833) and William Black (born 1836). In 1841 James and the children were living in High Street Lanark. There is no mention of Agnes in this or subsequent censuses so she possibly died prior to 1841.

Agnes Campbell Black married William Thom prior to the 1851 census where it was recorded that she and William were living at Lewes Land Argyle Street in Dunoon. William's occupation was  listed as a pastry baker (journeyman). He had therefore completed his apprenticeship but was not yet considered a master of the craft. By the 1861 census they were living at 139 New City Road, Glasgow. Two children were listed in the census - Archibald who was 9 (1852-1877) and Mary who was 5 (1856-1907).  Agnes and William had three other sons - William (date of birth unknown but born after the 1861 census, died 1942), James Campbell (1863-1929) and John Stuart (1868-1950). (The notice in  the newspaper about the wedding of James Campbell Thom and Annie Smith mentioned that James was the 6th son of the late William Thom of Glasgow but I have not found any record of other children.)

William Thom continued to develop his trade as a biscuit maker. An article in the Glasgow Herald in 1863 described how machines at one Glasgow biscuit manufacturer were being used to make biscuits. One imagines that William had developed a successful business as it was while on a business trip to France that he drowned in the English Channel. This would have been some time in the 1870s. No further information has been discovered about this event as yet.

Some years later Agnes decided to take her family to Australia, possibly around 1876 or 1877 as an obituary for James Campbell Thom, when he died in 1929, stated that he had been in Australia for about 52 years . The family settled in Sydney and appear to have quickly established themselves in their new country.

Archibald  (Archie) possibly came to Sydney before the rest of the family. In January 1876 he married Lydia Sly and they lived at Yass where he was principal master of Yass Grammar School. He died in May the following year, aged 25, a month before the birth of his daughter, Archia. In order to make a living Lydia advertised that she would run a school for young ladies, first in the Windsor area and then at Redfern.

Mary married James Glen who had come to Australia from Scotland in 1869. Mary and James had four children - William James McKinnon Glen (1878-1957), Isabella Glen (1880-1881), Walter Campbell Glen (1884-1864) and Archibald Thom Glen (1886-1956).

William (Bill) was an accountant. In 1893 he married Amy Gibbons. Amy died in 1912. In 1919 he married Mary Florence Mason (Florrie). Bill had an office at 57 York Street in Sydney but in their later years Bill and Florrie lived at Katoomba in the Blue Mountains.

John Stuart (Jack) was a lawyer in Sydney. He owned the company J Stuart Thom & Co. In 1893 he married Alice Burney.

James Campbell Thom was also a lawyer and for a while worked with his brother's firm before becoming Solicitor for the Railways and later in his career a barrister in the New South Wales Supreme Court. He married Annie Smith and they had two sons and three daughters. Annie died in 1911. In 1913 James married Annie's sister, Ellen.

In 1892 Agnes married William Wallace. After his death she lived with her daughter, Mary Glen. When Mary died in 1907 moved in with James and Ellen until her death in 1920. Originally they were living in a house named Camelot in Forest Road, Rockdale, but in 1920 were living in a house named Fenella in McKinnon Street, Lindfield. Agnes was 91 when she died.

The Campbell name, used as a second name for several generations in my family, was passed into the family via Agnes' mother, Agnes Campbell.

Agnes Campbell Black was my great (x2) grandmother.

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