Thursday, June 10, 2010

Agnes Hughan and Peter Stroyan

Agnes Hughan was the sister of my great-great-great grandfather Robert Alexander Hughan.She was born c. 1792, and baptised at Kirkmabreck on June 13, 1792. Her parents, Alexander Hughan and Agnes Herris, are noted as being "in Burns".

Agnes married Minnigaff man Peter Stroyan c. 1812, and together they had a family of six children: Mary born 1813; Stewart born 1815; James born 1818; John born 1819; Peter born 1828 and Agnes born 1831. I have no idea why there is such a big gap between children- no births between 1819 and 1828 represents almost a decade between the births of the fourth and fifth children, although we must remember that just because they don't appear in the baptismal records, doesn't mean that the births didn't occur. Agnes may very well have given birth to a child or children that didn't survive infancy-without baptismal records or census returns, these children slip through a researcher's net and become lost to history.
Peter Stroyan was a carpenter/joiner, and also a respected church officer and beadle of the Minnigaff Village Church.The Scots census returns allows us to follow the family:
1841: Minnigaff Village.
Peter Stroyan/ joiner/ 50 years/ born in Kirkcudbrightshire
Agnes Stroyan/ 40/ born Kirkcudbrightshire
Stewart Stroyan/ 20/ fisher/ born Kirkcudbrightshire.
Peter Stroyan/12/ born Kirkcudbrightshire
Agnes Stroyan/ 9/ born Kirkcudbrightshire.
Stewart Stroyan/4/ born Kirkcudbrightshire (female)Grandchild.

There is no sign of eldest child Mary, who would have been about 27 years old. I haven't been able to locate a definite marriage for her, and the burial records for Minnigaff do not exist pre-1855. There is a possibility for a marriage:
Mary Stroyan married James Currans on November 28, 1841, at Penninghame, Wigtownshire. This ties in with a 1841 census entry:
Mary Stroyan/ 20/ born c. 1821/ born Scotland/ female servant working for Helen Carson and family of 'Grange of Cree', Penninghame, Wigtownshire. Also working there was 25 year old agricultural labourer James 'Currance', from Wigtown. This young couple obviously married just after the census, and I can't find any trace at all of them after that moment.
The existence of the grandchild Stewart Stroyan is also a mystery. She was born in c. 1837-38 in Minnigaff, but I can't find a baptism for her under the name of 'Stroyan'.She may have been an illegitimate child of Mary Stroyan, or even one of her brothers Stewart or James. She was still living with her grandparents at the time of the 1861 census, but again I lose track of her after sign of a marriage or death.

1851 census: Minnigaff Village.
Peter Stroyan/ head/ 67 years/ b c. 1784, Minnigaff/ church officer.
Agnes Stroyan/wife/ 57 years born c. 1794/ born Minnigaff
Peter Stroyan/son/22/ labourer/ born Minnigaff
Stewart Stroyan/grand daughter/ 13/ scholar/ born Minnigaff

1861: Minnigaff Village.
Peter Stroyan/ head/78/ church officer/ born Minnigaff
Agnes Stroyan/ wife/68/ born Kirkmabreck.
Agnes Gray/ grand daughter/ 8/ born Minnigaff

The appearance of this grand daughter is explained by an entry in the baptismal record of Minnigaff for
" Agnes, illegitimate daughter of John Gray and Agnes Stroyan was born at Minnigaff on July 21st and baptised in presence of Session August 15, 1852."
It must have been very difficult for Peter Stroyan, as a church officer, to have an illegitimate grandchild baptised in his church. His daughter Agnes would have been aged 20 or 21 at the time she gave birth to her daughter Agnes Gray. She never married, and like Stewart,the other grand daughter who lived with the Stroyans, I have not been able to discover what happened to her daughter after her childhood.

1871: Minnigaff Village.
Peter Stroyan/ head/ 88/ carpenter/ born Minnigaff
Agnes Stroyan/wife/ 78/ born Kirkmabreck
Agnes Stroyan/ daughter/ 38/ dressmaker/ born Minnigaff.

Peter Stroyan died on December 28, 1878,at Minnigaff Village, aged 97 years.His death certificate stated that he was a joiner, married to Agnes Hughan. His parents were James Stroyan, ploughman, and mother's name was unknown by his son Peter Stroyan who was informant on the certificate.

1881: Minigaff Village.
Agnes Stroyan/ head/ 88/ widow/ joiner's widow/ born Creetown.
Agnes Stroyan/ daughter/ 50/ dressmaker/ born Minnigaff.

Agnes Hughan Stroyan died on September 14, 1885, at Minnigaff Village, aged 93 years. Her daughter Agnes Stroyan was informant on the death certificate, and stated that her mother was the widow of Peter Stroyan, joiner, and the daughter of Alexander Hughan, farmer, and Agnes Herries. Her cause of death was 'old age', as certified by James Clark, surgeon.

Agnes Stroyan, daughter of Peter and Agnes, continued to live in Minnigaff Village. In the 1891 census she was living alone, aged 55, and still earning a living as a dressmaker. By 1901 she had moved to Newton Stewart in the parish of Penninghame in Wigtownshire, still dressmaking, and remained there until her death in 1914.

What little is known of the children of Peter Stroyan and Agnes Hughan is as follows;

MARY STROYAN: baptised November 23, 1813, Minnigaff. May have married James Currans/Currance 28 November 1841, Penninghame, Wigtownshire.

STEWART STROYAN: baptised August 25, 1815, Minnigaff. Married Agnes Murdoch on October 2, 1842, at Newton Stewart, Penninghame, Wigtownshire. Had three children: Robina Murdoch Stroyan born c. 1844(married Willaim Stewart of Bombay); Grace Clelland Stroyan born c. 1848. Elementary teacher; Keith Stewart Stroyan baptised August 28, 1849, Draper. Died 1914.
The 1851 census revealed that Stewart was a 32 year old shepherd. In 1861 he was still a shepherd, and his eldest daughter Robina, 17, was a pupil teacher. Grace and Keith were scholars aged 13 and 11.
The 1871 census found the family at Penninghame Cottage- Stewart still a shepherd, son Keith a 20 year old draper, and the girls living away from home: Grace was the school teacher at Strachan, Kincardineshire, and Robina was teaching in the village of Praze, Crowan in Cornwall, England. By 1881, Robina was back living at Penninghame Home Farm Cottage with her parents and brother Keith, and her occupation was 'school teacher'. Her father Stewart's occupation had changed from 'shepherd' to 'gas manager'. Aged 31, Grace Stroyan was lodging with a local family at Cleish, Kinross , where she was a teacher.
Some time between the 1881 census and 1887 when her daughter married, Agnes Murdoch Stroyan died. On Robina Stroyan's marriage certificate, her mother is noted as "Agnes Stroyan, maiden surname Murdoch, deceased".

On August 25, 1887, at All Saints Church, Penninghame, 44 year old teacher Robina Murdoch Stroyan married locomotive foreman William Stewart, aged 44. A widower, William Stewart had been resident at Bombay prior to the marriage.

I don't know just how successful Robina's marriage was, because by the time the 1891 census was taken, Robina was living back at Penninghame Cottage under her maiden name of 'Robina Murdoch Stroyan' with her father Stewart and both siblings, Grace and Stewart. William had travelled back to Bombay for work with his employer, the Bengal Nagpur Railway at Nagpur, British India.
I have no way of knowing if Robina joined her husband in India at any stage of their marriage, or how often William travelled back to Scotland to visit her. Neither appear in any shipping lists that are available online.
William Stewart died on October 6, 1899, in India.Documents pertaining to his will have been very helpful in gaining a clearer picture of his life:
"The said William Stewart, a native of the village of Kirkcowan in Wigtownshire, Locomotive foreman sometime residing in Newton Stewart in the County of Wigtown and afterwards employed on the Bengal Napur Railway at Nagpur in British India and thereafter residing at Bollarum near Secunderabad, India, died at Bollarum on the sixth day of October, 1899, domiciled in the county of Wigtown in Scotland; that the deponent is executer of the said deceased William Stewart, nominated by him in a will executed by the said deceased William Stewart on the 27th of July 1888 in which will the said deceased William Stewart is designed "native of the village of Kirkacowan in Wicktinshire, Scotland" and the said David Holden, executor, is designed "of the G.J.P Railway Traffic Department"; that the said will was made by the said William Stewart at Nagpur in British India...
.....Will. This is the last will and testament of me, William Stewart, native of the village of Kirkacowan in Wicktinshire, Scotland. After payment of all of my just debts, funeral and other expenses I give devise and bequeath all my real estate and personal estate unto my wife Robina Murdoch Stroyan who is a native of Penninghame Wicktinshire Scotland and I hereby appoint Mr David Holden of G.J.P Rly Traffic Department sole executor of this my will as witness my hand this day 27 July 1888. Signed: W. Stewart."
William Stewart's estate was valued at a little over 582 pounds, which would have given Robina financial security for the rest of her life and explains why she didn't have to continue teaching as did her sister Grace.

Stewart Stroyan died on October 26, 1896, aged 79, at The School House, Challoch, Parish of Penninghame. His cause of death was "Epithelioma of lip; extension of disease to glands of neck after operation on lip." His son, Keith Stroyan, gave the information on the death certificate, but was unaware of the name of his grandmother, which seems ridiculous as she was still alive until 1885. He gave details of his grandfather: "Peter Stroyan, Sexton,deceased.", and stated that his father was a 'retired gas manager, widower of Agnes Murdoch'.
His children never married, and were still living together at Challoch School House in 1901. Keith Stroyan died in 1914, followed by sister Grace and Robina both in 1929.
The sisters died within two days of eachother, their causes of death being identical- "influenza and senility". They had been living together at Cairnlea, Newton Stewart, Penninghame, and their deaths were registered by their cousin, Carrie Stroyan, who was the daughter of their uncle Peter Stroyan. Carrie gave the following details about her cousins' parents: " Stewart Stroyan, gas manager, deceased; mother Agnes Stroyan, maiden surname Milligan". The latter was a mistake, as their mother's name was Murdoch.
Both sisters were 'retired teacher's. Robina Stewart was noted as being the widow of William Stewart, engineer,and "Gracie" Stroyan was single.
Thus ended the family line of Stewart Stroyan-three children born to him and his wife, none of whom had issue.

JAMES STEWART STROYAN: baptised December 14, 1818, Minnigaff.The 1841 census has James Stroyan, aged 18, working as an agricultural labourer for James Ketterick in Kirkmabreck. Also there employed as an ag lab was Robert Hughson/Hughan, who may have been James' first cousin (if the Alexander Hughan who married Jean Livingston was the brother of James' mother Agnes!!!)
James Stroyan born c. 1818, Minnigaff, never again appears in any census returns for either Scotland or England. I think this is because he is the James Stroyan who died at Creetown on January 1, 1851, aged 31 years.The memorial inscription in Creetown Kirkyard reads "By Margaret Pollock in memory of her husband JAMES STROYAN died 27 January, 1851, aged 31."
James Stroyan married Margaret Pollock on November 23, 1849, at Kirkmabreck. Margaret was the daughter of Alexander and Elizabeth Pollock, born c. 1825. James and Margaret had one child before James' death:
"Stroyan: William, lawful son of James Stroyan and Margaret Pollock, Creetown, born December 6,1850; baptised 12 January 1851."- Kirkmabreck Parish Register.

After her husband's death, Margaret Stroyan moved with her baby son back to her parent's home in Kirkmabreck parish where her father Alexander Pollock was an agricultural labourer. Also still at home was her 18 year old sister, Joan Pollock.

Margaret Pollock Stroyan remarried and with her new husband, John Kelly, resided at Glenquicken in Kirkmabreck parish, and had children Elizabeth, Peter, Alexander and Janet.
Margaret's only child with James Stroyan, William Stroyan, became a Police Constable. He married twice: firstly, to Lillias McClellan Kelly, on June 4, 1875, at Creetown. Lillias was a 21 year old domestic servant residing at Creetown, the daughter of Robert Kelly, granite quarry labourer of Creetown, and Annie McLellan.
William Stroyan was a 23 year old ploughman who had been working at Anworth. His parents were James Stroyan, carter, deceased, and Margaret Stroyan maiden surname Pollock now Kelly.
By 1881, William Stroyan had become a police constable, and was living with his family at the Police Station at Colvend.He and Lilias had three sons: Robert born c. 1873, Kirkmabreck; James born c. 1877, Kirkmabreck and Alexander born c. 1880, Colvend.
Before Lillias's death in 1885 at the age of 31, she gave birth to a further two children- William born c. 1883, Colvend, and Lillias McClellan born 1885, Colvend.
Lillias died suddenly of an embolism after the birth of her only daughter, Lillias, on April 4, 1885.
William Stroyan, left to manage a large family of young children as well as carry out his police work, married again in 1887.
On December 6, 1887, at Casphairn, Kirkcudbright, 36 year old widower William Stroyan married 25 year old Mary Galloway. She was from Casphairn Village, where William was the local police constable, and was the daughter of John Galloway, shepherd, deceased, and his wife Agnes.
Mary Galloway Stroyan gave birth to five more children- Margaret; Agnes; John; Peter and finally Charles.

1891 Census: Gateside, Kirkgunzeon, Kirkcudbright.
William Stroyan/head/40/police constable/ born Creetown.
Mary Stroyan/wife/28/born 1863, Balmaclellan.
Alexander Stroyan/son/10/born c. 1881, Colvend.
William Stroyan/son/8/born c. 1883, Colvend.
Lillias McL Stroyan/daughter/6/ born 1885, Colvend.
Margaret Stroyan/daughter/2/ born 1889, Kirkgunzeon
Agnes Stroyan/daughter/1/ born 1890, Kirkgunzeon.

1901: Creesbridge Village, Minnigaff.
William Stroyan/head/50/police constable/ born Kirkmabreck.
Mary Stroyan/wife/38/ born Balmaclellan/policeman's wife.
Agnes Stroyan/daughter/11/ scholar/born c. 1890 Kirkmabreck
John Stroyan/son/8/ born c. 1893, Colvend/ scholar
Peter Stroyan/ son/ 6/ born c. 1895, Colvend/ scholar
Charles Stroyan/son/5/ b c. 1896, Colvend/ scholar.

Thanks to a memorial inscription on a pillar monument in the Minnigaff Cemetery, we can see what became of William Stroyan and his wife Mary, and some of his family:

"Minnigaff Memorial Inscriptions.
121: Pillar. By William Stroyan, Blackcraig, died May 16, 1935, aged 85. Wife Mary Galloway died Path Cottage February 20, 1955 in her 93rd year. In memory of their three sons killed in France in the Great War (north side). His grandparents Alex Pollock and Elizabeth Pollock died Glenquicken Creetown, advanced in years and interred here."

It is heartbreaking to think of any parents losing three sons in the War. William lost his son William Stroyan, child of his first wife Lillias, and two sons from his second marriage to Mary galloway- John and Charles.

From :
The Scots At War Trust- Roll Of Honour:

Stroyan, Charles Ferguson. Sergeant. No. 200489. 1st Bn, Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders. Scottish. Son of William and Mary Stroyan of Path Cottage, Blackcraig, Newton Stewart, Wigtownshire, and brother of William and John. Killed in action on 18th April 1918,aged 22. His name is commemorated on the Loos Memorial, Pas-de-Calais, France.

Stroyan, John. Lance Corporal. No. 18257. 11th Bn, Highland Light Infantry. Scottish. Son of William and Mary Stroyan of Path Cottage, Blackcraig, Newton Stewart, Wigtownshire, and brother of Charles and William. Killed in action on 19th March 1916,aged 23, he is buried in the Tancrez Farm Cemetery, Ploegsteert, Comines-Warnoton, Hainaut, Belgium.

Stroyan, William. Private. No. 9902. 1st Bn, Queen's Own Cameron Highlanders. Scottish. Son of William and Mary Stroyan of Path Cottage, Blackcraig, Newton Stewart, Wigtownshire, and brother of Charles and John. Killed in action on 11th November 1914,aged 32, he is commemorated on the Ypres Memorial, Menin Gate, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.

JOHN STROYAN: baptised November 27, 1819, Minnigaff. Only the father was named in this entry-Peter Stroyan. I am fairly certain that Agnes Hughan would have been the mother, but cannot be 100% sure.

PETER STROYAN: Baptised November 14, 1828, Minnigaff, Kirkcudbrightshire, the son of Peter Stroyan and Agnes Hughan.
Married Mary Muir on June 3, 1859, at Minnigaff.She was the 27 year old daughter of Samuel Muir, mason, deceased, and Jane McNight.

In 1841, Peter was 12 years old and living in Minnigaff Village with his parents and two of his siblings, Stewart and Agnes.
He was still at home at Minnigaff, working as a labourer, in 1851, aged 22.

The 1861 census found Peter living at Minnigaff with his wife Mary and their eight month old daughter, Agnes Stroyan. His occupation was 'labourer'.

1871 census: Minnigaff, Krkcudbrightshire.
Peter Stroyan/head/41/ wood forester/ born Minnigaff
Mary Stroyan/wife/39/ born Buittle, Kirkcudbright.
Agnes Stroyan/daughter/ 10/ scholar/ born Minnigaff
Jane Stroyan/ daughter/ aged 8/ scholar/ born Minnigaff
Samuel Stroyan/son/6/scholar/born Minnigaff
Peter Stroyan/son/ 4/ born Minnigaff.

1881 census: Minnigaff village.
Peter Stroyan/head/52/ gardener/ born Minnigaff
Mary Stroyan/wife/ 49/ born Buittle
Samuel Stroyan/son/16/general labourer/ born Minnigaff
Peter Stroyan/son/14/born Minnigaff
Carry Stroyan/daughter/ 8/ scholar/ born Minnigaff.

Daughter Agnes, aged 20, was working as a kitchenmaid at Carruchan House,Troqueer, for Mary Maxwell.

Jane Stroyan was born on July 2, 1862, Minnigaff; Samuel Stroyan was born June 30, 1864, at Minnigaff; Peter Stewart Stroyan was born July 4, 1866, Minnigaff. 'Carry' Stroyan was born Caroline Stewart Johnstone Stroyan on May 26, 1872, at Minnigaff.

Peter Stroyan's wife Mary Muir Stroyan died in 1889, aged 53 years.

1891 Census: Peter Stroyan/head/widower/65/ farm servant and church officer/ born Minnigaff. He was living by himself, although son Samuel had married Catherine 'Kate' Johnston on November 15, 1889, at Stranraer, and was also living in Minnigaff with his wife Kate and first child John, aged 7 months.

1901: Minnigaff Village.
Peter Stroyan/head/74/ gardener and church officer/ born Minnigaff
James W. Stroyan/ 6/ grandson/ scholar/ born Penninghame. James Ward Stroyan was born on November 25, 1894, at 47 Queen Street, Newton Stewart, the son of Samuel Stroyan, millwright(journeyman) and Catherine Johnston.

In 1901, Samuel and wife Kate were living in Creebridge Village, Minnigaff Parish, where Samuel was a millwright. Their family had grown to include John, 10; Peter 8; Stewart 3 and Alan 1. Son James was staying with his grandfather,Peter Stroyan, on the night of the census.

Peter Stroyan died on December 15, 1912, at Millburn Cottage, Newton Stewart, at the age of 84 years.He was a retired Sexton, and widower of Mary Muir. His nephew, Keith Stroyan, was informant on Peter's death certificate, and stated that Peter's parents were Peter Stroyan, Sexton, and Agnes Hughan. His cause of death was 'old age'.

AGNES STROYAN: baptised c. 1831, Minnigaff, youngest child of Peter Stroyan and Agnes Hughan. I have already dealt with Agnes Stroyan's life earlier in this blog entry. She had an illegitimate daughter named Agnes Gray, to John Gray, in 1852, at Minnigaff, whilst in her early twenties. Agnes never married, and earned her living as a dressmaker. She lived in Minnigaff Village with her parents and continued to do so after their deaths, although by the 1901 census she had moved to Newton Stewart where she lived until her death in 1914.
Agnes Stroyan died on December 17, 1914, at Queen Street, Newton Stewart, aged 83 years. Her nephew Samuel Stroyan, who lived at Reid Terrace, Minnigaff, registered her death, and stated that his aunt's parents were Peter Stroyan, joiner (Master) and Agnes Hughan. Her cause of death was 'old age'.

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