Thursday, October 31, 2019

Hamilton, William and Elizabeth, Stevenston, Ayrshire

William and Elizabeth Hamilton, my great grandparents, photographed
at Stevenston, Ayrshire ca 1900. William was born in 1854 in Dalry, Ayrshire and died June 29, 1920 in Stevenston. Elizabeth Smith Hamilton was born at Cooroading Street, Stevenston July 05, 1857 and died September 03, 1943, Caledonian Road, Stevenston. The couple's children were: Elizabeth, Jane, Sarah, Mary, Joseph, Alexander, Margaret, William, Thomas Craig, Ellen and James.

William Hamilton was a Coal Miner, stated so in 1871, 1881 Censuses for Stevenston Ayrshire.  By 1891 he was a 'Check Weigher at the Colliery'.  This was a 'lighter' job: having a 'weak heart' William couldn't work underground any more and had to get work at the pithead. A Check Weigher at a Colliery was on the surface, not underground - it consisted of weighing the hutches of coal brought to the surface after it had been dug and filled by the miners underground.  Every coal miner had his 'tally' which was put on the hutch to identify whose production of coal it contained and the Check Weigher had to list the weight of the contents against the identifying 'tally'.  It would not have been a well-paid job.  Neither would that of Schree Man, which is how he stated his occupation in the 1901 Census - this was someone who picked out the bits of 'rubbish' in the coal hutches when brought to the surface. So, until 1901 William Hamilton was firmly stuck in occupations related to coal mining and there is no confusion whatsoever about that.

The place names shown in the above map occur frequently in the story of the Hamilton family of Stevenston. There's Dalry, where William was born, Stevenston where so many Hamilton events occurred, and Ayr where the Burns Museum can be visited.

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