COCHRAN FAMILY TREE.
Ian Cochran contacted Historic Hamilton as he was wanting to know more about his family history. Ian asked,
“My father was James (Alexander) Cochran he was a killer worked in slaughterhouse he came from Hamilton, my mother Annie (Reid) Cochran came from Hamilton as far as i remember she always said came from the Fore Rows also as far as i remember she worked as cleaner in Hamilton school we were a family of 11 i had 8 sisters 2 brothers.
My brothers were killers too, all my family uncles, father, cousins. grandfather all worked in slaughterhouse when people used to ask who i was and when said Cochran they used to say not the killer Cochran’s they were well known in Hamilton.
And going back i was told grandfather killed the first bull in Hamilton slaughterhouse he even at one time had to kill one of the white cattle from Chatelherault.
I never knew my grandparents they passed very early, also my father used to tell me my mother’s ancestors were related to the Grahams of Claverhouse and these were the ones who betrayed the Covenanters because when i was small if they ever had arguments my father used to call her an old traitor (jokingly). If there is anything else i can provide if i can …”
Ian, here’s what I found.
To start, I have to say that your ancestors in every generation came from a large family and therefore to fully research your family tree it would take many weeks and months to fully research each member, I would really suggest that you look in to genealogy and take this up as a hobby, it is really fun and when you uncover a new member of your family, there is usually a story behind it.
As you stated, your parents were indeed Hamiltonian’s born and bred in Hamilton and they were an integrated family within the community. The slaughterhouse in Hamilton employed many men and when they worked there it was usually a job for life. My great uncle Jimmy Brunton was also an example of this, where he worked there from a young age until his retirement.
So, before I move on down through your family tree I will tell you where your parents lived. Your mum was born on the 4th of June 1906 at number 2 Fore Row, she was born at 10:30 AM and your grandfather James Reid signed her birth certificate. So, you are absolutely correct that there is a connection with Fore Row. When your mum lived on this street she would have been looking up at the creepy Muir Street cemetery where she may have even possibly played as a kid.
Your mum continued to live at 2 Fore Row right up until your she married your dad in 1924, so 2 Fore Row was indeed your mum’s family home and I have to mention around this time people moved around a lot, but this wasn’t the case with your grandparents, they seemed to like it here.
Your Grandfather on your mum’s side was born in Newarthill and this is where he lived with his parents in his younger years. He was tragically killed at the age of 41 where when at work he was run over by a train and he received a broken leg and arm and serious head injuries. This was indeed a very sad tragic accident.
A local newspaper covered his story and had given a brief account of what happened. But your grandfather’s death must have left a big empty hole within the family and left your gran a widow who had to bring up five kids on her own. It is unknown at this time if Ross colliery provided a pension for her.
Staying with your mum’s side of the family, your great grandparents were called Alexander Reid & Ann Marie Thomson and they were from Holytown. They married on the 5th of June 1863 and your Great grandfather was a Railway Brakes Man and Alexanders parents, your 2 X Great Grandparents were called Robert Reid who was a Railway Gate Keeper and Mary Lambie. As I stated, if you would consider taking up family research as a hobby, you will indeed find out much more about your family, but as we are venturing away out of Hamilton I have stopped researching this line here, but there is much more to uncover.
So, your Cochran linage, this is a massive family to research and I have gone as far as I could, however, the Cochran’s were a really well-known family of Butchers who lived around the Renfrew and Paisley areas.
Your father James Alexander Cochran was born in Hamilton on the 2nd of August 1903 at 10 Low Patrick Street, a street that no longer exists in Hamilton. At the moment I am unsure how long your father lived at Low Patrick Street, but I later find your family living at 11 Guthrie Street where they lived for roughly ten years. I next find your father living at 48 Chapel Street when this is the stated address on his marriage cert to your mum.
So, your parents married on the 6th of June 1924 at the manse on Union Street. The best man at the wedding was a man named John Faulds of 3 Postgate and Anne Martin of 39 Muir Street so these two people would have been close friends to your parents, perhaps you may know of them?
If I stay on your father’s side of the family, your grandparents were called Robert Cochran & Jane McIlveen Alexander. Your Grandfather was born at Paisley around the year 1874. Your Grandmother was born around 1868 at New Cumnock in Ayrshire.
During my research, I see many deaths as the result of tuberculosis (TB) and your grandmother sadly contracted this and succumbed to the disease where she died the at the family home of 48 Chapel Street, she was only 42 years of age. She died on the 16th of August 1916 and an obituary was written by your grandfather and appeared in the Hamilton Advertiser a week later.
Your great grandparents were called James Alexander & Jane McGavin, James was born in Sorn, Ayrshire around 1846 and Jane born in Mauchline around the year 1850. This side of the family lived around Ayrshire all their life.
I did uncover some pictures of your great, Great Grandparents on the Alexander side and they were called William Alexander & Jane Mcilvean. This side of your family came over from Ireland
I see a family resemblance to you in William Alexander, perhaps you carry a lot of his genes. So, the family came from Ireland and they settled in Ayrshire. William died in Catrine, Ayrshire on the 19th of February 1891 and Jane died on the 4th of February 1902 at Sorn, Ayrshire.
On the Alexander side of your family, your 3rd great grandfather was called John Alexander and your 3rd great grandmother was called Jane Roy, both were Irish. Yet again, if you research your family tree, you could learn a lot more. On Jane McIlvean’s side of the family your 3rd great grandparents were called John Mcilvean & Jane Hamilton, so here is your Irish family connection. If I could give an estimated birth year for all four of the 3rd great-grandparents, then the range would be between 1765 & 1805.
Moving back to your Grandfather Robert Cochran’s family, your great grandfather was also called Robert and he was born around the year 1850 at Paisley. He married your great-grandmother who was called Agnes Anderson. Your great-grandfather was a butcher to trade and if I were to take an educated guess, he was probably the son of a Butcher. I say guess, as I can’t find any further information on this line of your family and the reason for this is because there were so many Cochran’s living at Paisley & Renfrew around this time, there are also quite a few Robert Cochran’s to go through and to establish the correct one, this will require extensive research.
One thing which I did find is that your Great Grandparents Robert and Agnes immigrated to Wentworth, Ontario in Canada. They saw out the rest of their days here and you great grandfather Robert died on the 23rd of June 1931 at Wentworth. Agnes died on the 13th of March 1937 also at Wentworth.
Ian, I have discovered that you have lots of living cousins in Canada & America, below is a picture of one of your cousins who died in 2005, his name was Norman Gilbert and he lived in New York, USA and I can also see a family resemblance in him that has similar facial features of yourself. I found that there is still living family members connected to this man in America and also in Canada.
One thing that I would say while researching your family is that I have only just scratched the surface. You descend from a very large family with each generation having many brothers & sisters. I really hope that you or someone in your family do decide to take up family research as a hobby, it is really great fun and you have lots of stories to uncover and even more living cousins waiting to be met.
I’m sorry that I could not dedicate more of my time to your research, but I only focus on families living in Hamilton and even though you, your parents and your family are all Hamiltonian’s with great connections to the town, your ancestors were spread across other regions of Renfrewshire & Lanarkshire, thus making it harder with my research.
If you do decide to take this further, then please let us know what or who you find, and you never know, you may even find that “Grahams of Claverhouse” connection.
Written & Researched by Garry McCallum – Historic Hamilton.