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Charles McKay

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Mary Report 8 Aug 2009 15:04

Hi everyone . I am looking for my great grandad Charles McKay who was born 1853 and died 1921 in Scotland possibly Port Glasgow area. He was married to Ellen nee Roy. I only know of one son so far Bernard born 21.5.1893 died 4.4.1969. I would love to find them but had no luck on Scotlands People website so far. Can anyone help me please


GlitterBaby Report 8 Aug 2009 15:11

Any idea of occupation for Charles

Do you have the birth cert for Bernard


Mary Report 8 Aug 2009 15:36

Hi I couldnt view my grandads birth certificate on Scotlands People website. Bernard married Mary Lizzie Johnstone who was found guilty of bygamy as she was still married to Thomas Johnstone. Bernard lived at 40 Ardmore Road in Port Glasgow and they married 8.11.1940 in Paisley if that helps. Bernard was a riveter.


GlitterBaby Report 8 Aug 2009 16:00

Really need info to get to 1901 census.

Why can you not view the birth cert for Bernard? Scotlandspeople is a pay to view site.

What did it say about his fathers occupation on his marriage cert?


Mary Report 8 Aug 2009 17:42

Hi not all images are available to view on scotland people. His fathers occupation was a labourer


Tombul Report 8 Aug 2009 20:28

I'll see what I can find for you on Monday



Mary Report 8 Aug 2009 20:43

I found two death certificates for Charles McKay in 1921 in Port Glasgow believe the one where he was married to Helen and not Ellen is the correct one


Tombul Report 10 Aug 2009 14:51

The Charles McKay who dies on 2 October 1921 is only 48 years old and is actaully the son of Charles born in 1853.
The parent are given as Charles McKay and Helen Mckay m.s. Roy
I will be able to find his birth and hopefully work back from there with other details.


Tombul Report 11 Aug 2009 09:59

Where did you get the birth details for Charles and Bernard? I have examined all the birth and marriage records for those listed and connot find them in the registers for the whole of Scotland. Apart from the death of Charles McKay in 1921 who was the son of Charles McKay and Helen Roy.

The only Bernard I can find for the whole of Scotland on the 1901 census who is the right age (7) is living at 14 Argylle Street port Glasgow with George (19), Ann (17), Ellen (15), Mary (12), Catherine (8). All of them are living with relatives Daniel (32) and Eliz (29) McCormick and their children Helen (9) and Eliz (2).

All of them are said to have been born in Ireland?

It seems strange that I cannot find the births and this would make sense if indeed they were born in Ireland. Do you have any birth certificates of other family members to prove otherwise?

If Charles senior was born in 1853 I should be able to find him on the Old Parish Records (OPR's). This would also mean that the earliest he could marry was 12 (1865). I have checked for a marriage in Scotland for Charles McKay and Ellen (or Helen) Roy from that date onwards and cannot find it at all. Either ; a) they never married, b) they married outside Scotland or c) it was an irregular marriage whish was never registered.

Update : I just did a search for Marriages using Hellen and Ellen Roy and could not find one to a Charles McKay for the whole of Scotland.

I did find the marriage for Bernard and what I will do is follow that through and maybe look and see if I can find marriages for any of the others in the list above and see if the parents are the same.


Tombul Report 11 Aug 2009 18:11

Now this one has been quite fun.

As I said in the previous post, the only Bernard McKay that I could find for the whole of Scotland was the one who appeared on the 1901 census at Argylle Street Glasgow along with a number of siblings (all described as "relative" to the head of the house.

Anyway after some searching (luckily we weren't that busy at work) I found the marriages of the following chidren of Charles McKay and Helen / Ellen Roy:

1895 11 July - Charles McKay (22) Labourer, bachelor & Catherine Collins (23) Mill worker, spinster at St Johns Church, Port Glasgow. Witnesses Daniel & Bessie McCormick (note these are the very relatives that the children were with at the time of the census.....I think Bessie / Elizabeth may be Charles sister but I will check again tomorrow at work.

It should be noted that Charles Senior is given as deceased at this time. If the census age is right then the youngest Bernard was born in 1893 so the father still alive at least 9 months before he was born. so this narrows down the year of death for him to within 2 years. So if according to the census that Bernard was born in Ireland then the reason we cannot find the death, marriage or birth of Charles Senior is that they occurred in Ireland.

1902 25 June - George McKay (22) Iron Driller, bachelor & Mary A Robinson (23) Housekeeper, spinster at St Johns Church. Port Glasgow. Witnesses John Robinson an Nellie McKay (probably his sister Ellen on the 1901 census)

1910 7 July - Catherine McKay (19) Mill Worker, spinster & Thomas Nugent (21) Shipwright, bachelor at St Johns Church Port Glasgow. Witnesses Patrick O'Kane & Alice Toal. Note that her mother Ellen Roy is noted as being deceased.

1910 12 September - Ellen McKay (25) Mill Worker, spinster & Thomas McCormick (24) Iron Cracker, bachelor at St Johns Church, Port Glasgow. Witnesses Thomas Nugent & Mary McKay.

1911 5 July - Annie McKay (28) Mill Worker, spinster & Neil Durning (33) Labourer, bachelor at St Johns Church Port Glasgow. Witnesses William McKay (is this another brother....I'll need to check) & Margaret Durning.

1912 9 September - Mary McKay (25) Mill worker, spinster & Martin McKay (28) Rivetter, bachelor at St Johns Church Port Glasgow. Witnesses James Burns & Catherine McGhea.

1915 23 September - Bernard McKay (22) Private 3rd Batt. Black Watch, bachelor & Maggie Nicholson (21) Domestic Servant, spinster at Artall Farm, Tarbet. Witnesses Peter Nicholson & May Skinner.

I also found the death of Charles McKay Iron Driller, married to Catherine Collins on 01/10.1921 at 4 Argylle Street Port Glasgow. Registered by his son Charles.

Also the death of Helen White, married to 1) Charles McKay, Labourer and 2) Samuel White, Labourer on 27/12/1907 at 7 Ardgowam Street Port Glasgow aged 51 years, Father James ROY, Fisherman (deceased) and mother Bessie ROY m.s McCurdy. Registered by W McKay , son ( So obviously there was another son William who was the witness at Annie's wedding).

So your great granddad was probably born, married and died in Ireland, then his widow Ellen moved with the children to Port Patrick where she remarried and they all married and she died in 1907. I am not sure why the children were not with her on the night of the 1901 census, maybe they were staying over with their big sister who knows.

Anyway I hope this is helpful, I will try to find a marriage of William and Bessie / Elizabeth tomorrow to tie this all together.



Mary Report 11 Aug 2009 19:11

I got the details for my grandad Bernard from Scotlands People centre here in Edinburgh. His parents on marriage certificate show as Charles McKay and Ellen McKay nee Roy. Bernard was a riveter and died 4/4/1969. His wife Mary lizzie died 19/9/68. They were married illegally as Mary was still married to Thomas James JOhnstone. Details I have are from court paper sfound at Scotlands People centre. I have found that my grandad was born in Antrim in Ireland.


Tombul Report 12 Aug 2009 12:56

Found a marriage
1898 2 May at St Johns church Port Glasgow of William McKay (21) Labourer, bachelor and Agnes mcCrory (19) weaver, spinster. witnesses John McIlvie and Maggie Adams.

I couldn't find a marriage for Bessie/ Elizabeth so I checked the births for the child living with them at the time of the census. The mother was indeed Elizabeth McKay, Father Daniel McCormick and it says they were married 1888 May Ireland. So she was obviously the eldest sister (unless there were others who didn't leave Ireland) of those living with her and her husband at the time of the 1901 census.

I also found the death of William McKay on 2 Aug 1953 aged 70. registered by his son John McKay.


Mary Report 13 Aug 2009 18:34

Hi Thomas thankyou for those details. I am still putting the family tree together now


ALAN Report 23 Apr 2024 14:39

Agnes McCrory was my great aunt she was the daughter of John McCrory and Mary Madigan .


nameslessone Report 23 Apr 2024 14:45

ALAN - welcome to the boards. Unfortunately Mary is no longer a member of Genes.