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Jane Conway

F, #542, b. 27 December 1870, d. 5 February 1948
7 June 1911 Golden Wedding of James Conway and Agnes McKenzie Fisher
  • (Witness) Residence: Jane Conway lived at Glasgow & South Western Railway Station, Beith, Ayrshire, Scotland; The Glasgow and South Western Railway was a compactly arranged medium sized railway company which served the triangle forming the south-west of Scotland to Carlisle and Stranraer, with its headquarters at Glasgow. It became the third largest in Scotland and was formed by amalgamation of earlier railways in 1850, when the line from Glasgow to Carlisle was completed. The earliest constituent - although it was not formally taken over until 1899 - was the Duke of Portland’s privately financed Kilmarnock and Troon Railway of 1808-1812, built to carry coal from the Duke’s pits near Kilmarnock to Troon Harbour on the Ayrshire coast. This line had several ‘firsts’ for Scotland - the first railway viaduct (which still stands), first fare paying passengers, and first steam locomotive - although it was too heavy for the primitive tramroad track, otherwise horse operated.
    Coal was always an important part of the traffic owing to the many collieries in Ayrshire and associated ironworks, steelworks, brickworks and other industries. About 60% of the entire G&SWR wagon fleet were coal wagons, the company having a policy to strictly limit the numbers of private traders’ wagons authorised for use on its lines. In common with other railways the G&SWR carried a wide variety of general merchandise, and more specialised traffic like fish from the Ayrshire ports, boilers and machinery from works in Glasgow/Paisley/Renfrew area.
    There was a consolidation of routes with various branches and inter-connecting lines being built up to 1906, two of the last being the coast line from Ayr to Girvan via Turnberry and Dumfries to Moniaive. In 1905 the Kilbirnie loop line was opened, which effectively doubled the capacity of routes from Paisley towards Ayr, as far as Dalry. Under the London, Midland and Scottish regime after 1923 in which the former Caledonian Railway was the dominant partner, the lines and stations saw little change until line closures began to be common after 1930.
    Traffic on the Clyde Coast, serving numerous resorts amid outstanding scenery, was a very important aspect of the traffic, as well as minerals and the main line to London. The Glasgow and South Western developed its fleet of passenger steamers on the Firth of Clyde, which had a handsome livery of French grey hull with white topsides and paddle boxes, and deep red funnel with black top. These provided a service including the Isles of Arran, Bute and Cumbrae, and places on the mainland between Greenock and Stranraer, but were not permitted to carry passengers upriver from Greenock nor to sail to Campbeltown or Inveraray. Fast connecting trains serving Greenock Princes Pier, Ardrossan Winton Pier and Fairlie (near Largs) ran to and from Glasgow St Enoch in competition with the Caledonian Railway. However by 1908 this traffic was recognised as insufficient for the intense resources provided by the railway companies and pooling arrangements e.g. on the Ardrossan-Arran run were set up to share the use of steamers. Several steamers served in the First World War; ‘Mars’, ‘Neptune’ and ‘Minerva’ were casualties of this conflict, and never returned.
    During the 1930s there was some small reduction in the network by closures of uneconomic routes, but more closures took place in the 1950s and others following the ‘Beeching Report’ or ‘Reshaping of British Railways’ of 1963. This also included a general reduction in goods facilities as more traffic turned to road competition. The last closure was as recently as 1983 being the Paisley Canal line and the remaining part of the Greenock branch, to Kilmacolm. However the tide was turning in favour of railways regarding local authority economic support. The Glasgow/Paisley to Ayr, Ardrossan and Largs lines were electrified by 1986 and part of the Paisley Canal line was re-opened in 1990, followed by re-opening of certain stations on other lines, particularly for commuters.1
  • (Witness) Residence: She lived at Beith, Ayrshire, Scotland; The name Beith is thought to derive from Birch, and the whole area was probably once covered with trees. According to the Reverend George Colville, minister in the parish of Beith writing in 1839 for the Statistical Account of the time describes the topographical appearance as slightly undulating throughout, and consequently does not present the varied features of hill and dale … He describes how it had been proposed to build the Ardrossan Canal and that this had been authorised by an act of Parliament in 1805, but having proved far more expensive than had been anticipated, was completed only between Glasgow and Johnstone. In 1825, an act was passed for forming a railway in its stead; but this was not done; and, in 1837, an act was passed for forming a great line of railway through the same valley, from Glasgow by Paisley and Irvine to Ayr, with a branch to Kilmarnock, – which undertaking has recently been commenced. It has been proposed to form a line of railway from Kilmarnock, by Cumnock, Dumfries, and Carlisle, to join the Liverpool railway at Preston, which, if carried into effect, would make this the great line of communication from London to Glasgow and the west coast. Describing the views from the highest point of the parish, Cuff Hill, he says the prospect is unrivalled in the district for extent, variety, and magnificence. To the south and west are visible the mountain ranges of Galloway and Carrick, the spacious estuary of the Clyde, the Craig of Ailsa, and the lift peaks of Arran; while, northward the horizon is bounded by the serrated ridges of Cowal and the wavy outline of the far receding hills of Perthshire, in advance of which, in proud pre-eminence, stand Ben Lomond, the monarch of the scene. The scenery inclosed by so noble a frame-work, especially when its varied features are boldly relieved by the rays of the declining sun, is well calculated to gladden the eye and exhilarate the heart of the spectator.
    He describes at length the quarrying of the main local minerals – limestone, and to a lesser extent coal. Turning to the climate and health of the population. The prevailing winds are from the south-west and north-east, which bring heavy rains. The people are on the whole as healthy as in any other parish in the district. He notes that several folk each year reached the age of 95 or over. On the other hand cholera had visited the area twice in recent years, the second in 1834 being most severe.
    On the subject of civil history there is detailed description of numerous antiquities and family histories of the Mures of Caldwell, the family of Ralston and Hugh Mongomerie of Braidstane.
    Agriculture was a large part of the economy with dairy products prevailing – The cheese is considered equal to the best Dunlop, and bears the highest price as such in Glasgow market. Industry and commerce included thread manufacture, flax spinning, flour milling, tanning and currying leather, bleachfields, and grain merchants. Mr Colville notes that the town is well lighted with gas. Weekly markets were held in the town of Beith on Fridays and numerous trades’ fairs at varying times over the year. Transport was by means of a daily coach from Ardrossan to Glasgow, which passes through Beith in the morning and returns on the evening. Carriers went at various weekly times to Paisley, Glasgow, Kilmarnock, Greenock, Saltcoats and Largs. The post office communications are very advantageous. There are two arrivals and departures daily, and a free delivery of letters twice a-day, and a penny-post daily to the neighbouring towns of Dalry, Kilbirnie and Lochwinnoch. There are four branches of Banks, the Commercial Bank of Scotland, the Glasgow Union, The British Linen Company, and the Paisley Commercial.
    Ecclesiastical history (understandably) consumes a large part of the account, but where another writer in another parish extolled the virtues of his new church building, this writer is thrilled with his church bell! The bell in the tower, one of the finest toned in the west country, was the gift of Robert Shedden Esq, Gower Street, London, a native of the parish …
    It is noted that there has been schooling available form some long time, records revealing that a schoolmaster was in post in 1644. The schools in the town, of which there were six, including the parish school, were responsible for the education of five hundred youngsters being nearly the tenth part of the population. Mr Colville also praises the work of the Sabbath evening schools of the time – … Mr Reid, with the assistance of two or three benevolent individuals, teaches gratuitously a school two evenings a week, which is of great benefit to a numerous portion of the poorer children, whose necessary employment prevents them from attending the day school.
    There is some discussion of benevolent societies instituted for affording relief to aged and indigent members, but these seem to have ceased through lack of funding.
    In conclusion, Mr Colville observes that since the last Statistical Account was written (in 1791), very considerable improvements have taken place in this parish. The roads, both turnpike and parochial, are in better order … the houses of the wealthier inhabitants are … more commodious and comfortable, but many of the weavers and labourers, and even the farmers, are meanly lodged. … All sorts of cloths, groceries, and butcher-meat can be got here as goods as in Glasgow … That the morals of the people are improved in proportion to their means and opportunity, it would perhaps be reckless to assert. Certainly there is no longer that reckless daring of the law which was characteristic of the place when it was a seat of smuggling; yet offences are too frequent, which are generally the results of excessive drinking … There has always been a due share of valour and patriotism in this place. At the Revolution, a company of volunteers was raised in defence of the King and constitution … During the war with Buonaparte, the Beith volunteers and local militia were always prompt and respectable; and individuals belonging to the place have fought with Abercrombie in Egypt, with Nelson at Trafalgar, and with Wellington at Waterloo.2
  • Note for Web*: She was known to the family in Dundee and environs as "Jane of Beith".
  • Birth*: She was born on 27 December 1870 at Beith, Ayrshire, Scotland.3
  • She was the daughter of Hugh Conway and Marion Ralstone.
  • Married Name: As of 6 November 1895, her married name was Anderson.
  • (Bride) Marriage*: Jane Conway married James Stevenson Anderson, son of William Anderson and Mary Stevenson, on 6 November 1895 at 34 Main Street, Beith, Ayrshire, Scotland; Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald 15 Nov 1895; Marriages; At 34 Main Street Beith, on the 6th inst., by the Rev T Wilson, James Anderson to Jane, youngest daughter of Hugh Conway, merchant.4
  • Event-Misc*: Jane Conway and James Stevenson Anderson celebrated their Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald 9 Nov 1945; Golden Wedding; Anderson - Conway - At Main Street, Beith, on the 6th November 1895, by the Rev. Thos. Wilson, Free Church, Beith, Jane, younger daughter of the late Hugh Conway, grocer, to James Anderson, builder. Present address, Craigwell, Beith on 9 November 1945 at Craigwell, Beith, Ayrshire, Scotland.5
  • (Deceased) Death*: Jane Conway died on 5 February 1948 at Beith, Ayrshire, Scotland, at age 77.
  • (Witness) Memorial Inscription: She is commemorated on the headstone erected by James Stevenson Anderson in 1891 at Beith Cemetery, Beith, Ayrshire, Scotland. Inscription reads Erected by James Anderson in memory of his father William Anderson, Builder, Beith who died 30th April 1891 aged 55 years
    and of his mother Mary Stevenson who died ... May [1911?] aged [78?] years
    and of his beloved wife Jane Conway who died 5th February 1948 aged 77 years
    The above James Anderson JP died 11th February 1952 in his 88th year.
    on the plinth :
    Also their daughter Mary Stevenson Anderson died 25th April 1974 aged 78 years.6
    Headstone Beith Cemetery James Anderson
    Headstone Beith Cemetery James Anderson (detail)

Census Events

Member of Household2 April 1871They was listed as a member of the household of Hugh Conway and Marion Ralstone in the 1871 census at G&SW Railway Station, Beith, Ayrshire, Scotland. Jane Conway, daughter, 4mo, Ayrshire, Beith; Hugh Conway, head, married, 37, Carter, Ireland; Marion Conway, wife, married, 30, Ayrshire Tarbolton.7
Site of Beith Station (left of photo, past the bridge) in 2002
Beith Station Road [from Old Beith, ed Donald L Reid, pub Stenlake Publishing, nd]
Member of Household3 April 1881They was listed as a member of the household of Hugh Conway and Annie Mackie in the 1881 census at 34 Main Street, Beith, Ayrshire, Scotland. Jane Conway, dau, 10, scholar, Beith; Hugh Conway, head, 47, grocer, Ireland; Annie Conway, wife, 43, Kilbirnie.8
Member of Household5 April 1891They was listed and Annie Mackie in the 1891 census at 34 Main Street, Beith, Ayrshire, Scotland. Jane Conway, dau, 20, assist grocer, Beith; Annie Conway, wife, 54, grocer, Kilbirnie.9
Spouse31 March 1901She was listed in the household of James Stevenson Anderson in the 1901 census at Crummock Street, Beith, Ayrshire, Scotland. James Stevenson Anderson, head, 37, stone mason & builder, Beith; Jane Anderson, wife, 30, Beith. Annie Mackie Anderson and Mary Stevenson Anderson were also listed in the household.10
Last Edited: 28 Sep 2011

Parents:

Father*: Hugh Conway b. 1836, d. 16 Mar 1919
Mother*: Marion Ralstone b. 12 Apr 1840, d. 24 Nov 1872

Family:

James Stevenson Anderson b. 1864, d. 11 Feb 1952
  • (Bride) Marriage*: Jane Conway married James Stevenson Anderson, son of William Anderson and Mary Stevenson, on 6 November 1895 at 34 Main Street, Beith, Ayrshire, Scotland; Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald 15 Nov 1895; Marriages; At 34 Main Street Beith, on the 6th inst., by the Rev T Wilson, James Anderson to Jane, youngest daughter of Hugh Conway, merchant.4

Children:

Annie Mackie Anderson+ b. 7 Jan 1897
Mary Stevenson Anderson b. 28 Jun 1898, d. 25 Apr 1974
William Hugh Anderson b. 19 Dec 1904

Citations

  1. [S49] Website Web Site online (www.) from A Short History of the Glasgow & South Western Railway (pub The Glasgow & South Western Railway Association) http://www.gswrr.co.uk/
  2. [S49] Website Web Site online (www.) http://stat-acc-scot.edina.ac.uk/sas/sas.asp/?monospace=&twoup=&nohighlight=&account=2&transcript=&session-id=0eb5a1951110fc447daf8f49002ce21f&naecache=8&accountrec=4436&navbar=&action=publicdisplay&parish=Beith&county=Ayrshire&pagesize=
  3. [S1] International Genealogical Index (IGI) (Salt Lake City, Utah, USA: International Genealogical Index), C115811.
  4. [S32] Newspaper Article, Intimation : Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald 15 Nov 1895.
  5. [S32] Intimation : Ardrossan & Saltcoats Herald 9 Nov 1945.
  6. [S21] Headstone Photograph; , PCC [May 2004].
  7. [S17] General Record Office for Scotland, online www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk, General Record Office for Scotland (Edinburgh, Scotland), Civil Parish of Beith; G&SW Railway Station, image held [Jun 2004].
  8. [S9] Website Ancestry.co.uk (www.ancestry.co.uk) Source Citation: Parish: Beith; ED: 3; Page: 8; Line: 7; Roll: cssct1881_180; Year: 1881. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1881 Scotland Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007. Original data: Scotland. 1881 Scotland Census. Reels 1-338. General Register Office for Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland. [Aug 2011]
  9. [S9] Website Ancestry.co.uk (www.ancestry.co.uk) Source Citation: Parish: Beith; ED: 3; Page: 7; Line: 11; Roll: CSSCT1891_200; Year: 1891. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1891 Scotland Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007. Original data: Scotland. 1891 Scotland Census. Reels 1-409. General Register Office for Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland.[Aug 2011]
  10. [S9] Website Ancestry.co.uk (www.ancestry.co.uk) Source Citation: Parish: Beith; ED: 6; Page: 31; Line: 3; Roll: CSSCT1901_220; Year: 1901. Source Information: Ancestry.com. 1901 Scotland Census [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007. Original data: Scotland. 1901 Scotland Census. Reels 1-446. General Register Office for Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland. [Aug 2011]