Sunday, November 2, 2014

2.2. Elizabeth Muir (c1829-1863)

Elizabeth Muir was born about 1829 at Avondale, Lanarkshire, Scotland. She was Robert and Henrietta (Brown) Muir’s second child and eldest daughter. Her birth registration has not been found in the old parish church records. The first time Elizabeth appeared in the historic record was in 1841. On 6 June when the census was enumerated she was living with her parents and siblings in East Kilbride, Lanarkshire, and was a student. Ten years later when the 1851 census was enumerated, Elizabeth and her siblings were living at the village of Kirkton, East Kilbride. She was listed as head of house and her parents were not at home. Elizabeth was a 22-year-old farm servant as was her sister, Martha.

Later that same year on 13 December Elizabeth Muir married Matthew Cassels. He was born about 1830 at East Kilbride parish, Lanarkshire to George and Martha (Young) Cassels. The entire family, including Matthew, were handloom weavers, mostly of cotton, though his older brother, David, did weave silk.

In her book about the Semple family, my cousin, Sarah Semple, described the weaving industry, "Weaving cotton and silk was a staple industry in Lanarkshire in the 18th and 19th centuries with most of the fabric produced by handlooms. The Industrial Revolution had a profound effect on the industry with cottages giving way to huge factories with power looms."  

Silk handloom weaver; image courtesy of the Sorbie Family Website

By the time the 1861 census was taken on the night of 7 April, the family was living in the village of Maxwelton where Matthew grew up. He was an agricultural laborer and he and Elizabeth had four children ranging in age from 9 years to 2 months. They lived in a one-room house and the room had at least one window.

Two years later, Elizabeth died on 27 October 1863 of consumption (or tuberculosis) at the village of Dalton in Cambuslang parish, Lanarkshire.  She was 34 years old. Her husband, Matthew, worked as a road surface man at the time of her death.

The children of Matthew and Elizabeth (Muir) Cassels were:
  • George Cassels born about 1852 in East Kilbride, Lanarkshire; died 24 July 1875 in Blantyre, Lanarkshire
  • Henrietta Cassels born about 1855 in East Kilbride; died 4 December 1893 in Blantyre. She married William Brodie 9 October 1874 in Blantyre.
  • Margaret Cassels born in 1858 in East Kilbride; died 11 August 1863 in Cambuslang, Lanarkshire
  • Martha Cassels born on 9 January 1861 in East Kilbride; died 7 February 1876 in Blantyre
  • Elizabeth Muir Cassels born on 9 June 1863 in Cambuslang; died 15 January 1864 in Blantyre
1841 Scotland Census, 06/06/1841 Moore, Henrietta (Census 1841 643/00 0001/00 0001)
1851 Scotland Census, Parish: East Kilbride; ED: 15; Page: 16; Line: 15; Roll; CSSCT1851_152; Year 1851
1851 Scotland Census, 30/03/1851 Muir, Elizabeth (Census 1851 643/00 015/00 016), Pages 1-2
1861 Scotland Census, Parish: East Kilbrade; ED: 3; Page: 4; Line: 2; Roll: CSSCT1861_95
1861 Scotland Census, 07/04/1861 Cassels, George (Census 1861 643/00 003/00 004)
Scotland, Old Parish Records, 1538-1854, 13/12/1851 Muir, Elizabeth (OPR Marriages 643/00 0030 0220 East Kilbride)
Scotland, Select Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950, Martha Cassels
Scotland, Select Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950, Margaret Cassels
Scotland, Select Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950, Elizabeth Cassels
Scotland, Statutory Registrations, 1855-2013, 1863 Cassels, Elizabeth (Statutory Deaths 627/00 0073)

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