Kennedy Glasgow Poor Relief records 1854-1920

Transcribed by Iain Kennedy March 13th 2008, latest update 21st May 2008

© Copyright Iain Kennedy 2008

There are 1699 Kennedy Poor Relief records stored at the Mitchell library in Glasgow, of which some 500 relate to Irish born applicants. The vast bulk of the remainder were Scottish born, with a handful from England, America etc. I have studied a selection of 5 of these. One was a man from Letterkenny and another was from one of the previously studied Campsie families. Here I give the remaining three, one who also had a Campsie connection and one each from Dull and Rannoch (Fortingall) in north west Highland Perthshire.

D-HEW 17/497 54618 Govan combination: Catherine McLeod spouse of William Kennedy son of William Kennedy and Helen Love.

Application date 15th September 1902

This claim was made by Catherine McLeod of 21 Elderpark Street Glasgow 3 up mid, a native of Campsie. She was the illegitimate daughter of Jane McLeod afterwards the wife of Thomas McLure later dead. She was Protestant. Her husband was William Kennedy, a native of Girvan, son of William Kennedy (a weaver) and Helen Love. He died four months before this claim was made, on May 20th, 1902, aged 43, a tube screwer by trade. William and Catherine had married on 4th May 1883 at 36 Victoria Street Govan by the Rev. Allan Cameron. (Just prior to this, William was at 55 Victoria Street as a visitor, tube screwer, in the 1881 census, age 20 born Girvan). William was also Protestant. They had two children, a son William born 1884 in Stevenston and a daughter Sarah born 1901 at Elderpark Street in Govan. The son was already at work earning 12/- a week. They had lived at their current address for 11 years. The inspector and the doctor who subsequently visited certified her able to work and she had received a small amount of money from the Prudential Society following her husband's death. From then on, she was on and off the relief roll for the next 20 years, for example in 1909 she was taken off the roll as her income was deemed sufficient, only to back on again 12 months later. She finally left the relief roll on Jan. 12th 1921.

D-HEW 15/4/15 4544 John Kennedy, native of Rannoch, son of Duncan Kennedy and Christina Cameron of Dull.

Application date 15th March 1894

This family are of particular interest to me as they hail from Dull parish and the father Duncan died at Kinloch Rannoch, my ancestral home, in 1864. I already knew that John was born at Rannoch and was a hotel keeper married to Isabella McPherson. They had married at the Royal George Hotel in Perth in 1876 and had five children. His wife Isabella was a Kennedy too - the illegitimate daughter of Hugh McLellan's wife Marion Kennedy with shepherd Malcolm McPherson. The story of John Kennedy's later life is rather sad, he appears to have had epilepsy. At the time of the application he was at the Western Office police station, having been taken there after having a seizure in the street. His family were living at 31 Sussex Street where his wife ran a provisions shop.

As the report reads:

'This man left his home 31 Sussex Street this morning and was found in Clyde Street and taken to the western police office. There Drs. Carswell and Moffat examined him and recommended his removal to Barnhill for observation. He has been chargeable to the parish of Fortingall for some 5 years paid through the parish of Govan. Aliment 7/6 per week. His wife visited him same date to loor? him home. He takes frequent fits. 15th March 1894 admitted to poorhouse and taken out same day.'

There is little follow up information as a few days later, Fortingall parish accepted financial liability for him and the Govan records cease. In the 1881 census the family were at the Argyll Hotel in Dunoon along with John's widowed mother Christina who was a native of Fortingall (the father had been a native of Dull).

D-HEW 10/3/23 99 John Kennedy son of Donald Kennedy and Janet Dow of Dull

Application date 3 December 1861 - 'unemployed case'.

John was born at Foss, Dull in 1820, the son of Donald Kennedy farmer at Donanurich Dull, dead long ago and Janet Dow dead. In 1861 he was still single and disabled - 'has wrought little for 4 months'. He had been living in Macalpine Street for a few days, prior to that he was at Clyde Street in Anderston 1y 6m, Robertson Street Glasgow 1y 3m, Wood Lane Glasgow 1y 3m, 'Berth' [Perth?] 9m and prior to that 'Dull all his days'.

I don't currently know much more about John, although he had a brother Charles whose son also called Charles was a famous recipient of the Victoria Cross. His grave is in Merchiston cemetery in Edinburgh.

The Donald Kennedy/Janet Dow family sound rather like the family at Domnaheiche I list in the 1841 census for Foss (see bottom of that page), although that census lists a 6yo John. This will hopefully be confirmed when I view the OPR images for John's birth and his parents' marriage, both in 1820 in Dull parish.

Update March 14th, 2008. I have viewed the OPR record of John's birth and this confirms it: 'John Kennedy, son to Donald Kennedy & Janet Dow in Donmahigh'. The marriage (banns) record only mentions the parish though: 'Dond. Kennedy and Janet Dow both in this parish [Dull] gave up their names to be proclaimed in order to marriage 26th Feby.' Janet Dow was from Blair Atholl parish as shown by a matching record from the latter parish. It is likely they married in Blair Atholl 5th March after having the banns read in Dull on 26th Feb.

Batch 2 transcribed 18th March 2008

Daniel Kennedy b. 1838 Edinburgh (spouse Eliz. Waugh Gibb) - details passed to researcher who submitted query about this line

Alex. Eneas Kennedy b. 1815 'Lochaber' more likely Holland or Kirkwall

Rankine Kennedy b. 1805 Glasgow

Daniel Thomson Kennedy b. 1882 Glasgow

Peter Kennedy b. 1870 Glasgow

John Kennedy b. 1819 Campsie - claim rejected, no evidence presented that he was born in Campsie and the minister he claims baptised him was not in Campsie!

Rodger Kennedy b. 1828 Mearns

Gilbert Kennedy b. 1883 Saltcoats

Batch 3 transcribed 15th April 2008 - the Co. Donegal records

For this batch I finished the vast bulk of the male Kennedys from Co. Donegal. Location of births are as follows

Letterkenny - 5

Ballyshannon - 2

Raphoe - 1

Killaghtee - 1

Letterhearne [Letter Treane?], Inver parish - 1

Co. Donegal - 9

Also picked up were 4 non-Donegal Kennedys who happened to be in the same volumes - 3 were Glasgow natives and one was from Strabane, Co. Tyrone. I will return to do the female Donegal records at some stage.

Some of these applicants were sorry folk, like Peter Kennedy, a native of Letterheane/Letterhainer, Inver parish, who gave his residence as 'walking about George Square' and as previous residence,

'on tramp in Edinburgh for 6 months'.

Raglan Street with John Kelly 3y 6m

Campsie 6m

Ann Street with James Griffen and occasionally a few nights in other lodgings 3y

Buchanan Street opposite Caledonian railway station with Dan Brady now in America 1y 6m

Ireland from birth

The inspector's report was rather scathing: 'the man changed his statement several times. Said first of all he was 2 1/2 y in Campsie. It is about 9y since he left Ireland. I am convinced he has no settlement here.' He was admitted to the poorhouse on 7th October 1880 and left of his own accord on the 19th October.

All but one of the 22 Donegal Kennedys studied so far were Roman Catholic, the exception being one of the 5 Letterkenny folks who was Protestant.

Batch 4 transcribed 18th May 2008.

Added another 10 forms, including Colin Kennedy, a native of Mull (details passed to relative researching this line); Andrew Kennedy of Ecclefechan in Dumfries; and Primrose Blair Kennedy, deserted by her husband Alexander Kennedy after he went to London to look for work. The grand total of applications now transcribed is 52.