TABLE of CONTENTS: Because this section is lengthy I have summarized its subdivisions below:
SECTION I. PETER ALLAN (1823-1905) and SARAH SHORT (1824-1902)
SECTION II. CHILDREN of Peter Allan & Sarah Short – and their families:
- Thomas Allan (1847-1921) m. Isabella Nesbit (1854-1899)
- Leonard Allan (1849-1903) m. (1)Agnes Logan (1848-1898) and (2) Elizabeth Rutherford
- Mary Allan (1850-1936) m. David Melrose (1849-1907)
- Margaret Allan (1853-1897) m. William Brownlees (1846-1908)
- Peter Allan (1856-1861)
- Sarah Allan (1858-1941)
- Isabella Allan (1860-1929) m. (1) Thomas Short Lockie (1858-82) and (2) John Bolton (1857-1918)
- Elizabeth Ann Allan (1862-1949)
- Georgina Jane Allan (1867-1909) m. John Bruce (1868-1930)
SECTION I. PETER ALLAN (1823-1905) & SARAH SHORT (1824-1902)
Peter ALLAN (1823-1905) and Sarah SHORT (1824-1902) are my maternal great-great-grandparents. They were born almost two hundred years ago in England into a world very different from that of their descendants in 2019. It was a time when most of the population of the United Kingdom lived and worked in rural areas. People whose families worked in agriculture but did not own land had no vote, and no say in the government of their country. In 1832 the first Reform Bill expanded the franchise to men who rented land of a certain value but no women and not all men had been enfranchised by the time both Allans died, early in the twentieth century. It was not until 1918 that all male citizens of Britain over the age of 21 got the vote. Some British women were given the vote in 1918 but it was not until 1928 that all women over the age of 21 became eligible to vote there. It is interesting to note that in 1880 Peter Allan was on the voters’ list in the Poll Book for his area.
There was no free public education in England when Peter Allan and Sarah Short were young or even when their children were young so many people in their circumstances could not read or write, limiting their employment opportunities. It was not until the 1880s and early 1890s that free and compulsory education for children to the age of eleven was made available in England.
Rapid industrialization and urbanization in the United Kingdom in the nineteenth century also greatly altered the world during Peter’s and Sarah’s lifetimes and resulted in many members of their family moving away from the rural areas to live and work in cities. As well, many of their younger relatives, nieces, nephews, grandchildren decided to leave the U.K. and seek opportunities in other countries like Canada, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, often never to return to the “old country”.
Below is a small map of the area in which Peter Allan and Sarah Short spent their lives. For an idea of the scale – Berwick-upon-Tweed on the coast is about 14 miles from Coldstream and Wark, two small communities near the left edge of the map. The names of villages where members of the family lived or worked at different times have been circled. The wavy grey line running from approximately the top-centre of the map is the border between Scotland and England. It follows the River Tweed for a good part of this map.
My mother’s mother, Isabella (m.s. Brownlees) Cameron (1874-1958), left her parents’ home in the industrial city of Gateshead, County Durham, to live with her maternal grandparents Peter Allan (1823-1905) and Sarah Short (1824-1902), in the village of Wark-on-Tweed, by the Scottish border, sometime between the census of 1881, when she was six, and the 1891 census, when she was sixteen. I do not know the reason for this move but it may have been a way for her grandparents to help their daughter and son-in-law’s large family. Or, perhaps the aging grandparents also needed help at home. Grandma remained with the Allans until their deaths. Because of this move she seems to have forged closer ties with the grandparents, cousins, aunts, and uncles, that lived in that area and she left many photos and post cards from these individuals.
I inherited these old photos and post cards and it was the desire to bring them out of old albums and dusty boxes that prompted me to post what I have on this website. I hope that some other relatives of these long deceased individuals will find them to be of interest.
The Allans often had grandchildren living with them. In 1871 the eldest Brownlees grandchild, James (1868-1876), was with them. In 1891, as well as sixteen-year-old Isabella Brownlees, they also had a nine-year-old grandson, William Lockie, living at their home in Branxton Buildings, Wark-on-Tweed. William Lockie was the only child of their daughter Isabella Allan (1860-1929).
Below are some photos of Peter Allan and Sarah Short, their children and grandchildren and information I have gathered about them. The photos are an eclectic assortment, reflecting those relatives with whom my grandmother maintained the closest ties. Not all of the photos were marked but I have indicated the ones where my mother or I have made our best guesses. If anyone reading this has differing information on any of the photos I would appreciate hearing from you via the “Contact” section of this website.
Also included are scans of some old postcards to or from these people. Some of them are photographs of places where they lived or buildings in their communities. Post card collecting was a popular hobby in the early 1900s and sometimes the sender will say to my grandmother, “Hope this is one you don’t have”.
PETER ALLAN was born Nov 13, 1823 in the tiny village of Buckton, parish of Kyloe, county of Northumberland, in northeastern England. Buckton is about eleven miles south of Berwick-upon-Tweed. The parish of Kyloe lies just across from the isle of Lindisfarne or Holy Island. He was christened Dec 17, 1823, at Lowick.
Although this information needs further checking for verification, I think his parents were Thomas Allan (1764-1830) and Margaret Drysdale (abt 1797-1847) who were married Nov 13, 1814 at Greenlaw, Berwickshire, Scotland. The couple had seven children: one daughter, Margaret Allan (1815-1901) who married Thomas Weatherburn (1816-1887) at Lamberton Toll in 1843, and six sons, Thomas, Robert, James, William, Peter, and George. Peter Allan (1823-1905) was the second youngest of the family. Several of the other sons remained in that part of Northumberland and some information about their spouses and children is available from census and BMD records.
In the 1851 census, Peter Allan (1823-1905) is listed as a farm labourer at Thornton Park (about five or six miles southwest of Berwick-on-Tweed) on a farm of 288 acres owned by Ralph Nicholson, age 60. For outdoor work Mr. Nicholson employed seven men, including Peter Allan, and five women; he also had three indoor servants. The Allan family lived in one of the six cottages provided for farm workers. Peter gained experience and by the 1861 census, when he was 37 years old, he had become a farm steward or manager on a farm a few miles away at Fenham Hill in the parish of Holy Island.
By the 1871 census Peter had become the farm steward at a farm at Wark-on-Tweed owned by the Laing family. This newspaper clipping from the Berwick Journal shows that he had become an integral part of the community and was invited to give a toast when his employer, George Laing, hosted a dance on the occasion of his brother James Laing’s marriage.
SARAH SHORT was born October 11, 1824 in the small village of North Middleton, Northumberland, about seventeen miles from her future husband’s village of Buckton. She was christened twelve days later on October 23 at Wooler in the Cheviot Street Presbyterian Church. Her father was Leonard SHORT (abt 1799-1844) an agricultural labourer. Her mother’s name was Mary HOGG (1803 – 1853).
DNA Note: From the company FamilyTreeDNA I purchased a mitochondrial or mtDNA test. This is the test that traces maternal DNA only. Following my mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s line (and on and on ) back through Sarah Short (1824-1902) and earlier generations, it seems that this female line goes, not to northern England or Scotland, as I expected, but to Finland! I have not yet been able to trace this line back to find her name and the time that our female ancestor arrived in Britain. But, I have noticed that some of the distant cousins, fifth cousins or even more remote, that appear on my “cousins list” from FamilyTreeDNA do have Finnish or Scandinavian names.
Leonard SHORT (abt 1799-1844) and Mary HOGG (1803-1853) had eleven children:
- Leonard Short (1821-1843). Died age 22, no children.
- Thomas Short (1823-1886), married Ann Carr (1832-1873), 5 children.
- Sarah Short (1824-1902), married Peter Allan (1823-1905), 9 children.
- John Short 1826-1829. Died age 2.
- Isabella Short (1829-1885), married William Taylor (1826-1893), 8 children.
- John Short (1831-1899), married Elizabeth Turnbull (1832-1883). They had three children, Barbara Short (1864-1948), Leonard Short (1868-1945), and Mary Jane Short (1871-1926), Many of my grandmother’s post cards were from this couple’s daughter, Mary Jane Short and some were from their son Leonard who sent cards from Paris and then from Buffalo, New York. Leonard Short emigrated to the United States in 1891 but made at least one return visit to England because he sent a postcard to his cousin Sarah Allan in England in 1906 after he got back to Buffalo. (see postcard below)
- William Short (1833-?)
- George Short (1835-1925), never married. His niece Mary Jane Short (1871-1926) lived with him as his housekeeper for many years.
- Margaret Short (1838-1872), married James Tweedy. They had 3 children.
- Samuel Short (1840-1843). Died age 3.
- Leonard Samuel Short (1844-1850). Died age 6.
Short is a common name in Northumberland and although I purchased quite a few Birth, Marriage, and Death records sometimes they did not contain enough information for me to be able to connect them to our family. Sorting out the Shorts must be a project for another researcher!
It took a lot of searching to find the marriage record for Peter Allan and Sarah Short but finally I discovered that they did what many Presbyterians in the north of England did at that time – they crossed the border into Scotland. They were married August 8, 1846 at Mordington in the southwest of Berwickshire. The record for this marriage is found in the Lamberton Toll records.
As is often the case with women ancestors I was not able to find out much about Sarah Short. On every record she is listed as a daughter, wife, or mother but there are no letters or newspaper reports that could give some indication of her personality or her interests. Several descendants were given her first name and three honoured her by being given both her names – a granddaughter Sarah Short Melrose (1883-1966) and two great-granddaughters, Sarah Short Melrose (1905-1905) and Sarah Short Cameron (1910-1992). Sarah Short died December 18, 1902, aged 78.
When Tom Matthewson sent me the above photo of Branxton farm house where the Allans lived I realized that house was depicted on a post card from Grandma’s album but there had not been enough information on it for me to realize what or where it was. I am very grateful to Tom for taking the photo and permitting me to solve one little mystery. Below is the old post card from 1908 with a transcription of its message.
A photo post card of Wark-on-Tweed, about 1900-1906.
Peter Allan continued to farm and be an active member of the community until his death on March 18, 1905 at the age of eighty-one.
DEATH of PETER ALLAN: There was a lengthy list of relatives and friends attending Peter Allan’s funeral in an item that appeared in The Berwickshire News of March 28, 1905. It seems that only men attended funerals at that time. No mention is made of any women being there even though five daughters and at least three granddaughters lived in the immediate area.
The funeral of Mr Peter Allan, farmer, Branxton Buildings, took place at Carham Churchyard. The Rev. J.W. Coutts, of the Rodger Memorial Church, Coldstream, officiated the services at the house, and the Rev. A.B. Coulson, Vicar of Branxton, assisted by the Rev. J.C. Lysaght, Vicar of Carham, officiated at the graveside. The chief mourners were Mr. Thomas Allan (son), Mr. Melrose, Coldstream; Mr J. Bolton, Edinburgh; and Mr J. Bruce, Alnwick (sons-in-law); Mr. P. Allan; Mr. T. Allan, Stainford; Mr. David Melrose, Glasgow; Mr. A. Melrose, Edinburgh; Mr. L. Melrose, Mr G. Melrose, and Mr John Melrose, Coldstream; Mr. J. Allan, Kerchesters; Mr. L. Allan and Mr W. Lockie, Branxton Buildings, (grandsons); Mr. Thos. Taylor, Newcastle; and Mr. T. Allan, Lowick (nephews). There were also present Mr Matthewson, West Moneylaws; Mr. Dickson, Campfield; Mr. Turnbull, Wark; Mr. Allan, Westfield; Mr Allan, Paston; the Rev. M. Forsythe, Crookham; Mr Fairnington, Branxton; Mr. R. Carmichael and Mr. Hume, Coldstream. Apologies were sent from Mr Askew-Robertson, Mr Collingwood, and ex-Provost Porteous, Coldstream, who were unable to be present. Mr Thos. Fairnington, Branxton, had charge of the funeral arrangements.
The firm of Melrose & Porteous in Coldstream, where his nephew Leonard Melrose worked, was responsible for settling Peter Allan’s estate. In the May 8, 1906 edition of The Berwickshire News the following report appeared:
BRANXTON BUILDINGS FARM STOCK SALE. The whole of the farming stock and implements on the farm of Branxton Buildings, Coldstream, which belonged to the late Mr Peter Allan, was, on Friday offered for sale by Messrs John Embleton and Son, Berwick. The stock consisted of 179 ewes and fat hoggs, 42 cattle, 9 horses, sow and pigs. There was a good attendance. Prices realized: – Sheep – Three-quarter bred ewes with cross Oxford (single) fat lambs, 90s; three-quarter bred ewes with cross Oxford (double) lambs, 84s, do., single 75s; half-quarter bred ewes with cross Oxford (single) lambs, 77s and 75s; three-quarter bred ewes with three-quarter bred (double) lambs, 75s; three quarter bred ewes , with 3/4-bred (single) lambs, 64s and 60s; fat hoggs, (rough), 58s, 57s, 57s6d, 54s6d, 53s6d, and 48s. Cattle: Fat steers, £20 5s, £19 17s 6d and £19 12s 6d; fat heifers, £18, £17 and £15 5s; yearling cattle, heifers, £4; milk cows, £14, £8 and £6; calves £5, £3 and £2. Horses: Tom, 11 yrs old, bay, £26; Charlie, 9 yrs old, £27; Miss, 6 yrs old, £15; Tip, aged, £9, Bet, aged, £20; Billie, 5 yrs, £26; Dainty, 11 yrs old, £20; Donald, bay horse, 7 yrs, £35.
The amount of stock listed indicates that Peter Allan had been a fairly substantial farmer himself as well as acting as farm steward for Mr. Laing. I found it interesting that the horses for sale were listed in the newspaper by their names. The combined value of the horses, according to the website measuringworth.com, would be between £18,000 and £67,000 in 2017, depending on which comparators are used. Note that at that time in Northumberland a “hogg” was a sheep of either sex about 9 to 18 months old, not a pig.
SECTION II. CHILDREN OF PETER & SARAH ALLAN – and their families:
Peter Allan (1823-1905) and Sarah Short (1824-1902) had a family of nine – three boys and six girls born over a twenty-one year period from 1846 to 1867.
1. Thomas ALLAN (born 18 March 1847 – 1921), lived to age 73 or 74.
The eldest son in the family was named Thomas, in the Scottish tradition, after his father’s father. His birth and baptism are recorded in the register of the Belford Scotch Church, Northumberland. At the time his parents were living in Bucton, Klyoe Parish. Thomas married Isabella Nesbit (1854-1899) on 11 May, 1878. They had three children: Peter Allan (1879-1942), Thomas Allan (1881-1939), and James Nesbit Allan (1882-1902).
Thomas Allan (1847-1921)’s second son, also a Thomas Allan (1881-1939), had twin sons, Michael A. Allan and James Douglas H. Allan, born in 1917. This family raised horses used in steeplechasing and my Grandmother had some snapshots of the twin boys doing that sort of riding, probably when she visited in 1934. There is also a portrait of the twins as young men, taken at the photo studio of “G. Watt Melrose, Kelso”. By the time that the National Register of England and Wales was compiled at the beginning of World War II, on 29 September, 1939, Thomas’s older son, Thomas Cyril (b 1906), with the assistance of the 22-year-old twins, had taken over running the family farm as their father died earlier in 1939.
2. Leonard ALLAN (1849-1903), lived to age 54.
The second son, Leonard Allan (1849-1903) was named after his mother’s father, Leonard Short. He married Agnes Logan (1848-1898) in 1875. The couple had two daughters and five sons – Jane (1878-1950), Sarah (1879-1890), Peter (1880-1974), John Logan (1881-1939), Leonard (1883-1889), James Bartholomew (b. 1886), and another Leonard (b.1891). After Agnes’s death Leonard married again, in 1900, to Elizabeth Rutherford.
Leonard & Agnes’s oldest son, Peter Allan (1880-1974), emigrated in 1919 to British Columbia, Canada where many of his descendants live today. Peter’s son Leonard Allan (1905-1987) compiled a family history in the 1980s and his daughter Catherine shared some of it with me. An excerpt, below, from Leonard’s history gives a sense of how and why decisions were made to emigrate and how family members remaining in England felt about their leaving.
“My brother Donald and I were sent on a visit to our Aunt Jean (my father’s sister) in Coldstream, Berwickshire, in the summer of 1919 before our departure for Canada. Aunt Jean took Donald and I to visit all the relatives in the area from Morebattle, Roxburghshire to Branxton in Northumberland. Our return home to Lamash [Isle of Arran] was delayed by a railway strike so we had about a two month stay in Coldstream.
My Aunt Jean did everything she could to persuade my father to change his mind about emigrating to Canada but to no avail. We were the only nephews and nieces she had at that time. She already had a brother in South Africa and another brother who had gone to Australia.
My father was in the 1st Seaforth Highlanders with the Imperial Army during the First World War and was in India, Mesopotamia and Palestine during the War. While in Palestine he met his brother Leonard who was there with the Australian Light Horse. My father came home from the army and expressed his intention to emigrate to Australia. My mother, who had two brothers in British Columbia, persuaded him to go to Canada instead so that’s where we settled.
The family, father, mother and five children, sailed from Glasgow, October 22, 1919, on the S.S. Cassandra of the Anchor Donaldson Line. We arrived in Quebec on October 31st and immediately took the train for Vancouver, B.C. We arrived in Vancouver, November 5th.
Thanks to Catherine Allan for sharing her father, Leonard Allan’s story. His careful research was very helpful to me when I started to research further and to write about the Allan family.
The photo below is of Leonard Allan (1849-1903) & Agnes Logan (1848-1898)’s daughter Jane Allan (1877-1950), the one who had tried to dissuade her brother Peter from emigrating. Jane and my Grandmother, Isabella Brownlees, were first cousins, near in age, and good friends. When my Grandmother had a stroke in her early eighties and could no longer recognize everyone, she thought that my sister, who was about sixteen, was Jane Allan. There must have been a strong family resemblance.
In 1912, Jane Allan (1877-1950) married George Walker (1885-1937) who was a baker in Coldstream. Below is a picture of his bakery cart which was used to deliver baked goods to customers in the town and area.
John Logan Allan (1881-1939?) In the 1901 census he was living with his parents Leonard and Agnes Allan at Sprouston, working as a ploughman. By the 1911 census both his parents were dead and he was living with his widower Uncle Thomas Allan (1846-1921), and his Aunt Sarah Allan (1858-1941) at Branxton. He was working as a hedge cutter. His brother Leonard Allan, age 20, is also living with them.
John must have made at least one visit to Canada because I have a post card addressed to “Mr John L. Allan c/o Mr. William Taylor, Gainsboro, Sask, Canada” and then re-addressed to Virden, Manitoba. It was posted at Kelso, Roxburghshire, Scotland on April 12, 1909 and pictured the village of Kerchesters where some of the Allans lived. Either he left the card for my Grandmother for her album or it arrived too late and he had already left. He was back in England by 1913 when he married Jane Carr.
Neither John Logan Allan (1881-1939) nor his sister Jane (m.s. Allan) Walker (1877-1950) had children. I am uncertain as to what happened to the two brothers who went to Australia/New Zealand and South Africa.
3. Mary ALLAN (1850-1936), lived to age 86.
Mary, the third child and eldest daughter of the Allan family, was named after her maternal grandmother, Mary Hogg. On January 9, 1874, in Coldstream, at the Free Church Manse, after Banns, Mary married David Melrose (1849-1907). Her address was Lees, the large manor house where one of her sisters later worked as well. Her occupation was Dairy Maid and his was Bank Clerk. For about forty-two years he worked as a clerk and accountant at the British Linen Company Bank in Coldstream. When David Melrose died in 1907 at the age of 58 there was a lengthy account of his funeral in the Berwickshire News on November 26, 1907, listing those in attendance. Just like in the report of Peter Allan’s funeral in 1905, the newspaper reported only men in attendance.
Mary and David Melrose had eleven children, one girl and ten boys. Two of the boys died as young children but the rest of the family lived to adulthood. At least five of the boys served in the British Army in World War I.
The MELROSE CHILDREN, all born in Coldstream, and living only a mile or so from my Grandmother’s home at Wark-on-Tweed were the cousins she seemed to know best and who continued to send her photographs after she had moved to Canada. In order of age, they are:
i.) Richard MELROSE (28 April 1874 – 18 Mar 1920)
Richard, the eldest Melrose child, was named after his paternal grandfather. He married Helen Walker Dods (1865-1928) in 1897 in Leith South but they soon moved to England where he worked as a Seed Merchant’s Foreman in Boston and Sleaford, Lincolnshire until his death at age 45 in 1920. They had two children: Isabella Smith Melrose (1899-1915) and David Melrose (1904-1981). David married Isabel Holben in 1930 but the couple do not seem to have had any children.
ii) Peter Allan MELROSE (Mar 1876- Jan 1878).
The second son of the family was named after his maternal grandfather. Sadly, his death notice appeared in the Berwick Advertiser on Feb 1, 1878 stating that he was just one year and ten months old. It does not give the cause of death.
iii.) David MELROSE (1878- 29 Nov 1947)
In 1878 a third son was born and named after his father. In 1903 he married Mary Murray Hardie (1874-1963) in Montrose, Angus. In the 1891 census he is working as a law clerk apprentice but at the time of his death, at age 69, he was an Insurance Manager. He had three children: Mary Clark Melrose (b. 1904) who married James Alexander Muirhead in 1935; David Oliver Melrose (1908-1959) who married Phyllis Gee in 1939; and Jean Allan Melrose (1910-1994) who married Thomas Edward Donaldson (b.1897).
iv.) Peter Allan MELROSE (1879 -19 Sept 1965) – The fourth son was named after his brother who died in 1878 and his maternal grandfather.
By the time of the 1901 census Peter, age 21, was working as an assistant ironmonger in Edinburgh. He and his brother Leonard, age 19 were living with their father’s sister and her husband, Violet and James Cockburn.
In 1903 Peter married Isabella Smith (1878-1953). By the time of the 1911 census he has been married for seven years and is living at 35 Caledonian Park (or Crescent), with two daughters Mary Morrison Melrose, age 7, and Isabella Smith Melrose, age 4. A third daughter, Sarah Short Melrose, died shortly after birth in 1905. David Melrose born 3 July 1913 was the last child in the family.
In World War I Peter Melrose served as a Private in the Machine Gun Corps (#99534).
After the War Peter continued to work as an ironmonger in a shop on George Street in Edinburgh. A descendant of his notes that some of the iron fencing he made is still in use on Edinburgh streets. On his death certificate in 1965 his occupation is listed as Ironmonger (Master) retired. His son David Melrose (1913-1991) of London was the informant of Peter’s death.
v.) Andrew Oliver MELROSE (1882 – 12 Jan 1942) The fifth son, Andrew Oliver Melrose was born in 1882. His middle name came from his paternal grandmother Janet Oliver. On Sept 5, 1906 in Eccles, Berwickshire he married Margaret Miller (1870-1952). They had two daughters Margaret Leslie Melrose (1907-1935) and Mary Allan Melrose (1910-1981).
At the time of his death in 1942, at age 60, Andrew worked as a stockbroker. His widow and younger daughter continued to live at the family home, at 20 Traquair Park West, Corstorphine, Edinburgh. Andrew had named that house Branxton after the place where his maternal grandparents had their home.
Andrew, his wife and their daughter Margaret are buried in Corstorphine Cemetery, Edinburgh. The gravestone is pictured in “Find-a-Grave”. Margaret Leslie Melrose (1907-1935) died at age 28 of pulmonary tuberculosis and toxaemia while her father Andrew died of acute bronchitis and cardiac failure.
vi.) Sarah Short MELROSE (29 Aug 1883 – 11 Dec 1966)
Sarah, the family’s only daughter, seems to have lived all her life in Coldstream in the family home, Monument Cottage, Tweed Terrace. In 1942 Sarah married William Hardie (1878-1952) of Coldstream, who worked as a Saddler. They had no children. Sarah died at Momument Cottage at the age of 83 of cardio vascular degeneration.
vii.) Thomas MELROSE ( 30 May 1885 – 1962)
The seventh child of the family, Thomas Melrose, was born May 30, 1885. On October 10, 1911 when he married Mary Burt (1879-1970) in Edinburgh both of them were working as Sorting Clerks and Telegraphists for the Post Office. Their first child, David Melrose (Jan 31, 1912 – 2007) was born in Edinburgh. Mary was staying at 36 Roseburn Crescent with Thomas’s brother Andrew Melrose who registered the birth. Thomas had gone on to Australia a little earlier and Mary and the baby joined him when they were ready to travel.
When I first published this section of my website I had no further information about the Melrose family in Australia but since then I have been in touch with two of the descendants of Thomas and Mary Melrose who generously shared the following information and photos.
Granddaughters Margaret Small and Alison Melrose note that after moving to Australia Thomas worked for the Victorian Railways and became a Station Master. He worked first at Warracknabeal where second child Andrew Burt Melrose (1913-1983) was born, then moved on to Dimboola where the twins, Thomas Allan Melrose (1916-2009) and Edith Blair Melrose (1916-1997), were born. Later, the family moved to Stawell where the children all grew to adulthood. By the time World War II started the family was living at Echuca.
viii.) Leonard MELROSE (1888-1963)
Leonard was a solicitor’s clerk prior to World War I, working for the firm of Melrose & Porteous in Coldstream. He joined the army on 10 Feb 1915 at age 27 and must have been one of the larger recruits as he stood 5′ 11.25″. He was promoted to Sergeant on 20 Feb 1915 and became a Staff Sergeant on 9 April 1917. His army record notes that he served in Italy, at Tarento and Faenza, and was “Mentioned in Dispatches”. This record also notes that he was hospitalized with “epidemic fever” on 16 Oct 1918 . Quite likely this “epidemic fever” was what came to be called Spanish Influenza. It was raging around the world at this time and killed at least fifty million people. Luckily, Leonard survived and was discharged from the Army on 11 Jan 1919.
In about 1914 he became a Freemason and in 1924 was appointed Grand Treasurer of the Grand Lodge of Scotland in Edinburgh. He lived at #18 Traquair Park, next door to his brother Andrew who lived at #20. He named his house Faenza after one of the places in Italy where he served while in the Army.
In 1926 he married Mary Hume (1888-1950). After Mary’s death he married Edith Eleanor Farr (1904-1995). In the Berwickshire News of Tuesday Sept 11, 1951 there is an account of their wedding which took place in St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, Tynecastle, Edinburgh. It notes that Leonard “is an all-round sportsman and his football brought him under the notice of several first division teams. After playing two trials for Newcastle United he was signed by the Heart of Midlothian, with which team he remained for a season. He is a member of the Scottish Masonic Curling Association.” I don’t think Leonard had any children.
ix.) George MELROSE (1890- 20 Feb 1956)
George Melrose followed his father into a career in Banking. He worked as a Bank Teller in Coldstream where he lived prior to and after the War. In 1916 he married Mary Anderson Stavert Hunter (1892-1965). They had three children- Agnes (aka Nancy) Stavert Melrose (b. 1916), David Richard Melrose (b. 1921), and Mary (May) Hunter Melrose (1925-2003).
x.) John William MELROSE (28 Aug 1891 – 9 Nov 1895)
This little fellow was born at the family home of Monument Cottage, Coldstream and died there at the age of four from a combination of pneumonia and diphtheria.
xi.) John William MELROSE (20 Nov 1895 – 1970)
The eleventh and last child in the family was born just eleven days after the death of his four-year-old brother and was given the same name, John William Melrose.
The couple made their home in Scotland. At the time of Beatrice’s death at age 66 on July 15, 1953 she and William were living at 16 Seafield Road, Broughty Ferry, Dundee, Angus, Scotland. He was working as an Insurance Manager. I have not found any descendants of this couple.
John married again, in 1954, to Mary (May) Winnifred Mabin (1915-1977).
4. Margaret ALLAN (1853-1897), lived to age 44.
The fourth child of Peter Allan and Sarah Short, Margaret Allan, married William Brownlees (1846-1908) of Cornhill-on-Tweed in 1871. They moved to Newcastle and later to Gateshead. They had thirteen children including my grandmother Isabella Brownlees (1874-1958).
An extensive section on Margaret’s family is in another part of this website called “Grandma’s Family” – click here to link to that section: Grandma’s Family -Isabella Allan Brownlees Cameron (1874-1958)
Margaret died in Gateshead on June 3, 1897 of carcinoma of the stomach leaving eight children, four boys and four girls, ranging in age from 6 to 24 years. Five of her children had predeceased her.
Later in June, The Berwickshire News published this death notice: At 12, Frederick Street Gateshead on 3rd June, Margaret Allan beloved wife of William Brownlee and second daughter of Peter and Sarah Allan, Branxton Buildings, aged 44 years.
There was no photograph of her among my grandmother’s many pictures so I suspect that she may not have had a photo taken. I wonder if she was a red-head like her daughter, my grandmother, pictured below.
5. Peter ALLAN (1856 – 11 Nov 1861). The fifth child and youngest son of the Allan family died at age 5, on November 11, 1861 at Berry Hill, parish of Ford. His father Peter Allan, farm labourer was in attendance at his death which was from Croup which he had for three days.
6. Sarah ALLAN (21 May 1858 – 7 March 1941) lived to age 82.
Sarah Allan, the sixth child of Sarah and Peter Allan never married. After her father died in 1905 Sarah continued to live at Wark in Branxton Buildings. In 1911 she was there keeping house for her widowed brother Thomas Allan (1846-1921) and her nephews, Leonard Allan (1891- ?) and John Logan Allan (1881-1939). She is the aunt that my grandmother stayed with when she returned to England/Scotland for a visit from December 1933 til the end of April 1934. At that time Sarah Allan lived on Leet Street in Coldstream. She died on March 7, 1941 at Coldstream. Her nephew George Melrose was the informant of her death.
When my grandmother came to Canada she brought a gold bangle bracelet and a dress with a feather stole, given to her by her aunts, Sarah and Bessie Allan. The dress, even in its somewhat creased, worn and fragile state today is an example of the intricate hand work that went into dresses of that period. Both front and back had the same beaded and fancy thread work giving the look of an elaborate necklace.The close up of the sleeve shows the beading and stitching.
7. Isabella ALLAN (Dec 1860- 21 Aug 1929), lived to age 68.
Isabella (aka Bella), the seventh child of Peter and Sarah Allan was born in the last quarter of 1860 while the family was living in Holy Island Parish. At age twenty, in early 1881, she married Thomas Short Lockie (1858-1882) whose family lived next door to the Allans at Branxton Buildings, Wark. They had one son, William Lockie, born later in 1881. Thomas died on Nov 21, 1882, of typhoid fever at the age of twenty-four, after less than two years of marriage. Given that his middle name was “Short”, just like Isabella’s mother, I suspect that he may have been some sort of cousin but have not been able to confirm this.
About four and a half years later, in the first quarter of 1887, Isabella married John Bolton (1857-1918). They moved to Edinburgh where he worked as a Fruit Warehouseman according to the 1901 and 1911 census. The Boltons continued to live in Edinburgh until their deaths ( John in 1918 and Isabella in 1929) but it seems that young William remained with his grandparents at Branxton.
Many of the postcards in Grandma’s album were from Bella in Edinburgh to her son, sister or niece living at Branxton or Kelso. Some samples:
In 1901 William Lockie (1881-1961) was still living at Branxton Buildings with his grandparents, working as a shepherd. In the 1911 census the family was living at Branxton Steads where William continued to work as a shepherd. In 1906 he married Sarah Jane Ford and they had several children – William Lockie, born 1906, Eleanor Lockie, born 1907, John Bolton Lockie, born 1909, Sarah Allan Lockie, born 1912, James Ford Lockie, born 1914, Thomas Short Lockie, born 1919, Catherine Jane Lockie, born 1920, George Robert Lockie, Isabel Allan Lockie, Elizabeth Ann Allan Lockie, Peter Allan Lockie. [Thanks to John Oliver Wilson, grandson of William Lockie, for a complete list of the children.]
8. Elizabeth Ann ALLAN (1862- 16 Mar 1949), lived to age 87.
Elizabeth Ann Allan, or Bessie, the eighth child of Sarah and Peter Allan. did not marry and seems to have worked as a housemaid from an early age and later as a housekeeper, mostly in Scotland. In 1871 at age eight she is at home with her parents but by age 18 in 1881 she is working just across the Scottish border at Lees House in Coldstream as a housemaid.
This rather grand establishment, a current picture of which can be found online, was owned by Sir William Marjoribanks, 4th Baronet, of Lees. He or other members of his family are not in residence at the time of the 1881 census as the head of the household is listed as 73-year-old Jessie Hogg, a poultry-woman who actually lives at #8 Lees Cottages. There are several other servants including a butler, a groom, a housekeeper, a scullery-maid, a laundry maid and a Page Boy.
By the 1901 census Elizabeth Ann seems to be living by herself in Edinburgh, as housekeeper of a home in Colinton. On August 21, 1929 she is living at 17 Bellevue Road, Edinburgh with her widowed sister Isabella Bolton. Elizabeth is the informant of her sister’s death.
At the time of her death, at age 87 in 1949, Elizabeth resides on Slitrig Crescent in Hawick, Scotland. Her nephew Peter Allan Bruce (1898-1976) who also lives in Hawick is the informant of her death.
9. Georgina Jane ALLAN (April 1, 1867 – May 12, 1909), lived to age 42.
Georgina Jane was the ninth and last child of Peter and Sarah Allan. At age 27, Georgina Jane, known to the family as “Ina”, married John Bruce, age 26, on 30 Nov 1894. They were married at the parish church, Branxton, Northumberland, “according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Established Church, after Banns” by the vicar A.B. Coulson. Witnesses at the wedding were Thomas Allan (probably her brother), Bessie Allan (her sister), and Thomas Bruce (the groom’s brother).
At the time of their marriage John Bruce was a Trolleyman on the North-Eastern Railway, living at Monkwearmouth. Georgina Allan was a spinster, living at Branxton Buildings, Wark, with her parents. In the 1901 census and in 1905 at the time of Georgina’s father’s death, the couple were living at Alnwick, Northumberland. Some time after this they took up farming at Stichel in Scotland just about five miles away from Georgina’s relatives in Coldstream, Cornhill and Wark-on Tweed.
Georgina and John Bruce had one child Peter Allan Bruce (1898-1976) born in Sunderland, Durham.
Georgina died on 12 May 1909 at Stitchel Mains, Stitchel, Roxburghshire at age 42. According to her death certificate (from Scotland’s People) she died after 1.5 days of “Shock and Syncope, result of an accident”. This may mean that she had a large blood loss. As the family were living on a farm her accident could have been with farm machinery or equipment but I was unable to find any documentation of the tragedy. Her son was only eleven years old.
By the time of the 1911 census John Bruce has remarried, to Elizabeth Jane Anderson, age 49, who was born at Kelso, Roxburghshire. John Bruce died in 1930 at age 62.
Peter Allan Bruce (1898-1976) remained an only child. At the age of twenty-four, on 27 April 1923, he married Beatrice Dorothy Lockie (abt 1897-1983) at Newtonlees, Ednam, Roxburgh, Scotland. They had two children – Janet Thomson Bruce and John Bruce. Peter Bruce was residing in Howick, Scotland at the time of his death in 1976.
As Peter Allan (1823-1905) and Sarah Short (1824-1902) had nine children and thirty-six grandchildren they now have many descendants, scattered across the globe – in the United Kingdom, in Canada, the United States, Australia and probably other countries. Among the six generations that have come after them are descendants with surnames that include: Allan, Antonyshyn, Barber, Berchoff, Brown, Brownlee, Brownlees, Brownless, Bruce, Cameron, Cannon, Darmiento, Dunn, Forsyth, Hopkins, Jensen, Jobes, Koss, Kyle, Littlejohn, Littlewood, Lockie, Meins, Melrose, Rapley, Robertson, Rosenstein, Skjeie, Small, Somerville, Sweeting, Weatherburn, Wilson, and Wright. No doubt there are others of whom I am not aware.
~ Pamela Forsyth, Edmonton, Canada, Posted in January 2019; revised February 2020, & in January & December 2021.