David Baxter (1825 - 1893) and
Agnes Moir (1828 - 1897)

View comments (10214) about this article

David Baxter was born on 19th July 1825 in Chryston, Parish of Cadder, Lanarkshire.  He was the eldest son of Hand Loom Weaver John Baxter and Janet Anderson, who married on 22nd May, 1825 in the Parish of Cadder, Lanarkshire.  David was baptised on Sunday 28th August 1825 in Chryston. 

Chryston was located on the north side of Cumbernauld Road (today the A80) which ran between Glasgow and Cumbernauld.

The Topographical Dictionary of Scotland published in 1846 described Chryston in the following terms:

CHRYSTON, lately a quoad sacra parish, in the parish of Cadder, Lower ward of county Lanark; including the villages of Mollensburn, Moodiesburn, and Muirhead, and the hamlet of Auchinloch, and containing 2670 inhabitants, of which number 555 are in the village of Chryston, 7 miles (E. by N.) from Glasgow. The district is formed of the eastern half of the parish of Cadder, and comprises about eleven square miles, its greatest length being four and a half, and its greatest breadth three and a quarter miles. The village is handsomely built and pleasantly situated, and but for the want of water, which is obtained only from the well of Bedlay, nearly a quarter of a mile distant, and difficult of access, might become a more populous and flourishing place. A fair, chiefly for the sale of fat cattle, was formerly held here, at Martinmas; but it has been for some time discontinued. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the presbytery of Glasgow and synod of Glasgow and Ayr. The church is a handsome structure, built by subscription of the inhabitants; the stone for its erection was quarried by the labourers, and hauled, together with the lime and other materials, by the farmers without any charge; it will accommodate 564 persons, and is well attended. The stipend of the minister is £90, derived from seat-rents, with a manse and garden, valued at £10 per annum. A cemetery has been purchased, and is now appropriated to interment. One of the parochial schools is situated here; and a library has been recently established. The ancient tomb of the family of Gray, former proprietors, is here crossed by the line of road leading to Cumbernauld.

From:  A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1846)

At the 1841 Census (7th June) David Baxter was recorded as being 16 years old and working as a Hand Loom Weaver.  He was residing in the village of Chryston, in Cadder parish with his parents John (41), also a Hand Loom Weaver, and Janet (35) with their other children Janet (12), John (10), Archibald (8), James (4) and Alexander (1).

On 7th March, 1851, in the parish of Chryston, most probably in Chryston, David Baxter married Agnes Moir, daughter of Shoemaker William Moir (or More) and Janet Cherry, who had been married in the parish of Cadder on 10th February, 1822.  Both were Cotton Weavers.

In his 'Rambles Round Glasgow', Hugh MacDonald described the visual appearance of Chryston in around 1850 in this way:

Chryston, at which we now arrive, is a village of remarkable cleanliness of aspect, the houses being mostly whitewashed, and regularly arranged in parallel rows along both sides of a broad and spacious street. It consists principally of one-storeyed cottages, in many instances covered with thatch, and having kail-yards attached to them. Flowers around the doors and windows are alone wanting to realize the picture of a small English country town. At the west end of the Main Street, by which we make our entrance, there is a neat little Free Church, with a handsome school by its side; while at the eastern extremity there is another church, also of small dimensions, in connection with the Establishment. The population consists principally of weavers, with the sprinkling of cart-wrights, blacksmiths, and agricultural labourers, usually found in rural villages.

David and Agnes Baxter's first child, John Baxter, was born on 26th June 1851 in Chryston.  On 11th April 1853, Janet was born, but sadly only survived just over two years and died on 23rd September 1855.  On 12th November 1855, David and Agnes had another child, William, and on 15th January 1857, they had another girl, also, named Janet.  Janet died later that same year on 23rd November.  Ann Baxter was born on 25th January, 1859 but survived for only three days. On 29th January 1861 Mary Baxter was born.  All children were born in Chryston.

The 1861 Census (7th April) shows the family residing in Chryston and comprising of David, aged 35, and Agnes, aged 32, both Cotton Weavers, John (10), a Scholar, William (5) and Mary, aged 2 months. Also resident was the family's domestic servant, the 19-year-old Mary Rennie, born in Dumbarton.  It would appear from the sequencing of the Census record that the Baxters' dwelling house was immediately adjacent to the church and school. We also learn from the Census that the house had two rooms with one or more windows.  Living next door on the other side from the church and school was David's mother, Janet Baxter, a 52-year-old widow, with her 21-year-old son, Alexander, a Potter, 18-year-old daughter, Mary, also a Cotton Weaver and 7-year-old granddaughter, Janet, a Scholar.

Young Mary Baxter died on 9th November 1864, at the age of three.

Over the next 10 years, the Baxters added to their family with David, born 1st May 1863, Alexander, born 25th December, 1865 and Thomas, born 11th April 1868, all born in Chryston.

The 1871 Census (3rd April) shows the family still residing in Chryston, although at an unspecified address. David, now aged 46 had changed his occupation and was working as a Limestone Pitheadman.  A pitheadman, as the name suggests, worked above ground.  Agnes was now aged 42.  John, as yet unmarried, was aged 19 and was a 'Shopman Grocer' - the start of a long career in the grocery trade.  William. aged 15, was a Fire-Clay Case (?) Maker.  David, now aged 8, was a Scholar, while Alexander (5) and Thomas (3) were still of pre-school age.  Also resident was a nephew, Robert Gray, aged 18, born in Kilmarnock and a Fire-Clay Pipe Maker.

Fire Clay Works near Chryston

Just to the south of Chryston, in 1832, the Garnkirk Fireclay Company (known originally as the Garnkirk Colliery and Brickfield), was set up. It was reputed to be one of the largest and most complete works in the United Kingdom, using a bed of fireclay 4 to 19 feet thick, of a composition superior to that used elsewhere in the trade. The products were therefore of a high standard, the fireclay bricks, ornamental vases, urns, etc., being highly sought after. It is recorded that in addition to an "immense wholesale home trade" there were exports to France, Germany, Russia, the East and West Indies, U.S.A., and New Zealand. In 1869 three hundred men and boys were employed, and 200 tons of clay and about an equal weight of coal were being used daily. There was an internal railway system, which had earlier extended to limestone pits in the Crowwood area and to fireclay workings in the Woodhead locality. The fireclay pits were finally exhausted in 1895 but the works continued in production until 1901.

Additionally, in 1833 the clay deposits owned by Dr James Jeffray of Cardowan House came into use, on the formation of the Heathfield Fireclay Works who continued in charge until about 1862. The output over the years was varied and included firebricks, tiles, ornamental vases, chimney pots, sewerage pipes and the like. These facts probably establish where William, and his cousin, Robert Gray, would have been employed and the Works are identified in the map. David Baxter probably worked at the limestone pit shown at the top of the map.

On 7th March 1872, David's mother, Janet Baxter, died of Apoplexy at Chryston.  David reported his mother's death.

On 10th April 1873, Agnes gave birth, in Chryston, to James Baxter who died on the same day.  Of the 10 children born to David and Agnes, 6 boys and 4 girls, only 5, all boys, survived past infancy.

On 29th November 1878, John Baxter, now aged 27, married Christina Weir, a 22 year old Domestic Servant residing in Allanton, Parish of Cambusnethan, Lanarkshire, where the marriage was conducted.  John's address was given as 22 Garscadden Street, Glasgow, and his occupation was Warehouseman, presumably still in the grocery trade.  Witnesses to the marriage were John's brother, William, and Annie Weir, who would be Christina's sister.  David's profession was declared as Pitheadman.  It is not obvious how John and Christina would have met, as Allanton was a considerable distance from Glasgow.  Perhaps Christina had been employed as a Domestic Servant in Glasgow.  John and Christina went on to raise their family in Glasgow.

By the time of the 1881 Census (3rd April), the Baxter family had moved a little way westward down the road towards Glasgow.  Their address was Cardowan, Blackfaulds Road. David was 56 and a Fire Clay Pit Headman.  Agnes was 51. William, now 25, was a Fire Clay Pan Maker; young David, aged 17, was a Fire Clay Moulder.  Alexander, 15, and Thomas, 13, were Brick Carriers.  Also resident was visitor Marion Lindsay, an 18 year old unmarried lady, born in Armadale, Linlithgow.  The residence was still within a short walk of the Fireclay Works, and it is possible that the family were still employed at the same place, although cardowan Fireclay Works was even closer.

The presence of 'visitor' Marion Lindsay was soon explained, as on 17th June, 1881, William Baxter, aged 25, now employed as a Paper Maker, and the 18-year-old Marion, a Carpet Weaver, were married at Newton Grange, Parish of Newbattle, Edinburgh. Witnesses on the occasion were David Baxter, William's next younger brother and Maggie Lindsay, most likely Marion's sister. William gave his usual residence as Newtongrange.

On 28th December, 1884, young David Baxter, then 19 and still a Fire Clay Moulder, married 19-year-old Margaret Wells, born in St Andrews and St Leonards, Fife.  Margaret had been working as a Farm Servant on the nearby Whitehill Farm run by 72-year-old John Hamilton, his wife Agnes and their family.

Some time between 1885 and 1889, William and Marion Baxter emigrated with their two small children to Wasatch in Utah, USA, where they had another 6 children, before moving on in around 1902 to Magrath in Alberta, Canada, where they finally settled, adding another two children to their family.

Magrath was established in 1899 by settlers sent by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints from Utah and Idaho. These Mormon settlers were recruited by the Alberta Railway and Irrigation Company to construct irrigation works. The settlers were paid in cash and land in the town. This was the first major irrigation work in Canada and was made possible by the settlers' experience with the extensive irrigation projects undertaken by the Mormon church in Utah and Idaho.

In around 1891, young David Baxter and his wife, Margaret, and their 4 young children, followed the same path as his older brother, William, and emigrated to Utah, settling in Park City, Summit, where they added a further 5 children to their family.

At the 1891 Census (5th April), David and Agnes had moved to the village of Stepps, to an address "Steppshill", still very close to the Fireclay Works. David was 66 and apparently still working as a Pitheadman. Agnes was 61. Alexander was 25 and a Labourer in a Fire Clay Tank(?) and Tom was 22 and a Fire Clay Retort Maker. According to the 1891 Census, the Baxters lived next door to the Turtle family, whose house was used for community prayer meetings on Sunday evenings.

David Baxter died at Stepps, of Stricture of the Urethra and Cystitis, from which he had been suffering for several years, aged 68, on 1st June, 1893. His son, John, registered the death.

Agnes Baxter died, aged 68, on 3rd December, 1897, of Apoplexy at 44 King Street, Tradeston, Glasgow which was the home of her son, John, who registered the death.

Thomas Baxter, a Grocer's Assistant aged 31, married Margaret Kerr, a 28 year old Yarn Winder, at his home address of 204 Garngad Road, Dennistoun, Glasgow, on 6th July, 1900.

Their eldest son, John Baxter, father of 7 children, died at 40 Abbotsford Place, Gorbals, Glasgow, on 15th October, 1917. William, father of 10, died in Magrath, Alberta, Canada on 2nd January, 1924, while David Jr died, probably in Utah, USA on 28th June 1925. Alexander Baxter, Tailor, aged 58 and unmarried, died of Lobar Pneumonia at Hartwood Asylum, Shotts on 12th March, 1924, and Thomas Moir Baxter, a Biscuit Storeman, aged 79, died of a Cerebral Haemorrhage at 28 Gadshill Street, Glasgow on 19th December 1947.

Write a comment

  • Required fields are marked with *.

Showing comments 1 to 10 of 10245 | Next | Last
Showing comments 1 to 10 of 10245 | Next | Last

Related Images

  • Image 1:  David Baxter's entry in the Cadder Birth Register.  » Click to zoom ->

    Image 1: David Baxter's entry in the Cadder Birth Register.

  • Image 2:  1860 map of Chryston.  » Click to zoom ->

    Image 2: 1860 map of Chryston.

  • Image 3:  Chryston Parish Church and Schoolhouse  » Click to zoom ->

    Image 3: Chryston Parish Church and Schoolhouse

  • Image 4:  Chryston Main Street looking west.  » Click to zoom ->

    Image 4: Chryston Main Street looking west.

  • Image X;  » Click to zoom ->

    Image X;