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Kirkland family of govan lanark

Looking for help on a John Kirkland who was born in GOVAN LANARK in May 1861. Here is his family -

Elizabeth Spark (1834 Berwickshire Scotland -1906 Govan Scotland )
Married 1859 Edinburgh
John Kirkland [1824 Scotland -1906 Govan Scotland ]
1. Marion Kirkland (1859 – 1939) m. Robert Buchan
2. John Kirkland (1861 - m. Mary Campbell
3. Robert Kirkland (1864 – 1875)
4. Janet Kirkland (1866 - 1916 )
5. Margaret Kirkland (1868 - 1871 )

They had five children that I know of and only two married with two dying in childhood.

It is their son John Kirkland who I am trying to locate - along with his wife Mary Campbell.

They had one son John Spark Kirkland in 1888 after having married in Greenock, Renfrewshire in 1884.

They can not be found after 1891. John Snr was living with his parents in 1891 with his son John Spark Kirkland. His wife Mary Kirkland was found as a boarder - domestic servant at a house not far away. It stated she was married and born in Greenock which matches our Mary. Why she was not with John and her son I do not know.

they can not be found after 1891. Their son John Spark Kirkland was found with his grandparents in 1901 census. He was also the informant at the deaths of his grandparents in 1906.

He stated in 1913 that his parents were both deceased. Can not find a death for a John or Mary Kirkland pre 1913 and after 1891.

Maybe they moved to England - but why would they leave their son with grandparents?

unfortunately there seems to be a lot of John Kirklands in Lanark at this time so it makes it difficult. Maybe he remarried?


Peter Spark
possibly John moved to Liverpool/Birkenhead.

1901 27 Andrew St Liverpool
John Kirkland, married, 40, commercial clerk, born Scotland,
boarding with a widow and her family.

1911 9 Chapel St Birkenhead
John Kirkland, M, 49, Agent-hide skin and fat broker, born Lanarkshire, Govan
Maggie Kirkbride, M 4 yrs, 49, born Dunbartonshire Chryston
John McLaren, 16, born Birkenhead
Edith McLaren,12, born Birkenhead

So it looks like this John Kirkland married a widow Maggie McLaren in 1907 but I can't find such a marriage. If he was still married to his first wife they would just have to say they had married at the time they started living together. Similarly Mary Campbell/Kirkland might just have changed her name as she could not marry a new partner.

A John Kirkland aged 51 died in Birkenhead in 1912.

Hope this helps
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PS, in case you don't have it John Sparke Kirkland, born about 1889, died Q1 1976 in Barnet Middlesex.

An article in the Chelmsford Chronicle 20 Dec 1940 explains how he became a spiritualist after many years as a minister and mentions his upbringing in his grandfather's strict Presbyterian household (but sadly no explanation as to why he was there!)

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I think the parents of John Spark Kirkland weren't necessarily dead by 1913.

Yorkshire Post Oct 1 1930 has an article about the welcome of the new missioner - John Sparke Kirkland - at the East Hull Sailors Mission. It says this is his first trip to England, details of his studies and previous appointments then says "as the son of a ships captain he should find the work in Hull attractive".

I doubt that his father John suddenly went from being a clerk to a ships captain so it looks like this is just a convenient thing to say in a seamans mission. Similarly convenient to say absent parents are dead at his marriage.

Several newspaper articles refer to him and other aspects of his life but I've not seen anything else about his parents yet!
Thank you Elaine

Do you possibly have access to those newspaper articles? From Australia we cant seem to access this information. I would love to read those articles you were referring too - they sound fascinating -
I would love if you were able to email me them? Is that possible.

Email address removed for security reasons as per site policy.

otherwise how can I access them. John spark kirkland was a bit of a mystery pot too - his son assumed he had died too - as his son John Smith Kirkland (born in 1914) was sent to live with some Aunts and had no idea what happened to his father.

Peter Spark
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You can apply for a NLA (National Library of Australia) card which gives you access to their eResources which includes the Gale Collection of British Newspapers.

Or you can wait for a member to find the articles and email them to you.

After three moderated posts user names turn green and the PM (Private Message) system should be used to exchange personal information such as an email address.