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  • Writer's pictureEunice Taylor

An independent woman: Jean Lochead from Paisley, Scotland B: 1807

Updated: Jan 18

Sometimes when I have a busy day or think COVID is causing me too many problems I like to read about my antecedents. Most of which seemed to have a tough life but somehow survived to eventually have me. One of these is Jean Lochead my 3rd great grandmother. A woman born into poverty in Paisley, Scotland at the turn of a new century. Daughter to Ann Pollock and Alexander Lochhead both spirit dealers (of whisky perhaps). She married her first husband John Renfrew at 19, and by the age of 29 had six children. By the age of 33 she is living with John Brown and has another daughter Grace. By the age of 38 this relationship has ended (perhaps due to death or separation) and she is with James Barrell. She has another two children with James at age 38 and 41. By the age of 53 in 1861 she is on her own, supporting four children ages 11 to 23 who are still living with her and her father who is now 83. She is working as a housekeeper.

She goes on to outlive her parents as well as her daughter Jeanie and dies at the age of 74 in the poor house in Paisley, Scotland - her son Alex is the informant. I like to think however hard her life she created an amazing legacy of 9 children who went on to contribute great things in Scotland and beyond. Photos below of her great granddaughters.

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