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(About 1770-)
(About 1770-)


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1. O'BRIEN, Michael


  • Born: 11 September 1801, Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland 2 3
  • Baptised: 20 September 1801, High Church Parish, Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland 3
  • Marriage (1): O'BRIEN, Michael
  • Died: 2 February 1875 at 9.00 pm, 901 High Street, Airdrie, Lanarkshire, Scotland 4

   Cause of her death was paralysis over 2 days.4

   Other names for Mary were McCULLOGH, Mary,5 OBRIEN, Mary,2 6 O'BRIEN, Mary 4 and O'BRINN, Marry.

  General Notes:

The 1841 census recorded 'Marry O'Brinn' living with her husband, seven children, and two boarders in Rawyards in the parish of New Monkland. Her children were aged between 3 months and 14 years of age. She was recorded as having been born in Ireland and her age was in the range 30-34 years.

Mary Obrien was recorded by the 1851 census or New Monkland, Lanarkshire living as head of the household at Mill Row. Her age was recorded as 57 years. With her lived seven of her children, Mary (21 years), Catherin (19 years), Janet (17 years), Rosa (15 years), Michael (12 years), Agnes (10 years), and William (4 years). Mary's birthplace was recorded as Paisley, Renfrewshire. The census entry is extremely unclear but it appears Mary was a widow.

In 1861 the census for Airdrie in the civil parish of New Monkland again recorded the Obrien family. Mary Obrien, its head, was recorded as 60 years old and lived her family and a boarder, Jane Buchanan, at 3 Mill Road. Her birthplace was noted as Glasgow Lanarkshire. The boarder Jane Buchanan was recorded as 19 years old and born in Airdrie. She worked as a cotton weaver. In addition to some of Mary Obrien's sons and daughters, a little granddaughter, Mary Coyle, lived with the family. She was 6 years old and had been born in Airdrie.

The census of 1871 recorded Mary O'Brien living in the household of her son in law Samuel Marrow at 67 Johnston Street Airdrie in the parish of New Monkland. The household comprised Samuel Marrow, his wife Jane, his mother in law Mary, and an Irish born visitor Margaret Kain, a widow aged 76 years. Mary O'Brien too was a widow, aged 69 years and according to record born in Paisley.

Mary O'Brien died in 1875. Her death certificate recorded her as the wife of Michael O'Brien coal miner. Her recorded age at death was 94 years. Her parents were deceased. 2 4 6 7

  Research Notes:


The census returns and death certificate for Mary McCulloch are less enlightening about her birth year and birthplace than we might hope. Our first reaction is likely to be one of confusion rather than clarity.

On different occasions Mary was recorded as having been born in Paisley (2) Glasgow (1) and Ireland (1). Why this should be so depends on many factors, the main one being who supplied the information and how much that person knew of Mary's birth and early life. Three out of four entries record Mary as born in Scotland. The entry for the 1841 census that recorded Ireland depended on the informant fully understanding the rather odd system operated in the 1841 census, especially the Yes/No questions about being born in the present county and country.

It seems fairly likely Mary was born in Scotland, then, not Ireland, and that she was born in the west of Scotland, probably Paisley, or maybe between Glasgow and Paisley. McCullochs are found aplenty in both.

The birth years that can be deduced from the ages attributed to Mary in recorded entries range from 1780 to 1811. Between 1841 and 1851 she aged a minimum of 23 years. This might make us wonder again about the information given in the 1841 census.

Between 1851 and 1861 she ages just 3 years, suggesting possibly that 57 years was too high previously. She might have been between 50 and 54 years, thus confirming if true the 1841 entry. The ageing process was recorded most accurately it seems between 1861 and 1871 when she aged 9 years to 69. This would make her birth year roughly about 1802. If the 1851 entry erred in making Mary too old, her death certificate was way over the top - recording her as 94 years old in 1875! This was provided by her son George, who is recorded in other circumstances as wildly inaccurate.

Thus using this reasoning we reach the viable possibility that Mary McCulloch was born between 1800 and 1810.

  Medical Notes:

John Strang MD CM certified the cause of death.

George O'Brien, Mary's son, of 75 Bell Street, gave notice of his mother's death before the registrar, Millar Whyte, at Airdrie on 3 February 1875. 4

Mary married Michael O'BRIEN, son of Michael O'BRIEN and Ellen BRANNAN. (Michael O'BRIEN was born in 1804 in Ireland and died between 1846 and 1851 2.)


1 GRO Scotland, Marriage certificate RDS 644/7 No 119/daughter.

2 1851 UK census, New Monkland 651 en d 33 page Mill Row.


4 GRO Scotland, Death Airdrie 651/1 no 52 1875.

5 National Archives of Scotland, Baptisms St Margaret's Chapel Airdrie 1839-1852.

6 GRO, Airdrie 651/1 en d 26 page 26 3 Mill Road.

7 1871 UK census, New Monkland 651/1 en d 16 page 20 67 Johnston Street.

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