Copyright (C) 2021 by Patrick's People all rights reserved Updated 24 July 2021
(About 1790-)
(About 1795-)
HARKEN, Patrick
(About 1805-)
HARKEN MS UNKNOWN, Sarah? Margaret?
(About 1805-)
McGUNNIGAL, James (DNA Linked)
HARKEN, Margaret (DNA Linked)


Family Links

1. ROURKE, Mary

McGUNNIGAL, James 1 2 3

  • Born: 1858, Ireland
  • Marriage (1): ROURKE, Mary on 1 January 1882 in Chapelhall, Bothwell Parish, Lanarkshire, Scotland 1
  • Died: 19 January 1888 at 5.15 pm, Bothwell Parish Hospital, Bellshill, Lanarkshire, Scotland

   Cause of his death was enteric fever of 20 days' duration.

   Other names for James were MACGONIGAL, Jas.,4 McGONEGAL, James,1 McGONIGAL, James and McGONIGLE, James.

  General Notes:

James was just 13 years old when he was recorded in the 1871 census for the parish of Bothwell in Lanarkshire. He lived at Chapelhall, but had been born in Ireland. Despite his young age, he was already working as a labourer at a coal pit.

In the 1881 census James was recorded living with his parents and his two brothers in Biggar Road, Chapelhall, aged 22 years, a labourer in the iron works.

James' daughter, Margaret, was born in September 1881 before James and Mary or Maria, later his wife, married. James was recorded on the birth certificate as a furnace assistant, and as being resident at Chapelhall. Margaret's birth took place at Clarkston, near Airdrie, where Mary's family lived.

In 1886, in the birth certificate of his son, Francis, James was recorded as a 'railway labourer'.

When James died in 1888, his home address was noted as High Rows, Chapelhall. His occupation was recorded as 'coal miner'. His recorded age at death was 29 years. A sad and strange occurrence was that his father, also called James, had also died within the previous 24 hours.

When his son, Francis, married in 1911, James' occupation was recorded as Railway Surfaceman.

In 1913, James was recorded as a 'coal miner deceased' in the marriage certificate of his son, James.

In his daughter, Margaret's death certificate in 1931, James was recorded as a 'Blastfurnace Keeper deceased'.

In 1939, James's son and namesake, James, died. His father's occupation was noted in his death certificate then as 'coal miner deceased'.

Sarah Ann Rogan, one of the two daughters of James McGunnigal, died in 1951. In her death certificate her father was recorded as 'James McGunnigal labourer deceased'. The informant was his grandson, William Rogan, who, like all the other grandchildren of this James McGunnigal, never had the opportunity to know this grandfather. 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

  Research Notes:


The Roman Catholic parish at Chapelhall, St Aloysius, was a daughter church of St Margaret's parish in Airdrie. The main parish of St Margaret's Airdrie founded the Church, the School and the Presbytery in Chapelhall. The new mission was opened in 1857, and was served by priests from Airdrie until 1859.

The village of Chapelhall lies on the opposite bank of the North Calder Water to Calderbank, about fifteen miles to the east of Glasgow, and roughly two miles from Holytown and Airdrie. It grew before the 1830s on the strength of its iron working and coal mining, mainly owned by the Monkland Company. Three blast furnaces were operational in that decade.


Also known as Bellshill Hospital, it was built by the Bothwell Parochial Board in the 1870s as an Infectious Diseases Hospital and had two wards. It became a Lanarkshire County Hospital in 1899.

In the publication Old Bellshill in Pictures, published in 1995, there is a photograph of this hospital captioned "A View of the County Hospital Taken at the Turn of the Century". Underneath is a short paragraph that reads:

"More commonly known as the Fever Hospital, this hospital dated from the 1870s. Originally used for the nursing of patients with infectious diseases such as Enteric Fever, it was also used for wounded soldiers during the First World War. Although some of the buildings in the picture are still standing the view today is very different. The present Bellshill Maternity Hospital was built on the left hand side of the buildings and was opened by HRH Queen Elizabeth in July 1962."


Attacks of enteric fever among coal miners arise from the pollution of drinking water by the introduction into it of human excrement, either below or above ground

This can happen underground in different ways including lack of hygiene. Above ground it happens if mine water is pumped and imbibed or mixed with other water which is then imbibed, from a local pond for example. For safety, mining water used above ground should not be taken from working levels in the pit.

Pollution of the water supply can happen in many ways and a whole village or adjacent villages can be affected with fatal results. Pit baths at the pithead, which encourage cleanliness before a miner returns home, are a very recent development in Scottish pits. Lack of facilities and living at very close quarters exacerbate a potentially dangerous situation for mineworkers and their families. 12 13 14

  Medical Notes:

The cause of James McGunnigal's death was certified by Thos B. McGown MD.

The informant of the death of James was Barbara Bryne, the Matron of the hospital where James died. The certificate notes that she was present where he died. She made her X mark, which was witnessed by William McNab, the registrar, on 20 January 1888 at the Bothwell parish district office. 6

James married Mary ROURKE, daughter of Francis ROURKE (DNA Linked) and Margaret CAMPBELL (DNA Linked), on 1 January 1882 in Chapelhall, Bothwell Parish, Lanarkshire, Scotland.1 (Mary ROURKE was baptised on 7 May 1855 in Dungannon RC Parish, County Tyrone, Ireland 15 and died 1 February 1917 at 9.15 am in Royal Infirmary, Glasgow, Scotland 16.). The cause of her death was burning injuries sustained for five days.

  Marriage Notes:

625/2 6

625/2 6

from Index of Marriages

The marriage was celebrated, after banns, according to the rites and forms of the Roman Catholic Church. Father Hubert Van Stephout, was the celebrant. The witnesses were Michael McGunnigal and Mary Barrett.

The bridegroom, James McGonegal, worked as an assistant blastfurnace keeper at the time of his marriage, on New Year's day 1882, to Mary O'Rourke. He was 23 years of age. James lived in Chapelhall, at High Rows.

For her part, the bride was a worker in a paper mill. She was 24 years old, and lived in Clarkston, near Airdrie.

Mary's mother died before Mary was married, but her father, a coal miner, was still alive. James' father was an agricultural labourer.

The registrar notes in writing that both the bride and groom parties signed their names.

Note: The witness Michael McGunnigal was most likely the younger brother of James. Mary had a niece called Mary Barrett, daughter of her older sister Elizabeth, and she may have been the witness here. 1 17


1 GRO Scotland, Holytown district Lanarkshire Marriages 1882.

2 GRO Scotland, Holytown district Lanarkshire Births 1886.

3 Poor Law records, General Register of Poor: Parish of Bothwell Lanarkshire 1888.

4 Roman Catholic Records, St Margaret's RC Parish Airdrie, Lanarkshire, Baptisms.

5 1881 UK census.

6 GRO Scotland.

7 GRO Scotland, Bothwell district.

8 GRO Scotland, Cleland 1911 marriage certificate RDS 655/3 No 28/son Francis.

9 GRO Scotland, Holytown 1881 birth certificate RDS 651/2 no 451.

10 GRO Scotland, Marriage certificate RDS 624 Blantyre 1913/son James.

11 GRO Scotland, Shettleston district Lanarkshire Deaths 1951.

12 The Book of Airdrie: A Composite Picture of the Life of a Scottish Burgh (1954), page 242.

13 Jack Fisher, Old Bellshill in Pictures (1995), page 32.

14 Internet Site,

15 Irish Family History Foundation, Dungannon RC Parish County Tyrone Church Marriage Record.

16 GRO Scotland, 1917 Death certificate RDS 644/4 no 194 Glasgow.

17 GRO Scotland, Index of Marriages.

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