Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sepia Saturday~James Imlah of Barre Vermont

My Great Great Uncle James Imlah
Source: Photo from the  Album of Ron Alexander and Nancy Alexander 

James Imlah was born on January 23,1855 to Peter Imlah and Mary Wilson in Aberdeenshire Scotland. He was the third youngest in a family of 7 brothers and 2 sisters. In 1889 James left Scotland and sailed for America on the Aurania,
Source: :Genealogical and Family History of the State of Vermont
As the reputation of Barre granite grew, natives of Arberdeenshire, Scotland, began emigrating to Barre, seeking employment in the neophytic granite industry. Small numbers of Scots came to Barre in the 1880's; however, they began coming in greater number in the 1890's. Shortly after the turn-of-the-century, Scots comprised about 20% of Barre's  population.

James worked as a Granite cutter  for his Nephew John Imlah who owned "Imlah & Co." located in Barre Vermont. James older brother Robert, father of John would also join him in Vermont and work at the Company as a granite polisher.

James died on September 17, 1919  at the age of 64 from Pulmonary Tuberculosis.
Source: Vermont Death Records,State Archives and Records


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  1. Do you think the cause of his death was his occupation?
    Very interesting post and a beautiful site.

  2. Hi Barbara, thank you for the kind words :)
    I tend to think yes the cause of death was related to his occupation, his brother Robert who worked in the same trade died in 1925 of the same thing.I found a few articles on what they call the "Deadly Dust" and the high rate of tuberculosis in the Granite workers exposed to it.

  3. Interest story,great photos and details of his life. He came from Aberdeenshire - with Aberdeen the Granite City - to work in the granite industry in the USA, Very appropriate.

  4. What a fascinating story and a wonderful illustration of how - in those times - occupations were the great constants and people would travel the world to find opportunities.

  5. I thoroughly enjoyed this post, it is so very interesting. I am always amazed at the travel our ancestors did back then to find jobs and start a new life away from family and friends.
    I especially like the first photo.

  6. They look like they should be out parading on a street with all the other grand people in town.

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  8. There's a lot of granite in Aberdeen - their old cemeteries look brand new as it is such a hard stone. I was at school in Edinburgh with a boy called Imlah (in Edinburgh) - it's a fairly rare name here. Jo

  9. First time visit. You have a great blog. The first photo drew me right in to the rest of the story.

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