Saturday, February 11, 2012

Sepia Saturday~ George the Shoemaker

2nd Great Uncle George Imlah
George Imlah was born at Whitebog of Culsh,  Aberdeenshire, Scotland , on Wednesday 17th December 1856.George was the ninth Child of ten born to Peter Imlah and Mary Wilson my 3x Great Grandparents.
He would grow up to become a shoemaker according to the tax rolls of 1877 and the 1881 census.
Before his married in 1885 to Christina, George fathered two children.  Mary who was born the 24th of November 1877 in Newton of Kinmundy Old Deer, her mother was Eliza Wilson a Domestic Servant. On December 8th 1881 he had a son named John born at Mitchel-ley, Coull, and the mother is listed as Helen Walker. The child died on November 1st 1882 age 10 months cause of Death was Bronchitis.
By the end of 1885 George Imlah had moved to Edinburgh and was employed as a shoemaker and living at 30 Rose Street
 On Friday 25th December he married Christina Nicol at 33 Chalmers Road, Edinburgh. The witnesses at the wedding were Charles Lamont and A. M. R. Nicol. Christina a domestic servant, gave her address as Coaltown of Wemyss, Fife. ‘Christina’ Nicol was born at Coaltown, Wemyss, on Friday 16th May 1856, the daughter of Alexander Nicol, coal miner, and his wife, Janet Thomson. 
1885 marriage
George and Christina had the following children:
  1. Jessie, born Tuesday 4th January 1887
  2. Mary, born Thursday 7th February 1889
  3. Christina Thomson, born Friday 22nd May 1891 
  4. George, born Saturday 29th April 1893 
  5. Alexander Nicol, born Monday 24th June 1895                            
  6. John Thomson, born Sunday 26th March 1899
The 1891 census shows the Imlahs at 8 Caledonian Crescent, Edinburgh, the flat has two rooms with a window. George is described as a shoemaker. The rest of the household consists of his wife, Christina, and his daughters, Jessie and Mary. The family was still at 8 Caledonian Crescent when daughter Christina was born, but had moved to 8 Yeaman Place, Edinburgh, by the end of the year. 
Their daughter Mary died on Saturday 26th December 1891, aged two. The cause of death was enteritis. Her father registered the death. When Mary died, George was still a shoemaker, but in April 1893, when George junior was born, the family was at 32 Ashley Terrace, Edinburgh, and George was now a dairyman. John Thomson died on Monday 11th September 1899, aged five months. The cause of death was teething, diarrhea and collapse. The death was registered by his father who gave the child's name as ‘John Thomas’. George also signed his name with an X mark although he could write. Perhaps this was because his eyesight had started to fail.
The 1901 census shows the Imlah's at 38 Ashley Terrace. The flat has four rooms with a window. George is described as a dairyman and an employer and Blind. George Imlah died in Craiglockhart Poorhouse, Colinton, on Wednesday 6th June 1906, aged 48. The cause of death was paraplegia and cardiac failure. The death was registered by his brother-in-law, William Hill. William described George as a dairyman and gave his usual residence as 140 Marchmont Road, Edinburgh. William’s own address was 21 Morningside Gardens, Edinburgh. As George was not destitute, perhaps he was in the poorhouse because of suitable medical facilities there?
1906 Record of Death for George Imlah
George made a will on 10th November 1896 nominating his wife as executrix. The value of his estate was £198 8/11d. Christina Nicol died at Longacre Hospital, Edinburgh, on Tuesday 15th January 1924, aged 67. The cause of death was aneurism of the aorta. The death was registered by her son, Alexander, who gave her age as 66 and her usual residence as 38 Ashley Terrace, Edinburgh. He gave his own address as 12 Wardlaw Street, Edinburgh.
Christina Nicol had made a will on 23rd January 1920 nominating her son, Alexander, cellarman, 12 Wardlaw Street, Edinburgh, as executor. The value of her estate was £70 4/-.


  1. I find causes of death to be very interesting, even if a bit morbid. Teething? That's a first for me!

  2. It was a first for me as well,so I did some reading on teething as a cause of death. more than likely the child did not die from teething but from another disease or possibly something given to the child to help ease the discomforts of the teething.

  3. You've done a good job of collecting information about George and his family. I, too, was surprised to see teething listed as a cause of death. Interesting.

  4. I was at university in Scotlan and worked at Aberdeen and Dundee but I hadn't heardof the gloriously named Whitebob of Culsh. George and Christina's story is well presented. That's a large book that George is resting on.

  5. That is a fine photograph. And it is that combination of image and factual research that brings history to life and makes me feel as if I knew your great uncle George.

  6. I looked up death from teething too. Apparently it was the leading cause of death because the diagnosis covered a lot of serious health conditions unrelated to actual teething.

  7. That's an enormous book that George is leaning on. I wonder if he is posing as if to write out a bill for shoes? It's nice to see what looks like a cut-glass inkwell on his left. I lived off Ashley Terrace when I was a student, so it's interesting to think of the history of those who once lived nearby :-)