Statements given by women and girl miners to the Children's Employment Commission in Spring 1841, and my research into the circumstances of their families. The government investigator collecting the evidence was Robert Franks.
I identified the female witnesses who were working as miners when they gave evidence to the Commission from transcriptions of the 1841 census, matching name, age, locality and family detail. In some cases the witness was not on the census or it was not possible to be sure which person was the right one. In a few cases detail did not match sufficiently well to confirm that the correct individual had been found. Occasionally the given name differed between the Commission Report and the census. It seems likely that an informal name was given to the Commissioner.
No.70 - Janet Moffatt, aged 12, Inveresk
Works from six morning till six night: alternate weeks works in the night-shift. Descends at night and return five or six in morning, as the coals are drawn whiles later. I pull the waggons, of 4 to 5 cwt., from the men's rooms to the horse-road. We are worse off than the horses, as they draw on iron rails and we on flat floors. We have no meals below. Some of us get pieces of bread when we can save it from the rats who are so ravenous that they eat the corks out of our oil-flasks. I draw the carts through the narrow seams. The roads are 24 to 30 inches high: draw in harness, which passes over my shoulders and back; the cart is fastened to my chain. The place of work is very wet and covers my shoe-tops. I work on mother's account with sister, as father was killed in the pit five years since. There are often accidents below; a woman was killed 3 months since by one of the pit waggons. Mother has eight children. Three of us work below; we are her only support.
Comment by Franks
Can read and knows Scripture very well: can sign her name but very indifferently.
Janet appears to be the daughter of Agnes Moffat. Her siblings included Christian, Agnes and Abram.
No.73 - Ellspee Thomson, aged 40, Inveresk
I wrought all my life, till a stone, 14 months ago, so crushed my leg and right foot, below ground, that I could no' gang. If women did not work below the children would not go down so soon and it would better for them, as they would get more strength and a little learning. Can say to my own cost that the bairns are much neglected when both parents work below for neighbours, if they keep the children, they require as much as women sometimes earn and neglect them. The oppression of the coal-bearing is such as to injure women in after-life and few exist whose legs are not injured, or haunches, before they are 30 years of age. Has known many women leave for service but for want of proper instruction have not be able to hold to the places: the liberty women have unfits them for restraint. Thinks colliers' daughters full as virtuous as other women, only their habits are so different from being taken down so early, especially as collier men think the lassies need less education. The hours children are wrought are much too long; many work 15 hours, none less than 12. I do not know any women that have much suffered from the bad air but most of the men begin to complain at 30 to 35 years of age and drop off before they get the length of 40.
No.77 - Agnes Johnson, aged 17, Inveresk
Assists in redding the road in the Tunnel Pit and work 12 hours. It is very sore work but I prefer it, as I work on the master's account and get 14d. a-day. When I work with father keeps me 15 and 16 hours at coal-carrying, which I hate, as it last year I twisted my ankles out of place, and I was idle near 12 months.
Agnes was the daughter of John and Marion Johnston. Her siblings were Lucca, John, William, Alexander, James and Andrew.
No.94 - Nancy Morrison, aged 17, Borthwick
Began to work before 11 years of age: pulls with draw ropes and chain: very difficult at parts, as roads are not all railed and some water in the pit. Works with mother and brother: father is clean gone in the breath; he is 43 years or and not been down for two years: when at fall work we cannot earn more than 14s. a-week. I was taught the reading, but never was at the writing.
Comment by Franks
Reads very well; knows very little Scripture history and only seven questions in Catechism, those very imperfectly.
No.95 - Katherine Logan, aged 16, Borthwick
Began to work at coal carrying more than five years since: works in harness now: draws backwards with face to tubs: the ropes and chains go under my pit clothes: it is o'esair work, especially where we crawl. Father works occasionally, not often, as he is bad in the breath.
Comment by Franks
Reads very badly and very destitute of the knowledge of common facts: knows little of Scripture: appears to have been much neglected: very weak and emaciated.
No.99 - Elizabeth Meek, aged 12, Cranston
I know that my age is 12 years, as Mr. Welch, the minister, wrote it in father's Bible. I work from six in morning till five and six at night; frequently all night; never less than 12 hours unless we are driven out by had air. I am too sair gone to be wrought at the night-school and father would not pay for me even if I were not. I would not have gone into the pit but was made to do so by father and step-mother. I cast over the coals and run with them to the pit bottom: have no holidays: father does not work on Mondays and Tuesdays: had typhus and so had the family two years since, when working on the Marquis's work at East Houses. I can read, never was taught the writing: am trying to copy my brother's copy-book and can shape some of the letters.
Comment by Franks
Reads well; can shape many letters in her first and second name: repeats the Scripture and Psalms: is very intelligent, but very delicate in appearance.
No.101 - Ann Crookston, aged 10, Cranston
I gang at three in the morning and come up with brother at five at night: mother brings porridge when she comes herself to work: father is off work and has been three months, with bad breath. I cast over the coal from my brother and mother takes away: sometimes my brother draws his work with ropes and chains. I cannot read: have been occasionally to night-school and brother is trying to do the letters: have three brothers and one sister; only one at the school.
Comment by Franks
Very sickly and has no knowledge of the alphabet, save the first five or six letters.
Ann was the daughter of Robert and Mary Crookston. Her siblings were George, William and David.
No.102 - Elizabeth Dickson, aged 12, Cranston
I draw with the ropes and chain and often fall and get crushed as the hurly comes down the brae; never off work long from the hurts. I am wrought with two brothers and two sisters below: we takes pieces of bread, and get nothing more till work is done: am never wrought less than 12 and 14 hours: work about: we work all night. Many of the lassies get crushed and lose their fingers: have often lost my finger nails. Always change my pit clothes when home, am obliged to do, for they are so wet. I bend nearly double while at work, as all the roads are very low. I can read a little; not learned much, as have been three years below and not at school since. Father does not work now; he was caught in the bad air and we hurled him out in a tub, since which [six months] we have worked for him.
Comment by Franks
Reads very badly, and much neglected.
Elizabeth was the daughter of Robert and Helen Dickson. Her siblings were John, Catherine, Francis, Robert, Adam and William.
No.107 - Jane Johnson, aged 29, Cranston
I was seven and a half years of age when my uncle first yoked me to the work, as father and mother were dead; it was at Sheriff-hall and I carried coal on my back; I could carry 2cwt. when 15 years of age but I now feel the weakness upon me from the strains. I have been married near 10 years and had 4 children; have usually wrought till within one or two days of the children's birth. Many women lose their strength early from overwork and get injured in their backs and legs; was crushed by a stone some time since and forced to lose one of my fingers. I cannot read; never was taught; my three children, girls of the age of 8, 5, and 2 years, I -leave at home; a wench comes to see after them and take them to the school. None know how to read at present.
No.109 - Janet Selkirk, aged 18, Cranston
Begun to work at 10 years of age; did so, as hard work below had made mother blind. I cannot read, as family expenses are heavy. Two sisters are trying at the reading; four other bairns are supported by mine and father's work. Am obliged to like the work, as all the lassies are. It would no be possible for men to do the work we are forced to do. Men only marry us early because we are of advantage to them. The roads are so low and narrow that small persons only can pass.
Comment by Franks
Very destitute; has no knowledge of the letters or scripture history.
Janet may be the daughter of Robert and Janet Selkirk. Her siblings were Euphemia, John, Elizabeth and Alison.
No.110 - Margaret Grant, aged 15, Cranston
I think that it is more than two years since mother brought me below; it was after father died of the bad breath. I work on mother's account and get a shilling a-day when I draw the work by myself, which I cannot always do, as the roads are more wet at whiles than others. Mother can't assist me now, as she is laid by with rheumatism from working on bad roads. Was once at school for six months; was 12 months ago; can't go now, as mother is not to pay. I go to kirk when I have any clothes. Cannot read. Lodges in Pathhead, half a mile from the colliery, in a small house. of three rooms; one divided by the beds; 21 grown people are stopping: 10 sleep in one small room.
Comment by Franks
Margaret Grant is a very intelligent lassie and has all the appearance of one worn down by hard work and want of food.
Margaret may be the daughter of Elizabeth Paton.
No.111 - Elizabeth Selkirk, aged 11, Cranston
Works from three in the morning till four and five in the afternoon and frequently all night. The work is so sore that canna help going to sleep when waiting for the gig to draw. Father is very bad in the breath, so I am wrought with brother. I do not always change myself, as so oe'r fatigued. We have had much trouble (sickness). My work causes me to stoop double and when I draw I crawl on all-fours, like the cuddies. Was at school five weeks and distinguish one letter from another.
Comment by Franks
Very sickly emaciated child, subject to severe pains in limbs and bowels, arising no doubt overwork and want of food. Her parents, with seven children, live in a wretched hovel at Pathhead; the room not more than 10 feet by 14: the furniture consisted of two old bedsteads, nearly destitute of covering, a few old stools and bits of broken crockery.
Not clear whether or not this is the sister of No 109.
No.115 - Margaret Watson, aged 16, West Linton, Peebleshire
I was first taken below to carry coals when I was six years old and have never been away from the work, except a few evenings in the summer months, when some of us go to Carlops, two miles over the moor, to learn the reading: reads a little. Most of us work from three in the morning till four and five at night. I make 20 rakes a-day and 30 when mother bides at home. What I mean by a rake is a journey from the day-light with my wooden backit to the coal-wall and back with my coal to the daylight, when I throw the coals on father's hill and return. [The pit is 8.5 fathoms deep, descended by a turnpike stair and wall-face 100 fathoms distant from pit bottom.] I carry 2cwt. on my back; never less than 1.5cwt. I know what the weight of 1cwt is, though I cannot say how many pounds there are in it. I never was taught to sew, much more shape a dress, yet I stitch up my pit clothes. We often have bad air below; had some a short time since and lost brother by it: he sunk down and I tried to draw him out but the air stopped my breath and I was forced to gang.
Comment by Franks
Knows a few questions in the Child's Catechism but very destitute of any useful information.
Margaret's parents were Alexander Watson and Jean Peacock (witness No 117). Her siblings included Robert, David, Alexander, John and Thomas.
No.116 - Margaret Leveston, aged 6, West Linton, Peebleshire
Been down at coal-carrying six weeks; makes 10 to 14 rakes a-day; carries full 56lb. of coal in a wooden backit. The work is na guid; it is so very sair. I work with sister Jesse and mother; dinna ken the time we gang; it is gai dark. Get plenty of broth and porridge and run home and get bannock, as we live just by the pit. Never been to school; it is so far away.
Comment by Franks
A most interesting child and perfectly beautiful. I ascertained her age to be six 24th May, 1840; she was registered at Inveresk.
Margaret Rogers Livingstone (incorrectly recorded as Leveston) was the third child of the ten born to collier John Livingstone and his wife, Magdalene Liddell. Her siblings were Jessie (Janet), Alexander, James, Jemima, Isabella, Magdalene, John, Taylor and George. The family moved to West Linton some time after 1838.
Margaret was born in May 1832 and baptised on 3rd June 1832 according to parish records at Inveresk, making her eight when she was interviewed by the Children's Employment Commissioner in 1840. In the Commission's Report, she is stated to be six years old. Margaret may have been of delicate build and looked young or she may simply have given the interviewing commissioner the wrong date of birth. She was working away from home in 1851 at Milton Mill, Glencross as a farm servant and her age is also two years understated in the census.
In defiance of the new law prohibiting females from working underground, Margaret probably continued to move coal until 1844 as the younger boys in the family were too young to replace the labour of Margaret, her elder sister and her mother. The Inspector of Mines found females still working in pits at West Linton when he visited the area that year.
Margaret seems to have moved from the village in the late 1840s and never lived there again. After her father John died in 1854, his widow was supported by any children who remained at home. Her sons James, John and George seem to have been peripatetic in their search for work as colliers, but James and George had returned to West Linton by 1871 with their mother.
In May 1859, Margaret married outside the mining industry. Adam Black was a farm servant at Roades Farm. Neither could write as both signed the marriage papers with their mark. Records show that on 1st June 1859 Margaret gave birth to a female child who was not named. It seems probable the girl was stillborn or lived for a very short time. The following year her son John was born. In 1861 the young family was living at Walstone Cottage Penicuick and Adam was working as a ploughman. They setted in Lasswade around 1864.
The 1871 census shows that the couple with six children. Adam was born in 1862, Magdalene in 1864, Alexander in 1866, Margaret in 1869 and James a couple of months before the census was taken. They also had two young lodgers. Adam's occupation was recorded as fireman, which suggests that he may have been stoking a furnace in a factory or on a railway.
In 1881, they were living at Loanhead, a few miles from Lasswade in what may have been a more rural area. Adam was a dairyman, possibly self-employed. With them were Adam, Alexander, Margaret and James. There is no mention of George who was born in 1874, suggesting that he too had died. Also living with them were four children from the Blackie family who are recorded as nieces and nephews. Margaret would have had her work cut out looking after the household. She may also have had to juggle the money as the only wage-earner besides her husband was their son, Adam, who was a grocer's assistant.
Margaret was widowed in 1885 when Adam died of smallpox, a disease he may have contracted through working with cows. A further tragedy befell her in September 1889 when her brother George and 62 other men died of suffocation after an underground fire broke out in Mauricewood Colliery near Penicuick. George was unmarried and supporting his 89 year old mother Magdalene. She died from cerebral softening three weeks after her son. A report in the Portobello Advertiser poignantly reveals that she had lapsed in and out of consciousness for some days, whilst murmuring that she hoped that the people attending her were 'remembering George's dinner'.
In 1891 Margaret was enumerated as a dairy keeper working on her own account, assisted by her son Alexander. Adam had given up work at the grocer's and become an engineer. The youngest son, James was a joiner. As daughter Margaret was working in a paper mill, the household probably had a reasonable amount of income and may have enjoyed a decent standard of living.
Ten years later, Margaret had a smaller home, in the high street at Lasswade, one with two windowed rooms. Approaching her sixtieth year, she may have found running the dairy too heavy to manage as Alexander, now married, worked as a dairyman. James and John had also married and had families of their own. Her daughter Margaret, who was still single, earned money as a domestic servant and grandson Adam shared the house with them. In 1911, Margaret lived in the same house but with two lodgers. One of them was 91 year old spinster, Elizabeth Reckie, and the other a young man who was a colliery engineer. Neither appear to be relatives and the rent they paid her would supplement her pension.
Margaret died on the 21st April 1917 of hemiplegia (probably the result of a stroke) which had occurred eleven days previously. She was 84 years old, which was an exceptional age for the time. Notice of her death was given by her son, John.
Margaret's brother James settled in West Linton. He married twice and had twelve children. Male descendants of this branch of the family remained stalwarts of the Scottish mining industry, either as colliers or in management and engineering roles, alongside military service in both world wars.
Information about Margaret Livingstone and her family has been provided by George Livingstone and Moira Mitchell, Margaret's great nephew and great-great niece.
No.117 - Jane Peacock Watson, aged 40, West Linton, Peebleshire
I have wrought in the bowels of the earth 33 years. Have been married 23 years and had nine children; six are alive, three died of typhus a few years since; have had two dead born; thinks they were so from the oppressive work: a vast of women have dead children and false births, which are worse, as they are no able to work after the latter. I have always been obliged to work below till forced to go home to bear the bairn, and so have all the other women. We return as soon as able, never longer than 10 or 12 days many less, if they are much needed. It is only horse-work, and ruins the women; it crushes their haunches, bends their ankles and makes them old women at 40. Women so soon get weak that they are forced to take the little ones down to relieve them; even children of six years of age do much to relieve the burthen. Knows it is bad to keep bairns from school but every little helps; and even if there is no school nearer than two miles and it is a fearful road across the moor in summer much more winter. Coal-hewers are paid 41.5d. for each load of 2cwt., out of which they have to pay the bearers whom they hire. Each collier has his place on the coal-hill and gets his money just as the sale comes in, which makes the pay uncertain.
See No 115 for family details.
No.118. Jesse Coutte, aged 13, West Linton, Peebleshire
I was born at Coaly Burn. Mother had me registered at West Linton. I have wrought below six years. Mother took me first down she does not work not work now as she had a false birth (miscarriage), from the oppression of sore work and she has never been herself since. Father has been idle 12 weeks, from a hurt in the arm; it was done by the wedge cutting the sinews open: he receives 5s. a-week from a friendly society but they mean to knock him down to 2s. 6d. after next Saturday. Sister Helen is wrought; she is 11 years past and been four years below and Charlotte is nine years old and been two years at the work. Mother has 10 children. Sisters and I can read in the Testament: never did anything at the writing; cannot sew. Is very much fatigued with the work; would like to run away from it. God made the world and me. Jesus is God. Don't know how many days in the year; thinks there are 10 or 12 months; can't say what they call them. Sin is cursing and swearing. Twelve pennies are in am shilling, can't say how many there are in two shillings. Reads very little.
Jesse's parents were David and Janet Coutts. Her siblings include Helen, Charlotte and Margaret.
No.119 - Mary Neilson, aged 10, West Linton, Peebleshire
When sister Margaret, who is nine years old works, we make 10 to 15 rakes each; when she is away I am forced to make 20. Sister was six years old when she first wrought and I went down at that age. I carry half a load now; half a load is cwt. and it is no easy work; it often causes me to fall asleep below when there is nothing to gang with. Mother does not work now; has been very weak from two false births and obliged to stay away.
Comment by Franks
Reads a little: knows scarcely any of the questions but very acute at weights. Would acquire knowledge quickly from natural talent. Rather short-sighted. If well dressed would vie with any child in Scotland in point of beauty.
Mary was the daughter of Joseph and Janet Neilson. Her siblings were Mary, Jean, Taylor and Elizabeth.
No.123 - Euphemet Davison, aged 13, Gladsmuir
Works with brother and sister to support mother, who has two bairns, no yet strong for work. Father died of typhus some time since. I can earn 4s. a-week when the work is regular. Sometimes on night-work, sometimes day, generally 10 or l2 hours. I could read in the Bible; have nearly forgotten; as there is no night-school here now, cannot get the learning. I go to Gladsmuir kirk and the sabbath-school; to say the catechism and scripture verses.
Comment by Franks
Reads very badly but answers fairly the questions in the short catechism : otherwise very ignorant.
Her mother was Margaret and her siblings were William, Margaret, Janet and Ann.
No.126 - Esther Peacock, aged 12, Gladsmuir
I think that I work 10 to 12 hours; have done so for eighteen months. I draw my brother's work; mother used to assist me but she is nearly blind from sore work and canna gang. I never got hurt by the waggons but I get my licks sometimes I went to school to learn the letters when father was in life but he died three years gone with bad breath. Would like other work, has no choice; mother has seven of us, and all alive and sleep in one kitchen; cannot go to kirk, as have no clothes.
Comment by Franks
Cannot read; very destitute and ignorant; no religious knowledge whatever.
I have not located Esther but a girl called Christian Peacock is a close match for this evidence.
No.129.- Mary Hogg, aged 15, Gladsmuir
I have wrought below five years. During the summer I work out by [in the fields] as I prefer doing so to hanging on the pit as many lassies do; coal-work being no certain in summer. I much like to work above and could make as much money in the fields; I get 8d. and 10d. a-day - below is 1s. but when I deduct what it costs me for oil and cotton and pit clothes, the field wages goes the same length, nor is it sair work. The crushing work below is only fit for horses and most of the lassies are getting hurts of one kind or other. I frequently get my fingers crushed and my nails torn out.
Comment by Franks
Very quick, intelligent lassie. Reads very badly, has not been to any school since below; very desirous to learn. Says she would go but there is no night-school nearer than two miles.
Her mother was Isabella and she had an older sister, Agnes.
No.130 - Janet Duncan, aged17, Gladsmuir
Works at putting and was a coal-bearer at Hen Muir Pit and New Pencaitland. I work sometimes very long hours; was going to work when I met you last night and now just come home; it must be 16 or 18 hours since; it is not usual for me to work so long 10 or 12 hours are the common time. I do not like coal-work, it makes me stoop so much and being tall I am compelled to bend my legs double. The carts I push contain three cwt. of coal, being a load and a half; it is very severe work, especially when we have to stay before the tubs, on the brae, to prevent them coming too fast; they frequently run too quick and knock us down; when they run over-fast we fly off the roads and let them go, or we should be crushed. Mary Peacock was severely crushed a fortnight since; is gradually recovering. I have wrought above in harvest-time; it is the only other work that ever I tried my hand at, and having harvested for three seasons am able to say that the hardest daylight work is infinitely superior to the best of coal-work. Comment by Franks Reads and writes well; very well informed, tall elegant woman; the roads in which she works are three feet to four feet high.
Janet's parents were John and Janet Duncan. Her siblings were George, Jean, William, John, Catherine, Euphemia and James.
No.134 - Isabel Wilson, aged 38, Tranent
When women have children thick (fast) they are compelled to take them down early, I have been married 19 years and have had 10 bairns; seven are in life. When on Sir John's work was a carrier of coals, which caused me to miscarry five times from the strains, and was gai ill after each. Putting is no so oppressive; last child was born on Saturday morning and I was at work the Friday night. Once met with an accident; a coal brake my cheek-bone, which kept me idle some weeks. I have wrought below 30 years and so has the guid man; he is getting touched in the breath now. None of the children read, as the work is no regular. I did read once but no able to attend to it now; I go below lassie 10 years of age keeps house and makes the broth or stir-about.
Comment by Franks Nine sleep in two bedsteads; there did not appear to be any beds and the whole of the furniture consisted of two chairs, three stools, a table, a kail-pot and a few broken basins and cups. Upon asking if the furniture was all they had, the guid wife said, furniture was of no use, as it was so troublesome to flit with.
Isabella's husband was David Wilson and her children included Helen, Margaret, Elizabeth, William, Christian, Adam and Robine. Catherine, David and Mary were born after the 1841 census. In 1851, husband David and son William were supporting Isabella and the younger children.
No.135 - Betsy Sharp, aged 11, Tranent
Worked at carrying coal and putting more than three years; was first wrought on the Edge Seams at Drum, near Gilmerton; works with brother and four sisters on mother's account. Father is dead; it was the oppression of bad breath that killed him; I dinna ken how old he was: he was na very old. I have just been one week at school and beginning with the letters; the teacher says I shall learn if I pay attention. I work from six in the morning till six or seven at night; mother never misses sending porridge down at eight or nine in the morning.
Comment by Franks
Destitute of any kind of religious knowledge, knows scarcely the three first letters of the alphabet.
Possibly the daughter of Margaret Sharp. Her siblings included William, Ann, Margaret, Helen, Purdie, James, and Jean. She was working as an agricultural labourer by the time of the 1841 census.
No.136 - Elizabeth M'Neil, aged 38 years, Tranent
Was sent below before 10 years of age; has been married 20 years and had eight children seven alive; three work below. Must confess children are sent down too early but it is better for them than running wild about, there being no teacher here till the last week to give them education; the children, are now wrought at the school, they are to be taught the reading; cannot say whether they are to go the length of writing after. Women think little about working below when with child; have wrought below myself till last hour and returned 12 or 14 days after. I knew a woman who came up and the child was born in the field next the coal hill. Women frequently miscarry below and suffer much after; vast of women are confined before they have time to change themselves. I read but am no able to write; husband can sign his name.
Martha's husband was Thomas McNeill. Her daughter Martha was witness No 139. Elizabeth's other children were Helen, George, Janet, Elizabeth, David, William and Alison. In 1851 she was a widow being supported by four of her children. Martha was not living with her at this point. In 1861 she was being supported by two children.
No.139 - Martha M'Neil, aged 16, Tranent
Been six years below; works for manager from seven ill the morning till five at night. I often fall asleep, sometimes the pit is warm and the reek makes me drowsy; most children do. I am learning to read. No holidays, as father makes no throwing off. We have been stopped from going to school, as father wants teacher to learn us for 2d. per week each.
Comment by Franks
Reads very badly.
See No 136.
No.140 - Janet Dawson, aged 17, Tranent
I work 12 hours below ground and have done so more than six years; the work is very severe; when the cart is on the brae am obliged to get another putter to give me a lift. Often been injured; am now laid aside, having lost the tops of my two middle fingers; been idle eight days. I do not know whether work above would suit me, as I have been so long in the pit, never tried other labour. I can read, never was taught writing; can make my own pit-clothes; can earn when full employed 14d. a-day. Have some recollection of the catechism but never troubled myself about the books since I left school, which is full six years.
No.141 - Margaret Crookston, aged 16, Tranent
I work in the Old Gavenslee Pit, which is no so crowded as the new working and I lowse [leave work] when my brother lowses; the carts I push hold five cwt.; five cwt. is a quarter of a ton; the road I push or draw on is a great length and there is a steep brae which brother helps me up to the level road; I used to bear coals on my back; drawing is no easy work but we get more money for it than work above, therefore do not dislike it; can earn 7s. week. I work for mother, as father died three years since with colliers' complaint.
Comment by Franks
Can read and write very badly; cannot answer many of the questions in short catechism and has no knowledge of sewing or making own dress.
Her mother appears to be Marion Crookston and her siblings Adam, William, James and Alice.