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Introduction / Westray Grays / Archibald Gray / Louisa Gray and William Lennie / Isabella Lennie and John Swannie

William Swannie and Margaret Drever

William Swannie (b. 18th November 1844) was the second son of Isabella Lennie and John Swannie. His occupation was given as a sailor when he married Margaret Drever (b. 1st July 1849) from Sanquoy on 25th February 1870. Margaret was the daughter of fisherman George Drever and Catherine Mainland.

Margaret was with her parents with their first two children at the time of the 1871 census.

William and Margaret had at least eleven children:

  • Catherine Swannie b. 12th October 1868. Catherine had three sons: William Swannie b. 9th June 1886; George Swannie b. 21st October 1896 but did not survive; and David Swannie b. 29th December 1899. William and George were born in Broughton while David was born at Warrenfield in Kirkwall. William and David formed part of the household of Catherine's parents in the 1891 and 1901 censuses respectively. In 1901, William was with Catherine's sister Isabella and her family in Kirkwall.
  • John Swannie b. 1873
  • William Swannie b. 13th March 1880
  • George Drever Swannie b. 12th March 1882
  • Thomas Swannie b. 24th January 1884
  • James Swannie b. 23rd July 1885
  • Margaret Ann Swannie b. 16th July 1887
  • Janet Swannie b. 3rd November 1888
  • Elizabeth Garrioch Swannie b. 26th March 1890 and died at Broughton on 9th April 1892
  • David Swannie b. 9th April 1893

William continued to be a sailor in the merchant service according to most of the birth records of the children although the 1881 census indicates that he was a farmer of 5 acres at Piggar in Westray. The family moved from there to Broughton around 1883.

They stayed at Caddlesbrae in the Broughton district at the time of the 1891 census. Children John, William, George, Thomas and James were all with the family at this time but not in the subsequent census.

Fishing seemed to be William's main occupation in the late 1880s and early 1890s. They were at No 3 Broughton in 1901 and appear to have fallen on hard times. They still had three children with them: Margaret, Janet (Jessie according to this census) and David.

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