Catherine Devon Donald with six of her children. My grandmother, Maggie Donald, is in front, on left.
Catherine Whiteside Devon was born on November 25, 1873 in Bellshill, Lanarkshire, Scotland. She was the second of seven children born to Robert Devon and Charlotte Whiteside. For the most part, the family remained in the Bellshill,
Bothwell and Motherwell areas of Lanark for their entire lives. Catherine's father was a railway worker. This was a family whose naming patterns generally included the use of maternal maiden names down the line. My daughter's middle name is
Devon, after my maternal great-grandmother and her family.
During her younger years, Catherine worked as a tailor's machinist and tailoress, according to census and marriage records. As an adult, her days were filled as a housewife and
mother, raising a large family with her husband, Arthur.
On January 1, 1895, Catherine married Arthur Peter McLaren Donald, son of James Donald (week #6) and Jane McLaren. Catherine and Arthur had eleven children over the next 23 years;
unfortunately, the first and third children died as toddlers from childhood illnesses.
Catherine saw five of her children leave Scotland and move to Canada in the 1920s in search of better lives; one of her daughters eventually returned to Scotland
with her family. Two sons and two daughters, including my grandmother, Maggie (week #1), married, had children and stayed for the remainder of their lives in or near Hamilton, Ontario. Arthur and Catherine's son Arthur Jr. served and
died in WW2 as a Canadian soldier.
Catherine and Arthur lived in the same neighbourhood for most of their lives together raising their children. Arthur died at home of a cerebral hemourage in 1937; Catherine was a widow at age 64. She lived
until January 1, 1945 (which would have been their 50th wedding anniversary). Catherine died of apoplexy at home and was buried next to Arthur at Airlbles Road Cemetery, Motherwell. Many years later, her two youngest sons were buried with them.