Robert Devine

My Maternal 3rd Great-Grandfather

Death Certificate of Robert Devine (1811-1889).

Robert Devine was born in Ireland around 1811; he was the son of Robert Devine and Catherine Calquhoun.  Nothing else is known about his childhood, to date.  He first appears in the 1851 Scotland Census at the age of 37, after he was married to Catherine McGhie and had two daughters born in Ireland in the 1840s.  Robert Devine Jr., my 2nd great-grandfather (week 13), was born in Scotland around 1850 therefore, while it is not known exactly when the Devines moved to Scotland, it was likely in the late 1840's. According to: "The Irish were by far the largest group of immigrants to settle in Scotland. With fares from as little as 6d for a deck passage from Ireland to Greenock, emigration to Scotland was a regular feature of Irish life before 1830. In the 1820s, 6000-8000 Irish per year were making the harvest migration. By the 1840s this had grown to 25,000 over the agricultural season.

Most of the emigration, however, was on a temporary basis, peaking during important times in the farming calendar, such as harvest. In the summer of 1841, 57,651 Irish, mainly male labourers, crossed to England and Scotland to work on the harvest.

There was (initially) no attempt to form permanent settlements, although with the development of cotton weaving, the construction of railways and the general expansion of the economy, the foundations of Irish settlement were beginning to be laid in Scotland. Prior to the great famine of 1846-7, emigration from Ireland could best be described as a trickle. After the famine it became a flood. 

It was the industrial areas of the west of Scotland which saw the largest concentrations of Irish immigrants, with almost 29% of all Irish migrants settled in Glasgow, but the smaller industrial towns of the west also had substantial Irish communities. The population of Coatbridge in 1851 was 35.8% Irish."

Robert Devine was a railway labourer during his adult life in Scotland.  He and Catherine raised four children outside of Glasgow, in Lanarkshire, where some of their descendants still reside. The census records are as follows:

1851 Scotland Census - Robert Devine (37, railway labourer) born in Ireland abt 1814, living at "Part of the Village" Bellshill, Scotland (civil parish of Bothwell) with wife Cathrin (33) born in Ireland abt 1818, children: Eliza (8) born in Ireland abt 1843, Lavina (5) born in Ireland abt 1846, and Robert (2) born in Bothwell abt 1849.

1861 Scotland Census - Robert Devin (48, railway labourer) born in Ireland abt 1813. Living at Bellshill, Bothwell Scotland with wife Catherine (48) born in Ireland abt. 1813, and children: Elizabeth (18), Laoane? (15), Robert (12), and Mary (8), born abt 1853 in Bothwell, Lanarkshire. also a boarder, Francis Kane (35). 

1871 Scotland Census has 55 year old Catherine Devine (born in Derry, Ireland abt 1816), wife of 55 year old Robert Devine born in Ireland abt 1816 railway painterman, living at E & G Road Blackmore, Bothwell, Lanarkshire. Robert is not recorded, possibly away from the home for work, but reappears ten years later.

1881 Scotland Census - Robert Divan (railway pointsman) and wife Catherine McGhee (both 71, born in Ireland abt 1810 living at Main Street, Bothwell, Lanarkshire.  Robert was widowed that year.

On March 13, 1889 Robert Devine, widower of Catherine McGhie (former Railway Pointsman, age 78) died of gastroenteritis of 8 days. Daughter Lavinia Gemmell was present at Main Street, Bellshill, Bothwell. Robert's parents were listed as Robert Devine and Catherine Coloqhoun, both deceased. The Devine family name became 'Devon' to Robert's descendants sometime during the 1870's.

"We need to haunt the house of history and listen anew to the ancestors' wisdom"

Maya Angelou

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Muggs | Reply 25.10.2014 19.01

Lots of work.only ten more to go. The history is amazing.

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